Friday, May 29, 2009

Wake and Bake: The Best Modern Surf Music

A while back Estoy Pacheco brought you the best old-school surf tunes. Now we send you out to the rollers with our wake and bake modern surf tunes. Why wake and bake? Half of these tunes will leave you amped and ready to tame the mighty monsters. The other half are for those moments when you are, well...baked. We'll leave it to you to decide which is which. But one thing is sure - these modern surf trax are all killer, no filler!

Xavier Rudd - Mother
I've had the pleasure of catching this Surfin' Cat who originally hails from Australia at a number of festivals over the last few years. Catch him on tour this summer if you can, especially if you have never heard a didgeridoo. They know their waves in the land of Oz.

Donavon Frankenreiter - Free
Produced by fellow surfer and bud Jack Johnson, this tune from Donavon's eponymous (I love that word) debut disc gets you into a good place. Unfortunately his record lable won't let you view the vid here and you have to leave this site and check it out on YouTube but we can show you this teaser from the 2008 Billabong Pro.

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
The Seattle-based band on the SubPop label were the guys who got me thinking about these lists in the first place. You knew that they were gonna show up on one of them.

Blue Hawaiians - A Cheat
Fan faves from Flint, Michigan Greg, Jory and the boys are still going strong after 20 years.

Jack Johnson - Surf Song
Is there anybody out there not doing a take on this tune from this native of Hawaii? Great tune with Philadelphia's favorite surfer, G. Love lending a hand. This fan-made vid has some awesome surf footage.

Mermen - Neptune's Revenge
The Pink Floyd of modern surf music reformed in 2006. The Mermen are gigging at selected dates this summer in the San Fran area. Patience is a virtue, at least until the 2:32 mark of this Bay show.

Russian Circles - Death Rides a Horse
We're throwing in a curveball here with this three piece outfit from Chicago. This will get your adrenaline pumping!

Los Straitjackets - Tempest
The wrestling masks can't hide the talent of this Nashville combo that formed in 1988 and then didn't play again as a unit for another six years. They haven't been heard from since 2005. I guess we have another two year wait ahead of us. The vid comes from "Psycho Beach Party." You know that you want to see it now.

Reverend Horton Heat - Psychobilly Freakout
Adrenaline overdrive! This is the one that everyone tried to master on Guitar Hero II. When you think about it, isn't psychobilly just a much cooler term than surf music for the same f'n thing?

Meteors - Go Buddy Go
While we are on the subject of psychobilly, we'd be remiss if we didn't include the UK group that are considered the Kings of Psychobilly and by extension the torchbearers of surf rock through the 80s and 90s.

Surf Coasters - Refraction
Japan's answer to the Ventures and all those surf bands from the 60s. The Surf Coasters have been tearing up the Asian charts since 1994 bringing a punk edge to the surf music genre.

Surfites - Surfville
Let's close this chapter with the band that best encapsulates the days of the wooden board in the 21st century. And The Smurfites come from Sweden of all places! These "landlocked gremmies" have been playing instrumental surf since 2004.

That's all she wrote, dude! It was alot harder to come up with this list than it was the old-school list. Surfing music was so defined in the 60s. Today the music has grown and influences can be heard in lots of different genres and bands, and as we have shown with these trax influenced musicians from four continents. While this list is by no means definitive, it is meant to be representative. Drop us a line if there is a glaring omission.

A number of bands that could have made this list on any other day and are just bubbling below the surface on this day are The Brains, Daredevil Jane, Weezer, and Southern Culture on the Skids.

Peace out!
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  1. if you want to listen to old and new surf music on your computer go to patient...the wave will come.

  2. Hands down the best modern surf band is Voodoo Court. I am promoting them on my blogs. Their latest CD, The Surf's Not For Pussies is a master piece. These guys put the dick in Dick Dale.

  3. Thanks for the link to the Marijuana Party of Canada.

    I enjoyed your collection of videos!

  4. DAIKAIJU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That is one of the coolest modern surf bands around at the moment!

  5. Hello friends, I wish they could write a review of the album on their website, greetings

  6. Mark Kuhn of Voodoo Court has formed a new surf band called the Compadres. They have a strong Spanish feel. Please give this upstart band a free listen.

    The Compadres are the next big thing in modern surf music

  7. Mark Kuhn of Voodoo Court has formed a new surf band called the Compadres. They have a strong Spanish feel. Please give this upstart band a free listen.

    The Compadres are the next big thing in modern surf music

  8. le grand miercoles - they absolutely rock. Best modern surf I know of.