Welcome to the first edition of SURFING Magazine's Music Blog. This is not the place where we get all souly on you about how music and surfing are all cosmically connected. Yeah, we know. We just added this music blog page to the website because we spend so much time searching for new bands to include in SURFING Mag's monthly SOUNDS page and are constantly cluing into great new music. We thought you might want to know about some of it. We'd also like to keep you updated on what some of our old Sounds profiles are currently up to. Obviously, everyone has their own taste in music, so we won't be so bold as to suggest this is what's right for you (and we also plan to keep a steady stream of guest editors for this section, to keep it fresh), but, well, we do hear a lot of new music… so we just thought we should be sharing some of it. —Nathan Myers
First of all, pretty much all the bands that played the recent The Happening event at the Orange County Museum of Art, are ones you should be keeping your eyes on. Here's a few of our favs:
Matt Costa www.mattcosta.com is very much in the Jack Johnson brand of music — if you like Jack, you'll love Matt — with a bit more instrumentation and his own spin on songwriting. Good stuff.
Money Mark www.moneymark.com is a former Beastie Boy, with a mellow hand on the piano and guitar and groovy sense for quirky little tunes. His album "Brand New Tomorrow" just came out last month, and it's smooth little ride. Very gentle and playful. Don't expect a Beasties album, here.
Rocco DeLuca and The Burden www.roccodeluca.com are already on the counter at Starbucks, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just means he's hitting the big time, like, tomorrow. In fact, Rocco arrived at The Happening straight from Leno's Tonight Show. Rocco sounds like Jeff Buckley, with this high pitched wailing that's bound to piss off some dolphins out there. It's really strong and emotional without being too heavy.
White Buffalo www.thewhitebuffalo.com has been around forever, with songs on most of those Moonshine films like Shelter and Hallowed Ground. He only has one album and an EP out, but if you're a fan of man&guitar songmanship, Buffalo is a must. He's a brilliant songwriter with a really unique style. We don't want to call him lazy, but considering his talent, we'd expected to see him blowing up by now. Maybe that's a good thing. Catch him at a small venue while you still can.
There were plenty of other great bands at The Happening, from filmmaker Andrew Kidman's group to former pro skater Ray Barbee jamming with jazz twins the Matson Two. Go to www.thehappeninglive.com for a full list and bring yourself up to speed. Good stuff.
If hip hop starts sounding soulier in the month of February, blame Canada. Hoser super-hero Kevin Bhrereton, aka K-Os, ( www.k-osmusic.com) is shattering local records with his new album Atlantis: Hymns For Disco. Seriously: do yourself a favor. K-Os grooves, he rocks, he slides, he rolls, he raps, he…oh, shoots, just check it. Even if you're not a fan of hip-hop, this guy is something else altogether. Between the flamenco guitar and rippling lip riddles, there's so much music in one place on this album you'll be digging on it for months.
Aussie soul-jammers are giving American fluff-rockers Ben Harper and Jack Johnson a run for their charity money, mainly in the form of Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls and The John Butler Trio. Rudd, a one-man band who plays slide guitar, percussion and djeridoo all at once has been touring behind his new album "Food in the Belly" and putting new spins on cover versions of Hendrix Wind Cried Mary and Toot's "Famine". Here's a tip: Rudd live albums are sick (go here to check his whole quiver www.xavierrudd.com).
The Beautiful Girls got stopped at the border as they tried to launch their US tour, and were super apologetic about not being able to share their live act with US fans. But the up side is that they went straight into the studio, and that also there's a collection of their older, Aussie-only recordings compiled on a US release called Water. It's very cool. Singer/songewriter Matt McHugh told SURFING that the band is keen on moving to Southern California, so hopefully we'll be calling them local before too long. www.thebeautifulgirls.com) Meanwhile, the super-jamming slide guitar soul-rocker John Butler, has been in the studio trying to rediscover himself with a new 13 track album due out in march: Grand National. SURFING heard an early preview of the album and it sounds both classic and fresh, with a few new explorations, like the ukulele reggae stylings on Groovin' Slowly. www.johnbultertrio.com) The John Butler Trio live shows are all available for free on their website, or go here and start downloading right away.
So, there's the first installation of the SURFING music blog. Just suggestions, as we said. In the future, we'll be having other guest editors telling you their latest and greatest musical findings, and if you're turning on to some hot new tunes, feel free to let us know about 'em at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always interested, being that music and surfing are, like, totally cosmically connected and shit.