Twang-bar Kings

Surf music rules again (maybe) About two-thirds of the way through

Just as the swell of CDs by all these nouveau surf bands and a raft of reissues of original music by the Tornadoes, Lively Ones, Revels, Impacts, Trashmen, Challengers, Dick Dale, and Belairs crested, just as Dick Dale rode out fawning profiles in the vapor trail of his Unknown Territory album and accompanying national tour A along came Quentin Tarantino to consecrate the music with a doff of his cinematic cool-school miter. In a quote he would trot out again and again in various permutations for an obliging entertainment press in the wake of the release of his Pulp Fiction, the director told Billboard in October, "I've always loved surf music, but I've never had a blanking [presumably, he said fucking] clue of what the hell it had to do with surfing." Dick Dale notwithstanding, Tarantino has a point.

Very likely, by this time next year, surf-music hype will have evaporated. Just as likely, though, surf music's appeal will endure, reinventing itself from time to time, just as it has since Dale first explored its possibilities. Laika & the Cosmonauts' s guitarist Matti Pitsinki probably best encapsulated the music's timeless attraction when he explained to Billboard, "Since it has no lyrics, it's universal. Not just global, but universal.

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