This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dick Dale and the reverb that birthed a genre

Not many people can claim they invented an entire genre. Joy Division can, as can Ornette Coleman (probably Chuck Berry, too). Guitar virtuoso Dick Dale would also find himself among that list. It isn't often that I find myself attracted to technical wizards, because more often than not they engage in the Guitar Center-wankery common among people who pop raging, mega-huge boners for boring white guys like Steve Vai.

I think it helped Dale was also a great songwriter, one who knew how to meld his six-string pyrotechnics with kickass songcraft instead of aimlessly noodling. He was also a sonic innovator of sorts, working closely with Fender to create bigger and louder amps (he was the first to use the then-flooring 100 watt amplifier), using heavier and heavier strings, playing his guitar upside down without restringing, incorporating Middle Eastern aural themes into rock'n'roll, and probably most important, slathering layer upon layer of reverb onto his recordings to make them sound "wet." All told, he pretty much singlehandedly invented surf rock.

What floors the most about Dick Dale, no matter how many times I listen to him, is how many sensible notes he manages to cram into short songs with ridiculous tempos. He never lets his skill do all the talking, going for bold hooks that instrumentalists of his caliber would shun. He;s also pretty tough, too - not even cancer or a pollution-cause infection that almost cost him his leg could keep him down. Dude's pushing 70, and he's still killing it onstage every night. See him while you have the chance.

Shake 'n' Stomp:

Take It Off:

Hava Nagila:

Mr. Eliminator:

The Victor:


Blogger Chris said...

I love Dick Dale. Too bad many people only know him because of "Misirlou" - aka "that Pulp Fiction song" - or "that original beat the Black Eyed Peas came up with" for whichever one of their songs.

1:07 AM

Blogger Chris said...

I should be more specific - know him or his work.

1:08 AM


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