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Secret Samurai

Album: Gun Sho Gun (2008)

Artist: Secret Samurai

Label: self-released

Where available/price: CDBaby.com for $12.97 and Double Crown Records (dblcrown.com) for $14.75

Songs: 1) Don’t Fear the Reverb 2) Shoegazer 3) Bereft of Enemies 4) Titus 5) Sink or Swim 6) Bakersfield 7) L’Ultimo Basamento 8) Off the Richter (Act II) 9) Dastardly Deeds 10) Istanbul 11) The Song Remains the Same

Band: Ryan Ruiz (guitar), Steve Van Wyk (bass), Bill Zuck (drums)

Website: secretsamurai.org

Extra info: Secret Samurai is scheduled to play Bar Pink Elephant on April 8.

Instrumental surf music is inseparable from Southern California. Popular 1950s rock and roll in Los Angeles adopted jazz elements as well as Mexican street-music features. Dick Dale experimented with reverberation to give his Fender Stratocaster an echo and what he described as a “wet” sound, trying to re-create the music he heard in his head while surfing. Dale incorporated quick staccato picking, a hot-rod-tough sensibility, and Middle Eastern scales from his ancestral home of Lebanon.

Secret Samurai plays it as well as any other band. They carry on all the genre’s defining traditions: the lightning-quick riffs, clean rhythms, and reverb. The first five tracks are textbook examples of the sound. In later songs, a subtle spaghetti-western influence can be heard. The dramatic “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”–like guitar-picking fits well. Both styles evoke vintage, cinematic, and romantic feelings, and the blending of the two — Frankie Avalon meets Clint Eastwood — is a genius contribution to popular culture.

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Album: Gun Sho Gun (2008)

Artist: Secret Samurai

Label: self-released

Where available/price: CDBaby.com for $12.97 and Double Crown Records (dblcrown.com) for $14.75

Songs: 1) Don’t Fear the Reverb 2) Shoegazer 3) Bereft of Enemies 4) Titus 5) Sink or Swim 6) Bakersfield 7) L’Ultimo Basamento 8) Off the Richter (Act II) 9) Dastardly Deeds 10) Istanbul 11) The Song Remains the Same

Band: Ryan Ruiz (guitar), Steve Van Wyk (bass), Bill Zuck (drums)

Website: secretsamurai.org

Extra info: Secret Samurai is scheduled to play Bar Pink Elephant on April 8.

Instrumental surf music is inseparable from Southern California. Popular 1950s rock and roll in Los Angeles adopted jazz elements as well as Mexican street-music features. Dick Dale experimented with reverberation to give his Fender Stratocaster an echo and what he described as a “wet” sound, trying to re-create the music he heard in his head while surfing. Dale incorporated quick staccato picking, a hot-rod-tough sensibility, and Middle Eastern scales from his ancestral home of Lebanon.

Secret Samurai plays it as well as any other band. They carry on all the genre’s defining traditions: the lightning-quick riffs, clean rhythms, and reverb. The first five tracks are textbook examples of the sound. In later songs, a subtle spaghetti-western influence can be heard. The dramatic “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”–like guitar-picking fits well. Both styles evoke vintage, cinematic, and romantic feelings, and the blending of the two — Frankie Avalon meets Clint Eastwood — is a genius contribution to popular culture.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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