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Creepy Creeps

Jack Johnson may be the new sound of surf rock, but it wasn’t always that way. The pop music that was pumping out of Southern California radios during surf rock’s first incarnation in the early ’60s was bohemian in comparison to anything else on the airwaves. Call it a love affair between Vox organs and tinny electric guitars that were maxxed out on reverb. There was a tribal quality to the music and the vibe — at least until a renegade composer and bandleader from Hawthorne, California, named Brian Wilson began to inject the genre with his own spaced-out harmonies. Now it’s all “dance party.” Surf rock was a sweaty good time. It sounded weird to squares, and that’s the essence of what the Creepy Creeps, a San Diego–based retro-style surf-rock band, have figured out.

The Creeps also know that when it comes to surf rock, it’s no longer enough that you should simply play a guitar. These days it’s about how weird you can make your guitar sound while remaining inside the boundaries defined by surf and outside of the boundaries defined by the blues-rock guitar pyrotechnics that ultimately pulverized surf rock into oblivion by the mid to late ’60s. The Creepy Creeps’ guitar warbles and chirps and resonates with pure punk static. The drums are solid firecrackers, and the keyboards are vintage and electronic. It is a wonderful sound, both authentic and novel. But the Creeps are revisionists, not pragmatists. They’ve managed to fire up the music with a boatload of their own ideas.

I suppose the extravagant stage costumes further their vibe as an artsy band; they also show up for gigs with their own pump-and-grind go-go dancers who coerce the audience out onto the dance floor. But don’t expect to buy a CD at any of their shows — to dig the band at home, you need a record player. The Creepy Creeps are known for releasing their music in the old-fashioned way — on vinyl.

CREEPY CREEPS, The Casbah, Saturday, July 5, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $10.

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Jack Johnson may be the new sound of surf rock, but it wasn’t always that way. The pop music that was pumping out of Southern California radios during surf rock’s first incarnation in the early ’60s was bohemian in comparison to anything else on the airwaves. Call it a love affair between Vox organs and tinny electric guitars that were maxxed out on reverb. There was a tribal quality to the music and the vibe — at least until a renegade composer and bandleader from Hawthorne, California, named Brian Wilson began to inject the genre with his own spaced-out harmonies. Now it’s all “dance party.” Surf rock was a sweaty good time. It sounded weird to squares, and that’s the essence of what the Creepy Creeps, a San Diego–based retro-style surf-rock band, have figured out.

The Creeps also know that when it comes to surf rock, it’s no longer enough that you should simply play a guitar. These days it’s about how weird you can make your guitar sound while remaining inside the boundaries defined by surf and outside of the boundaries defined by the blues-rock guitar pyrotechnics that ultimately pulverized surf rock into oblivion by the mid to late ’60s. The Creepy Creeps’ guitar warbles and chirps and resonates with pure punk static. The drums are solid firecrackers, and the keyboards are vintage and electronic. It is a wonderful sound, both authentic and novel. But the Creeps are revisionists, not pragmatists. They’ve managed to fire up the music with a boatload of their own ideas.

I suppose the extravagant stage costumes further their vibe as an artsy band; they also show up for gigs with their own pump-and-grind go-go dancers who coerce the audience out onto the dance floor. But don’t expect to buy a CD at any of their shows — to dig the band at home, you need a record player. The Creepy Creeps are known for releasing their music in the old-fashioned way — on vinyl.

CREEPY CREEPS, The Casbah, Saturday, July 5, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $10.

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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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