With the amount of surf music the On the Flip-Side staff listens to, it's a real wonder it's taken this long to get a good surf instrumental elevated to Song of the Week. Praise reverb, the wait is over. This week we sample the fine instrumental skills of Nashville-based surf merchants, Los Straitjackets as they put their thumping interpretation to Sing, Sing, Sing, a number written by Benny Goodman back in, I think, 1937.
For those of you not hip to a live Los Straitjackets show, here is a little primer to help you get caught up. The band performs a relentless attack of instrumentals while decked out in Mexican wrestling masks, they introduce their songs only in a rapid-fire Spanish that will make you think you are part of the Inquisition, and perform deadly serious unison "dance" moves that, admittedly, may make Gene Kelly raise an eyebrow askance. And if you are really lucky, you get to see the masked musicians perform with The Pontani Sisters, three Brooklyn based sisters who interpret the band's instrumentals with a PG rated Go-Go/Vaudevillian/Burlesque-like show that will have the audience laughing all night. And on a really good night, Kaiser George, the Scottish Buddy Holly look-alike will MC the show and throw in a twist number to boot. Or maybe Big Sandy will jump in to add some vocals to a number of Rockabilly tracks. And to wrap it all up, the whole gang will stand at the exit and thank you for coming and wish you a safe drive home.
All this adds up to an evening of great entertainment that is good for the whole family as well as the very serious connoisseurs of surf music. In short, the Flip-Side brain-trust suggests you check out Los Straitjackets' tour schedule (in support of their new Yep-Roc album, The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets) and have a night of total entertainment, the likes of which, one doesn't get to see much anymore. The Christmas shows are particularly entertaining as this low-res video of Sleigh Ride will hint at.
In the meantime, enjoy this thumper SOTW from Los Straitjackets and get ready for the bestest week you ever had.