The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Sound Waves

23

 

 

When I started the Sound Waves Blog three years ago, my intention was to explore music, surfing and their interrelationship with each other at a time when Ireland's own surf culture was on the brink of exploding into the mainstream. Looking back on some of the topics dealt with over those years,I'm surprised at the diversity of the material covered and the number of musicians spotlighted in the postings; many of whom are equally at home on daytime radio as they are on alternative rock shows. In a nutshell, surf culture has become so absorbed into the mainstream of Irish popular culture in the last year or so that it has become increasingly hard to find something distinctive about Irish surf culture that is worth highlighting; perhaps the best example of this absorbtion into the wider culture is Ross O'Carroll Kelly's hilarious take off of the AIB Surf Adverts in the Irish Times.

One question I did not grapple with on the blog however was why did surfing get so big in Ireland at this point in history and why were Irish surfers being increasingly drawn from the ranks of lawyers, accountants, and the financial services ? Sure, the increased wealth of the Irish played a part, surfing only developed originally in Hawaii because the natural wealth of the islands was so great that the Hawaiians discovered the concept of free time away from work, but more than that I think that surfing might have offered an escape for people away from an increasingly frenetic and corrupt corporate culture in Irish professional life; perhaps surfing represented to the frazzled professional some cold water Eden where mobile phones could not go. Who knows?

If I was to choose the tipping point for the changes that I have documented in this blog then that point would be Jack Johnson's 2006 concert in the Point Depot. For myself however, this wave of change closed out in another live music event, the 2009 Cois Fharraige, in Kilkee. Returning home after those concerts, I felt that the time had come for new directions. Personally, I was tired of being an interloper on the West coast, putting up with the seemingly endless driving, lousy food, over priced digs and the increasingly crowded and unfriendly line ups. I got back to Dublin, sold off my surf boards and with the money purchased myself a 12 foot Hawaiian shaped stand up paddle board. Now I spend every available spare moment on the water just minutes from my home, rather than hours in my car, and I get on with my life instead of putting it on hold.

See you in the water.

Jules Jackson

 

 


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08

If there has been one technological development that has changed forever the way that surfers hunt for waves, it is the internet. Of the many web based applications that have assisted in the search for stoke, a few have achieved eminence, namely Google Earth, Wind Guru and Magic Seaweed. Indeed, Google Earth even begat the now famous Surfing Magazine Google Earth Challenge.

Many a surfer has become bleary eyed staring at the screen of a laptop or PC, gazing at these websites in an attempt to answer the eternal question, "Where do I head to in order to find waves?". The only problem being that once on the road it was hard to update your information on changing conditions, without ringing a pal with immediate access to an internet connected computer.

That all changed with the release of the i-phone, which not only allows you to browse your favourite wave prediction websites on the go but also allows you to download i-phone tailored versions of same. So important has this little technological wonder become to the surfing community that it has become indispensible in a way that wetsuits and surf boards [which can be hired locally] are not; you can even buy the damn thing it's own hoodie. Go figure.


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16

Artist: Noah & The Whale

Song: Blue Skies

Album: The First Days of Spring


Artist: The Hold Steady

Song: Stay Positive

Album: Stay Positive

 

Artist: Doves

Song: Winter Skies

Album: Kingdom of Rust

 

Artist: The Blizzards

Song: First Girl to Leave Town

Album: A Public Display of Affection

 

Artist: Laura Izibor

Song: Shine

Album: Truth to be Told

 

Artist: The Zutons

Song: Hello Conscience

Album: Tired of Hanging Around

 

Artist: Stereo MCs

Song: Black Gold

Album: Double Bubble

 

[Image Credit: 'Walking on Water', shot by Rev Jules, Co. Clare 13th September 2009]

 


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14

Bodhi: If you want the ultimate, you've got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It's not tragic to die doing what you love. [Point Break, 1991]

Sound Waves is saddened to hear of the untimely death of Patrick Swayze, the Texas born actor, choreographer and dancer who made some of the most iconic  movies of the 1980s and 1990s and who, in the character of Bodhi, embodied a particular kind of surfing archetype; the zen master wave rider who takes a wrong turning in his life onto a road paved with darkness, a classic theme revisted in Tim Winton's recent novel, "Breath"

Although the character of Bodhi was a synthesis, the line of dialogue quoted above and the film's final scene on Bells Beach was clearly inspired by Mark Foo, the famous Hawaiian surfer who died in a freak accident at Mavericks and who was often quoted as saying, "If you want to ride the ultimate wave, you have to be willing to pay the ultimate price"


Although sometimes derided for being melodramatic, 'Point Break' has endured in popular culture and Sound Waves has yet to meet a surfer who is unable to quote memorable lines from the movie. Given the outstanding physicality of Swayze's onscreen performances, it is a cruel irony that his death was caused by a disease that slowly robs patients of their physical well being long before claiming their lives.

Perhaps the most fitting tribute one can pay to this brilliant, yet underrated Hollywood Star is to remember him as he is in that final scene in 'Point Break' standing in his wet suit on the beach in the rain, preparing to paddle out into a giant wave which he knows will take his life in the briefest and most thrilling manner possible.

Australian cop: We'll get him when he comes back in!

Johnny Utah: He's not coming back.

 


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23

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0ZPTFfpO40


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23

 

http://www.themoth.org/listen


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02
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24

This is the MySpace page of Ambulance Ltd.

This the trailer for The Ben Player Project.

 


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15
Although Bruce Springsteen’s songs tend to focus on highways, as Prefab Sprout slyly observed in their song ‘Cars and Girls’, it is a little known fact that in 1967 The Boss tried his hand at surfing in New Jersey.

According to his lifelong friend and band mate Steve Van Zandt however, Bruce did not have as much success with wave riding as he did with guitar playing. In an interview with wenn.com, Van Zandt’s opined that it was a bizarre hobby for Bruce to choose as surfing wasn’t cool in New Jersey at that time, “So we went to the beach so he could demonstrate it to me. He goes out. First wave, he gets up on it, falls off it, surfboard comes up and knocks out his front teeth. He comes in dragging the board, bleeding like he's had his throat cut. I told him I'd take a rain check on it."

In 2007, New Jersey blogger Paul Mulshine posted the following on his NJ Voices blog, “I was out at my favorite surf spot the other day....I was surprised to see Springsteen out there. He was ripping it up on a longboard. It's rare to see a local hero like that in the lineup.”

Notwithstanding Springsteen’s various forays into surfing, it is possible to embark on a surf quest from the East Coast of the United States down to Mexico stopping only at surf spots drawn from the titles of some of Bruce Springsteen’s songs. No less than five of Springsteen’s finest narrative ballads are set in places which boast surf spots of a reasonable quality.

Song #1: 4th of July, Ashbury Park (Sandy)
Surf Spot #1: Ashbury Park, NJ

Song #2: Atlantic City
Surf Spot #2: Atlantic City, NJ

Song #3: Galveston Bay
Surf Spot #3: Galveston Bay, TX

Song #4: Balboa Park
Surf Spot #4: Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Song #5: Sinaloa Cowboys
Surf Spot #5: Sinaloa, Mexico
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14

Artist: Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir
Album: Lux Aeterna
Year: 2000

Artist: Juliet Turner
Album: Burn The Black Suit
Year: 2000

Artist: Skindive
Album: Skindive
Year: 2001

Artist: Sean Millar
Album: Tarzan's Ambition
Year: 2002

Artist: Pauline Scanlon
Album: Red Colour Sun
Year: 2003

Artist: Clive Barnes
Album: Goldtooth Cinnamon
Year: 2003

Artist: Bray Vista
Album: When I Get There {EP}
Year: 2004

Artist: Bap Kennedy
Album: The Big Picture
Year: 2005

Artist: Bell X1
Album: Flock
Year: 2005

Artist; David Lyttle
Album: True Story
Year: 2007

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Nuggets from our archive

2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.