Surfer Blood's weird name finally explained at Lee's
Surfer Blood is a hard name to explain to people. They ask: "Eric, what were those rad yet subtle guitar licks that get right to the point?" Or "buddy boy, how come you keep on repeating 'at least I know who my friends are'?" Sometimes they even ask, "Son, you crying? This is freaking me out! What are you listening to?"
The answer to all of these questions is, of course, Surfer Blood!
Then, the conversation always proceeds as follows:
"Surfer Blood!? What kind of a name is Surfer Blood. Is the music about surfing?"
"Uh, they mention surfing once or twice."
"Is it a hardcore punk band? Because you know if it is, your cool indie rep is blown!"
"No, they sorta sound like Weezer. But also like modern shoegaze. But it doesn't suck."
"Why are they called Surfer Blood??!"
"I DON'T KNOW DAD, CAN WE GET BACK TO DOING MY TAXES?"
All that is true except the bit about my dad. He was a teen in the '70s so he doesn't question band names. The point is, I'm not even sure Surfer Blood is an appropriate name, but you know what? I'm not the name police.
After their performance at Lee's Palace, though, I get it. Well, not "get it" but I'm at peace with it. Surfer Blood fits them. It's something you have to experience.
Imagine if you had some younger cousins who were always polite and happy guys, if a little shy. You don't see them much because they live far away and with gas prices as high as they are and your dad's demotion at H&R Block, the trip is just too expensive. Your aunt had mentioned to your mom that her boys were starting a band, but you didn't think much of it. Then you finally visit and they excitedly lead you to their garage to show you what they've been working on.
And suddenly these cousins, these baby-faced but well dressed dudes, play for you wonderful and melodic guitar driven narratives that reach a deep emotional punch every time whilst still being always chill as hell. You don't just find yourself singing along to the lyrical refrain, but play air guitar along by the second bar.
When they're done, you sing their phrases along with your dad, who had been watching from the window the whole time. Sneaky dad! He asks your beaming cousins, since you are speechless, what are you called?
"Surfer Blood!" they exclaim.
"Surfer Blood, what kind of a name is Surfer Blood?"
They shrug and point to a picture on the wall of crudely drawn Street Shark drinking a soda can. On the soda can is the text "Surfer Blood." The picture instantly conjures up a mysterious nostalgia and so you walk up to get a closer look. You gasp, on the bottom left corner is your name. YOU DREW IT!
And that, my friends, is why they are called Surfer Blood.
Photos by Irina No