Meshugga Beach Party

March 15, 2006

Exotic melodies are as big a part of surf’s oeuvre as clangorous reverb and Fender guitars. So it’s no surprise that guitarist Mel Waldorf’s paean to his Jewish heritage works so effortlessly. See, after making the connection between the parting of the Red Sea and the curl of the Banzai Pipeline (it’s a joke folks, his, not mine), Waldorf got to work arranging traditional Jewish folk songs such as “Hava Nagila,” “Driedel, Driedel,” and “At the Rabbi’s Table” for a rather snappy surf record. Tackling all of the instruments but the drums, Waldorf’s arrangements, on first listen, seem fairly standard, sporting equal parts twangy, yet furious double-picking, and splashy, ‘verbed-out melodies. But consecutive spins reveals Waldorf’s clever use of baritone guitar textures, as well as strategic overdubs to highlight the tune’s melody. A fun record—even for goys like me! (JMG).

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