If you’ve gotta have a gimmick—and gimmicks seem the single unifying factor for musical acts at The Works—you might as well COMMIT.
“We spent $1200 building this set,” Guantanamo Baywatch announced, indicating their multi-tiered papier-mâché beach-scape that seemed to have spewed right out of a baking-soda volcano, with tuffets of pointy cartoon foliage and a gritty “sand” floor. “You might as well come up here and use it.” And so we clamored onto the fake beach and boogied, alongside Tiki dresses and caveman costumes, while Shannon & The Clams, and then Baywatch, styled a punishing onslaught of nonstop surf-rock.
Surf-rock may be breezy, but it’s not easy. The responsibility of the genre’s musicians is to make those slides and runs look like a cakewalk, and both bands pulled off this illusion with flair. While their able fingers said “practice,” their gyrating bodies and O-faces screamed “PARTY!!!!”
This was not an experiment. Not an exploration. Literally and figuratively accessible, it pushed “pause” on PICA’s program of thought-provocation, and brought our strained sensibilities briefly back to Bedrock.