Something for Me

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As is often the case, the obvious choice was clear. It was safe. Reliable. Less likely we’d botch a Saturday.

Ocean Beach has a direct line to the Pacific. Highly exposed to South Swells, it picks up the smallest traces of energy. And with its impressive sandbars (two), it amplifies that oceanic power, sometimes opening up passageways for surfers to slip through to some other-worldly place.

OB was the call. It had to be.

At least that’s what the app said. Like most things these days, Surfline’s forecasting tools use data to predict the future. An equation is created, fine-tuned, greased and oiled, until a desired success rate is achieved. The hypothesis matches the outcome. A science teacher shakes with satisfaction.

Screw romantic waxing, adventure ain’t the same! Increased accessibility means more people. More people mean more crowds. And more crowds mean statistically there’s a higher chance of surfing next to an asshole.

So, we went against reason and drove to China Beach, a small sliver of sand East of the Golden Gate Bridge, known more for the elderly Eastern European swimmers that inhabit its frigid waters, than for its surf.

Quietly we slipped into neoprene suits and paddled a hundred feet down the coast. Just out of sight, past black swatches of seaweed, recoiling, swirling, Medusa-like, long and monstrous, was a tiny wave.

It’s a weird wave – the takeoff spot fingertips from the point. You paddle towards barnacles and seaweed, harnessing the tidal energy just before it breaks, swerving left to avoid boils in the water.

At first I was afraid. It didn’t make sense. I was used to the one-dimensional approach of Ocean Beach. I pictured rocks raking out the bottom of my surfboard. But after a few lefts, I began to ease into the routine, moving closer and closer to the point, where the wave first started to break.

Not once did I think about Ocean Beach, which was probably firing amid hoots and hollers from a jacked-up lineup. I’d discovered something far more interesting. Something that was tangibly my own.

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Motion in the South

Motion in the South from The Aftermath Music on Vimeo.

‘As little kids we used to catch him staring. Unblinking and wide eyed, he’d watch couples argue at our favorite Chinese restaurant. We ridiculed him for staring, telling him it was weird and unnerving, but years later I’m realizing that even at a young age he was just a keen observer with an eye for critical details.

This same razor-sharpe awareness for people and place is evident in a recent edit he made about his study abroad experience in South Africa, earning him a spot as the Adventure of the Week.’

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“The Zone”

After shooting for two years, Jack Coleman recently released, “The Zone” a 55 minute surf film dedicated to exploring an alternate surf dimension.

I was drawn to the film because of Ryan Burch (pictured) and Bryce Young. They’re both young Australian shapers and surfers who take to technicolor twin fins and asymmetrical shapes to reinvigorate the cutback. They’re the antithesis of predictable; stylists painting new colors in a stale category.

For the most part, that’s the Zone’s narrative – a cornucopia of free love, fin-less boards and edgy dudes doing cool shit on perfect waves. If you’ve got the time to light one up and sink into the couch for 55 minutes – do it. If not, the trailer is four minutes of pure surfing joy with a killer wah-wah powered guitar solo.

Spike – Kanti Dadum

THE ZONE surf movie from Jack Coleman Surf Films on Vimeo.

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Belong – Perfect Life

Hate it, love it, at least it’s different.

I’m paraphrasing but that’s the gist of Pharrell’s advice in a recent viral video. Be different because different invokes a reaction. Think of no reaction as worse than a negative reaction.

Angel investor, writer and world acclaimed hardo, Tim Ferriss, echoes this same credo in his podcast with Chase Jarvis. Be creative. Be different. Go for the extreme. Embrace the weird and abstract.

So, in the spirit of fun, The Aftermath is posting its first short story. It’s short. It’s odd. And it pairs nicely with Perfect Life. 

Perfect Life

I opened the car door sensing this wasn’t my garage. Were those pictures hung on the wall? Someone was smoking a cigarette in a frame. Was it a window with someone on the other side? I felt weird. The smell was off and the BMW was definitely not my car. The clues were compounding, climbing over each other to get on top.

Continue reading “Belong – Perfect Life”

Tribal Need

I didn’t recognize him until we made eye contact for the second time.

I remember being as infatuated with Riccardo Moretti’s eyes as I was his music, which says allot, considering his performance combines synths, percussion, hang, beat-boxing, loop, and didjeridoo.

It was the way he was scanning the crowd, seeking out the passionate listener, and then locking eyes with them, establishing a rare and personnel connection between the listener and the performer, a treasure to bring home.

I had been that passionate listener, sitting at an old Mill deep in Cape Town, absorbed by Moretti’s creativity and style. He sat barefoot on the ground, crouched over his synth, ringed by his various sounds. His posture gave way to his instruments, but his eyes stayed loyal to his listeners.

Four weeks later, I’m sitting at a long wooden table in Jerry’s Burger Bar, surrounded by tattoo artists and skateboarders. I feel a tap on my shoulder and a man asks me if anyone is occupying the table space to my left. He sets down his belongings and begins to wait for a friend.

Minutes later, we both throw a poorly timed sideways glance at one another and lock eyes for a quick second, and I suddenly realize that this is a second occasion.

A fascinating man and a friendly character, Moretti, ‘the Electro Nomad’, is a refreshing breath of air in the world of electronic music, which has become overrun by artists who crouch behind a computer, adjusting their beats and sounds with the click of a mouse. For this reason, Moretti see’s the world of EDM on the verge of collapse, and is striving to be on the forefront of progressive musicianship.

Moretti laughs with me and explains that if your audience has to be rolling or tripping to enjoy your show, you must improve your music.

He prides the patience of his audiences, as they listen to him create his sounds, but more importantly, as they watch him create these sounds.

*Moretti leaves Cape Town in a month to return to his home in Italy and start on a European summer tour. While he’s never been to the United States, he hopes to make it to the home of The Aftermath Music in San Francisco soon, where we’ll be eagerly awaiting his arrival.

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