Music » Critics' Picks

Dick Dale

Friday, June 11; Mississippi Nights


Let's start with the obvious: the first five or so seconds of "Miserlou." In those five seconds of pure guitar, you can hear everything you need to know about why Dick Dale is a legend. The staccato picking, the slightly spacey feel, the clean surf sound: Every single element of those five seconds has been identified and plundered by another legend in the guitar world. Dale was heavy before heavy was cool, he was surf before surfing was cool, he kicked ass on his axe before shredding was cool. Dale is beyond cool -- he's proto-cool.

With his 67th birthday passing by last month, Dale is at an age when most men rest on their laurels (Dale could have never put out an album after his 1962 debut Surfer's Choice and still be a legend; and to be honest, not too many of his fans picked up his 2001 disc Spacial Disorientation). But Dale still hits the road with the regularity of a man half his age, and this will merely be the latest in a string of Mississippi Nights visits. These shows won't last forever, so get out and see this man in action. Whether you know Dale from Pulp Fiction or your own endless summer, you'll get an earful of music that's absolutely timeless.

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