Moes Alley Santa Cruz Nightclub
The Mermen
Appearing Live at Moes Alley
Saturday, December 30th
Psychedelic Surf Rock Pioneers Double CD Release Celebration
9:00 PM, Doors Open 8:00 PM, $15, Day of tickets available after 4pm at Moe's or by calling 831 479-1854

Eat At Moe's

Psychedelic Surf Rock pioneers THE  MERMEN return to Moe's Alley on a Saturday night for an exclusive performance celebrating the release of their brand new album "We Could See It In The Distance".

MERMEN record release( 2 brand new albums- WE COULD SEE T IN THE DISTANCE and THE MAGIC SWIRLING SHIP) Saturday, Dec 30th, Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz
New Years Eve , Sunday, Dec, 31st Beach Chalet, San Francisco
album previews here:

THE MERMEN 415-971 7383

Jim Thomas-Guitar Martin Jones-Drums Jennifer Burnes-Bass

The best Rock and Ro! is poetry in motion, with our without works - and some of the best records of 1995 came without. The M ermen play an extreme brand of surf music, and black minor-chord moods of guitarist Jim Thomas are like a rough ride on the icy seas of the mid- Atlantic. H ints of Dick Dale filter through the cracked-sidewalk wave forms of Sonic You. But on long hauls like the nine minute "Obsession for M en" Thomas sounds more like N eil Young at the wheel of Crazy H orse.



"Take me on a trip upon your
magic swirling ship...
Out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach
Of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today
Until tomorrow"

BOB DYLAN - Mr. Tambourine Man

Since The Mermen are purely an instrumental band, you would think that guitarist/compser Jim Thomas,favorite artist would be a guitarist. No so. Jim''s number one has always been Bob Dylan. Jim's favorite song of all time is Mr. Tambourine Man. The song speaks to Jim
( among other things) about having nothing left but the muse you chase ( or whatever the thing is you will follow ) Jim sees the song, Mr. Tamborine Man as the closest he can get to a theme song for his life experience as music lover, music maker, life long surfer, and lover of all things, ocean-sea.

The album, THE MAGIC SWIRLING SHIP began with Mavericks big wave surfer and film maker, Grant Washburn. Grant asked jim to put together some music a film we was working on with Big wave legend "DA BULL" Greg Noll. Greg Noll was making surf films in the 60's alongside filmmakers like Bruce Brown, Bud Browne, and John Severson. Grant said that they dug out old film footage from Noll''s archive, took it to Los Angeles and converted it to digital film stock. The film is in the works.

Jim's discussion with Grant happened only a couple of days before the new MERMEN release, WE COULD SEE IT IN THE DISTANCE. Grant said he needed music right away, so Jim wrote of handful of new songs with Grant 's film in mind,and recorded the songs over a couple of days. Over that couple for days THE MERMEN recorded 5 brand new songs : THE SEARCHER MUST RIDE, FROM THE SHORES OF DREAMS, OVER THE WAVES ON THE MAGIC SWIRLING SHIP, TO A NEW WORLD, ALMEJAS EN ME MOCHILA . The aim here with the new songs was to make some kind of "SURF MUSIC"

Here is what Grant has to say regarding the music the music n this album composed for his film

"Jim Thomas and his fantastic Mer-people have inspired me from the moment I heard them. They have the rare ability to create music that conjures the kind of adrenaline we find in giant Maverick's surf.
Greg Noll is the ultimate extreme surfer, and this historic film demanded serious music. When I'm looking for Big-Wave sound, I come straight to Jim. Powerful, heavy, elegant; this stuff makes me want to charge! It fits Greg's legendary footage like a glove, and I couldn't be more stoked with the magic combination that has been created. Simply epic."


During the recording, Jennifer suggested recording a some of our big live songs that have never been on a album: DRIVIN THE COW, DRAGONFLY, THE WHALES, LE JIZZ HOTT.

We decided to add a live brand new version of the song: ISLANDS which was for the NOOA documentary , SANCTUARY IN THE SEA. The last song added was track recorded with MERMEN founding member and bassist Allen Whitman and drummer VINCE LITTLETON, That song is THERE IS A TEAR. Daniel Guaqueta plays drums on, The Searcher Must Ride, From The Shores of Dreams reprise and ALMEJAS EN ME MOCHILA ( clams in my bag) (Daniel named that one) He is from Columbia and can play the Latin beats. We met Daniel while we toured through the south in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. His new passion is surfing.


That Jim Thomas surfing on the cover of the album, Ortley Beach, New Jersey, circa 1983 - early morning


The music on WE COULD SEE IT IN THE DISTANCE exhibits influences, The song BOUND FOR A STAR WITH FIERY SEAS is Ennio Morricone meets Crazy Horse. WE COULD SEE IT IN THE DISTANCE, RIDE THE BLUE HORSE are Neil Young inspired .. With the song BIG BIRD BACKSTEP Jim takes a cue from his favorite guitarist, Clarence White( of the Byrds, Kentucky Colonels). Jim played bluegrass flatpick guitar in his early days. (He performed in the National Bluegrass Flatpicking Chamionships in Winfield, Kansas in 1977). LAST FOREVER is the sound of New Jersey and a nod to Bruce Springsteen( Jim is originally from New Jersey, spent many years surfing the coast around Asbury Park and going to local clubs at night. WILL has a taste of Wes Montgomery- SHOOTING COLORS ALL AROUND - The Rolling Stones. IN THE GOLDEN SUN was inspired by Mumford and Sons. THREE THIRTY THREE is a nod to Dick Dale and Jim's love of 60's surf music.

The two new albums were recorded at Pleasure Point Recording( owners - The Mermen) in Santa Cruz, CA engineered and mixed by Jim Thomas


a couple of years ago Jim and Jennifer moved into a house on North Polo street in Aptos , CA
on the day we moved we saw this beautiful painting of a mermaid with a guitar in the waves, with the Lane's Lighthouse, painted on the electric box at the top of the street. We thought WOW!
this must be the place we are supposed to live. Strange coincidence. The painting is called "MERMAID WITH SIX STRINGS" by Ket Tom-Conway, local Santa Cruz artist and music teacher.


Jim Thomas - guitarist, is also the songwriter for the Mermen He hails from new Jersey, The last town he lived in Jersey was Seaside Heights, He was dragged to California by a friend and arrived on the west coast in 1987 with only two possessions: an acoustic guitar and a surfboard. He got a job in a music store in San Francisco and soon formed the Mermen with drummer Martyn Jones and original bassist and founding member, Allen Whitman( (who eventually went off to play with Joe Satriani).The Mermen is the first band Jim was ever in. Jim now spends his time surfing and making music, His favorite guitarists are CLARENCE WHITE, WES MONTGOMERY, NEIL YOUNG, DJANGO RHEINHARDT, JERRY GARCIA and JIMI HENDRIX

Martyn Jones - drums is from Liverpool England - A founding member of the MERMEN. He thought up the name. (from the JIMI HENDRIX song "1983 A Mermen I will turn to be."He is a drummer of imagination and accomplished composer in his own right. He wrote a musical about the Donner Party( He does have a sick sense of humor) , writing all the songs, singing and playing all the instruments himself. He sings and plays drums in PLASTIC ONION, a BEATLES cover band. He also recorded Miserlou with the Kronos Quartet. He played blues for years and performed with John Lee Hooker and Deacon Jones. Martyn's favorite show was when the Mermen were the backup band for Tiny Tim. Martyn always has a book in his hand and loves good conversation.

Jennifer Burnes - bass is From Northern California She is one of 11 brothers and sisters. Her initiation to the bass took place when she was 16 when a legendary local musician needed a new bass player. (the legend was George Rios - know around Nevada City, CA for his black guitar, black clothes, black school bus, black drum set, black everything.) George taught Jennifer 40 songs in 4 days and she played her fist gig that week. Jennifer has played with the Mermen almost 20 years. Her tribal stomping sound is reminiscent of bassist Jack Cassady (, Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane) but has a raw punk edge via the Stooges, She likes Iron Maiden. She sometimes will bash her whammy- bar equipped Fender P-bass like a drum . She can be lyrical and melodic with rich chords and get down with distorted gnarly pulsating feedback. Her saying is "TURN UP THE FEELING". Jennifer is a jack of all trades, She likes fixing things. She will fix your car, build your house, fix your internet, fix your plumbing - whatever.

Jim Thomas builds crashing waves of sound that would do Pink Floyd proud. Thomas' unique vision has never sounded better than this..... sterling set of tone poems that swell up like the sea itself...the psychedelia dominates....Far from the calculating, cultivated rock so common these days. The Mermen's Road Show album is a tour de force by and inspired musician following his own vision"

Joel Selvin .,San Francisco Chronicle

"...H eavier than surf, its got punch--Jimmy Page punch. And Jimi H endrix punch. And lots of it...The M ermen, and particularly guitarist Jim Thomas, have morphed surf music into a new age. Thomas wi! be a reluctant guitar hero, but he wi! be one nonetheless, and there's a lot of his fluid, water-like ebb-and-flow guitar to absorb in the 74 minutes that make up A Glorious Lethal Euphoria. Catch Thomas' wave now, because he's doing it first and, so far, best..........
A cult surf band? San Francisco's MER MEN are neither label conscious nor road warriors, which makes their
regular beachings at the Continental Club a S tatue of Liberty buried in the sand. Jim Thomas, self taught guitar
savant and body suited Blue Crush titan, doesn't give a flying anchovy about the music industry, he just wants to pu
you under the white water of his Sonic Youth tidal wave. M elodies like "The Goodbye" and "M erry Go Round" wi!
reck your vessel on the reefs of their beauty. A! hail N eptune."

"...ferocious and haunting instrumentals of an almost orchestral density. Whether roaring through lethal little string-benders such as 'Pulpin Line' and the punkish 'Drub' or riding the mesmerizing waves of feedback and melody on...epics such as 'Obsession for M en' and 'Between I and T hou,' the M ermen never co!apse into surf kitsch or fa! back on the genres beloved but overfamiliar cliches...'T he Drowning M an K nows H is God'...mutates into a complex descending riff of barely restrained dread and fina!y wipes out in a squa! of doomy guitar noise...The burbling underwater atmospherics...and the shimmering riffs...disguise intricate arrangements, and the muted arpe%ios and grandiose leanings are a long way &om Wipe Out...."
--David Dudley, NEW TIMES( review of Glorious Lethal Euphoria)

"Jim Thomas is a master of the ethereal, infusing his playing with textures &om a! corners of the progressive rock kingdom. Thomas is at one with his artistry, a!owing his creative instincts---as vast as the sea itself--to guide him into new musical territory. Bristling sheets of guitar swe!, then recede, then swe! again, sometimes crashing in foamy sprays of feedback onto cra%y rhythms, other times simply rippling toward the horizon on convoluted streams of reverb. T he MER MEN have long played on the power of the cinematic, but T homas virtuosity doesn't a!ow for chaos---it a!ows only for boundless beauty, awe inspiring compositions and a startling inspiration. T o see the ocean through his eyes is to see it for a! its mysticism, and to hear it &om his perspective is to truly understand the musicality of its ebb and flow."
ALIBI, N ew M exico

"Supposing a period of conscious abstinence did a!ow me to access the realms of the nature spirit voices, I would expect to pick up a seashe!, hold it to my ear and hear the sound of the MER MEN. T hat experience would be as surreal as seeing these psychedelic-surf rock masters perform high atop a pirate ship in the middle of the desert, which I actua!y did see at Burning Man. One of the best modern surf bands, these mythical musicians can induce audiences into a trance or a dancing &enzy. Their watery expansive sound seems to bubble up straight &om the seas briny depths."

"T he MER MEN have managed to insti! a level of zeal within a rarefied, but rabid core of fo!owers, a fan base that includes not only some of the the most legendary figures in surfing but many of the nations most snobbishly particular record store clerks as we!. For anyone who's ever felt like pu!ing the plug on the pushy points of view

and in your ear mewlings of countless lead vocalists, the lyric-less MER MEN are nevertheless one of the more articulate combos working that vast no mans land that lies just beneath the nations celebrity radar. T he MER MEN are never skittish about throwing their audience anything &om a cha!enging curve-ba! to a comfortable cover-tune cantaloupe."

"Whenever the term "surf rock" is uttered, one usua!y thinks of Dick Dale or The V entures, F ender amps with a ton of reverb, and goofy guys in goofy H awaiian shirts. This wasn't the case on Saturday night, though. Sure the MER MEN played a lot of up-tempo, heavily reverbed guitar and "Wipeout"-esque tunes, but this band had depth, warmth, humility, and more rock influences under their sleeves than one might imagine. I walked in expecting to hear the typical but in return got something that was at times a!uring, powerful, classical, and ro!ed by at breakneck speed. I picked up a CD (which the merch girl could describe only as "good, rea!y good") which has since turned into my new favorite."


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