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Interview with the Blacklist Royals in ESM

Indie rock and even punk has skewed a bit in the Americana direction lately — or at least towards some approximation of it circa the “Stand By Me” era. And while some musicians just dig posting photos of their old-school haircuts on Instagram, some are actually living that ideal. Twins Nat and Rob Rufus, who play guitar and drums, respectively, grew up in West Virginia. But unable to find the proper channels for their music, they moved to Nashville, where they formed Blacklist Royals with second guitarist Jamie Sky and bassist Dirk Matthews. Check out my full interview with the Blacklist Royals at Easternsurf.com. Really enjoyed meeting these guys and looking forward to their new record “Die Young with Me.”

Blacklist Royals

Surf Break Cancer in Transworld

My recent piece “Surf Break Cancer” is on page 42 of the August, 2013 issue of Transworld Surf Magazine. You can also read it at Transworldsurf.com Government sponsored beach fill projects have been killing sandbars for decades. I don’t hide my feelings that most surfers take zero action when it comes to better beachfill projects. Straight up apathetic. There have been projects in Monmouth County where the US Army Corps of Engineers worked with Surfers Environmental Alliance and got a better project. Derf McTighe, Donald Cresitello, and Richie Lee are all quoted. We understand the need for protecting our shore, but we have to find a better way. Harvey Cedars and Brant Beach are getting repair fill projects right now. Surf City is later this summer. Our greatest resource is being buried. Hope this sparks some NY and NJ surfers to talk to their elected officials to show them the importance of the sandbar. Heads have been in the sand for too long. Might want to consider getting involved. Photo is by my friend, Trevor Moran. 

Trevor MoranPhoto by Trevor Moran

'Shored Up' at Lighthouse Film Fest

“Shored Up,” the documentary on coastal engineering by Ben Kalina will open the Lighthouse International Film Festival on Thursday, June 6 at the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven. Over the course of three years, I got to know Ben pretty well. They guy was almost done with his film when Sandy hit and gave it a whole new life. He interviewed me at least six times for his film, beginning in 2009, when the first Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishments were coming to LBI. I maintain my position that while protecting our coast is necessary and Harvey Cedars was spared through Superstorm Sandy because of it, they can be done much better. After each project, we are left with a steep-sloping beach and no sandbar. This ruins the surf, the swimming and everything we love about our beaches on LBI. It has nothing to do with property values or dunes. In the wake of Sandy, there are billions of federal dollars coming to pump more and more sand. I have fought for the powers that be to provide us with better profiles and smarter engineering for ten years now. We are finally seeing our elected officials see the flaws of the current designs. Hopefully, Ben’s film further opens peoples’ eyes to improve these projects in the future. As with any film, my six interviews came down to a few soundbites and some footage of my wounded gorilla surf style. That’s to be expected when there are so many moving parts of this subject. He got some great insight and a lot of different perspectives. See “Shored Up” if you can.