surf ♦ soul ♦ spy ♦ spaghetti western


Maria’s Local Radar: TarantinosNYC

—by , July 22, 2015

As I sit here today getting ready to indulge in some musical content, I am reflecting on all of the amazing acts I have already seen this summer, and it’s not even half over... I recently discovered a band that I am totally into. They are different from what I usually feature in this column, and that’s the most exciting part. They go by the name of TarantinosNYC. I think we all can put a definition on the band name, but one day I will sit down with them and we will get the full scoop. In the meantime, let’s get to know their sound and style, shall we? I don’t know about you, but I am ready.

TarantinosNYC started as a band back in the stone ages of July 2005. They have a blended sound of “surf, soul, spy, and spaghetti western.” They may have made up that genre combination, but you have to admit, it’s intriguing as all hell. Members include Paulie Tarantino, Tricia Tarantino, Joey Tarantino, and Brian Tarantino.

The first track I took a listen to that got my blood flowing was “Spanish Steps.” I forgot to mention, all of the jams are instrumental. If that’s your thing, you will thoroughly enjoy this. It really showcases just how talented they are as musicians. This song makes me want to sit on the beach in California with a beer in my hand and the sun setting behind me. Come on, if that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will! Another groovy tune is called “Lo Chiamavano King.” Although the title may be hard to pronounce, it’s extremely easy to dance to.

Upon reading the description of their band, they hit the name right on the head with this one. They stated, “We specialize in the great crossfade between instrumental ’60s-’70s surf and soul that makes ’90s gangsters somehow more hip.” This may be the truest statement ever spoken. After all, if you’re into this genre, you know that during the early years of rock music, many surf bands provided soundtracks to people’s imaginary perception of what California life was like. I could hear their tunes being on soundtracks for movies like Jaws and those old-school Elvis flicks, and I mean this in the best way possible. I am on a mission to catch their live set, and show up in a bathing suit.

TarantinosNYC’s Surfing The Silver Screen, is available now, and I highly suggest you pick one up. And don’t worry, I love the beach, but don’t surf, however, I am still entitled to love surfer music! I think the reason I am such a fan is, through the ear, it’s lighthearted and fun, however, so many punk and rock bands have been influenced by surf rock, and this is no exception to the rule.

If you want to learn more about TarantinosNYC, join their family (figuratively, not literally), and catch their live shows...Be sure to tell them Maria sent you...

New York Music Daily
Reviews our CD
Surfin' the Silver Screen
Click Here for Full Review by delarue

TarantinosNYC ...are... best known as a surf band, but as you would hope from a group with a film fixation, they have a cinematic side. Their music is catchy, and fun, and sometimes pretty creepy, much more unpredictable and occasionally epic than what most straight-up surf outfits typically play. Between them, lead guitarist Paulie Tarantino, bassist Tricia Tarantino, keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Brian Tarantino and drummer Joey Tarantino make up one of New York’s most consistently interesting, original, entertaining bands. They have a new album, Surfin’ the Silver Screen.

Shindig – one of the six first-class originals here – makes a good opener: purist reverb surf guitar hitched to swirly organ, the rhythm section holding a classic Ventures beat. The organ and digital production give it a more current feel, yet also enable the band to put their own stamp on it. Bullwinkle Pt. 2 is the first cover, lowlit with Paulie’s lingering, noir, reverb-drenched tremolo-bar chords. Then they reinvent You Only Live Twice as a glittery showstopper, Brian’s organ front and center. It’s almost like ELO doing a surf song.

Dust-Up, another original, mashes up hints of monster surf and a Dell Shannon standard: it’s hard to imagine any band other than this one that would have come up with something this improbably successful.

Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova is a bizarre hybrid of roller-rink theme, garage psychedelia, a vintage soul strut and artsy late 70s Britpop. With its vamping repeaterbox guitar and some dancing tremolo-picking from Paulie, Spanish Steps sounds like Link Wray in a hurry to get a Lee Hazlewood desert rock groove on tape.The theme from Django – Tarantino’s best film by a mile – gets a richly watery, jangly, psychedelic arrangement with layers of acoustic and electric guitar and keys that elevates it above the cartoonish original. Pushed along by Tricia’s dancing, period-perfect early 70s soul bassline, Lo Chiamavano King comes across as a more artsy take on what could pass for a big Roy Ayers title theme.

Elena Barakhovski contributes soaring vocalese on Korla’s Theme, an artfully nebulous, ominously crescendoing Dick Dale-style Red Sea stomp with all kinds of cool variations – it might be the album’s best song. Then they slow things down to a misterioso swing with an impressively lush cover of Shake Some Evil by 90s cult heroes Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. Positraction, another original, manages to blend Booker T, 60s go-go music, surf and swing without anybody in the band stepping on anybody else. Then they do Les Baxter’s Hell’s Belles as blazing psychedelic soul. The album ends with Man from Nowhere, a rare spy-surf gem first recorded by Shadows bassist Jet Harris on the soundtrack to the obscure British film Live It Up, pairing a brooding baritone guitar hook against uneasily airy keys. Surf bands typically live for rarities, but this is an especially sweet find. For that matter, so is the whole record.

Everynight Charley's Manhattan Beat

October 5, 2013

The TarantinosNYC at Otto's Shrunken Head

The TarantinosNYC are not to be confused with the Tarantinos, a British seven-piece band that operates from a similar premise, playing music that either was or should have been in director Quentin Tarantino’s movies. The TarantinosNYC is a local quartet that formed in 2005 and frequently performs at Unsteady Freddy’s Surf Shindig at Otto’s Shrunken Head on the first Saturday of each month. The TarantinosNYC recorded a CD, 2009’s Super Sounds of the Cinema. The band is comprised of Tricia on bass, Paul Tarantino on guitar, Brian Tarantino on keys and rhythm guitar, and Joey Tarantino on drums.
At Otto’s tonight, The TarantinosNYC cross-faded 60's-70's surf, spy and spaghetti western music with original instrumentals. They gracefully moved, for instance, from an original composition, “Fistful of Reverb,” to cinema’s “Fistful of Dollars.” With no lyrics to be heard, the overall sound was powered by echoing guitar leads. One might expect then that most of the set would have sounded all too similar, but Paul Tarantino played enough of a variety of styles to keep the show interesting and the audience grooving. Plus, answer a movie quiz question and you take home the yellow lei that hung from the microphone stand. More than a novelty band, the TarantinosNYC is a cleverly-conceived music event – a soundtrack to a night at the movies without sorting through the film’s plot intrigues.

New York Music Daily

New York Surf City

by delarue


The surf didn’t stop when the tide came up and the sun went down, either. Since this was the first Saturday of the month, tireless promoter Unsteady Freddie ( was putting on his monthly surf show at Otto’s. By half past eleven, the TarantinosNYC ( had taken the stage. They’re an unlikely-looking bunch – jazz drummer, metal guitarist, rock bassist and pop keyboardist – but they have the kind of chemistry that comes from constant gigging and the kind of diverse, cinematic sound their name implies. And they don’t just do songs from Tarantino movies: this particular show featured a lot of unpredictable, anthemic originals, a digression into Link Wray like the one on the boardwalk earlier in the day but with a lot more alcohol involved, and finally a majestically lurid version of ... You Only Live Twice.  
TARANTINOSNYC sent us Super Sounds Of The Cinema - If surf is your thing, then the TarantinosNYC are all yours. This album is a superb rendition of all your fave pulp classics. The musicianship skills of this band will make you move, shake and twist as you catch the next wave of drinks comin’ your way.

CD Review in NY Waste Magazine
Response of Davie Allen, King of the Fuzz Guitar, to seeing us perform 2 of his songs
Re: The TarantinosNYC cover DAVIE ALLAN! 2 UnsteadyFreddie Videos... (Devil's Rumble and Blues Theme)
--- In,

"It's extremely rare when I can make a positive statement about covers of my old recordings but those two are GREAT!!!
Thanks Freddie,
Recommendation from
Lucid Culture
6/15/11  [See] The eclectic, funny, ferociously tuneful instrumental rockers TarantinosNYC  

Otto's Review 2/6/2010

By Carene Lydia Lopez
Every once in a while you’re lucky enough to experience one of those magical musical nights. Last Saturday I was lucky enough. It was a night of surf music organized by Unsteady Freddie at an East Village tiki bar.

We found seats inside to see The TarantinosNYC with Tricia on bass, Paul Tarantino on guitar, Brian Tarantino on keys and rhythm guitar, and Joey Tarantino on drums. They play surf, spy, soul, and spaghetti western music and we heard it all. We also got to hear some of their originals like “Naked in Tahiti (with Marlon Brando)” from their new cd. The band was having a lot of fun and playing the best I’ve ever heard. And even better? BrooklynBabyDoll was dancing for them in a black fringed bikini, fishnets, heels, black opera gloves, Bettie Page hair without the bangs, and the biggest false eyelashes and reddest lips you ever saw. She was a burlesque dream and a real woman with a real woman’s body. I have no idea how she had that much energy.

Brooklyn Baby Doll and Unsteady Freddie:

Don Hill's Review
By Blue Stingraye:
Aloha Katz & Kittens

I had a chance to catch a surf band this weekend called the TarantinosNYC ( They kicked it a multi band event at Don Hills in lower Manhattan. It was my first time seeing the TarantinosNYC and Don Hills ( Don Hills is a wonderful venue, with a killer sound system and full stage complete with riser for the drum kit.

I arrived early enough to able to catch the opening punk band, Jersey Mayhem, in the multi-band line up. The club was full, I'd say 50 people minimum, but more were added before the Tarantinos took the stage at 9:45 pm. As the opening band was a young punk band the average age of the patron was about 21-25 yrs. old. And these kids loved the TarantinosNYC.

The TarantinosNYC are a high intensity band with a sensual sound that got the audience grooving on the dance floor before the end of the first tune. They opened with the little known Bullwinkle before shoving the set into 5th gear with the classic Out of Limits. Brian Tarantino put down his rhythm git and picked up the keyboard for some haunting harmonies in Out of Limits. But nothing could have prepared me for the they way they blasted out the Los Straightjackets Rockula. They did play one original, Fistful of Reverb, a spaghetti western with tango beat. I anxiously await more originals after getting just a small appe-teaser like this one.

And when was the last time any of you had the pleasure of taking part in a mosh pit?? Well you should have been at the show on Saturday because when the TarantinosNYC broke into Miserlou thats what broke out in front of the stage. And speaking of breaking, as the band closed with the Theme from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, several patrons decided to break dance on the dance floor in front of the band.

My only complaint is that the set was waaaay to short, just 30 mins., but I am hoping that they get to play longer on December 3 when they appear at the Surf Shindig at Otto's Shunken Head (
Aloha, mahalo
Blue StingRaye

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