We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
A guy with Lebanese and Polish roots and a penchant for folk music doesn’t seem the likeliest person to pioneer surf rock. But that’s exactly what Dick Dale did when he moved to Southern California in 1954. He created the speedy genre by translating the frenetic Middle Eastern and Eastern European drumming he practiced as a kid to guitar, tossing in jazz, country, and rockabilly influences. No idea who Dale is, or just need a refresher? Listen to “Miserlou,” his 1962 adaptation of a belly-dance standard that popped up decades later in Pulp Fiction. Although Dale can sing (he’s fond of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” and other ’60s rock and R&B classics), he’s best known and best suited for instrumentals—and as recent video footage attests, Dale’s loud, rhythmic sound hasn’t mellowed as he has gotten older. He’ll provide an oceanside soundtrack that will transport you to the beach, even if you can’t make it to the SoCal shores in person.
Dick Dale performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $29.50. (703) 549-7500. birchmere.com.