Surfer Doctor: The Complete First Season

An entertaining, boozy afternoon conversation at St. Pete’s excellent new Hawthorne Bottle Shoppe turned into a couple of well-received Facebook posts, which turned into this here non-viral internet non-phenomenon. Enjoy.

S01E01: “Wave, Goodbye”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor falls in love with the patient dying of the undiagnosable disease and saves her but the near-death experience makes her want to get back with her ex-husband and so Surfer Doctor runs his fingers through his long salt-and-pepper hair and goes surfing, pensive and alone

S01E02: “Blowhole In One”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: When a hurricane cuts the power at Bayside Memorial Surfer Doctor treats the patients using techniques he learned studying shamanism deep in the Ecuadorian rain forest and just when the hospital administration is going to fire him for being a fraud Surfer Doctor saves a dolphin that a rogue wave sweeps into the emergency room by talking it back into the ocean

S01E03: “Brother, Can You Spare A Pancreas”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor flies with a dying boy to Hawaii to harvest his organs and helps the boy make peace with his impending journey from one harmonic energy state to the next but the plane crashes into the side of an active volcano so Surfer Doctor makes a boat from the fuselage and rides the lava flow to the hospital where he uses the boy’s organs to save a cancer patient’s life and teaches her the ancient Mesopotamian dance of acceptance and gratitude and also gets her to quit smoking

S01E04: “The Traveling Scalesman”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor’s estranged snake handling devout Pentecostal preacher brings his tent revival to town and Surfer Doctor’s coworkers convince Surfer Doctor to reconnect with the only person in the universe with whom he is not in perfect vibrational synchronicity so Surfer Doctor goes to see Snake Preacher but the stress of their interaction causes a rattlesnake to bite Snake Preacher and Surfer Doctor must save him by sucking out the venom and whipping up an antivenin using the poison and some indigenous subtropical plants and herbs but Snake Preacher blames the bite on Surfer Doctor’s sinful pagan ways and satanic communion with the lower beasts and leaves town angry so Surfer Doctor does some paddle board yoga at sunset and meditates on it while weaving peace flowers into his noble gray cornrows of remorse

S01E05: “The Thin Man Who Was Also Surfer Doctor”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: A group of criminals takes the free clinic hostage so they can tunnel through the basement to the sewer to rob the jewelry store down the street and Surfer Doctor tells him he’ll do the heist for them if they promise not to hurt anyone and he pulls it off but the detective recognizes Surfer Doctor’s flawless heist style from an unsolved crime from decades earlier but when he finds out Surfer Doctor used that money to build a water purification plant in Malawi he tells Surfer Doctor that he won’t bust Surfer Doctor if Surfer Doctor identifies the criminals and they become fast friends but one of the criminals shoots the detective during the arrest so Surfer Doctor adopts the detective’s rebellious teenage daughter and begins teaching her to tame her restless spirit through the power of guess what

S01E06: “Owl Be There For You”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor’s lesbian coworker asks him to pose as her boyfriend for dinner with her conservative parents and he agrees but when he arrives Surfer Doctor knows he can’t question the choices of the universe and takes her aside and talks her into coming out so she does and her father leaves the restaurant in anger and is attacked in the parking lot by a great horned owl that slices his carotid artery but Surfer Doctor saves him with a transfusion of his daughter’s blood and her sacrifice chases away the shadows of her father’s intolerance with the illumination of understanding and when he gets out of the hospital Surfer Doctor makes them all a delicious raw uni salad on the beach

S01E07: “The One That’s An Allegory About Anti-Vaxxers Being Morons”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: A father refuses to let Surfer Doctor administer a very simple and traditional life-saving treatment to his son on the grounds that their obscure religion headquartered in an old strip mall believes a cosmic octopus made of weather who lives in the clouds decides when it’s every human’s time to leave this plane so Surfer Doctor deprograms them with a guided ayahuasca trip during which the boy’s deceased mother visits to renew the father’s sense of paternal responsibility by asking if he became a spineless gullible weirdo after she died or if it was always just sort of percolating in there somewhere

S01E08: “Pork And Beings”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: When a butcher is brought into the Bayside Memorial ER after being beaten up by a militant vegan hardcore band Surfer Doctor patches him up and brings a live pig into the butcher’s room and tells him he has to live with the pig until he’s better and the butcher begins talking to the pig and ends up apologizing to his new best friend the pig for not understanding the innate and inviolate majesty of all sentient creatures so when he’s being discharged three days later after Surfer Doctor has left early to catch the big moon tide the butcher asks the resident discharging him if he can take the pig home with him and the resident says what pig and miles away astride his board waiting for the perfect swell Surfer Doctor smiles and makes the Sumerian hand gesture of thanks to the big moon for all that is blessed and right

S01E09: “Diamond In The Rough (Day)”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor becomes the butt of jokes throughout the hospital when a co-worker reads a confirmation for the purchase of Neil Diamond tickets on Surfer Doctor’s phone and Surfer Doctor admits to a lifelong obsession with the singer-songwriter’s catalog but Surfer Doctor’s plans to see him are derailed when a patient who overhears a terminal diagnosis and mistakenly thinks it’s hers climbs out on the seventh-floor ledge so Surfer Doctor spends the evening trying to talk her down and it seems he’ll be unsuccessful when Neil Diamond himself shows up to lend a hand thanks to a fraternity connection with a proctologist and Neil Diamond and Surfer Doctor convince the patient she isn’t going to die horribly and the three of them go whale watching

S01E10: “Coal’ed Shoulder”

Tonight on Surfer Doctor: Surfer Doctor treats a man with a life-threatening condition and the man’s insurance refuses to cover the procedure so the man gives Surfer Doctor an enigmatic map that shows the location of an ancient fortune and the man’s wife teams up with Surfer Doctor to solve the riddles and they end up deep in a coal mine in darkest West Virginia and unemployed miners come out of the woodwork with pickaxes and the wife thinks it’s the end but the miners are like oh hey Surfer Doctor thanks for helping get our busted town on solar electricity but that emerald’s in a museum now so the miners do a kickstarter to pay the guy’s medical bills

S01E11: “A Man Without A Past Who Might Also Be More Than A Man Maybe We’ll See”

Tonight on the season finale of Surfer Doctor: While trying to put together a biographical slideshow to honor Surfer Doctor at an upcoming fundraiser for a local children’s charity a member of Surfer Doctor’s staff can find no evidence that the Costa Rican medical school where Surfer Doctor’s paperwork says he earned his degree ever existed and this leads to even more holes in Surfer Doctor’s history like the fact that he doesn’t have a birth certificate so a group of his biggest supporters at Bayside Memorial embarks on a journey to Central America to find out who Surfer Doctor really is as Surfer Doctor has his privileges at the hospital suspended so he leaves to help poverty-stricken kids in third world countries and also go on a global surf tour and on his way out of the building he heals a woman in the ER with a broken leg just by looking at her and conjuring the fire-spirit of the jaguar

Creative Loafing‘s Beer Issue 2017: My contributions

Back on February 23, CL published our annual Beer Issue, which always comes out a week or two before Tampa Bay Beer Week (even though it seems like these days, every week is Tampa Bay Beer Week). I usually take point on the special issue content, with a whole lot of help from staffers and contributors, and this year was no exception. Somehow, as a result of a visit to Ybor City’s excellent Coppertail Brewing to accompany our Artistic Director Julio Ramos on a photo shoot, I ended up on the cover this year, as well.

Here’s what I wrote in addition to the special section’s intro, which is linked above:

Heat and brewmidity (about upcoming seasonal trends for summer)

Road soda (about out-of-the-way area breweries/tasting rooms)

Movie review: An unnecessary sequel comes full circle in Rings

rings movie review

Back in 2002, The Ring heralded the mainstream Asian horror crossover trend, and earned creepy-flick immortality on the strength of its unique (to American audiences) story, complex characters well-played by talented actors, and disturbingly moody visual style, courtesy of director Gore Verbinski. A lackluster sequel followed in ’05, and after that, most assumed that malevolent, visually glitchy spirit Samara’s haunted videotape had gone the way of, well, videotape.

But this is the horror genre, where you’re never truly out of ideas, because digging up something that had some box-office success a while back and rebooting or serializing it is considered “an idea.” And so, more than a decade later, we’re offered a third look into Samara’s backstory — one that manages to exemplify pretty much everything that’s wrong with this kind of filmmaking.

The film opens with a brief plane-crash scene so hacky and unbelievable, you’re actually surprised when it doesn’t turn out to be a movie-within-a-movie playing on a screen somewhere within Rings‘ real opening scene. The wholly unnecessary vignette not only places two strangers who’ve both happened to see the same lost and urban-legendary videotape within a seat of one another on the same flight, but also features some massive collateral damage that runs completely counter to one of the franchise’s central conceits: beyond those who knew Samara while she was alive, only people who watch the video are in mortal danger.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Coppertail releases beer that yes, seriously, has stone crab in it

Offering further evidence that there’s nothing craft brewers won’t incorporate into a beer, Tampa’s own Coppertail Brewing marked Friday the 13th with the release of its Captain Jack’s Stone Crab Stout, an “unconventionally flavored” brew that pays tribute to both Florida’s annual stone crab harvesting season and the anglers that brave the slightly colder winter waves in search of those delicious crustacean claws.

And yeah, Captain Jack’s is literally made with stone crabs. For the past couple of years, Coppertail has hosted a mid-season stone crab dinner at its insanely cool Ybor City tasting room/event space. The crab claws come directly from that morning’s catch in Key West; some are eaten, some go home with staffers, friends and family, and 300 pounds go into the beer during the boil, adding “a savory salinity to this rich and roasty stout, kind of like adding salt to chocolate,” according to the label (and press release). This is the third year the stout has made a mid-winter appearance among Coppertail’s consistently tasty lineup.

Coppertail’s not the first brewery to act so shellfishly (sorry). Brewers have been adding flavors of the sea to their beers since time out of mind. But since Coppertail brewmaster Casey Hughes got his start brewing down in the Keys, this one’s a bit of a passion project for him, as well as a nod to his beermaking roots. What’s more, a portion of sales proceeds will be donated to the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association “to promote sustainable fishing, and to help preserve the way of life of Florida fishermen.”

Admit it: You’re curious. Better hurry, then, because Captain Jack’s is only available in limited qualities — some will be distributed, but stopping by the tasting room is probably your best bet.

Book review: Veteran musician Marty Jourard chronicles the birth of the Gainesville rock & roll scene

Most New Millennium punk fans know that Gainesville’s vibrant music scene produced beloved talent like Less Than Jake, Against Me! and Hot Water Music. And if you aren’t aware that Tom Petty learned his trade on the midland Florida college town’s stages and porches, you might not exactly be a walking encyclopedia of All Things Florida Rock. (In fact, your General Classic Rock Knowledge, Class A status might be in danger of revocation.)

But did you know that Don Felder and Bernie Leadon of The Eagles also came of musical age in Gainesville? Or that Stephen Stills spent part of his teen years playing in local bands there? Or that the Elvis Presley hit “Heartbreak Hotel” was conceived there? Or that Stan Bush — whose “The Touch” evolved from soundtracking the closing credits of an animated Transformers movie to becoming the inspiration for a scene in Boogie Nights and an ironic playlist staple — was once a fixture on the scene?

These are just a few of the interesting tidbits from a book about the Gainesville music community’s ‘60s and ‘70s origins that’s jammed with them. Released in April via University Press of Florida, Marty Jourard’s well-researched and insanely detailed Music Everywhere: The Rock and Roll Roots of a Southern Town covers much more than the big names. Starting with rock’s primordial origins in pop, R&B and folk, and their influence on this single (and singular) locale, Jourard chronicles the factors and faces that came together to create a vital and energetic scene that probably couldn’t have arisen anywhere else, and whose influence is still felt globally.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing