The year was 1998, and the month was May. There I was on the coast of Mauritania with a 6-foot-2 Afro-Swede chick from a boarding house in the Congo whom I'd picked up at a show the week before. She only spoke French, and so I only spoke French to her—because I'm fluent in French. We had a couple of spliffs, the fixings to whip up some organic pasta, some flint to cook the organic pasta with, and my incidental dreadlocks. All that was missing were my bandmates to add some heightened intrigue to the situation.But because my bandmates are Nada and I'm the Surf, it was just me out there, marveling at the waves. They took my mind off the Afro-Swede chick. They took my mind off the organic pasta, which I'd planned to infuse with a chamomile-grappa sauce, the grappa procured from my personal healer on the isle of Crete, whom I visit on a bimonthly basis, because I have mad flow. They took my mind off the fact that when I'm onstage my bass is turned up louder than any bassist's bass in American history, and how I'm the Keith Richards of Nada Surf. They took my mind off the way I play bass—and even sing—while perpetually smoking a Winston, because that's what Slash does. They took my mind off my favorite nickname for myself: White Slash. They took my mind off the fact that while Keith's cool, Slash is way cooler.In short, the waves took my mind off everything.When I see a monster swell about to break, there's nothing else—it's just me and the swell. But, major problem: We didn't have any surfboards. But then I thought back to my days as an elite New York City prep-school student—you know, like on Gossip Girl, but more trustafarian. While there, my class chartered a fleet of helicopters and took a field trip to Guyana (there was a station suspended in midair somewhere near the Outer Banks, where we fueled up), where an indigenous shaman taught us how to whittle. So I found some wood and whittled away. I whittled until I had two firm boards: one for me and one for the Afro-Swede.It was time to shred.Except I can't talk about what ensued: When I'm on the water, and a chick's on the DL (my initials are DL—figure it out), that shit's sacrosanct. I can only tell you that I now consider Seattle my second home, thanks to a little label named Barsuk, which salvaged us from the indie-pop scrap heap. We could have been Pavement back in the late '90s, but we weren't. But now we are, thanks to Barsuk.I'm not sure who else is playing Bumbershoot—I'll leave that to my temporary colleagues at the Weekly—but I know I'll be there. And what could be more important than that?