Disco Mike's Surfer Stomp
Whether waacking, shuffling, jiving or jeet koon-ing, when fifty-six-year-old Michael Park starts moving, the dance floor clears and he takes center stage.
Real surf rock music is instrumental. It’s hard and fast, and heavily amplified with a reverb twang reminiscent of waves crashing against the shoreline. There are no lyrics to get lost in, and no lyrics to get locked into.
If you’re a dancer, that means you won’t lose a step to words. You can jive, or shuffle, or mimic sultry burlesque dancers. Surf rock doesn’t demand set steps or moves. Before it became a style of music it was just a dance called “the surfer’s stomp.”
The surf rock scene is New York is small, and unless you’re in it, you probably haven’t heard much about it. But on a Saturday night, if you happen into an East Village bar named for the archaic practice of shrinking heads—prominently displayed in a glass case not far from the glow stick-adorned, tiki-drink-slinging bar—you might hear the strains of a bygone era from the back room. The music resembles the tempered marriage between the good-times, everything-is-just-dandy, pitch-bending pop of ‘60s gi…