♫♪  SURF HARP - “D.I. Cig”

How many cubicles does it take? (Photo: Micah E. Wood)

I try her number twice, maybe once, no answer.

So I drive over there anyway, pull up, try her number again, hear it ringing inside, a chain reaction of landlines, probably all of them beige like the getaway car in an amber alert; still no answer, some bings from a forklift in reverse, locked pallet jacks, chatter through a sandwich — I picture spit and lettuce.

So I ring the bell. Delivering to the warehouse [delivering what?], the warehouse guys in the back revved-up about cartoons.

So I tell them about the editing decks from the old days. They look at me like I’m the alien, and yet here they are: two grownups talking cartoons.

So I ask them what does VHS stand for? They know. I don’t.

What about aperture, what does that mean? Again, they know, I don’t. I’m getting looks. I feel like I have to explain why I’m asking so many questions.

“I’m not trying to be a smart ass or put you on the spot with these questions. I don’t have the answers. That’s why I ask. Back in my broadcast days, a deck by the name of ‘old zap’ got me. Since then, my memory’s never been the same.

“Still, I can sense vague connections with the things in this room, frayed connections. I forget my name. What kind of mammals make good pets? — that sort of thing. Every time I get my oil changed, they’re telling me to change the cabin air filter, change the cabin air filter. What difference can a filter make when the intake’s sucking in dust thick with the poison of last century? Silver halide crystals and ‘D.I. Cigs?’ Same old spores, new ways of taking it in, getting around the law, pushing it on the kids from a rolled-down window and popped-open trunk. You can either dose in that gutter with one foot in a getaway car or both feet on Mars with the sound of one hand waxing a pink Cadillac.”

And they look at me like I’m the alien, and here I am just trying to rap about the good old days of the deck, memories of “old zap” with the blue eyes.


The new album by SURF HARP, titled MR. BIG PICTURE, is out February 23 on Friends Records on vinyl and via digital platforms. Suck down some “D.I. Cigs” while watching the single’s new video:

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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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