photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
MICHAEL "FAT MIKE" BURKETT of LOS ANGELES PUNK ROCK veterans NOFX has long been quite the OUTRAGEOUS personality in the PUNK underground and ALTERNATIVE music scenes going back to the 1980s. in some sways that AUDACIOUS public persona, most recently exemplified by the NOFX memoir THE HEPATITIS BATHTUB AND OTHER STORIES (review linked HERE), has run the risk of eclipsing his many musical and BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS (he runs and owns FAT WRECK CHORDS to this day with his ex-wife ERIN).
what i love about his FAT MIKE'S FAT MIC podcast is that it really marries the two aspects of his personality: his need to be CONFRONTATIONAL and his artistic / BUSINESS ACUMEN. there are many examples of celebrities and musicians who have turned to podcasting as a supplementary marketing avenue or potential revenue stream, but with FAT MIKE'S FAT MIC there oddly seems to be a real effort to pull back the curtain and dare i say it, EDUCATE. interviews include discussions with collaborators involved with varying aspects of the MUSIC INDUSTRY including MIXERS, MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTION, VOCAL COACHES and BOOKERS. being a PUNK elder statesmen at this point, FAT MIKE does promote those who came before him (JACK GRISHAM of T.S.O.L., GREG HETSON of REDD KROSS / CIRCLE JERKS / BAD RELIGION and legendary ROXY THEATRE owner - and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW film producer - LOU ADLER) as well as those that came after (GET DEAD, CODEFENDANTS, THE D.O.C., OLD MAN MARKLEY, IGNITE, THE BOMBPOPS, LONG BEACH DUB ALL-STARS, BAD COP BAD COP, DAYS N' DAZE, MAD CADDIES and THE LAWRENCE ARMS). FAT MIKE also gets into TOURING, ART and POLITICAL ISSUES surrounding the ENVIRONMENT and WOMEN'S RIGHTS.
the FAT MIKE'S FAT MIC podcast seems to be on a bit of a break at the moment but in my opinion it stands out not because of its BRASHNESS, but instead its THOUGHTFUL, REFLECTIVE nature about the inner-workings and limitations of the MUSIC INDUSTRY and, more importantly, as a platform (and force multiplier) to get the word out about MEANINGFUL SOCIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVES and ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY efforts.
its pretty incredible and FAT MIKE'S FAT MIC is well worth checking out.
photo manipulation by nacrowe
been really digging the whole DIY vibe of an online live music performance series called BRIDGE CITY SESSIONS that i came across recently on YOUTUBE. based out of PORTLAND, OREGON, the sessions is basically a showcasing platform for small bands and labels to promote themselves. this series feels similar to what DEER GOD was attempting to pursue a number of years ago with our KREISCHER MANSION SESSIONS: that is, showcasing upcoming talent with expertly-mixed and engineered video content.
the common thread with these bands is just how hungry and determined they sound. the mixes are incredible and the bands themselves are often provocative if not transgressive. feels like they really had something great going on with this project. i hope it comes back when the pandemic subsides a bit.
BRIDGE CITY SESSIONS is definitely worth checking out.
photo manipulation by nacrowe
i always love discovering bands like SAN FRANCISCO's GET DEAD. hats off to FAT MIKE at FAT WRECK CHORDS for signing and promoting bands like this. yes they sound reminiscent of THE CLASH and RANCID at their most REGGAE and DANCEHALL-influenced peak, but along with that melodicism is a great voice in that of frontman SAM KING who sounds like he is gargling razor blades as he skanks.
i really appreciate that dynamic. their music is definitely funky and well-crafted yet powerful and confrontational. definitely worth checking out.