Punk democracy - Page 2

Mike Park's scrappy Asian Man Records keeps prices low, maintains integrity, helps bands help themselves

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Mike Park, leader of the Asian Man pack.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE PARK

Sounds a little like someone else we know. Still, punks mature, get married, and have kids, much like Park, who, despite an upcoming reunion show for his combo the Chinkees at a ska festival in Las Vegas in May, seems most excited about his latest project: his album of kids music and his kids label, Fun Fun Fun, which aims to release children's music by punks. So far, the imprint's Play Date, composed of Greg Attonito of Bouncing Souls and wife Shanti Wintergate, has shown up on NPR, and Park himself won a spot as the "Super Music Friend" on this winter's Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! tour. "Other than the fact that we try to put out music that isn't dumbed down, musically, it can pass for any of the records we normally put out," he explains of Fun Fun Fun's sounds, "only more G-rated and more educational lyrics."

Whether he's teaching kids when it's safe to cross the street via ska or learning about new hardcore genres from the high schoolers that come by the office to help out, Park certainly can't be accused of turning into a cranky punk nostalgist, grumbling about awesome mosh pits long gone.

"Punk's evolved like everything. Things can't stay the same with technology and the social media tools that artists have," he says optimistically. "Let's say there's an underground show, and it gets canceled. Someone says, 'Let's do it at my house and here's the address,' and after a social media blast, you have 100 kids in a house in an hour. I remember pre-Internet you'd have to call people, and no one would have a cell phone, and someone would camp out at the old location and say the new location is here. I think it's kind of cool, to be honest."

SHINOBU, WILD MOTH, THE EXQUISITES, GREAT APES

Sat/20, 9pm, $9

Bottom of the Hill

1233 17th St., SF

(415) 621-4455

www.bottomofthehill.com

Comments

I am 28 years old now, but remember being 13 and going to the ska against racism concerts, having asian man records stickers all over all of my stuff and listening to many of the bands on his label. 15 years later, I feel like his ethos helped shape who I am, despite not being involved in that music scene anymore. Glad to see he is still doing it!

Posted by Nate on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

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