Mike Park / Pat Ford

Mike Park / Pat Ford: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2006)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: StevemanSteveman
(others by this writer | submit your own)

After opting against the bus and making the trip on foot, we arrived at South Union Arts, for the first time, just after the show started. South Union is an old, small one-room church. Pews have been replaced with fold-down theater seats and the small stage holds a projector screen for the weekly.

After opting against the bus and making the trip on foot, we arrived at South Union Arts, for the first time, just after the show started.

South Union is an old, small one-room church. Pews have been replaced with fold-down theater seats and the small stage holds a projector screen for the weekly film nights. The stage is absent of the Rev. A. Sharp, who was advertised on the fading sign outside. Inside, the walls are now covered with pictures, paintings, and other art.

Within the first few minutes of listening to Pat Ford play and looking around, I had already decided that this was the most interesting and comfortable Chicago venue I'd visited.

Although Pat claimed he was far from his 'A' game, his talent was still clearly visible. Later in the night, Chris commented that "he played four chords I didn't know‚?¶in a row!" Pat spends most of his time fronting Asian Man indie rock band Colossal, but holds his own just fine with only an acoustic guitar. One of the highlights of his set was a song about living in your parents' house, which coincidentally all three performers for the night do. After several heartfelt songs, backed by some beautiful guitar work, Pat left the stage and we left our seats.

As the lights came on, I was greeted by the most surprising sight of the evening. Neon Jesus‚?¶hanging above the stage.

The back room was covered wall-to-wall with a screened poster exhibit, including many available for purchase, comprised mostly of old Fireside Bowl posters.

Finally we returned as a man named Chris (I didn't catch his last name) was starting. After the intricacy of some of Pat's work, Chris was a bit boring to listen to. His style was primarily simple, open-chord strumming, although he had an interesting voice. After his brief set, Mike Park took the stage.

Obviously the highlight of the night, Mike put on a great show. He opted to stand in front of the stage, rather than on it and there was plenty of crowd interaction. The whole place had the feeling of a gathering of friends rather than a show and Mike put out an invitation to anyone that wanted to join him at a local bar afterwards.

Those that have seen Mike live have probably seen the movie he plays in the background while he performs. Usually it is a movie that starts out about music and heroes and bridges into facts about racial stereotypes and finally about Plea for Peace. Now he also has a video comprised of home movie footage from his childhood. He was a damn cute kid too.

In addition to songs off of both For the Love of the Music and North Hangook Falling, he also provided a few surprises. The second or third song he performed was a cover of Billy Bragg's "New England" that had several people, including myself, singing along. He also reached back in time to pull out a Skankin' Pickle cover ("I'm in Love With a Girl Named Spike") and the early "Don't Sit Next to Me."

Mike always puts on a great show, and the venue just made it that much better. I encourage anyone in the Chicago area to visit South Union Arts if you get a chance.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (May 15, 2006)
Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

you white kids just can't handle anyone else is 'your scene'
mike park is a good guy.

Anonymous (April 13, 2006)

mike has been living on his own for quite some time. hasn't had too much success apparently getting the right place though since he's always moving every few months into the next shithole.

Anonymous (April 12, 2006)

doesn't mike have an apartment now? that's what i heard.
asian man puts out good and honest music.

Betteroffskankin (April 12, 2006)

holy shit man. you are such a fucking dick. why did you post all that shit talking racist bullshit on this review under anonymous? And way to steal a reference with that "bag of dicks" comment. You are on a punk site, it's not cool to steal phrases from A Wilhelm Scream. Shit-Head.

jamespastepunk (April 12, 2006)

How did some industry tightwad from velvet rope get here?

joeg (April 11, 2006)

Flame bait. You suck at it. Go back to something you can do well, like jacking off to your girlfriends, righty and lefty.

steveman (April 11, 2006)

"Park doesn't make shit touring."

Most bands don't. Most bands make enough for food and gas, sometimes.

Also, when did Mike Park become classified as "emo"?

david_arquette (April 11, 2006)

I won't even dignify that statement with a thought-out response. Fuck you, buddy.

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)


It's a part of white, upper-middle class culture for kids like you to keep on living with your parents while you drive around the country in a van daddy bought, hoping your emo band will be the next Hawthorne Heights.

If Park was so goddamned worried about his parents, he'd stay at home and tend to their health --and WORK-- instead of going on an extended vacations (also known as tours) all the time. Park doesn't make shit touring.

That Asian tradition thing is laughable.

If Park wanted to honor his parents, he'd find some viable employment. He's just a spoiled prick.

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

How honorable of Mike Park to uphold Asian tradition by living with his parents.

And Asian man is DEFINITELY the most important label since Dischord.

Heck, Skanking Pickle is the most important band since the Beatles and Mike's solo material is better than anything John Lennon EVER did.

On second thought, Mike Park is probably just a wimpy rich kid who is dragging his adolescence well into his 30s by living with Mommy and Daddy. Plus, when you live with Mom'n'Pop, you can be all "D.I.Y." and tour for nothing, 'cause you don't have to pay rent.

Asian Man can't hold a handle to Dischord, or any good label of the last 25 years like Tough & Go, SST, Drag City, Jade Tree, Thrill Jockey, Lookout,,,

Asian man isn't even as "important" (I laugh haha) as Fat.

And Mike Park's music sucks a bag of dicks.

OK, I suppose you could describe Mike's music as inoffensive, in the blandest kind of P.C., poorly-executed way. He's the John Denver of the emo generation. And if that ain't greatness, what is?

Like I said earlier, it's not easy being green, izzit?

joeg (April 11, 2006)

I can't believe I'm actually going to address this to the idiot but maybe some of you don't know. Mike Park is Korean and in their culture, it's not uncommon for the children to be living with the parents into old age. In fact, it's almost considered their responsibility to do so and disrespectful if they don't. It just goes with the whole respect for the elders and parents belief in Asian society. Nothing wrong with that. He's got a job, it's not like he's leeching off them or anything.

darkstarm (April 11, 2006)

"Fat people like fat people. Stupid people like stupid people. Ugly people like ugly people. And pussies who live with their parents and go to church like pussies who live with their parents and go to church."

Oh my god SHUT THE FUCK UP. You Mike Park haters are so fucking tired I fell asleep just reading your comment. First of all, it USED to be a church, it is now a venue. Second, considering the guy is out touring half of the year and runs what is probably the most important independent punk label since Dischord I say let the guy live wherever the fuck he wants. Jealousy is a nasty little habit.

This was probably the best show I've ever been too. Pat Ford is an AMAZING guitarist, Chris' songs were fantastic, and Mike put on one hell of a show. Plus, South Union Arts is only five blocks away from my house!

jamespastepunk (April 11, 2006)

Oh, and one last thing. There was a neon crucifix in the church.

jamespastepunk (April 11, 2006)

This show was soooooo fun/relaxing. Chris and Rob were throwing banter back at each other about still living with their parents, everyone was having fun, and according to Mike Park, he only gets drunk once every one or two years, and tonight was the night.

Brendan Kelly seemed more than happy to comply.

Anyway, Chris played Intransit. I was happy.

steveman (April 11, 2006)

Ah I didn't find him forgetable at all. I just never caught his last name, and I'm not a big enough Lawrence Arm fan to recognize him. I enjoyed his set though. I only commented that the guitar stylings were a bit bland after we were spoiled by Pat. Chris is definetly a great songwriter.

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

Mike Park is a pussy who still lives with his parents and plays in churches.

Of course, I guess you pussies, who all live with your parents and go to church, will think this is "cool."

Isn't it interesting how people percieve anothers weakness as being somehow positive if it mirrors their own weakness?

Fat people like fat people. Stupid people like stupid people. Ugly people like ugly people. And pussies who live with their parents and go to church like pussies who live with their parents and go to church.

Look at yourself, prick: do you like what you see?

Oh yeah, Colossal is a weak and boring band. Mike Park's music sounds like a pussy-"punk" rendition of Kermit the Frog. Of course, he'd probably be flattered by this description. I bet his mother is baking him some cookies right now. You'd better rush on home, Mike. The yard needs mowing.

It's not easy being green, izzit?

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

wrong site to not know who Chris McCaughan is. i personally wouldnt have known either. i only knew there was a 'chris' in the lawrence arms. but people froth way too much over that band on this site.

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

Chris is the singer in the Alkaline Trio

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

You must be the only person ever to review on this site who doesn't know who Chris McCaughan is.

Score is for these three guys' bands.

Anonymous (April 11, 2006)

Great show and a beautiful venue. I hope they are able to keep it and continue doing shows in the future.

david_arquette (April 11, 2006)

1) Chris McCaughan is one of the greatest songwriters in punk today and it's a travesty that you found him forgettable.
2) Pat Ford is great and Colossal is amazing.
3) Mike Park is one of the coolest dudes in music. If I'd been at this show, I'd have blown a load all over the place.

steveman (April 11, 2006)

The other guy was Chris McCaughan. I couldn't remember his last name. Sorry!

The_Ken_Chin_Imposter (April 11, 2006)

Dear Mike Park,

Thank you for your letter. You will certainly earn my praise by crossing the border and playing a cross-country tour here. And yes, there is mention of your name, and your importance and significance to DIY music. I look forward to seeing you at my 49th parallel sometime soon.

And in respons to your question, yes we do have french fries here, only we smother them with gravy and cheese and call it poutine.



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