Kevin Seconds / Mike Park - live in Berkeley (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Kevin Seconds / Mike Park

live in Berkeley (2005)

live show

Another Friday night, another show. Well, I think it was a Friday. I can't remember. Regardless, another trip to Berkeley to see Mr. Park play his acoustic guitar. Also playing was some guy named Kevin Seconds; apparently he kind of started positive hardcore. I'm not a huge fan of stuff on the Skiba split, but was interested in hearing it live. We showed up a bit early and saw Mike going in, and waited outside 'till they were ready. We headed upstairs, and I thought we had come into the wrong place. Epic Arts is a converted apartment, and now serves as a volunteer-run cooperative art gallery. It was fantastic. We grabbed some comfortable seats (two out of the twenty provided) after perusing some of the art, and waited for Mike to start.

If you've seen Mike before, you know what went on. He started out with his DVD playing, listing his favorite records, heroes, and questioning the role of Asians in popular entertainment...very inspiring, just as before. After that, things went slightly different. Mike was in a gushing mood. And by gushing, I mean shuffling his feet, thanking Kevin between every single song, and rambling about topics ranging from Netflix to the new "Degrassi" series (he's a fan), to informing us all that the long-standing one employee of Asian Man is leaving to go to college soon. He played a mix of songs, many from his For The Love Of Music full-length, a few new ones from his disc coming out in August, and some acoustic Chinkees songs. Oh, and he played "A Girl Named Spike." The highlight was the requested acoustic rendition of "Justice," the first acoustic song I heard by him, back in '99 on an ARA cd. So amazingly good. Simply put, you have to go see Mike play some time, and the Living Room Tour would be a great time to do it.

Mr. Seconds took the stage next, with two and a half decades of music experience. He was exactly as you would expect him...nervous as all hell. One of the most endearing things on Earth in a musician in an intimate, 50-person area is to see them be "normal." So here's a guy who forged his own path, standing in front of a bunch people who, like myself, probably weren't alive when he started playing music, struggling with his capo. Awesome. He strummed his way through quite a few songs, most of the ones on the Skiba split, and made some great conversation in between songs. Apparently, his wife Allison has been playing keyboard at shows with him. His voice sounded kind of rough that night; a welcome change from the split, in my opinion. Given the chance I'd go see him again in a heartbeat.

The highlight of the whole night had to be when Mike pressured Kevin into trying some acoustic renditions of 7 Seconds songs. The only one he got part of the way through was "Bully," and it was just kind of awesome. I thought I had experienced the best Mike Park show experience at the Gilman a few months ago, but I obviously was wrong. This was just plain cool. Everyone everywhere should see both these guys if you can.

Show photos