Mingering Mike - an IMAGINARY record collection?!

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  • dayday 9,612 Posts
    Terry_Clubbup said:
    Yemsky said:

    Did Mindering Mike engage any audience with his works?. For all we know, Mingering Mike could have been a doodling child, a hermit without money for the records he desired or a wannabe record-sleeve designer who failed all applications - apart from the Sir Joe Quarterman job

    Damn you just about dissed all my favorite kinds of people.

    Okay, so you are only into artists with big, breathing
    audiences, in their day.

    P-Funk was the bomb though.

    To me this stuff is like gold, like Henry Darger meets Pedro Bell.

    I was just thinking about Pedro Bell, and the first Tom Tom Club album cover, whoever did that.

  • waxjunkywaxjunky 1,847 Posts
    This all reminds me of the Langley Schools Music Project LP on one level: Some amatuer dabbling, never meant for many eyes or ears, that gets out and ends up resonating with people.

    It's all about context and the sum of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts with stuff like this.

    Dope.

  • Yemsky said:
    Secret Chimp, this is obviously an unusual find. Apart from Fatback's 45s discovery. And since he couldn't find as many on his second visit as he had seen on the first visit, somebody else must have picked up a few copies as well, right?

    The mystery of those cardboard pieces is of course intriguing. As is the fact that somebody would have gone to such length and made SO MANY fake albums and singles. Add to this the odds that that person (or a relative ?) would put it in storage for 30 years and somebody would then pick it up and offer it for sale between "real" records.

    By now, though, I have to say that I find the reaction on this board almost as interesting as the find. Or may be even more.

    Allow me to be a killjoy for a moment, please.
    Not being a big fan of mahy forms of folk art anyway (this is how we've categorized this now, haven't we?) I might have a negative bias to start of with, but honestly, even if the idea's are good, the quality of the work is not all that, is it?
    If you consider the presumed date of creation (1970s) and the demographics of the location of your find (Chocolate City) the themes of these covers are not that surprizing, are they?
    I can not help but think of "relevance" and "impact" as helpful categories to look at creative work as much as "self expression" and general "quality".
    Did Mindering Mike engage any audience with his works?. For all we know, Mingering Mike could have been a doodling child, a hermit without money for the records he desired or a wannabe record-sleeve designer who failed all applications - apart from the Sir Joe Quarterman job

    Imagine people storing away all the spare print-outs of covers they've Photoshop'ed for their CD-Rs. Would we be as fascinated in 2035 if somebody found those? Think of all the creative work that people have displayed here on Soul Strut with manipulated images. Did MM ever engage anyone with his works in the way they have done?

    Ann odd-ball find, for sure. Interesting and intriguing, to some extend. But is there ultimately more to it?
    That's what I frequently ask myself when reading Dante's Left-Field Americana in Wax Poetics, by the way.

    MORON

  • GaryGary 3,982 Posts
    Oh come on dude. He was just being honest. I can see where he is coming from. It's the cell phone customers getting to you man. Actually, come to think of it, I'm in the market for one. Soulstrut discounts? Plaese?

  • KARLITOKARLITO 991 Posts
    first Tom Tom Club album cover


    I'm guessing one of the Weymouth sisters did it.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    Did Mindering Mike engage any audience with his works?. For all we know, Mingering Mike could have been a doodling child, a hermit without money for the records he desired or a wannabe record-sleeve designer who failed all applications

    Personally, I totally dig the Ming, but dude is not way outta line here. This shit is pretty hotly debated in the art community. I think when it comes down to it, it's a matter of taste, tastemakers, ect., if you follow.

    Anyhow this is opening up a whole can of worms here. I would figure this would be big on Soulstrut, cause it's right up all our ally's, but all the lurkers makes me wonder what's up. OK, I'm rambling now.

  • If someone obviously misses the point on something like this, it's fine. Too bad for them, but no need to comment negatively on something if you don't have the capacity to understand or appreciate what it is, what it meant to the person who created it or what it's trying to communicate to others.

  • I hereby crown Mingering the first soulstrut patron saint.

  • dayday 9,612 Posts
    iron_monkey said:
    If someone obviously misses the point on something like this, it's fine. Too bad for them, but no need to comment negatively on something if you don't have the capacity to understand or appreciate what it is, what it meant to the person who created it or what it's trying to communicate to others.

    If someone doesn't understand that I don't think there's any exlaining that will do. Its a way more emotional thing than a cerebral one.

  • TREWTREW 2,037 Posts
    but honestly, even if the idea's are good, the quality of the work is not all that, is it?

    If you consider the presumed date of creation (1970s) and the demographics of the location of your find (Chocolate City) the themes of these covers are not that surprizing, are they?

    I can not help but think of "relevance" and "impact" as helpful categories to look at creative work as much as "self expression" and general "quality".

    Did Mindering Mike engage any audience with his works?. For all we know, Mingering Mike could have been a doodling child, a hermit without money for the records he desired or a wannabe record-sleeve designer who failed all applications

    i'm a folk art idiot too (my only contact has been thru roadshow and the occasional museum visit) but from that knowledge i've gathered that all folk art is pretty crappy as compared to the more 'affluent' artists.. the folk artists didn't have access to the proper paints, canvas, brushes, things you make pottery on etc.. but they made art regardless.

    i'd like to hear what you have to say about picasso. dude painted like a five year old but folks eat it up.

    secondly, with folk art it seems that the back story holds alotta weight when considering it's worth (both financial and its sentiment) and in mingering's case his vinyl weighs a ton.. so i presume.



    i imagine the mike was a dude working hard days in the meat plant working that mingerer and at night he'd kick back with some whiskey, throw on the melinda OST and get busy with some markers, yearning for the day when he could bounce outta DC (or b'more) and light up mics worldwide..

  • centrscentrs 2 Posts
    it is certainly outsider art and you'd be wasting your time to try and track down that person as a musician. chances are most likely that they never performed. you mentioned washington. are you in d.c.? it would be worth your while to take these up for review at the visionary art museum in baltimore. it's possible they would be interested in them or would at least want to document them. (maybe they have even heard of the artist.) catalog your collection and take good care of them! they could be valuable either now or later.

  • just checking in to see if there is an update as to the whereabout's of
    mingering mike? keep us posted.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    KARLITO said:
    first Tom Tom Club album cover


    I'm guessing one of the Weymouth sisters did it.

    James Rizzi

    The Tom Tom Club were art students that dug outsider/folk art. Rizzi works in that style, and calls it Urban Primitive.

    I would call MM Outsider art more than folk art, (not that I know anything about this stuff).

    While it does not hold up to European "art" standards, it shows the kind of obsessive single mindeness, and individual vision that defines outsider art. Like Grandma Moses he shows no knowledge of perspective. Dispite his lack of art training he has no problem expressing himself in a way all of us have no problem understanding. Personally I think he's a genius.

    Dan

  • lucerolucero 425 Posts
    the folk artists didn't have access to the proper paints, canvas, brushes, things you make pottery on etc.. but they made art regardless.

    bit of an aside, but this point is also advanced in explaining why there aren't a lot of female painters & sculptors (coupled with 16th/17th/18th/19th century attitudes to women). I think its certainly equally applicable in this context.

    I agree with what Sketch said above - on point

    Isn't Yemsky german? not a problem at all, but possibo partial explanation in terms of artistic perceptions !?! - I've seen some wigged out german photography, the 'cruel and tender' show which was at the Tate last year was slightly disturbing/perturbing

  • FatbackFatback 6,746 Posts
    I'm coming after you on this, slim! Maybe because I just got back from hearing H. L. Gates speak? Nah, what you wrote is flat-out dumb.

    Allow me to be a killjoy

    A killjoy? The only thing you're killing is your image. What the fuck is all of this(below)? Are you drunk? Everything you're writing is based presumption. Shouldn't you wait for a little more info? Fuck.

    If you consider the presumed date of creation (1970s) and the demographics of the location of your find (Chocolate City) the themes of these covers are not that surprizing, are they?

    Where to start with that racist dribble?

    Black empowerment, drug use issues, broken families, economic stagnation, white on black racism...

    How fucking boring. Who gives a fuck? We solved those, eh?

    Did MM ever engage anyone with his works in the way they have done?

    What the fuck does this mean?

    *******************************************************************************

    On another note:

    Found another 45 found this afternoon I missed on my earlier post...

    Last Night I thought I Was Bruce b/w It's Good Thing Big D & Mike Weren't Here or They Both Would Have Been Wasted.

    jpegs tomorrow

  • YemskyYemsky 541 Posts
    [strong]Iron Monkey[/strong], do I have to pick one or do all your accusations apply to me ? Please advise whether I lack "the capacity to understand or appreciate what it is, what it meant to the person who created it or what it's trying to communicate to others"?
    What is it with this stupid (and I dare say: very American) attitude that there's "no need to comment negatively on something". But nevertheless, I'll give you an answer to all three points (What it is, What it meant to the creator and what it is trying to communicate)

    I have dozens of originally plain-sleeved 12 inch singles in my collection which have been adorned by a teenage Yemsky with collages, scribbles, reviews etc. I am sure many people did that and there is nothing special to it, per se. Though all these covers are unique (and some of mine mean a lot to me) doesn't mean that every DIY cover is a piece worth collecting in my opinion.
    The fact that Mindering Mike presumably did this in the 1970s and hence long before me and even before [strong]Christian Marclay[/strong] got into galleries with it, might make him an innovator or originator (though I even doubt that) but again: I still don't think it's any big of a deal.

    I can appreciate that there is a personal story in and behind MM's work. Yes, I wouldn't mind hearing it. But I do not expect to hear much of interest from a music-lover's point of view though Mike and I might even share a similar taste in music. But look at MM's output as pictures. Think of finding these drawings of imaginary bands, Blaxploitation posters, Kung Fu scenes and parties-in-the park on an old notepad or on canvas for example. Would the same enthusiasm occur? Would [strong]pacman[/strong] seriously be "framing those jawns and puttin them up on [his] wall"?

    I think what we have here is partly a case of format-fetish. If they were not 12x12 or 7x7 half of the enthusiastic posts above would be missing.

    I don't think that my problem is that I am German (though of course we are all the same, oder etwa nicht?) or the fact that I am too cerebral and not enough emotional. But allow me to point to the emperor's new cloths, please: These "things" are not even record sleeves. At best they contain [em]cardboard[/em] records inside, for jawn's sake.

    In essence: I probably would have spent some time at the flea market, looking, reading, talking about it, but I don't think that I would have picked them up. Interestingly, neither [strong]Secret Chimp[/strong] nor [strong]Fatback[/strong] told us how much they paid for their finds. But since most people here seem to be sooooo keen (ritmo69: "i just made my first I WANT LIST!" let's put a common denominator on it and start an auction:

    [strong]How much would you bid for "The Complete Mingering Mike collection: Forty unique 12inch "covers"?[/strong]

    $0 - Yo, give me a Break - but not these dust collectors!
    $10 - Hey, that's cheaper than buying plain sleeves
    $20 - Hey, that's still cheaper than buying plain sleeves
    $40 - It's a dollar bin find !
    $100 - I want to get it, but I think I can sell it for more on eBay
    $200 - Dude, this is a serious find.
    $400 - A bargain for an artists complete (known) oeuvre
    $1000 - You sissys, let's talk business!
    $2000 - I never find records like Dante, Egon and Keb, but I want to have a "only-one-known-copy-in-the-world" item - and here I get 40 in one pop!

    Your bids are appreciated but not legally binding. We accept Paypal but you will have to pay 4% extra. Secret bids outside the auction are welcome but won't stay secret...

  • whoa!!!!

    whoa!!!!

    whoa!!!!

  • dCastillodCastillo 1,963 Posts
    dude. you people are killing it.

    I was reading this thread this morning, and was totally moved by it. It was a bonus to see that a lot of people had the same reaction. now, as of all big threads on this board, it has to turn into some crap like this, where people end up debating, and others just acting ignorant.

    SecretChimp, I hope you collect as much information as you can, and I'm very interested in reading more about Mingering Mike. You've definitely found something great, and have presented it properly.

  • yo , leave me out of your dissertation. my comment merely reflect how cool i think they look and big ups to the cats that stumbled onto them.

    btw i went to art school and have taught art at the college level. this is art and a whole collection at that. the fact that you're not to keen on it doesn't mean shit. you know what, i'm just going to leave it at that i don't even want to get into some big debate with you about this.
    i want to leave this thread with a smile on my face, just like the smile that appeared on first viewing this thread.

  • YemskyYemsky 541 Posts
    [strong]Fatback:[/strong] The only thing you're killing is your image.

    Do I care ?

    [strong]Fatback:[/strong] What the ---- is all of this(below)? Are you drunk? Everything you're writing is based presumption. Shouldn't you wait for a little more info? ----.

    Why can everybody write praise posts without a little bit more info but I should not write my opinion?

    [strong]Yemsky: [/strong]
    If you consider the presumed date of creation (1970s) and the demographics of the location of your find (Chocolate City) the themes of these covers are not that surprizing, are they?

    [strong]Fatback: [/strong] Where to start with that racist dribble?

    Black empowerment, drug use issues, broken families, economic stagnation, white on black racism...

    I did not make ANY racist connection. You did. I see mainly black folks on all of these "covers", titles are "Fractured Soul", reference is made to an imaginary Blaxploitation movie and a quote is provided by James Brown. I used to live in DC and all I am saying is that would have been more surprised if these drawings had been found in Salt Lake City.

    I can not read anything of what's written on The Drug Store cover. But that one actually seems like the odd one out.


  • I don't find Yemsky's offensive, shame you can't see what most of our seeing.

    Back to one of my earlier posts when I said "There's a little bit of Mingering Mike in all of us" (NO HOMO)! I think the reason why we're being touched by "MM"'s work is that he has a passion that goes beyond the average listner of that era, similar to how we're all chasing musical ghosts of yesteryear; while everyone is downloading and watch "E Hollywood Stories". Add that with the obviously had dreams of making it in the music world and being a star ( A lot of us on this board want to be the next Shadow, Dre, Premier etc..). Personally I feel a little bit of pitty for old Mike, his career didn't pan out and was forced to submit to the everyday doldrums of working, maybe he made these dreams in the twilight of a depressed life drunk, high, or even worse alone and waiting for the end to happen sooner than soon.

    Once again, they say so much but yet so little.

  • dCastillodCastillo 1,963 Posts
    Think of finding these drawings of imaginary bands, Blaxploitation posters, Kung Fu scenes and parties-in-the park on an old notepad or on canvas for example. Would the same enthusiasm occur? Would pacman seriously be "framing those jawns and puttin them up on [his] wall"?

    I think what we have here is partly a case of format-fetish. If they were not 12x12 or 7x7 half of the enthusiastic posts above would be missing.

    I have to say something about this too before I leave.

    It is the fact that this guy DIDN'T just do this stuff in a notebook that makes this even more meaningful. He put the extra care and detail into making actual album covers; BUILDING the format he chose to create his pieces upon. That shows a lot more heart and dedication than just making doodles in a notebook.

  • Get ready to change your undies.

    As soon as I read Fatback's post I bolted out of the office like a bat out of hell and sped off to see what else I could salvage from Mingering Mike's posessions.

    Here's a breakdown (bear with me here, I'm scanning everything in as I go):

    [strong]45 7" reel-to-reel tapes[/strong] - I think most of them are mixes/compilations (some have track listings on pieces of paper inside the boxes), but some of them are labeled "Mingering Mike." I don't have a reel-to-reel player, but I should be able to track one down pretty easily.

    [strong]15 or so 3" reels of original recordings!![/strong]

    1 [strong]8-track compilation tape[/strong]

    A few letters between Mingering Mike and a buddy in jail in Lorton, VA. It seems that they were working on songs via the mail. Dude in jail sent MM lyrics with descriptions of what the music would be like, followed by the lyrics.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    I have dozens of originally plain-sleeved 12 inch singles in my collection which have been adorned by a teenage Yemsky with collages, scribbles, reviews etc.

    Outsider art is called outsider because it does not fit most peoples definition of art. Thus that you don't care for it is not surprising, what is surprising is that more people are not speaking up for you.

    The work that Mingering Mike created that I have seen is not the "collages, scribbles, reviews etc." of a bored teenager. They are the heart felt work of a seriously obsessed individual. If he had done one sleeve it would have been an oddity. But he did a great many, how many we have no idea, which shows that he had a vision, that he felt compeled to realize.

    To me that is the definition of an artist.

    You suggest that it is the 12X12 format that attracts us. But many of our posts have refered to other outsider artists. That suggests, that like me, many of us are fans of outside art. Of course over 5,000 views in 12 hours suggest that non record nerds also think this is worth looking at.

    Again, I respect you do not appreciate it, it does not fit most peoples idea of art.

  • kingmost said:
    I don't find Yemsky's offensive, shame you can't see what most of our seeing.

    Back to one of my earlier posts when I said "There's a little bit of Mingering Mike in all of us" (NO HOMO)! I think the reason why we're being touched by "MM"'s work is that he has a passion that goes beyond the average listner of that era, similar to how we're all chasing musical ghosts of yesteryear; while everyone is downloading and watch "E Hollywood Stories". Add that with the obviously had dreams of making it in the music world and being a star ( A lot of us on this board want to be the next Shadow, Dre, Premier etc..). Personally I feel a little bit of pitty for old Mike, his career didn't pan out and was forced to submit to the everyday doldrums of working, maybe he made these dreams in the twilight of a depressed life drunk, high, or even worse alone and waiting for the end to happen sooner than soon.

    Once again, they say so much but yet so little.

    Right, I care not to call it "folk art" or "outsider art", but these artifacts are stunning in terms of the look they give into someone's life/soul/art. Whether Yemsky thinks they're on par with his childhood doodles is irrelevant, as those were not found at some random flea market whereas this guy's were. The idea that his drawings encapsulated (strictly) his unfulfilled desire to make something of himself in a music industry he probably had ZERO connection to, and that he could go into such detail and hard work regarding this desire, is really moving. I guess if you don't get it you don't get it, but there's generally a line between good and bad art that has naught to do with the technical proficiencies on display - and that's the human feeling, and how it affects the viewer. That is why these are special, and why they've attracted so much interest. I'm not quite sure how that's hard to understand.

    Isn't that what all artists are trying to do?

  • Well by the looks I think we can say he suffered from Sickle Cell Anemia and was a solider during the Vietnam era (Two Sides of Mike, he has a army hat with a m-16 illustrated beneath). You guys think he was has/had a drug problem? Just from heresay, and I'm not trying to stereostype veterans, but a lot of them came back jarred by what happend and became addicts....

    The photo doesn't seem to fit the era of the late 70's. It seems more late 60's ealry 70's. He had some ill tastes "Expansions", Soul Searchers "Think" and Muppets Show Tunes(?)

  • dCastillodCastillo 1,963 Posts
    kingmost said:
    Well by the looks I think we can say he suffered from Sickle Cell Anemia and was a solider during the Vietnam era (Two Sides of Mike, he has a army hat with a m-16 illustrated beneath). You guys think he was has/had a drug problem? Just from heresay, and I'm not trying to stereostype veterans, but a lot of them came back jarred by what happend and became addicts....

    The photo doesn't seem to fit the era of the late 70's. It seems more late 60's ealry 70's. He had some ill tastes "Expansions", Soul Searchers "Think" and Muppets Show Tunes(?)

    by that lyrics sheet, and a few other covers, he looks to have a very strong stance against drugs, and from what secretchimp posted, he had some friends that went down the drug route.

  • kingmost said:
    Well by the looks I think we can say he suffered from Sickle Cell Anemia and was a solider during the Vietnam era (Two Sides of Mike, he has a army hat with a m-16 illustrated beneath). You guys think he was has/had a drug problem? Just from heresay, and I'm not trying to stereostype veterans, but a lot of them came back jarred by what happend and became addicts....

    The photo doesn't seem to fit the era of the late 70's. It seems more late 60's ealry 70's. He had some ill tastes "Expansions", Soul Searchers "Think" and Muppets Show Tunes(?)

    I was just about to get to that. Another thing I found was a photo album containing photos of Mike visiting NYC and also in some sort of barracks with a helmet on. I have so much stuff here- believe me, I'm trying to get as much up here as I can (unfortunately I don't have a camera available right now, so I'm scanning like crazy- I'm gonna run out of webspace here pretty soon. Anybody got a place I can post more pictures?)

    And yes, he did have some ill taste in music. A fellow digger here in town picked up yet another Mingering Mike lp cover that is an offshoot of the Soul Searchers' "Salt of the Earth." I'll be sure to get that one up here as soon as I can get it from him.

  • rap79rap79 1 Post
    I have yet to read through the thread, but those are AWESOME!

    Find of 2004!

  • already the dopest score of 2004. if that audio is dope this cat will go down in history like baby huey!
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