Mingering Mike: Searching for a Soul Superstar

This interview has been edited for clarity.

A private investigator turned music enthusiast, a soul superstar that appeared to have vanished from America’s collective memory, and a box of clues, the only evidence that he ever existed at all, left behind. It’s a story that has all the trappings of a mystery novel. You might even say that truth is stranger than fiction, but the real truth here is that there’s nothing strange about Mingering Mike at all. To be clear, this isn’t a story about an eccentric character or outsider artist. This is the story of a kid whose dream lay just beyond their means, who nonetheless dreamt it up anyways.

Mike, whose real name is not publicly known, grew up In Washington D.C. in the 1950’s and 60’s. He remembers as a kid saving his quarters to use on the coin powered televisions when the show Your Hit Parade was on, which played the most popular songs of the week. Later as a teenager, he graduated to collecting his own records, particularly 45’s, because they were more affordable than their 12” vinyl counterparts. As a lover of music, naturally, Mike wanted to try writing his own songs. Without access to traditional instruments or recording equipment, Mike championed a d.i.y. ethos long before it would become a commonly used term. He used whatever he had around him, employing his family members as supporting musicians, using his comb as a drum stick against a telephone book, singing acapella baselines, and quite creatively, tightly rolling a piece of paper to the point that it would mimic the sound of a horn when blown into. There are even a few home recordings, where you can immediately tell that Mike was using his bathroom as a makeshift studio, due to its acoustics.

Tamayugé possess Montreal Sessions May 2019

In the month of May Baba Yaga takes over the airways! Join Tamayugé and their cat - Bob Oliver every Tuesday from noon to 2 pm, every week will feature interviews with Montreal musicians such as Teke:Teke, Julian Hoff, Fly Pan Am and Sam Shalabi. Baba Yaga will play her favorite records, force her guests to tell chilling stories to the audience and decide if they should receive many gift and released or if they should be eaten!

Tamayugé is a musical collaboration between Japanese and Ukrainian born musicians now based in Montreal, Maya Kuroki and Tamara Filyavich. Their music blends creepiness with melancholia and kitschy tones with avant-guard electronic perspectives. End result aims to tell a story, perform a ritual and invite everyone to dance. Maya Kuroki’s cinematic vocals and dream guitar and Tamara Filyavich’s team of electronic ghosts fresh out of her nightmares throw a party, make room for dreams and involve the audience in the entire strange ritual.

Each Tues 3pm - 5pm or catch it on the archives.


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