Mike Midwestern

Latest Posts


Did you know there are over 900 youth experiencing homelessness in Anoka County alone? Over 900. Think about that.

Since early 2013, HOPE 4 Youth has been serving youth experiencing homelessness through Housing, Outreach, Prevention and Education. At their drop-in center located in Anoka, hot meals are served daily, a computer lab is available to access job search and applications, supportive Center Mentors are on-hand, and survival kits are available for those experiencing homelessness with essential items to help alleviate their daily struggles.

The purpose of this benefit show is to help support this incredible organization financially as well as raise awareness of their cause. HOPE 4 Youth has done some great things in their young history thus far but could definitely use support to help further their cause.

Please come out for a night of awesome music in support of our homeless youth:

ZAQ ZRUST (And We Danced, Cadillac Blindside, Crash/Burn/Repeat



Mike Midwestern Details “Oh My Soul”

Mike Midwestern’s new album “Oh My Soul” will be released on July 16 by Twin Cities label Dead Letter Records (Party House, The March Divide, Ryan Traster). The album will be a digital release only and will be available online through all major retailers such as iTunes and Amazon. Mike will also be releasing a 7” that features three tracks from the album as well as an alternate track. The hand-numbered limited pressing of the vinyl will also include a digital download of the album and will only be available to purchase at shows.

“Oh My Soul” is more stripped-down than 2010’s debut “Inhibitors”. It’s a back-porch-with-a-bottle-of-wine kind of album. Midwestern teamed up with Andy Keech once again but this time taking a different approach. The two decided to record the album onto the ¼ inch tape housed on a dusty reel-to-reel in a corner of Andy Keech’s home studio in Bloomington, MN. The machine was given to Keech by his dad and the two quickly realized they were taping over his dad’s old Journey tapes from the late 70s. Mike explains his experience recording to tape, “We really had to be comfortable settling on solid takes knowing it was not going to be cleaned up in Pro Tools. Because I wanted to make an album with character, the recording process was more intimate and human. We focused on feel rather than perfection.”

Longtime collaborators, Ash St. John, Thomas Rehbein, and Courtney Deer also lend their lovely harmonies and musicianship once again. Tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1. Oh My Soul
2. Never Break
3. Spoiled Churches
4. Where Darkness Hides (LP version)
5. Your Guardian
6. Like Silver
7. Costumes & Covers
8. Hope Street
9. Turn To You
10. Higher
11. On A Plane
12. Where Darkness Hides (EP version)

Mike Midwestern will be celebrating the release of “Oh My Soul” in July with label mates Party House who will be celebrating their newest release as well. Date and venue details still to come.

“Oh My Soul” Pressing Underway

Hello friends. Things are really coming together now. The release of “Oh My Soul” is just around the corner. Here’s an update on where things are at:

* PRESSING- The 7 inch pressing is officially under way. 6-8 weeks from now I will have them in my hands.

* ARTWORK- I have finalized the artwork and have attached the cover of the album for your viewing pleasure.

* MIXING/MASTERING- Andy Keech is working right now as we speak on mixing and mastering. That means the entire album should be finished in the next three weeks

* DEAD LETTER RECORDS- I am super excited to announce that I’ve signed a contract with local Twin Cities label Dead Letter Records. They will be carrying the load as far as online distribution and some online marketing. Super excited to work with those lads.

* RELEASE DATE/RELEASE SHOW- I’m super close to confirming my official release date for the album as well as the date for the release show. I want to tell you right now but better hold off. What I can say is that I’m 99% sure it’s going to be in July. Stay tuned….

New Album Almost Finished

Hey all. Can’t believe it but I finished tracking the new album “Oh My Soul” last week. The final tracking session couldn’t have been a more perfect ending. I had 12 of my greatest friends in the studio to record a gang vocal part- turned out pretty fantastic. Now that tracking is done, we’re onto mixing and mastering. I’m hoping to have everything wrapped up the first part of May.

I’m still unsure as to what the release date will be. I’m shooting for late June but it’s still undetermined. I will keep you posted on release date and release show info.

Production of the 7″ should be underway soon as well. I’m sending the four songs to press this week. Check out a rough version of the song Never Break below:


New Album Out This Spring

Happy New Year everyone! So we survived the Mayan apocolypse and the holiday season- bring on 2013! I’m very excited for this year. My Kickstarter campaign was successful so I’m officially releasing the follow-up to “Inhibitors” this Spring.

The new ablum will be titled “Oh My Soul”. Tracking started a few weeks back and I’m stoked to be working with Andy Keech again on this record. We’re recording everything to tape on a reel-to-reel four-track. The production will be a lot more stripped down and intimate than “Inhibitors”- no full drum kits or anything like that. Just stripped down and chill.

More updates soon. Until then here’s a home recorded version of a new track that will be on the album called “Spoiled Churches”.

Kickstarter Campaign

I suppose I should post something on my own website about the Kickstarter Campaign for my new album entitled “Oh My Soul”. Click on the link and make a pledge. I’m planning on releasing it late winter/early spring but need your support to make it happen. Whatever you can contribute is greatly appreciated. I will be pressing a few limited edition 7″ records that will feature 3-4 tracks off of the album and will also come with a digital download of the entire full length. Adios!


My Top 50 Albums – 10-1

10. Blink-182 “Dude Ranch” (MCA, 1997)
Featured track: Waggy
Warped Tour ’97. I bought Dude Ranch from Mark Hoppus at Blink’s merch table. Two months later they were a household name. Dude Ranch had its own unique sound which made them stand out in a huge, crowded pop punk movement.






9. The Get Up Kids “Something To Write Home About” (Vagrant, 1999)
Featured track: Close To Home
September of 1999, teased by the Red Letter Day EPSomething To Write Home About was released. With all of the anticipation, I made a midnight Cheapo run to pick it up on the eve of its release. Unlike most albums or movies that I tend to over-anticipate, this one didn’t disappoint.






8. The Queers “Move Back Home” (Lookout!, 1995)
Featured track: Definitely
Out of the hundreds of bands who did the Ramones-y pop punk thing, The Queers are my favorite. And Move Back Home is my favorite record from that genre. Joe Queer’s melodies are perfect, the harmonies are sugary sweet, and the production is raw and tinny.






7. The Exit “New Beat” (Some, 2002)
Featured track: Scream and Shout
While I’ll say that Idlewild is the most underrated band of all time, New Beat by The Exit is the most underrated album of all time. This full length is flawless and it garnered zero attention. How does this happen?






6. The National “High Violet” (4AD, 2010)
Featured track: England
The attention to detail on High Violet is fascinating. The musicianship and arrangements are so complex yet The National makes it sound so easy. This album is dark and brooding and perfectly executed. “England” is probably my favorite song in the last decade or so.






5. Rancid “…And Out Come The Wolves” (Epitaph, 1995)
Featured track: Ruby Soho
What a classic. And Out Come The Wolves has to be considered as one of the best punk records of all time, not just by my standards. Though this album enjoyed mainstream success, the rawness and energy is there. Timeless, timeless, timeless.






4. Jimmy Eat World “Clarity” (Capitol, 1999)
Featured track: For Me This Is Heaven
I heard Jimmy Eat World’s debut Static Prevails from a friend of mine and had to own it. The next day, I went to the record store but they were out. They did, however, have a new JEW record that happened to come out that week. It was called Clarity. I took a chance figuring it just had to be good…






3. Alkaline Trio “Goddamnit” (Asian Man, 1998)
Featured track: San Francisco
The debut of Alkaline Trio has a cult following for good reason. There is tons of energy, it’s raw, and while it had its influences, it was different and darker than any pop punk record out at the time. The Trio was one of those bands who started their own sub-genre where hundreds of bands would follow. Alk3 played into the punk and emo scene beautifully, not fully committing to either genre, but drawing a devout fanbase from both places.






2. The Weakerthans “Left and Leaving” (G7 Welcoming Committee, 2000)
Featured track: Left and Leaving
Perfect production. Perfect lyrics. Perfect musicianship. 12 great songs sequenced perfectly. Left and Leaving really is perfection.






1. Green Day “Dookie” (Reprise, 1994)
Featured track: When I Come Around
How can this not be my #1? It’s the album that made me pick up a guitar. It was the album that was my gateway drug to everything I have listened to since and listen to today. I remember seeing the video for “Longview” in 1994 when Dookie came out and being hooked. The rest is my history.

My Top 50 Albums – 20-11

20. Saves The Day “Stay What You Are” (Vagrant, 2001)
Featured track: Nightingale
I was so stoked for the follow up to Through Being Cool. I made a midnight Cheapo run for this one on the eve of its release. I remember being disappointed for a while because it didn’t sound like their last record. Then I actually listened to it. I thought it was risky for Saves The Day but to me, it paid off. Stay What You Are was a wonderful curve ball.







19. Damien Jurado “Where Shall You Take Me?” (Secretly Canadian, 2003)
Featured track: Omaha
If I had to pick my favorite singer/songwriter of all time it’s probably Damien Jurado. His albums are amazing but have you seen him live? He’s so humble, unassuming, and his performances are flawless. I’ve never heard a crowded bar so quiet than when Jurado is playing in them.






18. Screeching Weasel “My Brain Hurts” (Lookout!, 1991)
Featured track: Guest List
To me this is the quintessential Screeching Weasel album. Fun, catchy, and raw. No matter how much of an a-hole Ben Weasel comes across as, it is overshadowed by his remarkable knack for writing a  perfect pop punk song. Or in the case of My Brain Hurts, an album full of them.






17. Idlewild “The Remote Part” (Parlophone, 2001)
Featured track: American English
In my opinion, Idlewild is the most underrated band of all time. American English shows the band in perfect form. But really their whole catalog is awesome. I remember this album coming out in Europe months before its US release. So I bought it online for $30. It was and still is worth every penny.






16. Sigur Ros “Takk” (Geffen, 2005)
Featured track: Hoppipolla
This is the only band I will pay over $100 to see live and not even bat an eye. Hell, I’d pay $200. All of their albums are great in their own way, but Takk is in a league of its own.






15. The Appleseed Cast “Low Level Owl Vol. 1 & Vol. 2″ (Deep Elm, 2001)
Featured track: Steps and Numbers
Though volumes one and two are technically two different albums and had two different release dates, I’m calling them the same. If you want one epic afternoon, play them back to back in their entirety. Masterful production and brilliant musicianship.






14. The National “Boxer” (Beggars Banquet, 2007)
Featured track: Slow Show
Matt Berninger writes the best lyrics and his baritone voice makes for a perfect compliment to his clumsy, fascinating stories. The National formed in 1999 but it took until their 4th album, Boxer, to hit on all cylinders. There are great moments on their previous albums but this album all the way through is one great big moment. And itsBoxer that really made The National, national.






13. Brand New “Deja Entendu” (Triple Crown, 2003)
Featured track: The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows
I was not excited to hear this album when it came out. I wasn’t a fan of their debut album. I was anticipating that I would be ripping it in my review for 30 Music. What a nice surprise and the timing couldn’t have been better. I was going through a bad breakup and while I thought I would need something sad to listen to and sulk with at the time, this was better.






12. The Muffs “Blonder and Blonder” (Reprise, 1995)
Featured track: Sad Tomorrow
Kim Shattuck is my favorite female rock singer. Her pop sensibility in songwriting is second to none. Blonder and Blonder is a perfect pop album without a weak spot. It’s one of those albums where I’ve called every track my favorite song on the album at some point in time.






11. The Mr. T. Experience “Love Is Dead” (Lookout!, 1995)
Featured track: Sackcloth and Ashes
I’ll admit I don’t enjoy this album quite like I used to in my mid-late teens. That said, Love Is Dead was extremely influential to me. It’s ridiculously catchy and Dr. Frank’s witty lyrics set this band apart from their peers. Between Green Day and MTX, all of my time listening to music back then was pretty well focused on those two bands.