All Hail Mike Korzek

The future of music?GLONO discovers next big thing and it is Mike!

We get a lot of shit to review here at GLONO. I mean a LOT. It’s overwhelming and we’ve been adding to our list of reviewers to try and get through it all. Most of it is crap, I’ll be honest with you. It’s a lot of boring emo or obnoxious mall punk. And most of it is adorned with so much swag that it’s no wonder so many labels are going under. We just throw that shit away.


But a few weeks ago I opened an unadorned envelope (save for a photocopied version of the picture accompanying this article) to find a breath of fresh air. According to the very brief bio, Mike Korzek “has been a singer/songwriter, guitarist for over 30 years.” Well, don’t be modest, Mike. You’re so much more than that! No, ladies and gentleman, Mike Korzek is the future…or the past…it’s hard to say. But that’s what makes great music, no? Its timelessness!

Spurning the temptation to record his songs in a fancy, money-sucking studio, Mike Korzek brings it back to basics. This is lo-fi, friends. And isn’t that all the rage? While the Strokes throw down thousands of dollars for effects that mimic crappy mics, Mike cuts out the middleman and walks straight to Radio Shack. The results are priceless. The honesty of the lyrics comes through, unhindered by windscreens, or preamps, or mixing boards, or effects processors, or ProTools “Pitch Correcting” software, or any of that bullshit that the Man’s been feeding us as “professional” sound.

And why get caught up in personality disputes that can get in the way of the music? How many great bands have to disintegrate before we learn our lesson? Was it not enough for the Beatles to descend into lawsuits and public bickering? Did we learn nothing of the Fleetwood Mac and Sonny & Cher divorces? Must we endure another tragedy like what befell New Kids on the Block? As the Kills say, “Fuck the People.” It’s about the music, and Mike Korzek is getting the music down before he “reforms the Mike Korzak Band.” Thank you, Mike. Thank you for thinking of the music first.

No, Mike Korzek is currently working with a four-track recorder, a one-beat drum machine, a bevy of guitar effects, and a dream. Sure, some might say this is Mike cashing in on the minimalist craze. But let’s keep it real because I am keeping it real. And so is Mike Korzek.

The White Stripes are near the end. They’re a divorced couple pretending to be brother and sister. They’re bound to implode. The Handsome Family are a two-piece aided by a drum machine, but they too often poison the song with the addition of organs and autoharps and backing vocals and lots of other accoutrements. The Kills? Please, they have a hot girl singing. Yuck!

Mike Korzek lists his influences as “classic rock in the tradition of Hendrix and Cream.” But you’d be hard pressed to find any of the guitar wankery of Hendrix or the percussive shenanigans of Ginger Baker in Mike’s songs. He lets the music come through with just one repeating drum beat and a handful of loosely fingered guitar chords. That’s his punk roots coming through, and Mike attributes those roots to also being influenced by “the alternative wave represented by Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Bush.” Yes, Mike likes to keep up with the new sound. Afterall, an artist doesn’t live in a vacuum!

Thankfully, we can expect a lot more from Mike than the 10 songs he sent GLONO. Along with the social commentary of “Pulpers in Palm Beach County” or “Dying in Westland” and the gentle honesty of “Karen Toes” or “Ballad of Jimi,” we can expect more of the truth in the over 230 songs Mike has recently penned. I know I’ll be checking the PO Box with anticipation.

So bow down, GLONO readers, for we have seen the future and he is the I.T. guy in your office. While you want to encourage an artist to grow, you can’t improve on perfection, as Mike so eloquently states in the title of track 9, “I Like What I am Playing and I Don’t Want to Improve.” God Speed, Mike Korzek. God Speed!

Lots of Mike Korzek mp3s available at IUMA and you can stream samples of even more songs at mp3.com.

17 thoughts on “All Hail Mike Korzek”

  1. This guy is definitely got the DIY shit going on.

    ‘what is stopping YOU from doing something SO COOL that it renders you IMMORTAL?’

  2. Actually, the Deepgrave Min og dog bit was interesting. This is just snide pulp.

    Thanks for holding up the tried and true stereotype of the indie music dweeb, running off at the mouth.

  3. AlI can say is either Derek Phillips is truly mocking Mr. Korzek or he is simply deaf. Which one is sadder escapes me right now.

    While I respect Mr. Korzek’s devotion to making music, it doesn’t make the final product any good.

    Sorry, Charlie…

  4. what is the point of this article?

    if Mr Korzek is the real deal, why write a smug sarcasm-drenched article?

    and if he is not, why write this garbage at all?

  5. Pretensious wankery masquerading as writing? Check. Arrogance masquerading as wit? Check. Great example of how not to utilize perfectly good webspace that could otherwise hold something useful? Check, check, and check! Without a doubt, this is the lamest piece of “journalism” that I’ve had the sad misfortune or reading so far this year. If dreck like this is supposed to be the future of GloNo, count me out.

  6. Derek, Dogg, you gotta think before you put this shite up! An analogy for you: non-politically correct jokes are great with your friends when you’re not making fun of specific people and/or when those people are not around or cannot overhear the jokes. Doing otherwise makes you quite the jerky and just plain mean. However, since I imagine you’re young we will forgive you this time.

  7. Derek, Dogg, you gotta think before you put this shite up! An analogy for you: non-politically correct jokes are great with your friends when you’re not making fun of specific people and/or when those people are not around or cannot overhear the jokes. Doing otherwise makes you quite the jerky and just plain mean. However, since I imagine you’re young we will forgive you this time.

  8. Thank you retard, but I think my joke is being missed here. I’m not making fun so much of Mike Korzek as the bands who strive for his lo-fi “authenticity.” But I guess a joke is only as good as the telling. I swung and I missed on this one.

  9. I’m confident in the music.

    If you took Green Day and let them cover, ” I like What I’m Playing and I Don’t Want to Improve,” they would sell at least 5 million copies.

  10. Here’s the deal everybody: when musicians send their cds to publications for review, they expose themselves to criticism. As a matter of fact, they’re asking for it. They get disappointed if you don’t critique their work. Glorious Noise didn’t seek out Mike Korzek; Mike Korzek sought out Glorious Noise and sent in a cd. It’s a tough business.

    And for the record: I’d take Mike Korzek’s sincerity over 2M-selling Ashlee Simpson’s phony bullshit anyday. One could argue that Korzek’s stuff is better than 95% of the stuff you hear on Top 40 radio.

  11. I guess to clarify the reason we sent a cd, I sent it to the Glorious Noise Records for their consideration.

    These tracks are REALLY rough demos and not necessarily the finished product by any means.

    I am really happy that I received a great review from Derek however,

    but I would like to clarify once again that these tracks are not the finished product, but it sure is alot of fun messing around around at home and making demos!!!

    If anyone knows of a good bass player and drummer in the Detroit area that would like to help me with my original songs email me at:

    [email protected]

    P.S.

    I did not play drums on any of these tracks!!

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