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Mike Park’ Smile Album

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It would be a perfectly easy thing for you to assume that Michael Stipe was the singer/songwriter on this Smile CD: a compilation of up-tempo, happy-go-lucky, ska-influenced children’s songs from Asian Man Records. As it is aptly titled Mike Park’s Smile, you would be wrong; but boy are there similarities, and that’s a compliment to anyone.

For example, check out “Little Green Frog.” The track has hints of “It’s the End of the World As We Know it”, however, it’s about a cute, green frog jumping all over the place and not the demise of the world. That’s because the album hails from Mike Park, a native Californian who owns Asian Man Records and has been putting out solid music from his parents’ garage since 1991.

For over twenty years, Mike Park has been a practicing preacher of all things DIY in the record business, and focuses on music from bands that share his moral commitment to peace and unity. This roster includes a huge array of well-known punk and indie rock outfits such as Andrew Jackson Jihad, Toys That Kill, Alkaline Trio, Laura Stevenson and The Cans, The Queers, and The Teen Idols. Oh, and himself as well.

The Smile album, released in July of 2011, is available on mp3, CD and vinyl; it includes 12-tracks of fun, educational songs that will inspire kids to not only get up and dance, but to learn new things as well. If you get your hands on a copy, make sure to get it on vinyl because only 500 copies were exclusively made and come with a pack of four crayons with Mike’s face on the front and a coloring insert for babes to doodle on.

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