Hunter Stephenson

Girls Not Making Sense

Mika Miko, “Business Cats” (2006)

The only problem with David Byrne of “The Talking Heads” is that he began making sense. That’s a side effect of becoming a de facto sage punk rock silver fox. But like the best comedy today, the most upperest-level music remains the stuff that doesn’t make sense as it bumps and whizzes by your brain like fractals of energy. Like nappy waves in a newly plowed field at 90 mph. Or drippy, cliché urban lights trailing late at night with the aid of Strattera and Stella. Sure, this may not be a profound observation for a Ryeberg curator, but such is the music employed as fluid dressing on an unpredictable 20something life of college loan fuckery.

To most of us, California’s Mika Miko is a band that is no longer a discovery, a Smell — endorsed youth outfit that perhaps shines to the point of interruption in an Internet hunt for the newest pick-me-up distributed from the tiniest mail-order bedroom. But I love them so. As leaked pics of Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart flood my email tin from the set of 2010’s The Runaways, I exhaust my WinAmp with a downloaded discography of the eager-beaver Miko. I want their music to leave the fabulous stain of permanency, but their jams empty at such a raucous clip so as to make this impossible. Instead, I am a Mika Miko addict.

As of today, the Catherine Hardwickes of Hollywood have not yet swept down upon Mika Miko to direct hit videos (if such a thing still exists, of course). What a feature film can do in two hours compared to what Mika Miko does in 30 secs in the scrappy vids here, and especially live, will make any fertile male and female jealous. Their “Business Cats” video from C.Y.S.L.A.B.F. calls collect on an Ocean Pacific partyline and shot-puts youth fury into a RED TELEPHONE, the band’s weapon of choice until recently. Dr. Strangelove is on the other end and he’s learning quickly that 20something girls in afterthought fedoras roam his distraught earth like feral cats choosing to jam econo over alley-breeding beside discarded 40 oz’s. His bomb is unsexy, obsolete, broke.

Mika Miko’s latest video, “I Got a Lot (New New New)” chews up emotions and highway demons faster than a candy string necklace during a saucy crush. It’s like, get off that tight dick and tight hole, and go outside and explore already. Create. Destroy. Create.

Mika Miko, “I Got A Lot (New New New)” (2009)

A few weeks ago, I went to a Mika Miko show and I was registered to interview them in a makeshift venue. During their performance I sweated out gray post-post-Wynwood District toxins alongside 70 or so others. Then I walked to a Deep South bodega, bought a sixer, and walked back past kung-fu DoJos with airbrushed signs, and past black guys loudly offering swag blunts from dilapidated porches. The show was so off the Google grid it didn’t make sense. Nobody knows what Mika Miko is saying. But you know what I’m saying, and clearly, like a long dead man-o-war on Key Biscayne, the effect is less than a quarter as thrilling. K.

– Hunter Stephenson

Ryeberg Curator Bio

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Hunter Stephenson is a freelance journalist, editor, and consultant. He's been a long time writer and associate editor at Slashfilm, where he conducts in-depth interviews with filmmakers (like Jody Hill and Rob Zombie) and with actors and performers (such as Martin Starr, Danny McBride, Paul Scheer, Neil Hamburger, and Andrew W.K.). He was co-writer of Hot Sugar's Cold World, a feature documentary about experimental musician, Hot Sugar. An alum of the School of Communication at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, he served as head editor of a “high-and-low” arts section at The Miami Hurricane for three years, noted by director Wim Wenders as being the “most important college newspaper section nationwide.” He went on to found Miami’s first youth-culture publication, Ignore Magazine. His work has been featured in New Times, SPIN, Street Carnage, and Wooooo. He resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, forever known for its Grunge-era reputation as "the next Seattle.”