Jesse Michaels, Renaissance Punk

Here’s a new site about Jesse Michaels, featuring his music, art, and writing.

Michaels is most well known for his songs and life-altering lyrics, first introduced by Operation Ivy, and later by Common Rider and several other bands he has fronted. Op Ivy’s short but blazing run in the late 80’s was quite a thing to witness, and I am glad to have been at a few of their early shows. Heh.. People often talk about liking a band’s “early stuff” best, often for good reason. In the case of Op Ivy, ALL of their songs are their “early stuff!” If there was ever a band that finished their work and got the fk out, it was them. Jesse’s bandmates Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman later formed Rancid and became one of the top acts in punk, while Operation Ivy’s only records – the “Hectic” EP and “Energy” LP – spread by word of mouth, to eventually reach millions of fans all over the world. It’s an unusual story, driven by the power of the message in the music and the songs.

Whispering-Bodies-FrontWhat has been a bit more of a secret until recently, is that Jesse Michaels’ unique voice is as strong and clear in his fine art, and hilarious fiction, as it is in his songs. Check out the site, and put Whispering Bodies – A Roy Belkin Disaster (Michaels’ first published novel) on your reading list. You might die laughing, but it’ll be a happy death. The book is really damn funny, and as original as you would expect. Hopefully it’s the first of many Roy Belkin disasters.

As a final note, if you are among the many who have burning questions about the true essence of punk rock, the real meaning of life, and proper mosh pit etiquette, you will find answers to all of that and more in this short, informative video, by Mr. Michaels himself.

Jesse Michaels’ Punk Blog Settles Everything

There is a lot of bad information out there about punk rock. What is punk rock? Who started it? Is it dead, when did it die, is this band or that person truly punk, or a sellout, etc. Important stuff, and here to clear it all up once and for all, is renowned punk expert Jesse Michaels. Impressively, he covers it all in less than two minutes.

Buster the Ska Doggie, Immortalized In Pumpkin

A few years ago I asked Jesse Michaels to draw an interpretation of The Uptones’ hat-and-shades logo for our album, “Skankin’ Foolz Unite!” and Jesse sent us this wonderful ska doggie.buster the ska doggie We had a contest to name the pup, and numerous fans sent in the name of “Buster.” Buster also happens to be my cat’s name so it seemed natural that I’d have a Buster Doggie as well. Now Buster is all grow’d up and he turns up in the strangest places. A ska fan in Oregon had a skalloween jack-o-lantern contest, and one of the winners was this brilliant likeness of Buster. So naturally we’re inviting our fans to draw, carve or photoshop their own Buster interpretations, and send them in for a photo album. Deets in my post at
The Many Faces Of Buster the Ska Doggie.