DJ Mike 2600: I'm alternately really excited about music or art & design

Awesome. Speaking of graphic design, you are the man behind the classic Cryphy posters, Life Sucks Die Magazine and numerous limited edition prints and posters. How is Burlesque doing? Tell me about that a little bit, you guys are pretty major and influential. 

Photo by Clark Patrick
I was living in St. Louis, working as a freelance graphic designer. Around 1998, I became friends with the guys from Minneapolis who were working on Life Sucks Die, one of the greatest graffiti magazines of all time. I started helping out with some design for the magazine and by about 2002-2003, the magazine was slowing down and the crew was moving towards doing graphic design and screen-printing under the name Burlesque of North America. I liked the cut of their jib and moved up to these beautiful Twin Cities in the fall of 2003 to start working with them full time. 

We do a lot of music-based work like screen-printed concert posters as well as album covers, logos, illustrations, etc. We also screen-print and publish art prints by other visual artists like David Choe, Ron English, John Baizley, and 123 Klan. Our studio also houses CO Exhibitions, a large art gallery space that we use to showcase our work plus paintings, prints, and installations from a wide range of local and national artists. 

Any big projects you want to brag about? 

Sure! We're always excited to get to work on prints with John Baizley. He's the front man of the rock group Baroness and also does all of their artwork. We've done a number of fine art prints with him and it's always cool to keep pushing each one to be a bit more complicated than the last one. We also design and print all of Arcade Fire's concert posters. They're a great band to work with, as they're very invested in the visual component of their music. How things look for them seems to play almost an equally important role as how their music sounds and there's always an interesting challenge there. Another project we really enjoyed working on was a poster for a Vote No campaign fundraiser concert in late 2012. It's a message we strongly believed in and it was really rewarding to get to put our talents towards something so meaningful. 

Out of all the things you do; art, music, promotion, what is your favorite thing? 

I always alternate between being really excited about music or really excited about art and design. They change back and forth every couple of weeks. I hate promotion. If anyone reading this wants to do my promoting for me, please get in touch so I don't have to do it anymore! 

February 5: Triple Double 5th Anniversary - huge brigade of local DJs, free pizza, and of course the 2-for-1 drinks that the night is known for. Triple Rock Social Club.

February 18: 11th Annual Dre Day - featuring a live performance from Culture Cry Wolf's special one night only project called The Oh Geez, plus tons of guest Twin Cities rappers and Get Cryphy's very own Plain Ole Bill and Jimmy 2 Times. Triple Rock Social Club. Plus keep an eye out for more information on upcoming exhibits from CO Exhibitions. 

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You can follow Mike Davis on Twitter at @Mike2600

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