Songs for Citizens

Songs recorded in New York City in 1982 All songs © Mick Milk



Colophon: Korg MS-20; Korg MS-10; Boss DR-55; Roland CR-78; Tascam 244; Teac 124; Pioneer RT-707; Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man, Lab Series L5; Fender Lead II; Shure SM58

Half Lives, a deluxe LP containing some of the songs from Songs for Citizens, was released by Anna Logue Records on March 1, 2012. More info.

21 Responses to Songs for Citizens

  1. Eddie O'Hare says:

    Mick!

    Vibes from Portland clicked me in, and I’m in love all over again. Never any lactose-intolerance here…..

    These remasters sound terrific— much better than the distortions from the share sites somewhere in NetherEurope. Having much better equipment for playback than we did 25+ years ago probably helps, too.

    Hope this finds you and yours in terrific health and spirit. Thanks again for the reconnection to a fun time, and some really great work that has held up over lo, these many years…..

    • milk says:

      Eddie!

      I’m delighted the music has lured you to the surface. Yes, we’ve got better gear today but let’s also give a nod to the rugged, handsome magnetic tape cassette. I can report that my tapes have held up pretty well after decades of hibernation. Solid shell, high retentivity tape– they could last another twenty years, but for the coming EMPs…

      These tracks are posted because I want to share them directly with world citizens in this century. And you know cyber villains are everywhere, especially in Anytown USA. We’ve got to do our part to ensure that it’s only our government dropping backdoors on nice people’s computers, not some other rogue/sovereign power ;) And that’s just one more reason why music lovers should turn to the source when opening this time capsule.

  2. Carrie says:

    So very, very cool and it was like a flashback to my favorite era in music while simultaneously discovering something so new and refreshing!

    Maybe its time to get back into the studio and create some new tunes!

    Cheers;
    Carrie

  3. Neil says:

    Mick,
    I like the cyclops version of Half Life a bit better than the remaster you present here but its great song,
    Glad to see you are revisiting “Mick Milk” Any plans to bring back BRO??

    • milk says:

      Hi Neil– this version of Half Life is the original demo and as such, is much nearer & dearer to me. I’m glad you like the song, though. Who knows? Maybe there could be a reissue. But Cyclops perished long ago. Ah, the record biz…

  4. Kristallo says:

    Can i have this tracks on vinyl please ?

  5. John Sinisi says:

    it’s an electro-glam rennaissance!!!!

    you KNOW i’ve always been a milk man!

    how neat that I can hear these again!!!! let’s recon! email me if you please!!

    jnsn (now a country squire at the jersey shaw)

  6. Aunti LLo says:

    OMG….. so I’m not the only one who saved cassettes,
    and thank our lucky stars they have a half life! This is such a blast from our past, such good memories. Hey remember Suburban Ritual Music?

  7. Jay-ster C. says:

    I remember these songs well my friend. Listened to them many times on the ol car stereo back when they had cassette decks. I also remember Suburban Ritual Music quite well Aunti LLo since I was there at the time of it’s conception. Cassettes rule!!!!! Jayster ;)

  8. sleeves says:

    I’ve just learned about you Mick. It’s a trip into the past, but the music doesn’t feel dated to me. Really enjoying it!!

    • milk says:

      Thank you, Mr. Sleeves! Much appreciated… Some of these themes do seem perennial to me… and pop music doesn’t always age gracefully…

  9. Liam says:

    My God, I’m glad I found this site!

    I was in the process of recommending this fantastic and forgotten (ie. unreleased) tape to a friend, and I stumbled upon this site. I absolutely adore your work, sir. This little tape has become an album that I can place in a top five list without shirking.

    This tape was such a hit with me that I tried to contact Man Parrish to see if he could remember any details about you.

    Much love to you sir, keep doing what you are doing. I would adore owning this wonder in a physical medium.

    • milk says:

      Liam, thank you for the kind word and for listening over time. You’re a tapeholder? Perhaps one of the first generations spread by the Disseminator, Listener Zero. That’s what people did back in those days.

  10. Ulf J. says:

    Hello Mick,

    It’s really really nice to find this website, and to know that you are still alive and kicking!

    So many great songs that I never heard before!

    I found the Cyclops release of ‘Half Life’ many many years ago, and I have loved and treasured it ever since. However, the ‘Songs for citizens’ cassette has never been possible for me to locate (even though I’ve tried very hard…. believe me).

    Do you perhaps still have a spare copy of that old cassette? I would really love to find it. I love the cassette format too. If you do (and I would be grateful to you forever), please email me.

    From what I can tell from previous postings, you are about to re-release some of your old material, right. But you have not yet decided which label will have the honor. May I suggest Anna Logue Records (Zemnitz, Germany), Vinyl on Demand (Germany) or Minimal Wave (New York). All these ‘new’ labels are reliable and specialises in releasing previously unreleased material.

    By the way, ‘Point of purchase’ still remain my favourite Mick Milk song.

    • milk says:

      Hello Ulf J, –thanks for your kind post and good recommendations. I am indeed still half alive and kicking and I celebrate you as one of the few, the proud owners of that 12″… Regrettably, the cassette stock of “Songs for Citizens” was depleted long ago. However, the masters were recorded on high-bias cassette at 3 3/4 ips and they’ve held up very well, just this summer revealing their secrets after years of dormancy. I, too loved the cassette when I was young– why, just listen as Dr. Ruth in “Sexual Life” asks “do you have a tape recorder?” BTW, thanks for pointing out “Point of Purchase”– for me, it definitely resonates today, even louder…

  11. TymexPyres says:

    I remember the fist time I heard the song ‘cartoons’ a couple of years ago. I was thinking to myself, ‘ Why does that sound so familiar…’ It then occurred to me later that it was a synthetic peanuts re-amp. So, these were demos. There were different versions of these songs? Hmmmm. I know you said these are the dearest to you, but if you could at least give a sound sample of what the other one sounded like, I would definitely be interested in listening. Best of luck to you my friend, and thanks for all efforts on your part of re-surfacing these great tunes.

    • milk says:

      Thank you, TymexPyres. I wish there were more polished versions but this is just about all of the nano-legacy. Besides the 12″ ‘Half Life’, all that’s here has been either floating around cyberspace or until recently, had never seen the light of day.

  12. Good God! I have a treasured copy of the Half Life 12″! I never managed to track down a copy of the full album/cassette, so this is a real treat. I have a bunch of friends here in Minneapolis who are into old-school synth tunes, so they’ll be coming here to listen to your swell music. I look forward to any new releases!

    • milk says:

      Interesting… …what is another man’s treasure. I thank you, Cayenne Chris and all other relic bearers for helping to keep the old ways alive. We’ll spread the good word that there’s an enclave transmitting from Minneapolis!

  13. milk says:

    Thank you, M. Nebel for your persistent interest in this matter and while it’s true no one ever gets what they really want for Christmas, I’m happy to say that this year may actually be different. An LP and single on Anna Logue Records is in production and scheduled for December release. Fourteen sonically-improved remixed/remastered tracks on the 12″ & bonus 7″, all on gleaming white vinyl. I hope you enjoy it!