Today would have been Micheal Larsen's 29th birthday. Appropriately, his fans and friends will converge in the Mainroom of First Avenue tonight for a celebration of his life and his overwhelmingly positive contributions to the music community.
[jump] Tonight's show is billed only as "special guests," and it's really anyone's guess who might show up and play. Regardless, the night is sure to be intense.
The occasion has me thinking about the first time I met Mikey, who I only knew then as Eyedea. It was early 2007, and I was working on a freelance piece about Kristoff Krane's live hip-hop group Abzorbr. I sent Larsen a note to ask if he'd like to contribute some thoughts about his friend and collaborator, as I knew the two had been working together. Rather than email me over a quote, Mike asked if I'd like to grab a beer, and we ended up hanging out and chatting for over an hour and a half about Kristoff's new album and their budding friendship.
Later, I'd realize that his gesture was true to form -- Mikey loved to talk, especially about things that inspired him -- but at the time I was really struck by the sweetness of the moment, and how selfless it was for him to offer up so much of his time to shine a light on someone he felt was incredibly talented.
I interviewed him a few more times over the years, but that first meeting will always stick out to me. He was an incredibly genuine person, and he will be missed by so, so many people.
Atmosphere just dropped a new music video dedicated to Mikey, which compiles snapshots from their tour. It's a simple, nostalgic video for what will surely be a pensive and nostalgic day.