The Universal Co-op
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The Universal Co-op

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Jam




"University Chronicle/St Cloud State"

The classifications that The Universal Co-op carry are unlike other bands.The musicians used unimaginable techniques with their instruments. They are not out there to just play music, they want to affect people with it. Seeing them live feels like everybody has a sense of purpose behind their instrument and the end product is really for the people.
UNIVERSITY CHRONICLE/ST. CLOUD STATE - University Chronicle/St Cloud State

"Cincinnati City Beat"

Mike coaxes sounds from the instrument that are completely foreign to the ears of most listeners. And while his arsenal of axes and foot pedals are focused on inventing otherworldly noise, its always in the context of great Pop songs. Along with bassist Chris Morrissey and drummer Steve Goold, the trio merges technical proficiency and experimentation with clever, literate songwriting. In other words, unlike so many restless prodigies, TBMB achieves Fusion without confusion. Even the vocals (a common Achilles heel for those overly-endowed instrumentally) are catchy and powerful.
CINCINNATI CITY BEAT - Cincinnati City Beat

"City Pages"

Michels broader lyrical themes "Spread out and make some room/Wide open space to talk with you/And figure out what we can do" He sings on closing track "Better News " are given a tighter focus with layers of intricate guitar parts and seamless contributions by bassist Chris Morrissey and drummer Steve Goold. The three work together to create an airtight, forward-moving style of experimental rock that combines jazz riffs and feedback with more traditional styles like punk and pop. Michel says working with Morrissey and Goold came naturally, as the trio clicked the very first time they rehearsed together.
CITY PAGES - City Pages

"Saint Paul Pioneer Press"

Mike leads a band that takes his name, but he's no sensitive singer/songwriter. On the contrary, Mike fronts a good old-fashioned power trio that's not afraid to rock out. He debuts his terrific sophomore album,"Truce"-- named in the spirit of finding common ground in an election year.
SAINT PAUL PIONEER PRESS - Saint Paul Pioneer Press

"Minneapolis Star Tribune"

Titled “Truce,” the disc is a post-election collection of songs that preach for cooler heads to prevail in these divided political times. Songs like the jittery, frantic opener “Make Peace” and the futuristic-funk romp “Start Thinking” nonetheless hit the mark musically, fueled by Mike’s frazzled, Radiohead-ian guitar playing and his bandmates Chris Morrissey’s and Steve Goold’s innovative rhythms.
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"University of Minnesota's Wake Magazine"

The energy with which Mike (guitar, gizmos), Chris (bass), and Steve (drums) played their unusual musical creations, clearly improvising some of the individual particulars according to each musician’s spontaneous emotional whim, forced hapless listeners into a prison of musical engagement.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA - University of Minnesota's Wake Magazine

"University of Minnesota's Wake Magazine"

The energy with which Mike (guitar, gizmos), Chris (bass), and Steve (drums) played their unusual musical creations, clearly improvising some of the individual particulars according to each musician’s spontaneous emotional whim, forced hapless listeners into a prison of musical engagement.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA - University of Minnesota's Wake Magazine

"Around The Dial"

A howling, spitting beast of a power trio, this outfit successfully walks a fine line between protest and a plea for universal understanding on Truce. Led by stand-out axeman Mike Michel and ably supported by bassist Chris Morrissey and drummer Steve Goold, this group establishes their rage for order right from the get-go. Opener "Make Peace" is a jumpy, urgent anthem for positivity with furious guitars and an absolutely gut-wrenching rhythm section that immediately captures the bands' musical and political message. - Around The Dial /Tom Hallett

"Rift Magazine/ Kaleb Bronson"

An influential Minneapolis-based trio of provisional art and epic sounds has wrapped together a long-awaited second release, resourcefully titled “Truce,” put together like a title wave of Earth’s brightest colors exploring the universe through sound. The Bill Mike Band, comprised of the guitar necromancer and spellbinding vocalist Bill Mike, heart-pounding warlock bassist Chris Morrissey and dominating slam-master/witch doctor Steve Goold on drums. This team of mystical musicians have comprised an album of magical rock power to entice the likes of the late Harry Houdini or the mysterious stranger David Blaine. - Rift Magazine

"The Onion"

The Bill Mike Band's sophomore effort, " Truce " received an honorable mention by The Onion for " Best Recording"!,1317/ - The Onion

"How Was The Show"

Bill Mike (nee William Michel), resplendent in polyester double-knit track suit, wasted no time ensnaring the audience’s attention with his incredibly masterful guitar wailing with their opening song. Initially the cynic in me was prone to writing them off as another Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sound-alike, but I was quickly won over by Mike’s technical prowess, vocal ingenuity, and just plain “realness.”

The visual juxtaposition created by Bill’s just-left-the-gym apparel against bassist Chris Morrisey’s dapper, gentry suitings serve as a decent metaphor for the band’s symbiosis of glam and proletariat; fantasy and reality; and perhaps most strikingly, the perfect balance of restraint and showmanship exemplified by Bill Mike as a performer.

Enhancing the solid musicianship, a complete multisensory experience was created via liberal use of fog machines and a respectable light show (both of which were brought in by the band for this Cedar show), which somehow did not come off as at all trite or kitschy

At times the pervasive volume of fog seemingly spouting from the tips of drummer Steve Goold's sticks seemed to suggest that the drum kit was dangerously close to spontaneously combusting from the sheer energy being generated onstage. - How Was The Show/Live Review


2012 Saltee "Crosspolynation"
2012 Dave Birk " Speed Queen Mystery Date"
2011 Carnage "Respect The Name" Hecatomb Records
2010 Mike Michel “ International Workout Song” Itunes single
2010 Mike Michel “NYC vs. JC “ Itunes single
2009 Carnage " Worth The Wait" Hecatomb Records
2009 Bill Mike Band “ Truce” Draw Fire Records
2008 Aviete " The Way We Met " Draw Fire Records
2008 Courtney Yasmineh " Beautiful Lonely" SB Recordings
2008 Alecia Wiley " Halfway Home"
2008 Haley Bonar “ Big Star “ Afternoon Records
2008 Few Nice Words ep ( Matt Foust, Bill Shaw, George Marich,Brett Bullion, Mike Michel, Ev Olcott)
2007 Bill Mike Band “Better News “ Uncatagorizable Records (nominated best rock recording by the MMA)
2007 Robert Skoro " These Things Could Be Ours" Yep Rock Records
2003 Eyedea (unreleased tracks/Rhymesayers)
2002 Mike Michel “ Letter To Yourself” ep Uncatagorizable Records
2001 Iffy “Boiota Bondo “ Foodchain Records
1999 Chan Poling “ Calling All Stars” Manifesto Records
1998 Blood Magnet ( Mike Michel, Anthony Cox, Mike Lewis, Dave King) Limited Release
1998 Love Cars "Chump Lessons" No Alternative Records
1997-01- Staff composer for Trail Mix Studios
1998 Tugboat “ 1981 Décor ” (Mike’s First Solo Release) Uncatagorizable Records
1997 Mary Nail “ Mary Nail” ( Mike Michel,Wendy Lewis, Greg Lewis, David King, Cully Swanson) Limited Release
1997 Gosh “ Gosh 2 ” ( Mike Michel, David King, Pete Lynman Doug Hougie) MPLS version
1994 Gosh “ Gosh 1 ” ( Mike Michel , David King, Angelo Barbera, Mike Murphy) LA version
1988-90 Staff session guitarist for Ligosa Records, Cincinnati, OH
1987 True Azure “ Gypsy Girl” ( Full length High School LP)



THE QUICK RUN DOWN (full bio below)

Facetime with the Universal Co-op click....

The Universal Co-op is lead by Minnesota Music Academy award winning modern guitarist, songwriter, guitar pedal guru, and community arts organizer, Mike Michel who was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, refined his craft in Los Angeles, California and now creates out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mike has lent his unique brand of "outside the box" guitar playing and organic sounds to many diverse national artists (discography below), but is most known in the Northland for fronting his new guitar groove group, The Universal CO-OP. Other members & special guests of the Co-op include drummer Steve Goold (Sara Bareilles,Owl City), bassist Ian Allison (Soul Asylum), drummer Greg Schutte (Mickey Hart Band), Beatboxer "Carnage," & Madson (Unknown Prophets) and many other special music friends. The Universal Co-op have performed at many rock festivals, jam band festivals, experimental art houses and hip hop festivals throughout the United States, and are proud of there "genre-less" approach to gigging. The Universal Co-op is always committed to empowering the listener and helping the planet one gig at a time. Welcome to the family and thanks for reading....The Universal Co-op.

Particle, Cloud Cult, P.O.S., Blue King Brown,Boombox, The Big Wu, Golden Smog, Dosh, Oh My God, Gutbucket, Iswhat, The Crest,Greg Ginn & The Texas Corrugators, Grieves, Gang Font (Greg from Huskur Du),Vieux Farka Toure'

University of Illinois, University of Minnesota,
University of MN/ Duluth, University of Wisconsin,
Augsburg College, Saint Cloud State,
Washington University, Macalester College.

Modern Guitar Festival(MN)
CMJ Festival (New York)
NXNE (Toronto)
Midpoint Music Festival 2x (Cincinnati)
Effit Festival (Madison)
Around The Coyote/invitees (Chicago)
10,000 Lakes Festival/Cosmic Break Finalists (MN)
Minnesota State Fair
SXSW (Mike performed with The Robert Skoro Band)

DJ ESP (Communique Records)
Haley Bonar (Afternoon Records)
MC CARNAGE (Hecatomb Records)
Eyedea (Rhymesayers)
Robert Skoro (Yep Roc)
Anthony Cox (Sketch Records)
Iffy (Food Chain Records)
Chan Poling/The Suburbs (Manifesto Records)
David King/ The Bad Plus(Do The Math Records)
The Unknown Prophets ( UP Records)
Desdamona(Zlink Records)

CIUT/Toronto,WUIC/Chicago, KSUB/Seattle,RadioXYZ/NewYork, WTBU/Boston, WLHS/Cincinnati and many others.


Mike credits his older sisters and cousins for introducing him to native Cincinnati, Ohio music. Whether it was the funk and groove of Bootsy Collins, or the experimental guitar oriented rock of Adrian Belew, Mike absorbed this native Ohio music like a sponge. Straight out of high school Mike became a session player for a famous dance music label (without scruples) called Ligosa Records. He also toured the Midwest in a Motown Band, and became friends with busy tour manager named Ben Marts (The Pixies) who got mike roadie gigs as an under age aspiring rocker. Mike also played in a very popular art rock band in Cincy called True Azure, which helped him cultivate his unique guitar voice early on. Merging the world of global grooves, memorable melody, and organic guitar sounds were his objective as a youth and still are today.

Acting on his impulse to experience the big metropolis, Mike had a four-year stint out west in Los Angeles and became a profession roadie by accident. Mike worked for many high brow pampered commercial artists and learned what not to do with his own bands and music career. However, he did end up working for some amazing inspirational and integral artists like Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Page, and Los Lobos. Outside of his roadie gigs, Mike was always active in his guitar session work and original music creation. Mike credits his music collaborators at the time Angelo Barbera (Doors of the 21st Century) & David King (The Bad Plus) as the musicians who pushed Mike to a new level of creative and technical musicianship.

After enduring earthquakes, fires, and mudslides (true) in California, Mike packed his VW and headed back to the Midwest again with a crew of Minnesota natives he met out west. Mike felt the need to ground himself again and rededicate his life to his songwriting and guitar craft. The Minnesota move proved to be the right decision. Mike has become a much in demand guitar slinger for over a decade in Minnesota, and he started an award winning rock power trio called the Bill Mike Band. Currently, Mike Michel is nurturing his new guitar groove instrumental trio, THE UNIVERSAL CO-OP. Outside of touring and recording Mike believes in being a