Austin MN 1985
First band Vile Standards recorded 6-song demo in choir room of local community college on borrowed 4-track reel-to-reel.
Minneapolis MN 1986-1994
21-song cassette "Mel is A Deadbeat" 1987
7" vinyl "Utopia Man Blues / Never Live Without" 1988 (Dunderpate)
Longed for new and better personality, changed last name to Fuller.
Double 12" vinyl "Angel Boots" 1990 (Crackpot)
Changed last name back to Nicolai.
CD "Last Stop 'til 9th Street" 1992 (Crackpot)
Played new band night at 7th St. Entry and a few shows opening for Gear Daddies, began to play regularly at the Entry, the Uptown and the 400 Bar, played shows with Aztec Camera, Jonathan Richman, Uncle Tupelo, The Pixies, fIREHOSE, The Jayhawks, Jawbreaker, Scruffy the Cat,
Golden Smog and other notables of the late 80s-early 90s. Toured Midwest-South-East Coast in van. Played clean-up slot at SNL afterparty at Brownies in East Village NYC 1992. Woke up to police flashlights in face in Fort Wayne IN, watched as our host was cuffed and taken away. Our band left him T-shirt, CD, thank you note. Worked as line cook, dishwasher, convenience-store clerk, video-store clerk, janitor in movie theater. Moved to Austin TX 1994 with $200 and a crazy dream.
Austin TX 1994-1998
CD "Mike NIcolai" 1997 (Tramp Art Co.)
CD "Balloon Race EP" 1998 (Tramp Art Co.)
Toured Midwest in car. Played daytime festival in Souix City, IA in between juggling unicyclist and Babes in Toyland. Became a father. Did voice over for short film by Phillip Harder which appeared on 2000 box-set release A Lifetime of Temporary Relief by the Duluth band Low. Wrote many songs quickly. Learned how to harmonize. Experienced a permanent expansion of horizons by living somewhere other than Minnesota for the first time. Worked as door guy and bartender in rock club. Played daytime SXSW set at Austin Convention Center in between a Tuvan throat singer and Lisa Loeb. Wrote the song "Catch You Alive" for the Austin band The Damnations, who included their (far superior) version of it on Sire Records debut "Half Mad Moon" the following year.
Seattle WA, Portland OR, Austin, Minneapolis, Kansas City 1998-2010
CD "Woody Allen Stunt Footage" 2000 (Garage D'or)
CD "Rooster Nudes" 2003
CD "God Fatigue in the Post Atom Age" 2005
CD "Christmas is For Losers EP" 2006
Toured coast to coast as opening act for The Gourds. Joined Ramsay Midwood band first on rhythm guitar then on bass, toured Midwest on Hurricane Katrina Benefit Tour with Ramsay and Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson, Ramblin' Jack Elliot in December 2005. and the Southwest and Europe as a resident of "The Spooly Show" along with Ramsay, Kip Boardman and Tony Gilkyson. Toured solo and as a duo with various drummers, doing one-nighters on my own and as support for Vic Chesnutt, Spoon, Drive-by-Truckers, Jeff Tweedy, Neko Case and others. Sang backing vocals on two songs included on Gourds album "Blood of the Ram" 2003. Played bass in the Austin band Corrina Corrina. Released split 7" with Minneapolis folk performer Baby Grant Johnson 2001. Played a few shows in Austin backed by the Austin band Grand Champeen. Became married. Worked as door guy, bartender, line cook and in a coffee shop.
Ausitn, TX - St. Paul MN - Austin, TX 2011-2020
Formed the group The Bremen Riot with the members of Grand Champeen, played shows in Austin, TX.
12" Vinyl "PM Magazine" by The Bremen Riot 2013
CD "Excercises For the Wasted and Down" 2015
12" Vinyl reissue "Rooster Nudes" 2017 (Schematic)
12" Vinyl "A Line Cook's Guide to New Satanic Empires" 2018 (Rock Tumbler)
Played shows 2015-2018 in Austin TX with backing bands The Sensations and The Stares. Worked variously as apprentice house painter, construction lackey, line cook, but mostly as house sound engineer at Hole in the Wall. Relocated to old stomping grounds of St. Paul MN in 2018 for a bit, played shows some solo shows there and some backed by the Minneapolis band Rank Strangers, as well as frequent returns to Austin to play shows backed by The Stares.
In October 2019 returned once again to Austin, full-time. Resumed doing sound and making music in the clubs, until Covid-19 showed up and it all went dark. Currently working on new material and stepping with guarded merriment into whatever future may or may not exist for an animal such as myself.