Influences: bob dylan, loudon wainwright, lennon & mccartney, george harrison, richard thompson, grateful dead/jerry garcia, frank sinatra (& all the jazz standards he sang by gershwin, cole porter, rogers & hart, harold arlen, etc etc), john prine, dan bern, hank williams, tom lehrer, allen sherman, various classical composers, today's headlines, yesterday's obituaries, & lots more I guess..
I've in New York City , been doing FAWM since 2006, so this'll be my 12th year. I play acoustic & electric guitar, mandolin, bass, harmonica,and a bit of banjo and dobro. I tend to write a mix of the serious and comic, and sometimes with topical or political songs.
I have two older cds on CD Baby -"mike skliar" released about 12 years ago, at cd baby here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/skliar
and "Ship of State" from 2009 (featuring many other fawmers singing on the title track and contributing to other tracks too) http://cdbaby.com/cd/skliar2
More recent projects are on bandcamp (mostly all free or pay-what-you-want (and free is fine!)-
2012- "February Singing"
2013 "My Kingdom for a song"
2014 "Singing the obvious to the oblivious"
2014 'Summer of Ice"
2015 "You're fine, how am i"
2016- "How low do we have to go"
2016- "Need you in November"
2016- "Love trumps hate"
2016- "Chill on Chill"
These albums are sometimes drawn from the various FAWM and 50/90 (50 songs in 90 days) songs I wrote and recorded, with a little bit of polishing and re-recording added. Link to the whole bandcamp collection (click on the right side links for the older ones) is at : http://mikeskliar.bandcamp.com/
And yes, last year (2016) was a busy musical year! Between all the politics , etc, there was alot to write about, both pre-and post-election. My last two projects, both done post-election in November, were 'love trumps hate' (mini-album acoustic EP of political songs) and an electronica-flavored virtual instrument album called 'chill on chill' which was a huge departure for me- an all-instrumental groovefest, and alot of fun. (check it out if you're curious, it sounds nothing like the rest of my material).
Finally, the last year or two I've been part of a collaborative musical project, "Seth & Skliar" with a good friend of mine who is a NYC Cabdriver- the album is a combination of spoken word, songs, poems & stories about NYC, cab driving, etc.. it's called "The Bards of Gridlock" - its great fun and a real trip!
the 'seth and skliar' project will hopefully also be active this FAWM and posting brand new songs here at http://fawm.org/fawmers/sethandskliar/
END of FAWM 2017 edit- and-- the new album is done! https://mikeskliar.bandcamp.com/album...
|#1||Fake news is the opiate of the asses||
|#2||Long Four Years||
|#3||User's guide to reach the unreachable||
|#4||57 years (pretty lucky guy)||
|#5||The Little Misunderstanding Waltz||
|#6||Eccentric (skirmish) (now with music by sapient) @sapient||
|#7||To dance with you (skirmish)||
|#8||Vegetable Domination (skirmish)||
|#9||This is what democracy sounds like (live video)||
|#11||Goodbye Hoops @hoopshank||
|#12||Nineteen Eighty Four||
|#14||The Man @wille||
|#15||Truly Odd Time (6th extinction in 5/4)||
|#16||Living with Keith in the jungle room (also with Nancy Rost) @hoopshank||
|#17||The smell since January||
|#18||Strawberry jam on Mars||
|#19||One day you'll understand (skirmish)||
|#20||Insects (for dinner)||
|#21||The Warning Signs of Fascism||
|#22||We are talking @sethandskliar||
|#23||Sitting in the dark @hoopshank||
|#25||thoughts on that damn speech (NSFW)||
|#26||End of the journey||
|#27||We are talking (tiny minds) (Seth version) @sethandskliar||
hey, thanks for your comment , i hope i stick with fawm so long, impressive and inspiring
😀 on Starbird. I'm not big on fantasy writing, so it was fun to give it a shot.
Thanks for the feedback on We Are All People. It wasn't my intention to head into the anthemic, political, etc. arena but it has been pretty unavoidable. I don't do as good a job as you and some of the others, but I'm getting some experience lately for sure. You did well with 27 songs. Talk about a fertile fawmer!
thanks for the welcome - didn't have a chance to do anything this year but i'm glad you're staying as prolific as you usually are! 😀
Thanks for your comments on "Trucker" - I *want* to speak up next time! I think writing the song prepared me better for doing so.
Thanks for the kind comment on my "Caterpillar" song.
thanks Michael, I had a boss in 1987 who used that constellation of compromises phrase, and I've held it since then. Finally used it. I appreciate your comment.
Thanks, Michael, for the support on the skirmish. I hoped to take the title in a direction of love and life rather than love and loss.
Thank you very much for your generous words on my "Strawberry Jam"! I was really surprised when the skirmish prompt took me there, but no time to argue with myself, so....
Yeah, no matter how I try, it's coming up political at least 75% of the time this year. Which is weird, I don't think of myself as that kind of songwriter, really, but I think it's felt good to refine my reactions down into the tight confines of a lyric. On the flip side, I've had a little too much time between writing and recording my songs this year, so creeping perfectionism has reared its ugly head. I'm trying to get back to just flinging them into the DAW as soon as they're done, but once you stop to "produce" one or two, that gets harder and harder...
Dang, you've been busy!! I can't believe I'm just making it over here. Lots to catch up on. Congrats on the early win!
Guitar tone: I can finally record live guitars instead of the usual amp simulation plugins. So (nerd alert!) it's a small-body semi-hollow Gibson (390, I think it's called?) into a blackface Deluxe by way of an AC Boost pedal, then doctored with a couple Valhalla reverb plugins and the tape delay plugin from Native Instruments' Guitar Rig.
WOW back! Thanks so much for your feedback on "Let Him Live!" I'm actually surprised to hear you like it so much, I was thinking as I wrote the melody that it was rather dull. . . which is why I added all the harmonies, haha. Maybe this is a good lesson about keeping things simple. Thanks again!
Thanks for your comments. 😁
Thanks for listening to my jazz songs, and for all your flattering comments. They are my favorite, and I am glad you liked them. Means a lot.
Wow...thanks Mike for your comments on Rag and Bone. You're a tough act to follow so I'm very flattered that you enjoyed it!
Thank you muchly for your encouragement.
Thanks for the comments on Alternate Facts. I swore I was going to avoid the political stuff but my sadness and frustration have been so profound that there is no getting around it, even for fawm, so may as well plow through it. I've been working a lot of extra hours and had extra time with my granddaughter, so I've been so tired at the end of the day with little energy left.
Wow!!! You're past the finish line and beyond! I've got some serious catching up to do.
Wow, congrats on the win +!! I was just congratulating myself on being roughly on schedule. Thanks for visiting Lie Down. When I write things like that I am petrified of being preachy or self important, so your comments were reassuring.
Congrats on the win! Amazing how you do it (I'm still contemplating how to start). Good to see you're not imprisoned yet by the T-man 😀.
Thanks for the nice comment on my "Reflections" skirmish song. I felt like the talking verse felt right in that type of hurtin' song; like "He Stopped Lovin' Her Today" or some of "Whispering" Bill Anderson's old songs.
Keep up the good work. Maybe this will be another golden age of protest songs? We need 'em these days.
Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment on Try Alternative Facts. Appreciate the kind words.
Even more so... My stupid phone. Lol
I did! How exciting and even more sincere you really didn't know what would happen. Definitely a high point, eh? I'm feeling especially behind on listening and comments but it is because the ideas are flying out which is good. I'll catch up and look forward to digging into your music this year.
I was reading your comments on my bro's page and came over to comment (and saw he already did)... In my case, as someone who has done a ton of collaborations, as well as a pretty good number of songs my first year where I sang and made up the melody... my preference is definitely in the "I'll write the music and let you do whatever comes to mind for the vocals" method. My favorite part of collaborating is seeing how differently the other person saw the music. Their melodies are almost never what I would have come up with and are ALWAYS better than what I would have been capable of imagining. My forte is music and I am happy that way, but obviously everyone has different ways in which they compose, and that is awesome.
(I just read his response - can you tell we are brothers? LOL)
That completely makes sense. The only thing is that I don't want to be controlling with the vocal part, as I don't do that. I am good with melody and harmony, but I am just too obvious to be a lyricist. Those who do vocals well are so coy and cunning. I appreciate that and want to give them all of the control in that realm. I get that it is hard to write lyrics to songs that are complete, but I am always willing to edit and morph into what the singer needs. I just love how transformative an effective vocal can be. It can completely negate the details that I thought were so important and change the vibe of a song completely. Great skill. I really am happy being a songwriter in the musical sense. I don't pine for doing that, too.
Hey, thanks for your comment! I just don't do lyrics. I also try to roll out the red carpet for singers, which is why I don't impose my ideas of melody or rhythm of vocals. I LOVE what singers do, so I try to let them have space to do it....although I tend to fill space more than I probably should. Thank you!
Thank you for the comment and the heads up to sing. So yes, i have added the vocals now.
Mike! OMG you've made it to TEN! Wait, how can I be surprised by this, haha? Slow start to FAWM for me 😞 But thanks for feedback on both of my songs, always means so much, and thanks also for EQ suggestions on "Embarrassing Thing." Mark recorded with real bass and electric guitar, but knows even less than I do about Garageband, so neither of us did anything with EQ. Ha, just seeing the title of your Song #10. . . can't wait to hear it! xo,a
Your comment was just fine 😀 Sometimes I like to share how the music made me feel if I am unsure speaking about technical details. I think you're rocking FAWM dude, and I don't know anyone who can top your 500 collab video! Keep it goin, man!
Congratulations on hitting Century Club! 😀
Thanks for your feedback on "Perfect" 😀
Thanks for the warm welcome! I am indeed in NYC- upper east side, to be precise!
thanks for commenting on "hits and missus." it seems clever is a thing for me, whether i wish it to be there or not. not that i'm complaining-- i just love direct and heartfelt, and covet those for my lyrics. hope you are enjoying yourself this year.
Happy birthday, Mike!! Hope it's been wonderful!
Thank you for the kind comment, and happy birthday! 😀
Thanks for the comment, Mike. To be honest, making that song was pretty exhausting and I struggled getting the lyrics just right. I'm glad it paid off!
Thanks Mike! I took a picture of one that I'm trying to find, so I can put it in the liner notes!
Anyway - the echo chambers - commercial in origin, no viable ecology
Struggling wrecked remains of our public sphere replaced by that
Mike, thanks for the listen. Beneficial was a ton of fun to write and record.
Thanks for the thoughts, Mike! As for the lyrics, I thought about putting in a bridge. I had no shortage of possible lines to lead with, but I was in a rut as far as a possible chord progression. I didn't want to fully change keys, having already done that for the interlude, but it also felt like it was getting homogeneous, so I decided to lop it off and keep it simple.
Hi Mike! Thanks so much for your kind words on my first song 😀 Congrats to you as well on an already-prolific start!
Hey Mike, its that time again. Isn't it effing wonderful? w00t! 😁 good to see you man
Thanks for the comments on "The Great Divide"-- your feedback was spot on. That last line did feel a little week and naked. I'm now wondering if what was my tag should be included in the chorus to complete the thought there. Thanks! I always appreciate constructive critique.
Wish you a wonderful FAWM!
Judging by your song titles alone I think I'm reeeeally going to look forward to watching your page this year 😀
Thank you so much, Mike. Your comments mean a lot to me. 😊
Thanks for listening Mike and for your reassuring commets. Im trying to make my songs more visual, so your comment assures me that im going in the right direction.
Thanks for your comment on my Trump song. I think my song could possibly go on forever. He's nuts.
I wonder how many of us 12ers there are?
Here's my challenge, Mike: do something a capella this year. Your voice has grown so much since we started FAWMing, I'd love to hear you completely focus on it just once.
Thanks for the welcome mike! Your musical profile sounds exiting!
Hi Mike! Shit, man, not too much happening in the world...what will we write about? Oh well, we'll muddle through somehow.
Hey Mike, so appreciated your music in 5090 pre- election..... I wish more people would have listened! Looking forward to your work on FAWM!
Not sure I'm over this election yet though I'm going to try to abstain from writing about it (afraid there will be too much profanity in the lyrics) lol. But I trust I'll be able to do a little venting via your wonderful political songs 😀 Keep doing what you do so well.
Mike, Even when i don't agree with your politics, I love the way you express your views. Tuned in for 2017. Cheers.
Thanks for the comment on Time Turner!
A productive February on ya!
Thanks much! It'll feel good to dive back in. Looks like you've had a heckuva year!! Hope the momentum continues through February!
Welcome back! Happy FAWMing!
Nice one Mike, lovely to see you on board again..
way to go bro
Good luck Mike, have a good FAWM 😀
Happy to be here, and likewise 😀 Still want to do a day-in-a-life-style middle section to one of my songs?
Good to see you back! ++++!#%^&& !
Have a good FAWM Mike. Best wishes.
Hi Mike and good to see you again.
Heya, Mike. Good to see you around.
Here we go, FAWM number twelve!!!!