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Mike Skliar: Links

Songwriting and Performing

The Studio
A musicians' collective dedicated to enabling people with other jobs (in my 'other life' I'm an attorney) like myself to pursue music again, play in jam sessions and on stage, and connect with other musicians who were not playing music full-time. Thru this group I met several unique and talented musicians, including, most importantly, my chief collaborator in live and studio endeavors, harmonica/guitar player Ken Ficara.
Omega Institute
During their 'arts week' in July every year for the past 6 or 7 years, Jimmie Dale Gilmore runs a freewheelin week-long songwriting seminar. Jimmie is a Texas-based singer songwriter, member of the great band the Flatlanders, and an all around great 'zen cowboy' spirit. In the first year I attended his program at Omega, I met several incredible people including Claudia Marshall, who is now the morning DJ for WFUV and an Ohio bluegrass multi-instrumentalist and wild spirit (in the earthly form of a dentist, of all things!) named Paul Brown.
Summer Songs
Another songwriting seminar I attended, run a few times a year by Penny Nichols and a group of dedicated songwriters and teachers (including Sloan Wainwright, brother of Loudon and aunt of Rufus. I attended during a week in the hot pre-9/11 summer of 2001, and met more great people.

Music: (folks I like, but don't know personally)

Dylan Pool
A site devoted to Bob Dylan, and focusing on what he will play any given night in concert.. though the message board is a clearinghouse for all sorts of things both dylan and beyond.
Expecting Rain
Another Bob Dylan site, with links to articles both about dylan and a wide range of other music.
Richard Thompson For Completists
Richard Thompson is one of those musical artists who should be a lot more popular than he is. There's his official site, but this is an unofficial one which usually has some wonderful content, as well as links to his official site, etc.
The Grateful Dead
The official site for the Grateful Dead, who though not active as such after Garcia's death, still manage to release from the vault several tons of live material, some of it wonderful, year after year... also some of the members are still touring after all these years... long strange trip indeed.
Loudon Wainwright III
The official site of one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time, Loudon Wainwright III. He's been at it for 35 years, writing brave, funny, and sometimes dead serious (but usually funny as hell) songs taken from the private places in the human brain that few people admit to, much less spend time there. He's just getting better and better as a songwriter too, which you can't say for many people.
Rufus Wainwright
And here's the official website for his extremely talented son, Rufus Wainwright. Hs 2003 album "Want One" was one of the best of the year, I think... and his music blends influences from all over the map, yet is unique and vibrant.
Elvis Costello
Here's one of many Elvis Costello websites- this guy has like a billion albums out, and is still going strong. I think "North' which came out in 2003, is an undiscovered gem.
Dan Bern
There's no one quite like Dan Bern, unless you mix equal parts early Bob Dylan,and add buckets of emotions like angry, wacky,funny, off the wall, surreal and poignant, and mix with a dose of out there-Jewish spirituality. Check him out.
Robert Johnson Too Fast?
Someone has a theory that Robert Johnson's music was speeded up when it was released, and should be played way slower.. check it out.
Jorma Kauknonen
This is Jorma Kaukonen's guitar instruction camp. I've never been but I bet it is cooler then anything.
Miles Davis Sessions
A great resource for trtacking down that elusive Miles Davis session.. Miles was my introduction to jazz, and though one of many greats, always one of the most riveting.
Gillian Welch
The official home page of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, sublime country folk artists ... I'm guessing that most of you who are reading this page have heard them, but if not, run, don't walk...
The 'Unauthorized' Dave Van Ronk homepageA
Chronicling the music of the late legendary (and archtypical Greenwich Villege resident) singer and guitarist- a huge influence on Bob Dylan and many more.
WFUV
J.P. Beausoleil
Here's another site of an interesting roots musician, JP Beausoleil,╩╩described╩by the webmaster as "The Official Stompin' Ground of JP Beausoleil, the "Bohemian Songster", with music samples, bio, press kit and more!"

Music: (Folks I know, and like)

Ken Ficara
The great Ken Ficara, my partner in crime these days, musically speaking. He's a harmonica player, songwriter, and the developer of this web site. His site has downloads of his original songs, his writing, and The Quote Server.
Mike Ford
Mike Ford is one fourth of the great Canadian band Moxy Fruvous. While they are taking a long hiatus (which may unfortunately be permanent) here's his website with information about his latest Canadian project, a song cycle about that great city, Toronto.
Peter Stone Brown
Peter is a Philadelphia-based journalist, singer and songwriter with an intense and unique style. We have done a few gigs as a double bill here in New York City.
The Loungeoleers
These guys are a total trip!. So hip that they are square and then hip again.. you havent lived till you heard their lounge version medley of the Who's "Tommy" and Hava Nagila! They play sometimes here in NYC, and have plenty of product (from cds to keychains to whatever) available as well.
Seeds of Sun
Seeds of Sun are an Israeli jazz and world music band led by an incredible flute player, Mattan Klein. Based here in New York City, they play all over the world. Mattan also has his own site.
Death By Banjo
Death by Banjo is a new bluegrass band of Ohio bluegrass all-stars, including a good friend of mine, Dr. Paul Brown, who plays extrodinary banjo, fiddle, and dobro. He's played on a few of my recordings, and plays with his new band, primarily in Ohio and the Midwest USA. They have neat versions of such rock songs as the doors' "Roadhouse Blues" done bluegrass style, and more, some available at their site.

Political

Buzzflash
There are many good left wing political sites these days, but here's a good clearinghouse which is a nice antidote to the Bush and Fox news spin.
Talking Points Memo
Joshua Micah Marshall's political blog is one of the best out there.
Media Matters for America
Tracks inaccuracies and right-wing spin in excruciating detail.

Other sites worth visiting...

Cloud Travel
This is a site of a friend of mine who has developed quite an extensive travel site, with eclectic links to everything from New Orleans to Katmandu.
IMDB
The internet movie database. Great for settling those arguments about, say, who played the girl who seduced Groucho Marx in 'Love Happy.'
The Smoking Gun
A silly site about greed, and more deadly sins backstage all across the world.
Offbeat
An online magazine devoted to all the diverse music that comes from New Orleans, a place I've never been, but maybe one day will get there.