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The best kept secret in music


"John Lennon Songwriting Contest"

Slim songwriter Michael Baker was recently named a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. His song, "Sister Rosa", was selected by a panel of judges (including Elton John, Cake, Ben Harper and others) from over 25,000 submissions from around the world.

"Music Connection Top 25"

Top 25 Demos!
"Slim has a commanding voice that's for real...Not unlike John Hiatt, Slim takes a wry, interesting looks at history and the world around him...a polished project that's worth a look and a listen...Slim's chances are good."
- Music Connection Magazine

"Slim Makes World's 30 Best Emerging Artists"

CORNERBAND.COM has selected Slim as one of the 30 Best Emerging Artists in the world. Through Cornerband's association with the Kazaa P2P Network, Slim's music is being actively promoted to over 200 million people worldwide.

"The Best Music You've Never Heard"

Slim was recently singled out as "The Best Music You've Never Heard" on KGO's Pete Wilson show (the #1-rated radio show in Northern California). Slim beat out a host of unsigned musicians from all over California for the honor.

"Artist of the Week"

Slim was recently named "Artist of the Week" on music portal, and was featured prominently on the site's front page. - Sonic

"Four Stars"

"There's real musicianship and songwriting here;
Baker's vocals are rich and distinctive [and] his command of the songs he wades through is absolute-"Sister Rosa" sounds like a lost Randy Newman classic in the making. Slim are up there with the best of them-Four Stars."

"A Marvelous Debut"

"From Arizona to Mexico to London, Interstate Medicine examines the healing powers of geography and the mysterious lure of travel. Baker is an intelligent and insightful writer, and an affecting singer whose smooth and deep delivery makes numbers like the introspective 'Heathrow' or the blissfully smooth pop of 'Caroline' really shine. A marvelous debut."
- Comfusion Review


Interstate Medicine - LP - 2003

Radio Airplay:
Sister Rosa
Picture of You


Feeling a bit camera shy


What do you want to know about Slim?

Well, probably the first thing to mention is that Slim is always a little different. I play solo acoustic shows as Slim, and when the full band comes together, we call it the same thing. Confusing but efficient.

I write all the songs and do the singing and guitar playing. My name's Mike. I put the band together and recorded our debut album after five or six years of playing strange house parties and stupid coffeehouses, but there are a few other things that probably have more to do with Slim than the late-90s open mic scene in san francisco.

1) When I was growing up, my family would drive from the Bay Area to Idaho every summer. Back in the day, when you crossed the Nevada and Utah deserts, the only radio you could get was this classical AM station out of Salt Lake. In order to keep the kids from beating each other to death, my mom would make up stories to go along with the sonatas and fugues we were hearing. There was one I especially liked about the bloodthirsty Mouse King and his sworn enemy, the Baron d-Con. So I got imprinted with the whole combination of music, empty roads and stories early on.

2) I played saxophone in my high school jazz band. One class, after the bell rang but before the teacher showed up, our guitar player stopped running dom13b9 arpeggios, whipped out a Boss Metal Zone pedal and started playing Back in Black so loud that one of the clarinet players vomited. Before that, it had never occurred to me that you could actually learn songs that the radio played, and play them yourself (I hear that people who are actually cool had this same epiphany with the Sex Pistols--close enough).

3) When I was six, my dad borrowed my record player to listen to one of the 78s (!) that his band had cut back when he was in high school (The Vagabond Five, rockin' the Montpelier, ID metro area from '52 to '55, yo). When he was done, I trawled through his record collection looking for the shiniest, most colorful album cover and played the lp inside, which turned out to be Sgt. Pepper's. Psychedelicized at six--it's hard to recover.

So that's really the most important stuff. I should probably say some more pertinent things about the band (former members of Primus, Counting Crows, 3rd Eye Blind, Mazzy Star, Van Morrison's band), the record (it's called "Interstate Medicine", you can get it at record stores across the U.S. [thanks, Burnside Distribution!], it's on the radio everywhere too), and the live show (real good, sold out San Francisco clubs [Slim's, Cafe du Nord, Hotel Utah, Red Devil Lounge], opened for Colin Hay, Luce, the Rising, and, um, that Night Ranger dude's son], but I'm soooo bored of that shit.

So I'll just say some more about me.

I play a black strat that some previous owner apparently took a belt sander to in a vain attempt to give it some Stevie Ray mojo, and I often run it through one of those PB&J-sized Marshall amps--perfect for clipping to your belt and chasing the cat through your house with the riff to Crazy Train.

I crank my amps louder than Tom Petty, but not as loud as Cannibal Corpse.

I'm wordier than Jane's Addiction, but not as yappy as e.e. cummings.

I'm taller than Prince, but not as tall as Krist Novoselic.

I write most of my songs while I'm driving, on an ancient Casio keyboard bungee-corded to the passenger seat. This is not safe. Last summer, I got pulled over doing 80 in a 45 because I was so cranked about this chorus I was writing (Casio rock rhythm no.6 is very inspiring!). Then I almost drove off a mountain.

I can drink more than any of my friends, but not as much as my sister.

I have rocked crowds of several hundred people with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a well-timed Britney Spears cover (were they sober? No).