Slim

Slim

BandPopRock

Sounds like Elvis Costello and Tom Petty on a road trip to Vegas -- American pop/rock with bite and soul.

Biography

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).

Lyrics

Picture of You

Written By: Michael Baker

black Chrysler '71/slides by on the freeway
suicide doors and a hole in the floor
so you can see if you're enjoying the ride
new twist-off, hand on the wheel
get a jump on the weekend
40 riding shotgun 3-day beard dog tags and a picture of you

picture of you
smiling like you knew what this was what it was coming to
i tried to get through
but you're never home and you're never alone
what can i do

start talking after the tone/no name just a number
television turned up counterfeit C-cups
screenplay work on the side
she's playing for the long goodnight
i'm keeping the engine running
missionary drive-by no alibi
trying to picture anybody but you

picturing you
smiling like you knew what this was what it was coming to
i tried to get through
but you're never home and you're never alone
what can i do

breakdown on the 405/drivetime dj weekend
living in first gear nothing left to see
here nobody's leaving alive
one station spinning the dial
wall street's running the countdown
couple quarts low got nowhere to go with a
bullet and a picture of you

picture of you
smiling like you knew what this was what it was coming to
i tried to get through
but you're never home and you're never alone
what can i do

Cortez & Pizarro

Written By: Michael Baker

well a long long long long time ago
before i was born that's all i know
there were two young cruel brave young men

their king said hit the road and come back again
they got the gig 'cause the king thought they had what it took
and the aztecs shivered and incas shook
they saw the white sails and muskets long
thought these are gods/but they were wrong

to the native people's sorrow
here come Cortez and Pizarro
Hernando and Francisco
hacked their way to heaven blow by blow
men of god in Spain they worked for someone else
in Mexico

they burned their ships upon the shore
said we ain't goin' back to Spain no more
in the smoking embers on the sand lay the future of the land

to the native people's sorrow
here come Cortez and Pizarro
Hernando and Francisco
hacked their way to heaven blow by blow
men of god in Spain they worked for someone else
in Mexico

now gifts were gave/hands were shook
but men are men/and man they took

now the thing that brought this on for me
was my cool earring and my new goatee
the mirror shows a 16th century caballero
so i thought i'd get some armor and grab my steed
ride down across the border and over the seas and
apologize from atop my palomino

for the native people's sorrow
for Cortez and Pizarro
Hernando and Francisco
hacked their way to heaven blow by blow
men of god in Spain they worked for someone else
in Mexico

Sister Rosa

Written By: Michael Baker

well her name was Rosa/she sang Moon River
she sang it like nobody else
she stood by the microphone/but not too close
and she filled up that stage/all by herself

well outside they were towing cars/inside they were drinking
and they had all brought their scars/gonna bleed their way to fame
well she wore a cheap dress but she was/no damsel in distress
she opened her mouth and i lost track of my name

Sister Rosa/sing so sweet and high
pull me into your Moon River/as you go sailing by

well the devil sat next to me, he had a martini in each hand
and he was buying but i just don't drink gin
and he poured his words out like water in the desert
said it's been way too long since i had a swim, and he said
son i don't see no ring/let go of your good thing
settle the bill with your wages of sin
don't know whether to run or hide or take this ride
i don't see no one by her side
and when that Moon River came rollin' i
jumped my body in

Sister Rosa/sing so sweet and high
pull me into your Moon River/as you go sailing by

and she said/i don't know the words
well that's alright/and she said
i can't carry a tune/well don't get uptight
and then she closed her eyes and we were all out of sight
and she sang like a whole choir of angels all through the night
whoa Rosa keep on singin'

ooh yeah

well it was last call for alcohol and all the model citizens had gone home
i was left with the devil and man he was sauced
so we took a walk around the block and i
got my soul back outta hock and he
left in a cloud of brimstone and exhaust and i
don't know if i won or if i lost

Sister Rosa/sing so sweet and high
pull me into your Moon River/as you go sailing by

Discography

Interstate Medicine - LP - 2003

Radio Airplay:
Cortez&Pizarro
Heathrow
Sister Rosa
Picture of You

Set List

Slim plays as a rowdy electric 4-piece band, a slightly lower-wattage solo acoustic act, and everything in between. A typical show includes scalding rockers, moody songs for head nodding, and original interpretations of cover songs. Slim currently performs one 45-60 minute set, indoors or outdoors, at festivals, colleges, clubs, listening rooms, coffeehouses, house concerts, private parties, benefits, and other events. Slim's rates are negotiable according to venue, occasion and budget.

Originals include:
Cortez & Pizarro
Heathrow
Slide
Curandera
Sister Rosa
Electric
Deathwish Debbie
Starfish/Sunflower
Alabama
Halfway Home
Caroline
Shoes
Beautiful Stranger
Picture of You
Radio
Fool Enough
...and many more

Covers include:
Cinnamon Girl - Neil Young
Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran
Feels Like Rain - John Hiatt
Fall At Your Feet - Crowded House
Baby One More Time - Britney Spears
...and the occasional crowd request