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@mikeskliar
Joined 10025 US

mike skliar

I've in New York City ,and have participated in FAWM every year since 2006. I play acoustic & electric guitar, mandolin, bass, harmonica, a bit of dobro and banjo, etc. I write a mix of the serious & comic, and sometimes (just sometimes) some topical/political songs.

I have two older cds from back in 2000-2008 on CD Baby (which is now defunct, there's other places to find them, contact me if you want)

More recent projects, since 2012, are on bandcamp (mostly all free or pay-what-you-want (and free is fine!)- https://mikeskliar.bandcamp.com/

The most recent one, released March 2022, (drawm mostly from 2022 FAWM) is "Interesting Times", I think it's one of my better ones, and is at:
https://mikeskliar.bandcamp.com/album/interesting-times

From the older ones, one very different project I should mention, "Chill on Chill" - an electronica-flavored virtual instrument album- a big departure for me- an all-instrumental groovefest, and hopefully alot of fun, especially as you don't have to hear me sing! I https://mikeskliar.bandcamp.com/album/chill-on-chill

Finally, the last few years I've been part of a collaborative musical project, "Seth & Skliar" with a good friend of mine who is a NYC Cabdriver- our debut album from 2016 is a combination of spoken word, songs, poems & stories about NYC, cab driving, etc.. it's called "The Bards of Gridlock" - its a real trip!
https://sethskliar.bandcamp.com/album/the-bards-of-gridlock

what else?... he/him pronouns, ..........happy fawming everyone!


Songs (52):

[avatar] placeholder (hangin in there) by @mikeskliar 1
[avatar] My grandmothers piano by @mikeskliar #piano #guitar #sad 6
[avatar] the things that we dont say by @mikeskliar #lifeadvice #philosophy 4
[avatar] Algorithm our new rhythm by @mikeskliar #dobro #resonator 6
[avatar] You can be happy by @mikeskliar #harmonica #dobro #resonator 5
[avatar] Middle of a mid life crisis in the middle ages by @mikeskliar #silly #bouzouki 6
[avatar] Echoes of the Nineteen Thirties (nsfw) by @mikeskliar #nsfw #political #topical #bouzouki 4
[avatar] If you're traveling, follow the river by @mikeskliar #skirmish #traveling #s091822 9
[avatar] sugar space slide (strange instrumental) by @mikeskliar 3
[avatar] Who am I listening to (and not listening to) talking blues by @mikeskliar #talkingblues #streamofconsciousness 5
[avatar] Embrace the middle by @mikeskliar #guitar #baritone 3
[avatar] Call me up if you feel down by @mikeskliar #vocalrange #vocals #tuesdaynight 12
[avatar] Blind (skirmish) by @mikeskliar #skirmish #meta #blind #s091122 11
[avatar] The early bird vs the later bird by @mikeskliar #song #kids 4
[avatar] Booster blues (get your shot) by @mikeskliar #blues #harmonica 3
[avatar] The Federalist Society Rag by @mikeskliar #jazzy #political #topical 4
[avatar] Queen for 70 years by @mikeskliar #royals #queen #elegy #news 7
[avatar] minor instrumental with clatter by @mikeskliar #instrumental #guitar #bluesy #resonator 8
[avatar] Almost Gone by @mikeskliar #skirmish #political #topical #almostgone 9
[avatar] A third of the country by @mikeskliar #political #topical 4
[avatar] I told you so by @mikeskliar #rock #folk_rock #political #topical 2
[avatar] In Memory of Fred H by @mikeskliar #memory #banjo #elegy 10
[avatar] Majored in philosophy by @mikeskliar #guitar #journey #life 9
[avatar] Travel song Number 4 by @mikeskliar #blues #harmonica #travel 3
[avatar] Summer sun of Stockholm shines over to the moons of Reykjavik by @mikeskliar #skirmish #s082122 #sunandmoon #sun 13
[avatar] Airplane thoughts (lyrics only) by @mikeskliar #lyrics_only #travel 3
[avatar] My bags are packed by @mikeskliar #folk #bluesy #travel #minor_key 7
[avatar] The perfect storm by @mikeskliar #ukulele #political #spoken #uke 5
[avatar] The Professor and Mary Ann by @mikeskliar #ukulele #nostalgia #silly #uke 12
[avatar] [avatar] My river goes with me (collab) by @mikeskliar + @stephenwordsmith #acapella #collab 13
[avatar] My heart has got its own orchestration by @mikeskliar #skirmish #blues #harmonica #heart 16
[avatar] Disaster whisperer by @mikeskliar #acoustic #jazzy 15
[avatar] Screws it up for you and me by @mikeskliar #blues #political #shakespeare #resonator 7
[avatar] Joni has returned by @mikeskliar #acoustic #happy #folk #joni 8
[avatar] Conspiracy by @mikeskliar #blues #political #topical #talkingblues 8
[avatar] If looks could kill by @mikeskliar #skirmish #harmonica #songskirmish #iflookscouldkill 16
[avatar] Sliding in the sugar (instrumental) by @mikeskliar #instrumental #resonator #slide 8
[avatar] Cryptic apocalyptic by @mikeskliar #climate #protest #political #topical 12
[avatar] Monday is mundane by @mikeskliar #blues #throwaway #spoken_word #mundane 10
[avatar] Trying to dodge the virus and not get sick (skirmish) by @mikeskliar #sick #s071722 #skirmish 16
[avatar] Hippie tribe by @mikeskliar #gratefuldead #hippie 14
[avatar] Aliens from space are coming by @mikeskliar #strange #aliens #philosophical #space 12
[avatar] What will it take to convince you (improv) by @mikeskliar #blues #improvisation #throwaway 6
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Cliche ( Same old love song) by @gm7 + 3 others 17
[avatar] No god but me and you by @mikeskliar #non-religious #singalong #acoustic #folk 11
[avatar] Turning the winter of discontent into the summer of love (skirmish) by @mikeskliar #skirmish #protest #political #mandolin 18
[avatar] Train to nowhere by @mikeskliar #train #challenge #trainchallenge 13
[avatar] Me I like you by @mikeskliar #resonator #short #love #silly 9
[avatar] Just a simple love song by @mikeskliar #acoustic #lovesong #love 14
[avatar] The riddles you neglected by @mikeskliar #baritone #philosophical 12
[avatar] Silence after Highland Park by @mikeskliar #bluesy #guncontrol #protest #political 13
[avatar] Unhappy July 4th by @mikeskliar #folk #protest #guitar 20

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@miga

Thanks for your kind comments on 'mouse!' That was one of the laziest recording jobs I've done for a while, so I agree 100% with your thoughts. I was using the mic on my earbuds to get both piano and vocals...and it didn't work very well 😂😜

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Lol, thanks for your comments on "Putin On His Shitz". I just had to go there. We need to find the humor where we can!

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Thank you, Mike!

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Mike the strange thing is most peoples work , its only yours and 1 others that doesn't even though the rest of us use the same in house tool

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Prawda is Polish for truth, apparently. I'd rather align with the Poles these days.

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Hi Mike,
Thanks for your comments on my Halloween song. Yes, would be really cool to see a US slant on the theme! Look forward to seeing what you come up with

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Hey, Mike. I'll have to make sure to include it. I've actually got enough material for another one (which is part of the reason why I haven't been falling over myself to write more songs this year - I keep falling behind myself) but there is definitely a place for river at the table.

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i understood the song, but i still dont know how the word algorithm fits into this marketing strategy.. because it is a step by step procedure? i really dont undertand the way so many words have morphed into new meanings . how did irony, which is defined as saying the opposite of what you mean, replace the word sardonic...or how did pop stars become icons, which is a term for some images in catholic art? the trouble with this is that eventually nobody will know what an algothythm is and if somebody uses the word in its trues sense, nobody will know what he is talking about. by the way, you got an impressive sound from the dobro in this song.

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Hi Mike, thanks for listening to my songs and relating your connection to Joey Ramone to me. Congrats on having such a prolific 50/90. Plenty of inspiration to be found in NYC!

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Thought you might like :)

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the opening line is such a cliche that it is embarrassing to say it. not so much on a recording, but to walk onto the stage face the audience, pause and then seriously deliver the line is imposible. it is also like reciting a chapter heading before reading the chapter. stating the theme rather than letting it unfold. my solution in staging it was to have hamlet prepare with his knife for suicide upon entering. then ophelia enters, interrupting the intended suicide and he says to her, rather embarassed..to be or not to be, that is the question. and proceeds to address the monologue to her, as an explanation for his planning to suicide.
nadia gave me three pieces to choose from, and i went through a number of monologues for all three.and this was the best fit. the delivery itself was like impov jazz. wherein i would listen to what she was doing and then lay in my parts where there was space for them. this accounts for the shift in phrasing when she switches from melofious phrasing to long notes held at similar pitches. thanks for all your comments and for listening.

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thanks for your comments on goodbye jean luc... the still living directors i can think of arent doing much of interest these days..herzog, wenders, scorsese, coppola, ferrara, .....there are plenty of new faces but what they make is not cinema. it is closer to television. a new language will emerge, but it will probably be a primitive one, as they have little idea of 20th century cinema grammar. the movies i have enjoyed in this century are due more to their content than their style. there will always be good storytellers.

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@brisk

Thanks for the effusive comment on Stay Humble - to be honest I think that's one of my better ones this 50/90 - I actually tried to do a performance rather than just mumbling out the vocal when my family were asleep in bed...

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@jeff9

Thanks, Mike, for the nice words about Working Man's Freud. Cool lyric idea from @nancycunning.

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@brisk

I have a bit of a bad habit of mentioning the associations my mind comes up with when I'm listening - I think it can often sound like I'm saying something sounds like it has been copied or whatever, but not here certainly. I think they are a marvelous band though I haven't listened to anything from them for years. The Soft Bulletin made a real impression on me when it came out... checks notes... 23 years ago. Gulp...

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@janeg

Now I am starting to wonder if you knew that colleague, because he was pretty well known in that Jewish community. David Nitkin? Was president for a time at a conservative synagogue.

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@lhcisco

Thanks for swinging by Mike!! Good to hear from you man. Thanks for the comment.

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Howdy Mike & thanks for reviewing "Full Moon Dreaming".

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@janeg

United Bakers Dairy Restaurant is still at Bathurst and Lawrence. The kind of place where they won’t bring you a dessert if you haven’t finished your soup. Pre-covid, always packed at breakfast and lunch. One of my closest colleagues liked to meet there. Now I have a cousin who wants me to have breakfast with him at Kiva’s,

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@atitlan

Thanks for commenting on 'Unite' - second half has layered vocal compared to single in the first half and some extra instrumentation, but I do need to figure out something different to emphasise the switch of perspective. It's not clear enough at the moment - but, hey, 50/90 constraints (that and fighting the 5/4 time signature) :)

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Thanks so much, Mike! I didn't realize that about Jazz Clubs in NYC, so it was cool to read! @gm7 created such a cool jazzy production, I just imagined and wished I were in a Manhattan Jazz Club.

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@atitlan

Thanks for the comment on 'Every End is a Beginning' - you are right to surmise that part of the inspiration was events around the death of QE2

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thanks for your comments on one bad turn, the protagonist isnt starstruck. he is celebrity chauffeur. his girlfriend is always hitting on his famous passengers, he decides to get back at her by putting the make on gina gershon.. the impetus for the story was a day when my landlord, a character actor who did a lot of work with clint eastwood and jack nicholson, came by while i was cooking dinner with a girl i had recently met. he whisked her away with an invitation to accompany him to nicholsons party (and nicholson was notorious for being un unrepentant sex addict). it really pissed me off and i never saw the girl again..

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i didnt splice in the finger break. i just added an effect to the solo.

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@mikeb

Thanks for the comment on 'Paper Man'!

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@mikehex

Welcome back from Iceland! It's a strange and wonderful place for sure. I'm not sure it will last as a tourism magnet, and I kind of hope it doesn't (is that selfish? well, okay, so I'm selfish)

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Hey Mike, thanks for the kind comments on "Muses' Waltz." I'm glad you liked it. The "organ sounding thing" is supposed to be a string section. I either need to get a whole lot better at making these synth sounds sound like the real deal, or else just relax and learn to embrace the artificiality. 😆

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i was riding with him one day in the back seat of his lincoln and was rummaging through the junk on the seat and floor. i found a snicker bar and asked if i could have it, although he was drivng , he whiipped around in his seat and yelled, "dont touch that, i might get hungry in the middle of the night and i have to know that it is there.|

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Thanks for the listen and feedback 👍

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thanks for taking the time on your vacation to listen to and comment on my song. i have really been enjoying your pictures from iceland and sweden. looks like you are having a remarkably good time.

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You might agree with my new lyric Then it's a Cult

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@jtsteam

Thanks for the feedback on "Six Feet Of Printouts" - I think most people would think of the more famous Margaret Hamilton but I want the software engineer to be better known :). I'm now leaning towards leaving the two moons alone, as it were.

Also, enjoy your trip! I look forward to hearing about it in song :).

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@mikehex

Iceland is great, it's a pretty unique place. Everything there is more expensive, so double check your packing (I had to buy an electrical adapter and it was stupid expensive). I have a friend there who showed us around to some of the hot springs, swimming and hiking spots that are local favorites. Reykjavik is fun, in a low key kind of way. Hope you have a great time!

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@mikeb

Thanks for the comment on 'Lonely City'!

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@sammiall

Thank you so much for your commentary on Song From Off That Shelf - This is a whole new world for me, & I am not well-versed in the recording/tech end...my experience has always been about live performance, so dipping my toes into the water of functional file-making & sharing is the challenging part. I am loving the challenge options to be found here - this is one of those songs I never would have written without that kind of impetus, so I can't wait to see there all that takes me!

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Thanks for your feedback on "Seven of Swords". This might give you a chuckle - the "war" rhyme actually came from rhyme zone! 🤣 Anyway, the interesting result of this was that commenters focused on the lines I liked, but were fine with the ones I was unhappy with. Weird! I think I'll let this one sit a week or so and come back with fresh eyes and maybe fresh rhymes. 😊

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@jeff9

Hi, Mike. I’m flattered and grateful for your kind comments about Not To Live a Lie. I can see how the tempo and style might work better if it was a bit less jaunty. I’ll experiment with slowing it down.

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All good :) You're not the first to point out that I sometimes make people navigate a minefield of phonemes - comes from operating from the context of silence, I guess. Consonants are easier to type than sing...

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most of the music footage from sky river is out of sync. my idea was to use the grateful dead set from start to finish as the basic soundtrack with narration and some interviews mixed in with the footage, and add a prelude made of the pre-festival coverage from the local news and end it with a montage of band from whom we had synced footage. i was a volunteer during the pre-festival set up, building the stage, digging the light show pit, placing the sanikans, etc......there is a lot of footage of several festivals i knew nothing about floating around on youtube. . i did finish a short film with paul on a womad festival in washington and a concert tribute to phil ochs. sky river rock air was not to be. nadias music was so inspiring. i put some water on the stove to boil for coffee and before it had boiled, i had a first draft lyric. then i recorded it quickly, improvising the melody, in 2 takes. thank you for the comments.

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@mikeskliar so, re: my song Heartstopper, I used the Skirmish prompt, but did NOT finish that within the hour (though I DID do it pretty quickly). But the skirmish prompt was inspiring so I ran with it.

:)

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Thanks for your comments!

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@jeustan

Thanks! RE: beef heart sauce—it's called Detroit style chili nowadays and may or may not be made with beef heart but that was the main ingredient early on. It's a beefy tomato based brown chili. Like the vienna sausage it tops, I try not to think about the ingredients but it's delicious with onions and mustard.

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@candle

Thank you so much for the great comment on Heartfelt Misconceptions, Mike. I know that Jeskola Buzz is a bit of an enigma to those not familiar with it, but yeah - I love pushing its creative limits to see what sounds & moods I can create with it. And yes, I do have a love for echoey delay+reverb that some might call an unhealthy obsession 😆 Again, thank you for the great comment.

See You In The Shadows…

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Hey Mike! You are correct that I use '2' and '4' chord notation on my lead sheets as shorthand for sus2 and sus4 chords. Thanks for the Lou Reed and Mister Rogers comment and listen!

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Hi, Mike. Cheers for the update. No rush at all - happy to be pleasantly surprised by the track when it arrives.

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@gm7

Thx Mike...same felling I had....and did mention that to Deyla

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i dont deny joni her talent. i discovered her through judy collins, who i adore..but joni's personal life revolts me and is all over her music. i really cant stand that entire laurel canyon crowd, they had a few hit records and think they are royalty. i went to joni mitchell concert in boston and she refused to come on stage because a budweiser mural was placed where her own painting was inteneded.to be. i cant stand brats. i confess i do have all her records and listen to them occasionally, but her work has never meant much to me. just some good songs now and then, now baez...there is a true heroine.

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@mikeb

Thanks for the comment on 'A Life of Unfulfilled Dreams'!

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Nothing more intriguing than a mystery threesome. Thank you, and please keep me posted!

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You have my blessing to play away! Thank you for stopping by and reading/listening with your mind's ear :)

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@nadine

Thank you! I was just ranting and wrote every thought down 😆

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Thanks for the comments on "Rescue" Mike, sometimes words and music just click and they did in this case.

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Thank you for the kind comment.

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@jtsteam

Thanks for your comment on "Land of the Free" - I'm delighted that you liked it since I've always admired your political songs!

Last time I was in Portland (just passing through for an afternoon and evening) I mentioned it on Facebook and it turned out an old colleague was in town, and he said he'd meet me and show me around. I said that was great, because I'd just been planning to spend the time in Powell's. He said, "Great! That's exactly where I was planning to take you anyway!"

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Thanks and I did mean bizarre :). I just tried to right appeal and my phone changed it to Appleseed! It helps me to write about all of this.

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Mike! Thank you for the awesome comment - that album has a special place in my heart too ❤️ . More importantly though, thank you for buying the Bandcamp album, that's really above and beyond - I'm ridiculously grateful! What a hero you are :)

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@nateger

I appreciate you putting my tune in the recommended songs thread. That means a lot to me 😄

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All good. It's much easier to write amazing comments than amazing songs, I'll tell you that.

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Thanks for your comments on "Them's the Breaks" and "Present and Near". From you lips to the DOJ's ears!

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thanks for your comments on mr 1%, i added the profanity warning for wordophobes. i admit the lyric is thin. i was interested more in the voice and argot of the character than in making a case against a particular group of people. the things he says may or may not be true. but this is how he wants people to see him.

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@miga

thanks for your kind comment! I enjoyed (if I can say that) your Unhappy 4th song.

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@mikeb

Thanks for the comment on my first 50/90 song!

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Regular guitar, no special tuning. :)

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Crap. You used the filibuster/muster rhyme, too. Well... gotta rewrite that, lol!

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I think many terms are interchangeable these days, when i was doing history it was Tsars and Czars !

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woo hoo! he finally made it! good to see you mate.

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@beacon

I've got my righteous indignation on high so we can collab!
Looking forward to it!

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Hey, hope you have a nice 50/90!

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Hope you can find something to write about this summer! ;)

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Happy 50/90, Mike :)

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@gm7

You found the secret key! welcome

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Hey there! Have a terrific 50/90; world events are certainly (and sadly) giving you plenty to work with, if you're inclined to do more political songs. But whatever you choose to do, I look forward to it!

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Hey glad you found the secret passageway!

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And with rock hands too - woohoo!