Monday, September 20, 2010

Marian Call - My New Favorite Singer

I don't really know, anymore, how I found out about her.

I could swear she began following me on the twitters. And then I began following her. It could have been the other way around, but it's hard to recall now.

Got to FlyShe is Marian Call, an Alaskan singer/songwriter/nerd. I got interested in her twitters because of the nerdliness factor. It was only incidental, to me, that she was an Alaskan folk musician. 

Over the past few months, however, I occasionally dropped by her website and listened to music samples and followed with interest her announcement of a self-funded, self-motivated, fan-driven 50 state tour. I figured she'd have to get to South Carolina at some point and I should do my best to make sure she showed up at a venue near me. I mean, how many times do you get to meet in person someone from Alaska that you only know via twitter?

I don't know how much I actually contributed to her choice of venue (although I was able to convince a local publication to run an interview with her), but last weekend she performed at Coffee Underground, a great space in our great downtown. And she was, well, great.

Marian Call's signature instrument is a typewriter. It serves as percussion during a couple of songs, including the delightful Nerd Anthem. It's a clever device and entirely fits in with the spirit of the song. And although she sings about spaceships and Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, you wouldn't necessarily know it by listening to the lyrics. Her songs are always smart, melodic and a delight to hear. She's also a performer who really shines on stage, bringing with her a lot of natural if unpolished style and wry charisma that make her a lot of fun to watch.

If she's coming to your area, she's absolutely worth checking out. Failing that, check out her debut CD, Vanilla, which contains the Volvo Song - a favorite of mine as it includes a reference to donuts.

But I don't want to leave you with the impression that she's some sort of geek novelty act. She's a smart songwriter and lovely performer and her songs are about much more than just geekery.  I can't wait for her to embark on another round-the-country tour and swing back through this area. She's just a delight. And so photogenic!
So one day, I'd like to write a song for her. Not that she needs my help, she's an excellent songwriter. But I'd love to write something in the vein of my two science-y songs (Love Theme from This Week in Science aka TWIS Theme and World Robot Domination, both of which can be heard here) and have her perform. Ah well. A boy can dream...

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