Written by John from Altjiranga Mitjina
This week’s voice to hear is a departure from what we’ve done so far. Instead of a single voice, we’re going to talk about a group. The group is called Marah and they hail from Philadelphia. Basically the group is two brothers, Dave and Serge Bielanko and whoever else they let in. Over the years they have had quite a few players come and go in the band, while they remained the constant. They’ve recorded six albums and one of them was a Christmas album.
On their MySpace page they call their music “technicolor folk-punk-rock” and I think that’s about a good definition of it as I could come up. How many rock bands use a banjo?
Besides making great music the band also comes up some of the best song and album titles ever. Their first album was called Let’s Cut the Crap and Hook Up Later On Tonight. Their most recent album is called If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry. One of their early songs was titled “The History of Where Someone Was Killed.”
Early in their career Marah was labeled in with the alt-country crowd and it wasn’t exactly a place they wanted to find themselves in. The presences of the banjo made people think they had to be alt-country. Which they weren’t. What they are is rock n roll, or as they put it “Technicolor folk-punk-rock.”
Marah has self produced five of their six releases. They’ve worked with artists like Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen. Stephen King called If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry the best album of the year upon its release.
Marah has also given me one of the most fun concerts I have ever been to. Last year they performed at the Parish Room at the House of Blues. This is the upstairs smaller room, for artists that can’t open in the main room of the HOB. I don’t think there were more than 100 people, and if there were that many I’m being generous, there that night. But it didn’t stop the group from putting on a great show.
Towards the end of the show Dave jumped down from the stage onto the floor. He called all the people in the audience to him and had us all sit on the floor around him as he talked and sang. It was one of the most unique concert experiences I have ever had.
I’ve always read about groups like R.E.M. and the Police that started out playing clubs they said with fifty people in the audience. I always thought that would be really cool to see a concert like that, for someone that later became big and you can say I saw them when. I really feel like I had that experience with Marah.
Marah is a band filled with excitement and that excitement translates onto the album and in concert. They sing about people trying to live their lives with all the problems that come with that; money and faith and love and the occasional beer and party in there. This is a band to watch out for.
If you're reading this it can only mean one thing, that John from altjiranga mitjina has once again forgotten to provide a blurb after whatever it is he wrote for this issue. All he can say is that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. He'd write more but he'd just forget whatever it was he wrote.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Featured Post and Blog of the Week
You Are Here
by Amie from MammaLoves...
You did well in school to get into college. You tried to get by well enough in college to be attractive to an employer or graduate program, and along the way you may have opened your heart a time or two. Maybe you even found true love.
With a foot in the door, the first years of work were the time to
prove your mettle once again. Promotions, raises all with the goal to secure your future will allow you to settle down, buy a house, travel, commit to a relationship, have kids or not. In what feels like a blink of an eye, your future is here.
And now what?
Chance Favors Only Those Who Court Her
After a less-than-friendly divorce, I was on the market again. Seizing the opportunity, my friends scoured their address books and Palm Pilots for single men and set me up on blind date after blind date. My reaction to most of those dates was, "I call these people my FRIENDS?" One of my real friends suggested Match.com, and given how much I love the Internet, I gave it a go.
A couple months of e-dating passed by in a blink. It was fun, but so far nothing meaningful had hit my radar, and my match inventory was starting to run low. You see, Match.com "matches" you to people based on a list of your requirements, and I'd pretty much run through all my existing matches who didn't seem psycho or stoned, based on their profiles.
Then, one day, I got an email from a guy who was not a match by my standards...
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A Lost Opportunity
by John from Altjiranga Mitjina
Trying to break in as a writer in the comic book industry can be a bit like the one legged man in a butt kicking contest. Every step forward you make means you land on your butt after your kick forward. Comic books are a visual medium. An artist can bring a portfolio to an editor at a convention and said editor can sit there and look at it within minutes and decide if this artist is worthy of working on the newest issue of Stupendous Man or not. Trying being a hopeful writer handing over a script to this same editor at a busy comic convention. You’ll be lucky if the editor agrees to take the script and promise that they’ll look at it later. Most times the hopeful writer is told to send for their submission guidelines and mail in their proposal.
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by Karen Rayne from Adolescent Sexuality Today with Karen Rayne, Ph.D.
This weekend I went out of town, leaving my family to fend for themselves. On Saturday, my darling husband took my two darling daughters – 6 and 3 years old – to what he heard was a fun new toy store in town. Great, right?
They walk in the door, and the 6-year-old pipes up with “Look, Daddy! Jesus toothpaste!” He takes one look, puts one hand on each girl’s shoulder, and does a 180 out of the store. It may be a fun new toy store, but it’s intended clientele does not include the under-13 set.
When I got home on Sunday, the first thing the 6-year-old says to me was, “Guess what! We saw Jesus toothpaste!” I blinked, figuring I hadn’t heard her correctly. Regrettably, I had...
A biker, a green thumb, a cracked hand, and a Queen.
A random biker on a Harley-Davidson took my picture last week. What I wanted to do was take his picture, but I hesitated. Now, instead of a photo of some random biker holding an i am bossy.com bumper sticker, all I have is a lame photo of me holding the bumper sticker and the mental picture of him riding off into the sunset, never to be seen again.
Okay, it wasn’t as romantic or dramatic as that. It was nine in the morning and there was no sunset.
This is not the first time that I have hesitated to seize an opportunity. I don’t expect it will be the last. However, I hope with each lost chance for something intriguing, I will lose a shade of that hesitation for next time...
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