Jennifer Marks
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Jennifer Marks

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Boston Globe"

New York City native Jennifer Marks indulges herself fully on her second album. In her smooth, piano-jazz-pop title track, Marks takes a lyrical stand against the stereotypical slights she endured as a (gorgeously) freckled, natural redhead. The album's sultry opener "Window," finds Marks suffused in erotic, romantic fantasy. And opposing that song's sophisticated come-on is the quietly spitting "Thick," which finds a dignified Marks letting some lover/friend have it straight: "You're a brick wall/ You're so thick you don't feel at all," she sings with equal conviction. Marks won the 2000 USA Songwriting Competition and launched her own label for this release. With its smart arrangements and vocal delivery, it recalls the urban pop world of Suzanne Vega. She's also a veteran of NEMO as well as various Grrl-related events. Still, the hubbub hasn't gone to her head. The thumping "Halo" finds her happily listing her "faults" and individuality, rather than attempting perfection. On "My Name's Not Red," Marks indulges her talents, not her ego.


- Linda Laban


"Entertainment Today"

"Jennifer Marks knows all the nicknames: Red,Carrot Top, Freckle Face, you must be one of Bozo's relatives, all because she was born with flaming red hair and freckles. Don't let it define me, she says, and then defiantly celebrates life as a redhead. Marks is a talented singer-songwriter out of NYC who has recently released her second album, My Name's Not Red, to a lot of critical praise. She's an in-your-face alt-rock girl with the soul of a folkie, and as evidence by Red and her previous album, Pizza, she is one of the best in her class. With candor that's refreshingly honest - she's no poseur - Marks has already won a number of songwriting awards and competitions. She works in various frameworks, from alternative to dreamy folk, and even includes some doo wop touches (a fitting take on the everyman and woman purgatory that a "High School Reunion" becomes) and both albums bristle with little production and melodic nuances that make it a bit edgy and uncertain. Marks likes to have us listen at the edge of our seats, and she pulls it off quite nicely. By the time you wend through the album's 14 tracks, you'll find yourself hitting the repeat button, as it is all over too soon. And that, my friends, is a pretty good trick. Vocally, Marks stands apart from the Tori/Alanis crowd - there are no histrionics, just some good, unaffected singing. Do yourself a favor and check her out."


- Paul Anderson


"GoGirlsMusic.com"

"A whiff of haunting vocals, a drum machine riff, and a surprisingly acoustic guitar line open for Jennifer Marks's impressively effortless voice on her album My Name's Not Red. The singer is accompanied by a fascinating mix of the raw and the produced in synthesized and acoustic soundscapes, played by a group of strong collaborators who clearly share one musical vision and carry it out in full instrumental artwork. It becomes obvious within the first three tracks that Marks is not afraid to present lyrics of bold seduction, honest character portrayal, and direct matter-of-fact observation. The title track itself is a bold answer to the childhood bullies who ridiculed Marks's hair, and the early-60s flavored "High School Reunion" embodies the realization that everything that mattered so much so long ago seems petty and trite to a woman who has found an awesome talent in herself and has been empowered by music. In case you might be tempted to pigeonhole her songs as brutally unapologetic, tracks like "Fragile" and "I¹ll Try" come through the speakers with gorgeous vulnerability. The stage is set for diversity throughout the album, proving Marks as an agile and complex singer who embraces a wide variety of topics and moods from her life and captures them in her songwriting. As she posits in the liner notes, "thanks to the Universe for giving me this outlet. I express myself and people clap - what more could a human ask for?" Any musician would be lucky and thankful to obtain Marks's unique and broad power of expression."


- Megan McGehee


Discography

Pizza
My Name's Not Red
It Turned Me On

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Originally from Long Island, Jennifer Marks gave up her addiction to big hair and moved to New York City. She learned how to say coffee without the 'aw' and how to play guitar. Jennifer made her first CD Pizza in 1998, and successfully launched her career on the New York music front, becoming known for her smart on-stage humor, sexy lyrics and clever tunes. Time Out New York said, "Not only does Marks have great songs but she knows just how to throw Œem at you". Pizza brought Jennifer critical acclaim, and gave her the opportunity to create Red Kurl Records, which released her next album My Name's Not Red, in 2000.

My Name's Not Red showcased Jennifer's ability to be both strong and vulnerable and helped to catapult her to a wider audience. The albums engaging songs and lyrics firmly established her position as the new voice to hear on the pop music scene. In the vein of Aimee Mann and Fionna Apple, My Name's Not Red pop alternative flair (produced by Brad Albetta and John Campos) received tremendous response from radio, net radio, press and fans alike.

In its first week out My Name's Not Red was the second most added record on CMJ's AAA New Music Review Chart. Since then Jennifer is enjoying tremendous success, charting as high as #1, on college radio stations nation-wide. The CMJ New Music Journal said, "Her lyrics are always poignant and engaging, and her arrangements are equally gorgeous and entrancing".

In August 2002 Marks releases her highly anticipated follow-up CD It Turned Me On. With a remarkably honest take on life, love, and lust, It Turned Me On demonstrates Marks highly developed wit and originality. Produced by Brad Albetta (Pizza and My Name's Not Red) and Cameron Greider (Freedy Johnston), the duo gives Marks' new album texture and space while accenting the fun and edgy quality for which she is renowned.

Marks is the recipient of a number of distinguished songwriting awards, including the First Prize Winner and Second Overall Grand Prize Winner of the "USA Songwriting Contest", The Overall Grand Prize Winner of the "Great American Song Contest" and a semi-finalist in the "2000 Independent Music Awards". Recently, Marks was honored as a Top 5 Finalist in the Coca Cola New Music Awards sponsored by The American Music Awards, Coca Cola, CMJ and Dick Clark Communications. Jennifer competed against 1000 other bands as the only act performing solo.

Jennifer is a member of Indiegrrl, GoGirlsMusic.Com and GirlMusician.com. She has performed at IMF, ROCKGRL, NAMM, EAT'M, Atlantis Music Conference and NEMO, and was a selected artist for Fordham University's WFUV "Nightbirds Series", as well as WLIR's "Independent Artists of the Week." Her songs can be heard on the soundtracks of independent films such as Jane Doe (1999 Winner of the New York Film and Video Festival, starring Calista Flockhart) and Let it Snow (accepted to Sundance 2000, starring Bernadette Peters). Martha Byrne, who plays Lily on the soap opera As the World Turns, continues to feature Jennifer's songs on the program.

In the last two years, Jennifer has been featured in The National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Showcase, The National Academy of Songwriters Showcase in Los Angeles, the New York Songwriters Showcase, New York's Intelfest and BMI's Acoustic Round Up and Showcase Night.