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The best kept secret in music



Review - Unlike many of her counterparts, Marcie isn’t compelled to put forth contrived rock songs that have an utter lack of substance. These five tracks are well-trained verses in what is an accomplishing feat in modern rock-n-roll. Oddly enough she’s performed at Super Bowl XXXVII and the Bellagio Casino Hotel in Las Vegas but perhaps it’s not much of a surprise as her talents extend from groovy sultry vocals to dancing. Good songwriting ability isn’t a dime a dozen but she’s got it.

" Bad Judgement Call "
Genre: rock
reviewed by Sonyia & Alise of GoGirls Music.

Marcie is a very well rounded professional musician! Marcie can do it all! Modern Rock “Maximus”!!

- J. Sin/Sonyia & Alise

"Profile: Insider Rochester Remixed"

Profile: The next one-name wonder?

Rochester performer Marcie grew up idolizing Cher and Madonna.
Pam Cowan
Marcie Swartz avoids using her last name.

One reason may be because the 24-year-old singer/songwriter/dancer grew up idolizing artists like Cher and Madonna and hopes to someday find the same type of success. Another may be because she doesn't think Swartz is a good stage name. Regardless, everyone knows her as Marcie.

Currently the performer instructs S.A.T. practice classes and works as a secretary at her parents' accounting business. While those jobs help pay the bills, Marcie hopes she doesn't have to rely on them for long.

The singer/songwriter/dancer known simply as Marcie describes her lyrics as being ‘a little bit off the beaten track.'

Currently she is working with Nik & the Nice Guys, her own pop/rock group and producing electronic music that has been released on European labels.

Between day jobs, practices and gigs, the Rochester performer sat down with insider to talk about how she plans to pursue this roller coaster of a career.

When did you know you wanted to be a performer?

I've always known. Seriously, it sounds cheesy, but I always have. I started dancing when I was 3, and I did other kinds of art stuff. … But I always knew that I wanted to perform, dance and sing, and so I got more and more focused and went on.

Who have been some of your biggest supporters along the way?

It would probably be my parents. They have been really supportive. They have always been like, 'Well, if that's what you want to do.' And they believe that I could do it.

Did you do musical theater in high school?

I only did one show at school. I went to a performing arts summer camp and a dance camp. I did a lot outside of school. … But I only did one production at school, I found it really political.

Growing up, who were some of your influences?

All the big female performers. Madonna, Cher and everybody that has a powerful stage presence. Bono, Elvis, just icons I guess. Once I got older I started exploring musical repertoires a little bit and finding, you know, the non-major commercial performers.

What was your first big gig?

I did a Halloween party at college with my first band. I put a ton of effort into the PR for it. I made all these wacky signs. We had like 1,000 people show up, and the line was eight people deep outside on the street. It was really cool.

Was that your first band?

Yeah. Marcie and the Gobots. It was an '80s band. … It was part of school so I was traveling around with different musicians that were students, and then they graduated and more people came in, and then I graduated.

What did you like about the '80s band?

I just love the music from the '80s. We didn't have a keyboard player, but everything that we did was kind of … a little bit more raw. It had a grittier edge to it. We took the happy '80s sound and made it more punk.

So, how do you classify yourself as a performer?

(Laughs). Singer, songwriter and dancer.

Which are you first?

Singer, I guess.

What makes you an interesting performer?

I have a captivating stage presence. … I love what I'm doing, and that's obvious. I draw the crowd in, and it's a fun experience for the audience, too. For the rock/pop music, it's like, it's guitar-driven and it's radio-friendly. I like to think the lyrics are thoughtful … a little bit off the beaten track. I have a song about phone sex. It's not really about phone sex but it's about … people just taking advantage of other people's dreams. A lot of the things I have run into in the industry.

… The electronic music is like dance music. … It's very hook-y, you can sing along with it. And it's kind of seductive. … There is something for every mood.

Can you compare your sound to someone who hasn't heard you?

I guess I sound like Gwen Stefani sometimes. But that's my pop stuff. My electronic stuff is more subtle.

Is Rochester really the kind of city you can live in and achieve your goals?

I was living in New York (City) last year. I really love it there, and I'd love to live there again but it's very expensive.

What were you doing while you were there?

Music. (Laughs). I was recording a lot and looking for more opportunities.

Can you survive on just your music alone right now?

No. Not the lifestyle that I'd need to live to do the music.

What has been your biggest break so far?

I feel like I have to dispel the notion that there are such things as breaks. I don't think there are 'cause I wasn't discovered in a pizza parlor. I didn't mail my demo in to someone and they picked it out of the pile and they were like, 'Let's make her a star.' It's been a steady progression of work.

But you are only 24. Have you been in the right place at the right time?

Definitely right place, right time. … You answer ads … and someone is actually doing something, and it's like, God, if I hadn't answered that ad today and I had gone out and done something different today I never would have found something because the 500 (auditions) before that and the 500 after that are nothing.

What do you need to do to get to that next level?

That's the hard part. Just keep getting my stuff out there. Perform as much as I can and make people aware of who I am. … If you want to make money you have to turn yourself into something that's marketable. You want to stay true to yourself and do the music you love and perform the way you want to perform, but then you want to create something that you can take around to people that they'll pay to see.

Are you trying to fit the mold that will sell the most hits?

No. No. I'm not trying to make myself fit something to make money.

Do you consider yourself successful at this point?

Yes. I am doing what I want to do, and I'm determined to keep doing what I want to do.

- Pam Cowan

"FREQ Singles Review"

Alexander Perls - Storm EP
Label: Monopsone Format: CDS

One half of Icebreaker (International), this debut solo release from Alexander Perls glitters with a patina of shiny synthesized Electro grooving which brings an instant uplift to any sound system. With vocal utterances from Sarona, (AKA MARCIE), providing a choral frisson, the title track bounces brightly with motorway efficiency and a sure sense that all is right with the world, especially if you're driving by; but in a zero-emission electric car, naturally, as no mucky petrol engine could be as smooth and luxurious as the dynamic electronics as here. The same drum machine brightness perks up a gear for "The Drive", as analogue synths sprinkle the air with joyous liquidity while Sarona keeps the air moving to lilting, wordless breaths of happiness incarnate. Mr Perl's guitar is simple and sprightly, while the melodious keyboards which flit from speaker to speaker match the sense of cheeriness perfectly.

"Recombination" continues the mood to yet livlier bass-touched structures, though the mood has slipped into one of reflective swirling on the now-familiar theme, spruced up with some chunky Michael Rother-isms as "Maximalist" opens up the throttle to a four-four arm-waving stomp. Dripping with lovely synth shivers and arpeggiations, it's at this point the EP reaches a peak at its danceabilty moment. The guitar motif comes around again with a virtual violin drawing in Sarona's vocal for "Can't Be Sure". This is where Storm reaches for the Pop point of acceptable vocal depth. Chords pull the emotional strings so hard as to almost unseat the listener, if only for a second, and as works of happy Electro positivity go, this EP is highly assured and suitably addictive.

- Freq1C


To inaugurate a new format for MONOPSONE, Alexander Perls offers with "Storm", the first release under his own name. Discovered with Piano Magic, Alexander Perls came to light with the American duet Icebreaker (whose 3rd album, in collaboration with Manual, was recently released by Morr Music). It's true that this guy from New-York City enjoys multiplying collaborations and each time, he reveals a different personality. Enclosed in his studio with his keyboard, Alexander composes impregnated melodies, crossed by a luminous guitar's line. Magnified by Sarona's (AKA MARCIE) pure vocal and the participation of Sarah Robbins on the hit "Can't be sure", these 5 tracks celebrate the alliance of electro with pop music. 24 minutes crossed by wind, rain as a climatic and melancholy short cut. A beautiful solitary escape that confirms the real talent of ALEXANDER PERLS and the musical diversity aimed at by MONOPSONE. - tonevendor

"RNEWS TV Interview: Time Warner Cable Channel 9"

Chasing Their Dreams
by Sally Cohen
Published Aug 11, 2004

Two female performers with local ties each have important shows this week. They're both young, talented, and beautiful, but Jessi Hamilton and Marcie Swartz couldn't be more different.

Marcie (who prefers to use just her first name professionally) is a 25-year old Brighton native. She performed with Nik & the Nice Guys for three years before leaving to concentrate on her own music.

"My vocals currently appear on a few European electronic labels, so I've gotten airplay in Germany, France, Italy and Spain," she explains.

She sings on a single called 'Radio Station', which will be released worldwide in the fall. Its video, produced by a Los Angeles film student, is strange and disturbing, and Marcie insists the nude girl is not her.

"It's very artsy--it's geared for European MTV," she says. "So they're a little more open to that sort of thing."

Marcie has an eclectic career due to experimenting in genres from cabaret to choreography, but her current focus is on her pop/rock music. She's promoting her video, CD, and hometown performance with her band this weekend--and she does it all by herself.

"I haven't found a manager yet that I trust," says the diminutive but gutsy singer. "There's a lot of people in the business that take advantage of aspiring female artists," she laughs.
- Sally Cohen

"Spunout Central"

"Marcie is uniquely hot. Her image and the catchy retro neon-cloaking dance/pop gripped (think Tracey Ullman and Susannah Hoffs with a happy beat electronica/rock guitar canvas). The freebie video became an instant guilty pleasure and the song’s assortment of hooks would not escape. Ms. Swartz has mature, exotic yet pleasantly accessible beauty--consider a more seductive, slightly paler and long-legged Jane Wiedlin." - Adam Mico

"Musical Discoveries Artist Feature"

"[Bad Judgment Call] shows Marcie throughout her range and serves as an exciting introduction to this rapidly emerging artist. (Four out of five stars)".

Re: STORM_Alexander Perls:

"Marcie's tender vocal contribution is again fantastic." - Russ Elliott


"She is an multi-talented young artist, whose life you can hear and feel, and who will touch your thoughts and moves in each and every one of her songs. Marcie’s new CD... is full of different tones of Marcie’s vocals, which tell you a story...Marcie’s voice is not just lovely and beautiful but will seduce you, and suck you into her world like quicksand." - Suzana Brathwaite/

"City Magazine"

"Marcie has a beautiful, powerful set of pipes. Her music is good, no-frills modern rock --- what I wish mainstream rock was still like instead of being hopelessly contrived and overrun with thugs and bimbos.<br><br>            Marcie's big, big vocal attack waxes Benatar and Wilde with plenty of brass and sex appeal. The girl can dance, too." - Frank Deblase, Rochester, NY

"Ms. February"

"...your voice is just the right combination of cigarettes and alcohol, fuck-you grit and torchsong, nail through the heart, baladere poignancy. In other words, your shit is hot! seem to know what you're singing about" - Eclectic Ink (


ODC: 23
DJ TOP 40: 6
DMC: 18

PARADISE: DJ SHAH/ Deep Blue, UK. 2005
RADIO STATION: Perls/ Motivo & Robbins Entertainment
YOUR DESTINATION: Accuface, (incl. Alex Megane Remix)/ BE52 Records.
TRANCE VOICES, VOLUME 12: Universal/Polystar.
STORM_Alexander Perls: Perls/ Monopsone.
CITY ON THE HILL: Perls/Blackspider/ The Clubbers.
DREAM DANCE VOL. 33: Best of Dream House/Trance. SMM/SONY
BAD JUDGMENT CALL: Hunt/Independent Release
ACCIDENTS BY DESIGN: Amiel-Music/ Independent Release
AMERICAN BAND: Nik Entertainment/ Independent Release
TUNNEL GOES IBIZA 2002: Tunnel Records/ Sony International


Feeling a bit camera shy


It seems as if Marcie is everywhere today. All across Europe people are thrilling to electronic dance and trance music featuring her ethereal vocals. Soon, the U.S. audience will get to share in her innovative electronic sound with the highly-anticipated single “Radio Station” due to release domestically this fall. Meanwhile, Marcie continues to work ceaselessly to promote her pop/rock music, and tracks from her current EP, “Bad Judgment Call,” have been receiving airplay at stations across the nation. Self-promoted and self-managed, Marcie is one of the hardest working artists in the business. But even with all the demands and pressures of the business, the music itself remains the most important thing to Marcie.

Of course, music has always been a part of Marcie’s life. Her father once led one of the most successful cover bands in her hometown of Rochester, NY, while her mother was an accomplished classical piano player and teacher. Surrounded by music from her earliest years, it is no surprise that it has always been Marcie’s dream to be a performer. And perhaps also not surprisingly, those who know her best say that she always has been. Whether recording karaoke classics on family vacation or writing humorous musical “stories” (a la Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”) on her keyboard at home, Marcie has always displayed an innate talent and desire to entertain.

Precocious tendencies and youthful exuberance aside, Marcie counts her college band “Marcie and the Go-Bots” as her first real taste of the performing lifestyle. While majoring in psychology at Oberlin College, Marcie’s true passion for performing found outlet with the Go-Bots. Whether playing the club scene at such venues as Peabody’s and The Flying Machine, or rocking for thousands of her peers on campus, Marcie and the Go-Bots became known all over the Cleveland area for their unique punk take on 80’s hits and their high energy stage show. Marcie’s innovative style and captivating stage presence truly were beginning to come to the fore.

But even the wild success of the Go-Bots couldn’t occupy all of Marcie’s performing energies. She also completed a minor in dance while at Oberlin, and her creative energies led her to choreograph various children’s theatrical productions. Leaving Oberlin for a short while, Marcie attended New York University’s Musical Theater Conservatory and flirted with a career in musical theater. Her multi-faceted talent even led to offers of roles in such Broadway hits as “Rent,” but luckily for her fans, Marcie decided to focus primarily on pursuing her dream of pop music stardom.

Continuing to live outside the box, Marcie furthered her education in London, through the Boston University Psychology Internship Program. While in London, Marcie also began a collaboration with Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer Dino Danelli, of Rascals fame. The experience served to hone her performing, writing, and recording skills and further fueled her desire to succeed.

Returning to Oberlin to complete her education, Marcie also took her act to the national stage, beginning a three-year stint with Nik & the Nice Guys. She credits Nik with giving her further opportunity to polish her stage presence, whether providing backup vocals, dancing, or performing as a featured lead. Constantly striving to establish her own voice, Marcie also continued to perform in various original projects. Her endeavors took her to such venerable NYC clubs as CBGB’s and DOWNTIME, and to big-time venues including the Bellagio in Las Vegas and Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego. Marcie even found time to give a nod to her musical theater training, performing off Broadway with her solo cabaret show.

It was during this eventful period that Marcie first met with NYC producer Alexander Perls, a relationship which introduced Marcie’s unique vocal talents to the electronic music scene. Almost immediately, Marcie achieved success in this new environment, and she has had numerous single and EP releases on European labels. With current tracks charting in the top 30 all over Europe, and with her music reaching as far as Japan and Australia, Marcie continues to do extremely well in the electronic market.

Never one to lose sight of her goal, though, Marcie still pursues her dream of pop music success. Her current pop/rock album “Bad Judgment Call” contains tracks written by Marcie and produced at Robbie Takac’s (of the Goo Goo Dolls) Chameleonwest Studios. The album has already received numerous favorable reviews and is being featured both on internet radio and at stations all across the nation.

While relentlessly pursuing her career, Marcie remains a genuinely caring person. Sharing her gift with the less fortunate, she has taught music, movement therapy, and dance to emotionally and physically disabled youths. She freely volunteers her time, whether helping to provide food to the homeless or playing benefit gigs for the March of Dimes and children’s theater groups. S