Marian Call

Marian Call

 Anchorage, Alaska, USA
BandFolkAcoustic

Marian Call delivers whimsical Alaskan folk funk for the Coffee Counter-Culture. Imagine Joni Mitchell & Regina Spektor raising the child of Jason Mraz & Erin McKeown. Call's sound is always soulful, honest, and clever, loved by NPR listeners, nerds, church ladies, and indie hipsters worldwide.

Biography

Anchorage-based singer-songwriter Marian Call does things a little differently. Throughout 2010 she took to the road in her Subaru and played shows and house concerts in all fifty United States — beginning in May with Alaska, the 49th state, and ending in December with a flight to Hawai’i, the 50th. Her music has been described by fans as “funky acoustic joy jazz” — she plays eclectic, humorous and heartfelt songs that appeal to crowds of all ages and demographics. Her signature Underwood typewriter, rain stick, and kazoo can be heard in most of her performances.

The 50 State Tour was booked and completed without the use of a record label, manager, or booking agent — venues and housing were coordinated almost entirely through Facebook, Twitter, and cold e-mail contacts. Call drove over 35,000 miles in seven months to complete the endeavour, while updating fans online about her experiences around the country. This alternative adventure was designed to be more environmentally friendly, economically friendly, fan-friendly, small, and sustainable than traditional band tours — yet the tour still garnered attention from national media, and the concerts generated rave reviews across the country.

Marian Call’s grassroots-style tour booking is becoming more critical for musicians worldwide as the entire entertainment industry changes. But this paradigm shift will be particularly critical for Alaskan artists, who stand to benefit most from the internet breaking down barriers of distance and isolation from larger audience bases in the contiguous U.S.

Marian Call is an eclectic, humorous acoustic artist based in Anchorage. She has a web-based international following and the enthusiastic endorsement of a number of web celebrities such as @wilw (Wil Wheaton), @feliciaday (Felicia Day), @petersagal (Peter Sagal) and @donttrythis (Adam Savage of the Mythbusters). Call’s shows are unlike any other, and she is most often compared to other artists noted for their distinctiveness or non-traditional approach rather than those with a similar sound — artists such as Joni Mitchell, Regina Spektor, Erin McKeown, Amanda Palmer, and Jonathan Coulton are often referenced. Marian Call has released two studio albums and more than a dozen singles. She is currently in Anchorage, Alaska working on her next studio album Something Fierce, and she will tour across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the U.K. in 2011.

For more information or press materials, including music and photographs, visit http://mariancall.com or contact mariancall@mac.com. Interviews always welcome.

Lyrics

Fret

Written By: Marian Call

Ooh - when you kiss me goodnight, I wonder
if you could ever mean as much to me
as I do to you.
I fret and fumble with my thoughts; I want you,
but only on my terms and on my time
-- I want it perfect and easy.

How to want you, how to give you
what you deserve to get?
How to tell you what my heart
doesn't feel just yet?
How to be a good girl --
How I try, oh my.
But still you love me -- you love me --
And something in me must love you too,
Or else why would I write this song about you?

Lately I've been thinking about your sweet sweet smile,
and whether I am right to let you fight
for my so twisted heart.
If I had the time I'd make you mine; you're beautiful,
and I am oh so wrong to let this song
say how I'll never deserve you.

I think instead of feel,
but if that's okay with you
then I will be your dearest friend,
I'll be your lover too.
I will never ever leave
if you will have me now -- but dear,
the trouble is with love -- trouble is with love --
I'm not sure if my heart will ever know how.
Still, something in me must love you too,
or I'd be able to breathe when I think about you.

I've half a mind to take my time with you...
I fret and fumble with my thoughts,
but I don't feel anything...
Oh, I wish I knew babe, I wish I knew
if I could love you too...

Vanilla (I'm Not Sexy)

Written By: Marian Call

I'm not sexy, but I really want to be
I hear that's normal for my demographic
I don't look good in skirts, and even wedges hurt my feet
And I can't keep a straight face and say 'orgasmic'

Oh, I'm not hip, but I really want to be
All the bands I like you've heard of, and I watch too much TV
And I'm not cute, and I think too hard to be sweet
But not enough to get a real job or converse insightfully --
This is the part where you politely disagree.
My virtues are too dull to entertain,
but you can always count on me.

A nicely balanced budget's not so thrilling,
and courtesy's outdated, and sobriety is lame
Reliability is not appealing
But I don't know any other way to be
I love people and I want them to love me
My virtues are vanilla at best, but you can always call on...

I'll sing for you, I'll sing for you
I'll be the first one by your side
And the last one to leave
I'll give you everything I've got,
I'll get you anything you need
I'm not much to entertain,
But you can always call on me

I'm sorry I'm not meaner
I'm sorry I don't bite
I'm sorry I don't break as many hearts as you might like
I'm not hip or cute or spontaneous,
And I know I'm such a fool,
But I'll love you real good if you'll let me make
a dumb mistake or two. Oh,
I'm not sexy, but I'll love you if you let me...

My baby took me out one Saturday night,
and I could tell he could tell I'm a square
I asked him, 'baby, where are we goin'?'
and he said, 'apparently nowhere.'
He said-a 'you don't bark and you don't bite,
so what use have I got for you?'
I said, 'my crimes may not be half so entertaining as yours,
but let me tell you baby what I can do...

(repeat chorus)

So Far Away

Written By: Carole King

So far away
Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?
It would be so fine to see your face at my door
And it doesn't help to know that you're just time away
Long ago I reached for you, and there you stood
Holding you again could only do me good
How I wish I could, but you're so far away

One more song about moving along the highway
Can't say much of anything that's new
If I could only work this life out my way
I'd rather spend it being close to you

[CHORUS]

Traveling around sure gets me down and lonely
Nothing else to do but close my mind
I sure hope that the road don't come to own me
There are so many dreams I have yet to find

[CHORUS]

Dark Dark Eyes

Written By: Marian Call

You don't know how lovely you are
My sweet sweet soul
With dark, dark eyes
Head to heel beautifully marred
My sweet sweet soul
Forgive my surprise
I know you see right through me
But please don't look away
I'll comfort you if you'll cling to me
We'll cry and we'll wait for the day
Oh, I wish you could see
What I see
My sweet sweet soul
Dark, dark eyes

You don't know how dangerous you are
My sweet sweet soul
With small, small hands
I'd tell you the truth, but it's hard
My sweet sweet soul
You don't comprehend
But I'll sing you every known love song
Until you can sleep through the night
I'll stay by your side if you'll have me, love
I'll hold you until you don't fight
Oh, I wish you could see
What I see
My sweet sweet soul
Dark, dark eyes

The Volvo Song

Written By: Marian Call

Oh, my darling, there is something we must discuss
How, with cell phone in hand, you ran my Volvo through the special bus
And I am more a Volvo than any other kind of car
Reliable and safe and Scandinavian and square
You bent in all the corners and you blew out all the lights
So I want to know, baby, how you propose to make things right

Oh, my darling, when you bounced that check
Why didn't you think the gorram fees would set you so far back?
And oh, my darling sugar pie, why did you stay up all that night
And put off your packing and eat too much and nearly miss your flight?
You knew you'd be miserable after that white lie
So why did you why did you why did you why did you why did you why?

...Cause babe you know you should not, you know what you should and shouldn't do...
...Shame on you love, shame on you love,
always do know what you'll do love,
You know what you should and shouldn't do...

Maybe when you're older, baby,
Maybe when you're sober,
Then you'll stop picking zits and picking nits and picking fights!

I know I'm far from perfect and I know I'm hardly good
But we'd get so much further if you would do what you should do babe
If seeing were caring what a different line we'd take
If knowing were doing, what a different world we'd make
What we want and what we need we very very seldom do
I want a smaller waist --
I want donuts, too.

And we visit on each other, oh, the slings of self-defeat
And we cannot dodge the arrows of undisciplined retreat
I'd be better if my love were not
so timid and controlled
I'd sleep closer if I were not both
so bony and so cold

Rx: Stop What You're Doing

Written By: Marian Call

None of us is fine
None of us is good
Most of us are nice
When we think we really should be
Nice won't get us far
'Cause none of us is fine
None of us is fine

Stop what you're doing and cry for a while
For all of the people who need you
Lay down your head and lay down your denial
You should, but you can't bring yourself to
Be real, to be there, to get up, try to care
Let your lack overwhelm you,
Let your selfishness bleed away
For at least one hour every day

Stop what you're doing and laugh for a while
At all of your foolish ambition
Deluded and fragile and brave like a child
Who still thinks life comes with a mission
Drop your sword and your flag,
Grab your sponge and your rag
Let the mirror remind you
Let your fairy tale dreams melt away
For at least one hour every day

Good Old Girl

Written By: Marian Call

She's a good old girl -- a good old girl
She's lived too long and seen too much
All over scabs and scars and such, but she's
A pretty girl -- kinda pretty girl
If you cock your head and squint,
If you recognize the prints of space and time

Doin' what they do, shepherding her through
Space will slow her stride, time will turn her tide
It's far too much to take but my girl don't know when to break
So she'll make she'll make a way --
She's a good old girl; she'll fly true.

Her structure's sound -- her clock is wound
Through mistreatment and neglect
She'll give whatever she's got left and she's
Run aground -- she's run aground
But on the weakest breath of wind,
She'll up and navigate the din of love and lies

Doin' what they do, shepherding her through
Truth will stem her pride, lies will turn her tide
It's far too much to take, but my girl don't know how to break
So she'll make she'll make a way --
She's a good old girl; she'll fly true.

She's a good old girl, a good old girl
She's lived too long and seen too much,
But still responds to the right touch and she's
A pretty girl -- such a pretty girl
In the presence of her pain,
Can't hear nothin' but the rain of space and time

Doin' what they do, shepherding her through
Space will steal her stride and time will tell she tried
Her row's too tough to rake, and she don't yet know what she can take
But she'll make she'll make a way, she'll make a way,
She's good...

Discography

"Vanilla", full-length album, released Sept. 2007

"Got to Fly," full length special album project, commissioned and sponsored by Quantum Mechanix, released November 2008

Singles for the "Song of the Month Project", released October 2008, available for download only.

"Something Fierce," double album, released Oct. 2011

All music is available for free streaming or purchase at http://www.mariancall.com

Several of Marian's works have been featured on independent podcasts and internet radio stations such as Whole Wheat Radio and 'Nette Radio. Stations airing tracks from "Vanilla" include KNBA and KSKA Anchorage, both of which are repeated across the state of Alaska, along with NPR and college radio stations around the country.

Set List

Marian has been engaged to perform sets of anywhere between ten minutes and three hours. A typical engagement is one and a half to three hours.

Original songs for live performance include:

- Fret
- Dark Dark Eyes
- The Volvo Song
- Flying Feels Like
- Vanilla
- I'm Yours
- Your Fault
- It Was Good for You Too
- I Wish I Were a Real Alaskan Girl
- We're Out for Blood (acoustic version)
- Whistle While You Wait
- Early Is as Early Does
- Moonflower ESB
- Fall Love
- In the Black
- Faon's Song (Somnambulating)
- Never Did Catch Her Name (But She's My Wife)
- Dear Mr. Darcy
- Princess Cupcake
- Sugar Sugar Sugar
- Good Old Girl
- I Think We're Good
- Don't Try
- West of the Mountains

Cover Songs include:
- Ti Guardero nel Cuore (by Nino Oliviero, Riz Ortolani, and Marcello Ciorciolini)
- So Far Away (by Carole King)
- Chelsea Morning (Joni Mitchell)
- California (Joni Mitchell)
- 100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man (Leonard Bernstein, Al Green, Betty Comden)