Marilyn Rucker and Friends
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Marilyn Rucker and Friends

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1993 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1993
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They come to Austin, they go from Austin, they record in Austin, and sometimes they stick around. That's Marilyn Rucker, formerly of Therapy Sisters, whose sly humor ("Spoiled Rotten White Girl Blues") and lit-referenced lyrics ("Canterbury Rap," "Cassandra") made the group the feminine version of the Austin Lounge Lizards. On her new solo disc, Everybody's Somebody Else's Weirdo (Furry Gecko), Rucker keeps up the tradition with songs like "Grandma Show Us Your Tattoos." Unlike many songwriters, Rucker knows when to rein in a song: In the Tom Lehrer tradition, most are under three minutes. Weirdo's a prize that will likely fly right under the radar. - The Austin Chronicle


Backed by her own keyboards and full band, Rucker bounces through a clever set of tunes in the novelty vein, with subjects ranging from old Southern ladies packing heat ("Pretty Little Gun") to overzealous religious types ("Twenty Naked Pentecostals"), with a special emphasis on obsession ("Constantly Studying You," "I Love Your Smell")… make no mistake, Rucker is a pro at the business of writing clever songs. Best of the bunch is perhaps the closer "Email Legends," a run through all the amazing, unsolicited "true" facts one gets through their electronic mail. It's a charming pop classic-in-the-works, not unlike Sparks' "I Predict" updated for the 21st century.

Ken Lieck review of Teapot Lady (The Austin Chronicle)

- Austin Chronicle


Good for what ales ya…Rucker sparkles as a single. Her C.D., Voyeur Princess, is notable for its variety of material and versatility of the artist…

Perry Stewart (The Fort Worth Star Telegram)

- The Fort Worth Star Telegram


A very funny and witty singer/songwriter. Her piano/keyboard playing is amazing.

- The Winslow Arizona Mail


How can you not like a song entitled “Twenty Naked Pentecostals”? Rucker combines quick-witted lyrics and ….jazz, rock, acoustic and folk to create a quirky commentary on modern life. Not to be missed.

- Crosswinds Weekly


he "Rude Jogger" is up and running again.

You may remember (or not) that a couple of years back I wrote about some untoward behavior perpetrated out at the Steiner Ranch neighborhood by a character I dubbed the Rude Jogger.

I never could identify the Rude Jogger, but folks in the 'hood were gossiping about her breaches of running etiquette as she jogged on Quinlan Park Road. She was the talk and the terror of the neighborhood. In the suburbs, terror sometimes has a low threshold.

'Rude Jogger' music video proves that yes, Austin is still plenty weird photo
John Kelso
With arms locked, these vigilantes attempt to block the Rude/Nude Jogger while filming Marilyn Rucker's music video.
The story went that the Rude Jogger, described as petite, blond, 40 or 50, fit and snarly, "plowed into" another woman, then yelled at her, "If you would move your fat ass off the sidewalk, there would be enough room for both of us."

That reminds me of the bumper sticker "If you don't like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk."

In another incident, the Rude Jogger allegedly ran into yet another woman, then exclaimed, loudly, "ONE JOGGER PER LANE." After the story broke, the neighbors formed a Facebook group called Fatsos Unite Now, or FUN.

The tale got plenty of attention out at Steiner Ranch, but I thought it was dead by now.

Wrong. Austin singer and songwriter Marilyn Rucker was so taken with the Rude Jogger legend that she put together a 2 1/2-minute video about it to accompany her new song "Rude Jogger," found at vimeo.com/38069056.

Some of the lyrics? "Nobody can grab her, 'cause she's oiled her thighs. 'Cause she's a ruuuude, ruuuude, rude jogger."

So what's the budget on this "Rude Jogger" video? "Uh, so far I think the expense was getting lunch for everybody," Marilyn said. "I brought sandwich meats. Sandwich meats and cookies. I paid everybody in cookies. And I made everybody sign a release that said they were being paid in cookies."

Why memorialize the Rude Jogger in a video? "I have a history of picking out current events and writing about them," said Marilyn, Austin's female equivalent of Weird Al Yankovic.

Her song "20 Naked Pentecostals" covers the story of those wacky churchgoers who packed into their car naked in Floydada, northeast of Lubbock, because the devil made them do it, then drove to Vinton, La., and crashed into a tree. Marilyn also wrote the song "Grandma, Show Us Your Tattoos." That one can be found on her CD "Everybody's Somebody Else's Weirdo."

Last weekend, Marilyn and friends filmed her "Rude Jogger" video in Trailhead Park in far Northwest Austin. The cast included a woman wearing a white feather boa and a flesh-colored body suit so she would appear nekkid and a man in a long, scruffy white beard and Longhorns ball cap chasing her about the park with a butterfly net.

Why, you ask? In the video plot line, the Rude Jogger, played by Sharon Maner, who sings in Marilyn's band the Studebakers, turns out to be a nude jogger, too — even though the Rude Jogger was never seen running in the buff.

"Truth is stranger than fiction, although the re-enactment of truth can be pretty darned strange," Marilyn explained as Dan Eggleston, the guy with the beard, chased the Rude/Nude Jogger with his net.

Another scene features Edison Block, 10, and Lezlie George, a thin woman who looks like she could use a cheeseburger, banging nunchucks together, while Becky Cavanaugh, in a tie-dye shirt with eyes on the front, twirls a rope as if she's fixing to lasso the Rude/Nude Jogger. This trio plays the vigilantes.

Meanwhile, Marilyn, as director, was trying to inspire the group to greater theatrical heights.

"You're mad. You're mad. She's stolen your dignity. She's stolen your right to jog in peace," Marilyn urged them on, as the camera rolled.

In another scene, a line of five would-be thespians locks arms to keep the Rude/Nude Jogger from busting through. But all hell breaks lose when Maner surprises them from behind and smashes through the human blockade.

"You guys are the vigilantes, as the Rude Jogger needs to be punished," instructed Gary Feist, the videographer.

I asked Gary, who plays bass for Marilyn's band, if he's getting paid for his video work. He gave me a look that asked, "What are you? Stupid or something?"

I took that as a no.

People say the city's growth has damaged Austin's claim of being really weird. I think this video production proves otherwise, how about you?

Contact John Kelso at jkelso@statesman.com or 445-3606 - Austin American Statesman


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Marilyn Rucker, known also as The Wicked Wit of the West sizzles on the piano and sings a mean song. Not mean-spirited, mind you, but the lyrics are far darker and more satirical than you might expect from someone who looks like the lady on the Alabam Pickle Jar. Or rather Wholesome, with a capitol W, but dont let appearances fool you. She is a wit with an edge like vinegar and eighty-eight spicy keys to back her up.

Shes won regional, national and international songwriting awards in several different genres, including jazz, singer-songwriter and cabaret. the contests include top rankings in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest (Jazz), Billboard Awards (Jazz), Austin Songwriters Group (Jazz and Singer-Songwriter) and the finals of the Kerrville New Folk Competition this year. (2006)
Marilyn holds a masters degree in piano performance from Texas State University, where she studied with the world renowned jazz pianist, James Polk. Her masterful playing and singing reflect a playful mix of influences from Diana Krall, Tom Lehrer, Norah Jones, Blossom Dearie, Dave Frishberg, and Mose Allison. Her style; however, is unique. As stated in her hometown weekly, The Austin Chronicle, in a review of her latest c.d.: Backed by her own keyboards and full band, Rucker bounces through a clever set of tunes in the novelty vein, with subjects ranging from old Southern ladies packing heat ("Pretty Little Gun") to overzealous religious types ("Twenty Naked Pentecostals"), with a special emphasis on obsession ("Constantly Studying You," "I Love Your Smell") make no mistake, Rucker is a pro at the business of writing clever songs Ken Lieck reviewing.

Her former bandmates, the Therapy Sisters, weigh in with this review: Destined since birth to bring her message of unswerving lunacy to the listening public in search of a good time., which pretty much describes what the audience will get at one of Marilyns shows. Whether playing an intimate jazz-cabaret solo piano/singer gig, or getting the crowd up to dance at a club, a wedding or birthday bash with her big party horn band, shes got what it takes to make your event unforgettably fun.

Band Members