Mark Aaron James

Mark Aaron James

BandFolkAcoustic

Picked as one of the "Top 14 Songwriters in Greenwich Village 2004 & 5" in NYC and 2X voted Best Local Songwriter and Best Band in "The Scene" Reader's Poll, Mark performs originals and covers acoustically with classic rock bravado. A performer who lives up to his critically acclaimed recordings

Biography

Mark will be moving to London for a year begining in January of '08, but making regular visits to the States for shows. He will be on the west coast throughout November of '07.

"It's my favorite song about a kleptomaniac girlfriend, Aquaman, a plastic bag...I hope it's yours." That is New York based singer/songwriter Mark Aaron James introducing a few of his quirky takes on universal themes. It was this take that lead Borders News to label his songs, "Some of the best and most introspective music we've heard in years."
Born in California and raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Mark Aaron James seemed an unlikely candidate for the Nashville songwriting scene. None the less, with a strong pop-rock-alternative background in tow, he enrolled in Music City's reputable Vanderbilt University. He soon became a popular fixture among the campus "porch party" circuit that years earlier had supported Indigo Girls and Ben Folds. Mark soon brought that following into the local songwriter venues where "music city's" famous "in the rounds" gave him a new challenge. Sharing the stage with some of Nashville's hit writers, he came to realize, "If you don't have a song as good as the writer before and after you, then you're just filler. It inspired me to focus on craft, along with emotion, to write more innovative songs." The inventive results lead to co-writes with some of Nashville's top songsmiths and his compositions being performed by everyone from Jimmy Buffet to the World Peace Choir.
The year following his critically acclaimed indi release, Mr. Wirehead, Mark was awarded Best Local Songwriter and Best Up and Coming Band in the The Nashville Scene's 2000 reader's poll. In the weekly mag, owned by NYC's Village Voice, Mark beat out John Hyatt, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and several other Nashville luminaries. With the release of his second indi-label CD, Adventures With A Plastic Bag, he repeated the feat in 2001. The title song from that CD went on to make the top 100 songs of the year on Nashville's WRLT Lightening 100, gained airplay on Atlanta's 99X and was added to 126 other CMJ reporting stations, charting in 12 markets.
Despite his success in Nashville, Mark was regularly being reminded that he was not a country singer in a country music town. After playing some well received shows in New York's Living Room and being featured on PBS's CD Highway and I-Dig's Rawdio programs, Mark decided it was time to make New York City his home base.
Since his move in 2002 he has headlined in venues as varied as the new Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, The Parkside Lounge and the Westbeth Theater. New York's Underground Music Organization (UMO) voted him one of the "Top 14 Singer/songwriters in Greenwich Village" twice and feature him as the opening track on their annual top 14 CD. With the completion of his upcoming CD, Just a Satellite, Mark found out that his song "June 17th" would be featured in the Dean Cain film, Lost. His new CD, "Use Both Hands" follows in the footsteps of his previous releases, with quirkly clever lyrics and inovative production.

Band Bio:

Mark Aaron James and his band were raised by wild animals for a failed Disney documentary in the mid-seventies. The project went terribly awry when Swedish bass player, Victor Broden, brutally mauled a cameraman who came between him and his mate.
Devastated, and still living among the beavers in the multi-level dam they called home, the band kicked out the original drummer, Frisky Sutcliff, for the better smelling David Burch, from Knoxville, Tennessee.
It was during this period that the band began its "boyband" dancing phase. It proved largely unpopular due to the group's choreographer, their adopted father, a sixty pound beaver named Gip. Most of the dances consisted of the four-man band building a reinforcement wall using only their asses.
Guitarist Eric Halbig suggested the band try it's new direction, alternative/pop mixed with the bravado of rock & roll classics, after chewing a large redwood into a shiny red Stratocaster without chipping any teeth, (taken as a sign from the Almighty).
The band, still scarred by its brush with fame in the documentary, was skeptical. Then they heard that a good, independent band, without any industry contacts, didn't have a chance in hell of getting on corporate radio. Comforted by the promise of obscurity, they formed Mark Aaron James and The Borrowed Souls with the Floridian lead singer and award winning songwriter.
When they became the number two music act among the beavers, (trailing just behind a Grateful Dead tribute band made up of three dancing bears and Simon, of the chipmunks, who left due to Alvin's hogging the spotlight), they decided to take their act on the road. They don't bite (anymore)* so come see 'em.

*(We are not responsible if you feed or provoke the band in an attempt to test this statement).

Lyrics

Aquaman's Lament

Written By: Mark Aaron James

Sitting in the Hall Of Justice
Is there justice after all
After all when you discuss us
I am the last name you recall

So he might sell a few more comics
As soberly he saves the world
I've had seven gin and tonics
And I want you to be my girl

I could take you to Atlantis
It makes that cave look like a hole
Tie one on on the Titanic
Vicci Vale my heart you stole

Have you ever had the notion
That he's just a rat with wings
I'm the king of 7 oceans
And Vicci You're my everything

Barring maritime disasters
I have got some time to spare
While he's all tied up with Robin
In a cape and underwear

I could take you to Atlantis
It makes that cave look like a hole
Tie one on on the Titanic
Vicci Vale my heart you stole

If you see it with objective
He is just Bruce Wayne in tights
You could be a bit selective
And have free seafood every night

Well, I could understand
If he were Superman
After all that cat can fly
But take away that Batmobile
That boat, that belt, that butler
He's just another boring guy

I could take you to Atlantis
It makes that cave look like a hole
Tie one on on the Titanic
Vicci Vale my heart you stole

If you look at it from my side
Of the heros that you've met
He's a bit more on the dry side
Everything's better when wet

Kleptomaniac Girlfriend

Written By: Mark Aaron James & Dave Berg

Tried to make it all make sense, chalk it up to coincidence
Big leather purses baggy clothes, what does my little girl need with
those, I don't know

But when I see it when we're window shopping Sunday
Know it's gonna be on the mantle Monday

Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
Kleptomaniac Girlfriend

She knows what you have behind the bathroom mirror
Knows when you're watching you'll never see her
Give her a hug and she'll pick your pocket, give you a shrug and say,
"I ain't got it"
You know she's got it

I know I oughta stop her if I really love her
Instead, I gave her my size and my favorite color

Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
I got this brand new sweater, can't beat the price but it could fit better
Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
Got socks in several colors, when I took her home I warned my mother
Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
Hide the silverware

Relationships are give and take I wonder what I'm gonna bring
What do you give the girl with everything
She's taken everything

Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
She left today, traded her Hundai for my Cheverolet
Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
In the trunk's my Fender amp, my faith in love and my lava lamp
Maniac Girlfriend
A 6 pack of imported beer my self esteem and 3 good years
Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
She even took that sweater she stole for me, I guess it fit her better
Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
Hide the silverware
Kleptomaniac Girlfriend
Why'd you steal my heart

Ecstacy & Dance Music

Written By: Mark Aaron James

Alcohol will thin the blood. The vitamin will make the blood strong
And you won't feel a thing because to feel something is wrong
A rose inside a fisted glove it’s physical, it won't last for long
The words are only rhythm
And rhythm's just a reason to move during a song

A sample from the past sped up to keep it fast
A vessel so determined to stay high
But there is little worth In imitation earth
Under imitation sky

A beat from a machine A groove that doesn't mean
A rut that takes you down. Still you want more
You'll never get your fill of culture's sugar pill
Without it life's a bore Chorus:

We all need reasons to move
Is there meaning to your movement
Live as if you have something to prove

Another pretty face That took somebody's place
A wardrobe and another mans words
An industry that plans To lead you like a lamb
While heroes go unheard Chorus:

Alcohol will thin the blood The weakest now will later be strong
And you won't feel a thing because You'll won’t be there that long
A rose inside a fisted glove It's Physical it won't last for long
A words are more than rhythm
The rhythm's just a reason to listen to the song
Listen to the song…

Somewhere Over Pennsylvania

Written By: Mark Aaron James

I used to think I was a god
Because I lived in heaven
I rode a tower of fire,
Replaced miles & miles of wire
I heard a million voices,
Witnessed a million choices
But I was humbled
When I was helpless

You see, I'm just a satellite
And I might die tonight
I can't take the calls,
I can't handle them all
And I heard,

"Don't cry, don't cry,
No, don't make this hard
I love you

Four guys built just like me,
Don't worry, hey I love you

One down, two down, 3 down,
Is it true, I love you

There's something we've got to do,
Don't worry, hey,
I love you."

Lord's Prayer takes on new air
When it's said while flying
You know who's will be done,
You see who's kingdom's comin'
I'm just a satellite
And if I heard it right
There's something wrong down on earth,
I'm taking calls from heaven

"Don't cry, don't cry,
No, don't make this hard
I love you

Four guys built just like me,
Don't worry, hey I love you

One down, two down, 3 down,
Is it true, I love you

There's something we've got to do,
Don't worry, hey,
I love you."

I'm sorry I'm being vague,
You see I'm just a machine
But I know where those calls came from
You know what those calls mean
The first battle in the war,
The first time the good guys scored
I was a messenger,
I am a messenger, singing...

"Don't cry, don't cry,
No, don't make this hard
I love you

Four guys built just like me,
Don't worry, hey I love you

Two down, 3 down, 4 down
It's true, I love you

It's something we had to do,
Don't worry, hey,
I love you."

Run Away

Written By: Mark Aaron James

I keep thinking that it's wrong.
It's wrong.
To put emotions where they don't belong...but
Climb up that fence,
Knock on my window
And come inside.
If we get caught, I won't run away.

I'm not trying to stir up trouble.
Forcing puzzle pieces to fit...but
We built this fire,
It warms our hands
It feels like arson.
If we get caught, I won't run away.

It was your shoulder she cried on.
It was your idea to lie. Why?

I admit I got my hopes up.
I admit I planned it out.
I braced myself, I took the blows.
I came out fighting.
We got caught, and you ran away.

Run away, run away.
We got caught, and you ran away.

Discography

Mark Aaron James & The Borrowed Souls

Mr. Wirehead, featuring the "This Song's All About," a winner in the UNISONG and USA Songwriting Competitions

Adventures With A Plastic Bag featuring the title song played in 126 markets, charting in 12, featured on 99X in Atlanta and one of the top 100 songs of the year on Lightening 100.1 in Nashville, TN. (#72)

Just A Satellite, Mark's first CD as a New York resident. Features the song "When Are You Gone," chosen for the compelation CD "The Best 14 Songwriters of Greenwich Village." Also featuring "Kleptomaniac Girlfriend," Mark's first music video.

New CD, "Use Both Hands," was released in February '07.

Set List

Set lists are usually original songs with many creative covers thrown in. Length and content adjusted to fit the show. Mark can do up to 3 hours shows of original music.