Steve Otis

Steve Otis

BandPopSinger/Songwriter

Pop tunes for color blind commuters.

Biography

The writing of Steven Otis is consistently melodic, hook-laden, and literate. Says Steven of his style, "I try to think of songs as portraits, hoping they'll come out looking alive. Imagery seems to be the best way to give a song a lived-in feel. If I get it right, and the words seem to work, it's like suddenly I've made a real place and real people, emotions, etc. All out of a few rhymes. That's what I really love." When writing, he likes to think about Paul Simon, David Gray, Conor Oberst and Paul McCartney. He is a frequent collaborator with singer/songwriter/composer Peter Suk and percussionist/engineer Andy Nelson. Together, they perform as Matinee. Matinee has shared the stage with hip-hop powerhouse The Roots and rising Portland band The Stars of Track and Field. Matinee has been featured on 94.7 KNRK's Get Local Spotlight and were an official selection for Portland's MusicFestNW '05. In the spring of 2007, Steven began recording with artist/producer Jim Walker (JVA). On weekdays, Steven answers phones and writes emails for a consulting firm. In the evenings, he sings karaoke, hosts a songwriting forum, or watches "The Office." He lives in and writes music from a basement in east Portland near the 205 freeway.

Lyrics

Ms. Malarky

Written By: Steven Otis

hello there, mr. loco
I'm your neighbor, ms. malarky
I'm out of bread and water
could you spare some cotton candy?

I live alone
you live alone
I thought it's time I told you
that we share a wall

the phonebook in the alley
listed everyone but me and you
it's almost funny how there's
no sense keeping track of nothing new

I live alone
you live alone
I thought it's time I told you
that we share a wall

I'm knockin in my bones and
there's almost no one home

hello there, mr. loco
I'm your neighbor, ms. malarky
I'm out of milk and honey
could you spare some salt and whisky?

I live alone
you live alone
I thought it's time I told you
that we share a wall

I'm knockin in my bones and
there's almost no one home

Another New Place

Written By: Steven Otis

I don't care
and I don't know what to do
a current of moments
rushing down the afternoon
drowning in daylight
but I'm drunk with midnight dreams
searching for doors
before I'm finally forced to leave

trying to find the right way
to tow my worn out mind
I need another new place to go

I don't care
could you show me what to do
riding the rooftops
down this flooded avenue
in the rattle of motion
and the drone of endless strings
light up the bars
to burn down ordinary things

trying to find the right way
to tow my worn out mind
I need another new place to go

a letter, a message, a tone
pressed to my ear
and it's all I hear
I need another new place to go

oh, my, my
I need another new place to go

Baltimore

Written By: Steven Otis

took a turtle to baltimore
to save him from the sea
made him king of the corridors
of tenement block d
hallways and open floor
slow game to watch him go
no, you're not wrong

all the wishes that came with doors
to close on withered dreams
hear them walking the boards above
the songs of borrowed feet
small cage to hold your trust
who stays to fold with us?
no, you're not wrong

caught a raven that came to caw
the black tune for your sleep
brought him down with the one last straw
the broomstick couldn't keep
how strange that all you've done
won't stay to save no one
no, you're not wrong

do do do do do do do do do

Discography

Currently recording debut solo EP at home and at The Pulpit (Portland, OR) with producer Jim Walker.

Matinee - Self-titled EP ('06)
Otis - Paper Plane LP ('03)
Otis - Weathervane EP ('01)

Set List

Typical set list runs 45 minutes to an hour and includes some material written for/with his band, Matinee. He plays the occasional cover, including, most recently, "The Rainbow Connection."

Example set list:

Gravity
Coffee Cup
Broken Toes
Mexico
Trimming Treetops
Yankee Romeo
Paper Plane
Another New Place
Dolores Rose
Open Invitation
Baltimore
Ms. Malarky