Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'll Ask, "Why Aren't You Naked on the Cover?"

by Doug MacRostie

The first time I picked up an electric guitar I was 12 years old (I think)...it was my Uncles "Terminator" (that's all I remember of the name, my cousin might remember the brand...it had a built in speaker that got nice and distorted if you turned it up loud enough :D). Back in high school, one of the albums I sat in my room and learned all the songs on was the self-titled Marcy Playground. Not just "Sex and Candy", but amazing tunes like 'A Cloak of Elven Kind" and "Opium" (one of the best songs EVER). The unique sound and style continued to evolve on Shapeshifter (1999) and MP3 (2004). But I think my favorite album from Marcy Playground is the new release Leaving Wonderland...In a Fit of Rage, and I am SO excited to have John Wozniak on Centerstage MN this Thursday night at 6 to talk about it.

Guitarist and singer with Marcy Playground, John Wozniak's songwriting for the Leaving Wonderland...In a Fit of Rage is his most personal to date. Seriously, I want to ask him why he didn't put himself naked on the cover! There is lost love, found love, self-reflection and pure emotion presented with John's trademark soft-yet-intense vocals & melodic music which twists and jumps through life's experiences through the eyes of John. Marcy Playground songs often sound sad, but hopeful; and I'll ask John about his inspiration for songwriting, where the music comes from and what it's like opening yourself up and sharing in such a personal way.

I'll also be talking with Matt Ray and Rich Mattson, founding members of the Iron Range Original Music Association (I.R.O.M.A.), a non-profit group of musicians working to support and promote original music on Minnesota's Iron Range, where there is a blossoming and growing movement of original music.

We'll also hear new music from the Above the Earth EP by If You Will, an alternative rock trio from St. Paul. Their music ranges from hard-edged rock to progressive-roots music, which is why I'll be playing it along with Bemidji's Uncle Shurley, the areas foremost interpretive roots/rock band :D And, I'll play a song from Roma Di Luna's latest release Casting the Bones, a wonderfully unique and orginal form of roots and Americana music. As their website says, "we make new old music." Tune in for this preview of next week's episode, when I talk with Alexei Moon-Cassell from Roma Di Luna.

And here is a little exciting news for you (or ME)! Most of my interview with The Brothers Burn Mountain has been published in American Songwriter - a 25 year old national publication :D, how cool is that?!?! A BIG thanks to Brian Skinness from Terrapin Station for writing the article and originally introducing me to The Brothers Burn Mountain - an exceptional experimental duo.

If you missed it last week, click the links to hear live music and conversation with Amy & Adams, and Les Crawford talking about EvTAP (Eveleth Venues in Technology, Art and Performance).

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at www.KAXE.org; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at www.KAXE.org and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

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