Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Holy Winds and Fits of Rage on Centerstage MN

by Doug MacRostie

Pat Surface has been creating music in Northern MN for over 30 years and his new CD with The Boundary Water Boys is called Holy Wind - an album inspired by Pat's deep spiritual beliefs with a mix of original and interpreted material. What got my attention right away about this CD was the integration of Pat's religious beliefs with some classic songs. How do you feel about Bob Marley re-written to sing, "Stir it up...for Jesus, Stir it up..."? I got beaned by that curve ball... But when I told some of my co-workers about the concept of this album and some of the unexpected twists, Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" with the words of "Amazing Grace" got the most riled up response. Mark Tarner said, "what ever happened to 'Thou shalt not bear false witness'?" I'll ask Pat about these "holy-oldies" this week on Centerstage MN, Thursday night at 6. And I'll be talking with John Wozniak of Marcy Playground.

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 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.

Here's a video of Gina Nordquist, Rob Wheeler and Marty Halverson of Chisholm's High Drama Blues live on Centerstage MN last week:

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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