In the summer of 2010, Twitter suggested I follow @mariancall. After a few clicks to her web pages and song samples, not only was I following her, but I had downloaded most of her albums from iTunes. A tweet about my new discovery resulted in a follow-back from the musician and a direct message with a personal “thank you.”
Marian Call is a singer/song writer from Alaska. She works completely independently, writing, recording, and selling her music entirely on her own dime. She has toured North America and Europe. Her 2010/2011 tour was an epic journey to visit and perform in every US State and every Canadian Province. No tour bus. No record label. Just a Subaru and a limited run of CDs.
What makes Call different from other indi musicians? What had me downloading her tunes immediately was her unique use of pop culture themes. Her 2008 album Got to Fly opens with the song “I’ll Still Be a Geek When No One Thinks It’s Chic (Nerd Anthem).” The tune is a tight string of references woven into a list of topics and ideas that she truly loves. It sets the tone for an album inspired by Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. The references are subtle and support deeper ideas that are at the heart of each song. While not every collection in her catalogue is as sci-fi inspired as Got to Fly, many of songs that draw inspiration from literature, science, art, and the unique observations of an artist spending significant amounts of time on the road.
Call’s concerts are intimate. Many of her appearances have been in venues like comic book stores and private homes. She is beginning to reach a momentum where the living room may no longer be big enough to accommodate her fans. And yet, she’s still open to the one-on-one connection with each listener. In past concert appearances, she has taken the time to sign autographs and chat with patrons during intermissions and after concerts. If you have a question about her work, you can probably ask her in person.
Marian Call will be appearing in Arizona twice this week. Tonight a 7PM, she will be at the Unscrewed Improv Theater in Tucson (3244 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85716). On Saturday at 8PM, she will be in Phoenix at Fiddler’s Dream Coffee House (1702 E. Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85716). Both shows are all ages.
For more information on Marian Call, concerts, and her music, visit mariancall.com.