There are those times in your life when you stumble upon something or someone whom you can’t believe you haven’t met before. This could be a book; most recently I finally read John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War; how did I wait so long? Another time was first seeing Firefly long after it was cancelled (thanks Frank); how on earth did I miss that? Oh wait, it was on Fox; I’m not sure I’ve seen a distribution channel that can hide what they distribute so effectively. Now I’ve heard the lovely Marian Call’s Something Fierce. I’m stunned that this is the first I’ve hear her. I’m sure I’m well behind y’all. She is that perfect blend of really clever songs and a lovely, honey voice. She easily trills from the sublime to sarcastic or fantastic to funny. Now throw in the fact that she’s is a bona fide geek – wow.
If you need to peg, then peg her into folk. She would have no trouble fitting in with Joni Mitchell and Patti Larkin, but is very much her own singer. Her lyrics are fresh and current yet often timeless. So, I started with her latest studio album (she has a live set from her European tour) Something Fierce. This album has a somewhat more jazzy feel to its folk. It’s all fabulous, but I’ll focus on some of my favorites. Dear Mr. Darcy (I wish this could have been a back drop for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – about which more here):
Dear Sir, I’ve been dropping hints like bricks on you. We were both rehearsing for this awkward interview. I’m done with making small talk & I’m done with being scared, because I heard from a friend of a friend that you came with your speaking points prepared… That if you peel back the polite there might be something fierce inside.
…”Remember the fête where the two of us met? (Less a bolt from the blue, more of our social ineptness”)
This song so perfectly depicts the awkward social dance of Darcy and Elizabeth made modern, with something fierce within our dear loveliest Elizabeth.
Then there’s the ode to Highway Five. Anyone who’s lived along the west coast knows it all too well. I live in North Carolina now (and love it) but my heart is pulled as I yearn for Puget Sound when I listen:
This is my coast, this is my home, from San Diego up to Nome. Haven’t seen it all yet but I will. And I want to memorize it, every inch, want to remember where I’ve been. I bless these waves, I bless this wind, I bless this grace and all my sins”
After listening to all of this loveliness, I discovered her album Got to Fly. As Will.I.Am would say: Get your geek on. So many great, fun songs. Browncoats will want to note not only “It’s good to have Jayne on your side” but the title song is reminiscent of the spirit behind Firefly’s theme: “I don’t know how you got the stomach for reality when You could go circle the stars, you wouldn’t be-lieve where I’ve been Just this week, I’ve made some freakishly fabulous finds My corpse has been here, but my mind’s covered miles I’m cravin’ altitude, so kindly step aside — I got to fly.”
I could, of course, go on ad infinitum, however, the point is for you to experience her music yourself. I simply leave you with a glimpse of her debut album, Vanilla from the song Fret:
“Oh, when you kiss m-me goodnight, I wonder. If you could ever mean as much to me as I do to you . I fret ‘n’ fumble with my thoughts; I want you But only on my terms and on my time, I want it perfect and easy
…Oh, lately I’ve been thinking about your sweet, sweet smile. And whether I am right to let you fight for my so-twisted heart. ‘f’I had the time I’d make you mine; you’re beautiful. And I am oh so wrong to let this song say how I’ll never deserve you, no no.”
So, true confession time. I’m so egotistical that I’ve used language like “I found”, “I discovered”… Say what? Gee, it’s not like lots of other way more influential people haven’t heard her before. Anyway, back to my ego: as I heard “I’ll Still Be a Geek After Nobody Thinks It’s Chic”, I think – this would be the perfect theme song for Mike Underwood’s protagonist Ree Reyes of Geekomancy and Celebromancy fame. Hey, she’s a kickin’ geek girl ready to take on the world. So I think I’ll “introduce” them; as I’m sure you see coming, they, of course, know each other and he’s quite familiar with her music. Oh ego, thou knowest no bounds!
If you happen to be one of the unfortunate with me who’s late to the party, do not pass Go, but jump directly to mariancall.com for ways to purchase or go to your favorite music site; she’s on Amazon, iTunes, Xbox Music and others. You’ll be glad you did.