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Plain and Fancy

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Marcus - Marcus Original LP And Outtakes (1967-70 us, delicate ethereal wondrous psychedelic folk, 2011 double disc set)



It's July 1969, and I'm sitting at Brother Juniper's, a cafe on Haight Street. I knew it was run by a New Age cult called The Holy Order of Man' and I also knew this bright eyed chick, Dianne, who was serving food there, was part of the group.

You could have had me believing that black was white when I looked into her deep brown eyes and beheld her breasts protruding beneath her brown Brother Juniper robe. I knew she liked me by the way she packed the tuna salad onto that rye bread sandwich she made for me.

That'll be both my lunch and dinner meals. I took my cherry burst Gibson acoustic guitar (with a custom L-40 neck) from my gig bag, and tuned it. I wanted to get it perfect or as near you could get without tuning gadgets that would become so ubiquitous several decades later. I had created some chords that my friend Daniel McCurdy had inspired. 

They were multiples of suspensions that would immediately bring your head into a lofty and elated space. Daniel had said if these progressions were electrified they would knock people over, they were so powerful. I never tried playing them electric. I was so impressed with my friend's sound, as it seemed so different. I thought he must be from some other galaxy or something. In the past, I usually played simple triad chords on my guitar until I met him. Now I was inventing far out chords left and right with new ethereal tunes I write.

I flashed back to a month ago when a couple of friends invited me and guitarist Charlie Cocky to their house. Charlie liked my new songs and would play a very sensitive acoustic lead part on his axe while I sang and played my ethereal chords. Suddenly, a guy who was standing next to me flopped down and bonked his head hard when he hit the floor. He either fainted, or got knocked out by our sound. I said, "Charlie, we must have been so perfectly in tune it knocked him out." Charlie responded, "I think we were just the right microtone off to have that effect."

I don't want any episodes like that happening here at Brother Juniper's, so I played a simpler song, an ode to buxom Dianne, 'Lady of Light.' It never made it to the album, nor did my ode to 'Hallie' and my New York lover's song, 'Monday Marye Morning.' I enjoy making a sound with my voice and guitar that I imagine could make people feel peace, love and joy, and often it does.

As the people gathered around the table where I'm sitting I could see on their faces the pleasure I'm bringing them as I sing about the beauty of nature as in the 'Color Song.' I feel the spirit of a new age in the air. I enjoy the slow vibrato I create with my voice, not unlike Donovan or Tim Harden. I delight in those influences along my journey. 

The vibe has been uplifted at Brother Juniper's so now I get up, walk outside and embrace the warm sun pouring down upon the colorfully clad folks on Haight Street...
by Marcus (June 2009)


After the release of the Freak Scene album, psychedelic guru Rusty Evans made his way from NYC to San Francisco, a geographic shift that resulted in work for the legendary San Francisco Sound label, producing bands such as It’s A Beautiful Day, Tripsichord, and Indian Puddin’ and Pipe; it also led to a drastic shift in style from the psychedelic “happening” of the Deep album for Cameo Parkway and the raga rock of the Freak Scene album for Columbia. And so it came to pass that Evans reclaimed his birth name of Marcus, and recorded a very mellow LP in 1969 for Kinetic Records, a label formed by the Kinetic Playground Ballroom in Chicago. Like much of Marcus’ work, the album is a fascinating relic of a particular time and place, in this instance San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in the post-Summer of Love era.

The Marcus LP is richly orchestrated psychedelic-folk music, with a pronounced Donovan and/or Tim Harden flavor to it, something that did not escape its creator. The mood is dreamy, the songs reflective, the voice vibrato, the album a yin to the yang of the Freak Scene “Psychedelic Psoul” album which precedes it by two years. So we have the hot and aggressive Freak Scene album contrasted—some might say perfectly balanced—by the diffuse and tranquil Marcus album two years later. To our mind, further proof of the excellence of the artistic mind behind both albums. 

This is the first actual re-issue of the vastly under-rated Marcus album since 1969; the only previous CD edition used alternate takes and not the album versions. Our fulsome edition indulges any completionist fantasies we might harbor, as it also serves up thirty-two bonus tracks, nearly two hours of alternate takes and acoustic demos (plus a few non-album tracks). There are guitar/voice demos recorded several months before Kinetic came along and offered a deal; other home demos have Marcus with acoustic guitar, bass and cello. There are guitar/voice demos were recorded six to eight months before Kinetic came along and offered a deal; other home demos have Marcus with acoustic guitar, bass and cello. 

There are also abundant demo studio versions, some of tremendous quality. The end result is (apparently) our first “interactive” release, as you can create your own ideal version of the Marcus album. Budget-priced double disc package includes a 20-page booklet, with an introduction by Marcus, his incredible history in music, and lyrics. Printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper manufactured using biogas energy.


Tracks
Disc 1
Marcus LP 1970
1. (We’ll All) Go Together - 3:30
2. Time Of Our Time - 2:43
3. Helene - 3:54
4. Grains Of Sand - 4:01
5. High Priestess - 3:45
6. The Coming - 3:22
7. Royal Maze - 3:03
8. Butterfly Girl - 3:22
9. Color Song - 3:29
10.Children Of Aquarius - 3:03
Acoustic Demos 
11.Go Together - 2:47
12.Time Of Our Time - 2:23
13.High Priestess - 3:00
14.Royal Maze - 2:36
15.Children Of Aquarius - 3:18
Alternates With Band 
16.The Coming - 3:05
17.Butterfly Girl - 3:33
18.Color Song - 3:38
19.Helene - 3:54
20.Grains Of Sand - 3:50
Words and Music by Marcus Uzilevsky


Disc 2
Alternates 1967
1. Go Together - 3:50
2. Time Of Our Time - 2:41
3. Helene - 3:45.
4. Grains Of Sand - 3:58
5. High Priestess - 2:54
6. Earth Child - 2:55
7. The Coming - 3:00
8. Royal Maze - 3:05
9. White Cloud - 2:17
10.Butterfly Girl - 3:20
11.Color Song - 3:26
12.Children Of Aquarius - 3:01
13.Go Together - 2:37
14.Time Of Our Time - 2:41
15.Grains Of Sand - 4:02
16.Butterfly Girl - 3:15
17.Color Song - 3:39
18.White Cloud - 2:16.
19.Royal Maze - 2:27
20.Color Song - 3:28
21.Butterfly Girl - 3:20
22.Children Of Aquarius - 3:07
Words and Music by Marcus Uzilevsky

*Marcus Uzilevsky - Vocals, Arrangements

Related Acts
1966  The Deep - Psychedelic Moods

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3 comments:

mscmichael said...

Thanks very much...

DanP said...

the sample track is pretty and kind of intriguing so i'm going to check out the album and once again, many thanks! :D

vishangro said...

I was intruiged by the story, so I thought that I had better hear the album. I like what I hear. It is kinda folky and sort of 'odball odd'.

Many thanks