Earlier this year, I met up with a friend, John Anealio, who at one point, said: "If you like what I've done, have you heard about Marian Call?" I hadn't, and soon thereafter, looked her up. Marian Call, a singer-songwriter out of Anchorage Alaska, has embarked on a 50 state tour, largely with the support of her fans. Last night, she popped in to Montpelier Vermont, and I was finally able to listen to her live, after listening to a couple of her albums and following her exploits on twitter.
If you haven't seen or heard of Marian, you should do yourself a favor, and check her music out. As I've gotten more interested in geek music, her name comes up with some of the real rock stars of the genre: Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm and w00tstock, and it's clear that she's on an upward trend when it comes to this sort of music. Judging from the article on Wired that John Anealio posted recently, it's clear that she's really done a good job in her own self-promotion by visiting each state. (There's just a couple more left in the tour)
The nice thing about Marian is that her music doesn't just cater to the geek community, unlike artists like Anealio, Coulton and Paul & Storm, who's music doesn't stray out too much beyond the boundaries. Over some of her albums, she's got songs like Ave Maria, Flying Feels Like (about a dislike of flying), Love and Harmony (about Karyoke), Ancorage (about the Alaskan City, alongside songs like Dark Dark Eyes, It's Good to Have Jayne On Your Side and Vera Flew the Coop, all inspired by the TV show Firefly, as well as the fantastic song I'll Still Be a Geek After Nobody Thinks It's Chic (The Nerd Anthem). In that, her songs are display a measure of subtlty, and even if you're listening to some of the more obvious geek songs, it's not as obvious as songs like 'It's Going to be the Future Soon' or 'A Stormtrooper for Halloween'. (No digs at the aforementioned artists)
In person, I arrived at Montpelier's Langdon St. Cafe unsure of what to expect. What surprised me the most was that Marian, largely unsupported, still has a voice, and in person, she's a stunning performer, and her songs were just as impressive live as through my headphones. Very clear, very strong, and very dynamic, all at the same time. The show was certainly a memorable one, and it was a pleasure to meet Ms. Call as she worked the room during her short intermission - it's always a pleasure to speak with artists directly, and as Anealio says, she's the real deal. Hopefully, we'll see Marian back in the state at some point in the near future (she noted several times at how much she liked the state) for another great set.
If you haven't seen her yet, you should really check out her music, or check in with her website to see where she's playing next. It's well worth your time.