Marc with a C inicio mail me! sindicaci;ón

Press

Here’s tons of press articles and interviews for your enjoyment, posted from most recent and running backwards. Have at it!
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This article about RetroLowFi: 10 Years Of Marc With a C was written by Chas for Pripyat.

I finally managed to sit down and listen to my signed copy of 10 Years of Marc with a C, which I won on a radio show he hosted, the entire way through. Many of the songs I have already heard live, repeatedly. As I pushed the minimally labeled disc 1 into my laptops CD drive, I reflected on the sheer quantity of music on this 2-disc tribute to Marc’s long career as a local pop musician. Marc claims the genre Pop, but with the breadth of the genre, he adopted the more specific ‘Pop Rock’ so as to not be drawn into modern music trivialities. His music is truly pop, however, it is modern popular music.

This album covered the last ten years of his career creating music for fans the world around. Marc is well known for his electric stage performances, his Iron will to perform for his fans, and his witty relatable lyrics. Geeks, and regular people alike can easily enjoy his music. Many references to old pop culture and obscure music top off this collection of awesome.

The 2-disc album follows no discernable playlist, seemingly compiling the most popular live hits over the last decade at random. Songs ranging anywhere from 1999 to 2009 strewn across two discs, each with the distinct after-taste of that period of his life, blast you endlessly with an energy not found in more expensive modern music. Most of 10 Years of Marc with a C is often drowned with his signature ‘Low-Fi’ sound. In fact, I found myself disappointed at times with the quality of sound I was getting. However, the long-running ‘Low-Fi’ term comes from ‘Recording by any means necessary’, of which method many of the older tracks on this album were recorded. In the spirit of preserving this original sound, Marc did very little to the original files before printing this new disc.

Marc’s music is important to me; he is a musical hero and a great friend. Much of his music has been a great inspiration for myself. Despite drug references from when he was younger, and lyrics that can often be mislabeled offensive, I still find it powerful. While I appreciate his live performances over recordings, having his music around to listen to at a whim is definitely a benefit. I am sure long after he has left performing, his music will continue to entertain many others and myself for years to come. Remaining as an inspiration for musicians, and a reminder of things past.

Marc has garnered a host of loyal fans that respect him as much as a person as they do a musician. If more people cared about the music they wrote as much as Marc, I am sure the quality of music as a whole would explode. The energy seen in people who witness his performances live is real, and powerful. I am glad to have a signed copy of his history on my bookshelf.

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This was an article written by Mike Melchor for Orlando Examiner to coincide with Marc’s third Nerdapalooza.

As part of a series heading in to one of Central Florida’s biggest music – and geek – festivals, we continue to spotlight some of the artists appearing at Nerdapalooza. Nerdapalooza will take place this year on July 17 and 18 at the Orlando Airport Marriott, with a pre-party the evening of July 16 at A Comic Shop, located at 114 South Semoran Boulevard in Winter Park, FL. To that end, we now catch up with a local favorite – who can now officially be called such after being voted Best Indie Act by the voters of Orlando Weekly. Congratulations are in order for Marc with a C as we head in to Nerdapalooza…

Marc with a C is no stranger to Nerdapalooza, happening this weekend (July 17 and 18) at the Orlando Airport Marriott. Making his third straight appearance at the annual Nerd music gathering this Sunday at around 5 pm, Marc is looking forward to sharing the stage with acts as varied as MC Frontalot, Sci-Fried, and Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew because,oddly enough, it’s somewhere that feels like home. However, Marc is quick to point out that the Nerdapalooza faithful (along with the festival organizers) adopted him in kind.

“The first year I played Nerdapalooza,” Marc explains, “I was shocked to see how a music scene that I didn’t know was thriving was so open to embracing me. I’d played so many smoky bars and sweaty clubs over the years and didn’t fit in with the Indie rock scene and didn’t fit in with the bar bands or the hipster set, for that matter. It was really comforting, then, to see a weekend full of people from all over the United States to say, ‘you’re home. We like what you do. You’re now a part of this thing.’ For that reason, as soon as I get on stage, there’s sort of a kinship there. I don’t have to go on stage and explain what makes me nerdy – they can just kind of look at me and tell right off the bat,” Marc laughs. “There really is very little divide between performer and audience at this show – you are all one and the same. [And] what I’ve found in the past years is that folks that come to see two or three bands don’t look at the other acts as the ‘annoying opening band’. It’s more of an added bonus – ‘Hey, it turns out that I like this band, too’ – which is really comforting and refreshing.”

Going in to that atmosphere, Marc is excited to be on familiar ground but reveals that, this year, he’ll be changing things up a bit. “The first year that I played at the festival, I had Chris [Zabriskie] playing drums on a full drum kit. The second year, we changed it up a bit and he was playing a makeshift [drum kit], which necessitated a changing around of the set list. This year, in the interest of doing something different again, I’m playing solo because it affords me more time to play songs I haven’t got to play in past years. And while people want to hear what they heard the first time when they experienced you, at the same time, I have a lot of songs,” Marc chuckles. “I’d just feel like kind of a jerk if I played the same thing that people saw last year, especially if people fly from all over the world to come to Nerdapalooza. It’s kind of a gyp if you just do a carbon copy of the previous year.”

Looking past this weekend’s festival, Marc has also recently announced on his site that he would playing back at his old stomping grounds at Stardust Video on August 7. Not just any show, Marc will be playing two of his early albums, Normal Bias and Bubblegum Romance, in their entirety. Marc clarifies that the reasons for picking these two records in particular are not only to please both the audience and himself, but simply for sheer enjoyment.

“The number reason was, it seemed like fun,” Marc laughs. “It was something I hadn’t done before and I play in this town quite often. I’ve done just about every variation of show that I could possibly do – from nothing but audience requests down to a show with nothing but covers. This show’s gonna be mostly funny material, this show’s gonna be mostly serious, this show I’ll play with a band. What I hadn’t done was to almost treat it like a play – to hand you a program and go, ‘this is what song you’re going to hear at exactly what time.’

“Playing these two records specifically had a lot to do with being…Normal Bias is the one that I like the best out of the first five records, and Bubblegum Romance tends to be the fan favorite of the first five. So, the first set I can please myself and get that out of the way while getting to play a bunch of the really cool songs on Normal Bias that I don’t normally have time to put on a set list. With Bubblegum Romance, I know there will be a big block of songs that people came to hear all at once. It’s like the set list wrote itself.”

As for newer material, Marc with a C is in the formative stages of the follow-up to March’s Pop! Pop! Pop!. Giving a little bit of insight in to the process, Marc reveals, “It’s so weird how the internet has changed our attention span. My last record of new material was released on the internet for free in March, and it seems that…we’re only three or four months removed from that, and it already seems like I haven’t released anything new for ages! We’re coming off of a decade where you were lucky to get a new record every two years from a band you liked, so this is taking a lot of getting used to from me. Other than just writing new tracks and trying to come up with songs that people will really like, that’s about as far as the progress has gone.

“I’ve played a couple of them live and they’ve gotten fairly good responses, but I’m still not sure about when I play it because I can release it so quickly when it’s done that, while the audience is getting used to the song, I’m getting used to how it’s going to work in the future, and I don’t become comfortable sometimes with these songs until two years later when they’ve had a chance to set in to the consciousness of the listener. That having been said, some of the new material I can’t possibly leave out of shows now that the audience knows them, which is a good sign. The stuff I haven’t played live isn’t Steely Dan or Frank Zappa or anything, but it’s ten times more complex than what I’m used to playing live. I’m not really sure how that’s going to work out sitting next to ‘Stairway to Rudolph’,” Marc laughs. “I feel the new record is going to be quite different for me, but ultimately it’s not up to me to say. It’s up to what the listener makes of it.”

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A review of Pop! Pop! Pop! courtesy of Hipster Please!

Pop Goes the Record

Pop music has gotten a really bad rap. I blame Britney Spears. I blame The Archies. I blame M.

Wait – no. Not that last one.

Whereas once pop music, a simple derivative of the phrase “popular music,” plainly described radio-friendly songs with distinct youth appeal, it has now become cultural shorthand for radio-friendly songs with distinct youth appeal and absolutely no inherent artistic merit. And that’s a goddamn shame.

Because, from the very dawn of the age of the modern songwriter, pop has been a viable musical force. From Small Faces and Big Star to Cheap Trick and The Replacements, pop has proven itself to be just that: modern music. A rejection of classical tropes and high-minded motifs in favor of the understated strength of verse-chorus-verse. A music not necessarily low in substance, but rather high in charm.

And though proud pop fans like me have found ourselves forced to explicitly state our leanings with descriptors like indie pop or guitar pop or Townshend’s classic power pop, we know the importance of the strong hook. Of the sing-along chorus. Of the lead riff.

Marc with a C is a lot like me. He’s a man unafraid of exposing his pop leanings. But unlike me, Marc does so within the bounds of the art form itself, and his recently released Pop! Pop! Pop! is an 11-track pledge of allegiance to the Empire of Pop.

The album kicks off with the tuneful “Holly Vincent,” a pop ballad in the style of any good guitar-based ditty named after a girl. Of course, this one is named after the frontwoman of punk-poppers Holly and the Italians. It makes a number of clever references to her 1980 breakthrough song “Tell That Girl to Shut Up,” all the while touting the global appeal of a solid pop offering.

From there things stay in that distinctly upbeat vein with a brighter take on RetroLowFi’s “Fighting For Love.” It’s a track that still loses me a bit on the chorus, but remains a well-metered charmer in spite of it. And follow-up “Joe Henry” drops the volume and ups the ante with bright, beautiful chorus harmonies and minimalist, last-minute percussion.

“Ammonia,” another song with which I’m familiar due to its inclusion on his RetroLowFi collection, is an otherwise lackluster They Might Be Giants-style vocal track saved by phenomenal instrumentation, which plays perfectly into another RetroLowFi track, “As the Bombs Fell.” It comes through as an album highlight, even among the other pop treasures that similarly balance angst and honesty in equal measure.

“Roll The Tape” marks the album’s midpoint with vocal swagger and lyrics centered on the folly of a sure-thing. “Medicine Head,” however, slows it down and dwells on the uncertainty of the un-medicated life, a topic that should resonate with a lot of us. “Winter Colors” keeps that string of somberness flowing, though it occasionally plods and again resorts to some clichéd lyricism.

“If You Loved Me” remains on the lower end with regard to tempo and manages to sound uniquely intimate, though it’s not exactly Marc’s best vocal delivery of the album. Still, it plays perfectly into follow-up “The Audience Is Listening,” another not-so-subtle journey into the mind of the artist that breaks the cardinal rule of pop by extending past the five minute mark. More so, it also challenges multiple musical conventions by evolving into an acerbic spoken-word piece at irregular intervals.

Pop! Pop! Pop! returns to form with album closer “Just Stop Trying.” Its double-time chorus punctuated by old school staples like who-who-whos and the all-important vocal countermelody really help to end the album with a bang.

With only minor shortfalls, Marc with a C’s latest offering channels the pop music of our past into a shiny new version for tomorrow. It starts strong, gets a little mopey slightly after the midpoint and then pulls out all the stops for an 11th hour turnaround. Like the best pop, it challenges lyrical conventions in a manner both subtle and charming (by mining the artist’s own experiences and attitudes), while at the same time making you sway with a healthy hooks and never-abused percussion.
If you’re a fan of pop, in any of its myriad of forms, then Pop! Pop! Pop! is for you. But unlike those pop anthems of yore, it’s freely available at retrolowfi.com.

Welcome to the future.

“Pop, pop, pop goes weekend radio.”

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A review of RetroLowFi courtesy of Hipster Please!

Marc with a C is fucking punk rock.

Not in the way that the Dead Boys or the Pistols were punk rock, mind you. More in the vein of Elvis Costello or, better yet, Jonathan Richman.

Marc Sirdoreus writes songs from the proper punk vantage point. Less a place of fashion and flash, and more from a simple, unpretentious, human perspective.

His recently released RetroLowFi: 10 Years Of Marc With a C chronicles a decade’s breadth of his music and, though a handful of the songs show the unfortunate leanings of a fledgling songwriter, it proves itself to be a phenomenal collection.

At 54 tracks stretched across two discs, RetroLowFi is a tad unwieldy as a review subject. Its extreme duration makes it prohibitive with regard to my traditional track-by-track breakdown, but, truth be told, I have grown a bit weary of that structure anyway. Thus, I’ll attempt to ruminate on the meat of this collection in a more concise, if less linear, fashion. But I can’t talk about what the album is without first talking about what it isn’t.

It isn’t slickly produced or perfectly packaged; it is instead purposefully, ingeniously rough around the edges. Yet by the same token, it isn’t simply a haphazard collection of solo acoustic numbers, as one might expect from Marc’s loose and informal live sets. Spanning everything from bedroom ballads to live, full-band rockers, RetroLowFi is the sampler platter of career retrospectives. It has a lot to offer, but chooses to do so by delivering a number of small yet serviceable portions spread out over both discs, with little groupings of similarly themed or orchestrated tracks that inevitably give way to something strikingly different before the listener becomes overly complacent.

It all kicks off with the poppy and pleasantly juvenile “Song Song,” before giving way to Marc’s bread and butter, the awkward love song, in the form of the as-yet unreleased “As the Bombs Fell.” From there he segues into a bevy of barroom pleasers in quick succession (“Classic Country Wasn’t Multitracked in ‘61,” “I Will Repossess Your Heart” and the Alro Guthrie-tinged “Nerdy Girls”), with only a few minor missteps. This also affords Marc the opportunity to ruminate on his second overarching theme, the joy of music itself (“Broken Record Player.”)

A bit before the halfway point, volume 1 does suffer due to some poor song placement. The proximity of the emo and occasionally atonal “Every Single Friend” and the (intentionally?) cliché “Fighting For Love (Is Like Fucking For Virginity)” kills a little of the artistic inertia, but Marc quickly gathers it again with the cleverly introspective “I Tried To Die Young” and a brief foray into inspired musical comedy by way of a live version of his song “Liana.”

This, in turn, leads the collection to its first true highpoint, Marc’s beautifully realized cover of “Shock Treatment,” the title track from 1981’s spiritual successor to the beloved Rocky Horror Picture Show, which paints the song as a haunting acoustic ballad far removed from the electro-rock of the original. Marc then treats us to another string of highlights including the sometimes clumsy but always endearing “Music Geek,” childhood anthem “Chicken Pox & Star Wars Guys” and the disturbing (but undeniably stirring) “Town In Flames.”

Disc 1 winds down with the broken-dreams narrative of “Drunk Classic Rock Fans” and the plodding, contemplative “Chasing the Bug,” which, in turn, play off the pair of unreleased studio versions of Marc’s “Blowjob Queen” and “Stairway To Rudolph” that kick off disc 2.

While this volume struggles a bit early on, with tracks like the They Might Be Giants-style romp entitled “Ammonia,” it also sees some of Marc’s most charming material (particularly in the form of the kid-friendly “Bounce Bounce Bounce.”) Overall, the second installment somehow feels a bit more substantial, with cuts about real women (“Anything But Plain”), perfectly-layered pop ditties (“No London in Brazil”) and wonderfully surreal lyricism (“I’m In Love with Everyone I Know”), which more than makes up for its few shortcomings (specifically “God Save The Queen from Navy Seals,” which, though almost certainly unintentionally, apes the vocal melody from Green Day’s “Basket Case” almost note-for-note).

And though it arrives slightly later in the album arch than disc 1, it also has a definite high point. In this case, Marc’s four-part opus on the power of music and the unique magic of the true music lover – “Jessica, I Heard You like the Who,” “She Loves the B-Sides,” “RetroLowFi” and “Born Vintage” – is, perhaps, the most inspired track arrangement you’ll find this side of a genuine concept album.

If RetroLowFi’s second disc suffers at all, it’s simply because it doesn’t end on that triumphant quatrain. Still, in its waning moments the album manages to come through with the requisite fire and skill to remind you that Marc with a C has songwriting chops to spare. “You’ve Got That Curse” is an unlikely but insistent toe-tapper, “Happy to Be Alive” is a perfectly balanced meditation on the simple life and “Laura, I Need Medicine,” while not a complete lyrical triumph, is a catchy little joint about stalking Laura Prepon.

The album’s ultimate closer, “Satellite,” is a delicate six-minute acoustic jam that’s thick with vocal overdubs and positively packed with that special brand of angst that somehow manages to sound genuinely poignant. It’s an efficient wrap-up to an album that often wanders wide between the humorous and the tender. Like any good song, it occupies the conscious mind while summarily appealing to those raw emotions simmering beneath the surface.

That said, I can think of no better way to sum up a career retrospective like RetroLowFi.

It succeeds as an album much in the same way that Marc’s style has kept his music relevant for the past decade; it ebbs and flows, sometimes slowing to a trickle, but always moving forward. As a relatively new but also fairly discriminating devotee of Marc with a C, it’s easy to recognize this project for what it truly is: a comprehensive list of fan favorites wrapped up in a single tidy package. While there were a handful of tracks that I didn’t completely feel, RetroLowFi is an amazing effort that surely spotlights a fair measure of your old favorites and sweetens the deal with new tracks, unreleased material and alternate takes. At 10 bucks, it’s a steal for seasoned fans and a perfect jumping-off point for newbs.

Grab a copy now, and discover a new favorite.

“I’ve asked for your number, but please let me explain…”

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Dr. Vern of Sci-Fried wrote this review of the RetroLowFi compilation:

About halfway through the 1st CD of RetroLowFi, I was struck with inspiration. I pledge to become more active in the geek music community. How I possibly missed nearly 10 years of Marc with a C is simply amazing. I consider myself a geek afficianado. Like many of you I started with the great Weird Al Yankovic and listened to Dr. Demento. I’ve seen Weezer, Barenaked Ladies, MC Frontalot, Jonathan Coulton and many others, who’ve helped pushed geek music to the viable genre that it is today. I mention these names not because you need a history lesson, but because Marc with a C is that damn good.

In reviewing the 54 tracks that span 2 CD’s on RetroLowFi: Ten Years of Marc with a C, I felt a little odd. In essence, reviewing this compilation was like reviewing the career, thus far, of one very talented singer/songwriter. The sweet simplicity of his love songs including the previously unreleased “As The Bombs Fell”, are really the white-stuff of the oreo. Songs like “Stuck With Me”, and “‘Til You Come Home To Me” are very tender and funny. Marc really has a knack for love songs that speak to not forgetting what’s really important. I feel as though I’ve gotten to know this man, through the music. That is a rare gift. If Marc had nothing more than this going for him, i’d recommend this collection. Oh, but there is so much more.

Songs like “Life’s So Hard”, “Chicken Pox and Star Wars Guys”, “Stairway to Rudolph” (guilty pleasure), “All my Drug Use is Accidental”, “Drunk Classic Rock Fans” and many others are hilarious. Written with the well-witted precision of a Dennis Miller comedy special. That’s all, right? Not even close. Tracks like “Music Geek”, “RetroLowFi”, “Broken Record Player” and “Country Music wasn’t Multitracked in ‘61″ speak to the obvious deep love of music that this artist shares with us in every song.

I almost chose to begin my blog reviews with something else, thinking that my readers wouldn’t believe that this is really that good. Let me assure you it is. If you enjoy the aforementioned Barenaked Ladies and Jonathan Coulton, this is in your wheelhouse. Listen to “Nerdy Girls” and you’ll be hooked. While I’m steamed that I wasn’t introduced to his music earlier, RetroLowFi has made up for lost time.

Have you noticed yet that I have mentioned many great songs. This compilation is a no-brainer for 10 bucks. Unlike other reviewers out there, I like to focus on the good stuff. There are some tracks on RetroLowFi that aren’t my thing. However, they are swallowed by the good. Take us along for at least 10 more years Marc. Stop reading this and go to www.marcwithac.com and throw down the 10 bones it’s gonna take for you to add your new favorite CD to your collection.

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Review of the RetroLowFi compilation from Independent Clauses:

I think every music scene has a local hero. Here in Norman, Okla., it’s Hosty. Hosty has a standing Sunday night gig at the coolest bar/venue in town until “the end of time,” according to the management. If you live in Norman and you haven’t been to a Hosty show, it’s because you’re underage or ignorant. And I have known young’uns to stand outside the venue just to hear it. So really, it’s only the ignorant that don’t love Hosty, because to see him is to love him. He (because he and his music are almost inseparable at this point) is that awesome.

I have a feeling that Marc with a C is that guy in Orlando. Marc with a C gigs locally instead of touring to support his prodigious amount of releases. He is heavily involved in a local festival called Nerdapalooza, and he seems to appear in just about every avenue of music media in Orlando. And that’s just the info I’ve picked up from press releases, liner notes, and his songs. If I know all that and I don’t even live in Orlando, I wonder how ubiquitous he is in the right circles of Orlando.

And, as it is with Hosty, Marc with a C has gained this status by knowing his songwriting vision, crafting it to perfection, and cranking it out over and over. If Guided by Voices’ giddy passion for songwriting met the witty lyrics and and fiercely acoustic quality of early Mountain Goats records, it might resemble Marc with a C’s upbeat, wickedly funny and occasionally poignant guitar pop. Marc rarely features a full band like GBV, and his vocal style is much more palatable on first blush than John Darnielle’s nasally warble. The majority of the songs are intimate, goofy, eccentric, wonderful acoustic pop songs that you can sing and hum gleefully.

RetroLowFi is a retrospective of the last ten years of Marc with a C, and (in keeping with his prodigious output) he decided to put out a double CD with 27 songs on each side. Yes, there are an astounding fifty-four songs here, spanning the seven albums, handful of EPs, unreleased songs, live recordings, studio appearances and more that Marc has committed to tape in the past ten years.

It’s a remarkable release, and it’s incredibly enjoyable. The best tracks are crammed into the first half of the first disc and the second half of the second disc, which establishes that Marc with a C really believes that you should be listening to all 54 songs in a row as one huge album (which I have done, several times). For the uninitiated, that’s amazing tunes like the hilarious “Nerdy Girls,” the sobering “I Tried to Die Young,” the confessional singalong “Bite Size Help,” the incredibly honest love song “Stuck with Me,” and the clever “All My Drug Use is Accidental” on the first half. The back end includes the heart-breaking personal favorite “Amy, It’s Kevin,” the ba-da-bas of “RetroLowFi,” the is-it-satire-or-not “Life’s So Hard,” and “She Loves the B-Sides,” which is the best Marc with a C track I hadn’t heard.

The end of the first disc and the beginning of the second contain Marc’s goofier songs, like “Stairway to Rudolph” (which is the lyrics of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” set to “Stairway to Heaven”), “I Love Little Pussy” (an ancient kid’s poem set to music), “Ammonia” (a list of things ammonia is good for), and “God Save the Queen from Navy Seals” (inexplicable). Marc said his goal was to have only one album necessary to buy, and the album definitely spans everything in his collection. This isn’t a greatest hits album (because I would cut out the entire middle to make that happen, with the exception of the wonderful “Bounce Bounce Bounce”); it’s an everything-I-am compendium.

And that makes it absolutely necessary if you like lo-fi acoustic pop. Marc with a C is a man with a distinct songwriting style that’s entirely entertaining. Add to the deal his witty insight on how life works and a willingness to be honest about his own problems, and you’ve got a recipe that is simply impossible to dislike. Get this album.
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Article/interview about RetroLowFi: 10 Years Of Marc With a C from waffles.fm:

Marc With a C is a lo-fi pop songster from Orlando, Florida. He played his first show in 1999 when a member of a then popular local group didn’t show up for a gig, and the set went down wonderfully. Since then, Marc has released seven official albums utilizing any available equipment. This has led to some occasionally unorthodox sounding recordings, but most fall into the framework of classic pop songwriting. Marc With a C is a total record collecting geek and it shows. While you can’t see him doing his guitar windmills during his bedroom recording sessions, you can certainly hear the enthusiasm and lyrcial excitement.

This collection of material has been pout together to celebrate the last decade of Marc With a C material, and is culled from most of his major releases with an occasional dip into the deeper catalog. While Marc has recently taken to offering all of his albums for free download at marcwithac.com, this two-disc, fifty-four song collection will be available to purchase at his website, as well as his occasional shows. This compilation is designed to be a one stop shopping excursion, offering up all of the audience favorites in one place as well as serving as a beginners guide to Marc’s extensive discography. Take just one listen to “RetroLowFi: 10 Years Of Marc With a C” and it’ll be easy to see how Marc has built his substantial cult following within the lo-fi and nerd music scenes.

W: Where is your band located?

M: I live in Orlando, FL. You’d be surprised, but there is a small little contingent of really good original bands here. It’s not all just bar bands and kiddie pop anymore! It’s usually just me doing the shows/recordings, (Marc), but sometimes either Chris Zabriskie or Ryan Price will join me onstage to pound on things.

W: Give us a brief background of who your band is and how it started.

M: I used to be a roadie for a band called Precious and one night back in 1999, the leader of said group looked like he wasn’t going to show up. The promoters were scrambling, looking for anyone at all to play for the restless crowd. I offered to sing the silly songs I made up in my bedroom that I’d never planned on anyone hearing. The show was explosively well-received, and the very next day people called trying to book me. I’ve rarely slowed down since.

W: How would you personally describe your sound?

M: I like to think that it’s guitar-based sarcastic indiepop, but your mileage may vary.

W: What/who are some of your influences?

M:
Now this is an answer that I could spend a whole day on. My favorite group in the world is the Who, and I’ve aped enough of Pete Townshend’s moves onstage – as well as his writing techniques – for that to be pretty obvious. I was also very moved by Jonathan Richman, The Monkees, Guided By Voices/anything Robert Pollard related, early Pink Floyd, Juliana Hatfield, Hank Williams Sr., and especially my friend Chris Zabriskie; without his friendship and influence, there might not be a Marc With a C.

W: Are you touring? If so, where/when?

M: I rarely tour, because I lose my mind – literally – when I’m away from family and friends. I can count the number of tour dates that I’ve done outside of my own state on Mickey Mouse’s fingers. I am highly considering try to do a few celebratory road shows for the tenth anniversary, though. We’ll see if my psyche can handle it this time.

W: Do you have any upcoming projects Waffles users should know about?

M: Beyond the RetroLowFi compilation, I’m always slowly working on my next album, which will be my eighth full length. I’ve seriously upgraded my equipment since the recordings that appear on the two-disc compilation, so I’m taking my time learning how to use it. I can guarantee that I won’t put out the next one until it’s utterly mindblowing. After this many records, there’s no excuse for releasing something subpar, you know?

W: Is there anywhere we can purchase your work?

M: All of my first seven albums are always availabe for free download at marcwithac.com. Physical copies are pretty much completely sold out, and the only Compact Disc that is now available is the RetroLowFi compilation. But I think that’s a pretty good deal, getting fifty-four of the audience favorites in one place for ten bucks? It’s practically all you’d need of mine. Right now, anyways! It’s available to buy on my website as well.

W: What are your views on Waffles and/or audio piracy in general?

M: Let me make this clear: if piracy of your music isn’t somehow translating into better sales or concert attendance, you are doing it wrong. The idea is to get as many people as possible to hear your music, or at least it oughta be in a perfect world. Communities like Waffles are wonderful for that. You can grab an album at random, go to a forum and tell everyone what you liked/disliked about it,and other listeners can stop by the conversation and compare notes. I think it’s a songwriters dream, and I simply don’t understand those who oppose.

W: Give us three albums you believe everyone should download.

M: This is a toughie. But here goes:
The Modern Lovers – “S/T” (MY favorite rock and roll album of all time. So much honesty, swagger and earnesty in one package!)

The Monkees – “Headquarters” (The most highly misunderstood rock band ever. This is the third album when they started playing their own instruments and became their own band):

Guided By Voices – “Human Amusements at Hourly Rates: The Best of Guided By Voices” (Everything that Robert Pollard touches turns to gold. Wuth so many releases, this is as good a place as any to start)

W: Anything else you’d like to add that we missed?

M: Just that I’d like to thank Waffles for helping me expose my craft to brand new and receptive ears. I’ve been at this for ten years now, and I’m not even close to getting worn out. Waffles has given a lot of inspiration to me in various ways, and I’m hoping that this small offering will suffice in giving back the best way that I know how. Thank you for listening.

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Article from examiner.com by Michael Melchor:

“Marc With a C celebrates ten years with fan-friendly projects”

Marc with a C is taking fan-friendly to a whole new level. In eight days, Marc celebrates ten years as a performer and recording artist with the release of RetroLowFi: 10 Years Of Marc With a C. The career (to date)-spanning compilation highlights all of the favorites of Marc’s output, ranging from his debut, Human Slushy, up to this year’s Losing Salt. The two-disc, 54-song collection collects all of the audience favorites throughout Marc’s occupation as one of Orlando’s most engaging performers.

As Marc said in a recent interview describing the compilation (and the reasons behind it), “It’s inconvenient to be selling some of the albums – the only ones I have physical copies of – at the shows. You can get all of the albums for free online, but people come to the shows and want certain songs. It gets so complicated. It’s easier to go, ‘look, if you want to donate $10, I will give you everything you need. This will be the only thing you have to buy.”

Marc adds, “a lot of the songs that were played on stage [early on] never actually got released. I’ve been asked to put out studio versions of songs such as ‘Blowjob Queen’ and ‘Stairway To Rudolph’ and never actually gone through with it until now. “

The tracklisting for RetroLowFi: 10 Years Of Marc With a C is as follows:

Disc One
1. Song Song
2. As The Bombs Fell (unreleased)
3. Classic Country Wasn’t Multitracked In ’61
4. I Will Repossess Your Heart
5. We’re All Gonna Die
6. Broken Record Player
7. Stuck With Me
8. Victoria’s Girls
9. Nerdy Girls
10. Every Single Friend
11. All My Drug Use Is Accidental
12. Fighting For Love (Is Like F***ing For Virginity) (”Sex Times Three” version)
13. I Tried To Die Young
14. Bite Size Help
15. Liana (live, 2004)
16. Shock Treatment
17. Music Geek
18. Why Don’t Girls Like Me?
19. The Problem Is Me (”What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With a C” version)
20. Melena (live on WPRK 2001, on Jessica Frick’s ‘Used Bin Rejects’ show)
21. Chicken Pox & Star Wars Guys
22. I Love Little P***y
23. A Very Special Episode (”What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With a C” version)
24. Town In Flames
25. The Earth Didn’t Move, You’re Just Hung Over
26. Drunk Classic Rock Fans
27. Chasing The Bug

Disc Two
1. Blowjob Queen (unreleased studio version)
2. Stairway To Rudolph (unreleased studio version)
3. Ammonia (unreleased)
4. Counting Down
5. Bounce Bounce Bounce
6. ‘Til You Come Home To Me
7. Anything But Plain (”Sex Times Three” version)
8. If I Had a Dealer (”What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With a C” version)
9. Terror Song/Astronomy Domine
10. No London In Brazil
11. God Save The Queen From Navy Seals
12. I’m In Love With Everyone I Know (”Sex Times Three” version)
13. What The Hell Were You On?
14. Ex-Neanderthal
15. Freezing In Florida
16. Jessica, I Heard You Like The Who
17. She Loves The B-Sides
18. RetroLowFi
19. Born Vintage
20. You’ve Got This Curse
21. San Diego Doorways
22. Happy To Be Alive
23. Laura, I Need Medicine (”What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With a C” version)
24. Amy, It’s Kevin
25. Life’s So Hard
26. You Do Not Exist
27. Satellite

As evidenced here, the track list is designed to please long-time fans of Marc along with newcomers looking for a starting point for those looking to hear Marc’s razor wit and clever songwriting. And, for $10 for 54 songs, practically re-defines “value”. But, Marc goes even farther with the concept of giving to his fans.

Imagine an album recorded just for you. Your requests, your picks, recorded and sent to your house in a single edition available absolutely nowhere else. That’s the idea behind “Marc sings for you!”

To quote Marc’s statement about the endeavor:

If you’re like me, you probably like to experience music in the most personal way possible. I like to perform it in the most personal manner that I can, and that’s why I’m starting the Marc Sings For You series! Here’s how it works:

You buy a Marc Sings For You selection. I sit down with my four-track and record eight songs live just for you from my repertoire. I pick six of the tunes by pulling the titles from a Tupperware bowl, and when you check out via PayPal, you leave two song requests for me to fill on your tape. (The requests must be one of my originals or a cover I’m known for doing).

In roughly two weeks (give or take) you’ll receive a personally made “edition of one” from yours truly. Once you receive it, you’re free to share it, break it, covet it… anything you’d like except for selling it!

No artist in recent memory has gone this far to please his fans. And, to hear Marc tell it, it’s a pleasure to do so. To quote Marc once again about his recent projects:

Thanks so much for the last ten years, and thank you in advance for the next ten. I hope that you’ll like this celebratory package as much as I enjoyed making/writing/recording/living it. I’m proud of what I’ve done as Marc With a C, and I’m twice as proud of how vocal my listeners are in letting me know that they are there. Thank you for facilitating my need to document my life in song everyone. This one’s for you.

RetrowLowFi: 10 Years Of Marc With a C and the Marc Sings For You! collections can be ordered through Marc’s website.

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Review of Sex Times Three from Ink 19:

I’m pretty familiar with Larry Stallings’ work as writer, director and actor, and I know he has many more than these three tight comedies in his pocket. The set chosen for this show take a common theme of love and suppressed bisexuality, and presents some light comedy with an ensemble cast and a guitarist to fill the show out to just over an hour.

The evening opens with personable Marc “With a C” Sirdoreus and an acoustic guitar. He’s pleasant and enthusiastic, and his original compositions have a heart and humor that few opening acts have these days. “I’m In Love With Everyone I Know” and “We’re All Gonna Die” come across as folksy and folky, but a more complicated arrangement and a few supporting musicians could put him in a high class bar like Will’s. As he did his opening set and inter-act materials, his roadie Kevin Sigman appeared to provide M&M’s, bottled water, and a sweat rubdown. Like I say, this guy has rock star potential.

The Stalling material opens with Zach (Alex Carroll) and Gabby (Kimberly Luffman) as roommates at a transition point in their relation. Gabby’s moving in with her new lesbian girl friend, leaving Zach with a spare room. He’s a little heartbroken, he thought that they were a pretty good team – he decorated, she cleaned. Since he’s in a spot, he admits something he’s been hiding from her – he saw her naked several times, and all under false pretenses. A cute premise and well executed with Luffman’s serious, no nonsense sexuality and Carroll’s teddy bear like boyishness.

Scene two takes us to the hotel room of upcoming comic Davey (Carroll.) He’s ordered a hooker and a body guard – that is, two separate people from two separate companies. When Cynthia (Luffman) arrives in a smart business suit, he’s confused as to where to write the check. Turns out she’s the security coordinator, but when she finds out there are even higher paying jobs available, she asks to be interviewed for a new position.

The final scene takes us to colonial Salem, where we find Ms. Luffman tied to a stake and waiting for dawn to rise so she can be stoned and burnt for witchcraft. She takes it pretty well, and banters with William (Carroll) who offers to untie her in exchange for his undying affection and a chance to move to a more open minded local. Turns out she’s had a few offers, and William finds out just how easy it is to suffer from an indefensible accusation.

Despite the provocative title, these shows are all PG comedies that you wouldn’t have any fears of bringing Mom to see. I would have liked to see a few more of Mr. Stallings shorts in the program, but these were worth the admission, and done with professionalism that’s good to see in a fresh theater company.

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Review of Sex Times Three from Orlando Weekly:
By Seth Kubersky

There goes the neighborhood. The Greater Orlando Actors Theatre has only been in their new space (the former Cherry Street Theater) for about a month, and they’re already inviting friends over for sex – and asking you to watch. Local actress Kimberly Luffman (who you may remember from shows by GOAT, PRT, OSF, OTP and other acronyms) is putting on the producer’s hat for the first time as Wallflower Theatre and presenting Sex Times Three, a trio of light-blue comedies written and directed by Larry Stallings (The Shaeffer Killing, Orlando Vigilante).

In scene one, Gabby (Luffman) tells platonic roommate Zach (Alex Carroll) that she’s leaving to live with her girlfriend. His jealous reaction reveals that his interest in antique lunchboxes and musical theater doesn’t mean what she’d assumed.

Next, Carroll portrays Davey, a sexist comic who mistakes security consultant Cynthia (Luffman) for a sex worker supplied by his agent. The two duel with snappy patter as she ponders being his “diversion” for a pile of dollars.

In the final and funniest sketch, Sarah (Luffman) is an accused witch awaiting stoning at the stake. She’s beset by beaus (Carroll, Stallings) offering to bear her away before the inquisitor (Kevin Sigman) arrives brandishing pointy sticks and broccoli.

Tying the unrelated episodes together is musical host Marc Sirdoreus. If you don’t already know singer/songwriter Marc With a C’s infectious acoustic nerd-rock songs about love, sex and genital warts, this mini-concert is a fine introduction.

Stalling’s short scripts are more like shaggy-dog jokes – complete with overdeveloped setup and punchline blackouts – than fully developed one-acts, but each has at least a couple of killer lines (“What part of ‘torture her until dead’ did you not understand?”). Luffman and Carroll deliver Stallings’ old-school sitcom-style banter with fluency, but they don’t have the sensual spark you’d expect from a show with “sex” in the title. I’ve known and worked with members of this fledgling company in years past, so I’m happy to see them branching out and looking forward to them tackling something meatier soon. In the meantime, if you’re seeking a few good laughs and great songs, this three-way should get you off.

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Article from examiner.com by Michael Melchor:

Marc with a C has been one of Orlando’s best talents for seven years and counting. Soon, he may be considered one of the most innovative.

Marc’s music – described by Marc himself as “sloppy low-fi pop” – is an excellent combination of solid hooks and lyrics that would make even the most jaded listener chuckle, at the very least. Marc is a veteran of the Orlando scene and has gained a sizeable following in that time. Now, with his latest ventures, he may break wide with another audience entirely.

Coming fresh off of his second stint at Nerdapalooza, Marc with a C is set to be an instrumental (no pun intended) part of the play, “Sex Times Three.” The play, written by Larry Stalling and presented by Wallflower Productions, will be held at the GOAT Theatre at 669 Cherry St. in Winter Park, FL on July 31, August 1, 6, 7, and 8 at 8 pm each night. During each show, Marc with a C will play a short opening set, as well as in-between each of the three acts/vignettes that make up the show. There will also be a soundtrack of the show featuring Marc’s music available exclusively at the play.

On becoming a part of this experience, Marc recalls, “[The show’s producers] called me up and asked if they could play recordings of my songs during the show. I told them, ‘I only live a few blocks away, why don’t I come down and just play them myself?’ They seemed surprised; they told me, ‘we didn’t think you’d be interested in doing it.’ I figured, well, either live or on tape, I was going to be a part of the show, anyway. [Laughs] It seemed like something really cool to be a part of.”

Being part of a stage play would seem foreign to some acts and an anathema to others still. Marc, however, has made a year – if not a career – out of breaking new ground. Marc made the decision in March of this year to make his entire discography available on his website for free. Yes, his music can still be purchased through his site, or through iTunes, or through Amazon. But, as he explains it on his website, “…while I have no idea what the future of the music industry holds, I’m not going to stand in the way of how people choose to have and enjoy the songs that I have made up through the years.”

In addition to that and “Sex Times Three”, Marc will also be playing with the Rich Weirdoes cast – those famous for the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” live participation shows at Universal CityWalk’s AMC Cinemas – for a special shows involving the sequel, “Shock Treatment”. Marc will be playing at the movie theater with the Rich Weirdoes on September 4 and 5, October 2 and 3, and October 30. In addition to making an annual tradition out of the Halloween “Rocky Horror” shows there, Marc was also inspirational to the “Shock treatment” shows with his versions of the movie’s songs.

For more info: Feel free to visit Marc with a C on his website, Facebook, Twitter, or on MySpace, as well as Last.fm. You can also catch him on WPRK 91.5 FM every Wednesday morning from 8 to 10 am on the “Serious Business” show, which can also be heard online.

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Review of Losing Salt from How Marvellous:

Ahh that’s better, I played this three times yesterday & couldn’t get enough. Marc with a C is a prolific singer/song-writer who seemingly turns out albums like there’s no tomorrow; I’d guess he’s one of those musicians with a driving need to create & play. There’s some really good songs up for grabs at his website, many of which beg for more than the engaging harmonies & no-fi home production, and that’s praise, not criticism. Suspend any unnecessary need you might have for big studio values, attend instead to the music, the tenderness, emotion & humour within it. Brought a smile to my face, and that’s priceless.

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Review of Losing Salt from Independent Clauses:

Marc Sirdoreus, aka Marc with a C, is a giving person. The entirety of his newest album, Losing Salt, is available for download on his website. In fact, he has done this with all of his albums, and there are nine of them. If your first reaction to this is “say whaaat?” then don’t worry – you weren’t the only one.

It seems that the reason for this is simple – Marc loves making records, and he loves getting them out there, no strings attached. Marc describes himself as a “prolific artist by nature,” a statement that can’t be denied when you look at his recent releases. There’s also the option of donating to Marc for his musical generosity.

Losing Salt is definitely another Marc with a C staple – a DIY manifesto full of acoustic, witty pop songs, most of which tell a story. It opens with the hilarious “I Will Repossess Your Heart,” in which the narrator threatens to take a girl’s heart by physical force if necessary. Its bubbly delivery combined with lines like “they will crack open your ribcage and take it away surgically” should crack up any listener. “Chicken Pox & Star Wars Guys” is one of my favorites on Losing Salt for several reasons: it’s undeniably cute, it’s super catchy, and it name-drops Boba Fett. The song is from the perspective of a little kid stuck inside because he’s got chicken pox, and all he wants to do is play with his “Star Wars guys outside.” Combine this concept with a heavy dose of pop fun, and that’s gotta be a recipe for success.

“You’ve Got This Curse” has a great chorus, even if it doesn’t quite match the tone of the rest of the song. The verses feel a bit unsettling, but the chorus is upbeat. It’s a little incongruent, but the overall song is still fun. “He Left You for a Punk Rock Girl” is another narrative song with funny lyrics, but Marc with a C can’t fail in this category, so I say, keep ‘em coming. This one’s got falsetto background vocals that add to the humor.

Marc’s voice sounds nasally at times, but it actually works with his type of songs. His vocals sound really good in the ballad “You Do Not Exist,” which I’m pretty sure is about an obsessive guy with an imaginary girlfriend. I’m not really feeling the spacey “Magazines” because it doesn’t fit in with the rest of Losing Salt, and it’s too long. But despite this, the album closes with on a strong note with “If These Walls Could Talk,” where Marc harmonizes quite nicely with himself. Its snarky, sometimes frantic, delivery matches the lyrics: “if these walls could talk they probably would have nothing much to say,” and later, “my neck hurts from all the ways I slouch.” I can’t believe that this song is autobiographical though – Marc just seems too darned motivated and driven. Check out his latest release on his website, and give Marc with a C some love for giving out his music so readily.
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From The Athens Exchange:

Oh Fortuna/ Marc With A C/ Hot Lava, Athens PopFest, Flicker Theater, 8/16/08

Marc with a C
Photo Credit: Brook Pifer

by Casey DeHoedt
08/19/2008

For the last Flicker show of PopFest, I had arrived – sadly – late. The exterior empty… Oh man, is everyone still stealing some extra moments for sustenance? Entering the theater/stage/bar the place was packed as Oh Fortuna was crowded on the stage. Some sat idly on the couch, others stood on the wooden folding chairs.

”If I don’t wake up, I’ll never stop dreaming,” sings JT Bringardner. The crowd chants and claps along before the synth amps into a full-bodied harmony.

I usually refer to Oh Fortuna as glam-twee; glam from presentation, and twee for the obvious. The glam certainly sparkled as the multi-member band matched in their KC and the Sunshine Band/ABBA uniforms of white jumpsuits and rainbow ornamentations. Their merch table (the only thing I can really see from my position) is a spread of glow-in-the-dark star shaped sunglasses and their free demo. Dreamy and whimsical, and fitting to their celestial sounds.

“C’mon let’s get some bodies movin – let’s get sweaty!” says Bringardner before their last song. The reverb of the synthesizer echoing up into the rafters as Oh Fortuna sings of light-hearted joy. ”I’ll believe it, I’ll believe it all when I’ve seen it all,” sings the chorus of voices as the last few overtones dangled in the air.

“That was really awesome” is all that could be heard afterwards.

Marc With a C and his acoustic guitar stood up next. An Adonis of Atari, the Prometheus of pocket protectors: Marc With a C puts the pow in power ballads. His cherubian face, pajama pants and bare feet the antithesis of Oh Fortuna’s colorfully constructed costumes. He looks like the guy who just got up from a late night of D&D and pizza and just had to “sing a song.” Marc With A C relates sagas of geekdom and the romantic stigmas that (un)accompany this realm.

Somewhat more of a standup comic than a musician, Marc packs his set full with quips between and within songs. “I’ve seen a lot of bands give things away, but I haven’t seen anything ‘Pop’,” as he tosses Poptarts (and granola bars) to the crowd.

During a song, Marc develops an intimacy with the crowd as he shares his soul-searching experience on quizilla.com. He’s Veronica Sawyer. He has a thing for Christian Slater. Well… that’s not true. I mean, he liked Pump Up the Volume but he didn’t like Kuffs. He loves everyone he meets… Except Christian Slater – whom he actually has never met.

This is what Marc tells us as he expresses his love for everyone (except Christian Slater), even for people who go to monster truck rallies, drink Busch beer and beat up his mom.

“I’ve always wanted to jump off a stage in Athens… Now I did… It was fuckin awesome,” says Marc after he’d stepped off the seven inch rise of the Flicker stage and approached a female in the crowd.

Lastly the quartet from Richmond, Hot Lava, took the stage. I felt myself feeling entranced from the combination of the encroaching storm outside, and the smooth alto of Allison’s lead vocals. There’s something sort of late Pixies-ish about their music. Sleazy bass riffs, minimalistic key hooks and pop drum beats as their songs are structured on builds and releases of dynamic.

The atmosphere of Flicker’ Saturday shows was fun. As the sets progressed, attendance had filtered but the mood was jovial as everyone took an initiative to meet and greet with one another and shoot the well-received breeze drifting in from the West.

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Interview from FoggyRuinsOfTime:


Foto by Blackstarlight
Marc Sirdoreus, former blogger/music critic but better known as Marc With A C has been playing for almost ten years now and recently released his latest album Linda Lovelace For President (comes with the Live At Stardust DVD too!). The record takes a more serious turn than any previous album, but it’s still got Marc’s classic and stripped down sensibilities. Most importantly it has some great tunes that I think are more rewarding in many ways than some of his older songs. You can read the rest of my review here.But let’s get on with it shall we? Marc was kind enough to entertain my questions (many many questions) and I hope everyone will find them as enlightening as I did.

Foggy: How did you get started making music?

Marc: My grandmother bought me my first guitar when I was around twelve or so. It was the cheapest little Spanish guitar that wouldn’t stay in tune. She tried to buy me a strap so I could wear it, but accidentally bought a saxophone strap for me instead. I didn’t know any better, so I wrapped it around the back, attached it to the inside of the sound hole and went for it. My mom taught me some initial chords, and then I mostly learned to play from the tablature in classic rock songbooks, as well as a hearty amount of trial and error.

Around 14 or 15, I got really into writing and recording my own music under a different name, which eventually branched off into a somewhat unrelated band. There are probably hundreds of those tapes floating around, but I’m pretty embarrassed by them now and I’d prefer they just sort of disintegrated. It was all really whiny, angsty teenage stuff. I didn’t have enough remove from the situations I was singing about to offer any real perspective, and my voice was unusually high for my age. Since I didn’t really know how to control my voice at the time, I tried to push my range into something really gravelly – which is the exact opposite of what my vocal cords naturally want to do. So… bad songs, bad singing, bad lyrics.

Marc With a C as a solo persona was invented to kill time between acts at a local open mic night that I hosted. I wrote some silly little nerdy songs that were probably more honest than I wanted to admit – things like “Why Don’t Girls Like Me” and “Left For Her”. This persona became more of a draw than any musicians actually showing up to play, and it was a little surprising. I didn’t really expect to be doing it this way ten years later.

The first Marc With a C “show” happened when a very popular local band didn’t show up for their set on time. The promoter wanted someone to fill time, I offered my services, expecting to bomb. I opened with the theme to the Laverne & Shirley show and followed it up with an early version of “Victoria’s Girls”. Probably played for about 20 minutes or so. The crowd hooted and hollered, but… I didn’t expect people to start booking me the very next day. I haven’t really slowed down since.

Foggy: Do you think like a music critic (blogger) while making your music and vice-versa?

Marc: I suppose so. I’m certainly trying to capture experiences and feelings sort of condensing them into bite-size reviews of my life. I’m also elaborating on whether the subject affected me in a positive or negative light, usually. I’ve never really thought about it that way before… but I think you’re totally dead on.

Foggy: As a writer who puts a lot of pop culture references in the songs do you wish listeners knew them all or do you think of it as a nice surprise for the nerdier fans?

Marc: My motto just sort of tends to be “the right people will get it”. Although I’m often surprised by the references that people don’t pick up on as much as I am shocked by what the listeners gravitate towards. I thought that my years of name checking The Who would have landed me a big following of fellow Who freaks, but it hasn’t happened.

Sometimes, I don’t even realize how many references I’m using! An interviewer once asked if I meant to refer to Winona Ryder three separate times on the Bubblegum Romance album… and I hadn’t even thought about it until that very second. However, I get asked all the time about the line from “When My Ship Comes In”. You know, if I really named our dog Meatwad. And the answer is yes.

Foggy: What do you do for a living besides making music, (formally) writing about music, and just plain being a cool guy?

Marc: Hah! You think I’m cool? Man… I’m the biggest dork on the planet, but thank you very much for putting that in print! Every job I have revolves around music in some way. I have been known to while away my time in record stores for employment, but that has ended for the time being. We’re going to devote a lot of energy to Marc With a C work for a few months, and a regular job might not sit well with it.

Foggy: On the recently released Live At Stardust DVD you went on some hilarious little rants; are they planned or completely off the cuff?

Marc: Usually off the cuff. I might think of some stories I want to tell during the day before a show, but usually they are all long forgotten by stage time. Even when I tell some recurring stories, like the banter you’d hear before or during “Drunk Classic Rock Fans” or “Life’s So Hard”, I’m always improvising new bits. I rehearse as much as I can, but when I stand in front of a crowd that’s as excited to see me as I am to see them? I’m just oozing happiness and I almost can’t think straight. It’s intoxicating, for sure, and that situation often leads to my mind going blank for the first few songs. But once I get talking during shows… all bets are off. Even I’m surprised by the things that come out of my mouth. I guess I’m just so excited to be there that I can’t really shut up.

Foggy: Would you consider putting your discography online for free? Older stuff? All?

Marc: No. I give away a lot of music in the form of free “official bootlegs” on my site. I make as many of my concerts free as I possibly can. But making the official records entirely free, all the time? No, that’s not really in the cards for me. I think in terms of albums for the most part, and giving it all away negates the cost of packaging and such for me. I grew up liking to buy records, tapes and CD’s. That old guard mentality might be fading a bit in recent years, and I’m adapting as well as I can, but… I like record collections. I like for my albums to be part of someone’s physical collection. If that vanishes? Half of what I love about music will have disappeared. It’s likely that I’d quit altogether, at that point.

Foggy: What do you think of CLLCT (001Collective)?Marc: I think it’s a great idea. There’s nothing wrong with putting together a supportive musical community, you know? Plus, the site looks great, and I always end up finding something new that I like there. I can only hope that it grows beyond the collective’s wildest dreams. CLLCT is doing something very ballsy… and they’re doing it right.

Foggy: Are blogs the modern equivalent of how radio used to operate?

Marc: In a way. They are sort of a cross between the CMJ magazine if every band referenced could fit a song on the monthly CD… and if everyone were listening to the same college radio station. The smart labels know that blogs have the power now, and they’re playing the games they used to dabble in with radio. The not-so-smart labels, however? They are the ones afraid of sending you free records and CD’s in the mail. They think that if they drop an MP3 in your blog’s inbox, then dammit… you’d better write about it. And they will follow up until you are just fucking annoyed with the band themselves. Like the labels are doing the blogs the favors, hah. If you want press, you gotta be willing to model your product. Period. And that goes for even the smallest label running on no money whatsoever. If you can’t be bothered to walk to the mailbox and send a prospective reviewer the thing you want to sell a kajillion copies of, then they shouldn’t have to be bothered with writing about it. Radio wouldn’t have put up with that crap in it’s heyday, and the upstart blogs shouldn’t be expected to either.

Foggy: So many people are obsessing about what direction the music business will take in the few years, but is “the end” really near as some people claim?

Marc: Only for the less savvy brick and mortar stores. You don’t see Amazon pitching a fit about how CD sales are slipping. Folks still (mostly) buy music at shows to support touring bands. T-shirts aren’t any less popular than they used to be. But to those people obsessing about what direction the industry is taking? I honestly better not ever hear a single fucking peep out of them. They shouldn’t have time to talk about predicting these trends… they should be busy counting their no doubt gigantic stacks of money from saving their precious little industry if they are so damned smart.

But you’re not seeing that, and you won’t. Folks have been up in arms about the industry dying since the 8-track went out. Music will continue to exist, and people will pay to see other people perform it. As long as that doesn’t go away, we’re pretty much gonna be fine. Maybe the WEA system won’t exist in ten years, but really good bands will still be doing just fine.

Foggy: Do you think the hipster record player fad will go away? Is reel to reel the next cool thing?

Marc: Hey, reel to reels were considered high-end audiophile equipment back in the day! But will this record fad fade? There’s a lot of things to consider there, Steven. First of all, a lot of the teenagers buying their first records and turntables have grown up never paying for music at all. They get this stuff home and find out what it’s like to have bought a slice of art. They see liner notes, big pictures all matched up with better fidelity than they have ever heard in their lifetime. I’ve watched the most “technologically advanced” iPhone-toting folks on the planet sell off practically everything they own to rebuy all of their digital music on wax, and it only gets bigger every day.

Having worked in the record store industry, I can say that there’s not only been an obvious dip in CD sales… but also in what people are bringing to trade in at used shops. Folks are often only selling back compact discs for trade credit that they can spend on vinyl. You weren’t seeing as many hot titles entering the used bins anymore, and the CD’s that were selling the best were often the ones that you couldn’t get on wax. While the stock of newly minted records has skyrocketed, the price surprisingly hasn’t, unless the label is doing something special – colors, heavyweights, etc. Although… if it does all turn out to be a fad, we’re gonna see the price of vinyl drop immensely, but there’s also gonna be a lot of great used records out there that these kids are going to regret losing later. If vinyl loses its flavor… the industry is fucking sunk.

Foggy: Is it possible for another Elvis, Beatles or Nirvana, or is global success coupled with critical acclaim gone forever?

Marc: It’s already happened again. We’re just too close to it to realize it. Mark my words on this one… the next step in your Elvis, Beatles and Nirvana timeline will be In Rainbows. Not so much Radiohead, but moreso that album and its business model. Fans loved it, critics praised it to the hilt, and then once we all actually *heard* it…? Everyone almost unanimously agreed that it was at least pretty good. I can personally take or leave most of Radiohead’s output, but I’m glad there’s a band that hipsters and casual listeners of music can both agree on that doesn’t suck eggs and doesn’t treat their fans like idiots. It’s very reminiscent of the Nirvana phenomenon in that way, and Radiohead is certainly selling more concert tickets than Nirvana ever did at their peak.

Foggy: Do you listen to your own music for pleasure?

Marc: Of course, man. I make records that I want to listen to. Probably not often enough to be a total narcissist, but I’ll go a few months without listening to the recordings I’ve made, and then go through them all in a shot. This usually leads to me rediscovering a song or two that I’d forgotten all about. “Human Slushy” is a good example of that, and it started getting played live a lot more for that reason. My records are pretty good for driving, as they mostly last as long as the average Orlando car ride, and that’s where I end up playing them. If I ever make a record that I don’t want to listen to afterwords, I’ve done something very, very wrong.

Foggy: Favorite album of 2008 so far? Most anticipated?

Marc: I’ve really loved a few records this year… probably my favorite had been the newest Breeders album. The last Robert Pollard album, Off To Business, is pretty stellar as well. Other really pleasant surprises have been the new platters by Capstan Shafts, Retribution Gospel Choir and those Os Mutantes reissues. The upcoming stuff I’m looking forward to most? Easily, the new albums by All Girl Summer Fun Band and Juliana Hatfield. Especially the latter. Anytime Juliana puts out a new album, it deserves a fucking federal holiday.

Foggy: Seriously, Isn’t Chris Zabriskie’s album O Great Queen Electric, What Do You Have Waiting For Me? the best thing ever?

Marc: Yes, it is. And in some alternate universe, people are building shrines to him for making it. We just have to wait for the one in which we live in to catch up. That record is a masterpiece, hands down.

Foggy: What is your relationship with Chris? What was it about those three songs he had written that made you want to put them on Linda Lovelace For President?

Marc: We’re best friends, we’re bandmates, we’re family. I think that Chris Zabriskie is the finest songwriter I have ever having the pleasure of knowing personally. As far as why his three compositions made it to the last Marc With a C album, it’s a bit of a long story, so let me give you a quick overall summation…

At the same time that I was putting together the ideas behind Linda Lovelace For President, Chris was putting together ideas for the second record by another band we did for awhile: lo-fi is sci-fi. Further activities for that nomenclature were put on indefinite hiatus, but I felt a very close kinship to three of the demos he’d given me. I knew that LLFP was going to center around spiritual turmoil and disconnect from the world at large… and to boil it down simply? Chris wrote better musical statements on those things than I had. I begged, pleaded and groveled to use the songs, Chris allowed them to be used for Marc With a C, and the tunes became crowd favorites instantaneously.

You can’t dance around the fact that two people as close as we are will likely be on similar pages creatively. I can’t thank Chris enough for those tracks… they helped me to express the rest of the sentiments on the album, and LLFP as an album would not and could not exist without his compositions. He wrote the glue. The same should be said about his work on the DVD that accompanies the album, Live At Stardust. Without his editing skills, that film would simply not exist, period. He’s the best.

Foggy: So Linda Lovelace For President has been out for a bit now and is even available as a hardcopy, any new thoughts on the album? New revelations?

Marc: Not really. I got out a lot of things that I wanted to express on this album, and to me… it almost plays like the second disc of Normal Bias. I think it’s a really good collection of lo-fi pop songs, and I’m every bit as proud of it as I was when the tape ran out at the end of the album. Which is very audible on the title track! The real revelations are what listeners make of it from here on out, you know?

Foggy: What’s next for Marc With A C?

We have a lot of things cooking at Mw/aC HQ. Ultimately, we’d like to do some road shows for the first time in quite awhile, and we’ve already started in on that. I would like to finally complete the Shock Treatment album that I’ve been working on for, oh, ten years? Hah. For a guy that writes and records as much as I do, I don’t nearly come close to completing it all. If I did, I wouldn’t have time for my friends and family, you know? I will say this, though… for the first time, I would like to just sort of focus on showcasing and enjoying the stuff I’ve created as Marc With a C, and not so much just jumping head first into a new album or project. There’s so much left to do with what we’ve already made. That’s a really exciting place to be in your creative life, and a first for me.

Thanks Marc for answering my questions and I hope all you readers have lots of food for thought to chew on. Look forward to news about Marc With A C’s tenth anniversary. I heard he has something special planned.

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 Linda Lovelace For President-era interview from www.songsandsonics.com!

Marc with a CIn a world overrun with lifeless Autotuned vocals and perfectly Pro Tooled grooves, Florida-based singer/songwriter Marc Sirdoreus — who performs as Marc with a C — is like a breath of fresh air. His cassette 4-track recordings are unapologetically lo-fi. They’re imperfect by any technical yardstick. But, as everyone says (and rarely follows through with), the recording quality shouldn’t matter. At the end of the day, it should all be about the songs.

And in Marc with a C’s case, what terrific songs they are! Classic mid-’60s pop melodies and jangly guitars run up against witty ruminations on nerdy girls, teenage angst, and dating someone for their record collection. Marc’s songs go beyond the typical singer-songwriter vocabulary; they’re often astonishingly direct, delightfully funny, and painfully honest. The effect is not unlike having an enthusiastic best friend telling you about something amazing that happened to him the other day.

Marc with a C’s latest release is called — and oh man, the spambots are really going to find this blog now — Linda Lovelace for President. Don’t ask. Or, actually, I’ll ask, in the interview below.

Since 2002, most Marc with a C releases prominently featured Mr. Sirdoreus’s songwriting. This time out, Chris Zabriskie (live drummer for Marc with a C and a fine songwriter in his own right) contributed three songs, though it’s still Marc playing all the instruments on the album. The recording is appropriately rough around the edges, but it’s very much alive, very human, and brimming with lyrical gems from start to finish.

“I think everyone thinks I’m their little secret,” says Marc about his fans. He’s right. And you’re about to be let in on the secret as well.

Jeff: How would you describe the progression of your albums up until your newest one?

Marc: That’s difficult to sum up. My first album, Human Slushy, was pretty polished — for me, at least — and the second full-length was gearing up to be a big ol’ arena rock affair. However, that second record was more the sound and performances of the producer than my own ideas for Marc With a C. At the eleventh hour, we ditched all of those recordings and started fresh for what eventually became Bubblegum Romance. A much more stripped down, lo-fi and fun affair.

Chris Zabriskie really helped push me in the direction of making the album sound at least a little bit like the shows felt, and his offer to pick up the production duties sold me. If you play the original sessions for the first draft of that album against what was eventually released, it’s pretty clear that I had little to no input on what was being done with my songs. Chris helped me make the most important decisions of my musical life, for sure.

After those initial albums, I stayed pretty bare bones with the production, doing it on my own. I like to think each album has its own theme, and I’m not sure that I’ve ever done better than a record I put out in 2007 called Normal Bias. It was one complete thought, and sequenced in the order it was recorded in — meaning that you can hear my voice going out by the end of the album. I sang a lot over those three days.

How is the Linda Lovelace for President album different?

It’s actually pretty simple: though I thought that there was certainly an undercurrent of spiritual turmoil running through the lyrics of the tracks, I mostly wanted to try and make an album that was simply a really cool collection of pop songs. This backfired, of course. At the end of five straight days of recording, I plopped down on the couch to watch the film that the record takes its title from… and was shocked to find that all of these songs could serve as lyrical counterpoints to that film. Besides “Jessica, I Heard You Like The Who,” mind you.

This album also carries the distinction of having what are possibly the two longest songs I’ve recorded to date: the title track and “Satellite.” This surprised a lot of people, as I’ve sort of built my teensy little career on three minute long pop songs.

Hmmm… I didn’t notice “Satellite” was a long song. The length of it felt just right.

You know, my wife said the exact same thing about the song. That one had been kicking around on various demos for years, and we could never fit it into the grand scheme of whatever album we were working on at the time. The song was literally on Bubblegum Romance when we sent it off to the duplication plant, and I believe that Chris Zabriskie had to make some frantic last-minute calls when we decided to remove it.

For those who haven’t seen the movie Linda Lovelace for President, what exactly does the song have to do with the film?

That’s a hard one to answer, and this response will totally seem like I’m pulling your chain. The lyrics are fairly esoteric, and that’s because I was combining elements of the film with another subject altogether: the original beta testers of Quantum Link, which eventually morphed into America Online.

I saw an early tester going onto the service and becoming very involved with seeing how far the chat room personas could be taken, eventually reinventing himself as a woman. After this heterosexual man spent hours/days/weeks/months pretending to be a flirty girl named Nikki, there were some very notable changes in his behavior that I wouldn’t feel comfortable elaborating on. I would imagine that due to our ability to become a different person in a virtual world, there may likely have been a rise in multiple personality disorders.

How this related to the film for me is hard to explain, but in it, you see Linda trying to become a real actress, pretending that she had been forced into her porn career — even though it was the only reason anyone knew of her in the first place. And in the plot itself, she makes her freewheeling sexuality very, very well known while also attempting to sell herself as a wholesome and virtuous leader. For reasons that likely make no sense to anyone but me, I saw major connections between the film and what I’d witnessed firsthand. The lyrics in the song itself probably give no clues either, but it feels really good to sing about, and I’m very proud of that one.

Marc with a C's living roomWhat’s in your home studio?

I don’t actually have one. If I’m going to do some recording, I gather up the needed instruments from around the house, put them somewhere that won’t bother anyone else, and go to work until I’m tired of listening to the song. This is a picture of what my setup looked like when I did some simple acoustic demos a few days ago, and yes… that is my living room.

On “Born Vintage,” what gave you the idea to stop playing and let the drum beat take over?

That drop-out in “Born Vintage” was actually present on Chris’s home demo of the song. He’d gotten up to answer the door and he left the drum machine running. No one was there, so he sat back down and finished the song, leaving in the “blemish.” I thought it was a really cool counterpoint, so I kept it in my own rendition of the tune.

Great idea! What are some other lo-fi production tricks you’ve used?

I never really think of anything I’m doing while recording as a trick, so to speak.

Sometimes, I’ve been drinking and I try to sound sober during vocal takes. It usually works, so I think that might count. Often I’ll use as much tape as I possibly can before I start losing clarity on the magnetic strip, and then I’ll layer the last remaining parts onto a computer after transferring the material. The bad part about this is that the basic tracks end up submixed, and you can’t really go back and change anything you dislike later. You have to sort of be married to what you’ve committed to tape to finish a song in this fashion.

What’s the usual way you go about writing songs?

It’s always different. Sometimes I’ve simply got nothing to do, so I’m plunking around with a guitar, improvising lyrics. If something sticks out, I’ll drop everything and work on the idea until it’s finished.

Are you writing songs all the time?

Lately, the work has gone like this: I don’t smoke in my house, so I’ll go to the garage or patio to indulge my habit. I almost always have a notebook within reach, and I’ll scribble things out with no real purpose. Sometimes I end up with fully formed lyrics, other times I’ll just get maybe a scattered verse out of it that I’ll later use as a middle eight. And there are days when I wake up and simply feel like completing those things, so I scour notebooks and see which ones hold up the best. But often, if I don’t immediately have a melody in my head to go with the lyrics, it’ll never be finished. I do finish quite a bit more than I release, though.

Have you ever dated a girl primarily for her record collection?

Ah, would a gentleman tell a secret like that? I’m not sure. I can say that in my dating days, gals without good taste in music didn’t last long on my meter of interest. I can also say that in the past I’ve been more guilty of trying to get into the tape decks of possible girlfriends than underneath their clothes. Some actually found that more offensive.

Have you ever manufactured a crisis in your life in order to come up with song ideas?

I will honestly answer “no.” I’ve also been told that I can convince myself of anything, no matter how far-fetched, melodramatic or simply untrue it may be. So… I might have done so without realizing. I often don’t write about something nowadays unless it’s in the pretty distant past, but writing pop lyrics is really nothing if you’re not making mountains out of molehills, no?

It’s probably a testament to the strong persona you put across in your songs, then. I didn’t get the impression that you’re just a craftsman writing pop songs, but a person who lives to the extremes and documents it all with music. Is that at all accurate?

I guess it’s really a fair mixture of both. I do my very best to only sing lyrics that I can stand behind, and I’ve been known to retire songs when I no longer relate to them. But honestly… the craft of the song itself is just as important to me as what I’m saying in it. Should the lyrics ever become more important than the entire unit as a whole, I’d probably be better off writing pamphlets than pop tunes.

Have any of your lyrics gotten you in trouble?

Oh, yes. I was actually threatened with a lawsuit once. It seems that a gal wasn’t happy that I mentioned her by name in “Blowjob Queen,” but the joke is really on her. I thought the song was a stupid throwaway, but I decided to play it live to sort of underhandedly get even with her for being so ridiculous about the whole situation. Now it’s requested at nearly every show I play.

Is there any subject you won’t write about in your songs?

I attempt to steer clear of things that would upset my family, but that doesn’t always end up as a hard and fast rule. It’s more that I’ll write about anything I need to express at that moment, but just how much I’ll perform it after the fact remains to be seen. There are really personal songs that I haven’t performed live for years, (”Well Fucked Sailor” from my first album is a great example), but I still really love that I got the chance to express those sentiments. But when it comes to playing in front of a live audience, that’s when any sort of fear about my writing comes into play. Seeing facial expressions while people listen, you know? Sometimes performing live is a bit like being a film director that is expected to re-enact the audiences favorite scenes from your pictures.

Marc with a C liveWhat’s the best advice you ever received as a songwriter?

I didn’t receive this advice directly, but… I was watching a documentary about Mystery Science Theater once, and one of the writers said something to the effect of “we don’t worry about making sure everyone gets it, just that the right people get it.” That sentence is constantly in my mind when I’m creating anything.

If someone gave you the opportunity to record a big-budget record (but one that would meet your approval, unlike the original version of Bubblegum Romance), would you do it? Y’know, call it “Marc With a C Sells Out” or something…

I don’t know. It’d have to be for a label that I already really liked, and the producer would have to be a perfect match. I’m mostly into the lo-fi recording side of things because I don’t think that the songs I make up call for much more sheen than I give them. I’m not shooting for mainstream radio play, I don’t want People magazine rooting through my garbage, and best of all… If the recordings are “warts and all,” then the listener knows exactly what I sound like, not so much what an experienced producer can make me sound like.

What’s next for Marc with a C?

For the first time in a while, I’m not totally sure. I’ve made quite a few recordings in the last decade, and I think it’s time to take it on the road again. You know, enjoy what I’ve made and watch others hear it for the first time. As far as writing goes, I’m not exactly in a hurry to finish another album. I’ve written a few new songs, but they’re quite long, melancholy and esoteric. Of course… that’s the exact same thing I said right after we finished making Normal Bias, so… anything goes at this point.

10 things that inspire Marc with a C

  • Vinyl records.
  • My family.
  • Religious confusion.
  • Death.
  • Bubblegum.
  • Codeine.
  • Showering.
  • Limitations.
  • Insomnia.
  • People that let me ramble until I eventually make a point.
  • _______________________________________________________________ 

    Local Indie-Pop Artist Discusses New Album (from Central Florida Future, by Whitney Hamrick)

    “Clap like this was minute nine of ‘Freebird,’” said local “arteest” Marc Sirdoreus from Marc with a C wearing Simpsons pajama pants and a T-shirt quoting Art Brut stating, “Popular culture no longer appeals to me,” indicative of his sarcastic persona.

    Half way through Sirdoreus’ set at Nerdapalooza Southeast 2008 a fan threw a bra with phone number and love note written inside, on stage. “I’m going to have to top that somehow,” Sirdoreus said. “What could I do for these people that isn’t covered by all six of my albums? My records haven’t even turned aluminum.”

    Q: How long have you been performing and what inspires you to write your lyrics?

    A: “OK, the first part, I’ve been performing? What do you mean, like I’ve been playing checkers and I win and I act like I’m not surprised?”

    Q: Like playing guitars and singing-ness.

    A: “I started doing Marc with a C in 1999 as a way to pass the time. It grew and it grew ’til I was a lot more in demand than I expected to be, so we just keep doing it in various formations.

    “What inspired me to do it, honestly, is the people still want to hear it. It’s been going on really low key, everyone thinks I’m their little secret and I was pleasantly surprised that I show up, there’s a full club and they all know my songs and they’re all singing them back to me, which is good because I forget lyrics a lot. That’s what inspires me to write, to continue making the people happy that already like my records.”

    Q: How would you define your music?

    A: “Just sarcastic indie pop – it’s really not that much more complex than that. I used the same 12 notes everybody else uses. I don’t have as good of a voice as the average guy, but I know how to use the voice I’ve got fairly well.”

    Q: What inspired as in content?

    A: “It depends. This last album was inspired by I was really into the third installment of the Deep Throat Trilogy. The third installment was called Linda Lovelace for President and that was the name of my new record. There was no sex in it, though. It was actually Linda Lovelace running for president, she thinks she gets a call from God and it’s really a moving film it you look past the sexploitation of it.”

    Q: … I didn’t know there were sequels.

    A: “They really don’t mention the sequels. In the second one there was no sex in it and she was a Russian spy and I finally tracked that one down. They tried to bury that one for years. I actually don’t like the first one. I’m not a big fan of porn. I know what naked women look like and I’m married if I want to see a naked woman.”

    Q: It’s really not the porn that is interesting, it’s the controversy behind it with the actor getting indicted.

    A: “The Deep Throat story fascinates me, but Linda Lovelace as a person fascinates me. How someone can flip flop and pander to whatever is the popular opinion at the time … I almost look at her as the Andy Kaufman of porn as if she was really just putting everyone on.”

    Q: You came out to Nerdapalooza, how did you get involved?

    A: “I saw a flyer for Nerdapalooza and I got two questions: one, how on Earth is someone going to book a show called Nerdapalooza and not book the guy who sings ‘Nerdy Girl.’

    “It turns out that Josh [Thew] is actually a friend of mine and he was booking it

    “I’m really glad I went over well with the cast and crew of Nerdapalooza and I’m glad I went over really well with the audience and the audience went over really well … I did get a bra thrown at me though with a number in it. I’ve gotten panties, shoes and a bottle thrown at me, but never a bra.”

    Q: What are some of the places you usually play?

    A: “I play a lot at Stardust [Video and Coffee] because they let me do all ages shows; they won’t make me charge for people to come in. I don’t think my income should be made twice. I think that if you like what I do, you should buy the record and continue to listen to it. I don’t want you to go broke to get in the venue. I want you to come in because you wanted to be there.”

    Marc with a C will be playing at Athens PopFest in Athens, Ga., on Aug. 13. For more information, go to www.marcwithac.com

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    Review of Linda Lovelace For President from Foggy Ruins Of Time:

    Florida’s rambling rocker and resident blogger, Marc With A C returns with his latest album Linda Lovelace For President. You’ll remember I reviewed his last album Normal Bias here. So how does it stack up?

    Marc With A C has a style, messy acoustic guitars with even messier drums and he does not stray too far from the formula here, but a more serious tone shift separates Linda Lovelace For President from its predecessors. Where Normal Bias took traditional rock music tales and deconstructed them to fit Marc’s outlook, here he is taking a more nuanced look at the musical landscape he dwells in.

    Not without some help of course! “All My Drug Use is Accidental,” written by Marc’s best friend/colleague (and a very fine, fucking fantastic artist in his own right), Chris Zabriskie (read the review for his latest album here), explores the effects of a life entrenched in music, specifically rock ‘n’ roll. Chris writes to Marc’s musical strengths and the chorus is perhaps the sweetest in his entire catalogue:

    “That’s why all of my family hates me
    All my fans underrate me,
    All my doctors sedate me,
    All my girlfriends irritate me!
    All my habits are detrimental,
    All my music’s experimental,
    My religion is fundamental,
    All my drug use is accidental!”
    Seriously, the high note articulated on the word “accidental” is delicious.“I Tried To Die Young” is perhaps the most honest, direct, passionate and best reaction to everyone’s romanticism of a life of fame and legendary. In our culture the phrase, “All the good ones die young,” is taken as religious certainty and individuals like James Dean, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and others are revered for living life fast and hard, their art echoing into eternity. We all get caught up in this sentiment and believe that following the same path will achieve the same status of immortality. Marc offers a different story. The drugs only last so long, sex leads to kids, and music is only good when it’s shared with others. Why do we shun people who live long? Marc sings, “It’s as if we say survivors don’t belong, there’s nothing worse than carrying on,” and it’s startling and eye-opening how silly we are for believing that. And it makes me grieve for all the great artists we’ve lost. I believe this is his most well written song and everyone needs to hear it.Linda Lovelace For President is overall a lot calmer. Songs like “San Diego Doorways” and “Born Vintage” are bold statements sung with a sense of longing and expressed with a bit more experimentation than usual (a synth-laden outro and Lo-Fi drum track respectively). However, “Jessica, I Heard You Like The Who” could fit perfectly well on older records with the way it uses the subject of music as a story to express a particular feeling. No matter how much Marc denies this as a sexual song, “I wanna trade tapes with you,” is a new innuendo that I plan on using from now on. The interlude with the “audience” is a classic hilarious joke on the recording process that I can definitely relate to.My biggest gripe with Linda Lovelace For President is the album cover (where you can see here). I think it really does a disservice to the tone of the material. The album title too I am not a big fan of, but maybe I don’t quite understand the context, it sounds cool though. The last few songs of the album drag on a bit and “Debt Is Only What You Make of It,” is my least favorite song, the chords sound all wrong to me. Yet for the length, “Linda Lovelace For President” ends on a particularly epic note with melody that will get stuck in your head even if you don’t remember the words.

    Overall Marc With A C has recorded another solid album that I think is more rewarding than previous outings because of its more nuanced and less outwardly critically approach. On Linda Lovelace For President he takes the musical landscape he’s grown up in and uses it to reflect on how it’s changed him, for better or for worse.

    I would be sure buy this album when it gets released with a DVD of one of Marc’s shows that is surely worth every penny if you cannot make it to Florida anytime soon.

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    Linda Lovelace For President-era interview from fivethreedialtone.com! (And there’s some mp3’s there, too…)

    I found Marc With A C a few years ago via Internet. He’s a cool dude, he writes indie pop jams. He’s down with the Lo-Fi. I chatted with him, here let me show you.. If you’re not the reading type, scroll down and find some mp3s for your computer.

    jrc: Hey there!
    Marc With A C: Hello!

    jrc: How’s your Thursday?
    Marc With A C: So far, it isn’t too bad. Of course, I sleep late, so it could be awful but I would have been unconscious.
    And yours?

    jrc: I go to sleep awfully late, but I’m usually up earlyish. So far, so good.
    San Diego to Orlando?
    Why?
    Marc With A C: My family is spread across the country. It’s really that simple. Tried to move back to San Diego to “make it on my own” when I was about 19, but couldn’t cut the mustard. Beautfiul city, but despite the awful weather, Orlando has been a much neater town to live in.

    jrc: Right on.. Good music scene locally?
    Marc With A C: “Scene”? No. We have factions that play shows together. Some factions are more successful than others, as in most towns. I’ve just been incredibly lucky that average music fans have stayed interested in me, even when the “scene” couldn’t have cared less. If That makes sense. But Orlando is a really neat little town once you get used to it.
    For example, The other day I went to work at a record shop, then attended a business meeting for an upcoming show, and ran into an old friend on the way back to my car. This all happened within the radius of one block, which is pretty awesome. Some towns you’d have to spend eight hours in the care for all of those things to coincide.

    jrc:
    I’m from Detroit.. that doesn’t happen here. heh
    Marc With A C: Hah. I’ve seen PBS specials.

    jrc: So.. the Lo-Fi thing. It’s definitely a niche. Usually ‘you people’ are anti-digital anything. I noticed you had the myspace, and the last.fm..is making fans via the internet just the way it’s going to be now?
    Marc With A C:
    1. For me, “lo-fi” has meant using whatever is around to record your music. It hasn’t been a “Pro-Tools = Satan” mindset, just that you can sound exactly like yourself by pulling up the nearest thing with a microphone attached and pressing record. Nicer recording equipment is frankly a way to make yourself sound like all of the other people that own it too.
    2. I’ve never understood how I’ve acquired fans, nor why some of them get so incredibly obsessive. I just thank the stars they exist and that they like what I’m doing. MySpace and last.fm are just ways of keeping yourself accessible. I’m a normal cat, and people should be able to hear and email me if they’d like to do so. I’m not special or anything.
    3. That being said, I don’t know what to do with the oncoming “record stores are over” mentality, and I’m terrified of it.

    jrc: Yeah. Finding you, hearing you, and emailing you aside, what about the fact that they can also grab your discography from a slew of places.. all for zero dollars? Is it more of a “Wow, these people are listening!” or “Stop stealing my shit!”?
    Marc With A C: Hmmm. If someone downloads my album, and they like it? Hopefully they’ll buy it when they get around to it. That’s seemed to work so far as everything of mine goes out of print within a matter of months. And thanks to file sharing, we have strong fanbases in Greece, Italy and Amsterdam. Most groups from Orlando are lucky to be getting heard down the block. We’re focused on letting anyone who wants to hear the music hear it, not on getting rich. If money were the issue… I’m making the wrong kind of music on the wrong kind of equipment.
    Mostly, I don’t focus on any one segment of being a musician. I do each part of it when I have time, be it writing songs, making albums, playing shows or what have you. I’m comfortable with how it’s gone so far!

    jrc: I know you’re a pretty avid record collector.. which I imagine to mean vinyl? Even though you’re not a vinyl nazi, does it bother you that your new record won’t be on wax?
    Marc With A C: Yes, yes and yes. I hate it. Making vinyl is very expensive, and that means that I’d have to charge quite a bit for a forty minute record. Even though I gladly pay through the nose for vinyl titles I want to own, I don’t want to make the people that enjoy my songs have to pay twenty five dollars or so, allowing me to break even. I always think in a side one/side two way when sequencing albums, so it’s always been an issue for me. The upcoming record, “Linda Lovelace For President” is possibly the first album I’ve made that was put together with the constraints of the digital age in mind.

    jrc: And it was kind of collaboration, if I understand correctly? That was a first too?
    Marc With A C: It was, in a way. My drummer/best friend Chris Zabriskie and I had been working on a side-project called Lo-Fi Is Sci-Fi. We’d both contributed song ideas for the second record, but those sessions never happened. I had a notion that his tracks in particular would fit very well on a Marc With a C album, next to new things I’d been writing. After a tedious amount of “how will this work?”, we settled on the form you hear them in now. They may sound like Marc With a C songs, but it’s more than Chris and I have been working together for so long that we’re bound to write from one mindset, even as separate entities.
    There’s no right way to talk about that, actually, so to make it simpler: Chris wrote some songs. I liked them and wanted to sing them. Chris eventually said “okay”. The songs fit very well and I hope we can do it again in the future.

    jrc: And “Lo-Fi is Sci-Fi” is available with some demos of the songs that ultimately appear on the new Marc With A C record?
    Marc With A C: Yes. Chris made the first Lo-Fi is Sci-Fi record available for digital download, and when that happened he also dug up his demo versions of songs that eventually made the new record.
    Those became bonus tracks, and the second album wasn’t ever finished.

    jrc: When you say “Chris wrote some songs.” Does that mean music, or does that include lyrics?
    Marc With A C: Chris writes songs in a similar manner to me: he writes music and lyrics from top to bottom. If it’s missing anything, it isn’t a song yet. He wrote three songs for the new album, but when he wrote them at his house, he certainly wasn’t thinking “Man, I should totally give these to Marc for his album”. It just worked out that I had a very strong attachment to those three songs, and they fit a certain mindset that the new record was going to hit for me.
    The new Marc With a C record, I mean

    jrc: As a music fan, what about the new stuff coming out now? Anything you absolutely love, or absolutely hate? heh
    Marc With A C: Oh man, how long do you have?

    jrc: All I have is time.
    Marc With A C: I think that the new stuff by Steve Poltz, The Breeders, Robert Pollard, The Capstan Shafts and a girl named Jellybean are among the best records we’ll hear this decade. And even if Chris weren’t in a band with me, his solo records would utterly floor me. But as for things I absolutely hate?
    There’s not a lot of things that the average music consumer is enjoying lately that I understand or want to hear, let’s put it that way. I’m not a snob, I simply don’t get it.
    If you want me to name names… Vampire Weekend is a good example.
    They’re fine at what they’re doing, but I don’t fucking get them at all.

    jrc: I saw them this year.. I thought they were great, and I do love the album.
    Marc With A C: Yeah! Tons of people are losing their mind over them. They’re aren’t untalented, I just don’t understand why what they are doing is resonating with so many people.

    jrc: Does not getting it mean you’re not enjoying it? Do you think the record is bad?
    Marc With A C: My day job is working at a record shop. I’ve heard their new album more times than I’ve heard my own. I didn’t like it. I don’t think it’s bad, but I do find it incredibly mediocre.
    Marc With A C: Mediocrity annoys me much more than a “bad” album. At least you can laugh at a terrible album.

    jrc: “I don’t think their music’s bad, I just think they’re doing it wrong”
    jrc: Does that lyric take aim at anyone specific?
    Marc With A C: You’d have to ask Chris. He wrote that song, “Born Vintage”. I’m not sure who he was talking about, but I think of a specific person I know in everyday life when I sing it, not a musical act.

    jrc: Ah. You mentioned Pollard up there.. this is going to be a long storyish thing that turns into a question.
    Marc With A C: Ok, go for it!

    jrc: I visited the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame for the first time this year, fully expecting to hate it. I didn’t though. It had this really cool winding thing that went from roots blues rock, through the motown stuff, to the 60s garage stuff.. then the 70s movement stuff.. the 80s punk/new wave.. and it ended with a cool little grunge Sub-Pop / CZ records display. I couldn’t help but feel a little hopeless as to what they’re going to put next in that hallway. As a musician, what do you think comes next as significant to music history? Also, because you mentioned Bob Pollard, they have a room in the Hall Of Fame for Ohio based music. Devo, Afghan Whigs, Dean Martin. There wasn’t a single record behind the glass from GBV, but there was a boot from some stage goth band called Mushroom Head. How is it that Pollard’s stuff could be ignored in that forum?
    Marc With A C: Hmmm, I’ll answer this in two parts.
    1. What’s coming next? I’m not sure. We’ve seen the death of regionality via Clear Channel and micromanaging people’s music collections through digital distribution. The sad part about digital music is that there’s nothing to display and commemorate it with. I mean, are you gonna proudly display the laptop that Thom Yorke recorded “The Eraser” on the same way you’d make a shrine to Keith Moon’s “Pictures Of Lily”-era drum kit? I kinda doubt it. But as long as we as a collective mindset appreciate the music made during the time period, I think we’ll be fine. For all I know, that next room will commemorate what record stores used to look like as a “what the fuck did we do to music, people?” type of thing.
    2. Robert Pollard is the most important type of songwriter/recording artist we’ve got going today. The kind that makes records that he wants to listen to, instead of subscribing to any outside theories or scenes. He still seems a bit bewildered as to what the shoegazey-indie rock set ever saw in him, when he just thought he was making classic garage and progressive-minded pop. And that’s great. People making records because they want to, even if no one’s listening? That’s way more important than Greg Dulli’s ego, if you ask me.

    jrc: Did you hear the Gutter Twins record?
    Marc With A C: I did.
    jrc: Did you dig it?
    Marc With A C: It could have been a bit less string-heavy, but otherwise it was fine, I suppose. I never really thought about it much after Sub Pop sent it to me.
    Although many of my peers with respectable taste love the hell out of it, so maybe I haven’t spent enough time with the record

    jrc: Sub Pop vs K?
    Marc With A C: Depends on what aspects of the label you’re talking about, for sure.
    K has a great ethos, but I’m not exactly wild about everything they put out, nor am I impressed with anything Calvin [Johnson] has done in the last fifteen years… and I’m not sure why he’s a guest artist on nearly every record to this day. He’s not adding anything terribly interesting to, say, the Adrian Orange record.
    Sub Pop has a higher rate of finding bands that came out of nowhere and smack you in the face with great records. However… they’
    re also putting out Flight Of The Conchords, which is just a cuter Tenacious D that’s easier to market. You have to take the good with the bad on any label

    jrc: Ok. As a music guy, a record geek.. drop some names of the indie pop underground for the kids to download.
    jrc: you know, the bands that YOU would put on a mixtape for some girl
    Marc With A C: Hah, okay…
    Marc With A C: I’d highly recommend hearing (and buying albums by) Fishboy, Jellybean, Bucket Of Nails, Twa Toots, Nerdy Girl, Desmond Reed, The Capstan Shafts, old stuff by Tsunami, Helium, All Girl Summer Fun Band, Bunnygrunt, etc.
    But I wouldn’t put them on a mix tape for some girl… I’m married now ;)

    jrc: Heh, Nerdy Girl! I’ve talked to Cecil a bunch.
    Marc With A C: I got to interview her for retrolowfi.com last year, it was a dream come true, for sure.
    jrc: as a neat story, someone put Cecil Seaskull on a mix for me.. and I instantly decided that she was going to famous, and she had to come play Detroit. I contacted her to tell her how big she was going to be and she kindly pointed out that she hadn’t been doing music for quite sometime, and that the song I was referring to was done ‘a long time ago’
    heh, I guess I missed the boat
    Marc With A C: I never got to see her play live either, but she’s been a huge inspiration for me.

    jrc: Yeah. Discard her touring mentality though. You have to tour for your new record.
    Marc With A C: I’d like to. I just don’t enjoy traveling very much.
    Also, Chris and I have kids, so making all of the pieces fit is just going to be such a nightmare. But we’re absolutely determined to do some touring in the near future.
    jrc: Detroit is just up I-75. You can bring The Fam
    Marc With A C: The first Marc With a C tour in six years? Hell, we’ll see if I don’t have a nervous breakdown halfway through!

    jrc: Ha. Good luck with that, and getting your delegates counted.
    Marc With A C: Yeah. My vote doesn’t count, as I live in Florida, you know?
    jrc: Yeah, you guys are responsible for this mess.
    Marc With A C: The main part of Florida that had the “hanging chads” issue were retirees. They really expected these folks to figure out computers the next time around?
    jrc: My parents stay in Florida 7 months out of the year.. they are the exact problem you’re referring to.
    Marc With A C: Ah, so we are both responsible for this mess.

    jrc: Fair enough.
    Your record comes out in July
    You’re okay with people stealing it until then, but you’d like them to buy it if they have 15 dollars when it comes out?
    Does that sound right, kind of?
    Marc With A C: You have to sort of expect as a musician that people will download it whether you sanction it or not, especially when we made it available on iTunes and Amazon on April 1st. It leaked after that.
    I helped spread it for a very good reason

    jrc: it was sent to me april 3rd.
    digitally, unauthorized..
    Marc With A C: If I was going to lose money on the people that were only going to download it, I was at least gonna get my BitTorrent ratio up in lieu of actual money, you know?
    Marc With A C: But, when the album comes out this summer…
    It has a second disc that won’t have leaked. A DVD of a full live show we filmed last year.

    jrc: I’m looking forward to it.
    How much Marc With A C vinyl is out there?
    where do I get some?
    Marc With A C: Unless it’s pirated, no vinyl exists to my knowledge.
    jrc: You haven’t released anything on vinyl?
    Marc With A C: If it does exist, someone should send it to me.

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    Foggy Ruins Of Time review of Normal Bias:

    I’ll be honest and say I was a bit intimidated when I received Marc Sirdoreus’s latest album under the moniker Marc With A C. And it’s only because I adore the site that he writes for, RetroLowFi. As a music lover and critic his reviews are very insightful and humorous (I don’t always agree, but its all in good fun). So when it came time to listen to his music I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would sound like. Thankfully it is warm, passionate, clever and classic. On Marc’s latest record Normal Bias he is in the business of deconstruction. Every song takes common themes (bad dads, rock ‘n’ roll, song writing, old flames, and cathartic experiences, anti-home, etc.) and cleverly deconstructs them with a grand helping of personal experience to really ground this record. It makes the album name Normal Bias even more poignant. The first song, “Classic Country Wasn’t Multitracked In ‘61” hits hard with an insane hook packed in a familiar melody that’ll have you singing along even if didn’t think you could. It showcases quite sarcastically the conflicts and ironies of living, with Marc singing, “X amount of flour doesn’t bake a cake/ less is more especially on repeat/ the music’s kind of sad but that’s a good beat.” I really can’t think of another occasion where the phrase “Life would be so grand” could be uttered so heartily. The song “Dear Son” starts off as a classic “I hate my dad/dad ask for forgiveness” kind of track, but of course instead of revisiting every tortured 90s musician rendition of this theme, Marc twists this into a tragically humorous tale where the father threatens his son with his biker friends, hits on teenage girls using Staind demos and actually finds the nerve to place the blame on his ex-wife and son. This song straddles the border between hilarious and heartbreaking; I’m not sure if it’s real or not, regardless it’s effective. “Happy To Be Alive” is the kind of album closer we all hope for; it’s optimistic, reflective and self-effacing. There is no hint of irony in Marc’s voice when he sings, “Right now I’m just happy to be alive,” there are only the ironies of life that exist to humble us and make us grateful for the moments when things are wonderfully clear. Normal Bias is a fantastic album and being a musician and blogger like Marc, I can see the insane passion and love he has in every word he writes and sings. Its overflowing and infectious.

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    AgentKnight’s Review of Normal Bias:

    30/10/07 – Marc With A C - Normal Bias - 5/5
    Marc With A C is my hero! While What The Hell…? was quirky and funny and awesome, here Marc finds his inner Dylan – he actually finds something that isn’t totally menial to say, and discovers the miracles of quality control! The chord progressions are still simple, and his voice is still nasally, but there’s an added sophistication in the playing with some innovative picking and extra minor chords, as with the vocals, which often sound like they are the result of the tenth take as opposed to the first and occasionally come with bonus harmonic overdubs (those with sensitive ears may need to skip a few tracks as two layers of Marc With A C could prove too much!). And, damned if I ever though I’d be saying this, the climax of The Earth Didn’t Move is epic and moody! I love Marc With A C. Not only can he be totally naked and awesome, but he can make a Blood On The Tracks-esque, serious album as well.

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    My Little Ghost Friend review of Normal Bias

    Marc Sirdoreus has been making his cute yet sarcastic brand of lo-fi pop music under the moniker Marc With a C in Orlando since 1999. He clearly loves music — you can hear it in his lyrics and his prolific output, as well as on his review website, RetroLowFi. 2007 has been a busy year for the man, who has just released a compilation of crowd favorites called What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With a C?, as well as an album of new material, Normal Bias (on Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority). Normal Bias is deliciously wordy (there’s no way anybody could ever accuse him of writing something boring), but also offers up plenty of soaring melodies, hooky choruses and the occasional hand-clap that all contribute to an album that’s very fun and uniquely Marc With a C. An album of pessimistic optimism, sweet cynicism, dark but catchy pop music with a great sense of humor that I’ve been enjoying constantly since I received it in the mail.

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    Independent Clauses article from the Normal Bias era:

    “It’s Not Normal Bias To Love Marc With a C”
    By Megan Morgan:

    In fourth grade, Orlando-based musician Marc with a C, also known as Marc Sirdoreus, wrote his first song lyrics and discovered it wasn’t as easy as it looked. But since that young age, Sirdoreus has learned a lot about songwriting. Now, at 29 years old, he delivers quirky humor wrapped up in catchy, acoustic melodies and owes it all to seeing The Who’s Pete Townshend back in 1982.

    “I was only about five or six, but it completely blew me out of the water,” Sirdoreus said. “By the time I was 10 years old, I probably owned every Who and Pink Floyd album.”

    These early influences motivated Sirdoreus to make music. After being involved in some “spotty” music projects growing up, Sirdoreus first played on his own before a live crowd when a local band he had been working for was running late. He was asked to fill some time, and so Sirdoreus played a cover of the Laverne and Shirley theme song as well as some of his own material to a crowd that seemed to enjoy it.

    In 2002, Sirdoreus released his first Marc with a C record, Human Slushy. He described the music he makes as “really sarcastic, lo-fi indie pop.” This sarcasm can clearly be heard in songs like “Life’s So Hard,” where Sirdoreus pokes a little fun at the emo scene by singing, “I’m so sad, I’ve gotta write it in my LiveJournal, and then you’ll know my pain.” Lo-fi refers to indie music that is recorded with some flaws, such as distortions, giving it a genuine feel instead of an over-produced sound.

    Since the first release, Marc has made numerous records including Bubblegum Romance, This World is Scary as Fuck and the 2007 release, Normal Bias, but making records is not just a job to Marc, it’s a passion.

    “I’m addicted to making records,” Marc said and added with a laugh, “I make records because there’s a void in my record collection.”

    According to Sirdoreus, Normal Bias is a very personal album, and includes songs about family like “Already Dead” and “Dear Son.” But instead of feeling anxious about the release of these songs, Marc feels relieved.

    “It’s personal, but having it out there is like a great weight is lifted,” he explained. “I feel like a million bucks.”

    Sirdoreus’ recording process is unique and extremely do-it-yourself. It only took him three days of nonstop work to record Normal Bias. He also recorded the songs in the order that you hear them on the album, giving it a very “real” feel. From the opener “Classic Country Wasn’t Multitracked in ‘61,” to the closing “Happy to be Alive,” his voice gets more and more ragged throughout the album.

    “It’s my favorite record I’ve ever made, and I know artists say that. I really mean it,” he said. “If something happened to me tomorrow, and Normal Bias was the last thing I made, I’d be fine with that.”

    In addition to Marc with a C, Sirdoreus is also a drummer in the experimental space-rock band called Lo-Fi Is Sci-Fi. Sirdoreus’ best friend Chris Zabriskie acts as front man of the group and occasionally plays drums for Marc with a C. Sirdoreus describes Zabriskie as a phenomenal, realistic person who is “totally [his] muse.” “Marc calls me almost every day and talks to me for hours,” Zabriskie said. “Literally hours on end.” Frequent phone calls between the two friends allow them to bounce ideas off one another, and Sirdoreus plays Zabriskie many of his newly written songs over the phone.

    “[Sirdoreus'] a serious songwriter, but his personality is just so bubbly and infectious that most people don’t really realize it,” Zabriskie said. “They’re drawn to him before they realize the real music being made here is just out of this world. Nobody is doing what Marc’s doing, [and] I’m honored to be a part of it.”

    But outside of his Marc with a C persona, Sirdoreus is a busy guy. He works at Park Ave. Records, is a writer and editor for the blog RetroLoFi, hosts a pop culture podcast and, in his spare time, listens to records and plays board games. Spending time with his family, including daughter Juliana, is also very important to Sirdoreus. So much so that he doesn’t like going out on tour.

    “I can’t stand being away from my family for two weeks for silly pop songs,” Marc said. “I mean, they’re important, but not that important.”

    So whether Sirdoreus is playing Apples to Apples with his fiancée, enlarging his huge record collection, or playing “sweaty, fun pop shows,” it can be said that Marc with a C is marked with a colorful personality.

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    AgentKnight’s review of What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With a C?:

    17/10/07 – Marc With A C – What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With A C? – 4.5/5
    The disc consists of twenty songs of a whiny teenage/twenty-something loser singing (or whining) stream of consciousness shit about the Pixies, trends, love (and lack thereof) and prescription medication, among other things, over simple acoustic guitar chord progressions. I understand this is his “best of” album, which is strange, because these seem like arbitrary fragments of his distressing mind. It goes without saying that at the worst of times is this embarrassingly pathetic but I have to give Marc With A C credit for being so honest about himself and his life lyrically – refusing to hide things behind abstractions and generalizations and being so off-the-cuff in terms of recording quality (I imagine most tracks were the first and only take recorded). He’s not good enough to give the listener a clear door inside his mind, which I imagine would be possible if this technique were adapted by a more talented musician, but I have to give him credit for nearly getting there. A refreshing change from the impersonality of a lot of music I’ve been hearing of late. I will also say that I admire people that can keep a listeners attention with only a guitar and their voice, so extra cred for this.

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    Independent Clauses review of What The Hell Is Wrong With Marc With a C?

    Marc with a C
    What the Hell is Wrong with Marc with a C?
    Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority
    Genre: Acoustic pop / emo
    Best Element: Hilariously witty lyrics, smart, memorable lines.

    Marc with a C needs a hug, and What the Hell is Wrong with Marc with a C?, Marc Sirdoreus’ latest full-length, is his petition for said embrace. Sometimes, you stumble upon a CD that just tells it like it is. And no matter how far out in left-field, how full of insecurities, how laced with suburban drug experimentation, how straight-up, downright, undeniably emo the songs are, you can’t help but bop your head and laugh. Marc Sirdoreus gleaned twenty of his most catchy tunes from as far back as 2002, repackaged them on a new CD and effectively chronicled his musical Live Journal on disc. Armed with an acoustic guitar, a nasal yet endearing voice, an uncanny ability to rhyme and a razor wit, Marc Sirdoreus whines and self-effaces his way through these cute and memorable songs.

    I enjoyed the honesty and willingness to spill his guts that punctuated What the Hell is Wrong with Marc with a C?. From lines like “Did you ever wake up with the prospect that nobody of the opposite sex is going to call you when you get home from work? / And did you ever spend a day off by yourself because nobody of the opposite sex cared if you were free that night or not?” to “Maybe it’s the fact that I’m slightly overweight or all the girls that want me are underage,” (both lines are from “Why Don’t Girls Like Me?”), Sirdoreus paints a picture of your average guy with big dreams. Everyone wants that fairytale life, no matter whether they have immaculate teeth and salon hair or if they’re less-than-blessed with a made-for-radio face, and Sirdoreus’ commiseration is—if borderline maudlin at times—heartwarming.

    I absolutely loved the song “Nerdy Girls.” With its stand-up comedian introduction, infectious wit (“a nerdy girl can straighten up the wheels on my mental shopping-cart”) and stripped-down acoustic presentation, this song simply begs second, third and fourth listens. I can’t help but break into laughter at the opening verse: “I raise my eye just to inspect her as she adjusts her pocket-protector / there’s nothing wrong with a nerdy girl / she’s the kind of chick that I’d like to meet but she’s busy thinking about Anime.”

    This album is intensely personal, yet it refuses to exclude. I feel that every guy has a bit of Marc with a C in him, even if we aren’t willing to admit it. From scenesters to hipsters to hoodlums to class presidents and computer-programmers, it’s hard not to agree with Sirdoreus’ humorous, yet poignant, observations. Sirdoreus also shares his love for lo-fidelity recordings—as chronicled on “RetroLowFi” and “Broken Record Player”—and his nostalgic self-doubt: “I’m so sad, I’m fifteen, life’s so hard, life’s so hard” (the chorus from “Life’s so Hard.”). It’s his utter normal-guy observations through a witty string of lyrics that make Marc’s songs enjoyable.

    Doubters will listen and complain about… well… Sirdoreus’ incessant complaining. Yeah… he does that, but he does it well. It’s not just whining; it’s thoughtful, funny, and catchy whining; it’s whining with class, and that’s what separates this CD from the countless acoustic emo acts that beg for attention. What the Hell is Wrong with Marc with a C? earns the right to our attention.

    Timothy C. Avery
    September 2007

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    Orlando Weekly review of Life’s So Hard
    By Jason Ferguson:

    Slapping his wife, bitching out his ex-hippie mom (while on LSD), praying for the death of all those around him … and that’s just the first three songs. It sounds as if this is the natural next step of Marc Sirdoreus’ progression from witty, cynical acoustic musician to wizened, caustic acoustic musician. The lyrical glint that’s been a hallmark of Sirdoreus’ previous work is still present (“I’m so sad/I’ve gotta write in my LiveJournal”), but the raw venom it expresses is a little scary. On one hand the title track (from which that last little gem was taken) is a sniffling snub of melodramatic teenage angst, but it’s equally a jealous paean to the ease with which a 15-year-old can move through this world. And it’s got a soaring fake chorus that would make the Polyphonic Spree blush. While the days of “Bubblegum Romance” are long gone, the bitterness Sirdoreus is exploring these days is a little more entertaining.

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    Independent Clauses review of Life’s So Hard

    Anyone who listens to a fair amount of lo-fi music should know that a single band can fall into several categories: the single musician who strums an acoustic and sings sad lyrics, the band that plays electric and has quite a few ingenious guitar solos (Built to Spill of course), and miscellaneous. I am afraid that Marc with a C falls in the latter of those categories. Marc must have been thinking the same thoughts as Eric Elbogen because, simply stated, Marc with a C feels like Say Hi to Your Mom’s little brother. While it might not feel as polished or as subtle, the quirky lyrics are paramount to both. Life’s So Hard is an acquired taste, or something that you might think is amusing after the first ten listens. The lyrical content may surprise or even mildly offend some listeners. For example, during “What the Hell Were You On”, he bashes his hypothetical baby-boomer parents by describing their poor parenting skills. This, of course, is all in good fun and a part of the album’s style.

    The majority of songs on the album are entertaining. In “We’re All Going to Die,” he ad-libs and says “cheer up emo kids, you think life’s hard now,” “it’s only going to get worse,” “wait until you have to do your own taxes and laundry.” “Counting Down” is Marc with a C’s most unnecessary track on the album, no matter how funny it may be hearing him say that “we’ll have a sleepover/we’ll watch Homestar Runner.” However, I do give kudos to Marc for adding some good allusions to pop culture, as it gives his lyrics character. The following track, “Diane Works for Ozzy,” which is about a girl with superpowers, lyrically feels like it should have been on The Flaming Lips’ Clouds Taste Metallic. Wayne Coyne should do a cover.

    This is one album that I will always save for a day that I am feeling particularly sarcastic- and when you hear it in full you will understand. It is the little things included in Life’s So Hard that give the album its lyrical character. The album will probably not win a prized spot in your collection based upon musical merit, but that is beside the point. This album’s lyrics are original, inventive, and pleasantly surprising for the most part.

    -Mark Pranger
    markysparky07@yahoo.com

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    Copacetic’s review of This World Is Scary As Fuck:

    Marc “with a C” Sidoreus is a pop singer-songwriter from Florida. He does everything himself, and he’s a skillful musician, composer, and arranger. This disc, his self-released third album, is an odd blend of pouring-his-heart-out intimacy and sardonic, sometimes self-lacerating humor. Listening is not unlike reading someone’s personal blog, and Marc even makes lyrical reference to Livejournal in the song “I Will Keep You.” It’s a formula that could easily be barf-inducing, but Marc’s sincere conviction and knack for catchy pop songwriting makes it work. “When My Ship Comes In” is a song for all the TV-watching slackers with dreams out there, with its Simpsons and Aqua Teen references. Marc makes very clever use of the standard pop “ba-da-da” in “Bite Size Help,” using them to indicate inarticulateness. “‘Til You Come Home to Me” has a pretty, folky picked-acoustic intro and nice vocal harmonies. “This Is Hopeless” is an excellent pop ballad, and “God Save the Queen from Navy Seals” is a successful venture into psychedelic pop with lightly surreal lyrics. “Music Geek” is, I’m guessing, humorously autobiographical, telling how Marc turned to music because “it never stole a Big Wheel from me,” and positing “who needs human contact when you can hear people sing about it?” The disc does have a few clunker moments — “One Hit Wonder” is, frankly, a little dorky — but Marc is the kind of singer who can sell a doofy line like “You’ve got curves and I like your shape / there’s no way you’re descended from apes,” from “Stuck with Me.” I’m guessing you’d be hard pressed to find songs which are closer to their creator’s heart than these.

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    Independent Clauses review of This World is Scary as Fuck I love singer-songwriters who don’t hesitate in sharing their life with their listeners. Many songwriters talk about lost love and found love and love in general, but not many take us outside the realm of the romantic and give profound insights on stuff other than love. Marc with a C (I can only hope that’s an Empire Records allusion) is one of those artists who lays everything out on the line for the listener, and for that, I am in love with this album.“I write songs about the way I feel, but sometimes I don’t feel, other times I feel too much,” Marc Sidoreus sings on standout track “Bite Size Help”- and he means it. On tracks like “Bite Size Help” he lays out his views on everything from therapists to his child to nostalgia to medicine to keeping a sense of humor even after you’re grown up (but do you grow up?). And the amazing thing is that he does it all in 2 minutes and 59 seconds with nothing more than drums, an acoustic guitar, and vocals.

    This is a good point to say that this is unabashed pop- from rollicking, carefree tracks like “When My Ship Comes In” to more pensive, thoughtful tracks like “I Am Going to F*** Your Life Up” to the heartbreakingly pretty “Amy, it’s Kevin”, these songs are almost a yearbook of good pop songwriting- every page brings something new.

    Sidoreus’ best strength is that extremely obvious attention to songwriting history- even if he didn’t have a track called “Music Geek” chronicling his history as a slightly anti-social fan of Walkmans (walkmen?), it would be obvious that this isn’t just a hack with a guitar his mom bought him. For example, “God Save the Queen from Navy Seals” definitely has a nod to the Beatles, as well as other bands of the time period in the organ-laden intro and subsequent punkish rock-out. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint which bands, but I knew I’d heard something similar- just the way good music should be.

    His voice is pretty good- when surrounded by an upbeat background, his voice bears an odd resemblance to Weird Al Yankovic’s- but thankfully, that comparison all but disappears when the tracks mellow out, such as the excellently written “I Will Keep You.”

    His lyrics, briefly mentioned earlier, are another huge asset- he’s a brilliant lyricist, one of those few who can keep a rhyme scheme and still say everything he wants to say. I could quote great lyrics from this album for a long while, but they’re much better in context of the full song. His pop culture references (“I Will Keep You” has a great LiveJournal reference that pushes the song forward), mildly philosophical musings (“Stuck With Me”), painfully true storytelling (“I Will F*** Your Life Up”, “Amy, it’s Kevin”) and self-baring revelations (“This is Hopeless”) make this one of the best lyrical albums in ages for me. The one downside lyrically is his odd affection for the FCC-scaring f-bomb- as far as I can hear, it’s the only curse word on the album, but he uses it repeatedly. But it’s just another quirk in a collection of quirks that make Marc with a C so endearing.

    This album is great. If you like singer-songwriters that actually have something interesting to say and an interesting way to present it, then this should be on your required listening list. Even with all the lyrical quirks, Marc with a C has a refreshingly non-quirky perspective on pop music- and I can’t wait to hear more of Marc with a C.
    -Stephen Carradini
    independentclauses@hotmail.com

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    Article from THE INDIE
    Vol. V, No. 5, Sept. 23-29, 2004

    Marc with a C makes pop-culture references fashionable again.
    By John Thomason

    Perhaps it’s the too-cool-for-school mentality of the indie rock scene that supresses the inner geek in all of us. Or maybe the kids these days haven’t brushed up enough on their b-movies or obscure Pixies lyrics. Whatever the reason, somewhere down the line of indie scene history, playing acoustic pop songs that reference a cornucopia of pop-culture mainstays, has-beens and never-weres became decidedly un-cool.

    The art of reference, the simile and the analogy is one that’s been essentially exclusive to singing comedians, the hip-hop underground and sometimes mainstream rap, while occaionally popping up in unexceptional exceptions like the pop/rock jokesters in Nerf Herder.

    But, if semi-obscure referencing is still un-cool in the lo-fi, four track record, acoustic pop world, nobody told Marc with a “C.” In Marc’s world, Laura Prepon, Victoria’s Secret, a crayon drawing of a Honda Civic paint rocket and a LiveJournal online personality quiz about Heathers all become fodder for songs.

    Sure, Marc has his fare share of depressing songs too, most of which were compilied on last year’s Hey Rape Girl EP. Just as morbid in content as its title would indicate, Hey Rape Girl is by no means indicative of Marc’s performances, and is now given away for free on his Web site (www.marcwithac.com).

    “I couldn’t very well sell it at my shows,” said Marc. “Because anybody who heard the Marc with a C show and bought this as their souvenier would be so mad and so disappointed. If you’re going to buy a Marc with a C album, that’s probably not the one to pay for. There’s a 50/50 chance you’re going to hate it. So I don’t want to charge poeple for it.”

    But his latest effort and second full-length Bubblegum Romance (out now on Celestial Bison) is a largely hilarious and musically diverse collection of endlessly listenable ditties about nerdy girls, vinyl records and Hot Topic kids. While his freshman effort Human Slushy was recorded with a full band, Bubblegum Romance strips down te sound to just Marc’s reliable acoustic guitar, with sparse drums and bass only when necessary.

    The result is a record more focused and eclectic than the already clever Human Slushy. With every song a highlight, the album includes the Smoking Popes-by-way-of-John Linnell pop of “No London In Brazil,” the by-the-books ‘n’ hooks alt-country of “Freezing In Florida,” the surprisingly Nirvana-esque “The Real Story” and “Just A Few Words,” in which Marc admits being more than a little influenced by Jonathan Richman.

    Overall, the Winter Park resident has made of the year’s best albums. You’d have to have your feet nailed to the floor not to dance to it, though even Marc’s most ardent fans probably aren’t having as good a time as Marc is on stage.

    “I have to lose a lot of my inhibitions to get on stage,” said Marc. “It’s not like I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve, but you have to drop inhibitions to entertain people, and in return I would like to see that me doing that makes people lose their inhibitions and have a good time, just have some real innocent fun.”

    The process to achieve said fun took Marc much longer than anticipated, as the original, over-produced version of Bubblegum Romance had to be scrapped entirely; the songs were re-recorded to meet Marc’s lo-fi standards, causing drama between him and Bubblegum’s original producer.

    “The production just wasn’t me,” said Marc. “It was very big and rock and polished, and it’s just very misleading. It’s not representative of me in the least.” It would be like if you bought a Foo Fighters record that was very polished and produced, then you went and saw them and it was just Dave Grohl with an acoustic guitar.

    “The more microphones and expensive equipment you use, the more you’re just trying to sound like everyone else,” he added. “You can just sound like you, and it’s cheap and easy.”

    What’s most impressive about Bubblegum Romance is the amount of soul-bearing put into each passionate song. There are still enough grim moments on this largely optimistic record to comapre to a good middle section of any Behind the Music, including “I Need A Hug,” which details Marc’s battle with drug addiction.

    Though there is one line in Bubblegum Romance that isn’t 100% true.

    “I’m not really a pterodactyl,” said Marc, in reference to a lyric in the record’s opening track “I’m In Love With Everyone I Know.” “But, I had a dream that I was a pterodactyl, so it’s just my phrasing.”

    Marc with a “C” will be performing tomorrow at Back Booth with The Greater Grey. Doors at 9 p.m., $5 cover. To purchase his CD for $10, visit www.marcwithac.com.

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    Splendid review of Bubblegum Romance

    There’s a zaniness buzzing through Bubblegum Romance that’s often hilarious and strangely endearing. Marc with a C has opted to highlight only his remarkable lyrics and poppy melodies, backing these elements with nothing but a single acoustic guitar and a few threadbare drumbeats. Each of these songs finds a balance between comedy and uncomfortable honesty, saving Marc with a C from becoming Weird Al without the parody — even though his voice sometimes sounds a bit like Mr. Yankovic’s. Opener “I’m In Love With Everyone I Know” spits out a wealth of pop culture references and more jokes than a bag of Bazooka Joe. By the time Marc explains, in great detail, why he’s fond of Christian Slater, but not in that way, you’d swear he was making up the lyrics on the spot — except that they rhyme. “Nerdy Girls” shows Marc with a C’s fondness for Dead Milkmen-style ’80s punk; it’s aggressive and fast, and offers the lyrical yin to “Punk Rock Girls”‘ yang: “Marc with C loves him a girl with glasses / and they don’t always accept his sexual passes.” Despite the music’s anemic thinness, lyrics like this make it impossible to stop listening, lest you miss another gem. How about “You kissed someone who kissed someone who kissed Winona Ryder / Some might think that’s weird, but I just think that’s cool.” Great stuff.

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    AgentKnight’s review of Bubblegum Romance:

    07/11/07 – Marc With A CBubblegum Romance - 5/5
    Marc With A C’s music is the funniest I’ve ever heard. It’s so pathetically honest and truthful… on one hand I wish Marc would grow up but I’m too amused by his nonsense to really mean it. Lyrically, as I mentioned in my What The Hell…? review, it largely feels stream-of-consciousness but there are so many nuggets of truth in amongst the rest that say more about the human condition than Bob Dylan ever did that I now often find myself spontaneously quoting. Even non-lyrics suggest amusing things, as with the “1… 2… 1234!” count-in in the middle of “Nerdy Girls” which brings to mind distressing images of Marc jumping around his 4-track, fancying himself as a rock star surrounded by an imaginary crowd. I guess a lot of people see Marc With A C live and dismiss him as a novelty (he played with the Foo Fighters, to give an example of the audience his music has reached) which is sad because he is bursting with talent. he even took himself seriously on Normal Bias, and if he follows this trend his next album will be unbelievable. Every Marc With A C song is dizzyingly cheery (that is, aside from the last couple of tracks, which hint at the maturity he would later develop in Normal Bias), sometimes complete with uber-catchy choruses, and the mood is irresistible. The best moments of his music capture the feeling of me and my friends goofing around and making bad jokes, fully aware of how stupid we might look to others, but so blindly blissful we don’t care at all. I’m in love with everyone I know, but most of all I’m in love with Marc With A C.

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    Orlando Weekly

    BACK UP, TRY AGAIN

    By Cynthia Ariel Conlin

    Marc Sirdoreus was in his pajamas buying milk and cookies at a local 7-Eleven one recent evening – because that’s just what he does – when some guy approached him with something like, “Hey, you’re Marc With a ‘C’!” Taken aback, yet immensely flattered, Marc, 26, admitted that, yes, he was Marc With a “C,” and chatted briefly with this new fan. The store clerk noticed their exchange and afterward asked, wide-eyed, “Man, who are you?” to which Marc could only reply that he really wasn’t anybody special: “Just some indie rocker guy.”

    Two years after he introduced himself with Human Slushy, Marc With a “C” has finally finished Bubblegum Romance (Celestial Bison Records). He spent two years on the album, which, at first, was him singing with a band, and was a little more rockin’ than his stage shows. But, he realized, “it just wasn’t me.” So he scrapped all the initial recordings and redid the entire album. It’s just him in the studio, singing with his acoustic guitar and occasional drums. The result is as honest (and fun) as his lyrics, which are projected among songs such as “Nerdy Girls” and “Hot Topic Kids” with entertaining clarity.

    Marc (who, incidentally, is one of the world’s most ardent fans of The Who and will discuss them for hours) is so likable that he would probably be welcome in most living rooms. Hesitant even to “bother” a coffeehouse waiter for extra salad dressing, his niceness causes him difficulty in compiling his set lists, because he’s so concerned about his audience. If he ends his set with a sad, serious tune, the audience might leave with furrowed brows. Or, he wonders, “do I want them to leave like little kids with a smile on their face?”

    The release party for Bubblegum Romance will be held at Austin Coffee & Film, an intimate venue that’s perfectly cozy for Marc’s music … and his fan base. “I don’t draw great crowds,” he says. “I think everyone thinks I’m their little secret.”

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    Orlando Weekly’s Best of Orlando 2003
    “Best Acoustic Act”
    We’ll boil this down to one song: “Why Don’t Girls Like Me,” which — whether played by Marc’s occasional full band or in his quirky acoustic sets — comes off as a sort of nerd-rock anthem, a lament that the girls don’t appreciate the beauty of his genius. “Did you notice that I just changed keys?” Marc asks, doing exactly that from the bridge into the final chorus. We did. And more people should.

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    Axis Magazine’s What’s Hot in July 2003
    Bhren Gatlin and Marc with a C

    This town is packed with more musical talent than you can shake a stick at. Marc and Bhren are two of its finest, proving time and again that you don’t need an 8-piece band and a stack of amps to rock a crowd.

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    Backstage Pass Magazine’s review of Human Slushy
    by Jason Lesnar

    Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing Marc With a C live can attest to the superior blend of folk, pop and rock that Marc wields. Those who have not can finally catch the buzz with the release of Human Slushy, available at Marc’s live shows and at Park Ave CDs.

    The CD is a fine display of a unique performer and an expert lyricist. Human Slushy contains ribald accounts of celebrity crushes (“Laura, I Need Medicine”), the joys of lingerie catalogs (“Victoria’s Girls”), and karma striking back at an ex-girlfriend (“Left For Her”). The subject matter is already whimsical, but, with Marc’s dexterous wordplay, the songs are joyous escapes from the monotonous din of popular music. Not that Marc is all snickers and giggles, mind you. Laments of unattractiveness (“Why Don’t Girls Like Me?”) and the trials of life (“Well F***** Sailor”) are rife with wrenching sentiment and intensity.

    A treat for those looking for a refreshing departure, Human Slushy is an excellent documentation of a musician and a career on the rise, as well as a testament to an artist who can produce outstanding music while continuing to do things his own way.

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    In Theory Magazine’s review of Human Slushy
    by Larry Fulford

    Marc (with a “C”) is an unapologetic pop-song fanatic. Formerly of Central Florida rock band Childlyke, Marc’s debut solo effort, Human Slushy, is an acoustic-based CD brimming with tunes about girls and their side effects. Fortunately, a majority of the tracks tend to lean towards self-deprecating humor rather than sappy singer-songwriter pining.

    Produced and mixed with Joe Panton (Precious, My Little Pony), Human Slushy showcases Marc’s nonchalant ability to walk the fine line between brutal honesty and lighthearted observation. The songs (which Marc normally performs alone with an acoustic guitar) are also given a full-band treatment in the studio, with Panton sitting in on drums, bass and Moog.

    Inspired by everyone from Pete Townshend, Evan Dando and Jonathan Richman, Marc has definitely mastered the craft of writing catchy, stick-in-your-head melodies. More importantly, he manages to address age-old topics without sounding redundant or un-original.

    Whether it’s being dumped in favor of a girl (“Left for Her”) or obsessing over a celebrity crush (“Laura, I Need Medicine”), Marc’s outlandish combination of truth and sarcasm sets him apart from most local solo artists.

    But Marc isn’t merely a slapstick, lovesick fool, and he isn’t afraid to show you his fragile side. The most emotionally profound track on the album, aptly titled “Well Fucked Sailor,” is reflective gut-spilling confession. From the birth of his daughter to his mother’s abusive relationships, the song appears to be an autobiographical account as to why Marc feels he’s currently “scared of ever falling in love.”

    Always looking to turn a frown upside-down, however, Marc concludes the 12-song disc with a rocked-out cover of the “Charles in Charge” theme.

    The copy of Human Slushy I received is apparently only a rough mix. Even so, the production quality is quite good. The completed album should be ready for a July/August release. In the meantime, “Why Don’t Girls Like Me?” is in rotation on WPRK Rollins College Radio and audio is available on Marc’s homepage.

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    Shock Treatment Network interview with Marc:

    (editors note: Marc rarely grants interviews, but he couldn’t contain himself when the opportunity arose to talk about his oft-overlooked reworking of the soundtrack to 1981’s Shock Treatment)

    The Shock Treatment Network presents:
    The Marc With a C Interview

    On December 31, 2005, Donny O’Bryan of the Shock Treatment Network had an exciting New Year’s Eve thanks to a phone interview with singer Marc With A C (yes, the name really relates to his birthname: Marc Sirdoreus, born January 17, 1978, in San Diego, CA) about his recording experience of his Shock Treatment EP. The taped conversation lasted about 45 minutes. Below is an edited transcript of the interview:

    Shock Treatment Network: Hey Marc, this is Donny..

    Marc With A C: Hi, Donny. How’s it goin’?

    STN: Good. Thanks. I knew you had a show last night. How’d it go?

    MWAC: Oh, it was a very good show. It was actually very, very hot in the club we were playin’ in here in Orlando, Florida.

    STN: Oh, is that where you’re from?

    MWAC: Not originally. I was from San Diego. Now I’m in Florida.

    STN: How long have you been recording?

    MWAC: Originally? Since 1995. As Marc with a C since 1999.

    STN: Did you do any covers in last night’s show?

    MWAC: Last night was pretty much an “all request” show. We had a ballot on my website where people could vote for the songs they wanted to hear. And the highest charting song from Shock Treatment was “In My Own Way.” But I could only perform the top 15 requests, and it wasn’t there.

    STN: I love that song. That’s one of my favorites.

    MWAC: That song is a lot of people’s favorites.

    STN: I imagine you’ve gathered a new fan base compiled of Shock Treatment fans since you made the EP. Have you ever done any Rocky Horror songs?

    MWAC: I used to do “Touch Me”, a long time ago.

    STN: So you are a fan of Rocky Horror?

    MWAC: I saw Rocky Horror years ago on home video. I was really drawn to how something so terrible could live on through the ages. It was probably the first B-movie I really fell in love with. And I heard over time “oh, there’s this sequel called Shock Treatment.” I finally tracked one down –I was maybe 15; I’m 27 now– So I watched it. I had no idea what to make of it. I thought it was one of the worst movies I had ever seen. Over time, I found a used copy of it and bought it for like a dollar. It didn’t even have the cover art with it. Then I watched it really late one night. I had talked to anybody in like 3 days, and I was really stressed. And the movie absolutely destroyed me. There were so many underlying things going on with the plot. And I fell in love with it. It was very bright while being very depressing at the same time.

    STN: So it seemed natural that you should record some Shock Treatment songs…

    MWAC: I’d done “Bitchin’ In The Kitchen” a few times at shows and I always joked “One day I’ll cover the soundtrack.” That started around 1999 or 2000. Then I said that to a club owner here in 2003, and he said, “You know what, man? You’ve been sayin’ that for 4 years. Either do it or don’t do it. I’m sick and tired you going on about it.” So I said alright, fine. I did it just to shut up the club owner.

    STN: Tell me about your studio.

    MWAC: Almost all of my recordings are usually made at home, predominantly recorded on a 4-track. But Shock Treatment was originally recorded in my old bedroom. And the newer Shock Treatment songs, like “Thank God I’m A Man” have been recorded in a little office I got set up in my new home.

    STN: What instruments do you play?

    MWAC: I play a lot of instruments. I play guitar well. But I also play drums. I play every instrument you hear on the Shock Treatment EP.

    STN: Which Shock Treatment song did you record first?

    MWAC: I could be wrong, but I believe the first four songs on the soundtrack were done in one shot. I just pressed record, started with “Denton USA”, went right into “Bitchin’ In The Kitchen”, then right into “In My Own Way”, and so forth. I then played the tape back, and if I thought of a harmony to add, then I just layered it on top of my original. I do all the backing vocals.

    STN: Except for “Thank God I’m A Man”, I’m sure, ‘cuz I think I heard some female backing vocals in the “audience” section of the song.

    MWAC: Um, no, that’s actually me doing all those people. Layering my voice over and over till it sounds right.

    STN: There are some great harmonys in that part of the song. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I wanna talk about each song. Starting with “Denton USA”. I really, really enjoy the acoustic guitar format for the song. It’s a nice change. As a matter of fact, I was telling someone recently that you should eventually do your own acoustic guitar version of “Overture.”

    MWAC: It’s not something I’m closed off to, it’s just something I’m not convinced I could do well.

    STN: Really? I think you’re underestimating your talent. Your guitar playing is amazing.

    MWAC: Well, thank you. As far as “Denton USA” goes, it can be looked at as a celebration of their town, but it can also be looked at, in the end, that the town as gone to hell. So I chose to do it as an ode to my hometown that has now gone to pieces. That’s how I tried to approach that song.

    STN: I noticed that you changed one of the lines. I don’t know if it was intentional or you didn’t have the lyrics with you.

    MWAC: You’re referring to the word “thankfullness”. When I recorded the song, I tried not to play it a lot. I like to do it the way I hear it in my head usually. So I’ll end up making my own arrangement too much overexposure to the original song. Because of that, I flubbed some lines. Also because of the one-take nature of the original recording. I wouldn’t be able to go back and fix one part, I’d have to re-record the entire thing.

    STN: I believe the next song is “Bitchin’ In The Kitchen”.

    MWAC: Well, that always seemed like a divorce song. I mean, it’s obviously a marriage on the rocks.

    STN: I noticed you removed the reference to the depilitator.

    MWAC: I really didn’t know what a depilatator was. And since I couldn’t relate to it, I changed it in the recording. …and it’s very hard to remember the order of the appliances.

    STN: I’m surprised you didn’t have a printed lyric in front of you.

    MWAC: You know, I should have. But I went on a quick goose chase online trying to find chords–which I found on a website, but the chords were really off. Really incorrect.

    STN: I have a few midi sheet musics on my site if you want. Like, “Looking for Trade”.

    MWAC: Eventually, I’m going to record “Looking For Trade”. It will be in a different key, and have an entirely different mood. The original sounds very dated and like a period piece. My version will be more of a celebration mood.

    STN: “In My Own Way” is the next song on your list that you recorded. I gotta tell ya. The first time I heard the opening guitar chords, it just blew me away. It had such a haunting feeling of sadness. Just beautiful. And then you even topped that about 3/4th of the way through the song when you remove an entire line, leaving a sad silence in the vocal slot.

    MWAC: Yes, that was completely intentional. I thought, leaving out a line like “I hope that you know just what to say” when instead, you don’t know what to say.

    STN: “Lullaby” is next. I noticed you messed up a line or two from Janet’s verse.

    MWAC: Ya know, I had no idea what she was saying. I always thought if there were an audience participation line for that part of the film, it would be “What are you saying? What are you talking about?” And whenever I sang it in a show, I garbled that line as well. So it was intentional.

    STN: I love your version of the song “Shock Treatment”. I love the instrumental break at the end. What a great way to end the song. It reminds me in a way of Richard O’Brien’s solo version.

    MWAC: After recording the original first four songs, I eventually started up again. And for whatever reason, I only had a 12-string guitar available, which I normally don’t play. So that song was recorded entirely on a 12-string. And when I do it now, in shows, it sounds completely different ’cause I don’t have a 12-string. The song “Shock Treatment”, for me, was like the great hit of the ’80s that never was. In it’s original version, there’s no reason why Richard O’Brien’s solo couldn’t have been as big as “Physical”. It’s a great song for the time.

    STN: I have to tell you, and I’m sorry to digress here, that I really appreciate the fan who emailed me and directed me to your songs. I was very happy, and I thank him so much!

    MWAC: I’m so glad. I thought nobody was going to be attracted to it.

    STN: Do you get a lot of positive emails from fans who enjoy it?

    MWAC: No, I hear more positive things from people who have posted on the web. Like, “Oh, you’ve got to go check out this guy named Marc with a C, who did some Shock Treatment songs.” My webmaster had received some emails about it, and so has my record label. But very few people actually take the time to email me directly. I get a lot of the information 2nd and 3rd hand, but I’m very happy with the responses.

    STN: Yes, I’ve not heard anything bad about your recordings. But I could mention that I didn’t care much for the interpretation of “Carte Blanche”, which is the next song. It sounds like an mp3 glitch or like a live concert recording done on someone’s portable recorder. It’s faint and hard to hear. Any chance you’ll re-record it? (NOTE: This is something Marc and I have previously discussed, so Marc was quite comfortable with this question).

    MWAC: In the film, you don’t really hear the song. It’s faint in the background, playing on a radio. I was left with the impression that you weren’t supposed to hear it. So I recorded it originally in the same style and sound of the other tracks. And then I masked the entire song by literally using every effect I had in the computer. To cover it up and mangle it. Also, I was trying to do it in the original key. I just can’t sing that high and I really blew all the takes! Looking back, it probably wasn’t the best idea I had. I have considered re-recording it, but I don’t know how to do it in a way I’m confortable with. Perhaps one day…

    STN: “Look What I Did To My Id”. What a great version you did. Is that a drum machine you’ve got going there?

    MWAC: It’s actually an old casio keyboard. That was all recorded with one microphone, believe it or not. It played a drum machine while I play the acoustic guitar portion, basically. Eventually I overdubbed the keyboard part that sounds like a french horn.

    STN: I enjoy how the drums keep going after you’re done with the song. That’s a cool way to end it.

    MWAC: That was because I couldn’t get to the drums quick enough to turn it off. That wasn’t intentional, actually. It just worked out well. I also thought that I was singing as one voice. Ya know, the movie version expresses the lyrics from many voices, but I tried to combine them all, sort of like, the voice of Denton.

    STN: Yes, you did a great job there. Now, your version of “Breaking Out” is a favorite of Gary Shail, who did the original vocals.

    MWAC: I think that is the highest compliment. I appreciate it.

    STN: I was curious, however, why you chose to fade in the song instead of starting it cold?

    MWAC: Um, I believe there was some technical reason, but it doesn’t stick out why I would have faded it in. I may have messed up the intro or something. That may have been the reason.

    STN: What about the ending? “Breaking Out” seems to have some psychedelic backward track or something tagged on. I thought it may have been an mp3 error.

    MWAC: No, that was completely intentional. I wanted to convey the sort of nightmarish feeling of the song.

    STN: I really enjoy how you left out the backing vocals of “ba-duh, duh-ba-ba-duh.”

    MWAC: I actually tried putting it in the song but with version I was doing, it didn’t fit in.

    STN: The next song is “Duel Duet”. It was the first song of yours that I was directed to. They said to me it was a sad interpretation, instead of the upbeat version used on the film’s soundtrack. I thought, “okay…” and gave it a listen. I have to agree with them. It is very very sad, the mood. That was important to me when I made the video version to match your song (available for download on this website).

    MWAC: Yes, the video is great. I liked how you made it stop near the end.

    STN: Thank you.

    MWAC: I had a hard time remembering whose vocals were for which lines when I recorded it. This helped me a lot, actually, so I wasn’t trying to mimic a particular character. I more or less meant it to be that you were sort of singing it to yourself. One vocal, one person. I hope that came across. If I get any responses to a Shock Treatment song, it’s that one. And because of that, I get several requests to play it live. I’ve never played “Duel Duet” live because I never knew how to approach it in a live setting and then how to bring the mood back up. I mean, I certainly don’t wanna leave them down there on that note.

    STN: “Thank God I’m A Man”. I can’t tell you how floored I was when you sent out the newest track. ‘Cuz I remember you mentioning to me before that it would probably never get recorded –as you didn’t know how to approach it. So when I heard it, I was amazed. Your voice sounds like it’s on a radio. And the audience portion of the songs is filled with wonderful harmonies. Harmonies I can’t hear in the original version.

    MWAC: Yeah, I really love the harmonies. And I did all the vocals. One layer after another. Even the female parts. There was no girl singing with me–just me.

    STN: Hey, you could get your girlfriend Nicole to sing with ya.

    MWAC: It’s very hard to get her to sing. She’s actually singing a couple of vocals on my new record that I’m working on. But it takes a little bit of convincing. She’s got a beautiful voice.

    STN: I can’t wait to hear it. Now, let’s talk about the future of the Shock Treatment covers. You would eventually like to do the entire soundtrack. I believe you said your current project was “Farley’s Song”?

    MWAC: I’ve already recorded a rough version of “Farley’s Song”. But I feel as if I’m missing something. I just can’t put my finger on it. It’s recorded similar to “Thank God I’m A Man”, with lots of vocal layers and a drum line as well. But the reason I delayed on recording “Thank God I’m A Man” (and the remaining songs) is because at the time, I didn’t have the technology to do it easily. Now I have a bit more, so I was able to attack the project. And now I can do “Farley’s Song” with a bit more confidence.

    STN: What’s your interpretation of “Farley’s Song”?

    MWAC: You know the guy who’s had a couple beers and he’s just telling you how it used to be, and how great he is? You know, you can just see that false confidence in this guy, and he goes home and sleeps with his teddy bears. That’s sort of how I’m trying to approach that.

    STN: I can’t wait to hear the finished product. Take all the time you need. If it sounds anything like “Thank God I’m A Man”, it’s sure to be a hit with Shock Treatment fans.

    MWAC: I’ve had a couple requests to perform “Thank God I’m A Man” live but I’m a little bit weary about being in the middle of a club and singing a line like “Faggots are maggots” to a crowd that may not know the context of the song. The only way I could do it is to perform a Shock Treatment only show. Which I am considering. I don’t know yet.

    STN: Hey, I’m there. Count me in. I’ll promote it here on the site.

    MWAC: It won’t happen until I’ve finished all the songs, of course.

    STN: When the day of this concert happens, perhaps you’ll throw in a few Rocky Horror songs. You said you have performed “Touch Me” before.

    MWAC: I had done “Sweet Transvestite”, but it was too obvious of a song. “Touch Me” was really easy to play. My shows rely on a lot of audience participation.

    STN: Wow, just like Rocky Horror. So tell me about your other songs, non Shock Treatment related. Decribe your style of music.

    MWAC: Uh, very sarcastic for the most part. I walk it like I talk it. I write one of my records just like having a conversation.

    STN: Can people still download them on your site?

    MWAC: There’s a few tracks there for download. You know, we definately wanna get people to buy the albums. People should go there and check out the samples.

    STN: Well, I wanna thank you, Marc, for taking the time out of your morning to do this interview.

    MWAC: Not a problem. It was a lot of fun.

    STN: I–or I should say we fans–are looking forward to some new Shocky tracks in the future.

    MWAC: Thanks, Donny. Take care.








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