Clarion Marian Call

By Phil Plait | September 25, 2007 7:35 pm

I don’t generally do this, but for her I’ll make an exception.

I stumbled on a singer whose voice I just love. Her name is Marian Call, and I found her through her MySpace page, of all places; I followed a comment she left on Nathan Fillion’s page. Nathan played Mal Reynolds on "Firefly", and you know how much I love that show, and evidently so does Marian. Anyway, I went to her page, and the music loaded automatically. Normally I find that incredibly irritating, but once in a great while it pays off. It did in this case.

Marian’s music is hard to pin down; it’s like folk but not at all cloying like so many folk singers are. It’s not dance or rock; it’s simple, personal, small band coffee-shop kinda stuff. Sorta. If you know Sara Hickman, you know Marian. Her voice is clear and beautiful, and not at all artificial like every gorram singer on the radio these days (and Marian uses that word in one of her songs; like I said, Firefly, baby). The words are intelligent — imagine that! — and she has a fantastic musical sense.

A Firefly connection: turns out there was a contest to write a song about Saffron, the lovely but warped beauty who took Mal for all he’s worth not once, but twice on the show. Marian’s song for that was perfect, and I mean perfect. She even sounds like Saffron.

Anyway, you can listen to her songs on her MySpace page, and if you like them, her CD is available on the Marian Call website. I make no money from this, nothing at all like that. I just think she’s great, and could use some free publicity.

My one complaint is that she’s in Alaska and that it may be a while before she makes it down to Boulder to sing here. But if she does, I’m there.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Time Sink

Comments (37)

Links to this Post

  1. Random Tangent | September 26, 2007
  2. Will’s Blog - New Music: Marian Call - Vanilla | October 11, 2007
  3. Marian Call in LA! | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | November 13, 2008
  1. Quiet Desperation

    On a related note, the new DethKlok album is out!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dethalbum

  2. Dan

    She sounds a lot like Joni Mitchell. I like it.

  3. klystron25

    You really got a thing for redheads, doncha Phil. ;^)

  4. Judy

    Seems like some of the prettiest voices come from Alaska for some reason.

  5. I don’t usually like indie folk music (it usually ends up sounding sort-of tacky) but this actually works.

    Two thumbs up.

  6. SteveT

    Wow! She’s good! I enjoyed both the style, content, and musicality of the songs on her page.

    I am seriously considering buying her CD.

    Besides, anyone who can work comments about Tribbles and Klingons into a discussion of CD jewel cases DESERVES our support!

  7. Hey, that’s decent stuff! I’ve been looking for some new stuff, and I like the lo-fi style she’s got going among other things.

  8. Laguna2

    Oh, I love that Saffron Song! :-)

  9. Bigfoot

    Good sound.

    While we are on the subject of music, check out the musical (in the broadest sense of the term) stylings of Wing at http://www.wingtunes.com. Music that makes you laugh and cry at the same time. I still am not sure if she knows that.

  10. Sergeant Zim

    Wow, she’s excellent! I’ll definitley be buying a copy of this CD come payday. She sounds a bit like Norah Jones, but that’s a good thing. Thanks, Dr. BA!

  11. Arthur Maruyama

    If it were for the fact that I hate PayPal (got burned years ago), I would have ordered her album–I’ll have to wait until it is available through other means.

    And as you have said often: it’s your blog–no need to explain or even note the exception. When you come across gems like Ms. Call, please do make an entry.

    BTW: you didn’t post a link to the “Sing a Song of Saffron contest” so we could listen to Ms. Call’s entries:
    http://www.serenitystuff.com/saffron/entries.htm
    I like both of hers–I’ll take a listen to the other entries later.

  12. |

    Firefly is the best; redheads are hot; her voice is wonderful

    I’d envy her parter =P

  13. Ginger Yellow

    I don’t think I’d call YoSafBridg lovely. Attractive, yes, but lovely is too nice an adjective.

  14. |BrownCoat|[Ravi]

    YoSafBridge is hot

    This Marian chick has a lovely voice, likes Firefly to boot!
    How cool is that

    Redheads are hot btw ;-)

  15. Wow. I had to tell all my friends about that.

    I think the line that really sold me was “I’m not hip but I really want to be, All the bands I like you heard of and I watch too much tv.”

    I can really relate to this woman.

    and she’s so wrong. she’s damn sexy.

  16. bigjohn

    Here you will find another picture of Marian:

    http://new.jpgmag.com/photos/204764

  17. Edward Cohen

    We need more of her type of music and voicing.

  18. Wow. Sexy redhead who doesn’t know how sexy she is? With a voice like that? Count me in! I might order two copies.

    Thanks, Phil!

  19. Irishman

    Dennis said:
    > Count me in! I might order two copies.

    And a CD! ;-)

  20. I don’t generally do this either, but if you like this sort of music, you may also like a band called disappear fear. I was introduced to them in the early 90s and I have loved the music ever since. It really moves me. But taste is personal, so I leave it to you to hear for yourself.

    http://www.myspace.com/soniaanddisappearfear

  21. Along this vein, have you seen Mal’s Song?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXSMZdfVS7o

    There’s an MP3 floating around that’s much better.

  22. Lurchgs

    I’ll have to try this again from home – I can’t get to myspace at the moment. (At first, I thought it was a firewall thing, but I can’t even get there on my phone)

    As PsyberDave noted, taste is personal… I’ve obviously not yet heard Marion or Disappear Fear (though I think I’ve heard of the latter). If you like *voices* (any genre) I might recommend India Arie – who sings the blues better than any female vocalist since Billie Holliday.

    Then there’s Heather Alexander in the folk category. I especially like her March of Cambreadth – it’s in the car along with other “heck with the cops, drop the foot” tunes.

    As soon as I hear some of Marion’s work, I’ll know if I have yet ANOTHER reason to return to Alaska.

  23. reasonable

    “I stumbled on a singer who’s voice I just love”

    Ouch. See what happens to people who use myspace, and their poor poor apostrophes?

  24. Oops! “Who’s” and “whose” are some of the very few words I still confuse on occasion. I’m very good about it’s and its, for example. :-)

  25. ginny

    Hooray for independent music!

    Re. Paypal — you don’t have to sign in to purchase. When you get to the “please sign in” page, there’s a little link over to the left that allows you to purchase without having a Paypal account or signing in. Bwah!

  26. Dan

    If you like that, try Mary Chapin Carpenter. Some of her stuff is pop-country. But some is very much like the samples on Marian Call’s MySpace page.

  27. Regarding apostophes: the trick is to look for the missing letter. “Who’s” is shorthand for “who is”, so the sentence “I stumbled on a singer who is voice I just love” obviously doesn’t (does not) make sense. Therefore in this case the correct word is “whose”.

    (By the way I absolutely refuse to take the opportunity of using the subject of this thread to promote my own music, which just happens to be astronomy-related – well, sometimes.)

    Elwood Herring (that’s one l, two r’s for Google’s sake…)

  28. Thanks Phil – I ordered a copy straight away (two actually thanks to Paypal hanging on me). It looks like I’m the first person in Australia to get a copy :)

  29. Ah, c’mon. In Trash Mal knew EXACTLY what was going on. Sure, he didn’t want to believe it, but he knew better. Of course, he couldn’t unload the Lassiter, so maybe he did lose out …

  30. Arthur Maruyama

    Thank you, ginny! My order has been placed.

  31. Moose

    Singing about how she’s “Not hot but wants to be” while listing a bunch of quirks that are hot as hades… Heh.

    And she captured YoSafBridge as neatly as capturing… Well… YoSafBridge in the dumpster.

  32. Donnie B.

    BA, I posted about this over on fireflyfans.net. Marian’s Saffron song found quite a few new fans over there… and Marian (aka ginny) popped in herself.

    Sweet!

  33. Jim

    Just placed an order for the CD. That’s my kind of music. :)

  34. She’s good, and pretty because she looks real (ie not covered in too much makeup). Shiny…

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