We've been having a very busy but fun summer of gigs. We have a few new videos featuring some highlights, including Al's great rendition of the National Anthem at the Bradner Stadium fireworks show on July 4th and my solo performance of original material on Dirty Dog Live Music. Doing the interview with Lisa from Dirty Dog Live and the guys at Armstrong Local Programming was an awesome experience and I'd like to thank the show again for having me on. Click on the links below to view the videos.
The release date for our next installment of MMOC Live Picks is set for Friday, August 18th. It will give us enough time to record and mix a few more shows in August, and the tentative plan is to make a mix of several acoustic and electric performances from this summer and compile them into our best live collection yet. Be on the lookout for more info on MMOC Live Picks Vol. 5!
We're excited about the rest of our summer gigs, including a few more festivals this month and a tribute to the Beatles at the Austin Dam Show. A talented old buddy will be joining us as Sir Paul McCartney!
While I've decided to hold off on turning 30 for another year, it seems like a good time to look back and think of ten or so original songs we've recorded that I'm most proud of writing. Here's a quick chronological list of my favorite songs I've come up with for the band over the past decade. These are the ones I'd tell anyone interested to check out, whether they've heard us several times or never at all. Several of the songs were written with the help of past and current bandmates, and our influences are evident on many of them.
"Most people recuperate from a hangover by lying in bed, possibly throwing up and hopefully screaming a bit too. Of course after decades of this, I've found a solution. There is nothing quite like recovering from a hangover like watching the great Roger Federer dominate."
"Marshmellow Overcoat has one foot in the past and one foot in the present. On their fifth album, a self-titled effort, the Pennsylvania-based group unites the roots-flavored aesthetic of classic rock with the quirkiness of contemporary indie styles."
The music video for our new single is ready, thanks to our friend Ryan Grandy and Grandy Productions! It's posted on this blog and on the main page of our site.
We had fun with this one (you can tell from the pictures and podcast), and we hope you enjoy it. You can check out more below or on our YouTube channel, and hear more of our self-titled album here.
The song is called See the Plan, and it's technically a waltz. Once in a while you've just gotta write a 6/8 waltz in B flat. We're playing with a capo on fret 3 in G if you're strumming along at home. More importantly, Ryan filmed us with help from Barry at UPB's Bromeley Theatre and at Stone Tower in Allegany State Park. Thanks again to Ryan.
We have more surprises to announce later this month, including more summer show dates and new music - So stay tuned!
I wrote each of these three sections about a month ago and decided it'd be better just to share them all at once. I'm always trying to share ideas with my musician friends and aspiring musician friends. This is some of the best info I have, and I've divided it into three parts: Playing to the audience, Songwriting ideas and finally Booking gigs. Excuse me for rambling like I usually do, but I hope it's helpful:
"I did name my cat Abbey after all, although I do frequently point out that she's named after the most overrated Beatles album. Please let me know how wrong I am!"
Well I'm sure everyone has their own opinions on the tunes of Summer 1999, and there's no doubt you're dying to see mine. This list is self-explanatory and totally awesome. Sure, the early '90s were much, much better, but '99 was pretty timeless. Let's not waste any time:
"Sure, Shaq was a great basketball player. But his rapping has flown under the radar for the better part of the past two decades, and that's a shame."
Teachers you have early in life tend to have the most impact. And since the piano is my main instrument I often think of the piano teachers I had between elementary school and heading off to college at Penn State. Some were more strict than others, and some allowed me to play music I was into while others were more by the book. Either way, writing was what kept me interested. Here's a list of the teachers I can remember:
Since we're all such big Star Wars fans, I'm going to rank each of the official movies from my favorite to least favorite. Hooray!
"When dealing with criticisms, whether it's from a random jerk in the crowd or from a reviewer who took the time to listen to our music, I try to summon Yoda-like patience."
"MMOC's wild, uncontrollable frontman recently did an interview with roots music publication and website nodepression.com. Here's a transcript of the interview, touching on MMOC's past, new album, influences and future plans:
Q: What styles of music had the greatest impact on you creatively?
A: 60’s and 70’s Classic Rock had the most influence on me by far, although I later became interested in more modern Rock and even Classical music. The songwriters of the 60’s and 70’s like Neil Young and Tom Petty are a good example of some directions we try to take."
While our next plan is to bring you a new Live Picks recording and perhaps a new single for the summer, MMOC has always been all about our studio albums. We're still promoting our recently released self-titled album and its title track, and you can find out about everything we've recorded over the years by clicking the photo above or reading on!
"My grandparents had purchased this strange new game for me, and for the life of me I was angry people were saying it was superior to Mario 64."
"The one other fact I wanted to note: We pretty much played Side One of the Beatles' White Album straight through, minus Wild Honey Pie, Ob-La-Di and Bungalow Bill. And then a ten-minute version of the Grateful Dead's Sugaree. So I'm guessing you guys are all pretty big music fans to put up with us doing that!"
This list is pretty self-explanatory. We'll keep it to studio albums. Please direct any complaints to Jason, Anthony or Alan.
"Option #1: Zorro
Superman? Batman? Give me a break. Zorro has legitimate power and actually existed in the mid 1800’s.
Option #2: Ray Finkle
I have to admit my inability to grow a solid mustache could pose a problem here. "
It's fun to change the songs up from night to night. One of our favorite bands, the Grateful Dead, were masters of this. When it's a festival set and we only have a short amount of time, say 45 minutes, we try to play our barnburners and best overall stuff- Click "Read More" for set list
When I was in elementary and middle school, I invented several fictional animal characters and wrote short children's books about them. Some of my teachers became fascinated by this and a few friends began joining in as well. I figured, being several years later I’d better bring the characters all back for a blog and explain them to our MMOC followers.
What gear does MMOC typically use for a gig? Venues/events interested in booking as well as some of our longtime friends and followers are sometimes curious. Of course it depends on the situation (indoor vs outdoor, large vs small crowd etc), but I wanted to put together a list of what the band uses for sound reinforcement, along with each individual member’s equipment.
When it’s a small acoustic show or we’re using someone else’s much bigger system at a festival we don’t need to bring all of this. We condense it down to what is necessary for the given night - Thank God! The Blue Beast (my truck/magic band bus) can only handle so much. And it must be mentioned that our Alan is a connoisseur of good equipment, while I tend to look for things that cost and weigh slightly less, yet still get the job done.
This is what we bring when we need to go all out and do the sound ourselves for a medium to large-sized gig:
MMOC Gear List
I was really fired up the other night (like usual), and decided I needed to make a list showing the dominance of my all-time favorite singer and songwriter, John Lennon. As a huge fan of each of the Beatles, and not to mention most Classic Rock, I still feel the need to rant about the greatness of Lennon quite often.
This time I'll let a list of around fifty perfect songs he wrote in a period of about ten years do the talking. Yes, I had been drinking when I compiled this, but it didn't take long and it's surprisingly on point (Don't tell me "I Want You" should be on it - You know I'm not the biggest Abbey Road fan).
It's possible we would have never had Tom Petty, David Bowie and other greats if John Lennon hadn't come along first. If you are unfamiliar with any of these, it couldn't hurt to give them a listen. Maybe you'll understand my weirdness slightly more!
What if Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant could show up at whichever bar I’m at near the end of the evening and offer to give me a piggyback ride home? His flowing mane in my face - His majestic wailing going out into the night - His hippie boots bouncing against the pavement.
"What does Marshmellow Overcoat mean?
Honestly, I used to get pissed off getting asked it on a regular basis. Then one day I realized - I should be grateful when people care enough to ask. "
MMOC frontman Tyler Calkins does his usual ranting