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Delicate Steve

July 8 • MOTR

By Brian Baker · July 6th, 2011 · Sound Advice
Steve Marion certainly knows how to stir things up, in the studio and in the press. Back in February, David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label reissued Marion’s originally self-released Wondervisions, his debut effort as Delicate Steve, which was accompanied by a “press release” penned anonymously by Rock critic Chuck Klosterman. The renowned author of Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs and Killing Yourself to Live hailed Marion as a “polymath who plays over 40 instruments” and a stickler who devoted an entire summer to the pursuit of a lost chord heard on a Jandek album, and the band as “a hydro-electric Mothra rising from the ashes of an African village burned to the ground by post-Rock minotaurs” and “the wordless New Jersey U2.”

It was all hooey, of course, a parody designed to underscore the ridiculous but necessary paradigm of shilling unheard music with the hyperbole of the written word.

Klosterman had never met Marion or heard a note of his music.

And yet Klosterman’s bogus tout sheet gave Delicate Steve a good deal of legitimate attention. Wondervisions, created by Marion at home and played live with the band of friends he assembled for touring purposes, is a marvel of simple complexity, the sound of Brian Eno producing Ratatat on a cyclical speed-vs.-cough-syrup binge.

There’s a funky World undercurrent to Marion’s songs and a swaggering self-assurance that has nothing to do with sonic pretension and everything to do with creative intention, as Wondervisions quivers with tribal Folk/Pop fury, blusters with Rock ballad bombast and simultaneously soothes and unnerves with avant-garde gravity. All the while, Marion stands unperturbed in the eye of his own sonic hurricane, making sounds for himself and the musical outcasts that comprise his audience, free thinkers who eschew the mainstream for something a little different. Like Mothra defeating the post-Rock minotaurs.

Delicate Steve plays MOTR Pub Friday, July 8. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.



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