Talking pop-rock domination with host Dan Victor
J. Marco brings Popdust some Pop-Rock from Nashville!
NOVEMBER 8, 2017 -- I first saw this band when they were in town playing a show at the Soho House. It's a fancy private club with lots of rooms and different floors. They actually have a pool on the roof top. I sat down in a chair with a nice glass of red wine and watched in this high-back velvet chair. I enjoyed it very much, so Popdust invited J. Marco to do the show. He came all they way back for an acoustic rendition of his hit songs: "Love Don't Matter" and "We're All Alright". It was really cool to re-connect weeks later and catch up. He brought another guitarist to play lead. They killed, so listen to these exclusive tracks.
Long before moving to Nashville and kicking off his songwriting career, J. Marco listened to records in his Massachusetts bedroom, moving between the fast-moving fuzz of punk-rock and the hard-hitting hooks of pop music. Years later, he combines both of those genres and more on Days Of Surrender, his second album as a solo artist.
Days Of Surrender finds J. Marco pulling triple-duty as singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist. He covers a good deal of ground along the way, from the album's propulsive single, "Love Don't Matter" to the anthemic rock & roll of "See Her Tonight" "Now That It's Over" & "Say Goodbye." Gluing the entire album together is an emphasis on guitar riffs and undeniable melodies, the same two ingredients that connected most of Marco's childhood influences.
Watch "We're All Alright" | Live & Acoustic
As they begin the song, the guitars are just strumming, but can already feel the vibe of wistful nostalgia of day we believe to be better. Although those times are rarely what we remember them. Watching this again refreshes my memory of this night. Everyone who played had a folk, blues and rock flavor. Reminds me of Springsteen, Dylan or even Tom Petty. Real Americana, while keeping true to well crafted hooks, it straddles the line between singer-songwriter and a rocking live show.
Watch "Love Don't Matter" | Live & Acoustic
What does matter? How much I love this song. The two guitars were so pretty together. It's rooted in the past, in concept and sound. The solo on this track is sick! We all know that Love does Matter, even if we don't want to always admit it.
Notable Word Combinations: I had been drinking a little of the Popdust Prosseco, by Lot 18, when we started the interview and continued enjoying it the rest of the night. Here are some funny quotes out of context.
- You were going, going, jamming, doing the thing and... STOP 1-2-3 BANG! and I was like "What?"
- Have you seen the tickets for Broadway?
- In my teens I got into Punk
- Favorite Misfits Song: "Last Caress"
- I decided to listen to a lot of Captain Beef-heart and I started hallucinating
- Fallen art we found
WATCH J. Marco with full band at the Soho House, NYC:
Popdust caught J. Marco coming all the way from Nashville on a Friday night in Manhattan. They did an incredible version of "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen, that they weave seamlessly into their power pop set.
Listen to J. Marco:
Dan Victor is editor of Popdust and producer of Popdust Presents. He is also a music producer, bassist for Low Profile (live hip hop) & The Coldpress (indie rap) and front-man for Ductape Halo (indie rock). Follow on Youtube.
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Plus celebrities react to Nigerian protests.
Young people across Nigeria have been pouring into the streets for the last two weeks to protest police brutality, specifically the controversial special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Tension came to a head on Tuesday when armed forces fired on protestors in Lagos, the biggest city in Nigeria, who were out past the state-mandated curfew. According to AP News, "Police also fired tear gas at one point, and smoke could be seen billowing from several areas in the city's center. Two private TV stations were forced off the air at least temporarily as their offices were burned."
Not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
October 21, 2020 marks the third annual International Pronouns Day.
Created by an independent board and first observed in 2018, it's one of those small commemorative holidays that trends on Twitter in hopes of drawing attention to a pressing social issue, like International Women's Day (March 8th) or the ever so serious National Taco Day (October 4).
But Pronouns Day in particular "seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace." The organization's website further describes, "Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people's multiple, intersecting identities."
But in the words of nonbinary activist and Trevor Project's Head of Advocacy and Government Afairs, Sam Brenton, "Pronouns are hard." Never before have pronouns been scrutinized as closely as they are in 2019 for their power to (in)validate or accurately describe something as fluid as gender identity. In fact, it was only this year that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary expanded the definition of "they" "to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary" (thus codifying a long history in English language of using "they" to refer to a singular non-gendered entity).
‘Everyone has the responsibility to be respectful.’ — The @TrevorProject’s Sam Brinton is explaining why pronouns a… https://t.co/pMMO8KRvBR— NowThis (@NowThis)1571253180.0
But throwing an additional wrench in the works is the fact that not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
Take me, for instance: Despite having female biology, I couldn't pass a lie detector test saying I'm a "woman." But my pragmatic, Puritan family is still endearingly confused by the idea of "liberal arts," let alone the notion of gender fluidity. And I'd rather share a communal language with them than do the emotional and mental labor of re-orienting their worldview for them. Plus, I have the privilege of passing as female without feeling too, too, terribly dysphoric (which non-binary people can definitely suffer from, despite not identifying as trans).
But enough about me, look at Queer Eye's beloved Jonathan Van Ness. While he's been outspoken about being genderqueer, gay, and HIV positive, he prefers he/him pronouns. "The older I get, the more I think that I'm nonbinary," Van Ness said. "I'm gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman." As he told Out magazine, he doesn't identify as a man, but he does prefer "he/him/his" pronouns. In his view, those pronouns don't detract from or contradict his non-binary identity, because gender is not about simple binaries between masculine and feminine identifiers. "Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I'm here for it," he said. "I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It's this social construct that I don't really feel like I fit into the way I used to."
On the other hand, last month non-binary singer Sam Smith announced that their preferred pronouns are "they/them." Smith posted to Instagram, "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out." People like Smith and Trevor Project's Sam Brenton simply feel more validated, seen, heard, and true to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns. Smith wrote, "I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*ck it!"
Most importantly, as pretty much every non-binary person and activist is aware, changing cultural norms is hard. While LGBTQ+ activism is inspired and passionate and dedicated to expanding human rights to all gender identities, we all know that changing society's entire understanding of gender and pronoun usage is about slowly opening minds. As Smith wrote, "I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you." Happy Pronouns Day to you/him/her/they/(f)aer/zim.