Friday, April 27, 2007

MARZIPAN - RARE SAN FRANCISCO 90s EAR-GRINDER POP

This 45 from a short-lived San Francisco band never really found a home in the ears of the rock and roll cognoscenti when it came out in 1992, and quite honestly I don’t even know how I came into contact with it. It was probably a promo I received during a time when packages of 45s were a dime a dozen, and most that I got sent (I did a fanzine at the time) were from labels who could afford to blast their records out to anyone & everyone, which usually meant they were marginal-to-terrible. But this MARZIPAN single, on Echonet Records, grabbed me quickly, and it’s still a favorite to this day. First, it’s one of the loudest records I’ve ever heard, despite being an ostensible (garage) pop record. Mastered so far into the red I could barely even record it for you, both “I Believe” and “Last Train To The Sun” benefit from a wall of guitar that defines everything else about the songs – which, at the end of the day, are happy little ditties of simple strum & sunshine. Some might attempt to link it to concurrent UK bands like My Bloody Valentine and the like, but you – you know better.

MARZIPAN were around at the same time as the heyday of Tom Guido’s PURPLE ONION nightclub in San Francisco, so not long after this single came out, I went to see them play to an audience of about 30 there one night. They were great! I went with the head of punk rock label Empty Records, then better-known for slammin’ near-HC bands like THE FUMES or wild garage punks like the SINISTER SIX. He made an attempt to sign the band on the spot, distinct pop leanings be damned – they were that impressive. Several months later the band was gone, and I’ve heard nary a soul speak positively or negatively of them since, which is a shame. Here is their one and only recorded legacy – hope you enjoy it.

Play or Download MARZIPAN – “I Believe” (A-side)
Play or Download MARZIPAN – “Last Train To The Sun” (B-side)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

great record that was unknown to me til now--that b-side is especially worthwhile. thanks for the tip!

AA

Anonymous said...

hey cool...someone else who really likes this 7"...i'll have to see if you had better luck recording it than i did. probably. you can read about my wrestling match with it here:
http://youshallknowourdiscography.blogspot.com/search?q=marzipan

i'm looking forward to checking out the rest of your bloggoworld.

G

David said...

Wasn't Russel Quan of the Mummies in this band? That was the selling point (although it was made clear that this was strictly indie pop(when those weren't fightin' words)) if I remember correctly.

Dave

Anonymous said...

I used to work with the lead guy/sole constant member of Marzipan, one Seth from Ohio, at Olde Rough Trade. He was the guy who turned me onto Subway Sect and the Postcard label bands. This band was always an amazing mod-pop frenzy live, saw them at their record release party for this ep at the Peacock Lounge, it was a total Austin Powers trip years before Mike Myers. They should have put out more stuff but Seth got a little distracted by the chemical-friendly side of San Francisco, shame.

Ryan W.

Elton Tom (this could be you!!! send us some dirt, good tips and stuff.) said...

Russell was never in the band. I was! You might be confused as the single was recorded by Maz from the mummies.

It's funny how everyone mentions how it was the loudest 45, it was mastered at a place in San Francisco called RocketLabs and they mastered it so f-ing loud. It was expensive to have them do it, I guess it was the right decision?

The Echonet label was started by members of the 90's SF band Panic Ear Service. There is talk of an Echonet CD comp of all the fine singles of all northern california bands circa 90-94
including
Marzipan
Apollonia Heck
Chotchke
Daisy Spot
Plainfield
Benjamin Kitestring
Panic Ear Service

and more! Great label, you can still find the singles around town but the price is going up. Thanks to Detailed Twang for acknowledging Marzipan.

cheers,
Tom

Anonymous said...

Love this single - great to see it featured here! Echonet did a Panic Ear Service double 7" around this time that's also pretty sweet. Wanted to put Marzipan on the Rock Scientist compilation and even got a track from them, but it didn't work out. Solid live band when they were on...Tom's a great drummer.
-space(d) rich

Anonymous said...

seth is back in cincinnati playing music. here's the link: www.myspace.com/perniciousknifs

ForestersInstruments said...

The links are broken, yet I really want to hear some of this. Can you fix this please?