Delicate Steve just might be an enigma wrapped in a mystery enshrouded within the cloaks of secrecy that protect the deepest meanings of existence. Similarly, Delicate Steve is a instrumental rock group that’s been exploring the origins of music by way of NYC, creating waves of sensation in the ears of many and confusion in the heads of all that are perplexed by what they have encountered. Having been paired by nothing less than fate with the wonderfully talented Yellow Ostrich, the most Delicate of Steves recently, were on tour supporting Ra Ra Riot.
Delicate Steve’s story is one that’s been flooded with what our ancestor’s called “Tall Tales”. In a bit of a publicity stunt, a publicist for the band sought out acclaimed music writer Chuck Klosterman to write a press release, without really knowing what the band was about. Chuck did just what he knew he had to do, write a such a ludicrous fabrication that it could easily be taken for the truth by someone who has little time to let it sink in, or at the very least check some facts. So it became a parody of music journalism, and the sad reality of what a press release is, which is merely a cheat sheet for journalists to shirk their duties of investigating and reporting the facts. So by feeding the hungry eyes of bloggers and music journalists with false facts and outrageous (and imaginary) descriptions, Klosterman managed to “Pull a quick one”. This trickery did not go unappreciated by those who recognized, most notably NPR, who’s Ann Powers wrote an excellent article about this situation and the portrait it paints of the music journalism scene.
So the way I will choose to describe the wizardry that Steve Marion, the mastermind behind the luscious compositions that make up the debut album Wondervisions, is with this:
In the hot summer sun, some time ago, I spent a handful of moments to stop and observe/ponder the remains of a squirrel. His time must’ve came, in one panicked moment, a day or two before. The rot had started. Definitely. The flies, seemed to gain vigor from the promise of something to occupy their seconds of flight for many minutes to come. As I took it all in, I thought I heard something. I know I heard something. In the distance, but obviously within earshot, was the soft singing of tree birds, with the accompaniment of the breeze. What seemed like a celebration cantata was occurring just a stones-throw from this location of sudden or slow lonely demise. My feelings were mixed. No not mixed like blended, but more like alternating, or see-sawing. I couldn’t help but to be saddened by the fate of the adorable rodent. I couldn’t help to be delighted by the performances of the natural choir perched above. So I decided to try my best to combine these emotions that I had always felt separately before. And quite naturally, I found myself at a funeral. Celebrating the life of the critter. Rejoicing for the all the smiles that he had caused as he scrambled around a trunk trying to catch a fellow nut-stasher. Accepting the fate that world has brought to this thing. And really, really, really enjoying the music.
“The Ballad of the Speck and the Pebble”[audio: http://www.archive.org/download/DelicateSteve_155/02-TheBalladOfSpeckAndPebble.mp3%5D
“Sugar Splash”[audio: http://www.archive.org/download/DelicateSteve_155/04-SugarSplash.mp3]
Check out these videos, if you so desire.
“Butterfly” Music Video
“Wondervisions” Official Video
“Sugar Splash” Live video
Thanks and enjoy and thanks.