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Marjorie Fair is an indie rock/shoegaze American band formed in New Jersey by musician Evan Slamka, and based in Los Angeles, California. The band is best known for their debut album Self Help Serenade, released in 2004 on Capitol Records. Marjorie Fair's melodic psychedelia has been compared to Mercury Rev, Pernice Brothers, The Beach Boys, Grandaddy, Elliott Smith and the solo works of Jon Brion, who contributed minor parts to Self Help Serenade.
The only consistent member of the band has been songwriter/vocalist Evan Slamka (vocals, guitar). Other members have included Wayne Faler (guitar), Dain Luscombe (keyboards), Chris Tristram (bass guitar), Scott Lord (bass guitar), Mike Delisa (drums), and Jayson Larson (drums).
Following the release of Self Help Serenade in the UK on May 31, 2004, Marjorie Fair toured Europe and opened for indie acts including Modest Mouse and The Bees. Marjorie Fair played a series of West Coast residencies in the fall, while awaiting Capitol to release their album stateside. The album did not end up being released in the United States until July 19, 2005 and was supported by a very short U.S. tour. The group promoted the album with small bursts of touring, playing with Tegan and Sara and Mellowdrone that fall.
In October 2007, a post on the band's official site stated that a sophomore album was nearly complete: "We've been putting the finishing touches on the next record. If you know anyone who would like to put it out without having heard a single note of it, please let us know." The post also announced that Scott Lord and Wayne Faler had left the band.
Square On Square
Slamka formed a new recording project called Square on Square in 2009. A 5-song EP, Spectrum Of Love, was released digitally on iTunes in August 2010. The EP was produced by Joey Waronker, with cover art provided by Birmingham, Alabama artist Merillee Challis. The EP included five songs: "Black Holes," "Northstar," "Fear Of Flying," "Found," and "Songbird." Three of these songs would later be remixed for a Marjorie Fair release.
The band members were Slamka, Gerry Porter (Sturgeon), Nic Johns (Ben Lee, The Silver Lake Chorus), Ashley Dzerigian and Adam Zimmon (Iggy Pop, Shakira). The EP is no longer available on iTunes as of 2016. Three tracks remain available for streaming on the band's now-abandoned MySpace page.
In May 2012, Evan began playing shows under the band name Mighty Forces and posting recordings on a Facebook page with enigmatic titles such as "Wandering Song" and "Trapper." The songs were accompanied by VHS-like psychedelic videos featuring Slamka and various found footage. Though hissy and lo-fi in quality, the songs were unmistakably the work of the Marjorie Fair singer and songwriter, with some nods to contemporaries like Midlake and Blitzen Trapper.
A Joey-Waronker-produced Mighty Forces album was hyped on Laurel Canon's music licensing website with the blurb "as good as anything Evan has ever done – perfect chamber-pop-folk." A Mighty Forces track called "Northstar" was posted to SoundCloud, though it was apparently a remix of a 2010 Square On Square song and not a new recording. The Mighty Forces album described on the site was never released.
Fire At Sea
In October 2013, Slamka released a self-titled EP under the name Fire At Sea digitally on Bandcamp. The EP featured songs performed with Wendy Wang of The Sweet Hurt. Nic Johns, Joachim Cooder, Lem Jay Ignacio, and John Rausch all played on the EP.
Marjorie Fair reformed
In November 2013, Slamka posted a photo to the Marjorie Fair Facebook page with an image of a Macintosh desktop folder labeled FINAL MIXES MASTERED. A week later, Slamka posted a montage of unreleased Marjorie Fair recordings to SoundCloud (now deleted) under the pseudonym oleofontana. Another performance video by Slamka, "Let Love Be Free," was posted on Facebook in May 2014.
In August, Slamka posted a photo of a digital audio workstation with the caption "Hell freezes over as the uber talented Mark Chalecki puts the final mastering touch on....the 'record'" Chalecki, a former Capitol mastering engineer, counts albums by Grandaddy, Silversun Pickups and Mazzy Star among his many projects. Subsequent posts teased a new release with a photo of a CD-R labeled "MF 8-15-14" and hinting at the formation of a label, Psychic Bully Records.
I Am My Own Rainbow
In a series of posts in early 2015, Slamka teased cover art for a new Marjorie Fair album to be titled I Am My Own Rainbow. That April, Marjorie Fair contributed two new songs to the indie film The Last Treasure Hunt.
In October 2015, a redesigned website appeared which featured a brand new Marjorie Fair recording, "Fields." The track list includes ten songs: "Brothers and Sisters," "Black Holes," "Wandering Star," "14th Century Man," "Avalanche," "Save Time," "Northstar," "Fields," "Haven't You Heard?" and "Songbird." Slamka confirmed in a forum post that three of the new Marjorie Fair songs were remixed from the 2010 Square On Square EP. "Northstar" is the most radically remixed of the three songs, with numerous additional keyboards, drum machine patterns and effects throughout. The others ("Black Holes" and "Songbird") are virtually identical to their original Square on Square mixes.
- Evan Slamka – Vocals, guitar
- Wayne Faler - Guitar
- Dain Luscombe - Keyboards
- Chris Tristram - Bass guitar
- Scott Lord - Bass guitar
- Mike Delisa - Drums
- Jayson Larson – Drums
- Josh Brown - Keyboards
- Self Help Serenade (May 31, 2004 - UK) (July 19, 2005 - US) (iTunes digital release included bonus track "Waves (Live On Indie 103.1)")
- I Am My Own Rainbow (March 25, 2016, digital only)
- Sessions (iTunes digital release only) (October 25, 2005)
- "Stare" b/w "How Can You Laugh," "Science Of Your Mind," and "Timmy" (May 17, 2004 - UK)
- "Waves" b/w "What I Said" and "True Lovers" (October 18, 2004 - UK)
- Their song "Empty Room" was played in a scene of the teenage drama TV series One Tree Hill as well as The O.C.
- Their song "Hold on to You" was featured in the twentieth episode of the second season of the crime TV series Bones.
- They have toured with acts such as John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, and Porcupine Tree.
- Twilight author Stephenie Meyer included both "Stare" and "Empty Room" in her official playlist of songs that loosely follow the sequence of 2006 novel New Moon, indicating that she felt both songs illustrated Bella's point of view in the story
- "Marjorie Fair - Self Help Serenade". Uncut. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- Khong, Rachel. "Marjorie Fair - Self Help Serenade". Pitchfork. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- "Latest News". marjoriefair.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- "Marjorie Fair - Self Help Serenade". Google Play. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- "Latest News". Marjoriefair.com. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- "Spectrum Of Love". Square On Square (official site). Retrieved 4 March 2016.
- "It's Square One for Evan Slamka". Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Laurel Canon Music Licensing http://laurelcanon.com/project/mighty-forces/. Retrieved 22 January 2016. Missing or empty
- "Fire At Sea (band page)". Bandcamp. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/oleofontana. Retrieved 23 January 2016. Missing or empty
- Marjorie Fair (official site) http://www.marjoriefair.com. Retrieved 22 January 2016. Missing or empty
- The Last Treasure Hunt (official site) http://www.thelasttreasurehuntmovie.com/. Retrieved 22 January 2016. Missing or empty
- Marjorie Fair (official site) http://www.marjoriefair.com. Retrieved 4 March 2016. Missing or empty
- "I Am My Own Rainbow". Apple Music. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
- Meyer, Stephenie. "New Moon playlist". Stepheniemeyer.com. Retrieved 30 March 2016.