Category Archives: GUEST EDITOR

From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: Writing The “Dice” TV Theme Song

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: Last year, I wrote the theme song for the new Showtime show Dice featuring Andrew Dice Clay. The inspiration for the tune was the sound of Guns N’ Roses in the back of MSG through a tape recorder, which is what Scot Armstrong, writer of Old School, Road Trip, Starsky & Hutch and The Hangover told me to conjure up. It was a fun time. Every time you hear that heavy-ass track, just remember it was done by a guy who has a band called Delicate Steve.

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: Getting Vampire Weekend And Ra Ra Riot On A Pull-Up Bar

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: One day Wes and Milo (Ra Ra Riot) and Ezra (Vampire Weekend) and I were eating lunch in Greenpoint. We got to talking about our workout habits, and I started talking about pull-ups and all of the benefits of bodyweight exercises. Shortly after that, we decided to hit the McCarren Park pull-up bar, where we all proceeded to exercise together. If somebody gave me a TV show, I could make stuff like this happen all the time.

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: On Tour With Mac DeMarco

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: Touring with Mac was good fun. We ate gas-station hot dogs. We spent one night together at a promoter’s house where Mac danced around in his underpants. One time, we covered “Smoke On The Water” together as an encore where Mac just kept singing the line “Smoke on the water, fire in the sky” for about 10 to 12 minutes. The crowd loved it. Their van broke down at one point. Mac rode with us in our van while theirs got repaired. He played a solo show that night to an audience that was not the least bit disappointed that the rest of the band couldn’t make it. His charisma and love for music is undeniable, and it was great to connect with Mac fans who are all very much big music fans.

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: “New York Times” Critics’ Choice Alongside James Blake

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: One of the first reviews to come in for Delicate Steve was none other than a New York Times Critics’ Choice by Jon Pareles. I was still delivering pizza in N.J. when that came out. Living the dream.

The other person who Jon picked that week was James Blake …

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: Playing Minutemen Covers With Lee Ranaldo

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: Got to play “History Lesson Part II” with Lee Ranaldo for Michael Azerrad’s “Our Band Could Be Your Concert” at Bowery Ballroom. The whole night was unbelievable; Michael picked bands to cover every band from his book. If you were there, you know the highlight of the night—amongst a night’s worth of highlights—was Annie Clark covering Big Black, backed by Nat and Brian from Dirty Projectors. She just tore everyone apart.

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: The Delicate Cheese Sandwich

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: The first-ever tour Delicate Steve did was with Fang Island in 2010. It was life-changing and life-affirming and one of the many highlights of my musical journey so far. After the tour ended, bassist Mike Jacober left Fang Island to pursue the art of grilled-cheese making, starting the Morris Food Truck and serving some of the finest grilled cheese in NYC. Mike also went on to start the restaurant Glady’s, serving up delicious Caribbean food in Prospect Heights. Good job, Mike! While dreaming up the Morris Truck menu, as a nod to such a fun and meaningful time together spent on tour (not to get too cheesy), Mike created the ultimate sandwich: the Delicate Cheese: a grilled cheese sandwich made with truffle butter, truffle cheese and caramelized shallots. Thank you, Mike, for creating such a perfect representation of Delicate Steve’s music in food form.

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: Meeting Anand, Recording With Yeasayer

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: Anand was one of the first musicians I met who I deeply admired. I had heard Yeasayer’s Daytrotter session, and that’s how I became a fan. One night I was going to drive town to Baltimore to record with Dustin Wong of the band Ponytail, who was one of my biggest inspirations for Delicate Steve. Unfortunately, that night there was a huge snowstorm, and I had to call off the drive. Instead I went to Knitting Factory, where my friend Christian was seeing one of his biggest inspirations, the Entrance Band. In the audience, I recognized Anand, went up to him, mispronounced both his name and his band’s name, and handed him my album on a burned CD. He emailed me that night about how much he liked it, and that summer we were opening up for Yeasayer on Governor’s Island in front of our largest audience at that point. We went on to tour with Yeasayer after that. I also recorded guitar on their last two records. We’ve started a supergroup together with Austin Fisher of Suckers called Seltzer Boys that has only played two sold-out shows. Delicate Steve was also Anand’s wedding band. I also got to play in Ira’s wedding band alongside his dad on bass.

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: Soloing With Dr. Dog

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

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Marion: Another one of my favorite rock bands, Dr. Dog, took my other band Saint Rich out on a two-month tour around the U.S. One of the highlights of the tour was getting to play the guitar solo on “Easy Beat” with them. Their guitar tech, Beach, would set up my guitar side stage with a wireless pack, and halfway through the song, I would walk out and start jamming. Next-level rock-star moves with one of the best bands out there.

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: Soloing (And Balling) With Built To Spill

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: This story goes back to Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho, where I met Doug Martsch, through festival organizer and friend Eric Gilbert. After our headlining set, we walked offstage to the roar of the crowd, where Eric proceeded to hand us guest passes to the Boise YMCA. “Doug will be there at 10 a.m.” We awoke to play a great game of basketball with Doug.

Fast forward to High Sierra Music Fest in 2012, where Delicate Steve performed and I was an “artist at large”—meaning I was supposed to play and collaborate with other bands throughout the duration of the festival. Obviously I wanted to play with Built To Spill, but I wasn’t able to get in touch with Doug in time and neither was our artist rep at the festival.

So I am watching them play from side stage, in awe of how amazing they sound as a guitar rock band. I’m in my running shorts, Timberland boots and a tank top.

They are playing their closing number, “Broken Chairs,” which ends in a giant guitar solo. As the solo starts, Doug turns his back to the crowd and starts playing to the drummer. Then he turns to the side of the stage. He looks up for a split second and we lock eyes. He looks down at his guitar, looks up again, and gives the faintest of head nods to me with a devilish grin.

My heart starts racing and instinctively I walk out onstage in my running shorts and boots and tank top toward Doug for no apparent reason. I get next to him and he hands my his guitar, picks up his backpack and walks off the stage. I proceed to close out Built To Spill’s headlining set with the outro guitar solo on “Broken Chairs” with no rehearsal or anything.

We end the song. The audience applauds. Doug comes back onstage to say thank you into the mic. I look at him and say “Doug, I had no idea you were going to do that.” He looks at me and says, “Neither did I.”

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From The Desk Of Delicate Steve: Soloing (And Balling) With Dirty Projectors

Steve Marion would like you to know, first and foremost, that he’s a human being. That’s why the New Jersey-bred guitar maestro’s given name is right there in the moniker of his primary musical project—Delicate Steve is both the four-piece live band Marion fronts and the superhero alias he assumes for his one-man recording output—and in the title of his long-in-the-works third LP. Marion will be guest editing magnet magazine.com all week. Read our feature.

Marion: Dirty Projectors were one of the main reasons I started making music as Delicate Steve. Most of the reason for recording Wondervisions was to give Dave and Nat and everyone in the band the record as a thank you to them for making such inspirational music, as DP’s music was one of my core inspirations for this band.

I literally started making the first Delicate Steve album the day after I saw Dirty Projectors live and met Nat after the show. He asked me if I played music, and I didn’t know what to say. So the next day, I started making an album. I made it in three weeks, and I gave it to him the next time he played a solo show in Brooklyn. Little did I know that he and the band were listening to the record and digging it. Then one day we played Glasslands. Nat ran up asking if we had played yet. I was blown away that he was there. I told him no. And he said something like, “OK, good! Cause we’re recording this record with Björk right now, but they didn’t really need me in there right now. I’m so happy I made it!” Over the years we’ve all become friends. Everyone in the band is someone I deeply admire musically and personally. On the tour for Swing Lo Magellan, Dirty Projectors had Delicate Steve open up. It was a full-circle experience. At one point, Dave said this to the crowd after one of our sets: “Sometimes you tend to think about unqualified joy as a 17th century emotion, then you listen to Delicate Steve and realize how futuristic it is.” On the recording of their song “Impregnable Question,” there is an instrumental verse that I felt was missing a guitar solo. One day, just for fun at my house I recorded a solo over the mp3 of the song and sent it to Dave. Then on the last day of the tour I got to play it with them onstage.

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