You know what I like about Money Mark Ramos-Nishita, aside from him being like, the fifth Beastie? He’s the coolest musician in LA. Most of these music types are real skittish and will not let you get near them, or some will say a few quick words, then run away. Mark will hang out, chat with you for some like 20 minutes…then just sort of hang around. It’s really something.
When I went to see Shuggie Otis at the El Rey (see the end note of my very first post), and the show ended up sucking in an almost cosmic way, it was Mark who stood around in front of the building with me, lamenting the disaster. He was like:
“Dude, I would have said fuck all the band shit. Just Shuggie on guitar, and me on piano and there wouldn’t be this horrendous mess we have right now!”
And he was right.
But anyway, the other thing I like about Mark is his rare first full album “Mark’s Keyboard Repair.”
And while I’m on the topic, what’s with first albums anyway!?!? Why are they almost always the best?!?! I have know idea!!! Why am I yelling?!?!
Actually, all Marks’ albums are pretty cool, independent and just as lovable as this one. But this one has, like 3o tracks! When was the last time you bought an album that had more than 14 songs on it, let alone 30? All I know is that it doesn’t happen too often, and when it does, it usually isn’t as great as Marks.
Released in sunny 1995, it’s technically not even Nishita’s first solo album (That was the Performing chicken EP that only Farmer Dave had on vinyl…the bastard.) But it has an unmistakably raw demo sound and feel to the whole thing that I really dig. And most of the songs are short little slices of goodness that tend to top out at 2:30. You have some sweet indie crooning on songs like ‘Cry’ and ‘Pretty Pain,’ and jazzy funk numbers like ‘Insects are All Around Us’(my personal favorite.)
As a whole album, the sound takes me back to hanging out in the garage on a sunny LA Sunday, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and shooting pool. I also highly recommend his other LPs “Push the Button” and “Demo? or Demolition?” I haven’t caught the newest one “Brand New by Tomorrow” yet, but I have a feeling it’s equally enjoyable.
Yeah, it’s like that.
Below, Money Mark Performs ‘Hand in Your Head’ at the HiFi Club in Leeds.
PS: Grab a used copy on Amazon for like…$2!!!