Ali is a Seattle-based songwriter who tours the country singing songs for people. She has sang at festivals around America, including CMJ, Northwest Folklife Festival, and Noise for the Needy. She has sang in lots of awesome joints, like the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, IOTA Cafe in Virginia, the Evening Muse in Charlotte, the Starry Plough in Berkeley, the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
WOCS: From what album will you be playing?
Ali Marcus: I'll likely play songs from the Great Migration, my newest release ('09), and songs that have been written since then, which hopefully will end up on the next record, when it arrives!It started in my imagination as the sweeping westward movement of myself and many people around me. Having grown up in Virginia, and gone to college there, suddenly it seemed as though we were all finding ways to make it all the way to the other end of the country. When the time came to name the record, it occurred to me that the memories and other inspirations for many, if not all of the songs we recorded for it sprung from the journeys we had been taking in those years. There is an exploration of America that runs through the images and the songs.
What is the Great Migration about?I've been touring in Brooklyn for some years now, and I always have a blast. It reminds me of Seattle in a way, except with real bagels.
How do you like Brooklyn?I always seem to be hunting down the coffee shops, which is no big surprise, being from the Pacific Northwest! However, I am still a born-and-raised east coast Jew - the only true haunt I have is La Bagel Delight in Fort Greene.
Do you have a favorite spot you go to every time you come back?
You mention how you find Brooklyn similar to Seattle. I've never been there, but it's also the feeling I get from the the stuff I read (food, gardens, urban farming, multicultural families...). Do you have any other thoughts on the subject?
Well, I think that similar kinds of people are attracted to the Pacific Northwest as to Brooklyn - creative class types. Parts of Brooklyn have the "neighborhoody" feeling that is common in parts of Seattle and Portland, where there is a large residential area and a commercial strip, with some locally-roasted coffee somewhere nearby, of course. It's also cheaper and easier to live in Seattle and Brooklyn than, say, Manhattan and San Francisco, and us creative-types are taking risks with our careers that require us to have a lower cost-of-living. We are opening butcher shops, inventing social networking applications, running micro-local farmers market networks, or fostering sustainable careers for musicians. Seattle's had a hang-up about being "the first" or "the best" ever since the grunge days, but i can honestly say that I've seen the Pacific Northwest culture in Brooklyn go from about zero to 8 in the last 7 years that I've lived out here.Do you have a favorite Brooklyn-based band?The Rooftops, of course, whom I've invited to share the Jalopy show with me! Also, early Langhorne Slim (When the Sun's Gone Down, '05 I think) was a big influence for me - is he still Brooklyn-based? I might have heard he moved to PDX actually - it's all part of the Great Migration, see?
Ali Marcus will be playing at The Fabulous Jalopy tomorrow night, Thursday February 17, at 10:30pm ($10 cover), read more and listen to Ali here.
Make it an evening of music, and start at 9:30pm to enjoy the Rooftops ($10 cover).
To buy your ticket call 718.395.3214