New York! Boston! Dallas! Austin! Wake Up and w00t!

10/28/2010 at 8:34 pm | Posted in 49>50, Browncoats, General Nerdery, Just for Fun, News & Explanations | 5 Comments
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It has come to our not-so-royal attention
that some of you in some of these very large cities
still do not have your golden tickets
to the Singular Inc0mparable Bizarre Nerd Revue Spectacular
known as #w00tstock.

The valid excuses that come to mind are Three, and I shall name them:

1. Perhaps you fear the side effects of being in such close physical proximity
to so many of the gods and demigods
of the Pantheon Of Internet Celebrities Who Are Celebrities Because
They Actually Do Cool Stuff
(the finest of the A, B, C, and D-lists will be in attendance).

Your computer screens and smart phones
generally protect you from the full power of their collective blinding Awesome.
But think on this:
your little electronic barriers also insulate you
from the ensuing radiation-induced Superpowers
(and inevitable tragic alienation
and prolonged near-romance with a sexy investigative journalist)
that you’ve always dreamed of.
You’ll never know
if you don’t show.

2. Perhaps you have forgotten that not so very long ago
you begged and pleaded for w00tstock to come and for gods’ sake take the East Coast.
But now that it’s here, you mean to play hard-to-get
for fear w00tstock may not call you in the morning
if you are too easily conquered.
You shameless tease you.

3. Perhaps you do not know what a w00tstock is
but it’s happened a number of times already
and you are embarrassed to ask anymore,
so from time to time you just wait patiently
for everyone to quit bloody #hashtagging about it. #w00t #w00t #w00t

If this is the case,
If ignorance is your defense,
then you should ASK SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN THERE about the amazing.

(You are reading my blog on the Yntarnet right now, so I know you have time at this very moment to ask Twitter or Facebook.  And this entry gives you blanket permission to come out and confess it.  Say it with me, it’s difficult, but it feels good: “I have no idea what w00tstock is.” Ahhhh. Isn’t that better?)

It is unlike a con.  It is unlike a concert.  It is Nerd Vaudeville.
It is a Variety Show of interesting things that you never knew you were dying to see
like Chewbacca playing guitar and Marian in heels
and real mad scientists in Halloween costumes.
It is the unmatched synergy of the modern Superheroes and Sidekicks of Wit
at your service.


Short of picking your pockets personally
(a chore I’ve neither skill nor time for)
I cannot remedy your pathetic ticketless situation by force —
So I haunt street corners and plague subway cars
late at night, haggard, halitosid, attempting to foist on you
limp and possibly snotty pamphlets
detailing the amazements you will miss
if you stay home and watch “Doctor Who” episodes again
which you have already seen three times sober
(and once (or possibly twice) while intoxicated).

Here, transcribed, with only virtual snot, is the text of my dirty subway pamphlet:

PREPARE YOUR SOUL! (mandatory)

NEW YORK 10.29.10 //// COSTUME BALL!
BOSTON 10.31.10 //// COSTUME BALL!
AUSTIN 11.02.10 //// just a regular ball!
DALLAS 11.03.10 //// just the other regular ball!

REASONS TO ATTEND (mandatory):

Adam Savage
Grant Imahara
Jonathan Coulton
Neil Gaiman
Paul F. Tompkins
Bill Amend of Foxtrot
Bill Corbett & Kevin Murphy of Rifftrax & MST3K
Drew Curtis of
Marc Abrahams of the Ig Nobel Prizes
Jason Finn of the POTUSA
MC Frontalot
Molly Lewis
Mary Jo Pehl
Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse

And, presiding over all proceedings like the flaming Eye of Sauron,

Get tickets now or settle in for the looooong, dark wait for another thing half this exciting to occur. It will be a while — even for you, New York. (mandatory)

Humbly submitted for your review on too little sleep and too much coffee,

Marian Call

*Not physically in attendance. But technically speaking, “Undead” is an accurate description of @wilw at this writing.

Upcoming Marian Call shows, details and RSVP info at

10/29 w00tstock, New York, NY
10/30 House Concert, Holden MA
10/31 w00tstock, Boston MA
11/1 Tommy Doyle’s, Cambridge MA
11/2 House Concert, Concord NH
11/3 House Concert, Montreal QC
11/4 House Concert, Ottawa ON
11/5 House Concert, Kitchener ON
11/7 Evil Squirrel Comics, Chicago IL (tickets required,
11/9 Dunn Bros. Coffee Co., Roseville MN



Marian Offers You More Than Ever Before

03/25/2009 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Browncoats, How to this-or-that, News & Explanations | 3 Comments

To finish off my 6-month western U.S. tour successfully, and to help compensate for some unexpected very hard times, and because so many of you asked how you could help: here’s the game plan.  I asked you what you wanted, and you told me, so here it is:

T-shirts, stickers, and other merch are finally in the pipeline.  There will be some terrifically funny ones — in fact, folks at the new (& growing) LiveJournal fan page will get to vote on some of the initial designs next week.  Volvos and Zombie Cheerleaders and Donuts and Mosquitoes are featured.  Stay tuned for links to the new merch store.

CD’s now available in bulk — businesses, nonprofits, clubs, or individuals can resell Vanilla to make an extra buck.  Buy for $8 via Paypal, sell for $15 (or whatever price you like), minimum of 5.  Get them all autographed for an extra dollar per unit.  E-mail for details or to order.

****Update: the specialty and auction items below are no longer available, though some may come available again in later fundraisers or at special events.  The information on the Donors’ Circle is still accurate, though a more current description now resides at****

Specialty items on sale for a short time:

– Professional archival prints of one of four Brian Adams photographs, autographed by Brian & Marian, custom message if you like. These are gorgeous.  $65 +S&H (value $125). Order before April 15th. Click & scroll down to view available photos & details

– The last 15 prints of Marian’s very first full-color poster, designed for the release of Vanilla, autographed with the message or show date of your choice.  *This is the poster design with notes from my first fans’ myspace comments.*  Only $10 plus shipping.  Ships rolled, not folded.  Click & scroll down to view & order

– Seats at a private dinner with Marian in Los Angeles, CA on April 22nd or in Austin, TX on May 14th.  Dinner at a vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurant is included (though alcoholic beverages are not).  This event will only take place if 4 or more fans purchase tickets to each meal; $60 per head includes dinner & concert.  Click & scroll down for details

A very small eBay auction with very special items:

This auction will take place at the end of March on eBay.  Photos of all these items and full details for each will be available before the start of the auction.

– A Limited Malcolm Reynolds stunt pistol by Quantum Mechanix, with certificate of authenticity, together with a print of the photo “Aim to Misbehave” by Brian Adams.  Both the gun and the photo will be autographed by Marian and the photo back can have the handwritten message of your choice.

– Two gorgeous handmade “Maid Marian” wood carvings (I own the third), featuring my alter ego from the cover of Vanilla with her badass sword and cell phone.  Autographed with a personal message on the back.  Made from Premium American Cherry wood by fan @edrafalko.  Click to view

– Hand-written, framed lyrics to “Dark Dark Eyes” and “Good Old Girl” on stamped handmade paper (2 items).  Yes, it will be my handwriting.  Yes, my handwriting is pretty.

– The original chicken-scratch drafts of four Marian Call songs as a set, all handwritten, messy, and with rejected original lyrics.  These are less pretty, but more collectible, as they can never be duplicated.

Freebie for all participants:

Because I love you and I love giving stuff away, everyone who purchases ANY of the specialty items or bids on an auction item (even if you don’t win) will also receive a free MP3 only available directly from me: my track “Vanilla” with audio commentary.  I’ll e-mail the MP3 to participants in shifts about a week apart — your should get yours a little while after purchasing.

If you bid in the auction, even if you don’t win, I’ll send you (as an MP3) the same audio clip you might hear if you call my phone and get my voicemail.  It’s sung a capella:

Thank you for calling, leamme a message please

Tell me what day and what month and what year it is

‘Cause I’m not here, no baby, I’m not home

The lights are on for sure, but maybe the occupants have flown

I’ll catch you later lo-ove, uh-oh, goodbye.

Perfect to put on your voicemail message, or, if you’re into a capella vocal ringtones, it works for that too.  It’s a free audio phone toy snippet thing.

Last but not least, since so many of you asked:

The Donors’ Circle

I think of the Donors’ Circle as my very own Zombie Cheerleaders — they keep me rolling and keep me independent, and they own my music in a very real sense.  I’m accountable to them to keep the art coming, and to keep it real and meaningful.

I’m inviting folks who are interested to purchase shares of my next album.  It won’t come out for a while; I’ll probably start recording this winter.  But it’s never too early to start getting people on board.  Shares start at $200 with different levels of commitment — and you can pay in small monthly installments if you want. *Any specialty item or auction purchase this spring will count towards the purchase of a share if you wish to do both.*

There will be major perks to being part of the donors’ circle as I start the next album, including preview tracks, commentary, VIP concert treatment, blooper recording reels, and more.  For more details on the perks, the new album, and the donors’ circle, click here for an explanation and scroll all the way to the bottom.  It’s really easy to do. And great art is worth it.

Clarification:  This is an investment you make because you want the album to exist, not to make money.  If you want to make money, consider purchasing CD’s in bulk.  There will be many benefits & exclusives for the Donors’ Circle, but a cut of album sales is not one of them (the legal hassles alone would be insurmountable).  But if you have more ideas of benefits you’d like to see, or items you’d like to see offered for sale, let me know!

Nov 08 – New Album!!!!1!!!! Special Project for Geeks Like Me

03/10/2009 at 11:37 pm | Posted in Browncoats, General Nerdery, How to this-or-that, Music, News & Explanations | Leave a comment


And it’s a very special one, for a group of very special fans who have fed and housed me and given me many, many stickers, T-shirts, and lanyards, and even my treasured rain stick.  But everyone’s invited to enjoy it, because it’s non-exclusive.  It’s just a little geeky is all.

Details about the album are at, because Quantum Mechanix and Black Market Beagles commissioned and paid for this album.  That makes it my first record deal!  Interviews about it will be released soon on The Signal podcast and


Some folks have questioned the availability of the album, since only 1,000 autographed and numbered CD’s will be printed, and it’s being released first at the Creation Convention at the end of this month, where I’m playing a rockin’ concert.  Here’s how it works: if you’re at the convention, you have first dibs, because that’s where it will be released.  After that, starting November 24th, you can order the CD online, but only through QuantumMechanix.comFriends and family — that includes you! You can’t get the disc from me, only from the website.  When it’s gone, it’s gone.

But the digital version of the album will also be released on November 24th, and that should be available through the usual outlets — iTunes,, AmazonMP3, and so on.  The digital version of the album I distribute myself, so you don’t need to worry about missing out.

This collection is all about being a nerd, and how awesome it is to be a nerd — and aren’t we all nerds for something?  I’m a nerd for Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, and all the songs on this album are inspired by those shows.  But they are also all listenable for folks who are not familiar with the stories and characters — this is music about relationships and real life.  If you know the shows, you’ll get the encoded secret message.  But if not, this is still music that I’m proud of — some of it represents a big step forward for me when it comes to writing, producing, and singing, and it’s also quite a bit more finished than any of the Songs of the Month.  This is a work by commission, meaning it would never have been produced except for the folks who loved the music enough to get it recorded and distributed.  It’s a special project for you who asked.  So thank you for asking!

Those of you who are connected in the internet world — spread the word!  It would be tacky for me to advertise on the boards myself, so I need some help.  The big announcement graphic above is at, and the album cover (photo by Brian Adams) is at  The sample MP3’s can be embedded in web pages that allow that sort of thing, and they’re all at  You can put any of these on your own website, or on message boards and forums.  Let’s light up the web!

April 08 – My First Tour in Haiku

03/10/2009 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Browncoats, General Nerdery, Music, Stories from the Road | Leave a comment

I. In which I undertake a bipartite account of my first tour, in haiku with marginalia
II. In which I explain the Song of the Month


It is so good to be home in the land of long days, proper Italian espresso, and excellent beer. Of course, at this writing it is snowing like gangbusters outside, but home is home. My travels were exhausting and terrific:

– I went to San Diego, where I met some very laid back people and played on the beach.
– I went to Hollywood for the first time, where I met some very glamorous people and did many film-related things.
– I went to Austin, where I met very hip artsy people and did many music-related things.
– I went to Houston for the first time, where they shot me in the head and I bled profusely.

Here are some of my travel stories in haiku. I’m borrowing this idea from my stepbrother’s girlfriend, because she is brilliant. It will help to keep my word count down, because my first draft of this blog was turning into a very dull novella (that’s why I was taking so long to post. It sucked). Also, I’ve been watching lots of Arrested Development, and I’m working on punching up and tightening my exposition. Haiku helps. Here goes:

I. Los Angeles

Flying all night sucks.
‘Specially with more luggage
Than you can carry.

Curse the airlines for
finally enforcing their
carry-on limits!

(I mean it. Anybody know a good curse for TSA? Something itchy.)

Driving without sleep
In a new car in LA
Is terrifying.

Pollution, traffic,
And hot guys with sunglasses
are everywhere — ack.

But with my iPhone
I avoid jams and lostness
And ward off stalkers.

(Will someone please make me a shirt that says, “I’m not attracted to you, I’m just polite”?)

Film nerd paradise
Is pretty much my feeling
About Hollywood.

I got to hang out
With cool writers and witty
Indie filmmakers.

Saw 2001
In hi-def and surround sound.
I can’t do that, Dave.

I squealed when I saw
Nathan Fillion’s weapon.
Yup, this girl’s a geek.

(No, I can’t tell you where that collection of goodies was. I’d have to kill you.)

Poor Joel’s shampoo broke
And my Alaskan beer leaked
All over his clothes.

Which was a bit hard
To explain to my grandma,
With whom we were lodged.

But the worst part was
Our emergency beer stash
Was gone. How I wept.

Husband flew south via
Yakutat and Ketchikan.
Viva la Mud Hen.

He was almost dumped
In Juneau, but our pregnant
Governor saved him.

(The slightly longer version of this story: my husband, flying standby, wound up puddle-jumping his way through Alaska on the “Mud Hen” to join us. He was kicked off for weight restrictions in our state’s capitol, but he got the seat of America’s Hottest and Most Pregnant Governer, Sarah Palin, at the last second. She was held up in TSA and wouldn’t make the plane wait for her, because she said she “wasn’t that sort of governor.”)

We played at the beach.
Music, not swimming. Ocean’s
Too polluted. Darn.

(Joel almost jumped in, too, until I said, “Hey, Joel, shouldn’t we maybe read that sign over there — the one with the caution tape all around it? The one that says….no swimming, toxic waste?”)

Singing far from home
Was the easy part. No sweat.
La la la! Thank you.

Cafés, house concerts,
Church auditoriums, and
One sweet standing O.

(Ovation. Don’t even.)

San Diego rules.
Browncoats built a huge fire and
Gave me a rain stick.

At Kulak’s Woodshed
I met Tom Begich. Beware
Alaskans abroad….

(Tom was shocked to see me so far from home. The folks at Kulak’s were joking that the Alaskans were gonna take over the venue. And we most certainly did.)

I heard Shaun Cromwell,
Then Sheri Miller at the
Hotel Café. Sweet.

(Shaun I heard at Café Bellissimo, Sheri at the Hotel Café, to be clear. Both venues and both artists are great. And I had tiramisu to die for at Bellissimo.)

Funny, they told me
I would hate LA, but — wow.
Better than I thought.

Seldom have I slept
So little, driven so much.
L.A., I love you.

For it’s only here
I can put on sunglasses
And turn people’s heads.

(This works especially well at night. If you’re wearing sunglasses in the dark, you can hear the necks snap behind you as folks do a quick over-the-shoulder celebrity check. Of course, I must admit my own neck was a little sore, too.)

II. Texas

To Austin, Houston,
And San Antonio, ho!
(Don’t call me a ho.)

Strawberries galore —
Inexpensive clothing stores —
Locally owned pubs —

Live music nightly —
Farmers’ markets with fresh cheese —
This must be heaven.

But still no good beer.
Only don’t say that too loud
In front of Texans.

(It’s obvious they’re
compensating for something.
Chill, Texas, we’re cool.)

Also don’t mention
That Alaska is bigger
And less obnoxious.

Just sip your Shiner
And quietly kick their ass
At darts and Scrabble.

(Three triple bullseyes — bwah! I tried to make a Shiner Bock / shiner (black eye) joke, but couldn’t get the syllables and the pun to coincide without sacrificing comprehensibility. So imagine a joke of that nature here. Or submit your own haiku in the comments.)

South by Southwest rocks.
But it’s intimidating.
Oodles of rock stars.

There’s a high ratio
Of Utilikilts to men
Down on Sixth Street.

They all look ready
For Rolling Stone photo shoots.
I feel corporate.

(But later I shopped
At the Buffalo Exchange.
Who looks indie now?)

Heard some killer bands —
And some not-so-killer bands,
Which encouraged me.

Favorites include
Lindsay Jane, Raina Rose, Graham,
Second Grace, Cory

(…Branan. And that’s Graham Weber. They’re visiting Alaska soon. Go see them! And see me, if you’re in Alaska. Also, Browncoats and others may enjoy the energetic and ebullient S.J. Tucker, the Skinny White Chick. Though she has famously refused to see Firefly.)

I missed the Whipsaws
Only by inches. Sorry —
Seeya back home, guys.

Bob Schneider and the
Texas Bluegrass Massacre
Blew my freakin’ mind.

I sang, too, nervous
In a sea of musicians,
And I did just fine.

I thought that driving
In LA would be hard, but
Texas kicked my ass.

Twenty minutes spent
Trying to find the on-ramp —
Go fish. Signage, please!

Now, the Bedlam Bards
Are no gentlemen, but they
Accompanied me

Despite the fact I
Use too many chords and shake
A dead cat sometimes.

Visited Browncoats
In two cities — shimmer wine
And mangoes. Shiny.

We played some airsoft
In the yard, which later seemed
A bad idea.

I got shot. Right there.
In the forehead. That’s Houston

But the gun owner,
Morgan, was even worse off.
He lost a tooth.

(I was inordinately proud of my injury. It bled all night, and I made sure everybody knew it. At the concert later that evening I serenaded Morgan with “The Hero of Houston,” a filk of “Hero of Canton.” Except it was about real life, and the song was fictional. Does that make it rilk? We were hoping to give him a purple heart or some kind of medal, but I think the closest we could come was a poker chip.)

Last but not least:
I sang at the Cactus.
Won’t forget that night.

III. Epilogue

Flying home sucked hard:
Austin > Phoenix > OC > then,
Drive to LAX

Fly east to Salt Lake
And finally home. The score:
Six airports, one day.

(The airports won. I’ve revised “Flying Feels Like Falling” to reflect my New Worst Itinerary Ever. Oh, I saw Men in Trees for the first time on one of the planes and miserable as the flight was, the show made it worse. No, it’s nothing like that, for those of you who asked. Even Alaskans are sharper than that writing was.)

I wish I could list
All the people that I met,
All the bands I heard,

But especially
All the food I ate, cuz, damn —
That was a gooooood trip.

I still haven’t slept.
There are deadlines and taxes
And stuff to see to.

But despite the pace
I like my new profession.
‘Cuz I get to sing.


The Song of the Month summarizes this trip in even more concise terms. It starts with a flashback to my first day in Tok, Alaska (their slogan: “We’ve never heard of you either.”). That was not only my first day in Tok, it was the first day of my brand-new residency in Alaska. And what a welcome. It was forty below zero, I got sick from the dry air, there was a blizzard warning, and we had to drive several hundred miles to Anchorage on solid ice. And we were the only out-of-towners. You should have seen the look I got when I asked about a latte. I expect I deserved it.

That same Tok-ish feeling returned to me as I was traveling on this trip, looking very much the outsider everywhere I went. My inner monologue was “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” I’m a medium-insecure person, but I’m finding that if I state my insecurities up front, as a sort of disclaimer, then they’re not so scary anymore. I can acknowledge them, step over them, and get on with life. And enjoy myself.

So do enjoy this song — usually I’d save an original of this quality for the next album, but it was pertinent to the tour I just finished, so I decided to post it now. It might make an appearance on a later album, though.

Marian Call Song of the Month April

Also, next time I travel, I want Brian Adams to come with me. You hear that, Brian?

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