Oh and...

...b.t.w. (Independent)

By David Lilly

If you like mixed nuts then you'll likely want to hear this disc. Not because of the pecans, cashews and peanuts, but because Markus begins the proceedings with "Always Open," sounding like a cross between The Cars and The Violent Femmes, but does not stay there. "Samantha" evokes boy/girl songs of early to mid '60s radio. It is clearly a modern recording and rocks harder than most 40-year-old songs, but it still has that old AM hit-song feeling. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" simply rocks out with no sign of potential AM hit or new wave inspiration.

In the trivia section, when you look at the photo of Markus on the back of the jewel case, at first you might wonder why there's a photo of Clarence Clemons there. Yes, this talented local man bears a resemblance to The Big Man. No saxophones here, though.

Two of my favorite things about this CD are these: In my head I see David Bowie and Mick Jagger in that "Dancin' in the Streets" video, because while "Down the Line" will not get Markus sued for plagiarism, that song has some similar ingredients and spirit. That irresistible beat is one similarity, but this is no rip-off. The other thing I really like (and I'm sure I belong to a really small group of people) is that occasionally on this CD, there are vocals that sound a little off key. Sometimes it is a solo voice and other times it's a harmony that's sounds out of sync. Because I'm a huge fan of the weird and the off-kilter, for me, that is one of the highlights of this disc. If I'm wrong about these off-kilter vocals, meaning that Markus is just hitting some unusual notes, I'm fine with that and enjoy those moments anyway.

Markus's email address is


and his CD is available at Ear X-tacy, Better Days, Hawley-Cooke Bookstores, Showcase Music & Productions and Music-Go-Round at Hurstbourne Lane.