The people who are out there making art, the stuff I get to enjoy as an audience member — those people need to sell their wares. Sometimes they cynically plop product placements in our way. I mentally avoid those like the little steaming piles that they really are. But there are other tie-ins that are actually pleasant, even while they’re an undisguised additional income stream for the original project. The soundtrack for “Maron,” the new show from stand-up comedian Marc Maron, is a solid compilation. It was put together by White Iris Records, but Marc plays guitar and has good taste when he’s talking about music on WTF, so I imagine his sensibility strongly influenced the choices.
Disclaimer: I used to work in the entertainment business, so I’ve seen a lot, but I don’t do that anymore. No, I don’t really miss that. My darling husband is a musician, so it’s not like I’m not around it, it’s just not anything I need to cultivate for anything more than my own enjoyment. It is a pleasure to love the arts without needing to sell them to to anyone. I’m now… an audience member! I like that. I’m a pretty well informed audience member, I have a good critical eye, but there’s no pressure. It’s fun. I love comedy, and I’ve been nursing a fancrush on Marc Maron for a while. I’d say I’m a WTFineer, although I’m not such a hipster that I was listening to the the WTF podcast from the beginning; and although I’m pretty liberal I never clicked into Air America. I’m glad to know his work, though. He’s got some great stuff, so you should go see him on stage or at least look up some of his stuff on YouTube — maybe try this version of his “Creation Museum” monologue for a start; it has pictures added by a fan. Maron on IFC, his new show, is a fictionalized version of Marc as a comedian who has hit a low spot and is trying to hang on in the business by making a podcast in his garage (for those of you who don’t know him, that’s pretty much what happened, except the podcast became a hit, and now he has a book out and this new series). The second episode, “Dead Possum” was featured as a free preview, and it was touching and weird and funny in all the ways that I expected it to be. Not every line of dialogue was a polished gem, but the show has got an undercurrent of true emotion to it that makes the comedy a unique midlife portrait.
However, there are soooooo many reviewers and critics out there that I don’t feel the urge to dig into any more of a critique than that. But I thought it would be fun to post the soundtrack and give it a plug. It’s a good mix of bluesy rock and smart pop. It’s got Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Hospitality (“Friends of Friends” was one of my favorite pop tunes of 2012). So, just enjoy about 45 minutes of good music. You can get the soundtrack on iTunes, and they’re going to issue the album on vinyl next month. If you want to talk about the show, the Internet has got that for you — right now is Marc Maron’s time. I hope he manages to enjoy it.