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Footage

Melvin Frank Marshall Live at Civic Center

Compared to the satisfaction of posting wholly original finds, re-purposing and re-broadcasting youtube footage* feels a little like cheating and lot like laziness, but to hell with it: Melvin Frank Marshall is a man who needs to be heard!

A San Francisco violinist responsible for “over three hundred songs” and “one million chords,” Melvin scorches a bus station unlike any busker freak-out I’ve ever been lucky enough to commute through. His song, ‘What I Wanted to Be by the Time I Turned 53′ is like witnessing the ghosts of Igor Stravinsky, Muddy Waters and Karlheinz Stockhausen all joining hands and jumping the cosmic turnstile of What-the-Fuck? That’s how spooky Marshall can get . . .

*Thanks to Party of the Third Part for the video and the insightful comments.

Discussion

6 comments for “Melvin Frank Marshall Live at Civic Center”

  1. What was so cool about this is…

    He says: “Rhythm is how you feel on the inside”

    I honestly believe what you are hearing is what he really feels like on the inside.

    At first, I must admit, I laughed. Then, I felt guilty. Then, I began to try to fathom the whole thing from his point of view. It is my honest opinion that this man is “letting out” what he hears on the inside. This is a genuine mental condition here that can only barely be compared to dimentia or schizophrenia. He’s happy though. Are you?

    I really enjoyed the charisma and the concept of “What I wanted to be by the time I turned 53″. Mostly because I failed to become what I wanted to be by the time I turned 30.

    I almost felt angry at the “third party camera man” because I felt he had exploited this man’s condition and station in life. Though, when he asked you to consider funding his art, I reconsidered.

    Whether or not intentional, this video raises awareness to the condition of everyday people that we ignore, pass by in the subways, and pity or feel sorry for…. I think about it now like this though… of all of us, it is the least of us in our society who are the most honest and the least phoney.

    I may not have become what I wanted to be by thirty, but I will always be the Shit House Poet. Scribbling away with a keyboard or sharpie, on the internet, or on the bathroom wall… the anonymous public private places… and leaving something that I feel is oddly worth your time to read.

    It’s just a shade better than writing the word “fuck”, or maybe just drawing an erect penis, but it is a really genuine effort. In that, Mr. Marshall and I have a lot in common. I have to go cry now.

    oh, and just for good measure here is a keyboard penis:

    ==========D
    OO

    Posted by The Shit House Poet | June 10, 2008, 6:23 pm
  2. Melvin has a lot to say. I have to admit I don’t always understand him at the time — I have recorded him numerous times (always with his permission, and I have always paid him a performance fee even though I get nothing for these), and I find I always gain new insights every time I go back and re-listen to the recordings and figure out what he is really saying.

    If you spend some time with him every once in a while, as I do, you will find that he is very driven to reach a certain goal of perfection, spending hours painstakingly writing down the music and searching for a certain sound he is trying to achieve.

    Posted by Party of the Third Part | July 15, 2008, 5:24 pm
  3. It’s interesting to see how much some of us take away from art that so many people simply pass by because it’s percieved as being in an artless context. To the Party of the Third Part, am I right in assuming you shot the video I pulled from youtube? If this is the case I’d like to give credit where credit is due and cite you in the original post. Is there any background information or a full name you’d like me to include? While some of our entries on the site may appear flippant, we’re dedicated to offering as much information as we can. Thanks.

    Posted by Marcus | July 17, 2008, 5:58 pm
  4. Party of the Third Part said:

    “If you spend some time with him every once in a while, as I do, you will find that he is very driven to reach a certain goal of perfection, spending hours painstakingly writing down the music and searching for a certain sound he is trying to achieve.”

    ———————————-

    I say: It has to be the film maker, really, it has to be him. The above is stranger than fiction. (Therefore it is no doubt true) The context is sincere and genuine. I think the videos could be transformed into a full length documentary for PBS or HBO. You should seek funding for your project. Mr. Marshall is a genuine example of contemporary Americana. The far cry from Ward Cleaver that the rest of the world knows nothing about, but needs to see, to truly understand American culture. Go for it man! Make the documentary. This IS something to be considered. I can’t explain how much of my mind has opened up just thinking about this situation. That IS art.

    Good find Marcus!

    Posted by The Shit House Poet | July 20, 2008, 8:22 am
  5. Marcus,

    There’s no need for any further credit than “Party of the Third Part”, my nom de plume. I wouldn’t have posted on YouTube unless I naturally expected it to be distributed beyond any control on my part.

    I’m happy to see Melvin get any exposure that he can. In fact, maybe you could even say that I’m even a little envious, of both his courage to put himself and his creations out there in the public eye every day, and of the fact that he and his performance are now probably out in the world forever for posterity.

    Posted by Party of the Third Part | July 22, 2008, 11:17 am
  6. It took me three years to get to it, but here’s a new video of Melvin Frank Marshall. Hope you enjoy it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A4w2_ONgpM

    Posted by Party of the Third Part | September 18, 2010, 2:03 am

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