The Portland Playlist celebrated their first show on the radio dial with Drop-In Session guests, Stephanie Scelza and Mark Bowden. You may know Stephanie from her solo work, with her band, Strange and the Familiars, or perhaps, her fantastical writings. You may know Mark as the guitar maestro he is who has performed with pretty much every band in Portland. Most recently, he can be found touring the states and the world with Karyn Ann, and Karen Lovely.
Stephanie is a writer as much as she is a musician. The music being the perfect medium to bring her words to life. She might be writing about her cat, Nina Nightmare, the ghosts that visit in her sleep, or tales of romance. It is “dark, playful, and sensual music.”
The first hour focused on Stephanie’s music influences which included many local artists, Elke Robitaille, Haley Johnsen, Karyn Ann, Honey Divers, The Colin Trio, Moorea Masa, Ani Difranco, The Dresden Dolls, and Kool & the Gang. She is especially drawn to strong female artists that are genuine, and claim their feminine power.
Moving on to her original material in the second hour, we heard three recorded tracks, Leave Me Alone or Take Me to Bed (a delicious, sultry track aided by some sexy horns to set the mood), Pretty Deadly (a dark and moody song showcasing Mark’s amazing guitar work), and Ghost Town (beautiful string arrangements in this fantasy song about moving to a ghost town).
The live performance part of the show is always a treat. Stephanie and Mark performed a total of four songs that ran the gamut from light (Pie) to dark (She’s a Nightmare), sad (Borneo, it’s from a sad, touching story in a happy sounding song) to deep (Heatwave). You can watch the live performance portion of the show at:
Stephanie is one of those artists that makes you feel like you’ve been friends forever. Mark fits right in with her cozy, quirky sense of humor, and was the perfect balance to the female element in the studio. We’re not sure why, maybe we were collectively hungry, but the conversation kept returning to dessert and peanut butter. So grab your favorite snack, click on the podcast below, and enjoy the ride.
Right now, the best place to purchase Stephanie’s music is at one of her shows. Once you’ve taken a listen, we know you’ll fall in love with her too. She just had a busy run of performances but there’s one more coming up, the Songwriters in the Round showcase with Karyn Ann and Sandra Dolores, at The Waypost on October 19, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
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