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Save Music in Chinatown 2 preview: Money Mark

Of course, Money Mark was featured in the pages of Giant Robot mag many times and even played our big outdoor show in the streets of Little Tokyo with J Church and the Red Aunts. That must have been in 1995 or so. I still buy his records and go to his shows whenever I can, in recent years at JANM, The Troubadour, Amoeba, Spaceland (with the Mattson 2), and that HUF show with Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee, and Fredo Ortiz (where I shot the pics above and below). Mark’s bands and sets are always different but the music is as grooving as it is experimental and straight from the heart. His songs are impossible to dislike. He’s the reason why Check Your Head and Ill Communications are the heaviest Beastie Boys albums.

It was just a few weeks ago that I reconnected with Mark at the Troubadour, where Fredo’s Bongoloidz were playing a show. We caught up with each other regarding our gigs and our kids, and of course I mentioned that my wife and I started a series of DIY benefit concerts to raise money for music education at our daughter’s school. When he said that he’d play our show, I said no way. It’s too small. Then he said, “Really, I would.”

So here we are, looking forward to the matinee with him, Channel 3, and Hector Penalosa from The Zeros at Human Resources on February 9.

It was great running into you a Fredo’s show. Do you remember when you met him?

I met Fredo on Fairfax as he was loading his congas into his truck after playing a gig at the Largo. I didn’t know him at all! What caught my eye was his shirt that read, “I’m Chicano.” But I didn’t hear him play until he was hired to play with the Beasties. Australia was our first stop.

These days you’re a regular on another mutual friend David Choe’s DVDASA podcast. How did this happen and how is our other  homie and podcast contributor Bill Poon doing as a newer addition?

I love Poon! What a deceptively smart guy. Bill def has his own style. After Poon, they broke the mold… I was a guest on the podcast and Dave said that there would be an open seat for me any time I wanted to sit there. And, as you know, I don’t say much but I interject a few quips now and then.

You’ve played music in stadiums and on Yo Gabba Gabba! Why are you taking part in a rinky-dink show like our Save Music in Chinatown benefit?

Everything starts small, and I’m all for getting in on the ground floor and making shit happen. Really it’s my story, too! I def cut my teeth in the rinky-dink circuit: backyard parties in my Gardena ‘hood, church carnivals, lunchtime at school, farmers markets. Actually, there are no small gigs anymore because every

gig has the potential of getting hits on the net!

Can you tell me anything about the set you’re going to play? Something from Stand Up For Your Rice?

I’m not sure what my set is going to be like. Maybe it’ll involve dancing bears. That’s all I’m gonna say. You (and I) will have to wait.

Got any current musical endeavors that you can share?

A lot of music projects are always happening in my world. Getting back on bigger stages in cool venues is in my near future. I’m involved in the Who Is William Onyeabor? project through LuakaBop. Looks like  the Greek will host this show sometime in April. The show plays in UK with Damon Albarn and the other dates in the US are with David Byrne. I’m sorta MD, and my backup band includes the fantastic Sinkane from NYC. I get to play the main keyboard parts that William played, which should be fun. I’m also putting out my back catalog soon–and playing other rinky-dink shows around town and around the world.

Anything you want to add?

Happy birthday, Eloise!

Get advance tickets from Eventbrite, check out the videos below, and seeya at the show!

Money Mark – Hand in your head by samithemenace

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