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Marnie Stern

Kisses and All-Nighters

Even after a long day of interviews, housecleaning and preparing for a cross-country tour that ends at Bottom of the Hill on March 27th, Marnie Stern sounds as energetic and driven as her latest LP, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That. The New York-based musician, who has earned accolades for her finger-tapping technique from guitar aficionados worldwide, spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from her home.

SF Station (SFS): Are you bringing your kissing booth back to San Francisco?

Marnie Stern (MS): Possibly, if there is a demand. We didnít have many takers last time so we kind of abandoned the whole thing.

SFS: Thatís disappointing.

MS: Financially, yes. I guess itís better to not smooch too many people, but we donít really care about cooties. It was $100 bucks for a French, but we never got any takers.

SFS: Thatís a lot of money for a kiss.

MS: It sure is! That was the whole idea. The other problem with the booth is one of the members has a boyfriend now, so it would just be me.

SFS: Do you still stay up all night?

MS: Yeah, but I was in Florida the past two months taking care of my mom after she broke her foot. Right away, I got on a good schedule and went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at 6am. It was really great and I felt so much better.

But as soon as I got back here -- I donít know what it is, anxiety or stress or something -- I was up all night working on stuff. I think that is why I was cranky a little bit today. Now Iím on a bad schedule and itís a major bummer. But there is something nice about watching the sunrise and the sunset everyday. I kind of like it, but I feel so much better when I work on a day schedule.

SFS: Are you writing a lot of new music?

MS: I think I have about half of another record done. Itís not as raw; itís super rhythmic and more melodic and somber. Itís not as positive, I guess, or the same as the charging, anthemic songs.

Maybe Iím bummed out about certain things and that is coming across. I donít know; I thought the last record was 10 billion times different than the record before it and everyone said it sounded the same.

SFS: Whatís driving the somber mood?

MS: Well, Iím lonely and Iíd like to have a boyfriend. I havenít had one for over six years. Itís a long time, and sometimes it catches up to you and catches you off guard.

Before, I would write stuff, but I was a little embarrassed to use it. I was really focused on the positive tip for so long. Itís not that the new songs are not positive; thereís just something about them that is a little sad.

SFS: You are kind of a late bloomer with your career, starting in your late 20s. Are you happy with where you are at now?

MS: I would have had so much fun touring at 19 or 20 years old. You are never hungover and I think it would have been amazing. On the other hand, I think you could burn out quicker. Iím kind of cynical, but I think I will chug along for a bunch of records, and then when people get tired of me I will just be old.

Marnie Stern performs at Bottom of the Hill on March 27th. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the night of the concert. Doors open at 8:30pm the show starts at 10pm.