Use Both Hands
'Some of the best and most introspective pop music we've heard in years.' BORDERS NEWS 'The best of both worlds. He matches his inventive melodies with crafty, clever word-play that won't insult your intelligence.' PERFORMING SONGWRITER MAGAZINE "Mark Aaron James makes killer sunny power-pop with a sense of humor and a big heart." CMJ 'Mark Aaron James has a knack for writing truly clever lyrics about anything from love to the state of society.' NEW YORK ROCK 'It's my favorite song about a kleptomaniac girlfriend, Aquaman, a plastic bag, I hope it's yours.' That is New York based singer/songwriter Mark Aaron James introducing a few of his quirky takes on universal themes. It was this take that lead Borders News to label his songs, 'Some of the best and most introspective pop music we've heard in years.' Born in California and raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Mark Aaron James seemed an unlikely candidate for the Nashville songwriting scene. None the less, with a strong pop-rock-alternative background in tow, he enrolled in Music City's reputable Vanderbilt University. He soon became a popular fixture among the campus 'porch party' circuit that years earlier had supported Indigo Girls and Ben Folds. Mark soon brought that following into the local songwriter venues where the famous 'in the rounds' gave him a new challenge. Sharing the stage with some of Nashville's hit writers, he came to realize, 'If you don't have a song as good as the writer before and after you, then you're just filler. It inspired me to focus on craft, along with emotion, to write more innovative songs.' The inventive results lead to co-writes with some of Nashville's top songsmiths and his compositions being performed by everyone from Jimmy Buffet to the World Peace Choir. The year following his critically acclaimed indi release, Mr. Wirehead, Mark was awarded Best Local Songwriter and Best Up and Coming Band in the The Nashville Scene's 2000 reader's poll. In the weekly mag, owned by NYC's Village Voice, Mark beat out John Hyatt, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and several other Nashville luminaries for the award. With the release of his second indi-label CD, Adventures With A Plastic Bag, he repeated the feat in 2001. The title song from that CD went on to make the top 100 songs of the year on Nashville's WRLT Lightening 100, gained airplay on Atlanta's 99X and was added to 126 other CMJ reporting stations, charting in 12 markets. Despite his success in Nashville, Mark was regularly being reminded that he was a rock singer in a country music town. After playing some well received shows in New York's Living Room and being featured on PBS's CD Highway and I-Dig's Rawdio programs, Mark decided it was time to make New York City his home base. Since his move in 2002 he has headlined in venues as varied as the new Living Room, The Bitter End, The Parkside Lounge and the Westbeth Theater. New York's Underground Music Organization (UMO) just voted him one of the 'Top 14 Singer/songwriters in Greenwich Village,' and feature him as the opening track on their annual top 14 CD. With the completion of his upcoming CD, Just a Satellite, Mark found out that his song 'June 17th' is featured in the Dean Cain film, Lost. Mark usually performs as a solo act, amplified to take advantage of a 'loop peddle' with which he creates some really incredible sound combinations. Using only his voice and guitar, he creates bass lines, harmonies and percussion for a much fuller sound than the average solo musician. It's hard to describe, but in effect, he is a one man band.