Amazing talent in Hoboken – Marc McBarron Kessler

If there was ONLY ONE person in Hoboken that I wish was “found,” that is Marc McBarron Kessler, who works part-time at Galatea Linens uptown. He’s an amazing singer, writer, artist, and much more.

Why he’s not a worldwide sensation NOW is staggering to us here at 411!!

This man is so talented, genuine and deserving of great success and happiness – I cannot say much more than that.

We’ve created a new category for him today, and Hoboken411 reader Heather has saved me the linguistic trouble, and willfully provided some fantastic insight into the beauty of his soul and the products he creates. Stay tuned for regular updates featuring Marc’s work!

Without further adieu…

Marc McBarron Kessler, the Stripewriter Artist at Galatea Linens

Everyone can pretty much agree that discovering art and culture these days is not exactly what it used to be. If I may go out on a limb, I’d say that technology has influenced and diluted finding the next “great thing.” Twenty or more years ago, people far more often sifted through actual record bins at back-alley shops to discover something little-known and even incredible. Going to a live art/music show meant hearing of an event through a friend or a posted advertisement, actually remembering the details, and taking a chance to be amazed and grateful for having done so. Acquiring reading material included traveling to another location (library, book shop, newspaper stand) to hold something with pages and flip them one by one. So, while I appreciate some of the conveniences that technology has since brought us (like Hoboken411), I have to admit that I am also nostalgic for those days when artists made their ways into our lives in a more unique way… which brings me to “The Stripewriter.”

(411 Note: Believe it or not, this is best viewed “full screen” (see icon in the player below) and on a TABLET computer with the “auto rotate” off. Because Marc’s “Zines” are often written with varying text directions, you want to be able to rotate this as if it was an actual physical piece of paper. Until you can grab a real copy – please make those changes to your device settings to get the full effect!)

About a year ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I quietly realized that there is an artist in Hoboken so talented and unique that he deserves to be discovered in the same way that we once discovered some of our favorite artists. His name is Marc McBarron Kessler, and his art is his music and his zine is “The Stripewriter.” If you don’t know Marc’s name yet, and this is just the first place you will read it – I would highly doubt it’s the last.

Personally, picking up “The Stripewriter” with curiosity last April 2011 for the first time at Galatea Linens, I regarded it as one of the most unique treasures among many other beautiful things there. Each handwritten and painted page of “The Stripewriter” was its own canvas, and Marc’s voice jumped off the page. I made the first one mine for the 50 cents that the donation box requested at the time (thank goodness Marc is now asking a $2 donation – though it is still not nearly enough in my opinion). When I got home with this handmade treasure, I sat down in my most comfy chair with the late afternoon sun streaming through the window and then read on. To my amazement, this zine was the most down-to-earth, linguistically sharp, witty, sometimes heart-wrenching, and inspired thing that I had read in a long time. Marc talked about real life through personal anecdotes, with perception and with homage to quirks and affinities (like skunks!), most reflections just too honest to be forgotten. After reading it cover-to-cover I saw the world differently. It commanded me to “WAKE UP!” and I did just that.

Marc’s zine “The Stripewriter” is available at Galatea Linens at 1218 Washington Street. I hope that you drop by Galatea Linens to pick up an issue of the “The Stripewriter.” However, though you may feel like running there because each issue is limited… Don’t. Walk slowly. Turn the cell phone off. Look around. Buy flowers for someone at Fresh Picked (1014 Washington). If it’s raining, be grateful for clouds above us after this dusty dry spell! If it’s sunny, appreciate how happy everyone else around you looks. If people are nasty, just be glad that you are on your way to pick up a piece of very unique art that will make your day. Wear whatever you want, not what other people find acceptable. Wait until you have the “walk” signal. After reading “The Stripewriter” you will agree with a lot of these choices you made along your walk, and… you may even be more at peace with the world around you in some strange way.

Luckily, Hoboken411 offered to regularly scan and feature issues of the zine so I don’t have to paraphrase, in inferior words, why “The Stripewriter” is so very cool. One of my favorite writers (James Agee) once refused similarly “to put the whole of the world on the head of a pin” – and to summarize Marc McBarron Kessler’s words would be doing that. Just pick up an issue and see for yourself what is so hard to describe. (Glatea Linens: 201-222-0606)

PS – Marc also works at Galatea on Mondays and Wednesdays, and apart from the zine he is a wonderful person to talk to. Drop in on one of his days and you will wish you had more time to spend talking. Lastly, I should also mention that a link in an older zine (see above) brought me to a fantastically creative video created by Marc’s friends to animate a song of his.