You can listen to “Marquita” and the rest of The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 streaming on

MURRY: Ken wrote this instrumental about this little apartment building we were all living in when we got the 97’s together. I lived across the hall from Ken, and Rhett — who had been my roommate was now living with a girl — Ivy — in a unit in the rear of these apartments. Philip came along during that time, too, but never moved in, though we probably tried to talk him into it. The building is still there, it’s called “Marquita Courts.” It was a wonderful time — so many friendships were formed that I still have — one of those magic times in our lives in that place. On record, you hear only half the instrumental — our take was twice as long with a fast punk rock beginning, that hopefully they will put somewhere as a bonus track at least — we honestly sound like a straight Southern California hardcore punk band at the top of the unreleased version.

KEN: I had been fooling with the chord progression for “Marquita”* for about 10 years. Every time I would write lyrics to for it I would hate them so last summer I just decided to let it be an instrumental. When we went back to the studio in October ’10 to finish up tracking for Volume 2 I told the guys I had an instrumental that I wanted us to take a crack at. We had been drinking wine all evening and everyone was pretty loose. We had already recorded “Ivy”, “The Actor” and “White Port” that day, and we were flush with booze and accomplishment. I knew Murry was going to be excited about the speed of of it. He’s a huge fan of early 80’s hardcore. I taught them the song and we ran through it a few times, laughing at how much fun it was to play that fast.

It actually has a slow beginning that we wound up editing out during mixing. I kind of wish we hadn’t. Someone got to me in a weak moment and I agreed. Dirty bastards. I have dreams of doing a “Marquita/Bright Spark w/White Port” 7″ at some point in 2012 and I would want the full length on something like that.

It was Salim’s idea to cross fade it with “Bright Spark” which was a badass idea. That six song run from “No Simple Machine” to “White Port” to “Ivy” to Manhattan” to “Marquita” to “Bright Spark” is about as good as we’ve ever done I think. It’s just a great batch of songs working well together. If someone ever asks me what my band sounds like, I could go on and on about 9 albums 18 years blah-blah-blah or maybe I could just carry around some discs with these six songs and I could say: “We sound like this.”

* Oh yeah, why is it called “Marquita?” It’s the name of the street where I met Rhett and Murry and we started the band. We lived in a brownstone called Marquita Courts. Murry and I were “fronties” and Rhett was a “backie.” We fronties considered ourselves a bit more sophisticated than the backies. We drank martinis, listened to jazz and paid our bills on time. The backies stayed up all night eating cereal, playing Genesis Hockey and smoking. It was a great place and time to start a band.

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