Monday, May 30, 2005

Marginal Man


The Marginal Man is a personality type that arises at the time and place where, out of the conflict of races and cultures, new societies, new peoples and cultures are coming into existence. The fate that condemns him to live, at the same time, in two worlds is the same which compels him to assume, in relation to the worlds in which he lives, the rôle of a cosmopolitan and a stranger. Inevitably he becomes, relatively to his cultural milieu, the individual with the wider horizon, the keener intelligence, the more detached and rational viewpoint. (Robert E. Park)


Marginal Man were also a ripping DC band in the early 80's. I have posted a few of their finer tracks from their debut "Identity" EP on Dischord. I dropped the $4 it cost, and practically played that record til the grooves wore off when it came out. I would consider them in some ways, along with Rites of Spring, as the godfathers of the Emo thing that finally took the country by storm about 20 years later. Singer Steve Polcari , guitarist Kenny Inouye ( son of a Hawaiian Senator) & drummer Mike Manos had been in a DC band called Artificial Peace before getting Marginal Man off the ground in early 1984.



Marginal Man wasn't as artsy as the DC band that emerged the next year called Rites of Spring, but they pushed the boundaries of hardcore into varied musical styles, and would get into some reflective lyrical terrain. In fact, the shows were such emotional occasions that I often saw guitarist Pete Murray end up broken down in tears during sets when singing about a suicidal friend who had died.

They were one of the best live bands playing around DC for an energetic period in the early 80's, and the lineup was rounded out by Andre Lee on bass. It seemed they had tons of potential, with a sound that was a little bit metal, and and a little melodic with edgy licks that any red blooded skateboarding kid could love. Their singer Steve very energetic as seen in the photo, and as the eighties wore on he began to favor a look almost resembling the singer of Ratt.





Their second release on Enigma wasn't as well received, and seemed to lack the punchy drive of the first EP. They began to flounder a bit, and stopped playing out as much, finally in 1988 they officially called it quits, and put out one last farewell release on Giant Records.


They were one of the only punk bands at the time to have any Asian & Pacific Islander presence as well and it was disapointing that a band with so much promise, just kind of fell off the way they did. I miss 'em... but here's some examples of their music.

from Identity (1984 Dischord)

Marginal Man - Marginal Man

Marginal Man - MissingRungs/Friend


from Double Image (1985 Enigma/Gastanka)

Marginal Man - Turn The Tables


from Marginal Man (1988 - Giant Records)

Marginal Man - Under A Shadow





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[Marginal Man]Dischord[Washington D.C Music Scene][1980's]

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