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Marshall Crenshaw pleased with new way of releasing music

For Journal Register Newspapers

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Marshall Crenshaw says his new song, "Stranger and Stranger," is "not a grim song at all." But it was inspired by a tough patch of his life when he recorded it during December.

"My father was on his death bed, literally," recalls the Berkley-raised Crenshaw, 59, who now resides in upstate New York. "There were a couple of other people in my midst, young people, who kind of went that way, too. There was hurricane Sandy, a lot of stuff going on. So it's inspired by a few dark things."

But "Stranger and Stranger" also represents a turn in Crenshaw's career that he's particularly happy about. It's part of the second three-song EP in a subscription series he launched last November, with each vinyl disc (and accompanying download) featuring a brand new track, a cover song and a reworked version of one of an older Crenshaw's composition. He's releasing them himself -- the first two have so far coincided with Record Store Day events -- and Crenshaw says it's definitely been "the right call" as a way for him to release new music.

"The way I am as a person, I just really like having utter autonomy and not having to go through the psychological wear and tear you have when you're dealing with a record label," he explains. "I really like that a lot.

"I've been in show business long enough to never say never about (making another album), but this is what I'm doing now, and I'm really proud of what we've done so far. Now that there are two records, it looks like something that's got some definition to it."

Marshall Crenshaw and the Bottle Rockets perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $25. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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