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Streets of Philadelphia

Marah tries and fails to escape comparison to the Boss. Good thing their new album is a classic.

Marah's current lineup -- which Bielanko calls "the best band I've ever played with" -- features the brothers Bielanko; Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster, whom Dave Bielanko likens to a locomotive; bassist Kirk Henderson; and lap steel whiz Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner. The band's already legendary live show has stepped it up another notch. Meanwhile, Bielanko is already planning the next record. "It's exciting, and we're talking about recording music real soon," Bielanko says. "So we're writing on the road and piecing together a lot of stuff. It's a fairly inspiring moment which I can imagine a lot of bands don't have a couple records into their career, so we're lucky and fortunate that we all lined up right at this moment."

Serge and Dave Bielanko survey one of 20,000 messed-up streets under the Pennsylvania sky.
Serge and Dave Bielanko survey one of 20,000 messed-up streets under the Pennsylvania sky.

And even though the band has already been cited in the pages of The New York Times -- by no less an authority than High Fidelity author Nick Hornby -- as an exemplar of everything that is right with rock and roll circa 2004, Bielanko is still pursuing loftier dreams. "When [my brother and I] were ten years old, we were playing tennis rackets in our bedroom," Bielanko says. "I've always been in a band. I very much live a rock and roll sort of reality. I think that we've got an amazing record inside us and I think that, you know, maybe we'll write 'Stand By Me' or something like that. Maybe we'll do something very important. And that keeps you going."

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