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Artists on Trial: Eyelit

Eyelit is driven by the husband-and-wife team of Austin and Dansare Marks. The couple shares a chemistry that comes through their folky compositions. The St. Joseph group has risen in popularity since the release of its debut album The Woe Dies and its inclusion on recent local compilation Midwestern Audio, Vol. 1. We wanted to get to know them a little better, so we talked with Austin and Dansare about the band.

The Deli: Down and dirty: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it?

Eyelit: The picking of acoustic guitar strings and the vibrations of a haunting female voice… time to cry.
The Deli: Eyelit has been a band since 2008. Have you been making music together before that?
Austin Marks: Dansare and I had never made music together before Eyelit, but I’ve been writing and playing music since I was about 13. Before Eyelit, Dansare’s main musical outlets were musical theatre and choir; both of which she has participated in since she was very young.
The Deli: What else can we expect from you guys this year?
Dansare Marks: I’m really excited to record one of our newer songs, “Finding My Way Home.” This will be our first time recording with the new members added to the band. We’re hoping to record that track along with a music video very soon.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you?

Dansare: I’m quite fond of the sense of community I have found in the “local music” scene. It’s incredibly encouraging and inspiring to be a part of a group of people whose real passion is music. That includes more than just the musicians. It’s the show-goers, the bar/venue owners, the writers...all of them coming together to support a form of art they’re invested in.
The Deli: Who are your favorite local musicians right now?

Dansare: Coming from St. Joe, I’m much more familiar with the local musicians here. Some of my favorites from St. Joe musicians would be The Souvineers, Scruffy and the Janitors, and Andy Grooms. I’m beginning to familiarize myself with KC’s local musicians and I’m really into Capybara, Cowboy Indian Bear, and Me Like Bees.
The Deli: Congrats on being selected to play MidCoast Takeover at SXSW. Who are you guys looking forward to playing with or seeing there?
Eyelit: Thanks. I'm looking forward to all the KC energy that will be there, but as far as nationals are concerned, I honestly have no idea who is playing. I'll let you know when I know. Andrew W.K.?
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now?

Dansare: I’ve been listening to a lot of Dry The River, James Vincent McMorrow, and Agnes Obel.
Austin: Lately it’s been Louis Armstrong, Andrew Bird, and Bob Marley.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on?

Austin: Ultimate fantasy? To play in a hemp field alongside John Lennon and Bob Marley… but a more realistic fantasy would be to play some nice venue with Andrew Bird.
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio?
Dansare: I have a love/hate relationship with performing. Singing with a band is much different from musical theatre, which is what I grew up with. I find myself, surprisingly, much more shy and nervous when I’m on stage with the band. But recording can get monotonous, so I’d go with a life on stage.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why?
Austin: Chad Kroeger, Scott Stapp, Justin Bieber, and Kesha Sebert. Reason: their huge influence and musical contributions.

The Deli: All right, give us the rundown. Where all on this big crazy web can you be found?

Twitter: @Eyelit

The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?

Austin: Never dive in the shallow end of a pool.
Eyelit is:
Austin Marks
Dansare Marks
Eyelit was one of over 40 KC artists selected to play the 2013 MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas. The group will perform on the main stage on Saturday, March 16 at 4:30 pm.
--Michelle Bacon

Free Counters

Show recap: MidCoast Takeover Fundraiser #2 at Czar, 2.1.13

(All photos by Randy Pace)

The night was gently prodded into motion by the serene sounds of Eyelit. This more Civil-Wars-than-The-Civil-Wars duo skillfully bounced from tender folk ballad to ballad, much to the delight of the already large crowd. Backed by a group of varied instrumentalists, the songs were at their best when allowed to become luxuriant and a little more upbeat, while at the same time not detracting from the lovely simplicity of Dansare and Austin Mark’s constantly harmonized vocals.

Jorge Arana Trio took the stage next. Shaming damn near every musician in the building, they tore through a compact and lively set of jazzy math rock (amongst many, many other descriptors I could have used). The band’s sound was playful and neurotic, often shifting from genre to genre with no remorse. Possibly most impressive was the trio’s ability to fuse all of these influences and sounds into a set of songs that was cohesive and impactful.
Next up was David George and A Crooked Mile. Despite being added to the bill at near the last minute, DG&ACM was able to put together a solid show that thoroughly pleased the full bar. Fronted by the namesake himself (who also has this little side job of playing guitar for John Fogerty), the band brought a brisk set of good old folk-country tinged rock ‘n roll. George’s tender, yet commanding vocals were the perfect counterpart the instrumentation beneath, provided by a concrete band of KC veterans. From the stripped-down acoustic moments to the lush and thumping strains, this band proved to be in full control of their sound.
The Latenight Callers finished up the evening with their customary blend of noir pop. Truly a growing and unique force in the KC music scene, they kept the crowd grooving and drooling with a sexy sound all their own. Ms. Julie was on her game this evening (but then again, when is she ever not?), teasing the crowd with overtly sensual vocal stylings. However, the band was plenty able to keep pace with her entertainment value, delivering blow after blow of well-orchestrated build ups and break downs. Even technical difficulties couldn’t stop The Latenight Callers on this night (kudos to the ginger superhero who shall remain nameless for having an amp in his car).
Overall, this night showcased the vast versatility of our scene. Countless kudos to all the bands that played and the fine folks at Midwest Music Foundation/MidCoast Takeover for putting together something that we can all be super proud of.
(Video by Nate Heavilin)
Don’t miss the fourth fundraiser for MidCoast Takeover, this Saturday, February 16, at The Brick. The lineup will include Rev Gusto, Cherokee Rock Rifle, David Hasselhoff on Acid and Not A Planet. Facebook event page here.

--Zach Hodson


Zach Hodson is a monster. He once stole a grilled cheese sandwich from a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party. He will only juggle if you pay him. I hear he punched Slimer right in his fat, green face. He knows the secrets to free energy, but refuses to release them until "Saved by the Bell: Fortysomethings" begins production.

He is also in Dolls on Fire and Drew Black & Dirty Electric, as well as contributing to various other Kansas City-based music, comedy, and art projects.


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