Buzz- Who is he? Motley Peter Markush releases debut piano pieces
Peter Markush may be best known as the cross-dressing frontman for absurdist rockers The Falsies, but he's also got a few other projects: punk-rock band The Marzaks, old-time bluegrass outfit The Two-Dollar Bills, and The Plum Blossom String Quartet, for example. He also sometimes goes it alone as a solo pianist, though, and his Sunday performance at Fellini's will also mark the release of his first recording in that vein, the aptly titled pianomusic.
"This stuff was actually composed long ago," Markush says. "I've been poking around with it for years while I was trying all kinds of other things."
Markush grew up in a musical family – his seven sisters formed an a capella gospel group together, and his parents met during a stint in the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra – which is probably why he started with the cello at the early age of three and eventually moved on to pop and rock.
"People assume that The Falsies persona is the real me, but I like to have my feet grounded in reality," he says. "They're really surprised when I say piano is my favorite instrument. I think sometimes people misunderstand who I am."
That's understandable: he uses the stage name "Mark Rock" with the Marzaks; he's prim and proper when performing at weddings with the Plum Blossom Quartet; and of course he's all wild and dirty with The Falsies. But he teaches also teaches piano lessons to kids, and he hopes PianoMusic will help him land more highbrow gigs.
"With a band like The Falsies, it's great that we get a lot of love onstage and it's just a big energy exchange-fest– that's something I'm not going to get from the piano," Markush says. "But sometimes I get tired of being in a band where I'm just a clown– I want other ways of expressing myself, to show I'm more than just a clown."
Nevertheless, he still loves the goofball side. "I think I need them all," Markush says of his variety-show pursuits. "I compartmentalize my wildness– but it's not that one is more me than any others. They're all me."
Peter Markush releases PianoMusic on Sunday, November 15 at Fellini's #9 during brunch at 11am.