Marcy Playground

Genre alternative, alternative rock, rock, 90s, indie

is an American alternative rock band consisting of three members: John Wozniak (lead vocals, guitar), Dylan Keefe (bass), and Shlomi Lavie (drums). The band is best known for their 1997 hit "Sex and Candy".

Early years

Named for the formative location in lead singer John Wozniak's childhood, the Marcy Open grade school in Minneapolis, Marcy Playground emerged in the late 1990s. They had been influenced heavily by Kurt Cobain and his band Nirvana. The influence is quite clear on Marcy Playground's self-titled album, with songs like Shadow of Seattle and Saint Joe On The School Bus. Other influences include David Bowie, Paul Simon, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. Frontman John Wozniak's first effort, Zog BogBean - From the Marcy Playground, was self-produced, recorded in his bedroom studio with some help from his then-girlfriend Sherry Fraser and her brother Scott in the early nineties. A small run of CDs were self-released by Wozniak, and to this day they remain extremely difficult to find. "Our Generation" and "Dog And His Master", two songs found on Wozniak's Zog Bogbean project, would appear on later Marcy Playground albums. As of April 2009, Zog Bogbean is available for download at Marcy Playground's official site as well as other outlets such as iTunes.
Marcy Playground (self-titled album) (1997–1998)
Marcy Playground album cover.

"Poppies (acoustic)"

The opening track from Marcy Playground's debut album. 12 years later…, a live acoustic version was recorded during a promotion for the band's fourth LP.
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After attending the Evergreen State College for two years, Wozniak moved east to New York, where Marcy Playground began to coalesce around the songs that would become the self-titled album. Bassist Dylan Keefe and drummer Dan Rieser filled out the band's sound, and complemented Wozniak's songwriting. The self-titled album was released in 1997, and Marcy Playground emerged into the mainstream with the success of the single "Sex and Candy." The song spent 15 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album went platinum and managed to spawn two other singles, "Saint Joe on the School Bus" and "Sherry Fraser". Marcy Playground is quiet and minimalist in tone. Wozniak's songs run in many different styles: some are modern folk music; many have undertones reminiscent of children's songs; the blurred sound of psychedelia makes appearances; and then there are the songs with a clear rock sound. The only band member who contributed to all of the album was Wozniak himself; several others filled in for Rieser and Keefe on some of the songs, notably Jared Kotler (bass and drums).
Shapeshifter (1999–2000)

Marcy Playground's next outing was 1999's Shapeshifter, not as much of a success commercially as the self-titled album.

A minor controversy came to light when Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers revealed on Marcy Playground's website forum that the cover art for Shapeshifter had originally been conceptualized and commissioned by Leary for his band's aborted After the Astronaut album. He admitted to being a fan of Marcy Playground, but accused the band of an apparent lack of imagination and originality. Leary's outrage was eased once he learned that Capitol Records, former home of the Butthole Surfers and then-current home of Marcy Playground, had pitched the artwork to Wozniak as original work from their own art department and that Marcy Playground had no knowledge of the work's origins. Upon learning the truth, Wozniak proclaimed that he was "honored" to have an album cover designed by Paul Leary. There were apparently no bad feelings between the bands once the controversy had been cleared up. It's Saturday the album's lead single, managed to hit number 23 on the US Modern Rock Charts, and followed by a second single, Bye Bye.

After Shapeshifter, drummer Dan Rieser left the band to pursue other interests. The position was eventually filled on his recommendation by Gonzalo "Gonz" Martinez De La Cotera, a friend whose previous band Lincoln had opened for Marcy Playground.


Top Titres

Sex and Candy 1

Sex and Candy

Saint Joe on the School Bus 2

Saint Joe on the School Bus

Sherry Fraser 3

Sherry Fraser

Ancient Walls Of Flowers 4

Ancient Walls Of Flowers

Opium 5


Poppies 6


A Cloak Of Elvenkind 7

A Cloak Of Elvenkind

One More Suicide 8

One More Suicide

The Vampires Of New York 9

The Vampires Of New York

Gone Crazy 10

Gone Crazy

Top Albums

Marcy Playground
Marcy Playground
Sex and Candy
Sex and Candy