Marcellus Hall first made a name for himself as the frontman of Railroad Jerk, which released four albums on Matador between 1990 and 1996 before breaking up. Hall and RJ drummer Dave Varenka went on to form White Hassle the next year, issuing a handful of records until disbanding in 2005. These days, Hall is pursuing a solo career, and he just released his debut album, The First Line, on Isaac Brock’s Glacial Pace label. Aside from the music, the 13-track LP also shows off Hall’s other big talent: illustration. Since moving to New York City in the late ’80s, Hall has seen his artwork appear in the likes of The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and The First Line features a 44-page book showcasing his art. Not only is Hall guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week, he’s also drawing illustrations to accompany everything he writes about. Read our brand new Q&A with him.
Hall: You sat down to brainstorm cover ideas for The New Yorker. Your drawing table is next to the balcony where you sit sometimes amongst planters and morning glories. Then it’s back to the old drawing board. But not before you turn on the little pump that pumps water in a loop, like a fountain, into a rectangular planter and creates a pleasing trickling sound. Paul Simon’s new album played in the background, and Vampire Weekend didn’t even cross your mind. Memorial Day weekend was on your mind, though, as you still didn’t have a date for the prom. You were wearing the hoodie that musician Dave Dondero gave you last month. You are not a hoodie type of person. In fact, you considered yourself the last person on earth whom you’d imagine wearing a hoodie. But look at you now! It just goes to show you (as Einstein and Proust have shown us) that it’s all relative. That what you one day despise, you may one day embrace. That one man’s trash is another man’s spare tire. And that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Video after the jump.