Marc Schuster is a Busy Guy
(An EPK of sorts.)
At any moment on any given day, you can find Marc Schuster engaging in any number of activities: assembling his weekly radio show, interviewing musicians for his blog, laying down drum tracks for various artists, rehearsing for the next show with Philadelphia-based power-pop band Scoopski (in which he plays bass), recording music for his own wide-ranging projects (solo and otherwise), experimenting with film and animation, or designing album covers and concert posters for fellow musicians. On top of all that, he’s full-time college professor with a healthy catalog of publications to his name, including a book on the Beach Boys’ Holland album and an illustrated children’s book titled Frankie Lumlit’s Janky Drumkit. Say what you want about him, but the guy knows how to keep busy.
The #Tweetcore Radio Hour
Marc’s weekly radio show, The #Tweetcore Radio Hour started in 2022 when Oregon-based AMS Radio jokingly tweeted a call for DJs. Given his longtime interest in underground music, Marc immediately put together an hour of tunes from his favorite independent artists, and a week later, his first episode was going out to an international audience.
The show got its name from a term that Marc coined to describe the community of musicians he’d discovered online. Rather than describing a particular sound, Tweetcore is, as Marc once explained on his blog, “a term that applies to any group of musicians, songwriters, and recording artists who find and support each other on social media.”
For Marc, The #Tweetcore Radio Hour offers a weekly opportunity to share new music with friends from around the world—and to opine on matters musical and otherwise: his neighbor’s lawnmower, AI-generated art, and Russian sex robots (to name just a few). Whenever possible, he also tries to squeeze in an interview with a band or artist.
Each episode takes between two and three hours to put together, but Marc considers it time well spent. As a teen, one of his favorite activities was putting together mixtapes for friends and turning them on to new music. Years later, he’s rediscovering that joy as he shines a light on independent artists from around the world.
The Abominations Blog
Named for Marc’s short story “My Life as an Abomination,” Abominations has been around since 2009. It started as a platform for sharing news about Marc’s various endeavors, but it evolved into a forum for weekly interviews with independent recording artists. Often, Marc reaches out to artists who’ve piqued his interest, but he’s also open to interviewing artists who reach out to him.
Marc sees Abominations as an opportunity to meet new artists from around the world—and to learn from them. His questions attempt to get at the heart of what makes particular musicians tick: why they make certain musical choices, how they approach the craft, what drives them to do what they do. Above all, the point is to give readers a glimpse into the many facets of music creation.
Over the years, Abominations has led to a number of lasting friendships between Marc and fellow musicians. In some instances, it has also led to collaborations with artists he never would get to work with otherwise. He’s played drums and keys on tracks by (among others) Welsh psychedelic garage-rockers the La La Lettes, keys on Minnesota-based Eric Lindquist’s haunting “Armagosa,” and drums on tracks with Quizboy and Brian Lambert. He’s also been known to mix and master tracks for various artists upon request.
The Star Crumbles
Speaking of Brian Lambert, one of Marc’s ongoing projects is a collaboration with the Texas-based musician called the Star Crumbles. After recording a synthesizer part and adding backing vocals to Brian’s anthemic single “Kids,” Marc asked Brian if he’d be interested in writing and recording lyrics for a track he’d been working on. The result was the haunting “Desperately Wanting,” originally released as a single under Brian’s name before they decided to call themselves the Star Crumbles—an anagram of their last names.
In the wake of “Desperately Wanting,” the Star Crumbles released two full-length albums in less than a year: the 80s-influenced The Ghost of Dancing Slow and the heavier, indie-rock-inflected The Stars That Shine. In that time, the division of labor within the duo has remained the same, with Marc writing and recording backing tracks and Brian writing and recording vocals and lead synth lines. Marc handles the mixing, Brian the mastering. Listening to their music, you’d never guess they’d only met in person once.
When Marc interviewed Scoopski in February of 2022, he asked in passing if the band needed a bass player. At the time, Scoopski was a two-person recording project, but when they started putting a live band together a little over a year later, Marc was at the top of their list. Not coincidentally, in addition to founding members Mr. and Mrs. Scoopski, the band consists entirely of musicians from the Tweetcore scene: Marc interviewed guitarist Jackson Vincent in November of 2022, and drummer Nick Cervini also plays in Sacred Monsters, whom Marc interviewed in July of 2023.
Playing with Scoopski has given Marc the opportunity to brush up on his live chops and to start contributing to the creation of new music in a band setting. He also relishes his role as the band’s oldest member. At fifty, he has a good sixteen years on the next-oldest band members. And with age comes a modicum of wisdom. Perhaps more to the point, it also comes with a basement large enough to host band rehearsals.
Simmons and Schuster
Timothy Simmons is another musician Marc has played and recorded with on a number of occasions. Friends since high school, the pair have been making music together for decades, but it wasn’t until the release of an eponymous collection of largely improvised post-rock instrumentals in October of 2021 that they made their partnership official, so to speak.
Jeff Archuleta of the Eclectic Music Lover blog described the album as “an unusual, fascinating and thoroughly unique work,” adding that the album “features seven wonderfully-titled instrumental moodscapes that run the gamut from dark and menacing to light and soothing.” Their second album, Dos, continued in a similar vein, combining elements of jazz and ambient music to create sweeping cinematic vistas.
When he isn’t working with other artists, Marc records music on his own. Broadly speaking, his music fits into the category of rock. Beyond that, it the definitions get a little hazy. Certainly, there are shades of alternative and indie, and there’s always a hint of something experimental going on. In terms of influences, Marc often looks to Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, and Frank Zappa for inspiration—not just in terms of sound but for their eternal desire to venture into new territory as they collaborate with and learn from other musicians.
Marc has joked that the main reason he records music is to give himself a reason to design album covers. Fortunately, the friends he’s made in the Tweetcore scene over the past few years also give him an opportunity to try his hand at the visual arts from time to time. In addition to designing covers for his own projects, he has created art for Jr. Moz Collective, Eric Linden, Fataday Korngor, Scoopski, Timothy Simmons, and Red Sky Dawn.
Finding the Time
So where does he find the time to do it all—and still manage to hold down a job?
“It’s all of a piece,” Marc explains. “Or all part of the same continuum: blogging, writing, making music, doing my radio show, even teaching. It’s all about connecting with other people. All about learning. I like to think of myself as an artist in the broadest sense of the word—someone who enjoys looking at the world from a lot of different angles to see what I can find. When I think about it that way, it’s not a matter of finding time to do a lot of different things. It’s really just doing one big thing a step at a time.”
And what’s that big thing?
Keep an eye on Marc Schuster, and you might just find out.
Links to Select Content
Short Films and Animation