Mar 4, 2010

Mark Turns: Truly & Always a Joy

Meet Mark Turns. Back home in Urbana, Turns is somewhat of a celebrity. He is a poet and an artist. And totally ridiculous. You put on some MT at a party and that shit gets bumpin! Or at least, my friends and I jam out and everyone else looks around in confusion.

There’s no point in reviewing just one Mark Turns album. In fact, it’s almost irrelevant to single out any one song of his. That’s because there is not one song on any of his dozens of albums that is not based off the same beat and cadence as all the rest. Normally, this would cause Mark Turns’ collected work to become boring and repetitive. But on the contrary, listening to Turns’ songs is one of the most engaging and stimulating musical experiences I’ve had since I tried to learn the lyrics of the rap in LFO's "West Side Story" by ear.

Turns is able to stave off redundancy by having the most absolutely asinine lyrics I have ever heard (and my summer jam was “Patron Tequila” by the Paradiso Girls). The lyrics are so absurd that listening to a Mark Turns song is a constant surprise. Every line is like Christmas morning. Or better yet, every line is like waking up Christmas morning and seeing a high-speed car chase on TV as Andy Dick tries to outrun the NYPD in an old Pinto on half a tank of gas. You know it’s not going to end well, but you’re on the edge of your seat in disbelief to know what happens next. Or in Turns’ case, hear what happens next.

There’s a level of stupidity that’s acceptable in society (think T-Pain or Nelly). Then there’s the level that is almost too painful to hear (LMFAO anyone?). But then--then there’s the level that has sunk so low on the stupidity charts it is has somehow managed to find itself now at the top, surrounded by its friends and comrades “Just A Friend” and pretty much anything Lil Wayne has ever put out. Mark Turns is the Weekend at Bernie’s of music: so stupid and unbelievable that one can’t help but love it. The only difference between the two is that Bernie’s had no illusions as to what it was. Mark Turns, on the other hand, takes himself very seriously as a poet and artist. It's fantastic!

My Bffer Katie recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Turns' (I'll be linking to the video as soon as it's up). The thing I was most thrilled/shocked to learn was that Mark Turns is not the only person who thinks of Mark Turns is a genius. Apparently, he has someone else do his "beat(s)." (Seriously? It's one beat. Just over and over again. When it does change, it just sounds like premade songs on a fucking electric keyboard. How do two people out in the world think that's a good idea?). He also has someone else in charge of his website: (Goat is not--as I had guessed--his middle name, unfortunately. It is in fact, his "power animal." Fact). Katie also spoke to someone else that helps to "promote" Turns, who started the conversation off with "The first time you heard Mark, didn't he just blow you away?"

What are these people on?!?! Mark Turns blew me away the same way Jersey Shore did. I guess I need to try and explain to you his utter ridiculousness for a second so you can understand my awe.

Let's take, for example, Turns’ other, none musical, productions. He has three audio tributes to the film Bullitt, along with seventeen poetry tributes. He's also done similar things for Starsky and Hutch and Vanishing Point. It can be hard to read too many of these tributes at a time (especially as I’ve never seen any of those films), but taken in small doses all prove to be ample ways to waste time and get a laugh. On the incredible, he has many additional other topics under which he posts his poetry and musings from the past couple decades. Some of these include the Religion Corner:

“Wisdom, use anything you want to be gentle or mild/softener.. the rinse-cycle has told and will tell/the truth that you must accept and deal with trial,/one way or the other to be the rules..."

No Oppression/Gossip:

“Go sit down in rainbows wonder when inside, you use the fact of being the same race as an undercover reason to try and make it work”

And of course Love, Blues, etc:

“Don't get me wrong! I think that you are a drop-dead, beautiful woman with a loving-heart that doesn't come any better.../I can feel your warmth but/before you're any of that,/you're a human-being first”

Then, there's also this. His "Expression of Monday."
Turns has also put out multiple children’s albums and I see these are his redeeming pieces. It is here that his simplicity thrives the most. The monotone Turns cadence allows for any child to easily sing along to one of Turns’ family friendly songs without having to deal with any of that tricky “melody” stuff. Talk along with Turns (as what he does cannot really be classified as either singing or rapping) as he asks the important questions like “Where are my colors?” and takes kids on a wonderful animal adventure in “Zoo Time.”

The best part about all these is that Mark Turns has each and every single poem and song copyrighted, a hobby which dates back all the way to 1981. With almost thirty albums it makes sense that Mark Turns would look into protecting his life work. Sadly, I doubt there are many people interested in infringing on those copyright laws.

Overall, while Mark Turns might not produce Grammy Award winning music (let’s just face it, he doesn’t even deserve a Razzie), his website is one of the most entertaining sites I have ever encountered. Plus, most of his music is on iTunes, making it easy to sample all of the greatest Turns tracks (you do judge a song by its title. Don’t forget).

I’ll leave you with my suggestions of the Essential Mark Turns Songs which you must check out before 2012 when the world ends.
-Zoo Time
-Night-Time Is For Sleep
-Where Are My Colors
-Lovin A Woman
-Truly & Always a Lady
-It's Your Lady
-The Woman That I Want You To Be
-I'm Always Thinking of You
-It's About You
-Sweet Lovin' Lady
-Loving You Deeply and Being Satisfied, Pt. 2 (don't forget-woman AND human being).
-Having You Here
-Have the Thoughts But Go Slow
-It Doesn't Matter What The Clock Says

I really can't even do this anymore. They're all gold. It's too hard to choose. Though, I can't remember the names of my two favorite songs. It's kind of killing me. I hope you enjoy Mark "Goat" Turns as much as I do.


  1. Now, Bullitt, that is one classic movie. Steve McQueen in a classic car chase, a green Mustang in San Francisco, if I recall correctly...

  2. I think you're becoming a blogging machine! This is the longest post I think you've ever written. And appropriately so. Mark Turns is MAGIC.

    Keep it up, Kid.