Marc Sirdoreus was in his pajamas buying milk and cookies at a local 7-Eleven one recent evening – because that's just what he does – when some guy approached him with something like, "Hey, you're Marc With a 'C'!" Taken aback, yet immensely flattered, Marc, 26, admitted that, yes, he was Marc With a "C," and chatted briefly with this new fan. The store clerk noticed their exchange and afterward asked, wide-eyed, "Man, who are you?" to which Marc could only reply that he really wasn't anybody special: "Just some indie rocker guy."

Two years after he introduced himself with Human Slushy, Marc With a "C" has finally finished Bubblegum Romance (Celestial Bison Records). He spent two years on the album, which, at first, was him singing with a band, and was a little more rockin' than his stage shows. But, he realized, "it just wasn't me." So he scrapped all the initial recordings and redid the entire album. It's just him in the studio, singing with his acoustic guitar and occasional drums. The result is as honest (and fun) as his lyrics, which are projected among songs such as "Nerdy Girls" and "Hot Topic Kids" with entertaining clarity.

Marc (who, incidentally, is one of the world's most ardent fans of The Who and will discuss them for hours) is so likable that he would probably be welcome in most living rooms. Hesitant even to "bother" a coffeehouse waiter for extra salad dressing, his niceness causes him difficulty in compiling his set lists, because he's so concerned about his audience. If he ends his set with a sad, serious tune, the audience might leave with furrowed brows. Or, he wonders, "do I want them to leave like little kids with a smile on their face?"

The release party for Bubblegum Romance will be held at Austin Coffee & Film, an intimate venue that's perfectly cozy for Marc's music ... and his fan base. "I don't draw great crowds," he says. "I think everyone thinks I'm their little secret."

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More by Cynthia Ariel Conlin


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