MARCUS LAWYER + CHEMEX POUR OVER
I was surprised to learn that you worked in coffee for over ten years. What was your role?
I managed a super busy coffee shop in Fort Worth from 94-99, then Dominican Joe in Austin from 08-13.
Did any of your experiences in the coffee world prepare you for your career in music?
I was already pretty busy in music while running coffee shops, between performing, booking and running sound at shows, but having three kids, and music being the low pay situation that it is, the coffee biz was a good place to make a steady paycheck and work with many artist types. I met many a musician as both employees and customers, and even hosted a few shows through the shop. SXSW shows were always amazing and seemed to be highly enjoyable for the local and out of town bands, in some cases, more so than year round venues, as I had a good sound team and we fed the bands.
Since dedicating yourself to the Austin music scene you’ve worked as a musician, producer, engineer, sound man, promoter, and booker. You are the swiss army knife of music! Tell us about your experience in these rolls.
My passion lies in music performance. I started playing guitar in 1987 as a teenager in Seattle, and never turned back. I switched to bass sometime in the mid 90's and have played too many shows to count. That naturally led to recording, which led to live sound. I started booking because I was good at putting bills together with the bands I played in, which led to putting bills together when friend bands needed help. I'm not a fan of promoting shows, but it seemed to fall on the person that put the bill together.
You are about to release another one of your home recording projects. What is this project about, what is the process, and who participated?
I put out a trans green vinyl in 2006 with 50+ musicians from the DFW area, and called it top secret...shhh. I recorded artist one by one, with out telling them who they were recording with, and played minimal beat and key references. It was very successful, so I kept doing it, and have a 2nd volume completed, with people from all over the planet, and have a volume 3 fully recorded and am currently mixing it. Project total, there are around 300 people on it, with 100 or so of them from Austin. Not sure when I will release volumes 2 and 3, but hope to before next spring.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GO TO COFFEE DRINK?
Espresso at coffee shops, pour over at home.
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATED WITH COFFEE?
I worked in coffee for 10 years, and met all types of people, from the civic engineers who design the city streets, to the people sleeping in them. I once talked a person with sever mental illness, who was swinging a hammer at random patrons, into putting it down and coming with me outside for a chat. it ended well.
DO YOU MAKE COFFEE AT HOME? IF SO, HOW DO YOU PREPARE IT?
Pour over with a Chemex® and a Coffee Sock® filter.
WHAT WAS THE CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING YOUR PLAYLIST?
- Espresso by O K H A. Its my favorite coffee drink.
- A Love Supreme, pt. II by John Coltrane. The first coffee shop I worked in the early 90's was a block away from a jazz venue, and we played this album regularly for years.
- Fade into You by Mazzy Star. I heard it almost every day in a coffee shop I once worked in, back before ipods, streaming music, and even satellite radio. Just a 5 disc changer and that was one of the few albums everyone agreed on.
- Go with the Flow by Queens of the Stone Age. Its the song I listen too on long, late-night road trips when I'm fading and hit some concentrated road brewed coffee to perk up, then put on some good head phones and jam this.
- Dirty State from the album Cold & Strong by Mekanik Disorder. I drink a fair amount of cold brewed coffee at home, so this song if from a record with that name. sort of a pun.
- La Pollera Colora by Marimba Chiapas. Mexican Chiapas is my favorite bean, and this song rules.
- Ragged Wood by Fleet Foxes. I was introduced to this song at Dominican Joe (rip) around 2008. Coffee shop employees often play cool new music.
- Coffee and Cigarettes by Tom Waits. because the name...duh. Great song too.
- Marmelada Kids by Dumbo Gets Mad. A barista at Radio was playing this song and I totally loved it. It was a sunny day, 75 degrees, and I was outside working on a music festival line up. It was inspiring.
CHEMEX POUR OVER
Coffee: 28 grams
Total Volume: 420 grams / 14 Ounces
Water-to-Coffee Ratio: 15:1
Brew time: 3:30
1. Slowly pour 75 grams of water (30 seconds off boil) evenly over grounds and allow the bed to bloom for 30 seconds
2.Begin pouring slowly and continuously in a spiraling pattern. Try to avoid pouring directly in the center or around the edges of the filter. Stop pouring once your timer reads 2:45 or 420 grams on your scale
Allow all the water to drain through the filter.
Grab Your Favorite Cup, Pour, Enjoy!
TIP 1: If your final time was longer than 4:00 your grind was probably too fine. If your final time was shorter than 3:00 your grind was probably too coarse. Make small adjustment to the grind next time you brew and dial in to your specific taste.
TIP 2: If the coffee taste bitter decrease brew time. If the coffee taste sour increase your brew time. Experiment to find your happy zone!
NEXT FEATURED GUEST:
ART MARKMAN University of Texas Professor of Psychology / Co-Host of Two Guys on Your Head