M2aria: Saturday Night Songs
Wandering through MP3.com1 in 1999 or 2000, I happened onto a group called M2aria that played countrified blues (think Bonnie Raitt), R&B, and rock.
I downloaded two or three of their freebie songs and, finding myself listening to them frequently, bought their inevitably self-titled album.
Little did I know that I had just participated in the zenith of the group’s commercial success.
Although their music was highly rated and among the most popular on MP3.com, as far as I can determine, M2aria is now a memory and a MySpace page for Maria Nazzaro, the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist who fronted the band.2
Ms Nazzaro has not, however, been idle. According to her own account on MySpace, for example, she is “The [Howard] Stern Show’s Female Farter.” In addition, she has pursued an acting career; her IMD B listing follows:
- August Rush (2007) (completed) (uncredited) …. Tennis Player in Park
- In Bloom (2007) (completed) …. Nun at Catholic School
- No Reservations (2007) (uncredited) …. Restaurant Patron
- “Law & Order: Trial by Jury” …. Juror (1 episode, 2005) – Blue Wall (2005) TV Episode (uncredited) …. Juror
- The Tournament (2005) …. Sylvia Pagano
- Unbridled (2005) …. Mary
- “Sex and the City” …. Rival Woman at Restaurant (1 episode, 2003) – Great Sexpectations (2003) TV Episode (uncredited) …. Rival Woman at Restaurant
She also played the mother of one of the grooms in “My Big Gay Italian Wedding — Under the Pink Carpet,” a segment of which can be viewed on YouTube.
I have been unable to discover if Ms Nazzaro still sings at clubs or concerts,3 and my emails requesting this information have not garnered a response.
I hope she is still singing and that she has a cadre of devoted fans – because her music deserves it.
Ms Nazzaro has a sweet, strong voice and a sassy style, her lyrics are, by turns, clever and poignant, and her and the band’s musicianship is solidly professional.
Since 2000, I have continued to play this album and a four-track sampler, admirably named “Hot Diggity Demo,” for my own pleasure and to convert others into latter day M2aria fans. Nearly everyone who listens to the CD seems to genuinely enjoy the songs.
The Princess of Peds and I are especially ardent fans and pause. whenever our favorite track, Traffic Jam, plays to ponder the cosmic iniquity of a universe that does not reward such an outstanding performance with accolades, adulation, and big bucks.
In any case, these are, indeed, great songs for a Summer night in July. Enjoy.
Traffic Jam is just a wonderful song. Imagine the lyrics of this final verse sung by someone with Bonnie Raitt’s voice, Aretha Franklin’s expressiveness, and Tina Turner’s energy and drive.
There’s a traffic jam on lonely street tonight
and Heartbreak Hotel has a “No Vacancy” sign
There’s a traffic jam on lonely street tonight
it’s just a grid lock, of hard knocks, a glowing river of tail lights
I suppose it’s too late to revive M2aria, but if you enjoy these songs, leave a message for Maria Navazzo on her MySpace page and let her know. This music is too good to disappear without a trace.
Note: Originally posted Jul 14, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of AllanShowalter.com
- MP3.com was a pioneer in hosting mp3 files of a few well-known artists such as David Bowie and multitudes of unknown singers and bands hoping to become stars. The site’s downfall began with My.MP3.com; As the Wikipedia account has it, “On January 12, 2000, MP3.com launched the “My.MP3.com” service which enabled users to securely register their personal CDs and then stream digital copies online from the My.MP3.com service. Since consumers could only listen online to music they already proved they owned the company saw this as a great opportunity for revenue by allowing fans to access their own music online. The record industry did not see it that way and sued MP3.com claiming that the service constituted unauthorized duplication and promoted copyright infringement.” The courts agreed with the record companies, levying a $200 million fine. After trying to transform itself into a music management company, MP3.com was sold, primarily for its URL and name, to CNET in 2003. In its current incarnation, it provides information about digital music and artists. [↩]
- If anyone knows differently, e.g., that the band is still playing, perhaps under another name, or their music is available somewhere, please let me know. I’ll be happy to announce my error and provide the correct info. [↩]
- Much of the online material about M2aria is undated but appears to refer to the heyday of MP3.com. I did find references to another backing band, The LoveJunkies. but cannot determine when they worked together [↩]