Murmur 102 : Shovels & Rope "Better Homes & Jedis"


Living a life in proportion sounds as redemptive as gratitude, thankfulness, and good manners; yet, as empirical as the Yeti, let alone the Jedi. The whole IS the parts; the family photo is simply good scheduling. Singers/musicians/writers/spouses (and more) Shovels & Rope are proof the “try-less try” - where the elements of a life are built upon their inspirations, not their results - completes. In such a place the movements of a life, along with its set-backs, create a geometry no candle nor variety pack of incense can. So aspire to equilibrium, cautiously. Otherwise, what fun would a see-saw be?

Murmur 101 : Jeffrey Toobin "The Frankenstein School"


Let's agree, it's advisable to not get your news from your art. Your art from your news, though? A longer story. At its height, art is a transposition of our existence in metaphor, in relief; never in reality. Jeffrey Toobin (CNN, The New Yorker) has uniquely messengered the Real for both digesters of journalism and of popcorn. Jeff knows a good yarn is a good yarn, even when our world deserves a “story by” credit. Hell, even Shakespeare knew as much. One can’t spell history without “story” nor facsimile without…well, you get the picture. So Storytellers look around — you can’t always make this stuff up; but, typically, you won’t need to.

Murmur 100 : Michael Rooker "More Is More"


Murmur at 100! Everything is everywhere. If you want to know it, hear it, celebrate it or drag it — it’s around. 24/7. Weekends, too. Ideas never sleep. For too few, such is the moment where a curiosity can be satisfied, or a bet settled. For too many, access has never been more accessible, nor girthier. Against all odds and sense, though, sometimes a true craftsperson (see Michael Rooker) joins the club; but, rather than wading in public pool of exhibition, Rooker sees exposure for what it is — a platform for art, a communion with fans — and is only fleeting forlorn about occasions when talk ain’t cheap. Then again, without cheap talk how would we know the difference?

Murmur 99 : Yaphet Kotto "Slip Away From Your Life"


A small handful of moments tie past, present, future in one. Leaving your work is such a matter, and when Art is your work, the conversation contaminates, beautifully. Groundbreaking actor Yaphet Kotto is not a reminisce'er by nature, but is he a retiree? And in a profession where one is arguably never hired to begin with, who is retiring from Art even up to? Perhaps, as Yaphet's work lives-on as dynamically than ever, retiring is one of those pesky mortal dilemmas. Our specialty, alas, when you got a job to do.

Murmur 98 : Doris Burke "Wounds From A Friend"


Few words have as many synonyms -- feedback, advice, counsel, opinion, review, evaluation, coaching, teaching; so on. None are the final say, though; and many, contrary to common belief, come from a light place. In a 30 year career, ESPN's Doris Burke has managed to harness said light amidst a myriad of undulating egos, agendas, points-of-view, pressures, and past-times. Her brain and her voice are always on-time and reflect a greatest hits of her teachers and coaches both intentional and otherwise. She knows that in terms of criticism, tone and intent is all, and naming names is the lowest lying fruit. So, before you cast off criticism, let go and listen to Doris tell some truth. Come on, now.

Murmur 97 : Ian MacKaye "Some Kind of Dinosaur"


What do we leave behind? Everything. All we said and did, touched and felt, saw and heard. Our wake in our wake. Our record. Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat) has been recording for decades; authoring, observing, writing, screaming, and riding the record as it ever spins. We want that name back! Records. Why waste an idea that covers it all? Ian sets his straight, or not.

Murmur 96 : Angie Dickinson “An Itch In Time”


A look back — a peek, not a stare — is the rudiment of progress. If we acknowledge humanity, art, culture, history, sex, athletics, politics et al are all in motion, so it stands that we develop as we develop; a greatest (and less-so) hits of the times we contain. Angie Dickinson - iconic actress, and purveyor of all the great film “feels”- befriends time in pairs; in clarity and in ignorance. Her past teaches her present — a present that capitulates seamlessly to Now, knowing the best stories and legends go unprinted. She also still loves it when people call her “Pepper”. Oh, Angie, indeed.

Murmur 95 : James Carville "We're Also Out Of Coffee"

SUBJECT : CRISIS Crying-wolf is all the rage; the danger being, lightening bugs have nothing in common with lightening. When strum and drang is our ring-tone, we need to revisit what deserves action and what deserves a cable cut. Strategist/Consultant/Teacher James Carville's historic pole position has enabled a career of avoiding cracks and deflecting crisis both for-and-of all five estates. He’s also student to and author of an inside vernacular that’s served both colleagues and causes well. There’s more to crisis than meets the ear; but, don’t panic, James will break it all down only to re-construct it by hour’s end.

Murmur 94 : Brandon Boyd "The Top Of The Sandbox"

SUBJECT : CURIOSITY You'll like this, it's pass/fail; or, rather, fail/pass. You either have this or you don't. You either are this or y'aren't. Yes, it can be transferred; but, it's best when encouraged or environments allow for it. You can't fake it, and it's far different than either intellect (though they couple well) or boredom (though this is easily mistaken.) You'll feel a certain "itch" at first then you'll need to set forth. Age is often both its confederate and its proof it's never too late. What is it? It's it. But do you have it? We think you already know. Singer/Writer/Painter Brandon Boyd of Incubus has it, ad absurdum et ad infinitum. …Curious?

Murmur 93 : Stephen Mangan "Bob's Your Content"

SUBJECT : CONTENT AND CULTURE There are limitless roads one many follow to pre-divine a culture - political, educational, infrastructural, even culinary. Amongst paths we've employed, one standard, hypnotic, vexing version is to simply open our eyes; particularly when we travel, specifically as lingual outsiders. Mercifully actor/creator Stephen Mangan tour-guides us through the triumphs and trapdoors of UK artistic content and what it's smallest forms - at the very least - intone about his nation and content gifts both given and received. Stephen's work, as his insight, crosses ponds effortlessly, including our favorite UK content confection "panel shows". Some artistic diplomacy has it's limits, however. Such are the benefits of home.