Murmur 87 : Tyler Bates "Demolished, By Design"

The Invisible Composer.  As competition for our visual receptors is at an all-time-high, are we forgetting to hear the score?  Be it large or small screen.  Or are we simply unable to locate it?  In either case, forgive us as there is currently a run on cerebral noise in our moving imagery: oversized cinematic "heroes", stories where humanity (itself) hangs in the very balance, larger resumes in tighter spaces, and small-screen writing that is as hypnotic as ever.  Fear not, true believer!  As no modern composer cuts through the synaptic-thicket with quite the dexterity and audacity of Tyler Bates.  His tireless loyalty to story, character, collaborator, history, and galaxy place him firmly, miraculously on the barrier between music, sound, and noise.  Yet, it's Tyler's most unrequited love that consistently wins us over -- Silence. 

Murmur 86 : Andy Bell of Erasure "Who Is It? It's Us."

Anthems.  Sounds and songs can inspire us to be a part of something larger; to understand a context for our lives, our trials, our travails, our triumphs.  For over 30 years - as the "voice" of the seminal sonic duo Erasure - Andy Bell has proved more advocate than icon; more a delivery system for change, than intentional anthemic engineer.  And millions of fans across the world continue to hear him loud and clear; showing-up en masse, as does Andy, with pride.  Yet, though true anthems last over time, hearing them remains in the ear of the beholder.  

Murmur 85 : Tom Scharpling "Full Battle Prattle"

When Conversation Is Art.  In an age where rhetoric is mistaken for communication, let's spare a thought for times we've spoken, been heard, then returned such favor with our own.  Now, take a moment and count how many of those moments you've had, recently.  Finished counting, already?  Us, too.  Iconic creator Tom Scharpling ("The Best Show") has made communication art & craft his life's work; an unending series of conversations both true and false; hilarious, yet deceptively insightful.  Sadly, in our experience, with the potential of real talk comes a real downside.  Particularly when one's "job" resembles what one was taught to do as a human being.  Who knew conversation could be so heartbreaking?  

Murmur 84 : John Darnielle "My Own Private Iowa"

Hometown Art & Artists.  Let's explore the fuel, fate, and fascination of the artist who lives and creates outside of "traditional" centers of art, such as New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo and elsewhere.  Do artists who defy these hubs of creative traffic do themselves a vocational disservice, or have they discovered the 21st Century's worst-kept-secret?  To wit, we've established that an artist needs an audience, but how large a one?  And are artists even entitled to that ever-elusive work/life/sanity balance?  The well-traveled, oft-acclaimed John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats (currently based in Durham, North Carolina, USA) could be onto something...and we don't mean merely a better price-per-square-foot.  

Murmur 83 : Mike Patton "Forever '22"

WORLD PREMIERE : Mike Patton.  We are honored to both present the World Premiere of a track from Mike's unforgettable score to the film "1922" -- a script adapted from the novella by Stephen King -- and to talk cinephilia with one of the great living polymathic plumbers.  To be able to visit Movie Dorkdom with Mike is as humbling as it is rare.  Yet, though Dorkdum certainly has its privileges, can you love something too much be able to make it your vocation?  Mike is living and scoring proof to the contrary.  Perhaps you have to love it to do as well as he has for so long and in so many formats.  Even plumbers love their pipes.

Murmur 82 : Pete Tong "Club Darwin"

The DJ.  Certain figures, certain forms, certain words survive in time because they were simply great from the jump.  The DJ has gone from "great idea" to "transcendental figure" in no time.  And, as the age of curation only strengthens, so shall the spell this hybrid artist (half-lover/half-craftsperson) casts.  Cue: pioneering DJ, Pete Tong!  There is an underbelly, however; as the DJ-life is, ironically, not for the romantic.  Long nights short rests, and expectations to mix for the masses.  Hang the DJ?  Nah.  Long may he and she reign/rain.

Murmur 81 : of Montreal's Kevin Barnes "The Secret To Cement"

Identity.  The classic ideal of identity is a detriment.  The Stoics should have been more clear -- yes, "Know Thyself"; however, know that you are the sum total of multiple compounds, not merely a carrier identity.  Kevin Barnes knows this.  His many faces, styles, curiosities, sounds, stories, genres, personae...are all one.  Oh, and by the way, he's also a huge Cleveland sports fan who loves a meditative baseball game at the Jake.  Surprised?  Here's your chance to not be.

Murmur 80 : Frankie Poullain of The Darkness "Better Than Francis"

The Rockstar.  Certain ideas need to be revisited; surprisingly, this is one.  It is our p.c. culture that's taken it from us?  Is it our long-overdue examination of what allowances artistic professionals are granted?  Or, is it that everyone now is called a "Rockstar" except Rockstars?  Only one occupant of interplanetary craft can untie this knot - Frankie Poullain of The Darkness - offering-up his own definition of the word; who's "in", who's "out", and who should be scared.

Murmur 78 : U-GOD of Wu-Tang Clan "Put The Flag In My Hand"

Legacy.  A maddening topic, typically deflected.  Perhaps, as with cats, there are far too many variables to manage; rather, as with Rashomon, no two people see their legacies, let alone those of others, similarly.  To make matters more vexing, when one's legacy is connected to nine other Killa Beez (aka The Wu) straight from the slums of Shaolin, why even bother?  We trouble U-GOD with our complexes; he, in turn, picks-up the flag and holds it high and, as always, raw.

Murmur 77 : Paul Auster "An Omelette About Me"

Art as Autobiography.  Consider the source of all painting, cinema, music, performance, and literature.  Genre notwithstanding.  The source is Self.  Life.  Details, echos, remembrances and references of our "real" life, midwifed into creation.  Conscious or not, narrative or not -- art is always about what we're going through at the time.  Acclaimed writer Paul Auster probably disagrees.  And he should.  As this author of iconic literature - including five memoirs (!) - has always been in the eye of the self-reflexive storm of creating, he would only feel its calm.  Assuming there is one.