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.