by Blake Hammond
Posted In: Music Commentary
at 12:06 PM | Permalink
Buzzing Hip Hop artist Captain Murphy's unkown true identity highlights our modern intolerance for mystery
There is no mystery in music anymore. I‘ve been trying to find a scapegoat to blame for this. Most notably, I’d like to blame KISS for taking off their make-up in ’83, unveiling the Demon and Star Child as just a couple of goofy-looking New Yorkers dressed up like extras from a Dokken video. But as much as I’d love to blame KISS for taking the mystery out of music (Gene Simmons ruins most things so it was a good guess), the problem really lies with the internet and the digital age we are consumed by. (Thanks, Al Gore!) When was the last time you went on Google and couldn’t find what you were looking for? With a few easy clicks, you can find answers to some of life’s most important questions like, "Who was the second guy from Wham?" (Andrew Ridgeley) and was Liam Neeson actually on an episode of Miami Vice (yes, he was). But even with the constant flow of status updates, tweets and information that has caught Americans in this perpetual technology loop, over the last five months there has been one artist that has captured some sense of anonymity in the music industry. That artist is Captain Murphy.For those of you who don’t know who Captain Murphy is, don’t worry. No one does. When Captain Murphy burst onto the scene with his impressive verse on Flying Lotus’ Adult Swim single, “Between Friends," the music media and Hip Hop heads alike immediately got a raging hard-on for the guy. His use of voice modulation and his style, which carries the complexities of MF DOOM’s flow with just a hint of the silly attitude of Tyler, The Creator, caused a sea of speculation about his identity and spawned more gossip than when Honey Boo Boo Child gets pregnant before her My Super Sweet 16 special.After the release of “Between Friends,” Murphy has intermittently dropped singles over the last couple months, turning the internet into his own personal Gotham City (Murphy playing the part of the Dark Knight) and leaving every music journalist and tons of Hip Hop fans trying to figure out who the hell is playing Bruce Wayne.Now, Captain Murphy has dropped his mix tape, Duality, which takes the listener on a 35-minute Psychedelic Hip Hop excursion into the mind of a cult leader and has only heightened the anxiety attacks over his true identity. But what’s the point? Can we, journalist and fans, just relish in the secrecy of this up and coming artist without freaking the fuck out about it? I know that our job as journalists is to report information that people want/need to know, but I didn’t think obsessing over people who just want to make music and making their lives more difficult was in the job description. The perfect example is last year’s music industry enigma, Earl Sweatshirt.When the music media received news that Earl Sweatshirt, the most mysterious figure of the then-exploding Odd Future gang, was nowhere to be found, they began foaming at the mouth. The “Free Earl” campaign and the lack of knowledge of his whereabouts were covered by everyone from bottom feeder music blogs to The New York Times. But while Earl wasn’t even in the country (he was allegedly located at a troubled boy’s camp in Samoa), America was getting their rocks off on glorifying him as Hip Hop’s second coming and propelling him into stardom and fame before he was even old enough to vote.Sweatshirt tackles this invasion of privacy on his latest single “Chum,” when he spits, “Tolerance for boundaries, I know you happy now/Craven and these Complex fuck niggas done track me down/Just to be the guys that did it, like I like attention/Not the type where niggas trying to get a raise at my expense/Supposed to be grateful, right, like thanks so much you made my life/Harder and the ties between my mom and I strained and tightened/Even more than they were before all of this shit/Been back a week and I already feel like calling it quits.”It’s a shame that our insatiable infatuation with artists has been pushed to the point where we force young creators like Sweatshirt (and, to an extent, the seemingly fragile mainstream crossover star Frank Ocean) to want to give up on their budding careers, but what if the consequences were more severe? Sure, this constant media intrusion could push Earl to quit rapping and that would be a terrible loss of potential in the Rap game. But what if instead of quitting, this media malpractice pushed him to the bottle and drugs like Amy Winehouse or even a shotgun like Kurt Cobain?On a smaller scale, it’s the same kind of information-driven OCD that makes people sign off of Facebook only to almost simultaneously check the Facebook app on their phones. Many of us now have an endless need to be in the know. But in more serious cases, it’s the kind of obsessive behavior that caused fans like Michael Abram to break into George Harrison’s house and stab him in ’99, caused Mark Chapman to shoot John Lennon in Manhattan in ’80 or Nathan Gale to shoot “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott in that Columbus nightclub in ’04.We have an opportunity to change this "gotta know now!" behavior with Captain Murphy. Here’s my proposal — every copy of Captain Murphy’s first album should include a prescription for Xanax and Prozac (maybe even a spliff or two for our friends out in Colorado). Maybe that would allow everyone to enjoy the music without having a mental breakdown about who is making it. In the end, if Murphy doesn’t want us to know his identity, then we don’t need to know his identity. So unless the Captain is 2Pac revitalizing his career under this new alias, let’s all just keep calm and enjoy the mystery. While it lasts.UPDATE: Aaaaand that didn't last too long. No more mysteries! Captain Murphy was revealed to be Flying Lotus (details here).
by Jac Kern
David Liebe Hart and Hunter Valentine perform in town this week
OK, maybe David
Liebe Hart and Hunter Valentine are not the A-list celebs you had in mind, but
for fans of Adult Swim’s cult hit Tim and
Eric Awesome Show Great Job! and Showtime’s unscripted guilty pleasure The Real L Word (respectively), this is
an exciting week to be in Cincinnati.
Tonight, The Comet
hosts a free show with David Liebe Hart, Hardon Collider and Jordin Goff. Considering Hart's
best known from Adult Swim, it should be expected that this show will bring the
weird. Hart gained attention with his Los Angeles public television show, The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson
Program — a quirky mix of music, puppetry, cautions against drug use and
much more. Today, he’s recognized from Tim
and Eric, on which he’s performed songs with said creepy puppets.
Check him out at
The Comet tonight for punk rock
and puppets at 9 p.m. Fun fact: DLH believes that as a child, he was abducted by
aliens known as Korendians.
Here’s his tribute to the alien race:
And now for
something completely different!
Hunter Valentine is
a Toronto-born, NYC-based alt-rock lady band currently touring North America.
The group played 2011’s MidPoint Music Festival and is returning to Mainstay
Rock Bar Friday night in support of Collide and Conquer, debuting Oct. 23.
The band formed in
2004 and I’ll admit, they weren’t on my radar until this summer when The Real L Word’s third season
premiered. The reality show centered on a group of hip L.A. lesbians introduced
new cast members from New York City this season. The new ladies? Hunter
Valentine. Cameras followed lead singer Kiyomi, drummer Laura, bassist Vero and
then-guitar and keyboard player Somer as they jammed, drank, partied and
fought their way through last year’s tour. The season ended with Somer (not-so-surprisingly)
parting ways with the band, making room for HV newbie, Aimee.
Will Real L’s Lauren, who made things
official with Kiyomi the the end of the season, be present as Hunter Valentine groupie
supreme? Swing by Mainstay Downtown at 10:30 p.m. Friday to find out.
Peep this promotional video HV shot for The Real L
by Jac Kern
Posted In: TV/Celebrity
at 12:50 PM | Permalink
Bob Odenkirk premieres a new project called Let's Do This today on Adultswim.com. The comedian's solo episode follows a sleazy, low-budge filmmaker, Cal MacKenzie-Goldeberg (Odenkirk), and his ragtag group of shameless fame-seekers.Fans will recognize Odenkirk from Mr. Show, Breaking Bad and countless other TV appearances, where he generally plays a cheap, arrogant skeezball. Let's Do This is no different.In AdultSwim.com's exclusive promo, "Harry Podder and the Lost Lebaron," Cal works with a demanding African warlord to create a wizard movie while dancing around copyright infringements.Let's Do This also stars hilarious "I've seen that guy in a million things" comedians like Jerry Minor (Delocated's Mighty Joe Jon, The Black Blonde), Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Cincinnati-native Andre Hyland (The Jesse Miller Talk Show, Tracy, Dean & Jesus) all star in the video.It's kind of unclear whether this is a one-time promo or the first in a webseries or possibly a kind of test pilot, but it's pretty funny, so check it out:Check back with Adultswim.com for Let's Do This updates.