John Murry possesses an agile mind and a dark-edged eye. He seizes on what floats by – in the world and in his own mind – and pulls the salient details out – an observer’s observer cataloging our beauties and ills with bruised, tentatively hopeful insight. All is fair game in his purview, no one, most especially himself, given a pass but each failing seen for what it is – a halting stumble in the steady lurch towards peace, love and comfort most of us are walking. He reminds us no one is all good or all bad, most of us just bloodied but persevering muddles of both and no less deserving of compassion or care than the few saints among us. It’s a tiring POV to maintain, and one conjectures that Murry’s history with needles, spoons and other things of the sort has more to do with quieting his brain than recreational gusto – sometimes it’s nice to have all the monkey mind chatter simmer down to a warm, speechless glow, a space to merely exist instead of trying to figure it all out.
That he’s able to take his personal complexities and forge them into music – devastatingly effective, genuinely moving music – is kind of amazing. There’s a fierce humanity to Murry’s amazing new album, The Graceless Age (available as European import now, out in U.S. on March 5 with Evangeline Recording Co.). One of DI’s Favorite Albums of 2012, Graceless Age creeps into one’s crevices, a mirror for our own fucked up actions and a strange balm for the ache that comes in recognizing our own sore spots and bad actions. It’s special stuff but never unapproachable, with something very flesh and bone reaching out from every track with a grip strong and true.
Given the high regard we hold Murry in around the Impound, we asked him to delve into our little philosophical roundtable.
What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
Fight (seriously: word association.. creepy…).
Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
Neil Young’s Zuma. Scratch that, I’m gonna get down and dirty honest: Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball (“this train carries whores and gamblers”…this train is bound for glory!)
Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
What’s more disappointing than a seriously good bowel movement?
You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
OOOHHH! Faulkner was once asked to create a commission by Eisenhower. He picked people who’d fight and served bad food! I’m following family tradition with this one…
GUESTS: Camus, Sartre and Faulkner
MENU: Fried Catfish, Pork Hotdogs, Water, Salt
INTOXICANT: Seriously heavy Sativa strain like Red Congolese or Sage and Sour or mild dose of mushrooms.
That’s boring…Hang on…
GUESTS: Genghis Khan, Alexander The Great, and Napoleon (or George Bush… same fucker, really….).
MENU: Water (no food – they have to eat the last one standing)
INTOXICANT(S): 5cc (sounds right? i dunno… sounds “real”…) of adrenaline to start the fighting and then a heavy dose of peyote to create adrenochrome to stop it, and they have to face the insanity of what they’ve done and get another 7.5 cc of adrenaline (yes! I am a DR.!) after the peyote wears off. Then, I get to announce that all their useless lives are over unless they kill the others. Then I get to send the winner to live in modern East Oakland as a skinny white dude with Tourette’s who slips racist slurs…. HA!
TOO FUN! Two more…
GUESTS: An outspoken, rad and caring Orthodox Holocaust survivor (strong one, too, in case they have to beat ass to make a point….even they get a gun and all… ), Ezra Pound, and H.L. Mencken.
MENU: All Kosher foods.
INTOXICANT: The Holocaust survivor gets whatever the fuck they want. I’d encourage some benzos and a little hash…The others get a paralytic. End result? Pound and Dos Passos’ political idiocy is fixed!
GUESTS (I am SOOOO there): Albert Camus the day before he killed himself (or accidentally died…), R.D. Laing right before he said he smoked hash and lost his medical license, and my old man when he returned from Vietnam, or better, my mom before her first marriage.
MENU: All my best dishes – pralines, jambalaya, catfish, barbecue, yeah!
INTOXICANT: Some White Widow weed or a nice and even hybrid like it…Maybe mushrooms, but Lori [John’s super cool wife] would shoot me in the face….I could fix some shit [with this trio of guests].