John Murry: The Graceless Age

Årets helt store positive overraskelse for mig er albummet The Graceless Age, der kom tidligere i år og skyldes amerikanske John Murry. Han er født samme år (dvs. i 1979) som en vis Peter Doherty og ligesom han har han været ude i heroinmisbrug og konflikter med familien. Men her hører lighederne op. John Murry har med The Graceless Age lavet en samling reflekterede og velskrevne sange om sin nedtur, og han har fået den succes han fortjener. “California” ovenfor er rigtig vellykket, men den lange “Little Coloured Balloons” er vel albummets højdepunkt – en rå og gribende beretning om dengang John Murry var dybest nede og længst ude og var på nippet til at dø af en overdosis. Det er en “gadefortælling” med klaver i stil med f.eks. Springsteens “Jungleland”, men alligevel helt anderledes i sit perspektiv.

John Murry er som man kan regne ud ikke nogen munter herre, men han har tænkt over tingene og tænker stadig videre. Se bare dette citat fra et interview med ham i Uncut:

Chuck Prophet , who plays on the Graceless Age, says you made the album ‘in spite of yourself’. What do you think he meant by that? Oh, I know what he meant. I owe him a great deal. Chuck took me into detox the first time. I get in my own way and often wonder why. Heroin didn’t help, of course. Chuck and I are friends and would be whether either of us played an instrument or not. We talk more about Herzog and Malick and David Milch and Hunter Thompson and records everybody seems to dislike for no good reason and eat lunch and pretend we have money and go shopping for random crap more than we do anything else. Chuck has made records in spite of himself, too. Still does. Don’t we all, though, do anything we do that’s worth anything at all in spite of ourselves, always? It seems to me that in order to create anything of value, you have to bleed a bit. You’ve got to give of yourself. Not in some hippy way, but in a truly visceral way. You have to live and feel and hurt and love and hate and stop and start and give of the blood you’re given. Happiness, as a constant, is fraudulent. It’s delusional. Show me a happy person and I’ll show you an imbecile. Insanity, in theory, is the only sane response to this modern life I can see. Graham Greene said that “Reality is not something to be faced”. In a truly awful sense, he was lucky. He got to die before this century came clanging in like some ice cream truck from hell.
Hvis man skal sammenligne John Murry med nogen, er det vel Mark Eitzel fra American Music Club eller den tidlige Tom Waits. Men han har ikke så ondt af sig selv som Eitzel ofte har haft, og hans sange rummer ikke den nogle gange lidt vel romantiske beskrivelse af det forhutlede mandeliv, som Tom Waits engang stod for.
En klar anbefaling herfra – og så er det endda John Murrys debutalbum.
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