Lamar Murphy
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Lamar Murphy

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The best kept secret in music


I met this band’s drummer, Joe, a few weeks back when he was in Chicago, and not only did he blow my mind by making my night magically much more enjoyable in exchange for trying to teach (unsuccessfully) his dog Tupak to shake, but he also turned me on to a new band that has me intrigued, to say the least.
Lamar Murphy is from Appalachia and they cite The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, The Fiery Furnaces, Daniel Johnston and Prince as their influences. Check out the first single from their forthcoming LP, which should be available soon, and find out what all the fuss is about.
“Pond Scum” - Rock Transfer Protocol

Lamar Murphy- Full on, no joke, modern day troubadours.  Very much in the dictionary sense of the word.  These guys live, travel and record full time in an RV as their crisscross the country spreading a very unique and wonderful style of freaky folk that mixes 60’s weirdo/beardo acoustics with laptop beats and unexpected moments of heavitude.  Strange, bent, psychedelic and very very wonderful.  I would whole heartedly encourage everyone to take a second and check out their web page for the full story and to take a listen to their one of a kind brand of music.  -

Somewhere in America, Lamar Murphy has unleashed a tidal wave of actual, real talent in a strange mess of beautiful music. On their website, they refer to their musical style as “change-up”, which is about as accurate a label as possible, since the stylistic aspects of the songs flip back and forth, kept intact by a wash of sound from the snare and a bunch of wicked-sick about-to-fall-apart drum fills that kind of sound like they're being played on garbage can lids. The guitar riffs are clean, melodious, ascending, not unlike birdcalls in early spring, often reminiscent of the last couple tracks on Axis: Bold As Love. This is all coupled with heavy, bouncing R & B bass lines and about eleven other dimensions of sound, loosely and inconspicuously entering and exiting the fray. The lyrics are clean, spare and sung so you can actually hear them. In the sunset of tight-pants garage acts, it's a relief to know that there are still people who are interested in making music that is good for goodness sake. - In Bounds Music Monthly





Feeling a bit camera shy


RIYL: The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, Modest Mouse, Daniel Johnston, Prince

Lamar Murphy are an eight-eyed marmoset (based out of Appalachia) but soon will be breaking their lease and moving into a four-wheeled fortress (based out of everywhere). Like troubadours from a different era, in order to bring their unique brand of rock and roll music to the people, they will forsake the traditional creature comforts for a life of nomadic danger, enlightenment and music.

Lamar Murphy are:
Icy-J (bass); Joe E. Bear (drums)
T. Raygun (percussion/harmonies; g-zilla (singing/guitar)

Lamar Murphy have just recently signed with Michigan-based label Cerberus Records. Their latest album is entitled "IN HEAVEN, THERE'S THE SOUND OF HARPS... (ON EARTH, THE SOUND OF SCREAMS!)", recorded at their compound/commercial warehouse, dubbed "The Muppet Hospital" (Bristol, TN), during the summer and early fall of 2007. Sounding much like Nat King Cole backed by The Roots, and covering "Kid A" as the Titanic sinks below their very feet, the songs featured therein deal with the awe, terror and fatigue associated with everyday human existence - terror, sex, death, greed, grief, regret, puberty, the human potential, natural disasters, and also tales associated with the animal and insect kingdoms.

Confused and intrigued? You should be.

Icy-J, g-zilla, and Joe E. Bear began as a three-piece instrumental surf band in the high school they attended in Michigan. Over the years, they have experimented enough that they no longer keep a distinction in their own minds as to what kind of band they are. Icy-J left the band in 2003, periodically joining other groups and moving around the world. Carrying on, g-zilla and Joe E. Bear reformatted as a two-piece, under the name Lamar Murphy, and played throughout the midwest and southern United States, living out of an RV before winding up semi-permanently in Bristol, TN in 2006. Icy-J returned to join the band in the summer of 2007, bringing with him newcomer T. Raygun to broaden the view.

Starting in November, Lamar Murphy will be perpetually adrift somewhere in the United States, reflecting what's in their hearts with a guitar, bass, drum kit and healthy dose of reckless abandon.