Another local rocker-film scorer is Munk Duane, of the Munk Duane Band, who will soon start scoring his second project with director Arthur Luhn, “The House Across the Street.” Luhn hired Duane for his last local movie, “Conned,” at the recommendation of an extra on set. Duane said it was a huge scoring project for a beginner because “Conned” included many deaf characters (Luhn is also deaf), so many of the scenes were low on dialogue. “There was a ton of music in a film like that. How do you capture those emotional peaks and valleys without dialogue?” Duane tells us that he avoided writing Celtic music for that film (he says Celtic music in a Boston gang film has become a cliche). And for “The House Across the Street,” a horror film in progress on the South Shore, he’ll stay away from typical scary music sounds and work with silence as much as he can. “I’ve learned that in a lot of instances, less is actually more,” he said. Duane promises that even though he loves this scoring gig, he won’t stop playing live. “I perform an average of 80 shows a year,” he said, proudly.
It’s worth noting that Boston has a long history of housing film composers: Steven Spielberg collaborator John Williams is, of course, a member of the Boston Pops family, and Carter Burwell, who scored “Twilight” and works with the Coen Brothers, went to Harvard.
by Meredith Goldstein
C.D. On Songs, Munk Duane Band, No July
Today is the big day for the Munk Duane Band. I know they are playing at the Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday night, but without any music, well I don’t know what they’d do there. Lucky for everyone, they have released a new record today. So you have a chance to become acquainted with the material, see? So you make your acquaintance starting right now, and you’ll be good and ready for the big show on Thursday night. Everybody wins! … Continue reading
In the early part of the decade, Boston-based independent musician Munk spent several years trying to promote tracks from his two albums through traditional PR and college radio. In 2004, he sold scarcely 100 single downloads, according to a CD Baby digital sales report. That number reached 2,500 in 2005, and by the end of 2007, after not releasing an album since 2003, his paid downloads totaled more than 12,000. Munk has now also found success with publishing deals, and he is unequivocal about how he gained exposure: “I know that it was all driven by podcast plays,” he says.
Indeed, while the media attention devoted to podcasts in 2005 and 2006 may have waned, Munk is one of many musicians and companies finding that the opportunities around them are steadily growing.
Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Munk Duane has enjoyed success as a solo artist with a career highlighted in network television (2010 Super Bowl Half-Time Show, HBO’s The Sopranos, CBS’s NCIS, and over 200 more), national college Top 30 radio play and major press in Billboard Magazine and the Boston Globe. The Berklee College of Music alum has been featured in over a thousand international podcasts, played sold-out shows in his hometown of Boston and has written the musical score for the feature film Conned, with a score for his second feature, the thriller The House Across The Street currently in pre-production.
Go! has sung the praises of local artist Munk ever since we heard his CD ”Anime Sweetheart,” overflowing with dizzy beats and hooks. Arbiter of cool that we are, we saw others jumping on the bandwagon, and buzz began to build. He crafts his music with intelligence and panache. Can superstar status be far behind?
Munk, who plays rock anthems that have been featured on ‘‘The Sopranos’’ and‘‘Charmed,’’ brings his power chords to the masses in more ways than one. You can go the traditional route and see the band play at Bill’s Bar tonight at 9. Or you can hear and see the performance at www.secondlife.com as soon as the site can post it. Or you can check out a podcast of the concert at www.accidenthash.com or listen to it on Sirius Satellite Radio — both at 8:30 p.m. Monday. Call us old-fashioned, but we recommend just going to the show. [Meredith Goldstein]
In the latest edition of Getting to Know, we let Boston’s Munk Duane Band tell us about themselves. You can catch the band’s next performance at Precinct in Somerville on Friday, November 18 as part of the International Pop Overthrow Festival.
How did you form?
About two years ago, a music industry friend told me he felt I might have some Country songs in me. I had primarily been a rock and pop songwriter since I started writing songs but having Johnny Cash and The Allman Brothers in the depths of my musical consciousness, I was intrigued. … Continue reading
Boston-based Munk Duane has been a fixture in the local music scene for years. The New York-born musician went to college at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. His music has been featured in a variety of podcasts, movies and TV shows over the years, including The Sopranos, NCIS, and the 2010 Super Bowl halftime show. He also has a video blog called “Subfamous”, that details the triumphs and tribulations of a working musician.
Inspired by the country music his parents listened to as a child as well as the explorations of albums like U2′s The Joshua Tree and The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, Munk’s latest project finds him getting deeper into the sound of American roots music than he has before. The EP Everywhere is South of Somewhere (available digitally everywhere) contains five songs that incorporate everything from rock ‘n roll rave ups to country balladry. Under the name the Munk Duane Band, this project serves as a musical rebirth for the artist. … Continue reading
New Albums and Songs for October 11, 2011
Inspired by the exploration of American roots music in timeless albums by legendary artists like the Rolling Stones (Exile on Main Street) and U2 (The Joshua Tree) and the country pop crossover success of everyone from Chet Atkins and Elvis to Jason Aldean, Munk Duane is taking his penchant for modern pop hooks, and infusing a little bit of country into his rock ‘n roll. The result is a brand new band with a brand new EP, Everywhere Is South of Somewhere.
Usually when an artist has penned music for a variety of TV shows and video games, it means that they’re quite musically versatile. As evidenced by the 2008 release, Modest Among the Living, the gentleman who goes simply by the moniker of Munk is up for a challenge of genre jumping any day of the week. It’s pretty darn impressive how many different styles of music Munk takes in on Modest Among the Living. Case in point, the album opening “Dirty Work” comes off part pop/part Nine Inch Nails (the vocals especially sound Reznor-like), while “30 Days” is Beatlesque, “Brush Against Me” is any emo boy’s dream, “Awake and Waiting” is a sweet ballad, and “Superheroes” is a Moby-like dance rocker. With popular music becoming increasingly predictable circa the early 21st century, the arrival of a “hard to pin down to a single genre” artist like Munk is certainly a welcome one.
Here’s a guy who’s been run through the wringer, professionally and personally. Linked with bands on the brink that then fell prey to label trouble and the victim of a near-fatal car crash caused by a drunk driver, the man simply known as [munk] had every reason to give up on the biz (maybe even life itself). Instead, the Boston-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist became sort of an icon in the world of podcasting with a song called “Podpeople” that he wrote for a popular podcast called ”Pacific Coast Hellway.” Former MTV veejay Adam Curry then picked up the song for his own popular podcast, proclaiming ”Podpeople” as“the anthem for the podcasting revolution.” Since that time, [munk] — who falls somewhere between wounded indie rocker and angry headbanger — also has placed his music in dozens of network and cable television shows. Neither “Podpeople” nor those TV songs appear on his third album, Modest Among the Living.
In both his music and his self-penned liner notes offering personal reflections on each of these 13 songs, [munk] comes across a regular guy who happens to possess a gutsy voice, a crunchy guitar and a commercial-rock sensibility. He plays all instruments on Modest Among the Living, singing about the importance of personal accountability in the storming opener ”Dirty Work” and death and family dysfunction in the haunting ballad/mid-tempo rocker ”Grave,” and incorporating clever vocal interplay with himself on the memorable ”Beautiful (I Know You’re).”
Even if you’ve never listened to a podcast, don’t let that be your excuse for failing to give [munk] a spin.
Second chances are rare, but exciting. After a near-fatal car accident, Munk is back from the dead (metaphorically speaking) with “Modest Among The Living;” a Swing-Pop/ Alternative Rock opus complete with crooning/raspy vocals and smooth guitar work.
Heavy without going overboard, and poppy without leaving that sugarless aftertaste in your mouth, “Modest Among The Living” is so much more than a mere come-back album.
Starting with “Dirty Work,” a classic Pop/Rock banger, and swinging into piano-driven rocker “30 Days,” “Modest Among The Living” starts with a bang. The album flows into “I Am,” a flutter, electronic-influenced slow jam. This song is as innovative as it is ambient; slightly influenced by fellow East-coasters God Lives Underwater, and flows into electro-ballad “Awake and Waiting.”
“Modest Among the Living,” has a “unique blending of lyrical resonance with the soft, vibrantly fluid flow of his music. The Alternative genre finds a touch of spirituality in the subtle beauty of his music, like a lively orchestra wrenching at your heartstrings while [munk]‘s calmly passionate words reverberate a sense of understanding and recognition into your soul.”
[munk] has a complete game. The album sounds great, it looks great and [munk]‘s writing is strong enough for each track to have an identity. [munk]‘s spiffy superhuman ability: production. He cooked up this entire disc on a Mac laptop in his house, and it sounds lovely. His material crackles out of the speakers. Guitar and drums are perfectly integrated into the mix, while retaining their inherent nastiness. The mix is perfect, and there’s no dross: everything’s good. Mixing a home-studio CD to this production level is no joke. There’s not a major-label studio in LA that could have done any better… progressively more memorable as it goes, and that’s from a strong start.
Alternative media helped this Boston artist get a leg up where most better-than-decent modern rockers would have sunk, i.e. Munk’s knack for marketing and neat-looking graphics is similar to Moby’s. Where Moby ran the numbers on TV-commercial background opportunities to put his crummy DJ business on the map, Munk went after the podcast and digital distribution markets and didn’t stop until offers started to come in from the music directors of such things as CBS Sports, The Sopranos and Charmed.
Like many Boston acts, there’s a thick layer of theatricality to his boomy, hulking tenor, and it does this rather eclectic batch of songs good. By eclectic, though, it’s not to infer that he’s a genre-o-matic; you want to think more Decemberists (“Brush Against Me”) to Clash (“30 Days”) to Minus the Bear (“I See You”) to Nine Inch Nails, kind of (“Dirty Work”). Straight-out rock…
— Eric W. Saeger
[munk] Is Back… His new CD, Severed, just hit stores, and if you haven’t bought it yet you’re obviously not one of the cool kids. Chances are you’ve heard the hit track, “Scarification” on WBCN and loved it. The guy can sing, write, and play guitar like a bull! Get in line now, cause he’s serving up some highly addictive songs that feature an aggressive and intricate sound. It’s rock at its finest. This release party is sure to be hot so show up and avoid being the knave who hears about it the next day.
“[munk] is living proof that a man with the right amount of moxy can go very far.”
[munk] is a Boston recording artist who does everything his own way, a strategy that is paying off. His songs, combining elements of rock and electronic sounds, have been featured on episodes of nationally broadcast television shows such as The Sopranos, Charmed, One Life To Live, as well as a spin on The Howard Stern Show. He also composes music for MMP games like Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord Of The Rings Online. … Continue reading
Some serious depth to this work. 30 Days has a great beat to it. It works on a slow movement that just flows so well – less is more.
One of the better songs that I listened to was “I Am” which is musically adventurous and vocally diverse. The sound is completely enjoyable and he makes it work 110%. I really enjoyed the varying styles.
Munk: Modest Among the Living is a great CD and is worth the listen if you get the chance. I See You, I Am and 30 Days really represent a great mixture of style and genre in music and shows that he wanta to bring it all the way.
I am in love with [munk]. I pop this CD in my player and it hasn’t left since. His stuff is madly addictive. Before you know it, you’ll be skipping work to listen to [munk]. Not long afterward, you’ll start shooting up [munk] in the bathroom. No really, it’s that good. A perfect blend of irony and just plain kick ass rock & roll. The pace changes with every song, keeping you glued to your earphones until the end of the album. Never a dull moment, I swear! It’s the kind of music that simply oozes coolness.
“Modest Among The Living is a great album! There are a lot of independent artists out there who come out with one great batch of material and the follow up doesn’t live up to our expectations… However [munk]‘s follow-up record is REALLY amazing. I really love this album”
“Awesome! This is how the New Music Revolution takes place. This is one of the few guys that I could listen to a whole album or playlist and it just doesn’t get boring for me.”