Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Superpowers: Episode 03

These comics are not 100% accurate.

For example, Nine has never been taught by nuns in his life. I think.

However, it is true that during an argument about something I lost track of, he actually said the words, "Let's clarify something. Light travels at the speed of light, right?"

So, it is with this shocking revalation, that we shockingly reveal 9 as having the power of Extreme Analysis.

Movies, books, previous performances, judging sheets at battles... 9 can analyse anything to infinite detail. And if you don't believe me, riddle me this.

Could 9 have come up with his outfit for "Showdown at the GoDown" without Extreme Analysis of Mr Timberlake's wardrobe? Or could it be mere coincidence?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Superpowers: Episode 02

Remember how, back when you were a brownie, (or a scout, or a ranger, or whatever random thing it was), and they'd take you on camping trips and expect you to start a fire using two sticks? Or flint stones? Remember how it was impossible? Remember how there was always some showoff kid who could manage to do it?

Well, Reema is the equivalent of that show off kid. Only, instead of starting fires, she starts parties.

I hear she once started what ended up being a week-long soiree with nothing more than a piece of string and a marker.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Superpowers: Episode 01

The hardest thing about trying to do a blog about the band is attempting to find something interesting to put up here. I've already talked about Linkin Park and JAB, so I guess I can no longer vacillate, I've got to mention Murfy's sooner or later.

So, I've been hanging around desperately watching for the band members to say something funny/interesting/revolutionary. But they wouldn't. (Actually, lots of interesting things were done and said, but I don't have the required skill level to draw them).

The answer came to me in a blinding flash! Well, actually, the answer limped to me, clutching at his sides and wheezing. I knew that stagger. I knew that wheeze. I knew the look of happiness despite the obvious physical pain he was in. I knew it, because I too have felt that way.

20 minutes later, Toma and I were still discussing the amazing healing powers of the Jojo Hug. Sincerely, it's like being a tube of toothpaste, and having some hand squeeze all the negativity out of you. Sure, you end up all bent out of shape, but that negative toothpaste just aint going to be able to go back in.

Trust me, if you're her pal, and having a bad day, get yourself a Jojo Hug. It will sort you out. However, if you're some random person on the street do NOT try to get a Jojo Hug. You will surely be stabbed. Severally. With Umbrellas.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Usually when I do a comic (ha ha, that phrase makes it sound like I've done quite a number of comics, right?) it tends to have some sort of backstory to support it.

This time, there is no backstory. The comic was drawn to highlight one of those peculiarities unique to the band called Murfy's fLaW.

Anyone who's a regular at mf gigs knows the comic speaks the truth.

All the band members can be casually lounging about on stage, tuning instruments, chatting and what not, but immediately someone says, "Okay, let's begin our set," the stage magically clears.

The people who were just seconds previously relaxed on stage, passing time, waiting for the set to begin, suddenly remember to deal with very important cigarette/last minute practice/make-up emergencies.

Thus mf sets tend to begin with one or two band members on stage standing at the microphone, begging the other band mates to show up. (Reema and Jojo have perfected this art, they even have a song, "Jozie Boo, where are you?". It's sang to the Scooby Doo theme song).

To date, I've never seen another band do this.

Another thing unique to Murfy's fLaW is the ability to create spaghetti. No matter how many times we've watched Gilbert (former Beathog) do it, mf has never mastered the art of a neatly set-up stage.

We have often been advised to move more on stage. However, mf are working on setting a record as the stillest band in history. This is not just because we're desperate to make it into the Guinness Book of Records. The truth is, we don't move around much simply because we're scared of tripping in the mass of cabling we manage to create. (And if we don't trip, there's always the fear of electrocution).

All this gets me thinking about bands and their particular peculiarities. Did I say "bands"? I mean band. Just A Band.

While trawling the interwebs recently, I found that KenyaChristian had premiered the artwork from Just A Band's upcoming album 82.

As I was seething in envy (both at KenyaChristian for being picked to premier the cover, and JAB for finishing their sophomore album), it occurred to me that my fandomishness(?) of JAB is largely on a visual level. Before I'd heard a single song, I was already a fan simply because of the JAB aesthetic. The reason I bought a copy of their debut album, Scratch to Reveal, was simply because it was such. Good. Art.

A couple more clicks into their website, I ended up here, where I finally experienced their music.

I was so busy getting blown away by the video, that it took me a couple of viewings to realise that I really did not like the song. (Yeah, sue me).

But that's just me, I tend to believe that the entire electronic genre should be hung from a tree and shot. Maybe it's the annoying repeptitive synthesisers. Or the annoying repeptitive lyrics. Or the annoying autotuned vocals. Or the way all electronic music sounds the same. The only good thing about electronic music is that if you're on a dancefloor, and you're too tired/unskilled to dance, the strobe lights tend to make everyone look very rhtymic and dancy.

I digress. Despite my absolute hatred for the genre, I bought the album, just coz it was so darned pretty. Whereupon, the real surprise set in. The music was amazing. I mean, it was electronic music, all right. But despite that awful flaw, it's good music. Funky bass lines, powerful singing, interesting composititions... how did they do it? How did they make electronic music sound good? And more importantly, can they do it again with 82?

I digress again. The point here was to show that JAB's peculiarity is that one can't think of their music, without also thinking of their visual art. The videos, the posters, the photographs, the website. So, while waiting for October and the launch of 82, I'm not just waiting to hear JAB's new songs, I'm also anxiously waiting to see the new posters, watch the new videos and see the new photographs.

Friday 2nd, October
That '80s Show
Murfy's fLaW gig on 80s songs at Dass Ethiopian Restaurant from 9.00pm

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Monday, August 31, 2009

What Murfy Did

Friday 4th of September, Murfy's fLaW will be back on the scene after an intense 2 month hiatus.

The reason for the hiatus was noble. On October 6th, 2007, Murfy's fLaW accidentally began to take itself seriously as a band. It started with a gig we organized at the GoDown, and for the next two years, it was non-stop shows at Dass Restaurant, which funded non-stop recording at Ketebul, which led to non-stop worrying about launching the album, which led to non-stop shows to promote the album...

In other words, the band was burning out. The plan was simple: step away from the public eye, rest, bond, regroup and come up with a fresher, better, tighter Murfy's fLaW.

Shock on us.

I haven't seen this many solo projects since the Spice Girls split up.

In a bid for a testosterone fix, 9 teamed up with Guy of Syndon, and Mukasa + Toma from M2O to form supergroup Cydonia Nites. Cydonia Nites existed for a grand total of 2 shows, during which they delivered amazing a symphonic power metal sound, and gave reigning champs LYT a run for their money at the August Battle of The Bands.

Jojo joined up with psychoblues band The Beathogs, which has jokingly been referred to as the Murfy's fLaW preferred internship centre, based on the number of fLaWs that have passed through The Beathogs Band Camp.

Jozie went on to become a model in the Liz Ogumbo band. I kid you not. Singer/Model/Designer Liz Ogumbo, put together an Urban Soul All-girl band, who's primary role was to provide instrumental backing, while wearing outfits from her Dress-a-croch collection. The nights were cold, but the girls were beautiful. Freeze and shine, baby!

Punky and Reema decided to go see the world, facing many challenges along the way. Reema battled airport security and customs officers. Punky battled the hot sun, innumerable hills and various scary things in the Mara. Both returned safely.

And then... there was Vicky. The one person who actually took the break seriously. She did her drum exercises. She practiced. She drafted a band agreement for us to become a legal entity. She was there when the band members finally decided to come back and do what we'd promised the fans. (Too bad, we only got our act together 1 week to our show.)

Which brings us to today's challenge question? Can a band really take a break to strengthen the band without random members sneaking off to do their own thing? I guess if there's anything that our little break proved, it's that Murfy's fLaW is at par with the major bands. (Well, not in terms of record sales or even skill, but just like the big bands, when we stop to breathe, people go off and do their own things.)

On, October 13, Out Of Ashes, the debut album from Dead By Sunrise will be released. If you just asked who Dead by Sunrise is, slap yourself. Dead by Sunrise is Chester Bennington's side project. How selfish is that?! It's not enough to be the lead singer of Linkin Park, he has to go and create another band. But you know I love Linkin Park and you know I'm going to get myself a copy of Chester screaming his guts out in yet another band. Because, I'm sure, he's doing this, just so that he can be better when he goes back to Linkin Park. ;-)

(If you're going to click on any of the links on this post, click on the one above. If I get enough clicks on it, I stand a chance to win a guitar autographed by the members of Dead by Sunrise!)

This is the end of this extremely long post. Catch you at Dass on Friday! Experience for yourself the well-rested, newer, better, brighter, shinier Murfy's fLaW.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Mystery of Creativity

Of course, 9 will forver insist that he's the one who wanted Murfy's fLaW to cover "Careless Whispers" waaay before Seether recorded their amazing cover. But really, it was my idea. Anyway, as much as it pinched to see that Seether had done so well with what I thought was a creatively unique concept no other rock band could come up with, I was willing to accept it as a coincidence until I saw this.

Now, the youtube jury is still out on whether this is a nice video (personally, I LOVE IT), but I think everyone is willing to agree that they've never seen anything quite like it, right?


Behold a video I made last year for an online competition. Coincidence...? I think not!

Anyway, despite all that has been said in this post, I have nothing against Seether. I'm a big fan. I still believe that they must have a mind-reading machine with which they steal poorly executed ideas and improve on them for commercial success. Of course, one could also postulate that I have a time-machine which I used to travel forwards through time, steal ideas and then quickly release them in shabby style so that people would think I had them first!

And of course, anyone reading this post will probably realise that this train of thought is totally un-original and stolen in large part from a fake argument that occurred after Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics, and Drew of Left Handed Comics happened to draw comics that had similar punchlines.

Talking about webcomics, one may notice that the comic today (oh! That's our news! We are going to devolve this blog into a comic!) may bear a not-so slight resemblance to Tim Buckley's Ctrl+Alt+Del sillies series. Well, that's because I stole his style since it seemed easy for a non artistic person to duplicate.

Now, the thing is you probably didn't notice this stole style thing because:

  1. You're not reading this blog

  2. The artwork ain't that great

  3. The joke ain't that funny

BUT, what that means is that I'm successfully creative because I stole his idea and repackaged it with considerably less talent. Thus, no one will KNOW I stole the idea. They will think I'm being creative! Which brings us to today's lesson:

  1. Steal ideas.

  2. Ensure you have as little talent as possible, so that by the time you execute the idea, no one will link your idea to the original.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to be creative.

(And if you'd like to read the hilarious book where I learnt all this, its by Scott Adams The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's A Madd Madd World - And we're in it!

For all its issues, I love being a Kenyan. And every day, I find things that continuously cause my heart to swell with pride at being a Kenyan.

  • The people. (Politicians don’t count, politicians are animals!)

  • Delicious water.

  • Tasty sausages (anyone who’s eaten a Sausage outside Kenya? Them things is nasty!)

  • Jambo Bwana, Hakuna Matata. (Okay, so these days, it’s used ironically, but still you gotta love Them Mushrooms)

  • Wide Open spaces.

  • The great writers; Whispers immediately comes to mind.

  • The cartoonists who’ve stood the test of time and consistently manage to be funny; Gado (wait, he’s Tanzanian, right?), Stano, and, without a doubt, Maddo.

Well, on Saturday 6th June, there we were! In Madd Madd World!

Well, not as characters or anything, but STILL, Maddo slotted us into his page. He called us an “extrachromosomal Kenyan rock group”. I don’t know what that is, but man! I’ve never felt as patriotic as I did when I saw that. It ROCKS to be Kenyan!

God bless Kenya!


Monday, May 25, 2009


Sometime's it's about the journey, right?
(Video by Just A Band)

When we started the flawbymurfy blog, the original intention was to let the fans into the process. Sure, people have seen us on stage, experience the costumes and the songs and the (mostly failed) stage acts, but we figured there was so much more going on behind the scenes in the journey to shows that we wanted to share with you.

My thinking was that, if the fans could experience with us, the humdrum process that is "being a band"; the torture of playlists and practices, injuries, mood swings, fights and stolen plectrums and sudden blackouts, then they would appreciate the gigs more.

I imagined the masses laughing, crying and hoping with us, as we battled against odds, took paths less traveled, climbed every mountain, tortured every cliche, and finally!, made music history. We'd be famous! And, on top of that, we'd be adored. Then, 9 sent us this link , from which I discovered that to seek Fame means you come from an awful broken home.

Well, I'm not going to give my family that reputation! Why, you ask? Because,it just finally hit me that our entire fan base is built up of our brothers, sisters, parents and friends. (Ha! to the people who were thinking we came from unhappy homes!) These guys already know everything there is to know about the struggle to get a show on the road (or up a flight of stairs to Dass).

They've rearranged their lives to include our practice times. They've helped us find places to practice. (Occasionally, they've also kicked us out of practice spaces ;-) They've provided transportation to gig locations, and carried our equipment up and down billions of stairs. They've called radio stations DEMANDING our songs be played. They've bought dozens of copies of our album, and given them to other people, as presents.

So there's nothing new they could pick up on the blog that they didn't know about us already.

So, to our dear loving fans, we love you back.

And now, having released myself from the bondage of talking about Murfy's fLaW, I can do what I'd intended to do from the beginning of this post.

Talk about other bands. :-)

In our next issue, we explore... why do we love the bands we love? Featuring our warped opinions on two bands who manage to get the art of sharing "Process" right. Just A Band, and Linkin Park.

PS And the other ulterior motive for writing this post, I'm a member of the LP Street Team, so check out the trailer for "New Divide"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

On The Air

Finally! Tomorrow, Murfy's fLaW is getting it's FIRST ever radio interview. Woo hoo!

The interview will be on 98.4 Capital FM on the Fuse with Rae. This will happen on the morning of Friday 1st May.

Well, to be honest, we're not getting this interview based on our own extraordinary musicianship or what not, but chiefly, because of the Kenya Beast Health Programme Benefit we're doing on the evening of Friday 1st May.

(More information on this show on the Murfy's fLaW page Facebook).

So, instead of a quasi-philosophical rockstar tirades, you're going to hear us talking about keeping healthy by early detection :-)

However, the band is going to be allowed to be slightly musical by performing an acoustic set of songs from our album Makosa. We are looking for help in picking songs for the radio interview...


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Things that Make it Worth It

"Your Friend" by Murfy's Flaw
Video sent by missmfa

Life is difficult for a band with no goals... It's been a somewhat tense period, with a lot of feeling of Marking Time, and standing on the spot doing nothing, Except moving backwards.
Frustration levels are high, and there's the serious temptation to pack it in, and take up something less stressful. Like barefoot mountain hiking.
But every time it feels we're hitting rock bottom, something happens to lift us up and put us on the path again.
This time, it came in the form of Miss MFA's deliciously abstract fan video, for our song, "Your Friend"
So, to M, thanks for stepping in at the moment we needed you the most.
Here's the video!