Modest Among the Living
"Over the past couple of years Boston based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist [Munk] has written, performed and produced some of the biggest indie-rock songs in all of Podcasting, garnering plays on nearly a thousand different shows reaching millions of ears around the world. In the nascent and exploding world of Podcasting and New Media, he is universally considered to be one of it's musical crown jewels. Not only does he have a tremendous amount of talent and heart, but he is an artist with an incredible work ethic and the mind of a businessman". -Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff, Director of Content Development, Podshow, Inc. Imbued with the musical mood swings that are [Munk]'s signature, his third independent release MODEST AMONG THE LIVING weaves it's way into a cohesive allegory about unexpected second chances and major life changes. Songs like 30 Days, Grave and Tell Me Nothing Is Wrong lay themselves bare to the reality of existential crises of faith, families that tear themselves apart and the indignity of old age while Awake and Waiting and Superheroes focus on vigilance against those in power and personal accountability. Countering the more serious tones are the upbeat and pop-laden Dirty Work, Sometimes Life Starts To Fall Into Place and the "Beatle-esque" Beautiful (I Know You're). Also of note is the haunting track I Am, which was a "hit" for [Munk] in the Podcast world as the theme to the popular original dramatic series Shadow Falls. MODEST AMONG THE LIVING showcases the next stage of evolutionary breadth in [Munk]'s ability to blend the sonically alluring with classic pop sensibility, as promised in his two earlier outings. He genre jumps at will to reflect whatever emotions he is wearing on his sleeve, plays all the instruments, sings every note and crafts clever outlets for each body of musical expressiveness. After the release of his electronic tinged, beats driven debut, 2001's ANIME SWEETHEART and the darkly confessional, hard rock follow-up 2003's SEVERED, [Munk] was critically lauded in traditional press, regional major market radio and national college radio. The Boston Globe boldly wrote, "[Munk] crafts his music with intelligence and panache. Can superstar status be far behind?" He was invited by the program director at WFNX, Boston, to perform alongside signed touring artists in the WFNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll concert, was the listener voted feature artist on WBCN's Buzzcut for two weeks and had the phone lines lit for a solid hour at WAAF after an interview and debut of tracks from SEVERED. The tracks YOU WILL KNOW and IF I from SEVERED received honors in the 11th Annual Billboard World Song Contest, noted as 'demonstrations of the talent and dedication it takes to write a hit song' by Billboard Contest Director David Kindred. [Munk] also earned Top 30 airplay on over 100 college radio stations around the country. It was a strong, grassroots start but the landscape of the music industry was changing. [Munk] saw which way the wind was blowing with Digital Distribution and New Media, and seized upon an aggressive and experimental strategy to utilize both outlets. In 2005, [Munk] was approached by Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff who was hosting a Podcast rapidly growing in popularity called Pacific Coast Hellway. Nemcoff suggested that podcasting, as a movement, needed an irreverent call to arms. In response, [Munk] wrote and recorded a song called Podpeople which was originally broken on PCH. The song rapidly made it's way to the ears of podcasting pioneer and former MTV VJ Adam Curry, who inaugurated the song on his popular podcast Daily Source Code. Curry proclaimed Podpeople "the anthem for the podcasting revolution". Virtually overnight, Podpeople saw plays on hundreds of podcasts all over the world, instantly exposing [Munk] to tens of thousands of new listeners and a new global audience. [Munk] proceeded to make his music available in digital distribution outlets such as iTunes, Rhaposdy, Napster, Sony Connect, Verizon, Music Match, MSN Music, to name a few. He also made his songs freely available to the fledgling Podsafe Music Network, a site created by Adam Curry's company Podshow Inc. The PMN was created to offer content to Podcasters and [Munk]'s music became some of the most popular. After 18 short months, [Munk] audited his international Digital Distribution for his previous releases ANIME SWEETHEART and SEVERED through 12/13/07 and discovered 12,151 purchased downloads were registered-an impressive number for an indie artist that had not released a full-length album since 2003. It became apparent that leveraging New Media was a sound approach. Podcasting was only one part of [Munk]'s three-tiered strategy. He teamed with music publishers to get his songs featured in over 100 placements on network and cable television such as HBO's The Sopranos, CBS's NCIS, CBS Sports, CBS's The Young and The Restless, ABC's One Life To Live, ABC's All My Children, The WB's Charmed, composed music for the video game Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach®, the score for podcast drama Shadow Falls and the game show Boned and the list goes on. New Media and television exposure combined with [Munk]'s high visibility on the web, as is evidenced on his MySpace page, which has seen over 21,000 visits, is proving to be an effective and assertive strategic response to the woes of an industry that has lost it's way. With the successful infiltration into the consciousness of this growing new community, the demand for a new [Munk] release was prevalent. 2008's MODEST AMONG THE LIVING may never have been completed if not for the embrace of this new audience. "Fan mail from all over the world is quite a motivator." [Munk] says. "This record is a testimonial to the power of Podcasting". C.C. Chapman from Accident Hash says, "The wait was worth it. [Munk] is the true definition of an artist. Modest Among The Living is a mix of everything. [Munk] is one of the few artists I know who is comfortable in whatever genre his mood fits on any given day. This CD covers everything from his soft gentle side on tracks such as Tell Me Nothing Is Wrong and then turns around and slams you against the wall with rocking classics like Dirty Work. This Boston based rocker is growing up and his music is growing with him". (AH 258) Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff comments, "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'. (PCH 452) Adam Curry agrees, " [Munk] is one of the few guys that I could listen to a whole album or playlist by and it just doesn't get boring for me'. (DSC 730)
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