Best Actor Oscar Nominee Talks Music

Demian Bichir recently received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of an undocumented immigrant in the drama, "A Better Life." As part of Tell Me More's ongoing series "In Your Ear," Bichir talks about the music that moves him.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now it's time for the occasional feature we call In Your Ear. That's where we ask some of our guests about the music that inspires them. Today, we're going to hear from an Oscar nominee. Months before Demian Bichir was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award, he spoke with us about his starring role in the film "A Better Life." And he also told us about the songs that make his life better.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CREEP")

DEMIAN BICHIR: Hi, I'm Demian Bichir, and this is what's playing in my ear.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CREEP")

RADIOHEAD: (Singing) When you were here before, couldn't look you in the eye. You're just like an angel.

BICHIR: I love this song by Radiohead, called "Creep," maybe because I feel like one many times.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CREEP")

RADIOHEAD: (Singing) I wish I was special. You're so very special. But I'm a creep. I'm a weirdo.

BICHIR: I think what I like about this song is that - of course, the lyrics and the pace of the rhythm and the whole instrumentation. This is a fantastic group.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CREEP")

RADIOHEAD: (Singing) I don't belong here. I don't belong here.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OJALA")

SILVIO RODRIGUEZ: (Singing in foreign language)

BICHIR: There's this wonderful songwriter, Silvio Rodriguez - Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodriguez. When I was a kid, one of my first concerts was to see Silvio performing. And it was really amazing that it was only one guy with a guitar and an auditorium filled with - I don't know - 3,000 people. And there was - particularly this song, that that was the first that I heard from him. It's called "Ojala."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OJALA")

RODRIGUEZ: (Singing in foreign language)

BICHIR: (Singing in foreign language) Something like that. And it's a really beautiful song that speaks about, you know, many things - maybe a woman, maybe politics, maybe a state of mind, maybe an emotion.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OJALA")

RODRIGUEZ: (Singing in foreign language)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HORSES ON THE RANGE")

TIMMY CURRAN: (Singing) I've been sitting around for way too long.

BICHIR: My third favorite song that's on my ear these days is called "Horses on the Range."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HORSES ON THE RANGE")

CURRAN: (Singing) ...and I just have to say, let me run like the horses on the range and I promise you, I'll never, ever complain.

BICHIR: It talks about these chains that we all carry sometimes, and how much we need to get rid of them in order to be able to ride on the range like the horses and be - free ourselves from our own demons and ghosts. And it's a really powerful, beautiful song with a really nice pace.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HORSES ON THE RANGE")

CURRAN: (Singing) These chains that are holding me, make it so hard for me to breathe...

MARTIN: That was Oscar-nominated actor Demian Bichir, talking about the music that's in his ear, including this song by Timmy Curran, "Horses on the Range."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HORSES ON THE RANGE")

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