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Augustines — Cruel City

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What if you were told you that the life you live has been lived for you?  Would you scratch your head and wonder what exactly it is that we’re talking about, or would you pay close attention to what we have to say next?

Four chord progressions are the most commonly used series of musical chords found in a huge portion of major hit records over the past 40+ years, and this one on “Cruel City” by B.K.’s own AUGUSTINE‘s shows us why?

Kurt Cobain once stated that he kept his chords simple like the four-chord progressions implemented in most major hits so that the listener would immediately be pulled in by a strong sense of familiarity.  This here is exactly what we get on Cruel City: Rockstar vocals, drums that won’t quit like a pack of wolves on a high speed hunt, and that four chord progression that just keeps popping up everywhere, more and more, throughout the decades.  It’s a familiar sound all around that almost forces us to chant right along with it as if it were a must that we know it.  Even the drums feel like we’ve danced to them before, been inspired by them before, or, have felt their grandness before.

You are told what to like, how to like it and even why before you are even old enough to go to school, yet, you think, somehow, that your tastes are your own, that the music you will like is purely subjective, and that even the artists you will grow to love are, in essence, your choices.  But, as you can see and hear here, that is the complete and total opposite of what things really are.

Catch my drift?

Enjoy EMPT Nation.

Augustines — Cruel City


Comalounge – Missing Piece

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The phrase “Now, my life is complete,” gets thrown around casually, most often in media portrayals of real life. It’s often delivered facetiously, relegating the completing thing to second-class status.

I’ve always found the phrase confusing. Life is literally complete at the moment of death. But clearly, that’s not what people mean. They are saying that an object (likely plastic, but perhaps metal) they have just received will grant then contentment and happiness for the rest of their life. Importantly, there is no hint of recognition for the people who sunk hard work into producing that object. It is simply accepted that the object is here now and it will be here forever and it will make me happy. We’ve constructed a society where materialism is largely inseparable from biology.

The phrase is inherently sad: “Now, my life is complete.” It carries an implication that the life was not complete beforehand, that there was some level of yearning and desire unfulfilled. And, as it is so often stated sarcastically or ironically, it implies that the life will not, in fact, be complete after the object. That a hole still gapes somewhere, dripping regret and insecurity, a hole that cannot be plugged by a piece of colored rubber shipped halfway around the world.

No life is ever complete. This should bring us together, knowing we all share the same sense of emptiness that no material good can fill, whether or not we pretend it can. Each person has that missing piece.

Comalounge – Missing Piece


James Brown – Mind Power

James Brown

Hit it. horns.

Indulge in the inexhaustible wealth of the real that is the godfather of the funk, James Brown.

The educators, they call it ESP… some of ’em call it vibrations. But I call it -what it is- what it is.”

Mind Power, a somewhat esoteric track, is – what it is – all about. The power of the of the mind and potential for infinite discoveries. Talking ’bout energies and vibrations, James Brown speaks the truth. With its soulful wisdom, this jammy jam embodies the real spirit of the funk:  “free your mind and your ass will follow” (see George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic). Wake up. Acknowledge the real. Dig that sense of sublimity that comes through awareness and mind power, cause that’s all we got. Which is a whole lot.

We’re just a bunch of human beans, a collective energy — monumental force of wavelengths, inextricably linked and and cruising the unknown. Fragments of experience fluidly unfolding by the moment. It is – what it is. Finding peace in the uncertainty and realizing the boundlessness of our ability to create: it’s a powerful feeling.

This gem, finally released to the public on a 1993 re-release of James Brown’s 1973 classic album, ‘The Payback’. Definitely a great album to check out; it’s full of solid grooves and wah-wah wisdom. The title track “The Payback” is especially killer diller. According to Ice Cube, it’s “an anthem in South Central L.A. to this day. Maybe the first gang-sta rap song ever.” Word.

I need those hits. Hit me. 

James Brown – Mind Power


Neon Indian – Change of Coast

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Grand Theft Auto V came out just over one week ago. It made over 1 billion (with a B) dollars in three days. Think about that.

The fifth installment in the popular GTA series had an advertising budget of approximately $150 million. The first GTA was released in 1997, and the second in 1999 for the PS1 and Gameboy Color, both featuring the still unique birds eye view camera. I played those games. I played them a lot.

Those were the good old days, when you just had to infiltrate the Hare Krishna or fight off some rednecks. You were just a dot on the screen. Now, if you want to beat GTA V, you are committing to literally hundreds of hours of game play, alternating between a host of elaborate missions and mini-games. You can buy and sell stock. You can play tennis. And you can still cause mayhem until the military eventually shows up and blows you to high heaven with a tank or fighter jet.

GTAs have always been recognized for the soundtracks, which have always come in the form of radio stations that play whenever you’re cruising in your freshly stolen vehicle. GTA V features 17 stations, each curated by a celebrity DJ; Lee “Scratch” Perry, Kenny Loggins, Bootsy Collins and Flying Lotus are just a few of the recognizable names.

The game is set in “Los Santos,” a stylized and hooker-filled take on Los Angeles that is stunning in its accuracy. In between machine gun battles, players can drive on the PCH, windows down and shades on.

Perhaps they might turn to Twin Shadow-curated “Radio Mirror Park” (a take on Silverlake and Echo Park, two notoriously indie neighborhoods that are now priced out for real hipsters), a bubbly mix of indie pop and remixes that includes songs by Poolside, Miami Horror, Yeasayer and Health.

And maybe, at that very moment, as that player sits in his or her dorm room in Connecticut, freezing his or her ass off, Neon Indian’s “Change of Coast” will come on. The sunshower of glitches and burbling vocal flourishes will fill the room. Time will stop. 

“Change of coast/change of heart”.

Next stop, www.southwest.com.

Isn’t it funny how the economy works?

Neon Indian – Change of Coast


Passenger – Let Her Go (Kygo Remix)

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“Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missin’ home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go”

Honestly, I was not all too crazy about the original song. With the feel of a romantic comedy, I thought it was a cutesy tune but not necessarily one to I would get too excited over. I am a girl, so obviously I get all mushy with the lyrics, but sometimes I want it to dance to a sad song.  That is why I love remixes.

Kygo, a 22-year old producer from Norway, has been busy producing a good amount of tracks this year. Making  the original  transform from a cutesy ballet to a sexy, dance number. By lowering the vocals and adding in beats to create a more energized sound, he was able to take this track and make it memorable. Be sure to check out some of his other remixes, all awesome, and available for download on his Soundcloud.

Passenger – Let Her Go (Kygo Remix)