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The Kite String Tangle – Tennis Court (Lorde Cover)

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It finally feels like fall started. The next holiday is Thanksgiving. I finally got my ticket home for Christmas. I knit 1 (or 5, whatever) scarves to kick-off the season. And you feel immediately drawn to songs which are slightly more melancholy and sweet and soft.

The man who sings this cover of Lorde‘s  Tennis Court melts me in so many ways. This is definitely a song to be snuggly with this fall and appreciate what good male vocals and well placed percussions does to a very feminine number. For more from this talented solo producer from Australia, check him out here. The Kite String Tangle, or Danny Harley,  is an amazing producer and could easily be appreciated on the level of similar sounds like Ta-ku and Flume. Enjoy.

The Kite String Tangle – Tennis Court (Lorde Cover)


PAWS – Needle In The Hay (Elliott Smith Cover)

paws

I actually think of you often.

Constant reminders from smells and music and phrases that were once yours and now litter my world like a junk yard.  I don’t miss you anymore. I just remember you. You think of me when you hear Modest Mouse and I think of you when I hear Lou Reed and Elliott Smith. You think of me when you smell her with a perfume that smells like me. I think of you when I smell that sweet sweat smell and sand.

It’s weird. We don’t ask how the other is doing. Just send some reminders that we remember that it once existed. That at one point these were our things, not mine and yours. Not my smells or your sounds.

It is a comfortable, sad and content place to be when you are here with someone. In the same state, but on opposite tracks. Able to appreciate that it was once great, then horrible, and now neutrally not there at all aside from the sporadic check-in to say “I heard this and thought of you”.

So here is one for you, kid. I will always think of you when I hear. But I am indifferent. And you won’t read this anyways.

PAWS is a trio with a groovy sound of garage rock coming from the UK. Keep an eye out for new album set to release early 2014 on FatCat Records.

PAWS – Needle In The Hay (Elliott Smith)


Four Tet – Parallel Jalebi

How I go from rocking to the loud in your face, ridiculously banging beats of GTA at HARDFEST to playing this minimalist Four Tet jam on repeat is one aspect of my personality I can’t say I fully understand. The truth is my entire life is full of seemingly opposite worlds constantly co-existing in parallel. As an adolescent I would go from performing in the White House and Carnegie Hall  to the project hallway, Haarlem to Harlem, theses days it’s Billionaire birthday parties, private planes to the 1 train, goldware Thanksgiving dinners to scrappy Christmas parties in the Bronx.

Can you believe this shit Guru? I’m from the hood man!
No the REAL hood hood, not the RAP hood. The REAL hood,
Like three pair of pants, pair of sneakers, My moms is bustin’ her ass.
Nigga I’m goin to Japan tomorrow! YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING?!
Can you believe that?
I’ve seen the best of the best, worst of the worst, I’m still here…” – Jay-Z

Shit man, I’ve come a long way! My life has been rich with duality and I couldn’t be more grateful for it because of the unique perspective it gives but I have to be honest, riding that line isn’t easy. Most people see one or the other but to constantly live, breath and be in that center makes it hard to identify with most. But that’s what motivates me man, my unique existence in the midway. It’s what inspires everything I do and my philosophy for creation. EMPT was born out of that energy, it will always be that energy.

I remember hanging out Downtown either with Roy, all the Rocafella people and beautiful girls crushing at The Box, Jane Hotel or whatever was hot when they first opened and hearing all this great music, experiencing these moments all by myself. Then I would go back Uptown, over to LA, back to New York and realize how all the different circles I ran with were deprived of each others music and experiences. I thought that was unfair and decided to do something about it and bring justice for all or music for all aka Et Musique Pour Tous.

Sometimes I feel alone because of my place but I’m starting to embrace this thing, after all it’s what’s unique to my DNA and gives me that advantage. Sometimes people think I’m shallow or only care about success and money. They can’t understand why sometimes I work so hard and sometimes party harder but that’s just my life. Shit…

I’m shocked too, I’m supposed to be locked up too
If you escaped what I’ve escaped, you’d be in Paris getting fucked up too…

I didn’t mean to get that deep into all of it but that’s what I love about minimalism in music, it can serve as a canvas for expression. When music is in your face it’s really doing all the talking for you but jams like this just give the mind space to create. If you’re in the trap aka work right now press play on this one and zone out for a minute, you’ve earned it. Enjoy.

Four Tet – Parallel Jalebi


Twin Shadow – Old Love/New Love

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Originality is the trait I value above all others in art. I may listen to an endless list of similar-sounding British rock outfits in the car and enjoy every minute of it, but I recognize that these bands aren’t pushing the envelope. I like when an artist takes their medium somewhere it hasn’t gone before.

Tom Scholz, the founder of Boston, invented an entire range of new guitar sounds. Donna Summer and Kraftwerk began the techno movement (from opposite ends of the spectrum, yet at the same time). Steely Dan approached popular music as classical arrangers, literally struggling to find people good enough to play their complex songs. And those are just some musical examples. Consider Raphael, Van Gogh, Hitchcock, Miyazaki, Calder, Hiroshige.

Twin Shadow isn’t on the level of these artists. Not even close. But his utilization of space (a la D’Angelo) in a disco/new wave medium is exciting. And how many songs in those genres have authentic gospel breakdowns?

“Old Love/New Love” is a versatile song. It fits during either commute, at a party, in headphones over work, at the beach. Funky!

 

What am I supposed to say?
An old love called me yesterday…
And she sounds so sweet.
Why, she sounds so…”

Twin Shadow – Old Love/New Love


Of Montreal – Triumph of Disintegration

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The last ten days have been a motherfucker, 
I didn’t know if I’d survive.”

Ohhh screech it and preach it, Kevin Barnes. The first 4 seconds got me hooked right away, and it’s become an anthem for my early morning subway rides. It’s sort of fun to be that asshole with the huge headphones bopping your head to music amidst all the serious-faced suits on their way to Wall Street.

Enter hip-swaying territory with a groovy bass line, catchy doo-woop guitar lines, and plenty of falsetto ‘ooh ‘ooh’s’. Heavy lyrics ~existential musings~ superimposed over such a light-hearted, boppy melody, the perfect dichotomy that is characteristic of this awesome band. This is the Of Montreal I know and love. They are the kind of strange that makes me feel so at home… and somehow hopeful for the future of the human condition.

You had to forgive your enemy cause it was making you psychotic to keep fighting him inside of your head
But how could you allow these people whom you don’t even respect to rape your self concept and make your inner world an ugliness?

Truth. Your only real enemy is that little fearful voice inside your head. Eg0-oriented, societally induced schizotypal tendencies, anyone? Experience lies on a continuum; maybe it’s time to shatter these illusions of separation. Recognize the inner struggles, and instead of running away perhaps let yourself be enthralled by the gnarly.

Thrashed through the forest like a tormented brute, I had to make myself a monster just to feel something ugly enough to be true
And then scratching wildly at the mirror in my heart to see their doleful faces
What is the flaw in just running away? Running away fixes everything, how can I why should I stay? Just to see the triumph of disintegration? victories of devastation?”

Of Montreal – Triumph of Disintegration