Skip to content

Frightened Rabbit – Not Miserable

What’s up EMPT nation? Been MIA over the past few weeks as I’ve been checking out shows including Grouplove,  HARD Summer Music Festival from which Ratatat stole the show with an all-out performance and caught Death Cab for Cutie at the Greek this past weekend. I had to finally pay homage to DCFC and catch them live since their music was such an integral part of my life and a big reason why I’m a music junkie. Too bad I caught them 3 years too late. Seems Ben Gibbard now lacks the required inspiration and a driving energy for his music so it’s not shocking that their downward descent has begun. However, I was also stoked to see Scotland natives Frightened Rabbit on the bill who ended up stealing the show with an acute and passionate performance.

Ever since a good friend introduced me to them over a year ago, I was instantly hooked to FR. After catching them live, I realized how much I truly enjoy their music and felt the need to share some of their past work. If you have yet to listen to their album from last year, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, please do so immediately. I’m sure most of you know the band already from their popular track,  Swim Until You Can’t See Land but they have plenty more solid tracks worth checking out. Not Miserable is a track which reminds you that life can change in an instant but when you’re in good standing in life, take advantage and make most of those moments. Their tunes seem suited for the end of summer which sadly happens to be on the horizon. I’m sure you’ll find yourself hitting the loop button on many of their tracks and find yourself reminiscing on the great times you experienced over the past summer months.

Frightened Rabbit – Not Miserable

Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land

– Joel

Summer Heart – Please Stay

Ahh, nothings some chill wave on a Tuesday morning…

As usual I was studying Quincy Jones when I read a passage on his belief that true freedom ultimately exists in well defined structure. That statement runs deep but basically it means that life’s possibilities are infinite as is our creative nature. Our experience is so complex and fast that without some way to arrange and harness our potential we could spend our entire exploring and never really building.

It’s hard enough to find that balance and structure but I’ve found that sometimes it’s even harder to keep it. Have you ever looked back at a point in your life where you felt like everything was on point? Good things were happening left and right and the future was looking bright. Then something happened, the thrill was gone and you no longer had that energy on your side. For most, human nature says that when we’re down we have to work hard to get up so we put in all this work, focus really hard and we finally get up but then what happens? Well, there’s no such thing as staying still, everything in the world is in constant movement so if you stop working to maintain it then you’re inevitably going down. That applies to business, love, fitness, you name it. If you don’t work on it don’t have the nerve to wonder why it’s getting bad.

Summer Heart is about a guy who finds this moment of balance and interestingly enough ask the question…

Is there a way to make it stay?

The answer is yes, but it’s going to take work. Take note of the moment and hold on to whatever momentum got you there in the first place. If you lose it you’ll have to start all over again and that’s a cycle you can end up going through your entire life. Enjoy.

Summer Heart – Please Stay

EMPT Presents – S U M M E R : a n t i – w i n t e r 3B by Ryan Radler

I think releasing Ryans mixtapes on Monday’s has completely altered my perception of this previously dreaded day. I don’t know about you guys but everything in my life revolves around music, it’s my bread & butter, my hobby,  basically all of the above. I love it so there are no complaints, however I’m a fan of music before anything but since I’m always behind the scenes I rarely get to play that role. That’s why these mixtapes are such a treat for me. Once a week, I get to totally kick back and just enjoy someone else’s work on and vision and that’s mastercard priceless to me. By now you all know these tapes are predictably amazing so I don’t have to sell it to you, just Ryan Radler mixing up styles and genres like clockwork. That said, I’m gonna order some grub and chill out for the entirety of this tape before getting back to work, a much needed break. Enjoy.

SUMMER: a n t i – w i n t e r 3b

Drinking in L.A. – BRAN VAN 3000
Kiwi Maddog 20/20 – ELLIOT SMITH
Ghost In My Head – NIVA
Another Time – BRAHMS
Sleepwalk (Extended Version) – SANTO & JOHNNY
Salty Air – J. VIEWZ

EMPT Presents – S U M M E R : a n t i – w i n t e r 3 B by Ryan Radler by Et Musique Pour Tous

Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Jack Mayborn et Prodigy

Oh yall niggas killas now, oh word?  Catch you coming out your fuckin’ crib!”

Mobb Deep are undoubtedly one of the hardest duo’s to ever threaten your life on a record, and be assured that when P runs as a solo artist, the pressure don’t let up.  Prodigy fully embodies that tough edge that defined New York hard core rappers in the 90’s.  When real life adversity catches up to us, and it becomes easier to not fight back, I think we all could use a lil’ 90’s NY rapper in our attitude and outlook.  No scared competitors are going to win in New York, and no bitch made tendencies will be tolerated, so toughen up!  Prodigy faced real problems with the law, rap kingpins, and his health, and still put out an album entitled H(ead).N(igga).I(n).C(harge), which included “Keep It Thoro”, one of the hardest records with one of the hardest lines…

I break bread, ribs, hundred dolla bills…”

One definite asset in Prodigy’s success was the unwavering loyalty from producer, Alchemist.  ALC has always had some of the hardest beats in the game, and he seemingly never held back any heat from Mobb Deep.  “Keep It Thoro” and it’s Jack Mayborn sample is a perfect example of hard-digging paying off.  Definitely one of the digs that, as a producer, you would have done anything to get to to it first.  I mean, listen to that thing.  Well, if it wasn’t me, I’m glad it was ALC who did find it, because I’m not sure who else could/would have matched it with such a perfect snare, and perfect swing.  Put this on repeat for a while, and Keep It Thoro.

Jack Mayborn – Music People

Prodigy – Keep It Thoro


Kingless Throne: The State of New York City Hip-Hop

The New York Hip-Hop scene is in a state of emergency. The threat has been looming for years, and now the problem is now more apparent than ever; New York hip-hop has failed to evolve. This failure has opened the door for crooning Canadians, trendy Pennsylvanians, and syrup sippin’ Southerners to take over the scene and potentially eliminate the New York scene altogether. As a New York hip-hop purist, this is a very frustrating situation. As everyone knows, New York City birthed hip-hop and reigned supreme for decades as MCs and groups like Nas, Jay-Z, KRS-ONE, Wu-Tang Clan, Bad Boy, and Mobb Deep dominated local and national airwaves. Throughout the nineties and the early part of the 2000’s these artists, with their gritty lyrics, unparalleled style and charisma, and classic albums made it safe for a fan to declare New York City the “mecca” of hip-hop. But, damn things done changed. On a national level, New York MCs are nearly irrelevant. Granted, artists like Fabolous, and to a much lesser extent Vado have enjoyed some national mainstream success, they can’t even sniff the level of popularity artists who were dominating the media held two decades ago. In fact, most New York artists don’t even get played on Hot 97, arguably the biggest hip-hop station in the world and based out of New York City! Many will argue that Jay-Z is the undisputed king of New York, but how much longer can the city as a whole hang its hat on a 40 year old MC who is six years past his prime? Despite the fact that Hov can still rap circles around any MC he continues to feature with (see Drake’s “Light Up”), New York hip-hop fans cannot seriously expect him to usher in the new era of New York hip-hop.

Motherfucker this ain’t back in the days, but you don’t hear me though….”

New York hip-hop is stuck in the past – that’s not to say that there aren’t talented artists floating throughout the boroughs – but the lack of innovation on the behalf of these artists is disheartening. The “punchline” rapper still reigns supreme in New York, and yes, these artists have some strong catalogs but will never make noise with an LP on a national level. Why? Because “punchline” rappers were hot nine years ago, people need change; it’s human nature. What the scene needs, more than anything, right now is some competition and rivalry to breathe some life into a nearly deceased brand of hip-hop. However, with no clear cut MCs, and certainly no rival crews at the top of New York, that wish for competition may never be a reality.

There’s no disputing that old school rappers continue to put out quality albums. Raekwon’s “Only Built For Cuban Linx II” was one of the better efforts put forth in recent years; but the album sounded like it was recorded in 1995, not 2009. For someone like me, that is perfect, but for national recognition, hip-hop fans across the nation need something new, especially with the internet providing all forms of hip-hop at a persons finger tips. What hurts the most is the failure of these older heads to stockpile talent over the years and keep the New York hip-hop scene buzzing on a national level. Rarely do you hear of an affiliate making noise on any level, let alone capture the attention of a national audience.

Artists like ASAP Rocky and Action Bronson, whose basically the by product of Big Pun eating Ghostface for dinner, are definitely steps in the right direction for New York. Unfortunately, I, as a fan, don’t feel comfortable with either of them potentially sitting at the throne as the King of New York. Somewhere out there in the Five Boroughs is an MC (who is hopefully reading this post) is crafting his skill and style and prepping himself to explode on the scene both locally and nationally. But until then, I’m gonna keep listening to The Infamous and reminiscing on the good old days.

Notorious B.I.G. – Things Done Changed

– Pete

Theophilus London – Girls Girls $

Money. Girls.

It is Friday right? Take it off.

Theophilus London – Girls Girls $

Poolside – Harvest Moon (Neil Young Cover)

When we were strangers, I watched you from affar…”

Neil Young’s Harvest Moon is just one those incredibly beautiful songs that captures the absolute essence of love. We get older, we go through some good relationships and some not so great. When things go bad many of us develop a guard and walk around with insecurities that limit and affect the way we experience love in the future. But here’s a little secret, you get what you put in and if you meet someone new and you’re always worried about what happened in your past relationship then you’re going to create the same results. This song always reminds me to press the restart button if something didn’t work out. Of course it’s easier said then done but you can’t go around feeling nothing short of amazing in this life and if thinking about what happen in the past is going to prevent that then you gotta work hard to move on. Anyways, Of Montreal did an acoustic cover of this song back in ’07 and I thought it was great. Poolside version bought it to the Space Age with an elegance and beauty that is truly noteworthy. This will be on heavy rotation for the rest of the day, enjoy.

Beyonce vs. Beastie Boys – Girls on Girls (Captain Cuts Remix)

Take an unstoppable force like Beyonce already mixed with something as dancey as Major Lazer, and then throw some Beastie Boys in there. Two songs that already have a knack for getting stuck in your head, placed together to give you the beauty that is a modern day mash up with all the right ingredients. Mind you, I’m very picky about mash-ups, but this one just can’t do any wrong. This track just bleeds summer happy. I’m a sucker for songs that put me right in the mood to dance. But not just dance. I mean like jump up and down, smiling like an idiot, with your hands moving in every direction. It’s just the kind of joyful song that you want everyone to hear. There’s not too much else to say about this track because it’s just pure gold, so turn up the speakers in your house, dance around in your underwear, and do whatever else you need to do to spread the good cheer.

Girls On Girls (Captain Cuts Remix) – Beyonce vs. Beastie Boys


Crystal Fighters – I Do This Everyday

It’s a full house here; my roommates just returned from traveling. One of them returned from the Benicassim Festival in Valencia, Spain. She came back not only raving about the beach/festival experience, and she couldn’t stop praising a Spanish band  called Crystal Fighters.

Chrystal Fighters are a noteworthy group because, at least in this album, every track is super different, contributing to an unpredictable dynamic that keeps your feet moving. The variety of sounds combine rock, dubstep, and African beats.  These seemingly disperate genres are all adapted in a digital and unique way. These past days I’ve been having a lot of conversations about “The Ego” and the persona that we put forth to other people. What other race does such a thing, put up walls all the time to disguise who we are?  The lyrics of this song remind me of the idea that we need to be aware of the barriers we create for our selves.

“You have a Hammer, break down the wall”

Crystal Fighters – I Do This Everyday


Gene Chandler – Does She Have A Friend For Me (Zimmer Edit)

Back when I was producing Hip Hop I used to spend endless days digging through old records, finding the most random but amazing music. One of the songs I came across was this incredible live performance by a dude named Gene Chandler. Now Gene had two pretty big hits in the 60’s and was a huge part of the Chicago Soul movement but if you’re into soul chances are you’ve heard The Duke of Earl & Groovy Situation. What you probably haven’t heard is Rainbow ’65 Part 1 & 2. The song is basically 6 minutes of Gene serenading what sounds like a 100% female audience and absolutely destroying it. Talk about pure talent, I mean I’m not a teenage girl so this song doesn’t exactly speak to me but man does this guy put on a performance. In the world of controlled everything, it’s rare to hear total artistic freedom like this and boy do you miss after hearing something like this. Anyways, that’s not even the song I’m posting about but it’s the most memorable Gene Chandler experience I’ve had so I wanted to share. The subject of today’s post is actually an edit by DJ/Producer Zimmer of Gene’s disco classic Does She Have A Friend For Me. Zimmer sped things up a little,emphasized the funky bass added some drums and made the song Space Age ready, enjoy.

Gene Chandler – Does She Have A Friend For Me (Zimmer Edit)