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Music

MGMT – Your Life Is A Lie

I have a deep appreciation for MGMT. Whenever I hear they have a new single and take a listen, I am always greeted with some form of a new sound. A sometimes slight evolution in their music as they continue developing their music. You always feel that there is a moment when about 3/4 in to your first listen to their new song, you say “Yeah, that’s them. Awesome.” I feel that way about this song. But am also captivated by what, to me, sounds like MGMT maturing with a bristly outcome and lyrically simplistic (yet steely) music.

Soaked in that psychedelic rock which has given the duo their signature sound, there is an interesting, gritty texture over the track which makes it sound like they dragged it through the desert to give it that perfect you-need-to-buy-new-speakers-soon sound. One of my favorite elements to this track is the distinguishable instrumental moments in it, which I believe some of their earlier songs are missing. I love the guitar bit before the song is a minute in giving it a twangy edge. The cowbell. The shivering tambourine.

What this song offers for MGMT fans, is grit. If their previous songs where glitter, then this is dirt. Better yet, if they are the house parties, then this is the backseat soundtrack. And I mean that in the best possible way. Hopefully, this is a glimpse at what they will be releasing on their third album set to release in September of this year.

MGMT – Your Life Is A Lie

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Music

MGMT – Alien Days

mgmt

The rain today is a blessing. It’s a welcome dreary day that makes staying inside and getting everything on your to-do list done seem like a good use of your hours. It’s been blissfully spring here in New York, but I’ve been stuck behind my desk fashioning together models of a performance space I’ve been working on for my final exhibition this week staring out at the people in chilling on the steps of Union Square, eating Mister Softee, sipping iced coffee, and generally enjoying the city. I’ve never been more envious of Union Square than I have been this week. No matter, though. Once this week is over I will be done with one of biggest and most influential chapters of my life, and beginning my next one in the coming weeks. I’ve landed a full time job and it’s scary. My roommate and I are packing up our East Village apartment of two years and making the trek to the quieter tip of Manhattan  and setting up home in the Financial District. Things that I’ve imagined and dreamed are actually happening and it feels odd; it feels great; it makes me nauseous  it feels — for lack of a better word — alien.

Today, find infinite ways it could be plenty worse.
It’s a blessing but it’s also a curse.”

MGMT’s first single from their third LP slated for a June release (hopefully maybe) is exactly what you’d expect from the duo. It’s a psychedelic mellow soundscape with a lyrical story Lewis Carroll would be proud of. The sounds swirl through space and for five minutes, time ceases to exist. It’s just you and the music. MGMT’s created yet another alien territory that I wouldn’t mind being beamed up into more often. Lyrically, “Alien Days” sounds like the duo is reflecting on their first single, “Time To Pretend.” They’re talking about the crazy days, the hazy and foreign hours that have ultimately shaped them into the band we know today. They’ve made it past the sophomore slump and are just doing themselves.

Those days taught me everything I know;
how to catch a feeling,
and when to let it go.”

MGMT – Alien Days

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Music

EMPT Presents – S U M M E R : a n t i – w i n t e r 1 b by Ryan Radler

That’s right fools, it’s Monday, you’re up early for work, you already want to go home and Friday is no where in sight. You went from cold beers at a beach to hot coffee in a cubicle, it’s the roughest of times indeed. But cheer up old chap!, we’ve got the antidote for anything remotely lame so say hello to the anti-work, anti-monday experience – Ryan Radler’s S U M M E R : a n t i – w i n t e r 1 b.

Last week we introduced you to Radler’s fine wine of a mix tape and we all fell in love. Today we’re doing it all over again with another fantastic tape sure to put some swing in those M word blues. There’s so much I can say about these tapes, I don’t even know where to start. There’s the amazing art work, with all it’s nuance and detail perfectly complimenting the sound of the tape. I’m an absolute nerd for detail and quality and after talking to Ryan about his approach it’s no surprise we would cross paths…

Artwork: I have a penchant for retro/vintage design/fashion/art. If I had it my way, I would be perpetually living back in the 60’s and 70’s. The images I have collected and treated are there to match up the audio with a visual of how I see summer. You may notice a bit of a theme with the mirrored effect. I personally have been a big fan of symmetry and asymmetrical balance… “

Yeah this is a mix tape but soon you’ll see that this labor of love is more like a timeless collectors series, you gotta love it. Last weeks tape was one of the most popular post in recent EMPT history and after listening to 1b on repeat for the last two days I suspect nothing less for this one. Like I said before, this is hands down the best summer mix tape you will find anywhere on the internet, we’re happy to presenting it and can’t wait to bring you another next week. Go check out the mastermind behind this on his Facebook page, enjoy.

S U M M E R : a n t i – w i n t e r 1 b :

1. Stay Close + Stay Close (RAC Mix) – DELOREAN
2. Siberian Breaks (Ed Banger Allstars rmx/Dj Supermarkt) – MGMT
3. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) – TALKING HEADS
4. She Wants + She Wants (Reverse Remix) – METRONOMY
5. Crime Pays – BEAR HANDS
6. Climbing Walls – STRANGE TALK
7. Go Outside – CULTS
8. Endless Spring – HOUSES
9. SST (Soft Soul Transition) – SOFT SOUL TRANSITION
10. Sleepy Lagoon – HENRY MANCINI
11. Sunlight – BAG RAIDERS
12. India – MITZI
13. Julius – STARFUC*ER
14. Big Jet Plane (Michael Brun Bootleg) – ANGUS & JULIA STONE
15. Change Of Heart – EL PERRO DEL MAR

EMPT Presents – S U M M E R: a n t i-w i n t e r 1b by Ryan Radler by Et Musique Pour Tous

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Music

MGMT – Congratulations (Erol Alkan Rework)

First and foremost, before I say anything, prior to any action, let me anticipate this post by saying that this remix is pretty damn good. I was a big fan of Congratulations before but s mostly because of the bitter sweet lyrics about the complex nature of success…

But damn my luck and damn these friends
That keep on combing back their smiles
I save my grace with half-assed guilt
And lay down the quilt upon the lawn
Spread my arms and soak up congratulations.”

There’s so much irony in these lyrics that the upbeat and feel good nature of Erol’s remix almost seems more appropriate than the original. Don’t get me wrong, the MGMT version is extremely good in it’s own right but Erel absolutely owns this song. A lot of people say they only like the instrumental part of music and lyrics aren’t important to them while others are all about the lyrics. I live and die by both and when the music and lyrics come together like they do on this remix it’s absolute bliss for me. We’re having a Halloween party this Friday and I’ll def be playing this in the early hours, if you haven’t RSVP’d check out this post for information. Alright, a million things to do today as usual but press play and put this one on repeat, enjoy.

MGMT – Congratulations (Erol Alkan Rework)

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Music Video

MGMT – It’s Working (New Video)

How will I know if it’s working?”

This song is undoubtedly about drugs and this video was made for people on drugs. Now I don’t want to send out the wrong message, but strictly for journalistic purposes, I’ll clarify the song which is quite literally about MDMA or ecstasy.

MDMA got you feeling like a champion, the city never sleeps better slip you a Ambien…” (Jay-Z, Empire State of Mind)

MGMT is notorious for their psychedelic drug infused themes, but this song takes it to another level. Not that I would know but the song is basically a very detailed description of the placebo effect people feel when first taking this said drug…

Yeah. It was the first song that we demo-ed almost a year ago. Ben [Goldwasser] and I went up to this little cabin in the woods in upstate New York, and the second I walked in the door I sat down and played this chord progression. The next day we expanded it into a song. Lyrically, it’s about doing drugs. I didn’t realize it until now, but it’s kind of funny, because the first song on our first album was “Time to Pretend,” which was about the imagined rock star scenario. So, “It’s Working” is like, “Yeah, we went out there and we did a lot of drugs and it’s not that great.” The song is mostly about Ecstasy.

Is there any specific experience with Ecstasy that influenced that song?

No, not really. But that’s how we envisioned the track when we were writing it. It stops and starts a lot; it’s frantic, confusing. There’s also a surfing thread throughout the record. When you’re surfing, there’s a specific break you’re paddling to. And when the waves are really good you say, “It’s working.” The song kind of has a surf-y vibe. It’s like surfing on ecstasy. Which is what the “Time to Pretend” video is like. Actually, the video is more like surfing on acid. -Spin interview with Andrew

This is certainly my favorite song from the new album and the video is a trip, enjoy.

MGMT – It’s Working

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Music

KiD CuDi Ft. MGMT – Pursuit Of Happiness (Slink’s Hangover Remix)

As melancholic as it is KiD CuDi’s music is, it’s a nice break from dance mania that’s taken over music. Man on The Moon didn’t get the commercial recognition it deserved but it was without a doubt one of last years best albums. The official video for Soundtrack To My Life was released last week and it’s quite fresh.

I’ve got some issues that nobody can see
And all of these emotions are pourin’ outta me
I bring them to the light for you
It’s only right
This is the soundtrack to my life

It seems like these days it’s not ok to be human anymore and talking about inner issues is more a buzz kill than something productive. I agree, nobody want’s to be around a buzz killington that ruins a good moment with some selfish sadness. It’s a double edged sword because it’s important to address certain issues but wallowing and embracing sorrow is a waste a time and usually works against you anyway so it’s always best to take a look on the bright side and just rock on. Thankfully KiD CuDi doesn’t care what people think and seems to use his music for his own therapy. Anyways, check out the video and here’s a sick dub step remix of another great song from the album, enjoy.

KiD CuDi Ft. MGMT – Pursuit Of Happiness (Slink’s Hangover Remix)

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Music

Florence + The Machine – Rabbit Heart/Raise It Up (Switch Remix)

How important is a producer to an artist? Well, the Michael Jackson sound we all love wouldn’t really exist without Quincy Jones. The psychedelic pop genius of Oracle Spectacular wouldn’t be nearly as adventurous without the vision and direction of producer Dave Fridmann. Would there even be Snoop Dogg without Dr. Dre? M.I.A. without Diplo? I mean the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong making music is a collaborative effort, one which like any successful relationship requires compromise and love so it’s silly to say that one person is solely responsible for anything. However, I believe in giving credit where it’s due and having studied many before and after examples, I have to tip my hat off to these guys for helping take these ideas to the next level. Anyways, I was so impressed by this Switch remix that I had to take a moment to show appreciation to all the great producers.

This Florence and the Machine remix is nothing short of amazing. Switch, one of the main producers behind M.I.A.’s groundbreaking Kala, creates a hopeful yet extremely energetic version of this track that will have you feeling good, thinking, partying and dancing all at the same time. I enjoyed the original but I mother truckin’ love this remix, can’t think of a better song for a Monday morning, enjoy.

Florence + The Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) (Switch Remix)

MP3

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Music

Kid CuDi – Man On The Moon: The End of Day

Kid CuDi

It seems like album leaks these days are more exciting then the actual releases, and what a sad story it is. How does the old adage go? If you can’t beat them join them. I guess that explains why Kid CuDi officially announced the leak of his freshmen effort, Man On The Moon: The End of Day. Not sure if you can find the album anymore but I got my hands on a copy so I’d thought I’d share my experience.

At first listen I was off by the monotonous and sometimes dreary effect of CuDi’s delivery, but then I remembered why I like the martian in the first place, lyrics. I started listening to the songs in terms of the writing and instantly had an entirely new and fantastic experience. There’s a good part of the hip hop generation that would say Kid CuDi is weak, soft or corny for addressing certain emotions, I have much empathy for those people, it sucks to be limited in any form of expression or appreciation. Oh gangsta rap, how you’ve brainwashed us all.

The album has some slow moments but those are easily overlooked.  My favorite previously unheard songs are Enter Galactic, Pursuit of Happiness, Alive, Heart of a Lion, CuDi Zone and Up, Up And Away. I feel those capture the melancholic nature of CuDi’s music while maintaining entertainment value, hopefullness and an engaging level of musicality. Two of those tracks, Pursuit of Happiness & Alive, are produced by fellow Skidmore students Evan Mast and Mike Stroud, collectively known as Ratatat. Of course, there are other producers on the album but they didn’t go to Skidmore so I’ll let someone else talk about them.

I’ve only had the album for a few days and have gone back and forth but after spending some quality time with the man on the moon I’ve concluded that I actually do like this album. Again, Kid CuDi is a writer so naturally the best thing about his freshman effort are the lyrics, pay some attention to those and you won’t have a hard time embracing the martian. Here are 3 of my favorite tracks, Space Age Bachelor Pad Music at it’s best, enjoy.

I know it’s easy to imagine, but it’s easier to do. If you can’t do what you imagine, then what is imagination to you?”

Kid CuDi – CuDi Zone

MP3

Kid CuDi – Enter Galactic (Love Connection)

MP3

Kid CuDi – Up, Up And Away (The Wake & Bake Song)

MP3

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Music Video

MGMT – Kids (Official Video) (Nouveu!)

Almost a year of being released as a single MGMT has finally unveiled a new video for their fantastic but extremely overplayed song Kids.

Control yourself, take only what you need from it.”

Those simple yet profound lyrics have been somewhat of a mantra for me since I first heard the song. Having grown up traveling and living a great but somewhat out of the ordinary lifestyle has made it difficult for me to be a part of the whole 9 to 5 institution, these simple words have helped me simplify when habit makes me feel otherwise. This video features Joanna Newson as a young, wealthy and neglecting mother who can’t seem to realize her child has an extraordinary imagination that has him seeing disturbing monsters and funny Eunuchs. Speaking of Eunuchs, I completely broke down laughing when he runs into MGMT dressed as silver Eunuchs singing Kids in the woods. I’m pretty sure this little kid will be tormented for the rest of his life after playing this role and I expect much criticisim to hit MGMT, either way its a cool concept and great execution, enjoy.

Ben Lee – Kids (MGMT Cover)

MP3

The Kooks – Kids (MGMT Cover)

MGMT – Kids (80Kidz Re-Edit)

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Music Remixes

Coldplay, MGMT & Daft Punk – Kids In Technicolor (Knights Remix)

Ménage à trois. Great party music.

Coldplay, MGMT & Daft Punk – Kids In Technicolor (Knights Remix)