Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Holy Shit it's 2014


So I wanted to take some time this morning to shine some light on some cool shit that has happened recently. The New Year is upon us, and in this winter time we are living off of the fields of dreams we toiled in the summer and the harvest we received in the fall. I hope that you create and shape this year to be truly great for you, but don't get lost in the semantics. Every moment is a new moment yet every one is in the same present, so become present and take control. 

Heres some cool new things that have been happening:



Lifted Mindz has posted our first Mixtape of the year! Lifted Leakage II is the culmination tape of some of the artists that we work with and vibe with mostly around the Twin Cities but also globally. There are some great artists on this tape, and you can catch it all for free here:



http://liftedmindzlmz.bandcamp.com/album/lifted-leakage-ii-headz-collaborate 

Art By Dustin Reisdorph & Logoz the Kritick

It features artists like Ecid, Counter Culture, Anitek, Ej, Tyler Nelson and a lot more. This tape was curated by Logoz the Kritick who also helped design the logo with the wonderful Dustin Reisdorph and they both did an amazing job. The tape features some never before heard stuff from the Lifted Mindz family and its free as fuck to download so do it up!

Also, the end of the year marked the Soundcloud releases of Eloda's Self titled tape as well as my Second solo mixtape Too Much Moonshine in the Matrix. Cop em both for free here:

https://soundcloud.com/optimystic-lifted-mindz/sets/too-much-moonshine-in-the-1

https://soundcloud.com/eloda-1/sets/eloda

Online download is free, but for 5 bucks I'll hand deliver personalized physical copies to anywhere in the TC metro area or will ship globally.


Also, check out the sweet shit our friends are doing!

Big Zach & Useful Jenkins 



Heres a video of Big Zach & Useful Jenkins, some local TC cats that have been on the high and wise tip for generations of Minnesota Music. Zach's lyrics are incredible and down to earth while floating through the milky way and its real cool to see them do their thing and get love for it. When's the last time you saw a mandolin solo in a hip hop song?

deM atlaS, Bomba de Luz & Xela



My friends Lydia, Josh and LMZ DJ Xela came through with this track during what will HOPEFULLY be the coldest day of the year! Shits this happy sad jazzy number. Josh recently got picked up by Rhymesayers Ent. and shit has been popping off for that dude. It's good to see the homies still chilling and shitting tracks even with the limelight burning. Stay gold friends.

(*sidenote- Dem just loaned me a translation of the Tao Te Ching. If you've never heard of this book, Lao Tzu, or Taoism I highly suggest you check it out.)


Kristoff Krane

http://kristoffkrane.bandcamp.com/album/i-freestyle-life-2005-2013




Kristoff Krane has released his 8 year anthology. It is filled with 44 tracks of great music from one of the masters of the freestyle art and a pioneer of folky, lovey, feel good, hip hop "for people who need to cry." Listening to Krane is always an evolving experience and can lead to intense introspection, smiles, and tears. It's really great and hes doing a lot of awesome things for the community. If you support the album, you also get a mini doc of him filmed by PCP, another artist I highly recommend looking into.

For some reason, as I listen to this album my cat keeps harmonizing with Kristoff Krane and now he just jumped up to jam with me. Way to move the feline spirit Chris.

SO SHIT!
We're 8 days in and its already looking like a great year for Minnesota music. I'll try to pop back on here as much as possible and metephorically pee my name into the massive mountain of metaphorical snow that is the internet.

PEACE

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feel the Flow Now

All things flow. 


That is the grand eternal peace in which we can rest easy within. Nothing real can be destroyed and  nothing unreal exists. Matter becomes energy and energy becomes matter and every piece of everything around you has existed since the dawn of time and is only in its current form because of the circumstances at the moment.

Water turns to ice, Dig? 


Every single soul is just a raindrop falling from the sky, one day we all hit the ground and die, but home is in the oceans and floating round the world so we all rise up just to fall down. 

I love the use of water in this video. From the heat to the snow, they're just making the best of it. Having a good time, and feeling the flow.

So much of our stress and depression comes from not realizing this basic rule of the universe. We get stuck in attachment of having things a certain way, when really, everything is naturally growing and changing, often into something better than what we had in mind in the first place.

Especially here in MN where we have the unpredictability of a 6 month long winter with a patchy spotted summer that will often jump to the 100's. EVERYDAY someone is complaining about the weather. Whether too hot or too cold or too rainy or "too nice" and they have to work....

All of this is attachment to our ideal vision of how things should be. Nothing will ever work as your ideal vision intends, and that is OK! In fact, you can't possibly want something before you know it exists...

So those circumstances that throw a curve ball into your day or way of thinking could in fact be blessings in disguise.

The only way to find out is to make the BEST of everything, ride the wave, and Feel the flow. 

LOVE!

ps. Check out the latest from the Lifted Mindz Fam: 
http://www.liftedmindzlmz.bandcamp.com/

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Let's be uncertain for a second.

No really,
Let's be uncertain for a second.

I think that's when the best stuff happens...

Isn't it weird how the wrong people are always certain? It's always that dude whose CERTAIN that the world is going to end or CERTAIN that their fantasy football team is going to win or is CERTAIN that their neighborhood is the best in Minnesota that is rubbing you the wrong way.

Maybe it's because uncertainty is scary, and not many people are willing to be brave on a regular basis.

Also, there's a distinct alpha-male/power aspect that goes with being certain. With KNOWING. Like you are the sole person that is blessed with a certain knowledge. It makes it easier to judge, and categorize and lead and argue when you are certain. You don't have to be moral to be certain, hell you don't even have to be right!

And when you don't know....

Well no one is going to pay for that advice! No will put that in a textbook, or on a resume! NOT being certain is just about the biggest faux paux you can commit in our society!

GOD FORBID asking a question!
GOD FORBID having a doubt, or a new idea that may or may not work.
Or hell, even a hypothesis!

no.... it seems that there is only room for those that are certain. and guess what, no one is.


The only people who are certain are paid to be that way or are trying to be paid because they are that way.

I'm certain of it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

LifterFaller

Culture is a big word.


We are constantly and automatically analyzing and making judgments about other peoples cultures. Whether it's down the street, across the country or even on different planets. We learn this from the process we instinctively go through to map our environment internally with our fears and gauge how well we trust our environment and how we can safely interact with it. This simple process is the root of xenophobia, homophobia, racism, and many other fear based reactions people have to the differences we have in between each other.

As a swim instructor, I work with children and get to see their fears and their reactions to them all the time. I see them make justifications, excuses and distractions in order to make themselves feel in control and safe when their in the water.

It is only when they free themselves from their defense mechanisms and develop trust with me and the rest of their environment that they actually learn to swim. That's usually when they start having fun too.
Artwork by my lovely sister Hannah Fligel


With the development of the ego, people have forgotten their higher interconnectedness with all nature. With the development of language in the form of words, we have forgotten truer languages. Many of us no longer hear the whispers of the wind. We treat our animals like objects, our environment like an object, and this makes it easy for us to treat each other in the same way.

You are the river, the fish, the bait, the fisherman and your children will be the same. No matter can truly be  destroyed or created. We are all part of an infinite recycling process and we're only always in the middle.

Nothing real can be destroyed, nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of god.

If we work daily to be mindful of these facts then we can begin to be aware of our own culture. The inability to free ourselves from the chains our minds, cultures, and habits create is why we are plagued with endless wars, obesity and addiction. We have many addictions we don't always allow ourselves to see.

By the way, I put out an album on my 20th birthday the other day.

Here- http://besoreallmz.bandcamp.com/album/sympathetic-vibrations

Do something fun today. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Not Another BOMBA interview :)

I'm not sure what you believe in.


Chances are, no one is. But that's fine. I like to believe I live a very blessed life, or maybe a lucky one. Maybe it's actually shitty one, or maybe its pretty average. Regardless I think that it often falls into my own hands to decide.

Today I feel pretty (lucky/blessed/whatever) because I had the realization that my couch often becomes a net for some of the greatest artists of the area and if you ask me, of our time. Today I happened to come downstairs to the members of one of 2012's biggest break out bands in the Twin Cities: Bomba De Luz.

They are already featured in many various interviews that are probably a lot more structured and formal and you can learn a lot about all of the cool things they are doing. Here are some of them:

http://blogs.citypages.com/gimmenoise/2012/07/bomba_de_luz_rhymesayers_interview.php

http://garagemusicnews.wordpress.com/tag/bomba-de-luz/

Here is some of their music:

http://www.facebook.com/Bombadeluz

http://www.npr.org/event/music/160943458/bomba-de-luz-high-school-heroes

http://bombadeluz.bandcamp.com/


Now when I happened to come downstairs this morning, Lydia Hoglund made the complaint that the interviews they were getting were seeming redundant and there was not a lot of depth being reached. In the glossed over wasteland of the media today, the nearly lost art of journalism is a big problem to me. So I will attempt to ride the gravy train of honesty to the pearly gates of wisdom and share that experience with you.

I'm sitting down with three of the four members; Evan Slack (guitar), Lydia Hoglund (guitar/vox) and Gavin Taylor-Stark (bass) as well as Judah Mccoy of Crossjoints http://crossxjoints.bandcamp.com/album/cxj-tape and also the drummer for Allan Kingdom http://allankingdomforever.com/. Check all of this shit out because these kids are all doing really cool things.

Our conversation started out by discussing interesting people from other countries we've "celebrated our green culture" with and late night trips to white castle. You'll have to ask these stories from them yourself because soon after we started we reached some interesting places in the BDL universe.

I began by asking them what Bomba De Luz Really meant to them and what role it played in their Lives.

Lydia: I think that Bomba De Luz is... my sanity... it's what... maintains my existance. It's less a band and becmoing more a new way of life. I can really express myself, I can step on stage and really be the MOST myself. Otherwise i'd feel like a LOSER :) It's becoming the reason I want to walk the planet.
Gavin: It it the nuts and bolts of my life. Because I'm such good friends with the people I play music with some of the bigger relationships of my life are because of the band. Bomba De Luz is the biggest branch and it effects all of my other priorities.

Me: That's really cool that you guys feel that way, what are some of the bigger changes you've felt in your lives because of the band, internally and externally?

Evan: It's taught me a lot about being punctual and actually really caring about something. There's no show that I'm not looking forward to. It's taught me there's things that you can change your behavior for out of sheer enjoyment.
Lydia: That's so true! We played at the ice house last night with Brian Laidlaw and Chastity Brown. Brian Laidlaw actually used to be my teacher (at Mcnally Smith). It's crazy because now I get to... Share the love! It's like I went to YOUR songwriting class and wrote THESE songs after what you taught me.

Me: Are you feeling yourself more like a teacher or student now that you are rising up into a new role? What is the balance like between those relationships?

Lydia: It's definitely both dude. I'm constantly learning and I am always a student. You know when you're young and you feel like you're lesser than everyone? It's like now I'm finally at a place where I'm confident in my existence and we are learning from each other. We're way less afraid to talk to other artists now. We feel like we're being taken more seriously but we're also humbled and honored because we feel that way.

Me: What are some of the more fulfilling and important relationships you've developed because of this? Any that you didn't think that were possible?

Lydia: Honestly the Current and Lauren (BDL Manager) and... just SO MANY local artists!
Gavin: Obviously social media has made it so a band like us can communicate with anyone in the industry pretty easily. If you have some kind of record of what you do and it's good and people appreciate it, it will spread.
My favorite thing was going to Soundset in 7th and 8th grade and now there's acually a high possibility that I am going to be able to do that. I work so hard but it's actually almost unintentional. It happens because i just.... love it so much. And people see that so they say, that's cool lets do something together and fucking kill it! the POS thing is definitely one of the weirdest and coolest.
But we're actually friends, and i genuinely respect what they are doing and want to learn. It's so hard to show that and balance it with people thinking you're clinging on to these larger artists.

POS, he said fuck it i'm going to push it and just have fun and expanded and exploded. He says: Lydia write what you want, fuck what I think, I don't give a fuck if anyone else likes my lyrics because I like my lyrics.

I love Dessa and her lyrics so much. After one of her shows she told me to avoid adverbs at all costs and put as much imagery and visuals as possible, and Joe Horton said that too. Though sometimes I think that things might even be going too fast. There is a lot of pressure coming from all over the place.
Evan: That being said, we are still trying to expand as fast and as much as possible so that hopefully one day this can be ALL that we're doing.
Also, thats one of my favorite things about the Twin Cities. People are recognized for true artistry.


Me: What do you guys want to get out of everything that your doing now and this entire experience?

Gavin: This is how I choose to learn in life. Everything you do in life is you learning. If you learn the most from a certain area it will probably either be a huge hobby of yours or grow into a career.
Lydia:  We're really trying to just say fuck it, lets push it now. No matter what I'm just going to go ham. There's no way to do anything without risking anything.
Though sometimes I think that things might even be going too fast. There is a lot of pressure everywhere.
Evan: That being said we are still trying to expand as fast and as much as possible so that hopefully one day this can be ALL that we're doing. We want people to hear us and want to see where it goes.
Lydia: Yeah but even if I have to work some shitty job and still be able to play shows at night I would love my life.

Gavin: But It doesn't have to be shitty though, you know what I mean?
Lydia: Yeah positivity!
Gavin: Don't force the positivity just realize it. 

Lydia: What really made me believe and be inspired to be a musician was Rapfam. It was this amazing creative energy and all of a sudden we were all at each others shows and supporting each other.

Me: Whats the funnest shit that you guys do?

Lydia: Band Practice when we fuck around and make our songs really hilarious. Also on stage when you're lacking energy and you make a conscious effort to push yourself and make yourself REALLY feel good.
Gavin: What I think about that is that whenever I get in a bad mood on stage, I just let myself fall into the groove and that becomes my antidote and I began to really start to feel it.

Me: This has been an amazing conversation. Can't wait to hear more from you guys. I need to go to the bathroom and we've been going on for a while, any closing thoughts?

Lydia: Yeah me too...

Me: Does all of Bomba De Luz want to share the toilet?

Everyone: Yes.



-Namaste 



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Calling in Sick to work because you Don't have any Gas Money

Life is full of Paradoxes. Paradi?

So is this video of Dustin Thomas playing a beautiful song in a south Minneapolis Church. I think its really an amazing video. Dustin is one of those songwriters that is instantly timeless (another paradox?). I feel like his words were written a thousand years ago yet they could be specific enough to be about my own life. That is what great songwriting does. That's why no ones going to stop listening to Bob Dylan any time soon. That's why no one is going to remember who the Jonas Brothers are in five years. Do you even remember Now?


Once one is able to unweave some of the paradoxes that confront a person and cause so much cognitive dissonance and inner conflict he can begin to be free. This is the point of meditation, to slip past tension your physical and material wants create with the state of your spirit.

Meditation does not have to be practiced by sitting there chanting ancient mantras in full lotus. It can be achieved in conversation, snowboarding, playing the piano, making love, working your job, washing a dish, reading a blog.

Actually I take that back, it CAN'T be achieved. Because there is no achievement. There is no end goal. there is no start or finish or now or later loser winner about it.
Picture that.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'm listening to...#1

Listening to http://happyimpresent.bandcamp.com/?group_id=0 by the dude you know you've heard about Metasota.

This is one of those albums that the lyricism is so good that its hard to be able to think your own thoughts while listening because you want to hear every word. That's the thing about hip hop music....

If you strip away the beat...

If you strip away the production and the dope effects and "that crazy pitch shifty thing" people often so get caught up in all you got is

THE WORDS.

That's why I love doing this, I'm just freestyling without having to rhyme and being able to post links for you guys to let you get a closer look at my thought process.

Because maybe it makes you... think or mad or run or fucked up or realize that the internet sucks or that you want to write yourself or whatever that thing is

It's that universal OH MY GOD feeling when something plucks a heartstring and you realize that this everyday shuffle pattern your stuck in is meaningless and THIS is what truly matters. THIS internal, intangible beautiful thing that we create between each other when we create each other.

That's when the WORDS come in.

Because to a human, there is no sweeter sounding instrument than a human voice,
and to a human, there is no truer sounding vibration than that of someone speaking your language.
and that MC or that opera singer or Frank Sinatra or your girlfriend singing in the shower reverberates within  you in a way that creates this internal paradise where we can understand each other and stand together and be one. You become the words you hear when you believe in the words you hear. And you believe those words when they speak of the things you deal with on a daily basis. That daily shuffle pattern you sometimes forget to get sick of.

Poetry is not a lost art.

That's why people are never going to stop listening to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z43SmPpMVQc

or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P51FLeSq_k

Because after all of the glitz and glam of the hoi polloi fades away all your left with is what's honest.
Love is honest. No one's honest all the time these days, and we spend so much energy trying to pierce the heart of what's real and what isn't. We are surrounded by the ocean of Samsara and addicted to our illusion's. So often I have a hard time trying to pull honesty out of myself in times that it is most important to do so.

When you hear something honest, something true, you fall in love with it. You feel one with it.
That's why our words are so powerful. (Though action's can be honest too and are even more powerful)

So Meta is honest. The beat's are beautifully minimalistic and weird in a slimy way that reminds you of the cosmos, and they are reminiscent of shit like Homeboy Sandman  (who writes for the huffpost sometimes and says some pretty insightful shit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/homeboy-sandman/industry-lie-4080-not-bad_b_2000515.html )
as well as Shabazz Palaces. That's the west coast, midwest and east coast all having characters rise up with similar styles that people are really vibin with and enjoying and finding fulfillment with.

That is the new generation that we are rising up in.
It's not that the east is doing something different from the west, but there are just people from all over tapping into the medium in similar, astonishing ways. Whether it's Japan or Duluth. That's the internet. That's what our grandparents didn't have and what we have at our fingertips 24/7.


The Times are always changing.

So listen to good music: