All posts by swaggerless

A blog for strugglin' artists. Follow swaggerless.org

Fill In The SADLIBS: Exclusive Track Leak [LISTEN]

It’s rare you see one name in the credits for composing, writing, recording, mixing & mastering a project; it’s even rarer to hear all these components done well. SADLIBS is the fourth official album created entirely by Lucid Optics, from playing instruments and writing lyrics to mastering every decibel. The album is centered around a theme of equivalent exchange, or the idea that gaining something means you will lose something else of equal value. In this case, fulfilling the goal of touring took priority over a strenuous personal life. The beats match the bittersweet feel but musicianship is more prevalent than before. Along with recording bass guitar for the first time, Lucid implements more structure and tempo changes blending elements of Hip Hop, Indie, Folk, and Punk.

Below is the first full track leaked off the album:

The tour

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 The tour that led up to forging a family, touring again, finishing the album, and starting Inkiscape was a month-long escapade across the US in Knowmadic’s 2-door sedan. Lucid was accompanied by Airospace, Knowmadic, and freelance-photographer Zach Avila. It was booked entirely by themselves and they successfully played over ten shows in six states. They played in taverns and dive bars, formed new friendships, woke up on strange floors, and drove ten hours to do it all over again. With the success of the Drop Everything And Live tour, Optics immediately began booking the next. It would be mostly the same crew on the Day x Day tour, this time joined by Cauzndefx on a similar route in half the time. It was an arduous mission, and most nights after performing were spent driving between 10 and 22 hours to the next city they played.

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The shows have been going so well that round 3 is around the corner. All Dreams End / Day x Day II launches 5/29, beginning in San Jose, CA and goes as far as Colorado. If you see gaps in their tour route and want to see them play in your city make sure to contact inkiscapebooking@gmail.com

5/29 – San Jose, CA @ Kev’s House

5/30 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Trunk Space

6/5 – Colorado Springs, CO  @ Flux Capacitor

6/7 – Boise, ID @ Tom Grainey’s

6/12 – Los Angeles @ White Oak Cheers

To hear more from Lucid Optics, find him on Facebook, Twitter,YouTubeBandcamp, and Bigcartel.

SADLIBS by Lucid Optics releases 4/20

 

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Notes of an Artistic Mad Man: Art & The Red Carpet

…We’re finally done with the season of the Red Carpet where commercial artists of note walk down the valley of blood to collect baubles of notoriety and accomplishment while wearing fashion and bling that’s worth more than it would cost to feed a small starving nation. The celebrities pose as they walk a walk of commercial success and smile ingenuously as they make off the cuff but mirror auditioned remarks and verbally blather about their cutting edge work in the disciplines of music, movies, plays and television. They walk in choreographed cool, suave and sophisticated gaits, dodging questions of “who are your wearing” and other banal remarks of the paparazzi laced this year with wicked whispers of the aroma of patchouli and cannabis…

…Three grueling months of the Golden Globes, Sag, Writer’s Guild, Grammy’s, Emmy’s, Oscars, Tony’s, MTV and my favorite Nickelodeon awards assault our senses with what we want to be but are not and will never be. Three troubling months of award giving and self-congratulations of the entertainment industry, giving itself props that we watch, hoping beyond hope that someone will do something crazy or embarrass him or herself for our general entertainment…

…The posed self-promotion and self-imposed cool was started this year at the Golden Globes, where the Cagney and Lacey of the awards ceremony circuit, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, always a dynamic duo added a sanguine satirical North Korean Female Comrade who was supposed to represent the already forgotten movie that bruised the ego of the regime and it’s fearless leader. Then it was up to George Clooney to bring some class to the ceremonies, being presented with some type of lifetime achievement award; his thanks was a nails on a chalkboard soliloquy about his new love and wife as if everybody didn’t already know about the capitulation of his bachelor heart after he rented the city of Venice for the wedding…

…Next up the Grammys and the annual spoiled rant of Kanye West, “I hate the Grammys but I love coming, performing and taking home the awards when they’re given to me or any of my friends and if they’re not, I’ll tell you exactly what creativity is and why I am the only one who get’s it.” To bad his music is so good he can get away with his sandbox tirades. In fact the Grammys seemed to define the lack of humility of musical artists except for Beck and Paul McCartney, who was shooed away by a despicable cameraman so he could get a shot of Taylor Swift dancing; the Mac ducked kindly and then went on to play without fanfare with Kanye…

…Then came the Grand Daddy of all the award ceremonies, The Oscars, but by the time they rolled around, who really gave a shit. If you didn’t know exactly who was going to win you were probably on a desert island in the South Pacific for the last three months. It has become quite suspect that the usual band of players were nominated and won Oscars being that there are over 50,000 films produced yearly but at the Oscars it is always the same type of film, produced by the same people, directed by the same people and acted by the same the people that are nominated and win? In the end though there was light at the end of the creative tunnel of self-promotion; it seems all the award shows took a dive in their ratings. This threw a monkey wrench into the entertainment industry’s great American popularity contests…

…But let me come back to where I began; The Red Carpet. Why a Red Carpet? Why not a gold, platinum or diamond studded carpet?   They seem far more apropos but it has always been red and always will be red. It has been passed down from the ancient Greek play, Oresteia. A trilogy written by, Aeschylus, about the return of a war hero, Agamemnon, from the Trojan Wars. His wife, Clytemnistra, a cheating, devious woman lays down a red carpet (could have been purple or an amalgamation of both) for her husband whom she insists should not touch the ground. Agamemnon defers not wanting to anger the Gods but capitulates at his wife’s entreats.  Well as things go, mocking the Gods wasn’t such a smart thing to do in ancient Greece and Agamemnon was in the end murdered by his wife and her lover. I’ll leave you ponder that and all that was this year’s award season…

-C.C. Long

Bio: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books
http://www.amazon.com/Our-Man-Manhattan-C-C-Long-ebook/product-reviews/B00JU281FA
http://www.amazon.com/Puget-Sound-Stories-C-Long/dp/192935522X

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When “Bad Thang$” sound good: New Music From Mula Kkhan [Listen]

A message came in from Mula Kkhan, a 23 year old hip-hop artist from the west side of Indianapolis. He is part of a local rap association called See The World Collective. This group of rappers promote not only local music and good vibes, but also share their inspiring stories and philosophies with people that hear their music. The song “Bad Thang$” is derived from the artist’s personal experience and battles he faced over the past year. It is a true testimony of where he was to where he is going.

 


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 To hear more music from Mula Kkhan, find him on IG, Twitter, and Soundcloud.
Special thanks to Mula Kkhan for sharing.

 

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Rhys Langston and The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I [Listen]

A message came in from L.A. rapper/producer Rhys Langston. He wanted to share his latest album, “The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I”– sounds delicious.

Rhys Langston is a rapper/producer from Los Angeles, CA.  His instrumental work ranges from dark, electronic and bass-heavy compositions to crunchy golden-era-esque drums with simple but layered sample work.   Lyrically merging a certain West Coast eccentricity and boom-bap-influenced percussive poetics, in some ways he is stylistically transient, a reflection of his residence on both east and west coasts— and also perhaps, of his (mostly) unconscious fracturing of racial preconceptions by means of the racially ambiguous person through which he transmits his breed of hip hop.  His dense verses span his personal experiences and convictions through lenses of racial politics, trans-atlantic history, social alienation, and the occasional off-kilter name drop.  Langston’s live performances see energy surged renditions of his songs with the occasional insert of an epigram poem. 

Visual art and writing have always been constant means of expression for him.  In addition to his music he continues to paint (often designing the artwork for his own albums) and write short stories and what he coins “pre-post-racial poems” (non sequiturs that he randomly blurts out during his performances).  

His latest project, The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I, released in October of 2014, stars the regulars of Langstónia, Tercero Washington, Resident Harebrain, Calculus Johnson and Muckraker Jones in a series of audio short films.  It sees Rhys Langston’s first official collaboration, one with Netherlands based producer Papppa, who provides 5 out of 8 of the instrumentals (the other 3 being Langston’s own compositions).  Throughout, Rhys Langston’s deconstructionist lyricism is grounded in and shaped by the soft-focus aesthetic of the instrumentals.  Furthermore, short and concise in tracks and album length, Chocolate Davis draws from a literary tradition of epigram poems and challenges the listener to define what constitutes a “full length” release.  

To hear more music from Rhys Langston, find him on Bandcamp, Twitter, and Facebook.

Special thanks to Rhys for sharing.

 

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I have no ambition to be mainstream: Uncovering the layers of artist Knut van Brijs

A message came in from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina by artist Knut van Brijs. He shares his story and point of view through layers of collage.

Making collages, I get a chance to play with decontextualization by breaking common patterns.

Steampunk Kathrina

My art makes a statement by creating different points of view on many social or personal issues in my environment.

Clarissa on my mind

Experimenting with materials takes me on many visual adventures inspired by spontaneous brainstorming and Dada art.

Mind stalker

Each collage tells a different story, often as a social and artistic critique of the zeitgeist.

Mondiana

My art lives in the shadows.

Narcissa 001

I have no ambition to be mainstream. I am an underground rat eating the mainstream, choking and provoking the bourgeoisie.

– Knut van Brijs

To see more work and learn more about Knut van Brijs, find him on Behance.
Special thanks to Knut van Brijs for sharing.

 

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The Fox Brings No News: New Music Video by Lucid Optics [Watch]

What do you do when you receive a surprise message from indie rapper Lucid Optics on an early Sunday morning? You post that s#!* immediately!

Back from the Day X Day Tour and already releasing his new music video, “The Fox Brings No News,” his hustle never stops. Enjoy his work (ethic).


To hear more from Lucid Optics, find him on Facebook, Twitter,YouTubeBandcamp, and Bigcartel.

Special thanks to Lucid Optics for sharing.

 

FOLLOW SWAGGERLESS®:  Like what you see? Subscribe to Swaggerless.org for the latest content and support the “strugglin” artist.