Natural Mystics :: Apogee Presents And ‘Cosmic Shores’ Retrospective

Over the past couple of years, the San Marcos-based production company Apogee Presents has put on a long run of successful festival and pop-up events featuring local bands, DJs, artists and vendors.  Recently, they experimented with a new location along the Blanco river (a beautiful backdrop for a stage) in the form of Cosmic Shores, a two-day concert, party and campout.  Videographer Daniel Yates was there with his camera, and the final results definitely capture the spirt of the event.  Check out the video, like, comment and share, and look up Apogee Presents on Facebook and other social media to keep in the loop for the next event!

-chief

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Domestic Terror :: BLXPLTN’s New ‘NO ENGLISH’ Video

BLXPLTN has never been afraid to be as poignant as they are confrontational with their observations on the truth and he state of the nation.  NO ENGLISH, their latest video and the first single off their upcoming sophomore release Children of the Foreign, is a bold statement on how the so called ‘tired and huddled masses’ that America claimed they wanted are now literal fodder at the hands of our political machine.  A system of rule that was set up to protect Americans of all colors and creeds is doing all that it can to keep us at odds with one another as it tears us apart us a nation.  BLXPLTN displays their feelings on the matter via a video dominated by two parallel states : a rousing and emotional performance versus ICE agents chasing members of the band through the woods.  If this is a taste of what’s to come with Children of the Foreign, I’m ready for a major dose of their reality.

-chief

Taking Initiative :: Bjorn Vader Is The Change He Wants To See

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It’s funny how you can know somebody, and yet there will still be room for pleasant and perspective shifting discovery.  Take my longtime friend Bjorn Vader.  I’ve always known he has a deep appreciation for music, along with impeccable taste and an ear for discovery.  I’ve even heard him, at times, mention chops that would make good samples.  What I didn’t know, however, was how much work he was putting in on the production side to not let these ideas go to waste.  Unlike so many who wish they could produce, Bjorn taught himself the tricks of the trade, and has the catalog of production to show it.  Take a dive into his soulful Bandcamp page, tell a friend to do the same, and if you feel inspired to do so, follow in his steps and make some beautiful music of your own.

-chief

Rapid Expansion :: Bobcat Nation Focuses On UFL And The Feral Hogs

The Unicycle Football League (UFL), based out of San Marcos, has become more than just a local novelty… it is a cultural phenomenon that has gained statewide and national recognition, as well as respect from the NFL.  This year, a new team has taken shape in the form of the Feral Hogs.  The team is made up of mostly rookies and new prospects, with quarterback and veteran Erica Jane Meyer attempting to be the glue that can hold the team together.  Check out the piece, share it around, and be sure to support UFL every Sunday at the San Marcos Activity Center, 2:00 PM.

-chief

Blind Faith :: Marrshun Examines ‘Prayer Hands’

While discussing local creatives, Nick Hanover of the OVRLD blog decided to do me a solid and hip me to some unique hip hop in the form of Houston-born, New York-based MC and performance artist Marrshun.  The video Hanover shared with me, Prayer Hands, is a meditation on how traditions in the black community that originated from abuse during times of limited human rights have evolved into a form of passivity that puts faith in an interesting juxtaposition of being valid and an empty gesture.  The whole idea is visually sold in the form of an interpretation of the iconic opening to the Brady Bunch sitcom, with an interesting family portrayed solely by Marsshun.  Based on the merit of this work in a vacuum, I am definitely interested in hearing more songs, seeing more videos, and perhaps checking out a live show one day.  Definitely check it out yourself, as this is the kind of art bound to open up lines of dialogue and deep thought.

-chief

Innocence Lost :: Click-Clack Reemerges With ‘Blue Eyed Black Boy’

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Click-Clack, as anyone who follows this blog knows, is an artist that I respect on both a creative and a personal level.  His drive and skill level are inspirational, and his natural talent and charisma are undeniable.  Like all artists (myself included), however, we deal with the soul-crushing valleys just as wholeheartedly as we do with the soul-lifting peaks that come with being an artist.  For a while, it seemed like Click-Clack was considering a hiatus, if not a full retirement, from the creative side of things, with the occasional single drop or livestream snippet of work serving as both a bittersweet teaser and a signal for hope of new material to come.  Most of us in the peer group knew he was working on new music, and whatever it was would more than likely be dope, but honestly, I was not prepared for the jump in skill level that is Blue Eyed Black Boy.  Produced almost entirely by Ballteam, with a beat by Drae Da Skimask being the outlier, the project serves as the perfect canvas for Click-Clack to not only go off on a plethora of styles, but get extremely personal and reflective with the bars as well.  Add in to the mixture a pitch-perfect cover illustration, in terms of tone, by @ultrashook, and we’ve got a strong contender for an Album of the Year situation here.  Songs like LyorTalmboutPush To Start and Wager are certified bangers, but there really isn’t a dull or slow moment on this album in all honesty.  Usually, I give a suggestion to support, but in this case, I’d say you’d be dumb not to support work of this quality and caliber, so get on it!

-chief

Party Lines :: Dem Beach Boys Strike Again With ‘Down With GOP’

It’s been about a year since Dem Beach Boys, the self proclaimed ‘only conservative hip-hop group in America‘, dropped GOP Ain’t Nuthing to F’ With.  In that time, they’ve been working hard on their debut mixtape, Dem Pet Sounds, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to strike when the time is appropriate.  As Early Voting came to a close, the crew dropped another banger in the form of Down With GOP, an incredibly smart and well-crafted satiric look at polarizing thought that tends to separate us rather than unite us as citizens in the America experiment.  The crew use both style and interpolation-esque references to several classic hip-hop songs, and they even manage to stick a skit in the middle that is (sadly) a bit too relevant in terms of its truth.  There’s nothing to be sad about, though, as this track (and video) not only make you laugh, but think as well.  Go vote, give this video a like and a comment, and share it around so that everyone on your timeline can get all worked up and offended, because that’s the way of things today.

-chief