Track 12: For the Birds

(This post is about the 12th track of the album Goodbye Party, titled “For the Birds”. Click here to stream or download it free.)

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving y’all. 😉

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Track 11: Goodbye Party

(This post is about the 11th track and namesake of the album Goodbye Party. Click here to stream or download it free.)

 

 

So I know I’ve got skills… but that ain’t never meant that I’m allowed to live in the peace I want, but I’ve got so much to give… and I’ve got so much to sit down about just to take in.

But right at this second, I’m swearing to everyone; you’ll only see me standing ever again.

Never again will I bend to the wind, blend in, or hurt a friend.

And no, I ain’t lying, ’cause it aint a resolution.

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Track 10: Wandering Claustrophobia (ft. Open Mike Eagle)

(This post is about track 10 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Wandering Claustrophobia (ft. Open Mike Eagle)”Click here to stream or download it free.)

 

 

First of all, I need to direct a huge shout out at the brilliant Open Mike Eagle for hopping on this track with me. Mike is probably my favorite currently active hip-hop artist, runs a hilarious and fascinating podcast, put out what I would call the best indie-rap release of 2015, and is currently in the process of dropping another album right now.


 

In my notes about the song Famous Last Words, I spent some time on the theory that human beings cling on to organized religions in an attempt to feel a sense of connection. I believe that this is the same reason so many of us are attracted to drugs and alcohol, not to mention the countless other addictions that run rampant in this day and age (here’s another song of mine that explores this concept in depth). Social networking, video-games, entertainment, porn, medication, the list goes on… We thrive when we feel a sense that we are connected.

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Track 9: Run For Color

(This post is about track 9 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Run For Color”Click here to stream or download it free.)

Before I got heavy into theater at my highschool, I was on the cross-country team. I wouldn’t say running has ever been a big passion for me in life, but I do have a serious fondness for the altered state of consciousness that so many refer to as the “runner’s high“. I’ve experienced similar states of consciousness through dance, yoga, meditation, performance, freestyle, and plenty more, and have been curious about these phenomena since I first noticed how much better I feel when I come out the other side of one of them.

What I’m speaking about has become a pretty trendy topic in recent years, so there’s a good chance you’ve heard mention of the concept of “flow” or “flow-state” before. I’ve been curious about flow for a long time, and have come to see it as an essential ingredient in personal transformation.

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Track 8: Melting Clocks (ft. eLoda)

(This post is about track 8 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Melting Clocks (ft. eLoda)”. Click here to stream or download it free.)

Of the wide range of mindfulness-related topics that show up in my teaching, music, conversation and life, the one that I’m probably most interested in is the question of how to most skillfully navigate through the inherent peaks and valleys of being human.

I’ve heard it said so many times (on top of having learned for myself) that although we don’t have any control over what happens to us in life, we have complete control in how we choose to respond to what happens.

Time after time, I’ve learned that the key to surviving (let alone thriving) through this constant progression of emotions is not to try to manipulate them myself, but to allow for whatever comes up to run its course naturally.

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Track 7: Built For Two

(This post is about track 7 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Built For Two”. Click here to stream or download it free.)

Now, this is a concept that may very well be familiar to a lot of you, but of every lesson I’ve learned over the past few years of studying mindfulness and yoga, the most potent one has probably been around the serious power of intention.

Do you remember when that book “The Secret was EVERYWHERE!?

I believe it came out in 2006? The thing became a pop-culture phenomenon seemingly overnight. Probably turned a lot of people onto ‘new-age’ type of ideology for the first time. Praise be to Jebus (/sarcasm). The whole philosophy behind the thing is a new-thought concept known as the law of attraction (simply put: “like attracts like”). It’s the idea that positive thinking will create a positive life for you, while negative thinking will create a negative life.

If you do a little poking around the internet about this whole realm of thought, it won’t take you long to discover that the ideas packaged up and presented in this cute (and controversial – for its ingrained naiveté) little publication are nothing new. The world of neuroscience has known for a long time thatthe neurons that fire together wire together (you may remember my mention of this in a recent post), or, if you prefer, practice makes perfect.

Long story short, there’s nothing magical about the fact that if I spend almost all of my time thinking about how dope of a rapper I am, I’m inevitably going to grow into being the dopest rapper. (Or, at least a lot closer to it.)

Why, you ask?

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Track 6: Famous Last Words

(This post is about track 6 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Famous Last Words”. Click here to stream or download it free.)

The word religion derives from the latin word ligare, meaning “bind” or “connect“. Add that handy prefix on the front, and you’ve got yourself a contemporary english word that might mean something along the lines of “reconnection“, but instead refers to a terrifying monstrosity of human construction that will put a bad taste in the mouths of many of my generational peers, purely by mention of the word.

I apologize if that came off as a little cynical. Bear with me here.

Shortly before his retirement, I had a great conversation with the senior minister from the congregational church I went to as a kid. He mentioned that churches are having a more and more difficult time drawing new members in. Young people these days seem to be ‘over it’, so to speak. In his words; “We’re in a time where more people are identifying as ‘spiritual‘, and far less are identifying as ‘religious.”

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Track 5: Jones’ Lotus Harvest Block Party (ft. deM atlaS)

(This post is about track 5 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Jones’ Lotus Harvest Block Party (ft. deM atlaS”. The song has a few dirty words in it. Click here to stream or download the clean version.)

Throughout the few years between my having completed this album and finally emancipating it from its sad life in captivity while shelved, I had the chance to play it for a few friends whose taste I hold in high esteem. In case you’re not a musician yourself, you should know that this is a common and sacred ritual for recording artists of all genres.

The inner-circle screening is important because it serves as an incredibly valuable and intimate connection for two individuals who are most undoubtedly far more passionate about and fascinated with every aspect of their craft than is probably healthy. It’s an opportunity for two members of a rare and alienated culture to be at home for a short time, and communicate in the only language they were born fluent in.

…Not to mention, it’s an important opportunity for an artist to receive some honest feedback from someone whose opinion they respect.

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Track 4: Thank You Letter

(This post is about track 4 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Thank You Letter”. The song has a few dirty words in it. Click here to stream or download the clean version.)

If you’ve already listened through this song, I’m sure you can imagine that this is another one that feels really strange to be releasing this much later in life. Three years can make for some very significant shifts in mindset.

First of all, I want to note that my lyrics in this track kick off with homage to the artist who most inspired me as a rap-infatuated youngster coming up in the Twin Cities. The wise man that once said “it ain’t all good, but it’s all good enough-“ was the same inspiration I briefly mentioned in my notes for “Take Two”, a fellow known to indie rap fans as Eyedea.

One of the most important teachings contained in yoga and mindfulness happens to be essentially the same message that Eyedea’s track “Smile” is built around. This is a sentiment that I teach about a lot in workshops and yoga classes, and it’s definitely what I hope can be gleaned from this track.

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Track 3: Take Two (ft. Kristoff Krane)

(This post is about track 3 from the album Goodbye Party, titled “Take Two ft. Kristoff Krane”)


Take Two is a song that I made with my good friend and mentor Kristoff Krane.  It’s about mortality, memory, and legacy.

Regardless of what beliefs you may have about the afterlife, I think it’s objectively fair to say that a person’s presence in this world goes through a significant shift once they exhale for the last time.

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