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from History of Art, Volume 5: The Spirit of The Forms by Elie Faure
It is our differences that unite us, because we approach one another in order to study them, and because in studying them we discover our resemblances.
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Following their coronation as Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards, Black Pumas release their second single “Fire,” the follow-up to their Song Of The Year-winning “Black Moon Rising.”

Black Pumas is led by the creative partnership between Grammy Award-winning guitarist / producer Adrian Quesada and 27-year-old songwriter Eric Burton. Burton is a relative newcomer who arrived in Austin in 2015 after busking his way across the country from Los Angeles, while Quesada has a storied reputation for playing in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Brownout while also producing acclaimed projects like 2018’s ‘Look At My Soul: The Latin Shade Of Texas Soul.’

After the two connected via friends in the Austin scene, they began to collaborate on a new sound that transmutes soul into something idiosyncratically modern. Reminiscent of Ghostface Killah and Motown in equal measure, this original sound ensured that Black Pumas’ weekly residency at C-Boys quickly became “the hottest party in town” (Austin-American Statesman).

released June 21, 2019

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I slip from a place that I call divine

When I’m sharing pieces of my mind

To those who may be simple, mankind.

They don’t see the message underlined.

It used to baffle me when they missed everytime.

I was correct for switching writings offline.

A lesser frequency throws shade over my shine.

Calculating as I’m gliding up my path.

I have the most to lose when I do the math.

The most to choose when my options are stacked.

Ungrateful to the ones who have my back.

I’m rich with other worlds to be exact.

You’re only poor when you think about what you lack.

When emotions flare and your person feels attacked

Meditate, a true life hack.

I for one look too much at my past.

Excuses like, I learn from the things that didn’t last.

At some point you have to say that was that

And refuse to do CPR on lifelines that are flat.

I vowed to not touch a dead body,

So what’s the difference

About you killing us all along.

I slipped from Heaven

Prioritizing big hearts over tiny souls

Lucky for me

It was a short route home.

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“My Life Is Incomplete Without You” – DARRELL BANKS

This demo is one of the last five songs Darrell Banks recorded, two months before he was shot and killed in early 1970.

It’s impossible to know what a more complete version might have added, or subtracted. The rhythm’s a bit too busy, there’s barely any guitar, and the vocal’s not yet assured, as though Banks is still figuring out which words should go where. If this were the first Darrell Banks song I’d ever heard, I probably wouldn’t have given it five stars.

But it was not the first Darrell Banks song I ever heard, so I heard in it all the things that had made me fall in love with his music in the first place, and which made me crave every last song he’d ever recorded. Maybe because it’s a demo, the five star bits here mostly occur in between the actual lyrics – listen to the way he growls, “Oh baby!” before he launches into the title refrain, or how he interjects phrases such as “Listen to me!” whenever he’s got something to express but no official words with which to do so.

I think those moments stand out so prominently because everything else here is still so tentative. And that makes them fascinating – it’s as though the feelings pre-exist the song, and the song is merely a mechanism to get them from inside of Darrell Banks out into the world.

Even when the song isn’t yet working, those emotions are.

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