Friday, August 29, 2008

Intro to Cinema: Tropic Frequel

-So I'd heard from a few friends that Tropic Thunder was not funny. I accepted this as the likely truth because I FUCKING HATE BEN STILLER OR ANYTHING BEN STILLER RELATED (except Heavyweights and Happy Gilmore.) But then I had some free movie passes so I saw the film anyway. Short story shorter, the movie was hilarious. With everyone being hyped on "intelligent" comedies these days, I was in dire need of some senseless, outrageously big Hollywood comedy. It was also a lot more daring (language wise) than I expected from a Stiller movie. So see the movie if you haven't. But that's not why I'm posting, I'm posting because the filmmakers have released this fake documentary about the making of this movie within the movie. It's called Rain of Madness, and it's available as a free download on iTunes. If you've seen/enjoyed the movie, you'll enjoy this, and if you're wondering whether or not to see it, this will get you pumped. more

Field Trip: Alife Rivington Club

-On the last day of my NYC trip, I had to book it down to the Lower East Side to see Alife Rivington Club. I made it 5 minutes before closing, just enough time to catch a glimpse of the store that last month's GQ described as the city's ultimate destination for sneakerheads.
-A.R.C. was fresh off of a collaboration with Lacoste and the release of ?uestlove's exclusive Air Force 1s, and their shelves were filled with everything from your standard Dunks to Saucony runners, all branded with the A.R.C. logo. The service was unexpectedly good, and the dude with the ill Islam beard had more sneaker knowledge than anyone I've ever met. A.R.C. was by far the most impressive (though expensive) store I went to in NYC, so make it a top priority when you are in town.

-According to Hypebeast, A.R.C. recently released a line of outerwear with Penfield. Penfield is known for being pretty style-conscious while putting out some of the highest quality outerwear around, making this an unexpected yet welcome collabo. If you are trying to skip the fleece this fall, then check out A.R.C.'s online store. more

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Faculty: Danny McBride

-If you have watched Superbad with the commentary on as many times as we have, you may remember Danny McBride, whose brief appearance at a certain Merlot-fueled bash prompted speculation that, by Superbad's release, McBride would be more famous than any of the film's stars. While this wasn't quite the case, McBride upstaged too many established comics to count in Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder, and his 2006 film, The Foot Fist Way, found an admirer in Will Ferrell. Thanks to Ferrell, the previously unreleased movie is set to release on DVD on September 23rd.
-The following video might be the most legitimately educational item we have ever posted. It is Danny McBride's segment from Drunk History, a YouTube series that has starred the likes of Michael Cera and Jack Black. I'd explain further, but the series' title speaks for itself.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Music Theory: Radiohead x Neil Young

-I thought I was done for the day, then I saw this. Radiohead in Hollywood last night doing Neil Young's "Tell Me Why." Of course we're interested anytime legends cover legends, but the crazy thing is how uncannily like Young Thom Yorke sounds. Radiohead should do a whole album cover, or should I be the first to do the now inevitable electro Neil Young x Radiohead mash-up album? Nay. Props to Hypetrak for dropping some classic rock knowledge on the hipsters with this one.
Radiohead :: "Tell Me Why" (neil young cover) from gorilla vs. bear on Vimeo. more

Design Major: Levi's x 686

-I've been out of the snowboarding scene for a couple years and generally have a low opinion of most snow-related brands, but I've always been down with 686. And as I've professed many times before, I'm a die-hard Levi's aficionado. I generally don't like to post on the buffet of streetwear collab news that comes out daily, but this is a collab I actually think is innovative. 686 has teamed with Levi's to do a line of snow gear, I'm assuming the pieces are using 686 waterproof technology over Levi's denim and classic silhouettes to bring a much needed breath of fresh style to the mountain. The line is also reported to include an adapted 514 (best jean ever) snowboard pant, which is enough to make me want to hit up the mountain, or maybe just dust off my copy of Heavy Shreddin'. A few more worthwhile pics after the jump.
-Via Hypebeast


PR: Gant x The Sartorialist

-Classic American line Gant has been on a pretty impressive renaissance tear the last few years. The brand finds itself somewhere between the slightly upscale accessibility of J.Crew and the understated tradition of J.Press. With the ad campaign for the label's latest collection, Gant has teamed up with photographer Scott Schumann, aka The Sartorialist. The campaign features on-the-street style shots of stylish New Yorkers who had got the privilege of choosing their favorites from the latest Gant line. Just a note, I bought one of my favorite ties, by Gant, for $2.50 at Val Villy.
-One more photo from the set after the jump.
-Via ACL


Music Theory: Re-Up

-I'll say that this video relates a tiny bit to the "Everybody Nose" remix video, but really I just posted it because I love The Clipse. Hands down, greatest hip-hop group ever. Lord Willin', my favorite hip-hop album of all time. The brilliance of Clipse is the ability to make entire albums about one subject (selling cocaine) continually interesting. So if you don't have it, get it, and check the Re-Up Gang mixtapes, and watch this video. Oh, and after the jump, some of my favorite Clipse coke-related lines (ones I can remember off the top of my head.)

Clipse_and_AbLIVE_wth_Society_Original_Products from Noa Christofer on Vimeo.
Starting with the obvious, the lines in the hits that got everyone on "Ghetto to ghetto, backyard to yard, I sell it whip on whip, in soft or hard, I'm your - neighborhood pusher, call me sub-woofer, cuz I pump base like that jack" and then what else can I think of, "Exposed from way back, lying to the baby saying it's Ajax" and ummmm the fucking seminal philosophical referential most amazing line ever "On days I wasn'nt able, there was always caine." That is some shitt." and "They call me pusha for one reason, cuz i keep that sniff all seasons, whether the price is up or down, i keep a mound to pitch from, you dont have to shop around." and "I'm livid, they act as I don;t live it, saran wrap vaseline, so they can't sniff it."Basically the entire song "Comedy Central," even Fabolous' verse is sick. "Yall talk with hatred but I live off that, but I lived off cocaine way before I lived off rap." And they fuckin YSL and Pucci references. That's nuts. Pucci, in a rap song, yeah. "I keep the streets so numb they call me novacaine, I turn over caine, over and over again." "Block so white June look like decemeber, snow everywhere, blow everywhere, so much dough I fly my hoes everywhere." "Pusha-T, push a ton, push a ton of that shit that make your nose run. Yes I'm holdin, whether it's heat or cocaine, in the door panel of my 4-wheel motion." K I'm getting bored, (oh yeah "I treat your nose to hook ya, and only pull back to cook ya") but the fucking line that got me into Clipse in the first place, from Cot Damn, "They just can't understand or phathom my demeanor, unapproachable appearance to how I pack the ninas, out of two Clipse they say malice the meanest, got love for guns and caine, let nothin come between us. You mistook me for a rapper huh? well that makes me an actor cuz i would rather clap a gun, and buck on them niggaz who hate, who want to be in my shoes, live my life, but can't carry my weight, I understand that the envy is part of the game but make no mistake, you and i, we are not the same. Naw bitch I'm liable to splatter your shit, light up your world till you start to stagger and shit, watch how them hollows straight rattle your shit, and I'll leave it to yall to freestyle and battle n shit. That's not me, I'm more at home with the chrome or at play with the yay, moving 12 for a zone."


Monday, August 25, 2008

Geography: Back to 90210

-This is a little late, but I just read the September NYLON, the TV issue. And I feel I have the right to talk about the new 90210, because I'm probably one of the few people who read the issue that actually remembers the original show.
-I had already dismissed the 90210 remake as trying to come back on the Gossip Girl fervor that swept last year. I assumed, that anyone with a brain wouldn't fall for the ploy, and would stick with televisions 4th best show, GG. But then I saw this NYLON cover and found that, the new 90210 girls are fucking bomb. Especially Annalynne McCord (below). The verdict: Hotter than Blake Lively and Leighton Meester so I'll probably watch this instead. I only have room for one super-gay show aimed at teen girls in my TV schedule. Oh and also, it's being produced by Rob Thomas (not the Matchbox 20 guy,) who did one of the most underrated shows of the last few years, Veronica Mars.

Plagiarism: Baracket Summer?

-This came directly from a blog post on The Rocket Summer's (Bryce Avary's) MySpace. This emotized Barack photo was used in Time magazine, and is a straight up reference to the cover of TRS' Do You Feel. I don't know how to feel about this. I am a strong supporter of both Obama and Avary, and seems like Time is dissing both of them with this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

School Supplies: Fleeced

-Most of the complaints we hear about collegiate style tend to center around the prevalence of the North Face fleece jacket. Its an easy target: an overpriced, seemingly contrived product that has become overwhelmingly popular on Greek Row. While buying multiple colors for the sake of matching is ludicrous (and surprisingly common), so is the outcry against such a practical garment. We live in an area famous for shitty weather, and a light fleece jacket can be a huge asset. Believe it or not, you can stay warm this fall while retaining some semblance of originality.

-There was a time when The North Face was simply known as one of the best outdoor companies around. They recently commemorated the 1990 Trans-Antarctica Expedition with some throwback colors and minor design changes. Calling these colors loud would be an understatement, but they are anything but unoriginal and they make the jacket pretty hard to lose at a kegger.

-Patagonia is a pretty solid company, as they don't force you to sacrifice style for the sake of your ecological footprint (as evidenced by one of our first PowerPoints). Anyone who has ever worn a North Face fleece can tell you that even the slightest amount of wind renders them obsolete. Patagonia's Retro-X is windproof, thus making it a lot warmer than the alternative. After all, before pink fleeces and Uggs got popular, warmth was the reason people wore jackets and boots to begin with. The times they are a changin' least according to the guy on that Lucky shirt. more

Friday, August 22, 2008

Faculty: Ryan Adams

*Start at 0:50, note steezy Spirit-handling at 2:20
-Ryan Adams has been a favorite here at Class Act since we first heard Whiskeytown, the alt-country group he started at the age of 20 . After going solo, Adams moved to New York and became a downtown legend and a troubador of mythic proportions. Some say his drug habit and erratic behavior overshadowed his incredible musical ability, but in our opinion he has yet to make a bad record.
-The above video is really pretty miraculous, as the camera angle and sound quality are both excellent considering the circumstances. While the song is one of his best, the most strikingly baller aspect of the video has to be his handling of the ever-present American Spirit at the end of each verse.
-On Love is Hell, Pt. 1, Adams killed "Wonderwall" to the point that Noel Gallagher actually gave him the song. Apparently, Oasis has abandoned their version of the '90s smash in favor of Adams' arrangement, which they now play exclusively. Coincidentally, Adams will open for Oasis in Seattle on August 26th. If you ask me, the imminent collaboration alone is worth the price of a ticket, which can be purchased here.

Wonderwall more

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dress Code: Still Deep

-Hands down, the record I listened to the most this summer was Mobb Deep's The Infamous. Queensbridge's second best rap outfit came out with their definitive album back in 1995, and since then it has been sampled heavily by everyone from Sublime to The Game to our own Blue Scholars.

-Apparently, I'm not the only one to recently rediscover this classic record. I've been seeing a flurry of Mobb-related activity from several companies, including Crooks and Castles. According to Hypebeast, the above tee is part of their fall release.

-Laced Up has also been paying tribute to the Mobb, specifically with this shirt, which is straight off of the album cover. Mobb Deep's Prodigy is currently incarcerated on gun charges, but is still managing to make tapes and even movies from prison. If the above shirts just don't cut it, cop your own "Free P" shirt at his website.

-On a similar note, I bought this shirt in New York to give some love to another one of Queens' incarcerated heroes, my man Dwight Gooden. My dad was a fan of the drug-addled phenom, and the first shirt I ever owned was a baby Mets tee, so I had to stick with the roots on this one. Kids, don't do drugs. more

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

English 101: The Perfectly Pretentious Bookshelf

-The pretentious bookshelf is a staple of college-aged dwellings that I both love and hate equally. Really, if you have any collection of books on display, you are making a statement about how you want to be perceived. The only way to avoid this is to, I don't know, get all your books at the library? But what does that say about you? I'm poor? The point is, any book that any intelligent person may have read may look pretentious on your shelf; So you might as well embrace the process of crafting the perfectly pretentious bookshelf (ppb.) Everyone knows that the only purpose of displaying one's books to impress and incite inferiority in those who believe themselves, falsely, to be our intellectual equals (aka women.)
-I've constructed this photographic essay to help you ensure that your shelf doesn't induce scoffs (both Safran Foer novels, really?) or make you seem illiterate (A Series of Unfortunate Events?), as well as to inform you how to make irrational judgments and generalities about people you meet based solely on their book's covers (get it?) So check the photos and analysis after the jump.

Firstly this examination requires a few notes -
[A: Someone will probably comment that the photos look staged. Yes, I moved some books out of the way of other books, and grouped a few by similar themes, get over it.]
[2: The word essay is used very loosely, it is certainly not an essay by any academic definition] and
[D: This post wanders between self-mocking sarcasm and self-aggrandizing sincerity. Now scroll down.]

-All photos are click to enlarge

-If you believe, as we do, that one of the main goals as a human is to bell-rounded, then your ppb should reflect this. If you've got only classics, it looks like you're trying too hard. Only modern, then you've got no respect for your elders. Non-fiction/fiction is another balancing point. Oh and before I move on, the key to impressing people is obviously to only display books you've actually read, or books that you're planning on reading very soon. This rule does not apply to books purchased because they were required for a class, however, because no one would expect you to have read those. Moving on:

-All Quiet is the only war novel anyone need own. When talking about it's greatness, be sure to note how you think translation alters the intricacy of Remarque's spontaneous bursts of poetic language, and that you're planning on learning German so you can enjoy it as Germans did before Hitler banned it. An essential for any ppb. Oh an Utopia, that's one most people will know of but not have read, so they can't quiz you on it and reveal that you haven't read it, either.

-Put some other things on your shelf, after all, it is a shelf. It's a chance for you to show how, say, you have a real Diana-F not the reproductions they sell at Urban Outfitters. And a mate (mah-tay) from Argentina, how fucking indie is that? Very.

-And a camera that actually uses film, crazy. Also, put books in front of other books, showing that you just have so many fucking books you don't have anywhere to put them all.

-Oh yeah, having a couple textbooks that's a good one too. "Yeah I really needed the money, but I just couldn't sell it back." Also throw a graphic novel into the mix to aid the diversity of your collection. Also, not having a complete series of something (like only the later, better, Harry Potter books.)

-Oh this is a good one, political books. Show that you're edgy with the conspiracy theory books, yet informed and grounded with an Iraq war (or even Gulf War) book.

-This one shows a nice balance of zeitgeist authors of the past decade (Eggers, Pulahniuk) and favorites of your parents (Heller, Vonnegut.)

-More horizontal stacking. Also, the inclusion of young adult fiction (The Golden Compass) tells prospective mates that you would be a good parent who would read to your children nightly. Or maybe just a huge nerd who reads young-adult fantasy.

-Some might argue that you need all hardbacks to be legit, but I think paperbacks say "I want to be able to take my book in my pocket, and I want the lines in the cover to match the lines in my face as I continue to love this book over the years." Also, interesting and unintentional pairing of Heart of Darkness and American Psycho, maybe argue that Bateman is a modern day Kurtz?

-This one is the killer. Nothing is more pretentious than unnecessarily old copies of books. Especially if you have 2 copies of the same book, as pictured. I purchased most of these at the Salvation Army. I especially like the Frankenstein (3rd in from right) because all of the labels on the outside are worn off. You can't even tell what fucking book it is.

-And then finally, extensions of the ppb. Because you can't just keep your books on the shelf all the time, you have to actually re-read them. And what better place to read/display than in your bathroom. Better to keep your bathroom reading material on top instead of on the floor or on a rack, that way when some drunk girl is puking in your toilet, the first thing she thinks when she raises her head is "Wow, this guy is classy."

-So that's it. You're probably thinking "I just wasted 5 minutes because some douche bag wanted to take pretentious pictures of his pretentious books." You are right.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Extracurriculars: Olympic Love

-We promise more 'scene on the street' shots as soon as school starts again. Until then, here's a few of my recent snaps.

-Terrible shots, ironically taken in a professional photography studio. Olympic pride throughout.


Dress Code: Sperry Break

-I'm posting this photo separate from the other party pics I'm about to post because it illustrates what makes people who have learned from me great. Messe knows that rocking a top-sider is all about the very crucial breakof your pant. Many attempt and fall short with either a too-narrow, or much worse, a pant leg too wide. The little bit of cuff he rocks makes sure his 514s fall perfectly above the Sperry's low side.

-This shot also made me think of the Alex Goodrich quote "Smoking can either look classy or white trash, there's no in-between." more

Music Theory: Respect Your Elders

-Here's a little bit of music beefing that's been going on lately. So you might have read earlier in the summer that Noel Gallagher (of Oasis) bitched about Jay-Z playing the Glastonbury festival in England. Gallagher said hip-hop wasn't meant to be played at outdoor festivals like that or something. So in response Jay-Z pulled out a guitar at the festival and did a rendition of Oasis' seminal hit Wonderwall (check the inevitable mash-up here), with like 50,000 people singing along, which is badass. So that was all good, and then just recently Gallagher went on a rant dissing all the young whipper snappers of today, and called out Mark Ronson, saying he only knew how to play 2 chords. That lead to Ronson posting this response on his MySpace:

“So I just wanted him to know that I’m actually taking guitar lessons from Jay-Z right now and he’s already taught me both chords to Wonderwall. In fact, it’s so much fun having Jay teach me all of Noel’s songs on the guitar (hooray!) that I’m thinking of doing an Oasis/Jay-Z remix album [like Danger Mouse's Grey Album],” Ronson continued. “Potential titles are Champagne Superhova or Definitely Jay-Z. I’ll keep you posted.”

P.P.S. Noel, I did write a song called Back To Black, which actually has seven chords in it.”

-So I've got some thoughts on this. Noel Gallagher is a rock 'n' roll legend who everyone knew was a douche ever since he said Oasis was the greatest band of all time like 15 years ago. But Definitely Maybe was the first compact disc I ever owned, and Mark Ronson is an overrated - famous only because of his family connections - hipster DJ (even worse that Steve Aoki or Danny Masterson.) I can't get mad at Jay for coming back at Gallagher, because Jay himself is a legend, but Mark Ronson needs to shut the fuck up and respect his elders, even if they hypocritically call him out on his chord progressions. And how dare he compare anything he could do to the the fucking Grey Album.
-And if you're too young to appreciate Wonderwall, check out Cartel's cover.
-via Hypretrak, and prior knowledge n stuff. more

Sunday, August 17, 2008

English 101: The Importance of Being Earnest

-If English majors manage to get one thing out of their education, it's the ability to add the word 'post' to the beginning of pretty much anything. We've been hearing the term 'post-ironic' quite a bit lately, so we thought we'd take a minute to examine its definition and stylistic connotations. defines 'post-ironic' as "being sincere or earnest as opposed to being flippant and sarcastic." Back in junior high, ironic clothing was all the rage. However, post-puberty, there is really nothing more obnoxious.
-For example, in 8th grade I never hesitated to rock my 'Michael Bolton: Time, Love, and Tenderness Tour 1992' shirt, because it was hilarious, especially post-Office Space (sorry, I'll stop). I hate Michael Bolton, as everyone should, so it was truly ironic (and pretty fucking annoying). However, let's say I wore a John Denver shirt to school instead. While some would wear it to be ironic, I genuinely think John Denver is a badass songwriter. Thus, wearing the unintentionally tasteless concert tee pictured above would instead be considered 'post-ironic'.
-This new trend is incredibly refreshing, as people are owning up to the things they actually like rather than just hating on the obviously shitty (i.e. Michael Bolton). Here are some more examples from our boy The Cobrasnake:

-The above photos show prime examples of cliched ironic clothing. The Copperfield tee is still pretty legit, regardless of intent, but Hello Kitty and post-Napoleon Dynamite (had to) wolf tees are ridiculously overt attempts at irony.
-On the other hand, assuming this guy legitimately likes Popeye's as much as we do, his shirt is a perfect example of post-ironic style. The dude is Canadian, so some might assume that he is being ironic in promoting a southern, Cajun-style chicken joint. A few years ago, that may well have been the case. However, we live in a new world full of sincere stylistic possibilities, where people are free to express their appreciation for Popeyes and John Denver. more

Peer Review: Men's Shows Scorecard

-Even though I did amazing men's fashion week coverage last month, NYT style blog The Moment has an extensive wrap-up of every show and what the top critics had to say. Check it out.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Phys.Ed: Phelps Shmelps, This Was Insane

-Usain Bolt's world record setting (9.69) and cocky as fuck win in the 100m final was the greatest Olympic moment I've ever watched. Find the video if you missed it. And props to Walter Dix (an American/badass) who placed 3rd. more

Dress Code: Double-Breasted Cardigan

-Speaking of hipsters, I was at American Apparel with messdemeanor this week and I saw this double breasted cardigan ($40.) I noted the DB cardi in my Paul Smith review last month. I think there are a lot of interesting possibilities I could create with the DB cardi, though I think the width it creates might make a tie look awkward. Anyway, I'm going to buy one.-And if you're checking out a.a., you should check out their vintage line, California Select, which a great example of a company actually employing an innovative strategy. more

Friday, August 15, 2008

Peer Review: In Defense of Hipsters

-I probably use the word hipster 800% more than I should on a daily basis, usually in rants about cycle-hipsters or stock college lit-hipsters. While I use the word generously, I never forget the fallacies that accompany any of the impossible to define categories into which we place everyone but ourselves.
-That being said, I was greatly intrigued with this piece by lit blog Threat Quality Press, which examines the nature of the word itself, as well as the dangers that ensue when old people seek to quantify the lifestyles of the young and hip. Check it out. more