Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
1. Why?- Alopecia
I’ve talked about how much I love Why? before, but aside from that, all I can say about this one is longevity. This is one of the few CDs from the beginning of he year I still put on repeat.
Best Track: These Few Presidents
2. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down- We Brave Bee Stings and All
I would like to think that if I made music, it would be as lighthearted and free as this. It’s a beautiful CD and I’ll be waiting for more in 2009.
Best Track: Swimming Pools
3. The Mae Shi- HLLLYH
These are the sort of songs I’m always singing in the car. Perfect to yell along to, and how many bands can say they have an entire record label named after one of their CDs? (Terrorbird)
Best Track: Party Politics
4. Man Man- Rabbit Habits
If you haven’t seen the pitchfork.tv special on these guys I suggest you go do that now. Honus Honus and the other aptly-named members share their secrets of production (fireworks in a trashcan etc) and their bike spots. Another reason to love this band- wikipedia refers to it as Viking-vaudeville and manic gypsy jazz.
Best Track: Ballad of the Butter Beans
5. Nate Henricks- We Make Lo-Art!
This is a favorite CD of mine that I would never have known of if I wasn’t so loyal to The Catbirdseat. Their monthly mixs are a great place to find new music such as obscure hometown boy Nate Henricks.
Best Track: Flyin’ fish Getting Ready For the Future
6. Dr. Dog- Fate
Not much to say here, beautiful album, touching lyrics, all that shit. On a semi-unrelated note I’ve had these guys as my ringtone for a while now... so I have a soft spot.
Best Track: The Breeze
7. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
This is the girliest pick on the list I promise- from here on out, its all gender neutral. That being said- this album is perfect. Justin Vernon’s voice and lyrics prove that secluding yourself in a cabin still makes a great record.
Best Track: Skinny Love
8. Jamie Lidell- Jim
This is one I started listening to when I still volunteered at the radio station (KUGS 89.3 and it streams online.) Catchy and guaranteed to put you in a good mood- this album is slowly renewing my love of Motown and upbeat pop.
Best Track: Where D’You Go?
9. No Age- Nouns
Hm.. not much to say, everyone I know loves this album and DIY punk is back.
Best Track: Eraser
10. Fucked Up- The Chemistry of Common Life
Only fitting as I live in Canada now (not Toronto, but anyways.) Revitalizing hardcore blah blah blah. If you must know more, Pitchfork does a nice review.
Best Track: The Chemistry of Common Life
11. Lil Wayne- Tha Carter III
So good. And no matter how much you hate it, you know all the songs. Also, the only person to have simultaneously 5 songs on the radio…
Best Track: A Milli
12. The Lord Dog Bird- S/T
Music to walk home and think about the state of thing sin your life to. That’s what I do anyways.
Best Track: The Shedding Path
13. Hercules and Love Affair- S/T
I was recommended this by a friend and it only strengthened my faith in their musical taste. If you want your friends to admire your taste too, recommend this!
Best Track: Blind
14. Los Campesinos!- Hold on Now, Youngster
Who doesn’t love a Welsh accent singing catchy indie pop lyrics?
Best Track: … And We Exhale And Roll Our Eyes In Unison
15. Shugo Tokumaru- Exit
When all the artists you love show up to a small show, it’s probably a good idea to listen to the guy they’re showing up for. Shugo Tokumaru is it, and his album is as charming as one might expect.
Best Track: Parachute
1. MGMT- Oracular Spectacular
2. Jay Reatard- Matador Singles ‘08
3. Fujiya & Miyagi- Lightbulbs
4. Devotchka- A Mad and Faithful Telling
5. Marnie Stern- This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He IS It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
Purposely Not Included
1. Fleet Foxes- S/T
That fucking song is always stuck in my head. These guys are at the top or near-top of too many best of 2008 lists, I didn’t hate the album, but it doesn’t deserve all the attention.
2. TV On the Radio- Dear Science
They are getting worse and they weren’t that good to begin with. more
Monday, December 29, 2008
-Firstly, let us apologize for the sparseness of posts over the Holiday, all three of us have been on trips and have had limited access to interwebs.
-Secondly, you may enjoy this video of two pieces of amazing musical equipment, the KAOSSILATOR and the KAOSS Pad KP3, both by KORG. The video is posted not only to share my excitement about the fact that I just ordered both of those items to compliment my beloved microKORG, but also to help remind people of something that I mentioned awhile back. In the next year we will be launching a few more blogs under the Class Act Media hood, the first of which will be a music nerd/synth/gadget/dj/equipment blog - the name has yet to be decided. As with any Class Act endeavor, the new sister-blog will be college-focues and written by current college scholars. I (Angelo) am in the process of finding passionate and knowledgeable people to help me with the new project (Goodie? Kurt? Clowers? Baby Kurt?) More info coming soon, so keep checking back.
-The video also reminded me to reminded you that most videos that appear on our blog can be found on our YouTube page in the favorites section, along with a ton of other videos that haven't been on the blog but we've favorited because they are amazing, like the one below. more
Saturday, December 27, 2008
-The second Class Act Field Trip has officially begun, and after the obligatory trip to Disneyland I decided it was time to get to work. My first stop was Downtown Los Angeles, where I was surprised to find the L.A. branch of Upper Playground, which happened to be right next door to Estevan Oriol's Vans-sponsored "ICONoclasts" exhibition. Though the seedy surroundings initially seemed less than optimal, one glimpse at Oriol's work proved that it would be out of place anywhere else. His gritty black and white renderings of L.A. life have made him a local legend, and the ICONoclast series examines the legacy of alternative icons like Henry Rollins and Stacy Peralta. Coincidentally, Oriol has also collaborated extensively with Upper Playground, producing the above shirt and several others that can be found here.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
-Unfortunately, most kids our age tend to only associate jazz with parents and Kenny G. The winter is as good a time as any to start appreciating the genre, and there is no better record to start with than Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue. The 50th anniversary of the best selling jazz album ever was recently commemorated by the release of a special edition box set, featuring blue vinyl, unreleased tracks, and a DVD.
-Supreme decided to release their own remastered CD edition of Kind of Blue, along with two more Miles classics, Nefertiti and On the Corner. They are relatively cheap ($40 for all three), so you might even have enough Christmas dough left over to buy one of Supreme's commemorative tees.
-It just so happens that the record also inspired an entire clothing brand of the same name. Kind of Blue specializes in shirts featuring Davis and several other jazz legends, such as John Coltrane and Charles Mingus.
-Boys, you know they’ve been nagging you to clean up your act for a while now, and ‘tis the season. Here are a few key wardrobe pieces your mother AND your girlfriend will like. Your buddies might think them not too shabby either.
1. Modern Amusement Factory Peacoat
2. Chronicles of Never Skeleton Key Boot
3. J. Lindeberg Slim Grey Tie
4. Converse by John Varvatos End on End Shirt
5. Kicking Mule Rocker Jean (PS they’re on sale)
6. Property Of Lex Trip Bag more
Sunday, December 21, 2008
-The group's reincarnation came with 1995's Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers (below), which was produced by DJ Premier for Lee's Clockers. Their new lineup featured Jeru the Damaja, Chubb Rock, and O.C. Though it is often overshadowed by the success of Do the Right Thing, Clockers is arguably Lee's best film.
-In 2007, DJ Premier passed the torch to 9th Wonder, who recruited Mos Def and Jean Grey to record a song for his album The Dream Merchant, Vol. 2. They continued the group's legacy with another politically charged Brooklyn anthem, and paid tribute to the borough that has produced an insane amount of rap legends, including Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls, and even 2Pac. Thus, the Dodgers' constant evolution is a fitting homage to the reigning rap capital.
*The above shirt available at MooseShirts more
Friday, December 19, 2008
-Update: PTI vid
|Video: Brandon Roy reacts to his 52-point game|
-Truth. It was definitely worth driving through the snow, almost hitting a pole, and walking six blocks in the freezing cold. Best game I've ever been to.
-NBA.com vid more
-That is, seeing Pusha-T and Swizz in the studio together.
ReUp Gang Blog 2 from ReUpGangRecords.net on Vimeo.
-If you haven't been bumping the new Re-Up Gang mixtape Road to Till the Casket Drops, you should be. The mixtape is, as the name implies, as precursor to the next studio album, When the Casket Drops. Hell Hath No Fury was a little bit disappointing for the (disputed1) best rap duo ever, but the mixtape is sick and I'm hopeful for the next full-length, especially is there's one guaranteed Swizz track. Dudes also just launched their long awaited clothing line Play Cloths. so check that out too.
-1 yeah check the comments on that post. more
Thursday, December 18, 2008
-I'd heard about Marc Jacob's latest project as LV creative director awhile back. But this interview in which he explains to inspiration behind the Graffiti collection, which heavily references the late American designer Stephen Sprouse, really made me take notice. I love the idea of adding color over an iconic print. For more info check out the interactive accompanying web site welovesprouse.com. more
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
- Before he became one of the most influential music video directors in history, Hype Williams was just a New York graffiti artist who "wanted to be Basquiat or Keith Haring of the streets." Like his heroes, Williams became known for his use of vibrant color, which is evident from the very beginning of his first feature film. 1998's Belly was not necessarily a critical success, but the above opening scene alone makes it worth watching.
-Coup De Grace recently released Belly-influenced tees and skate decks, which combine the iconic image from the film's poster with the blue and black colors of the opening scene. Add some more Hype to your closet.
-I don't usually like to regurgitate links to other sites without any synthesis or commentary, but homeboy over at Selectism did a great interview with Peter from one of our favorite shoe makers, Common Projects. A great read for any fan of com. proj. or anyone who's interest in how quality goods are conceptualized.
- It seems to me that during the long cold month of November, whilst I am compiling my Christmas list, I can never quite find exactly what I want. Well, as is the case, I’ve found everything I want and it’s now too late to get it. But, if you really love me, here is a revised wish list. (I still want all those things from Oak.)
1. Beautiful USB keys by Brooklyn design firm BY:AMT
2. I usually try to post things for girls… but, as a Colorado native I feel obligated to mention the lovely new designs and re-stocks from Colorado born Akomplice Clothing.
3. Gorgeous studded boots from Asos,which, by the way, just went on sale.
4. I’ve needed computer speakers since I got a laptop for grad. In 2007. I need these from fredflare.
5. Endangered species alphabet poster from designsupremo.
6. I need a new winter coat. I’m thinking I like this trench coat pea coat hybrid at tobi. more
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
-You're probably not snowed in and/or as bored as me, so you probably haven't looked through the pages and pages of sale items on KarmaLoop like I have. Here are a couple items I found that I would maybe buy if I had some dollars.
-SF state of mind shirt by ADAPT. Cool Guy tank by Gold Coin. Gold Coin royal blue crew. Wifey tee by Two in the Shirt. Click that shit for a better view and check the sale there's tons of good shit to blow your Christmas dough on more
- Like other type nerds, I am overly critical of most people's font choices, I spend an absurd amount of time choosing the type for my essays, statements and cover pages, and I know that the spacing between the letters is just as important as the letter forms themselves. So when I came across this set on Flickr, I had to pass it on. The idea is "subliminal messages fonts are sending you," and it's dead on. more
-Way back in August I reviewed Rookie of the Year's newest album, Sweet Attention. Rookie's first album, The Goodnight Moon, is one of my favorite discs of all time. I was a little harsh in my review and, as usually seems to happen with me, the album has grown on me in the past few months.
-I had a chance to get a brief interview with Rookie's lead singer, Ryan Dunson, whose original solo project eventually morphed into the band that has been one of my favorites since I heard them in Jeff's Bonneville in early 2006.
-Dunson touches on the sound of the most recent album, the next one, and some music he's digging presently. Check it out after the jump.
What are 5 Ryan Dunson essentials, gadgets, clothes, whatever?
-Computer, sidekick lx, wallet, camera and my other phone.
Do you wear the same clothes for the day as on stage at night?
-Not at all... full changeout
How does the touring lifestyle effect your style?
-After you tour for alittle to much.. You kinda get lazy with what you wear.. Haha
As a big fan of The Goodnight Moon, I was anxious for a follow-up.
Can you just elaborate a bit on the difference in sound and approach on Sweet Attention?
-With 'Sweet Attention' we just wanted to have fun with the record. The next record will be epic.
Give me a couple bands that you're really feeling right now
-M83, quietdrive, coldplay and amore more
Any bands in the mainstream mtv/radio world that you're digging?
How do you think Myspace and the internet have changed music for the up-and-comiong artist?
-There's no money left in the music business.. Its all about if you really like playing music or not
You put the meanings and inspirations for your songs on your Myspace, whats the story behind doing that? I think it's something a lot of kids wish their favorite bands would do.
-I just like everybody to know why I wrote this and that.
When you were doing the solo having to let go stuff did you plan on eventual expanding to a full band?
-Not really... just fell into place.
Do you ever feel like doing solo stuff again?
-My Favorite will be releasing a e.p. on 111 maybe soon.
-This is just my interest, but who does the piano on the songs with keys?
-Matt Theissen from relient k plays all keys.
-The inevitable stock question, what bands were/still are your biggest influences?
Copeland. My hotel year.. Monday in London
I swear you guys have never had a Portland or Seattle show, what is up with that?
-We just came to Seattle a month ago... coming back again in a month. The date is posted.
I was glad to read that 'What Is Love' is heading to radio soon, how exciting is that prospect, and do you have any say in what should be the single that goes out?
-We have say. We think the song would do well. It's a new version though. That's not on the cd.
So, whats next for Rookie?
-Secondhand serenade tour in Jan.
-For some reason, I've yet to mention Owl City on this blog even though I've planned to do so a number of times. O.C. probably has the highest play frequency of any artist in my iPod over the last couple of months. Maybe there just hasn't been a newsworthy event, and there still isn't.
-But I did just order this Christmas hoodie, and O.C, has a new Christmas song up on his Myspace that you should check out. more
Sunday, December 14, 2008
-Every once in awhile I stumble upon an artist whose progressive perspective really excites my interest.
-This piece from Cody Trepte is a series of 75 books, each of which is a family photo translated into binary.
-On the cover of each book is a description of the photo. The book shown here is "A dark snapshot of me and Cami wearing ear muffs and staring directly at the camera on Christmas morning. Cami is at the left edge of the frame wearing a pink striped shirt. She is looking to the left of the camera. I am standing in the center of the frame, wearing a blue velvet shirt and staring directly at the camera."
-Definitely an interesting perspective of photography, family, and the digital age. A look through Trepte's online gallery is a challenging and thought provoking study.
-Photos from Cody Trepte via iheartphotograph. more
-While I was looking around for stuff to do in LA next week, I discovered Space 15 Twenty, "a new retail experiment" from the folks at Urban Outfitters. They have decided to center the new complex, which seems to be equal parts gallery and mini-mall, around the enormous Hollywood UO store. A rotating group of shops will occupy the adjoining retail spaces, with streetwear giant ALIFE leading the way. Their new 15 Twenty location opened yesterday, and I am excited to check it out.
-While their new idea may seem like pure marketing, Space 15 Twenty seems to be taking the artistic side pretty seriously. On December 26th, they are holding a benefit for the Pablove Foundation, which will feature DJ sets by Silversun Pickups and LA's own Jimmy Tamborello. JT is best known as 1/2 of The Postal Service (1/3 if you count Jenny Lewis), and in a city full of talentless celebrities who call themselves DJs, he has always been the real thing. Check out Space15Twenty.com for more info.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
-Yesterday, aboard a locomotive, I watched the film Ghost Town. The film was a romantic comedy starring Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, and Tea Leoni. It left me with no comment about it's merit, or lack thereof. The only notable emotion that came from watching the film was a reassertion in my mind that Kristin Wiig is incredibly funny and aesthetically pleasing. Everyone has been so big on Tina Fey lately, and Tina is bomb and Mean Girls was a brilliant film, but 30 Rock is probably the most overrated show on television and I only made it through 20 minutes of Baby Mama before I wanted to stab forks in my eyes.
-Above photo from timeoutnewyork.
-Wiig, who many of us first enjoyed as the E! executive in Knocked Up, is yet to disappoint. Let's hope she doesn't take the route of other once-funny cast members and rush out a really shitty movie (Hot Rod.)
-The video above is my favorite Wiig skit, below are two more which should make you laugh, including a funny parody of the not-funny-anymore show The Office.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
-So we've finally got our shit together and purchased the URL eyefivestyle.com. We're still hosted on Blogger, but now anyone can reach us with the new simpler address. This means that casual fans can find us more quickly and people can spread the word more easily. Those of you who have helped us out by having banners in your Myspaces, I'll get you new updated banners soon. What it really means for us is an added element of legitimacy to carry as we grow our brand and build strong business relationships as we look toward the future. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with us and helped spread the word over the past nine months. more
-Once again I've gathered the best from the various sneakerblogs and brought you my faves.
-Fly to Berlin to get one of the 12 pairs of these Sold Out x Asics Gel Lyte IIs. Then we have A.P.C for Nike All-Court. Next is the 'grapes' colorway version of the Supra 'cruzier' model. D&G chuck-looking patent leather sneaks. Ghetto staple L.A. Gear is coming back soon with upgraded materials and colorways. Finally, a Crooks & Castles x Vans collaboration on the Freemont High model.
-Click photo for greater detail. more
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
-Supreme is absolutely killing it this week. First came their long-awaited collaboration with The North Face, which produced a set of three colorful Denali jackets. I loved the idea behind the Trans-Antarctic series Denali, but I wasn't impressed by most of the color choices. The Supreme collaboration is a little more subtle, but the jackets are original enough to break the standard North Face monotony. As for the Trans-Antarctic series, yet another edition (below) was released last week to commemorate the company's 40th anniversary.
-Always a step ahead, Supreme was also one of the first companies to release the down flap New Eras that gained popularity during this year's World Series. We have been waiting for these for months, and it is no surprise that Supreme is one of the first companies to make them available.
Monday, December 8, 2008
-When I bought my first bow tie in 05' I remember repeatedly trying to decipher confusing instructions for tying a bow tie on eHow. Back then YouTube wasn't the go-to reference it has become now (video here from the good folks at David Hart & Co. and Jeremy Nelson Studio.) I finally figured it out after many bouts of trial and error, I got to rock my badass Brooks Brothers tartan bow that I got it Ray's Ragtime.
-But then I lost that bow tie on the beach in Santa Monica and everyday I long for it. So someone should buy me one of the two below ($45), again from Brooks Brothers, though neither is as legit as my first one.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
-I am amazed that this site has been up and running for nearly nine months without a single mention of The Big Lebowski. Fortunately, The New York Times was all over this year's Lebowski Fest, an annual soiree where the film's cult following is encouraged to sip White Russians and dress like pederasts, stoners, nihilists, or what have you. The Times documented to event with a front page article and a piece on The Dude's drink of choice.
-This year's New York City location is an obvious step down from the home of last year's Lebowski Fest. Seattle's own Jeff Dowd was the inspiration for the film's main character, Jeff Lebowski, so last year's festival was held at K-Lanes, the only known landmark in my hometown of Kenmore, Washington.
-Despite his ever-present bathrobe, The Dude has become somewhat of a style icon. The Big Lebowski has inspired hundreds of shirts, including The Dude's own baseball jersey an updated version of Shepard Fairey's classic OBEY logo. Check out LebowskiFest.com for more.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
-There has been a ton of discussion and dissent ever since the first track, "Love Lockdown", from Kanye's impromptu diversion 808s and Heartbreak leaked over a month ago. We've resisted commenting on the album yet because we still aren't quite sure how we feel about it. On one hand I respect the man for going Sarah Palin on the industry and doing his own thing, especially since he promised to still put out a radio friendly album in June. On the other hand, most of the tracks sound pretty similar and the fact that this album was made in a hurry is definitely evident. "Heartless" and "Coldest Winter" are solid tracks though, and "Welcome to Heartbreak" is straight-up amazing.
-Adding to the hype around this album, urban-art goldenboy KAWS has lent has employed his signiture style to create this limited edition album art for the disc. Even if you don't love this album, at least you'll have some fresh KAWS art popping up on your iPod every once in awhile.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
-Good friend of Class Act Heather Fenstermaker, is opening Swell, a men's and women's basics boutique.
-From Heathdidders "Swell is a basics store that takes you beyond....to a place of extreme comfort, blended with Eco conscious attitude with the ability to add unique and creative twists to your everyday life."
-Swell is opening tomorrow (Friday) evening so be sure to check it out if you're in the area. I am excited because there aren't many stores in the area that offer quality goods for men, it will be nice to not have to hit up sea or p to acquire unique pieces.
-Swell will carry a wide variety of hand-selected brands including Alternative Apparel2 , Cubist Literature, LnA3 and many more. The new store is located right next to Frank James at 202 E Holly St. #118 (where Left Right Left used to be.)
-You can find both the Swell and Frank James web sites in our link list.
-Worn by everyone from Farrah Fawcett to George Costanza, Nike Cortez are the epitome of classic sneakers. We aren't seeing them around as much as we used to, but some new collections could spark a much-needed resurgence.
-According to HighSnobiety, two new versions of the Cortez are set to drop next spring, including a lighter hybrid version featuring Nike's Flywire technology. If you prefer the original, several new colorways will be released as well.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
- We at Class Act love our denim, as seen in Angelo's very thorough jeans washing guide, but since I am a jeans addict myself, I thought I would list a few of my favorite brands for the girls. (for guys I recommend Levi's Capital E or Nudies - these are the two brands I catch myself most frequently checking out.) This post seems to require that I share my most sought after feature in denim... slim cut calves. I can almost never find them small enough to be snug on me. (Click photo for better detail.)
1. Nudie Jeans High Kai
Every pair of jeans I've tried by Nudie fit perfectly, they wear well too.
2. Earnest Sewn Harlan .93
Best dark wash yet.
Cute back pockets with out being too "dumb chick wearing Uggs and an Ed Hardy tee."
4. J Brand 12" Pencil Leg
Perfect basic jeans.
5. Ksubi Super Skinny Zips
I like the little details on the leg and back pockets area.
Honorable Mentions (or, they look great on everyone I've seen wearing them, but they just dont fit me right): Cheap Monday, Sass & Bide, Domino more