"cause this is louis vuitton dime night"

Saturday, August 29, 2009

as the school year starts, the rest of us in the working world are gearing up for a return to business casual attire in the office, colder weather, and the continuous search for grown up clothes. like everyone else, i have my wish lists and my own sense of style, but here are some pieces that every man should consider in some form. by the way, you'll need flash player in order to view the slideshow.

+ 1
what j. crew ludlow legacy blazer
price $298
why every man needs at least one premium blazer. j. crew has steadily increased their quality with the opening of their mens shops and outside collaborations. while a little pricey for a mall brand, the ludlow legacy blazer is intricately detailed and the inner silk lining will keep you nice and cool. the brushed exterior wool in a rich navy keeps this classic.
where jcrew.com

+ 2
what gap medium chambray shirt
price $44.50
why the stylish director jake davis has proclaimed that this is a good introductory shirt for those interested in chambray. chambray has become a prevalent look in recent months, but if you are thinking twice about the denim look, keep it affordable yet stylish.
where gap.com

+ 3
what j. crew x levi's 501xx slim-fit selvedge denim
price $265
why i wasn't joking about the j. crew collabs. levi's produces it's original money maker for j. crew complete with selvedge detailing. a cheaper alternative would be to grab the selvedge denim from uniqlo in nyc. unfortunately, they don't have an online store so you'll have to make your way to broadway to cop a pair for $80.
where jcrew.com

+ 4
what palladium baggy canvas in stonewash metal
price $70
why boots are an integral piece of any man's wardrobe. with palladium's boots, you don't have to walk around looking like paul bunyan's little brother. with a nice pair of denim, you can take these to the street and keep it rugged and refined.
where palladiumboots.com

+ 5
what incase monochrome slider case for iphone
price $34.95
why let's be honest, the iphone is the quintessential accessory for the modern person. sure, the blackberry may hold the edge in terms of office productivity, but the iphone has revolutionized the mobile handheld. want to keep your iphone fresh? put it in one of incase's famed slider cases. the new monochrome colors are definitely suited for a man's palette.
where goincase.com

+ 6
what makr minimal black wax flap wallet
price $120
why makr wallets are handcrafted using premium leathers. besides looking brolic, these wallets are 100% american made. support your countrymen and keep your money safe, get a makr wallet.
where makr.com

Labels: , ,

DJ AM dead at 36

Friday, August 28, 2009

+ TRV$DJAM "fix your face vol. 2" [album]

as you may have heard by now, DJ AM was found deceased this evening in his new york apartment. it seems surreal considering around this time last year, he and travis barker were involved in a learjet accident that resulted in the deaths of four people. after surviving the horrific crash, DJ AM went on to become the friday night dj at rain nightclub in las vegas as well as continuing his worthwhile collaboration with barker and producing two stellar mixtapes. i can't say that i know much about his other projects, but the "fix your face" series was among my favorite dj mixtapes in the past few years. i can't think of a better way to honor his memory than listening to him do what he did best. rest in peace.

Labels: , , , ,

what to do in the district

Thursday, August 27, 2009

since i've been living and working in dc for nearly two years, i thought that it might be a nice idea to inform any local jesus piece regulars on happenings in the area. i'm not part of the young and the banging set or anything similar, but i do try to go out either to enculture myself, get lifted, or to merely have a good time exploring what my locale has to offer. in an effort to have a weekly column, i will be posting local events every thursday.

phillips after 5 is a once-a-month program at the phillips collection near dupont circle. the program typically includes live jazz, gallery talks, modern art exhibitions, a fully catered buffet, and cash bar. films and demonstrations have also been a part of the programming. admittance is by donation, but i've heard that attendees usually "donate" $10-12. the phillips collection has extended hours with programming every thursday evening from 5 to 8:30pm. tonight, they are screening the bride of frankenstein, demonstrating indian henna body art, and discussing fragmented figures in painting. dj donald syriani is set to spin international house music and the event will feature a buffet by geppetto's catering.

+ the details
where the phillips collection - 1600 21st st nw
metro dupont circle
when 5 to 8:30pm, every thursday

'95 live occurs every thursday night at steve's bar room near dupont circle. it was created by the monsters of streetwear in this area: commonwealth dc, stussy dc, and for the greater good. '95 live is strictly devoted to the 1990s and you should expect to hear everything from hip-hop to indie to electro. attendees are eligible for giveaways from commonwealth, stussy, and hellz bellz. in an effort to get the girls in, steve's bar room is offering free champagne from 9 to 11pm. fellows will have to settle for the standard beer and rail drinks at regular prices, but fortunately, there is no cover. this week's featured dj is geometrix.

+ the details
where steve's bar room - 1337 connecticut ave nw
metro dupont circle
when 9pm to 2am, every thursday

the newseum, located in penn quarter, is offering half-price admission through august provided that you mention "wtop" when purchasing your tickets. personally, i have never been to the newseum, but i heard that the exhibits are sufficiently interesting and interactive. i have a passion for all things media so the half-price deal is more than enticing to me.

+ the details
where newseum - 555 pennsylvania ave nw
metro archives-navy memorial-penn quarter
when 9am to 5pm, through august only

Labels: , , , ,

"you've got the body, now you want my soul"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

being born in the 1980s, there were three succinct pieces of media that i have remained enamored with into adulthood: hall and oates, miami vice, and music videos. going in alphabetical order, i'll begin this retrospective series with a look back on hall and oates.

+ hall and oates "greatest hits" [album]

the 1980s proved to be the backdrop for a pop music revolution and produced some of the finest songs ever recorded. being an integral part of the scene, hall and oates were gods of the early mtv era. their unique blend of rock and roll and rhythm and blues helped to define the music of the 1980s. other than michael jackson, you would be hard pressed to find an act from that period that surpassed them in terms of critical acclaim, number one hits, and overall popularity. although hall and oates first appeared in the 1970s, the bulk of their notoriety originated from their contributions to the following decade. while there are numerous songs in their discography that merit discussion, "i can't go for that", their number one hit from private eyes, seemed the logical choice for me. not only did "i can't go for that" affirm their broad appeal, but it was one of my first musical memories.

the accolades for "i can't go for that" were numerous and somewhat surprising. it was inevitable that hall and oates would top the billboard hot 100 after their previous single "private eyes" achieved that same feat 10 weeks earlier. the surprising part for hall and oates (and pop music in general) was that "i can't go for that" also topped the hot soul singles chart which is now known as the hot r&b/hip-hop songs chart. needless to say, that was an incredibly rare task for white artists to accomplish. to put it into perspective, neither eminem nor vanilla ice (come on "ice ice baby" was huge) have come close to topping the hot r&b/hip-hop songs chart. if that wasn't enough, "i can't go for that" also topped the hot dance club songs chart.

chart success was only part of the "i can't go for that" legend. in further testimony to hall and oates crossover appeal, "i can't go for that" has been covered by r&b artists and sampled on numerous occasions by well-known hip-hop acts. those acts include de la soul, heavy d, 2 live crew, mac dre, mf doom as king geedorah, notorious b.i.g., and gnarls barkley. some weren't obscure songs either, "say no go" from 3 feet high and rising and "crazy" from st. elsewhere both integrated "i can't go for that" in some fashion.

i can remember a few instances where i copied jean claude van damme's epic dance sequence (click here to watch the video) from kickboxer and the intro to "i can't go for that" was the perfect foil for the shoulder shimmy. as a child, i didn't fully appreciate the depth of the music, but i definitely acknowledged the funky rhythms. the drum pattern and sounds were typical of the 1980s, but what set "i can't go for that" apart from its contemporaries were the air-like keyboards, guitars, and intense saxophone solos. daryl hall, who proclaimed himself as the "head soul brother in the u.s.", flexed his vocal muscles like arnold schwarzenegger and lou ferrigno at a family picnic. it's near impossible not to become entranced when he sings:

"i'll do anything that you want me to do. yeah, i'll do almost anything that you want me too. yeah... but i can't go for that. no, no can do."

as an integral piece of my music rotation, hall and oates has endured an early childhood obsession and remained as one of my favorite acts of all time. not only does their music conjure up memories, but it's so well crafted that it's relevant even in comparison to today's technologically advanced creations. if you really want to kick the ballistics a la nino brown, the basic formula of "i can't go for that" was korg keyboard + drums + guitars + saxophone. does that sound somewhat familiar to you? it's inherently the same formula as the neptunes. well, that's a wrap for the first of this three part series. stay tuned for the next chapter!

Labels: , , , , ,

"it's the smell of this money"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

+ raekwon feat. lyfe jennings "catalina" [audio]

if you weren't excited for only built 4 cuban linx pt. II, now might be a good time to start. i reckon that raekwon won't get anywhere near gold sales or fill your afternoon ride home via the radio, but he might just release the most important hip-hop album of the decade. sure, that's a lofty statement, but surely you have to realize how people have been wishing for an adequate follow up to his debut album. it's almost certain that pt. II is going to sound dated. it's about ten years late, but all of that will get thrown out of the window when raekwon and his team craft the most cohesive hip-hop album since... well, since only built 4 cuban linx.

"catalina" is raekwon at his finest. frankly, we know that raekwon is sharp lyrically and he rarely (if ever) disappoints. his main problem after only built 4 cuban linx was either pride or outright refusal to follow his initial formula. he waded away from the production and structure that helped to craft one of hip-hop's few conclusive classic albums. so far, it looks as if raekwon has invited the work of the well knowns and only took their premium contributions. dr. dre's work on "catalina" is no exception. he provides what is, in theory, the quintessential dr. dre production. the piano loop is simple, but enticing. the drums aren't complicated, but they are well layered and expertly sequenced. the accompanying sounds, like the slight whirl in the background, only add to the sonic landscape. lyfe jennings serves as a sublime bridge between raekwon's well crafted verses. every piece of the "catalina" puzzle seems like it was chosen and recorded specifically for this song and not a haphazard mish mash of personalities and styles that seemed to be the norm for raekwon's previous releases. only built 4 cuban linx pt. II is shaping up to be 24 tracks of pure, unadulterated hip-hop. it's about time...

extra extra extra

+ raekwon feat. ghostface killah, gza, inspectah deck, and method man "house of flying daggers" [video]

Labels: , , , , ,

"we all come here to see if you wanna go pro"

Monday, August 24, 2009

here's a slice of media that i find more interesting than hip-hop: films. this past weekend i was able to watch inglourious basterds and (500) days of summer.

+ inglourious basterds
by quentin tarantino
with brad pitt, christopher waltz, diane kruger, and eli roth
in 252 mins.

after it's first weekend at the box office, inglourious basterds is on course to be tarantino's most successful film commercially, but it's critical plaudits have rivaled his other films like pulp fiction and reservoir dogs. reportedly, it polarized the critics at cannes, but it's met widespread praise since it's release stateside. personally, i agree with the masses and i think it's the finest film i've seen this year.

when you walk into a tarantino film, one should expect a breadth of pop culture references, witty dialogue, homages to films that tarantino appreciates, moments of comedy, and stylized violence. inglourious basterds fulfills those requirements fashionably. tarantino has described basterds as his "spaghetti western but with world war II iconography". additionally, i would add that basterds took the sharp dialogue of pulp fiction, stylized violence and revenge plot of kill bill, particles of the dirty dozen, and converging stories of once upon a time in the west to create a film that transcends genres and labels.

tarantino's characters may be the strongest he has ever written. for instance, colonel hans landa (christopher waltz) is perhaps one of my favorite characters in film, period. waltz geniously portrayed "the jew hunter" as both a ruthless and charismatic figure. waltz provided much of the films most memorable lines and stole each scene he was involved in. the film's big name, brad pitt, didn't disappoint as lieutenant aldo raine aka "aldo the apache". his thick southern drawl, tilted facial expressions, and declarations of cruelty provide the backdrop for a character just as memorable as jules winnfield or bill. i won't soon forget pitt's delivery during the scene where sergeant donny donowitz aka "the bear jew" (eli roth) gears up to bash in the head of a nazi prisoner:

"actually werner, we're all tickled ya said that. frankly, watchin donny beat nazi's to death, is the closest we ever get to the movies. donny! got a german here wants to die for country. oblige him."

tarantino has always been a master for dialogue, but he displays his ability to create a level of tension where you are screaming for characters to do something because you know what will happen, but he keeps you waiting to an unbearable point. it makes for gripping cinema. without giving away too much, some scenes to look out for are the first scene between col. hans landa and the dairy farmer, scene in the underground bar, and basically the entire last chapter.

inglourious basterds is definitely a must see film. while the middle portion of the film may seem to drag on for some, the chapters that include the basterds will more than make up for the dialogue dense middle. my only complaint is that there wasn't enough of the basterds, but i heard that tarantino saved some of the footage for a prequel. i can't wait.

Labels: ,

"you can't bring the future back"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

it looks like jay-z decided to funnel "off that" to the internets and the blogosphere has had the track in it's clutches for the past 24 hours. my review for this track can be summed up in two words: utter garbage.

to begin, the production is fecal matter at worst and lukewarm at best. i doubt that there is a soul that would consider this to be among timbaland's finest offerings. it's shameful that timbaland would even qualify this track as an adequate backdrop for jay-z and drake. in the early development stages of blueprint 3, timbaland claimed that he was producing the entire album. after hearing "off that", i think we are all grateful that his statement was merely ambition and not the truth. it's quite possible that this is all timbaland is capable of. it's possible that he spent what remains of his talent during his escapades with justin timberlake and nelly furtado. it's possible that he produced "off that" without the aid of danjahandz. that's a lot of possibilities, but i would conclude that timbaland simply settled. the thumping and powerful drums that were his trademark and sought out by "super producers" like kanye west were conspicuously absent. the melody was simple and lacked the intense layering of his r&b work. the intermittent sonic additions seemed to detract rather than add. "off that" was bland. it was an effort devoid of actual effort. honestly, the last timbaland production i appreciated was "ayo technology". years ago, he said hip-hop was boring to him. i guess he had to bring his musicianship to meet that standard...

for me, it's difficult to review jay-z. historically, i accept that jay-z is a revered icon in hip-hop and that he's widely considered one of the greatest mc's ever. personally, i have never liked jay-z as much as his rabid fans or hip-hop luminaries in general. i consider the blueprint to be a classic album. i think the black album is mostly great and i enjoyed a handful of tracks from reasonable doubt. my main gripe with jay-z is that he gets extremely lazy with his lyrics and he's apt to jump on whatever the bandwagon is in regards to ad libs, flow, and other lyrical trends. lyrically, the final verse on "off that" is an exemplary display of garbage. he takes note worty lyrical shortcuts like "fidduck" and needless repetition. it seems like he's competing with timbaland to see who's willing to accept mediocrity first.

the last piece of the puzzle is drake and unfortunately, nobody thought it would be a good idea to let him flex his lyrical prowess. he's relegated to chorus and bridge duties and there's little to even grade him on. he sounds like drake. he flows like drake. nothing else happened for him to even matter in the overall context of the track. if "off that" was supposed to be a widely anticipated showcase of the old and new, it completely failed. if drake was allowed to deliver a complete verse, he might have saved the track. at the least, it would temporarily put a stop gap on the dude's head in his lap fiasco.

despite my scrutiny, "off that" has a chance to become one of the last few hits of the summer and prep jay-z fans for blueprint 3. for the common music fan, i think the track will quench their desire to have the three heavyweights together and they won't mind or notice the faults. that is unless they were searching for the next "my love" because "off that" falls short of even decent pop music.

Labels: , , , ,