rssFollow Us on Twitter
Music

August 31, 2004;/h3>

{     Poor Aim: Love Songs by The Blow     }    

Seven tracks. Seventeen minutes. Stuck in your head- forever. Khaela Maricich and Jona Bechtolt have forged something amazing here. While there is an incredibly accessible side to this album's brilliantly crafted lo-fi electro-dance-pop, Poor Aim: Love Songs is also conspiratorially intimate, warm and sweet. Like diary pages set to hook-laden beats. It's as though your best friend's cool older sister, whom you've always had a crush on, suddenly pulled you into her room to whisper secrets in your ear while playing new-wave records at top volume to mask your conversation from her jealous brother. You realize as she's speaking just how well she knows you, and why you've always loved her. Her brother breaks in the door just as you're about to share your first kiss....

     » States Rights Records (order here)
     » The Blow
     » Y.A.C.H.T.

Clothing

{     Poketo Artist Wallets     }    

The guy at the mini-mart had the same look I had when I opened up the package. He bent over to see it a little closer, to see what the detail was. It was shiny and colorful, different from everything. Then he did the funniest thing, he started to ask what was up with it, where I got it, and where he could get one. I mean, I saw the glisten in his eye, the want in his fingers, it was obvious he dug it. But the thing is, he didn't ask, he just thanked me for the cash and shoved it in the drawer without looking, all the time watching me put my Poketo wallet back in my pocket. He knew it was special and he did the indie rock thing where you know something is so fuckin' cool, and you gotta know what's up and where they got it, but you can't just ask because that would mean you didn't know. You know? Indie rockers are funny.

     » Get your wallet (as well as wristbands and zines) from Poketo

Home & Beauty

August 27, 2004;/h3>

{     Dirty Girl Foot Kit     }    

Nice looking and smelling feet are hard to come by, but with the Dirty Girl Foot Kit, you can pamper your dogs to near perfection. Included in this nifty little gift set are scrub, lotion, and a pumice stone to smooth away roughness and make them feets glow. There's even a tiny jar of peachy pink polish to hide those cracked nails and it's all wrapped up in adorable Dirty Girl packaging. The scents of tea tree, eucalyptus, walnut, and oats and honey will have those piggies dancing with glee and feeling totally refreshed. This stuff smells so good, I'd like to eat it but I'll refrain for now. You can check out the entire Blue Q line or read about the super cool founders Seth and Mitch Nash at the sesto-senso website. Contributed by: Stacy Broce

     » sesto-senso.com

Art

August 26, 2004;/h3>

{     "Good News For People Who Love Bad News" Poster     }    

I've been a fan of Modest Mouse for a looong time, and although I'm sitting right at the tipping point of burnout with them recently, I must say that the best thing about their latest album "Good News For People Who Love Bad News" is the beautiful green and pink album cover depicting arrows stuck in a wall. I mean "Float On" is awesome, and I did listen to it about 83 times those few months, but the cover.... Wow. Just completely memorable, perfect in it's simplicity and design. It was done by the good people at Houston, whom have developed an absolutely wonderful marketing scheme for the album, nearly worthwhile of a gallery showing. Looking deeper, I've found that Houston and Modest Mouse have some of this material for sale on their sites. My favorite has got to be the poster for the actual album cover, although the similar but sold out "Even If You Survive This" print is equally impressive.

     » Houston (at wehaveaproblem.com)
     » Modest Mouse official site (featuring more Houston work)

Live

{     Curiosa Festival, Cleveland OH     }    

bob12.jpg This may come as a shock to some of you, but in junior high, I was a mope rock motherfucker. Sure, I listened to hip-hop, but to this day, I can just as easily drop some Smiths lyrics alongside my Big Daddy Kane. Never underestimate the power of teen angst, as everybody secretly feels that they are some deep untapped geyser of human complexity and misunderstood genius, especially in the eighth grade. I’m not a fan of most of today’s sonic sobbers as I seem to prefer my melancholy to come with an English accent and a twist of homoeroticism. However, with Moz’s summer vacation plans cancelled, I opted to seek refuge and solace in the teased-out, bummed-out aura of Robert “Silk Shirt” Smith at this year’s Monsters of Mope tour, Curiosa.

     » The Cure's Official Site

Music

August 25, 2004;/h3>

{     Louis Logic - Sin-a-Matic     }    

“Slept on” does not begin to describe how underappreciated Louis Logic’s 2003 release Sin-a-Matic truly is. I know ’03 was a big year for the scene, and there was a lot going on in both the mainstream and the underground to distract, but it’s a fucking tragedy that this piece didn’t get more play. With some of the smoothest delivery this side of Detroit, Lou wraps witty and gritty lyrics around production by a host of talents (including The Avid Record Collector and Celph Titled, who also pulls guest-lyricist duty) all polished up to a nice shine by mixologist and partner in crime JJ Brown. Somewhere between backpack and Benz, what emerges is a true working-class rap album. It’s the kind of gold that can only be mined by a man forced to hold a day job, whose true passions only come out in those late-night off-hour recording sessions, or on stage between-jobs when touring clubs. Sin-a-Matic is a meticulously crafted work, and if its creator occasionally spits lyrics with a confidence usually reserved for the more-often-heard it’s because he’s got every right to be proud of this production.

     » LouisLogic.com
     » Buy Sin-a-Matic

Reading

August 23, 2004;/h3>

{     ROJO Magazine     }    

rojo-mag.gif Rojo Magazine isn't a magazine at all. There's nothing to read. No paragraphs, no sentences, no authors. There is no table of contents, nothing. But that does not in any way mean that there is nothing said. Compiled in Barcelona, Spain, ROJO is a compendium of artworks from creatives around the globe, all created with very few rules, and made exclusively for ROJO. It is the uber-'Zine. The rules are simple, besides the main rule of the work being made specifically for dispay in ROJO, the work must relate to no specific time or event, so as to have a relationship only unto itself and the other works in that issue.

     » Buy an issue of ROJO, or contribute to the next one.

Reading

{     Koushun Takami's Battle Royale vol. 1 - published by Tokyopop     }    

In 1999, Japanese author Koushun Takami published his first novel, entitled Battle Royale. The storyline centers around "The Program", a combination game-show reality-TV survive-a-thon that pits 42 teenagers against one another in a 3 day battle to the death. One twist, among many, is that the kids all know each other- they are all from the same 9th grade class. Many of them are friends. As a lot of you reading this probably know, the novel was picked up for adaptation into film, and the controversy surrounding its theme of teens murdering each other grabbed attention on an international level, becoming a bit of a cult phenomenon. While the film arguably lived up to the hype, it fell short on the backstory and characterization that made the novel so compelling, relying instead on visceral imagery to carry it from scene to scene. The film lacked depth but the novel lacked visual impact. Was there no middleground? Enter the manga. Bloodier and gorier than the film and every bit as involved as the novel, this medium is the perfect synthesis of the written word and the visual image. Takami-san even undertook the writing duties, re-scripting some of the events in the film and book versions to give them further depth and enlisting Masayuki Taguchi to bring it all to life on the page. Taguchi uses a blend of styles to create the world of Battle Royale, and communicates the action taking place in a fluid and realistic manner that conveys a true sense of motion and speed of movement. The manga is a whole new animal, combining the best elements from the previous versions into something exceptional and transcendent.

     » Tokyopop

By Adam in Reading
Toys

August 22, 2004;/h3>

{     Pontiki     }    

Pontiki are small geometric shapes that come packaged with an assortment of little parts you can use to give them faces and personality. You stick these little facial pieces into holes, like Mr. Potato Head, except you're not stuck with just putting eyes in the "eyes hole," a nose in the "nose hole," or mixing them up to make some horrible potato freak. Pontiki let you put these bits more or less anywhere you choose. There are four basic shapes of Pontiki: egg, cone, cylinder, and cube, and each one can be joined together make larger and more elaborate shapes. You can see some of the bits you'll be getting. You know what "eyes" and "mouth" you'll get but the rest of the pieces are hidden inside the Pontiki's body, i.e. they're "collectible." A Japanese import being marketed in the States by Just Fun (the folks who brought us all of those keychain toys), Pontiki have an adorably Asian look to their features. Over the ocean they've also got Pootiki (insect like critters) and Chovica (pull-back cars) that can be accessorized with the Pontiki parts. Pontiki definitely have the feeling of a "desk toy" like those squeezy martian stress dolls or one of those magnetic sculpture things. If you've got a cubicle and you've been meaning to get something else to decorate it now that your "hunky firemen" calendar is a little tiresome, Pontiki just might be your answer.

     » Visit the highly confusing Japanese page.
     » Visit the Just Fun showcase.

Twelves

August 20, 2004;/h3>

{     12 Crap Things About Commuting     }    

01. Dumb-ass classic rock DJs vs. inane 'soft rock' radio personalities
02. Ford truck with American flag window cling covering the back window
03. Dude in Buick with sporty mirror-shades and mullet checking me out, grinning
04. Temporary lack of car insurance + sudden preponderance of brake lights = peed pants
05. Getting cut off by Lexus with 'RSK TKR' license plate
06. Getting cut off by Jeep with 'JRZ GRL' license plate
07. Lack of good highway eatin' (not even any good coffee)
08. Torturous, unending, terrifying sleepiness
09. 25 minutes of stop-and-go because somebody pulled over to take a piss
10. Once-adorable woodland animals run over by 5000-pound SUVs
11. Really funny things thought of, only to be forgotten upon getting home
12. Thoughts of corporate slavery, urge to keep driving into the wilderness

- Written by Vikki Warner

Reading

{     The Royal Magazine     }    

Offering a high quality art magazine for free is an accomplishment. Offering a high quality art magazine with very little ads and a print run of 20,000, available in Detroit, Chicago, London, NYC, LA, San Fran, Manchester, Miami, Philly and Tokyo is beyond me. But these guys do it, and they do it well. All while repping the midwest (they are based in Detroit.) If you dont live in one of these cities and you dont want to read the online version (which is great) you can order a copy for only $5. Only in to issue 3, this quarterly is definitly going places. They are working on getting distro for Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, and if that doesnt impress you then maybe the fact that the art director is only 20 will. Check this magazine out.
Its worth the loot. - Contributed by Dustin Hostetler: DustinAmeryHostetler.com

     » The Royal Magazine

Twelves

August 19, 2004;/h3>

{     Cassettes I Wore the Fuck Out (pt.1)     }    

1. G'n'R "Appetite"
2. Black Crowes "Shake Your Money Maker"
3. Beastie Boys "Paul's Boutique"
4. Jane's Addiction "Nothing Shocking"
5. Beatles "Revolver"
6. NIN "Pretty Hate Machine"
7. Plastikman "Musik"
8. Jason Kemper's the Cure mixtape
9. Smashing Pumpkins "Gish"
10. Pharcyde "Bizarre Ride..."
11. Miles Davis "Tribute to Jack Johnson"
12. The Cult "Electric"

Toys

{     Bandai - GX-08 Aphrodai A - Soul of Chogokin     }    

Weapons of Mass Destruction! This is one of four female robot designs released in Bandai's Soul of Chogokin series of die-cast figures, all four equipped with interchangeable "warheads" that are spring-loaded to fire off of their chests. Named after classical Greek and Roman Goddesses (Aphrodai, Mineva, Dianan, Venus) these Shogun Warrior-style babes apparently kick it with the ever popular Mazinger, one of Japan's most well-known giant robot heroes. While this just may be the most bizarre trainwreck of sexist repressed male sexuality and robo-geek toy culture the world has ever seen, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Bandai trumps themselves with a Snapping Deadly Vagina Claw or Hyper Clitoral Burning Laser Cannon. Word has it that this line (released in 2002) is due for a remake* in '04 or '05, and I'm sure they'll be ready to up the fembot ante. *see below

     » See more (note eBay links at bottom to purchase)
     » Preorder "Angel" series

Art

August 18, 2004;/h3>

{     Seen Tag Model     }    

Made exclusively for the San Diego Comic Con, Toy Tokyo, teamed with Planet 6, has produced an incredible, blazing red model/sculpture of legendary graffiti writer SEEN's internationally-known, flawless tag. It's solid, bright red, and big at ten inches by 6 inches, a great piece to add to any urban collector's shelf. It looks good enough to sit in a gallery, but is cheap enough that people like you and me can have it in our living rooms. So you know, SEEN is Richard Mirando, one of the original New York City subway painters from the late '70s and early '80s, and one of the few that have not disappeared into the darkness since. His creativity and versatile skills have kept him relevant all these years, still talked about by young writers for his legendary work and huge full-car train murals. SEEN has since become a successful independent artist and has taken an artform that most used to look down upon, and helped carry it into the white walls of many of todays most renowned galleries. SEEN has in recent years taken his art off the walls and into the sculpture realm, using fiberglass, resin, metal and more to create 3D forms similar to the vision he has been putting on walls for years. SEEN cannot be described, only witnessed, and now you have the opportunity to bring his work home with you.

     » Buy it at Toy Tokyo ($45)

Twelves

August 17, 2004;/h3>

{     The Ultimate Sandwich     }    

I truly am a twelve-sandwich-eatin' motherfucker. Here's my favorite.

1. Prosciutto
2. Genoa Salami
3. Hard Salami
4. Pepperoni
5. Smoked Provolone
6. Mozzarella
7. Wafer-thin Dill Pickle
8. Leaf Spinach
9. Thinly Sliced Tomato
10. Basil and Oregano
11. Balsamic Vinaigrette
12. Crusty Baguette

Clothing

August 15, 2004;/h3>

{     Itsus Church Key Belt Buckle     }    

churchkey.jpg I have never, ever, ever, ever, never paid more than $5 for a belt buckle. It's just one of those things that I've never seen as something worthy of dropping a bunch of change on. I mean, it keeps your pants up, that's it, and even the belt itself does most the work there. Plus, I don't think I've tucked my shirt in for about 3 years, so it's not like anybody would see it anyway, well, unless it's my girlfriend, or your mom. You see, I'd rather spend my money on useful things, like CDs, t-shirts, tropical fish, paper plates, and beer.

However, Itsus Clothing has gone and made me a belt buckle that actually makes itself useful for more than keeping up my pants and whipping your moms, it's a beer bottle opener! A hardcore church key that I'll always have on me. Imagine the looks at the next BBQ when I lift my shirt and *cling-ka-shhhhhh*, suds are served! I guess it could open other bottles too, like Jones Soda or holy water (do they bottle that?), but whatever, we all know what I'm talking about here.


     » Get it at Urban Outfitters
     » Check out other Itsus shwag.

Interviews

August 14, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Nando Costa     }    

Nando Costa was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finishing college there and promptly moving to the United States in 1999 to begin his design career. He worked for some of the bigger and better design companies out there, such as WDDG and Digital Kitchen, all the while dabbling in most all medias. You see, Nando has been drawing and painting since he was knee high to a fly, however these days you'll find most of his work in print, on the web, and in animations for little companies like HBO, VH1, and Cartoon Network. He has also worked on projects for clients such as Nike, Diesel, Coca-Cola, and Dolce & Gabbana. Yeah, no small deal.

Also heavily involved in online design circles, Nando has contributed to such web heavyweights as K10k, Newstoday, Infourm, and Designiskinky, as well as having his portfolio website, Hungryfordesign, win it's own bucketload of praise, including it's fair share of awards (Macromedia, Webby Awards, etc). He has spoken at several major design and Flash conferences, as well as having shown his work in both US and international galleries. Not stopping there, Nando has shown his incredible animation at Resfest, the acclaimed international film festival, created design and video for many major and minor label musicians, and has since traveled back to Brazil in order to run Nakd, a motion and animation firm creating work for MTV, AMC, Nike, and the Anime Network.

So, a little while back, not satisfied with how he thought most people perceived his beloved native Brazil, Nando assembled and published a book titled "Brasil Inspired" in which he gathered many of today's established and emerging talents to show us their interpretations and impressions of Brasil using only their art. It was wonderful (read our review here).

So in other words, the guy has more creativity in his little pinky-toe than most of us have in our whole wasted noggins, he seems to never stop working, is incredibly interesting, and is a really nice guy as well. See for yourself...

Interviews

{     Interview : Bobby Dixon     }    

In a state full of shitkickers and rock snobs, Bobby Dixon is a man apart. Fronting Kollective Fusion, the soon-to-be maverick design firm, he's cracked the gig poster scene wide with designs that explode the traditional formats- serving up work that goes beyond expectations and offering up a healthy dose of old-school cool while he's at it. He's postered for everybody from Al Green and RjD2 to the Darkness and Fischerspooner, in addition to currently working on several mixed-media paintings. (Gallery curators take note.) I even caught him teaching underprivileged kids about graphic design on his day off.

Reading

August 12, 2004;/h3>

{     RE:UP Magazine     }    

There are magazines you buy and bring home, lay on the couch and read, sit at the kitchen table and browse, throw on the coffee table and your buddy picks up and flips thru while he waits for you to get your shoes on, your girl skips thru the pages in bed when she can't sleep, and eventually end up getting tossed in the pail. Then there are the mags that you read, and you read again, you won't let your buddies lay a greasy finger on 'em, like a piece of work, of art really, that when you're not reading or drowning deep in the illustrations, you promptly return to a shelf, away from all that daily damage and the like. RE:UP is like that. Hardly feeling fair calling it a magazine, I'll stick with what the kids at RE:UP call it themselves, a manual. A bold term, but deserved, as RE:UP is of the best out there in all qualities. Heavy primo paper, perfect bound, featuring reviews, interviews, and articles with the cream of today's talents, such as Animal Collective, Pete Rock, Prefuse 73, Richard Dorfmeister, Blockhead, Mr. Scruff, Richard Devine, DJ Vadim, Funkstorung, Lyrics Born, and on and on. And then there is the art. RE:UP gets all the weights involved, a quick list being Derrick Hogdson, HunterGatherer, Graphic Havok, Kozyndan, Struggle Inc, Jordan Crane, and on and on and on. But then, nearly every page in each manual could reside on a t-shirt if it were not for the abundant amounts of actual text. That's right, lots and lots of text. We all know a lot of "art" mags these days tend to come heavy with the full-page pics, blown-out and lookin' good, but you end up paying too much for a mag you read in 20 minutes, well, not with RE:UP. This shit is dense, and good. Pay attention to this one, it'll be around for a long, long while.

     » Buy it at RE:UP Online
     » Or at the wonderful Turntable Lab

Music

{     Jason Forrest The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash     }    

Remember IDM? That's Intelligent Dance Music in case you've forgotten. Round about the time Radiohead released _Kid A_ it was pretty big news. Music journalists all over the world were tripping over themselves to find a genre in which to find context to review _Kid A_ and reassure themselves they were "with it," leading to all sorts of angry forum posts and other rants from folks who had been down with the IDM scene long before a certain pop band put out an album that didn't sound anything like their previous stuff. I never did get a good definition of just what IDM was supposed to be, but my best guess is it can be applied to any artist who eschews instruments for computers but avoids the driving "ng-chuk ng-chuk ng-chuk" beat of terrible house music. My problem with most of the stuff I've heard deemed IDM is it's awfully damned flat and empty. Which is by contrast, rather circuitously, what I love about _The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash_ (hereafter referred to as _Post Disco Crash_ because, christ, that's a long title!).

     » Cock Rock Disco

     » Buy it...

Food & Drink

{     Rt. 11 Potato Chips - Limited Edition Patsy Cline Tin     }    

Sarah Cohen, the president of Rt. 11 Potato Chips, has two great passions- the music of Patsy Cline and delicous micro-batch potato chips. Her company has been winning awards and gracing gourmet palates for more than 10 years with its unique chip offerings. When Sarah recently had a chance to combine her love of Patsy with her love of chips, the results proved to be something spectacular. The tin is beautiful, featuring monotone metallic prints of Patsy culled from photos taken throughout her career, and a reproduction signature to set it all off. It has a very pop-art meets cowgirl-cool feel, tasteful yet still lots of fun. Most importantly however, you should know that part of the proceeds of the sale of these tins go to fund the establishment of a Patsy Cline museum in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia. While that makes this a very noble endeavor unto its own, don't overlook the fact that the giant tin you receive is full of some of the most incredible tasting hand cooked potato chips ever produced on the planet. I was lucky enough to sample a variety of Rt. 11 products recently (see below) and it's left me spoiled for life. Their freshness, quality and crunch have ruined me for mass-produced potato chips. I tried to eat a handful of Lay's the other day, but it was like drinking Thunderbird and trying to pretend it's Kristal- once you've tasted the best, you just don't want the rest.

     » Rt.11 Official Website (click on "Order Here" for pricing and ordering info)
     » Order the Patsy Cline tin from Amazon Gourmet Foods (sweet potato flavor only)

Film & TV

August 11, 2004;/h3>

{     The Super Milk Chan Show Vol.1 - 100% Whole     }    

ABSOLUTELY MENTAL. BEYOND SANITY. COMPLETELY RETARDED. UTTERLY FUCKED. And that still doesn't begin to describe the madness that is Super Milk Chan. It's half superhero situation-drama and half surreal meta-cultural anime comedy. Three's Company meets Excel Saga, rendered in that beautiful J-pop thick-lined Powerpuff Girls-style. The main character, Milk Chan, is an underage superhero with no superpowers struggling to pay the rent on the apartment she shares with her friend Tetsuko, a well-intentioned yet morally imperialistic robot and Hanage (literally "nose-hair") an aging alcoholic slug. Inevitably, The President calls and the trio are whisked off to solve a mystery or save the world, and what follows is some of the most cracked plot logic you're likely to ever witness. Or Milk Chan's obnoxiously effeminate landlord shows up, demanding the rent, forcing the gang into some off-kilter money-making venture. (My favorite- extorting cash from the family of ants that have taken up residence in the yard.) It's cute and crass, with lots of swearing and obscure comedic references that will go over the head of even the most dedicated Japanophile. Interspersed amongst this are "Video Diaries", short live-action clips narrated by a little girl that never have any bearing on what is occuring with the rest of the show.

     » Official Super Milk Chan Site (Japanese)
     » ADV Super Milk Chan Site
     » Buy from DeepDiscountDVD.com for $17.99

Twelves

August 10, 2004;/h3>

{     Places I Get Really Nervous     }    

Inside fast-food restaraunts.
Passenger seat of my car.
Churches.
High places without railing.
Street corners.
Hospital bathrooms.
Driving in Ohio.
The front row of anything.
Public pools.
Anytime someone is singing without music.
Rooms with people wearing cologne.
In front of a chalkboard (fuck math races).

Web

{     Pictures On Walls     }    

When we at Crown Dozen see places like Pictures On Walls doing what they do, we raise our goblets on high, slinging thick fermented mead all over the damn place in a drunken viking roar. It just warms our cold, cold hearts to see people doing something good for the rest of us just because they have a love for art. And what exactly might they be doing you ask? Why that would be selling searing hot artwork for an absolute pitance, allowing fools like me, he, she, and you to hang something on our walls that could damn well just the same be hanging in a snobby gallery in downtown NY or London and selling for hundreds of dollars. You see, POW is selling not just posters, but actual full-on screenprints of original works from artists you either love or damn well should. Artists such as Pete Fowler (Monsterism), Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl, Gorillaz), Bast, Faile, the incomparable Banksy, and one of my personal faves, Insect are represented here. These prints are each hand-pulled In Birmingham using quality inks on heavy grade paper, every one a work of art in it's own right. Oh, and they're not tiny either. Matter of fact, most prints on the POW site have a little picture under them so you can actually see the scale. Thoughtful. The key here is the price, which means you can have a limited edition silkscreened print from POW, by an artist you love, hanging over your ratty-ass crumb-covered couch for around £50, or just about $75-$100.

     » Click here to start your collection...

Reading

{     Blowback Magazine     }    

If Crown Dozen had a cool older sister, and she was British and really really good-looking, and had excellent taste in a variety of music, art and culture, and if she was a magazine- her name would be Blowback. All of our friends would want to date her, and they'd always be talking about what gorgeous and vivid colors she has, how thick and sturdy her pages and binding are and what a knockout she is graphic design-wise. They would always want to spend the night, hoping to catch a glimpse of her before she jaunts off for an interview with electrolatino love-machine Senor Coconut. They might even sneak into her room to check out her artwork- from her grainy yet beautiful photography style to her next-level street art illustrations, everybody would want to take some home. They would all pester her to see pics of her psychedelic trip to Tokyo, marvel at the focused brilliance she revealed when discussing the subject of lomography, and they would all want to know what Adam Freeland is really like in person. And she would tell them. That's the cool thing about her. She wouldn't be all stuck-up and pretentious about it. She'd be accessible and easy to converse with, whether you wanted to talk about video games, independent film, freaky festival fashion or obscure rock bands. She'd share interesting and thoughtful interviews with anybody who wanted to read them, and she'd do it all for free.

     » Blowback

Music

August 9, 2004;/h3>

{     The Riverboat Gamblers - Something To Crow About     }    

I got poisoned a few days back- someone slipped me some of that whiny guitar-heavy screamo shit, trying to tell me how hard it was and how much it rocked. It made me puke blood (in a bad way). The Riverboat Gamblers proved to be the antidote for what ailed me- a sure-fire tonic against party-pooping mainstreamo bullshitters. A few tracks into Something To Crow About and I was feeling better than ever, ready to take on the world and/or a few six-packs of cheap beer. These boys play some full-swagger street-punk-influenced motherfucking rock and roll. It's catchier than mono at a make-out party, and 7 times rawer than raw horsemeat. Full of garagey chords, anthemic shout-along lyrics and some concise yet wailing guitar, Something To Crow About is the perfect soundtrack to your back porch white trash barbecue beer-fest, charity cock-fighting tournament or back-alley best-friend brawl. It's just a lot of damn fun.

     » The Riverboat Gamblers
     » Gearhead Records

Twelves

August 6, 2004;/h3>

{     12 Buying Changes Since Becoming Unemployed.     }    

01. Bagged cereal, no boxes.
02. Rent DVDs from the library.
03. No more Charmin, now it's Angel Soft.
04. Whatever deodorant is at Big Lots.
05. Water in the empty shampoo bottle.
06. Do I really need all these cell minutes?
07. Dollar theatre.
08. Frozen pizza, no delivery.
09. Budweiser, not Corona w/ lime.
10. A lot less magazines.
11. A lot less gasoline.
12. A lot less. Period.

And it's worth it.

Film & TV

{     The Iron Giant     }    

_The Iron Giant_ is a story of a boy and his robot. For those of you out there, like myself, who have dreamt of having the phrase "and his (or her) robot" as an epitaph this review is probably just preaching to the choir. Unless of course you missed it, as much of America did, in which case read on fellow robot geeks! You're gonna love this. Okay, so this movie _did_ come out about 5 years ago now. It ain't exactly fresh fodder for discussion. I'm convinced, however, that not nearly enough people saw this delightful little tale of a giant robot's quest for identity. No great effort was made to remind you that it existed. While the film was being produced Warner Bros. was shutting down it's animated feature division. The makers would come into work and find things missing, removed in secret during the night. There wasn't even a poster ready when it was released. _The Iron Giant_ was quietly dropped into theaters in the summer of 1999 and left to fade into memory.

     » Buy it...

Art

August 5, 2004;/h3>

{     Kantor Gallery - Yumiko Kayukawa Limited Edition Prints     }    

It seems only natural that such iconic images be given new life as a series of limited edition prints- since Yumiko has sold every piece she has ever produced, and with prices for her original work beginning to reflect the supply vs. demand dilemma, this may be the only way for most of us to affordably own a taste of her work. Kudos to Kantor for not only recognizing the wide appeal of Yumiko's work, but also for taking the initiative to make these prints a reality. A run of 3 prints is planned, with a new design released every two months. Two designs are currently available, the 21 x 30 inch "Drive My Car" and the 15 x 21 inch "Surf", with a third as-yet-unveiled piece soon to be released. The prints are produced by Harvest Productions and are Iris Giclee on heavy somerset paper, bled to the edge and designed to be the same size as the paintings they are reproduced from. Each of the 3 designs is limited to 100 pieces signed and numbered, and are reasonably priced at $80. Having so often lamented the lack of Yumiko's artwork in my life, I am now faced with the dilemma of which print to order, or whether to forego some of life's necessities (food, clothing, shelter) in order to pick up all three.

     » Kantor Gallery Limited Editions

By Adam in Art
Home & Beauty

{     5inch Disc Hubs     }    

cdholder.jpg 5inch is a company which makes and sells beautifully designed and superbly silkscreened CD-r's, as well as various cases, trays, DVD media, storage options, and other compact disc and DVD related knicks and knacks. It's about 8 steps above buying regular CD-r's, and barely one-step below having your favorite artist custom draw on each burnt compilation you make for that long road trip you're going to take this weekend. Trust me, the CD-r's they print are the hotness. But that's not what this is about. What I want to bring to your notice is a little something brought to my attention by sir Josh Rubin at Cool Hunting. 5inch has made these little hubs just like the ones in the center of everyday CD trays, except these don't have the tray and the backs of them are sticky. This means you can stick them inside the cover of a book, dotted along a wall, or even to the side of a baby's head, and then fit a CD securely on them. Simple? Yes. Kinda obvious? Yes. Cool? Still a yes.

     » Buy them at 5inch (under 'Storage')

Music

August 4, 2004;/h3>

{     Y.A.C.H.T. - Super Warren MMIV     }    

Laptop music has never sounded this intimate. Jona Bechtolt (under the also-known-as moniker Y.A.C.H.T.) serves up something organic and warm with this release- it's the sonic equivalent of reading someone's live-journal or diary. Moments of happiness bleed into jilted and discordant rants, you hear love made and unmade, listening to a heart break and mend, break and mend. With very few words, this album speaks volumes. Despite the personal tone, there are a number of very accessible moments of electro-pop brilliance to be found, along with some devastatingly catchy 8-bit digital orchestration. It may seem wrong to bop your head along to the soundtrack of someone's messy love life, but the best songs always seem to be inspired by such. It helps considerably that Bechtolt doesn't wallow in his misery: His dark clouds don't just have a silver lining- they have fucking rainbows shooting out of them. Standouts for me include; "SHTML"- the boppy lead-in that sounds like the best video game soundtrack I've never heard, "The Denver Nuggets"- a vocoder infused discoey jam that breaks down into some nice hard beats near the end, and "Remember What This Feels Like" with its low-key dirgey outer-shell and creamy center of hot-pink danciness.

     » Y.A.C.H.T.
     » States Rights Records

Reading

August 3, 2004;/h3>

{     Sneaker Freaker Magazine     }    

"So many sneakers, so little time." laments Sneaker Freaker editor/creator Woody, the man behind the finest publication ever to cover the sneak-scene. What makes Sneaker Freaker the best? I'll give you three reasons: 1. The look. In a scene so obsessed with style, very few 'zines and mags that cover it look like they are even worth wrapping your mud-crusted throw-aways in. SF bucks the trend by offering up a nicely bound 6 x 8 inch "mook" (half magazine, half book) full of sharp photos, clear colors, and catchy-as-hell design and layout. To boot, it's all printed on nice heavy-stock paper with no gloss to get all greasy and fingerprinty. There's even a centerfold-style back page that unfurls to reveal 63 different styles, colorways and brands. 2. The words. Deep interviews, solid essays and real humor and wit. The "writing" in most sneaker mags is an afterthought, and usually succumbs to stupid grammar, lame anecdotes and interviews that just don't go anywhere. SF is tight, all the way through. You get the enthusiasm and love of the scene that you expect from a 'zine but none of the sloppiness. 3. The scope. SF casts its net WIDE, covering the phenomenon on a global level, touching every style and every brand. Since it's not focused directly on the hip-hop scene (as many US mags are) there is a real depth to their coverage that's missing stateside. You still get all that shit, but it's less about who is wearing what and more about what is out there, period. Issue 3 even had a piece on the Reebok Pump. The Pump fer gawdsakes! Issue 4 includes coverage of the Hong Kong and Japanese markets, where shit is really popping off. No stone is left unturned, no Dunk left unphotographed.

     » Sneaker Freaker (click on "Shop")

Reading

{     My Freedamn! Vol.2 by Rin Tanaka     }    

Wow. Just... Wow. This guy Rin Tanaka has been digging through every nook and cranny of the States for the past ten years, looking for the rarest of rare sport t-shirts. In 2003 he compiled a chunk of his collection, along with a wide selection of photography from his searches and a big batch of interviews, into a hardcover book titled "My Freedamn!" Although it was an English book, the initial pressing sold out completely to Japanese buyers, and it's reprint didn't last much longer, although it did make it across some seas.

     » Buy it at Colette.
     » Direct link.

Music

August 2, 2004;/h3>

{     Homelife - Guru Man Hubcap Lady     }    

Homelife serve up a weird stew of garage-orchestra, multi-ethnic, acid jazz-tinged pop on this latest release, Guru Man Hubcap Lady. While the disco-housey beats remain toe-tappin' and fairly consistent throughout, each track delivers a different range of instrumentation and vocalization, giving them a distinctive flavor unto their own. Tempos variate as well, from the chilled out and loungey (in a Combustible Edison kinda way) Heaven Knows to the rousing and flamenco tinged April Sunshine. The overall effect is of having stumbled upon a back-porch jam-session of extraordinary magnitude. A hoe-down throw-down incorporating everything from xylophones to drum machines to spoken word Engrish into some kind of homegrown organically mutated funk. There are moments where it wanders a bit too, but all in all things seem to be rather competently held together by helmsman Paddy Brooks and recurring vocalist Tony Burnside. A less imaginative reviewer might be tempted to use words like "eclectic" and "cacaphony" to describe the Homelife sound, but I prefer to use my imagination for good instead of evil. So in place of such played out descriptives I give you the phrase "polyphonous boogaloo". May you use it in good health.

     » Ninjatune
     » Homelife's madwaltz.com

By Adam in Music
Twelves

{     Last 12 phrases uttered while trying to sync my new iPod with iTunes     }    

1) WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!?!!
2) Goddammit not again....
3) FUCK STEVE JOBS
4) Fuck...
5) STUPID FU....oh hey Grandma.
6) Finally....WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!
7) YOU BETTER NOT FUCKING FUCK!!!!!
8) Shit-eating sonofabitch!
9) ARRRRGGGHHHHHHH
10) Yes I'll hold.
11) (to AppleCare Support) Yeah - I was just calling to thank you for updating the firmware on the new, 4G iPods and breaking the compatibility with the VIA chipset WHICH I USE. It feels really good to drop $500.00 on a new iPod and accessories and have it sit on my desk for 2 days.
12) Actually, I don't want you to troubleshoot it. I just want you to release a firmware patch that fixes this crap without me having to go buy a new Firewire card kthx. (click)

Interviews

August 1, 2004;/h3>

{     Interview : Ahmed Hoke     }    

Ahmed Hoke is a modern day renaissance man; having cut his teeth on hip-hop production, video game design and political discourse he's now landed in the unique position of being an American artist working in the Japanese manga style. Hoke's manga, @Large, is groundbreaking on several levels- it scores points for not only being original (it's the first hip-hop manga) and for being faithful to the culture it depicts (@Large pulls no punches when it comes to realistic language and violence) but for the style it drips with as well. This is a new form of art- somewhere between graffiti and anime, comic-books and traditional manga. It's the kind of crossroads that breaks rules and opens doors. Ahmed Hoke is bum-rushing the show.