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FEELS LIKE...

Ladies and gentlemen, FEELS II is in the books. Much love and many thanks to all the folks involved in bringing our first art and music festival to reality. Bringing together a host of musical artists, from Kool A.D., Teebs and Kreayshawn, to visual artists like Ryan Rocha, Bud Snow and more, FEELS II was one to remember.

HIGH FIVE

Jay Stone's 5th Handed looks to breathe new life into the vintage sportswear realm

Jay Stone

A pursuit cherished by those with an appreciation for the past, vintage clothing has experienced a resurgence in recent years. While many claim the realms of style and fashion to be cyclical by nature, it’s maybe true more than ever that today, everything old is new. No better is this truth revealed than in the world of vintage sportswear, where celebrated aesthetics from seasons past have found a new home on the backs of today’s youth.

Central to this resurgence is the vintage dealer, the person with the eye, the connections, and the hustle to source the hard-to-find items, and provide them to their customers. Jay Stone–known to the world as both a spitterand gear connoisseur–is one such person. The founder of Oakland’s 5th Handed Apparel Company, Jay has amassed a dizzying collection of rare throwback gear, and vintage sportswear that he’s now opening up to buying public.

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FANTASTIC PLANET

Superior Viaduct unearths the soundtrack to a psychedelic sci-fi masterpiece

La Planete Sauvage

Not that it should surprise us in the least, but Superior Viaduct continues the tradition of reissuing epic, strange landmark albums this month with the vinyl release of Alain Goraguer’s soundtrack to La Planete Sauvage. Originally released in 1973, Planete–or Fantastic Planet to the English-speaking world–is a stop-motion visual feast, a psychedelic sci-fi collab from director Rene Laloux and illustrator Roland Topor that’s surreal and probably vaguely terrifying off a handful of mushrooms.

Gorageur, a former collaborator of Serge Gainsbourg, created a sonic backdrop that’s since become the stuff of lore, a lush 37 minutes of sweeping, baroque prog-jazz slow burners. Woozy funk vamps give way to narcotic Rhodes textures, backed up by big heavy breaks and sweeping orchestral elements. As Superior Viaduct’s description puts it, think psych-era Gainsbourg with a few extra “space-age synth flourishes.” Naturally, OG copies fall into the special class of crate gold that you’re unlikely to find outside of say, Madlib’s personal collection, or on Discogs for something astronomical. Thankfully though, SV’s got us covered, in store and online. Get acquainted below, and swoop a copy now before they disappear.

La Planète Sauvage (1973) from Chaivalla on Vimeo.

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THE YEAR IN MAKONNEN

In honor of his first tour stop in the Bay, a look back at the year the club went up

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iLoveMakonnen

The club has gone all the way up. What we’ve been witnessing with iLoveMakonnen, despite all the little idiosyncracies that made him exciting, is a weirdly archetypal version of what success in the music industry can look like in 2014. Years of DIY efforts culminate in that magic song or two really taking hold on YouTube. Tastemaker crowd launches into hyperbole to get everyone else to pay attention. FaderPitchforkComplex. Drake says a thing. Drake gets on a song. Many people pay attention. Some people don’t get why people are freaking about music that’s unpolished and obviously has rough edges. Magazines go searching for a backstory, and this case really found one. A highly deserving stable of fellow DIY cats has soaked up the residual spotlight and started to run with it. Chart smash. Tour.

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FOTO BOMBING AT OAKLAND TERMINAL

@BAZOOKAFILMS77 and King 157 headline a community celebration this Friday

East Oakland tracks

King 157

Can’t think of too many places putting on harder for the local artist community right now than Oakland Terminal. Whether it’s hosting weekend turnups with friends like Queens D. Light and Willie Maze, or showcasing Oakland street art history with TDK and TMC, or opening up their doors for Feels II, Terminal has been a West Oakland arts hub for a minute now.

On Thursday and Friday, they’ll be hosting a show headlined by Chicago and San Antonio-based artist and filmmaker Jaime Sanchez, known to the interwebs as @BAZOOKAFILMS77. Known for showcasing the work of street artists through video pieces documenting their process, Jaime is joined here by Bay graf superstar King 157, Lundgren Photography, and a handful of other creatives. In conjunction with the show, Terminal will be putting on for the community once again, hosting a Winter gear drive for the homeless community in West Oakland. If you’re sitting on some under-utilized jackets, scarves, or hoodies, slide through Friday, or holler at OT at oaklandterminal@gmail.com for details. Keep up with the latest from them here, and catch some Bazooka Films selects below.

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ON FROZE

Born and raised in LA, visual artist Brvinfreeze captures some of the city's stranger scenes

LETSTALK

Brvinfreeze

“I like it because it’s very green and still looks kind of terroristic.” Brvinfreeze, habitual shooter and graphic artist, has just sent me a self portrait. He’s sitting in what’s ostensibly his backyard patio, one leg crossed over his lap, rocking khakis and chucks and a black wool ski-mask. In a brief couple of conversations, he’s been anything but confrontational. “I’m nice as fuck,” he tells me in a text, “but also very FTW.” That combination, good-natured humor meets appetite for destruction–comes across in the work, displayed on his Tumblr and Instagram in a well-curated stream of playful anarchy.

Brvinfreeze’s work ranges from graf throwups, to street shots, to collage, and it’s stronger for its diversity. After all, the Eastern half of Los Angeles is a place that allows you to pull a lot into your orbit. BF stitches together the common threads from disparate scenes: perusing his Tumblr, you’ll find everything from late night tagging missions to Ham on Everything parties, from GG Allin to the Basedgod. Recently, he’s had the chance to channel his own based stream-of-conscious approach across the pages of his own print works, publishing his debut zine (RELAX) and book (Colors) through Nighted Life. On the tail end of a big 2014, we caught up with the young artist, and took some time to dig into the archives.

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WINE & BOWTIES IN THE PRESS

Post-Feels, a little love from some of our favorite Oakland publications

Wine & Bowties

As far as I know, the first time my name was in the newspaper was in college, and by “newspaper” I mean “college newspaper.” Max and I and the homie Oscar had set up a taco stand, just outside the back gate at LMU. That’s a longer story, but anyway, five years later, here we are. This year has been our best yet, in my humble. Back home in the Bay for another year, we’ve been able to experiment and try out new shit, and some of you have been rockin with us every step of the way. So thanks. Also, on the flipside, some new folks have tuned in to what we’re doing, which is always cool.

With the dust finally settling post-Feels, we wanted to quickly acknowledge some of the very cool coverage we’ve gotten from two of our favorite local press outlets, East Bay Express and Oakland Local. Below are links, pics, and excerpts from articles by three authors, Sarah Burke and Sam Lefebvre from EBX and Natalie Meier at Oakland Local. While Sarah takes some time to dig into the W&B backstory, Sam and Natalie offer on-the-ground takes on the scene at Feels II. In any case, we’re grateful to have thoughtful, talented people taking the time to show love and document. Read on below.

Wine & Bowties

“Oakland Feels” by Sarah Burke // East Bay Express

“You might have heard of the Oakland-based online magazine Wine & Bowties (wineandbowties.com). Maybe you’ve been to one of their warehouse shows in West Oakland, or to a documentary screening they’ve hosted at Oakland Surf Club. Or you might have seen their crew roll past you on the street during one of their big bike parties — leaving you thinking, ‘Those kids look hella fun.'”

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“Art is the Party” by Sam Lefebvre // East Bay Express

“Early in the evening, [Will] Bundy stood outside of two West Oakland warehouses — where an art exhibit and micro-music festival featuring a group of Oakland’s most interesting upstart local hip-hop artists — was beginning to teeter from quaint multi-disciplinary gathering to bacchanalian splendor.

Merging party and art show is always a noble endeavor — one digitally rendered on Wine & Bowties’ website by a mix of sober gallery analyses and zealous praise for select local hip-hop and electronic artists — but the party usually supplants the visual art (Imagine the unlikelihood of the reverse: The dance floor disperses to vet the composition of prints.) And if the measure of success is how quickly gallery ambience gives way to club atmosphere, Feels II shifted swiftly and without apology.”

Wine & Bowties

“Wine & Bowties Brings Twice the Feels to West Oakland” by Natalie Meier // Oakland Local

“According to Gibson, Feels II and its predecessor, Feels, have been years in the making. The primary aim of a microfestival of this scale was to combine some of Wine & Bowties’ previous successful events, like art shows and DJ sets, to create one immersive, mind-blowing experience.

‘We wanted [Feels II] to be a transcendent experience that plucks out the normalcy of everyday life,’ Gibson said. ‘You can go to any regular bar, but hopefully when you go to a Wine & Bowties event, it’s memorable. You don’t forget it, and it doesn’t fade.'”

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OUR FRIEND TYLER

Some thoughts on a half decade of OF, as Tyler touches down in SF

Tyler the Creator

Being a Tyler fan has put me in a weird position every once in a while. I’m 26, which is weird in and of itself, and has led to my back hurting more often and me being in bed before midnight both nights last weekend. Once upon a time, I was 22ish and went to Coachella and already felt a little on the older side, throwing bows in the writhing sea of 19 year-olds that made up the crowd for OF’s first festival date. Occasionally, I see Tyler going on some polemic about how great hot pockets are or why people who don’t like the color yellow are faggots or something and I kinda have to just shrug it off and keep it moving.

After all, Tyler makes great shit and has a lot of fun doing it. Plus, you don’t have to pick up a Rolling Stone to know that young people tend to have better taste in everything. The kids that pack venues for those shows are gravitating to the things that have made Tyler and friends cool all along: colorful imagination, careful but unpretentious presentation, an allergic reaction to bullshit and authority. All of those things continue to define their output, even if a handful of the folks that championed “Yonkers” have since turned a little more cynical.

Anyway, Tyler continues to make grown-up moves–like making good, loud, idiosyncratic, and soulful songs and producing multiple seasons of TV shows and helping build festivals and all kinds of shit no 23 year-old has any business doing. As my good friend John could tell you, the kid has built an empire and it continues to thrive. I guess what I’m saying is the fact that the conversation around him always circles back to maturity is mostly our fault. Anyway, next Thursday, Tyler touches down in SF at the Warfield. I’ll be out there, probably not acting my age. Below, some recent goodies.

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ALL SAD EVERYTHING

Yung Lean and the Sad Boys hit California, live and in the flesh

Yung Lean

I’m pretty sure I don’t care if Yung Lean is an actual person. For all intents and purposes, for me, he is a prism. He is a mutable, flickering cluster of pixels and digitally compressed audio information that functions as a useful vehicle for talking about popular culture in 2014.

Opinions on this ostensibly teenage and Swedish phenomenon vary wildly. He is “problematic”. He is making “good”, “immersive” rap music. He is appropriating. He is a genuine and enthusiastic fan of the genre. He is making fun of someone. The production slaps. The strange and sweeping influence of Western pop culture and identity-centric consumerism. An outward manifestation of the fragmented ways in which the internet delivers information. Technologically-induced dread and emptiness. “Fake based”. “Pokemon”. “This makes me feel old.” All of these are important discussions to have, and also perhaps, just maybe, no they aren’t.

I’m told by other humans with whom my only contact is digital, that his shows–several of which have verifiably happened in real life in real buildings with other people–are turnt. I have seen the question asked as to whether the people at those shows are engaging “seriously”. This question I can’t really answer except to say that I’m not always sure what people mean by “serious” engagement. Whatever the case, people will be gathering inside of the Echoplex and The Regent in LA, and the Regency in SF to hear Yung Lean and the Sad Boys make sounds over the next few days. I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be an experience. Tickets here and here.

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COMPUTER LOVE

An Oakland entrepreneur hits it big with a music-based dating app, to the tune of $1.5M

LuvNote

Admittedly, W&B has always been geared more towards art and culture than technology. But given the climate in the Bay these days, it’s hard to ignore some stories unfolding around us. The tech industry has a complex–and not always harmonious–relationship with the Town, and change is happening fast. But when we got wind of a tech entrepreneur making major moves here in our own community, it only seemed right to shed a little light on the subject.

Malcolm Gibson hails from the East Coast, but he’s been in the Bay for almost two years now grinding as a software engineer. A regular at W&B functions, he reached out to us recently with the news that his latest venture has secured seed funding from some highly esteemed angel investors. His venture? A dating app that he plans to launch right here in the Town, centered around something we can all relate to–good taste in music. Always excited to support young creative cats doing their thing, we sat down with Malcolm to learn more about the service and give our W&B readers an pre-launch look at a dope new app, LuvNote, grown locally here in the Town.

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FEELS LIKE…

Our first art and music fest was way too fun

fls3

Looking back on Saturday night, I don’t think I’ve ever said thank you so many times and really meant it. Call it gratuitous, but here go a few more because YDI. First and foremost, to the squad of all squads: D, Brad, Jesse, Cole, Morgan, Little Little, Baby D, Justin–love y’all and thank you for pouring so much into making this one go. To the artists, musical and otherwise, for creating great shit and sharing it with us. To the folks at EBX, and to Charles, Max, Jasmin, and Ray for documenting. Especially to Aleks, Ed, Dave, Darius, Nate, and Tim for hosting us and trusting that we wouldn’t fuck things up too bad. Lastly though, to my brother Max for building this thing with me, for helping to facilitate my weird ideas, and for really just believing in the kid.

For those of you for whom none of this makes any sense, last Saturday we launched Feels II, a celebration spread across three warehouses in West Oakland, showcasing some of our favorite creatives. I did some gushing on Twitter about it already, but this community is unreal and we’re lucky to be a part of it. I wouldn’t say our job is always easy, but finding tight folks to work with hasn’t ever really been a problem. Can’t think of a place I’d rather be doing this than here at home. Here’s to whatever’s next.

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FEELS II: THE ARTISTS

An intro to the many talented folks taking over the walls of Oakland Terminal this Saturday

Wine & Bowties

There’s a reason why the flyer reads a little like a movie poster. We’re surrounded out here…it’s damn near overwhelming. Even with a roster of 20+, I can think of a few dozen heads that could’ve easily been on the show that aren’t. Anyways, weird cultural rituals aside, we have a lot of reasons to be thankful for the community we live in. The last few days have understandably seen some chaotic shit in Oakland, but we’ve been feeling the love from all directions. Thanks for the feels EBX, thanks to friends and fam, and thanks especially to the creative folks putting in the legwork to make this one go. Good things ahead.

Below is a very brief introduction to some creative individuals you should get to know, if don’t already. The collection of artists taking over the walls of Oakland Terminal this weekend are all over the map in terms of medium, but again, there are undeniable common threads running through their work. Whether it’s gritty, in-the-moment snaps off the street, or intricately detailed illustrations, each of our folks has a talent for creating vibey, resonant images. They’re able to pull things out of everyday life that are weirdly poignant, or poignantly weird. Some pieces are loud and psychedelic, and some stark and simple. All of them are things we’re proud to share. Click the names or pictures to learn more. Two more days.


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FEELS II: THE MUSIC

A primer on the bands, DJ's, and performers holding down the soundtrack to next weekend

krsh

Kreayshawn

Honestly, we’re hella fortunate. Since we started doing this thing half a decade ago (I know, cotdamn), we’ve had the opportunity to work with way too many impressive, inspiring people. With Feels, it’s damn near getting out of control. Over the next week, we’ll be showcasing features and work from our Feels family and friends. Some will be familiar faces and some will be new friends (sorry Aubrey). Regardless, they’re all doing great creative work, and we’re beyond juiced to have sharing the stage together.

On the music half, we have an eclectic group that covers a lot of territory stylistically, from futuristic slap to heavy, earthy groove. Most of them do all those things individually. There’s a Brainfeeder beat god and one of the most multitalented spitters on the planet. Hometown heroes and indie pop innovators. Some alliteration too, which is always cool. A lot of these are people whose musical trajectories we’ve been watching for years–people who have made their imprint on music globally, even while working on a local scale. Not to mention being responsible for legitimately some of my favorite shit ever. Get acquainted below (hit the names to learn more), or check out the official Feels II mix here. Then come see them live next Saturday.


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