biked

RIDE WITH ME

We made some moves over the 4th of July weekend with our inaugural W&B Bike Night. Taking an evening ride through the Town, we stopped off at Surf Club and Morcom Park before settling in at the backyard boogie in the West. Thanks to Max, and Dispo Max, we have some pics to help tell the tale.

VERY FAR OUT

Moments from our most recent underground party

VERY FAR OUT
Photography by Max Gibson

It was probably around 1am when the moment hit. Will and I walking back from the car after dropping off some supplies. We were only a block away from the party, but walking back to our party in full swing felt slightly surreal. It was like walking into the N’Sync Girlfriend video. The thought, “damn bruh, we created this!?” fleetingly came to mind as we walked back, but it was slowly replaced by the magic of the moment. We were well aware of what we were doing. We were puttin it down in one of the coolest cities in the country.

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THE BLACK INK BOOK EXCHANGE

Savvy Wood's pop-up library project celebrates black lit on Chicago's South Side

Black Ink Book Exchange

Savannah Wood is a force. She’s a strong-willed, purposeful creative with an infectious smile and wide, excited eyes under rounded, dark-rimmed glasses. We first met through Max in the lead-up to a 2012 art show curated by collective Native Thinghood in LA, when I entered their vegetarian potluck of floor-seated, cross-legged, barefooted 20-somethings laughing through shared realities of artistic successes and woes. After majoring in photography at USC, Ms. Wood has been involved in myriad creative projects, travelling the world and expanding her portfolio from photography to clothing to costume design. Most recently, the Baltimore-bred artist has up and moved Chicago to develop her vision for the Black Ink Book Exchange.

Through a humble Indiegogo campaign and individual book donations from all over the country, Savvy’s dream to create a pop-up library of books written by black authors, and about black culture, has become a reality. As of January the project has even expanded to house creative workshops, classes, meetings, and arts and crafts activities for families, hosted primarily on Chicago’s South Side. The library is based on a barter system–take a book, leave a book–and functions to host opportunities for folks to engage with their own history, with each other, and with the written word. “I am most interested in ‘good’ books,” reads her website, “books that have shaped the way you see yourself and the world, or books that you often recommend to friends.” To learn more about this journey, I hit Savannah up to ask her how the project is going, where it’s headed, and how we can all have a chance to engage with the Black Ink Book Exchange.

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RETURN OF THE BEST DUO EVER

Main Attrakionz headline Milk Bar for a preview of their latest

RETURN OF THE BEST DUO EVER

Main Attrakionz

I’m not exaggerating at all when I say 808′s & Dark Grapes II is one of the most important rap records of the last decade. I mean take “important” with a grain of salt because what the fuck does that even mean. But for the folks who have spent a good chunk of time immersed in its wavy, enveloping layers of soft focus sound, it’s a legitimate modern touchstone. Anyway, I legitimately think I still listen to “Chuch” more than any other song and I know Yung Benny feels me.

Squadda and Mondre also put out lots of other great music, cloudy and otherwise, at a pretty astonishing clip. But word that they’ve linked up with Friendzone for an 808′s follow-up can only mean positive things. And tonight, they’ll be teaming up with an eclectic bunch of music-making entities for a headlining set at Milk Bar in SF to preview some new joints and celebrate the “pre-release”. I’ll be out there vibin. Come say hi.

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GOODBYE TO THE ALBANY BULB

The end of an era at an unusual East Bay landmark

Albany Bulb

The Albany Bulb, for those who haven’t ever stopped by, is a hidden gem in the East Bay cultural ecosystem. It very literally embodies the “one man’s trash” aphorism by virtue of a) very literally being made out of trash and b) being full of beautiful and frequently disregarded things. Part-park, part-encampment, part-sculpture-garden, the Bulb has been an institution for decades, as well as home to some of the East Bay’s disenfranchised folks.

More recently though, the Bulb is set to undergo a large-scale “transition”. While the specifics haven’t been worked out completely, it’s pretty clear it won’t look the same for long. For starters, its homeless population of 60+ was evicted earlier this year. On the eve of that eviction, the folks over at Slow Cool Assault ran a very dope, very informative piece, which you can check out here. Fortunately, they enlisted Tanja Baker to snap some pics too, to commemorate the Bulb pre-transition. Peep those below.

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DAYS ON THE TRAIL…

Welcome to the Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando's most beautifully turnt up street

Photography by Bryan Soderlind

“Lined with pawn shops, strip clubs, sleazy motels, and sketchy bars.” That’s how photographer Bryan Soderlind describes the Orange Blossom Trail, a seven-mile road that runs down Orlando’s spine. Known as “The Trail” to locals, the road is a transit hub for many Central Floridians. Pair that with a bevy of eccentric businesses and a diverse population of commuters, residents and solicitors, one can understand why Soderlind describes the road as his favorite in Orlando. Despite its battered reputation, the photographer explains how the block’s buzz routinely drew him in when he passed through, eventually producing an extensive collection of photos. From cars to chickens, the photos shed light on the area’s culture and characters.

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MARC E. BASSY FEAT. IAMSU – “RELAPSE”

Marc E. Bassy & Iamsu connect for a smooth summertime gem

marc-e-bassy-2014-brad-black-billboard-650

marc-e-bassy-2014-brad-black-billboard-650

Photo by Brad Black

“I don’t love her, I just think about her all the time… fuckin new one’s but she’s still the one that’s on my mind…” a bittersweet thought to start off Marc E. Bassy’s latest offering “Relapse.” A Bay Area native, the former 2AM Club front man has returned on his own with a catchy R&B ode for the summer months. Enlisting the services of one of the Bay’s leading talents in Iamsu, it’s hard to believe that you’ll only be hearing this track on the bowties this summer.

Part of a burgeoning collective of Bay Area artists who have found a home in the warm pastures Southern California, Marc, along with fellow collaborators Young Murph, Bobby Brackins and the formidable Nic Nac have all been making waves as of late. Exciting to see what they’ll come with next…

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GANGSTER DOODLES

Marlon Sassy puts the rap game on post-its

Gangster Doodles

In my humble, Marlon Sassy and his passion project known as Gangster Doodles is nothing short of brilliant. Brilliant in the same way Bun B and Shea Serrano’s Rap Coloring Book is brilliant. It’s just a cool idea. Yet where Bun and Shea urge readers to fill in the color of their illustrations, in Gangster Doodles, Marlon brings the colors out, using sharpies and cheap highlighters to create his work. Even better is his medium, choosing to use his beloved 3×3 post-it notes as his canvas.

Having released his first book courtesy of Valley Cruise Press, it seems as though Marlon’s once small project has really taken legs. More from Marlon very soon, but for the time being snack on a small selection of his work, and peep his full collection at Gangster Doodles.

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ON “ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT”

Some thoughts on recent "growth" in the Oakland economy

West Oakland

Question: “Can (or, more accurately, will) Oakland grow its economy without displacing low-income residents?”

The whole methodology of “growing” a city’s economy through development of industry and/or real estate is not at all about the people who live in that city.

The growth that both liberals and conservatives suggest has to do with bringing tech companies in- who will only come because they are given money in the form of tax breaks and are not forced to hire the people that already live here. This only develops Oakland if you think of Oakland as a geographical territory that is not attached to the people there. So that geographical territory now has more jobs, but those jobs are filled with people who didn’t used to live there.

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ANTWON & WIKI – “METRO NOME”

Heavy nostalgia and a Ratking assist on the latest from Twon

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Antwon

Pretty sure that’s that same Bobby Womack sample from this other good ass song, and cotdamn. It just oozes nostalgia. Even without the grainy video, it’s the kind of song you hear and can’t help but get flashbacks to all the fun/dumb shit you’ve ever done. A short but sweet teamup with Ratking’s Wiki, “Metro Nome” finds Twon talking about swigging 40′s and a buddy pissing his pants, and Wiki dropping Bart Simpsonisms in a very solid coming-of-age verse. Anyway, something settled for summer listening and a Worldstar premier to boot. If you haven’t scooped up Heavy Hearted in Doldrums, do that now. Shouts out Nature World; you can catch Sad Andy spinning our next function on the 26th.

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MEET VEEEJZILLA

A brief introduction to one of our favorite new shooters, SF's Valentin Saqueton

Veeejzilla

Always cool to meet talented young shooters out here. Through working with Jusand Jerm from the OnTask fam, I stumbled on the catalog of Valentin Saqueton, perhaps better known to his following as Veeejzilla. At 23, the SF-based shooter and graphic designer has already built a portfolio of a few thousand images, scattered across his Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram accounts.

From rap shows and editorials, to street scenes and ambient landscapes, VJ’s work showcases an eye for peculiar, subtle details and a talent for capturing the vibe of a moment. In particular, his 35mm film work tends to fix even the rowdier action shots into place, bathing everything in a dreamy, nostalic ambiance, somehow without losing the energy. Last week, we had the pleasure of watching him in action, shooting for an upcoming piece on the Bowties, which was good times all around. Keep an eye out for that soon, and soak up some more of Valentin’s work below.

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THE INAUGURAL

Our first bike night was one to remember...

THE INAUGURAL

Bike Party


Footage and video courtesy Theo & Danielle

If you follow us on Instagram, you’re well aware of our difficulty not posting every single picture from our inaugural bike party. In short, it was splendid, but in long, it’s an initiative that supports much of what Wine & Bowties is about. We’re trying to bring our people together around these experiences. Who else if not us. Many thanks again to all the folks who helped make our inaugural ride happen. Tiv, Caps and OSC for providing the space, Deelan and BB Ruth on the grill. And to Bloodren for leading the ride. It all came together super dope, which has compelled us to make our next ride on August 9th. Big thank yous to all the folks who rode with us and are reading this too. See you soon.

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LONG EXPOSURE

Scot Sothern reflects on a lifetime behind the lens in America's underbelly

Scot Sothern

Tracing a dude like Scot Sothern‘s personal history can be a little challenging. At first glance, the most prominent points on the timeline seem oddly scattered–thematically, geographically, and temporally, across a good five or six decades. Sifting through his greatest hits, you’ll find cults in middle America and disappearing tribes in the Middle East. His series of vintage photo essays on Vice finds him draft dodging during ‘Nam in Kansas City, tripping in the San Gabriel Valley with blood-drinking Satanists, and drunkenly wandering the streets of 1980s Cairo. There are too many stories to count, and very few don’t involve either sex or substances. When I asked Scot to piece it all together for me, it felt almost like a gonzo Forrest Gump–if Forrest Gump had been really into taking pictures of hookers.

Sothern spent a solid block of time in the ’80s exploring the seedy underbelly of Southern California, meeting and photographing the sex workers who called it home. Scot’s work from that era was collected and published in 2011′s Lowlife, and through the Vice ecosystem, found the audience it always deserved; the book, along with a handful of solo exhibitions, reprsented a high water mark for exposure in Sothern’s career. But to look at his journey through the prism of any one project is more than a little reductive. A half century spent as a freelance shooter and hedonist have left Sothern with a body of work that’s expansive, fearless and occasionally brutal in its honesty. To put it mildly, he’s seen some things.

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INTRODUCING MAS#ALLAH

Hawa takes over Babeland to celebrate the Middle Eastern voice in the arts

Shouts out to Hawa for consistently putting dope artistic things together out here, as one half of Browntourage, and beyond. We’ll be talking a little more extensively about this, but for now, a brief heads about Hawa’s latest project. MAS#ALLAH (from Mashallah, an Arabic phrase of praise, gratitude and protection), which had its soft opening last night, is a multiplatform effort to, in her words, “create a space from the collective imagination of Middle Eastern artists, thinkers, storytellers, and creators of all sorts.”

More specifically, it involves an artist residency at Chinatown’s Babeland Gallery, including a collaborative, inclusive gallery show and an underground function to celebrate the work. Additionally though, the MAS#ALLAH Tumblr represents an effort to build that platform into the digital realm, sharing work submitted by Middle Eastern artists and writers on a global level. For the time being, Hawa and friends are still collecting funds to back the project, so take a look here to learn more and pony up for the cause.

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EZALE – “TOO HIGH”

The East Oakland superstar keeps the party going in his latest visuals

EZALE – “TOO HIGH”

Ezale

Mac Dre is alive and well. No, he didn’t literally rise from the dead, but his spirit does seem to be at least temporarily inhabiting a compact Cambodian bruh from East Oakland named Ezale. In “5 Minutes of Funktown”, his first video to get some traction online, he and a crew of neighborhood cuddies roam the streets going dumb for no particular reason while the second, “Foreal Foreal” moves the party to a gas station. Simple as those videos are, Ezale’s physicality pushes them over the top. The dude is a goer and his energy is legitimately infectious.

The latest, “Too High” goes a little more conceptual, but still finds Ezale going in on a T-Pain instrumental, ingesting some drugs, and losing his mind on an actual AC Transit Bus. Shouts out to Sam for making this one happen, and to Hogan for the cameo. More on Ezale soon, but for the time being, let this one turn your Friday up.

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