WHERE FROM HERE

WHERE FROM HERE

Charting the intergalactic travels of Phillip T. Annand

From his early efforts with The Award Tour, to globetrotting adventures with The Madbury Club and Flatbush Zombies, Phillip T. Annand’s journey has already led him to some extraordinary places. We sat down with the multi-talented, multi-faceted young creator in between pursuits, and asked him about the road that lies ahead.

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ON CITAS IAMSU! has emerged as the leader of a new Bay movement, and this time, he's making sure things are different

ON CITAS IAMSU! Has Emerged As The Leader Of A New Bay Movement, And This Time, He's Making Sure Things Are Different

IAMSU! has emerged as the leader of a new Bay movement, and this time, he's making sure things are different

A few weeks back, we got the chance to sit down with Richmond’s own Iamsu, to talk about his role in the recent resurgence of Bay rap. In our conversation, Su talked humble beginnings, the resurgence of hyphy, and meeting Hov and Tom Hanks. Plus, our good friend Daghe snapped some icy portraits.

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I’M DIFFERENT

I’M DIFFERENT

San Francisco's viral rap battle sensation Oh Blimey on carving out her own space in hip-hop

I first heard Oh Blimey when a friend sent me a link to her Grind Time battle versus Coco McPuffington in 2011 with the following note: “Remember Sam McDonald from high school?” ‘Here we go again,’ I thought. I didn’t remember her but growing up in San Francisco I knew a lot of aspiring, and not-so-good, MC’s. But by the end of her first verse, which she’s basically screaming, I knew she was different:

“You thought you could handle Goldie Locks? Well I’ma reverse the roles and show you who’s the beast/Cause no one will ever know you’re name bitch/Unless they Google me…”

I’d never seen anyone like her. No, she she doesn’t look like your prototypical battle rapper, with long blonde hair poking out of her red Giants hat–but it’s more than that. In the video, she’s going in so hard, her opponent is left speechless. Needless to say, her ferocity on the mic piqued my curiosity about the person behind the mic. Fortunately, I got the chance to chat with Blimey at the studio in Hunter’s Point, where she and the folks at Bad Shoes records have been putting in work to prep her next album for an end-of-the-year release. In our conversation, she offered up some insight on making the transition from battles to recording, and about her own unconventional path to doing what she loves.

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FROM PENCIL TO PAPER

FROM PENCIL TO PAPER

Thoughts on art, hoop and childhood inspiration from illustrator Andrew Ho

As kids we all start off as artists, don’t we? We draw, we paint, we make sculptures out of bricks, legos, really whatever we can get our hands on. As the years go on though, as the Picasso adage goes, we seem to get caught up in a vicious cycle of working more and creating less. Reflecting on that unfortunate reality, I’ve grown to really appreciate artists like Andrew Ho. Choosing cartoon as his medium of choice, the Los Angeles-based illustrator has managed to maintain a childlike sense of creativity, even in the face of age and mounting responsibility.

Weaving biographical stories into his work, Andrew shares moments of his life in each piece. Ho’s illustrations touch on a broad range of passions and experiences, from love and personal relationships to his undying nostalgia for ’90s hoop. And though the cartoon aesthetic is playful, his work strikes an impressive balance between surface appeal, and hinting at a deeper level of meaning. Last week, I had the chance to ask Andrew a bit more about his work. Chatting about his girl, his artistic development and the underappreciated legacy of Patrick Ewing, Andrew taught a little and shared a lot in our short conversation.

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THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM

THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM

Oakland-based beatmaker Space Ghost is trying to bridge the gap between Soundcloud and the dance floor

Over the past few years, as EDM and various offshoots have gained attention and popularity, producers have moved out from behind their computer screens and have become some of the most notable faces in today’s pop music landscape. While Skrillex and Diplo have become household names, a countless number of kids making music in their basements are attempting to see what kind of attention they can garner on the internet. Oakland beatmaker and DJ Space Ghost doesn’t have much in common with the former, but he is a product of the possibilities they have helped to create.

Stylistically, Space Ghost’s music is fluid and ever-evolving. Whether he’s dealing in the most ambient of sounds (as he does on the Pop Music For the Heavens EP) or remixing R&B staples from years past, Space Ghost always manages to infuse songs with his own distinctive touch.

With three EP’s and one full length LP (released on the Brooklyn-based Astro Nautico label) already under his belt, Space Ghost has recently added some depth to his catalogue with the self-released EP Patient Mind. As a typically overcast Oakland morning gave way to sunshine, we met up at his West Oakland apartment to see what the recent college graduate has been working on. We discussed growing up in Ukiah, musical influences, and why releasing music on the internet is easier and yet more difficult than ever.

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INTO THE MOUNTAINS

INTO THE MOUNTAINS

Sally Landis travels into the High Sierra to bring back these colorful creations

Thunderbolt Peak Acrylic on Canvas 24″ x 30″ © 2013 Sally Landis

It seems whether it’s miles away or within your own neighborhood, the value of exploration is invaluable. Seems even more valuable when considering the work of Sally Landis, whose lifelong love affair with the Sierra Mountains spawned countless visual creations. Traveling into the High Sierra since she was a child, today Sally often photographs the magnificent landscapes before taking them home to paint. Simplifying her landscapes down to their compositional elements, Sally uses this process to relate her love of pattern and color.

Having graced gallery walls from the Bay Area to Paris and Monaco, Sally’s imagery has most recently found a home at Warehouse 416 as part of June’s East Bay Open Studios initiative. Last week, we had the chance to speak with Sally about growing up in the mountains and what she’s gleaned from a lifetime spent exploring the California wilderness.

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JUST ANOTHER DAY

JUST ANOTHER DAY

Peas & Carrots founder Anwar Carrots shows us how to turn creative pursuits into a lifestyle

At 23, Anwar Carrots is already the face of a beloved lifestyle brand, and managing the career of one of hip-hop’s most promising young voices. We took a minute to chat with the Peas & Carrots co-founder about his wordly perspective, the WWF, and why Casey Veggies might just be a prophet.

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LOVERS & FRIENDS

LOVERS & FRIENDS

The Fairoaks Project paints an unforgettable portrait of San Francisco's storied gay bath house scene

The Fairoaks Project

Part of me feels like they can tell us, but we’ll never quite understand. Maybe you just had to be there. As much as I’ve been told, and as much as the ’60s and ’70s have served as a boundless reservoir of inspiration for me, there’s still something elusive about it all. The sense of freedom, and exploration, and radical imagination that defined those decades is something our generation, and others, have tried to recapture, but could never really duplicate. There’s something about a photograph though–whether taken for artistic or documentary purposes, or just as a memento of a moment someone wanted to hold onto–that can communicate a feeling instantly, across decades.

I’d imagine Gary Freeman felt that pretty powerfully when his longtime friend Frank Melleno pulled down a dusty cardboard shoebox, and started to thumb through the treasure trove of Polaroids that would become The Fairoaks Project. In 1978, Frank, fresh off an adventure in Alaska, had found a gig as the night manager at The Fairoaks Baths in San Francisco. Owned and operated by a gay commune, The Fairoaks was known in the late ’70s as a hub for sexual liberation and experimentation, but also close-knit community. Unlike most gay bath houses at the time, also, The Fairoaks was situated on the edge of a largely black neighborhood, and welcomed a steady influx of young gay men who reflected back the city’s rich diversity. It was a place to stay, to find support, to find friends and to indulge. Openness, unabashed sexuality, interracial love, friendship, fucking and LSD: it would be hard to imagine another place so broadly embelematic of the progressive ideals that defined San Francisco during the ’70s. Fortunately, Frank found himself at the center of it all, with a Polaroid camera in hand.

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NOW WE’RE HERE

NOW WE’RE HERE

Visual and biographical highlights from the photographic career of Ian Flanigan

There’s not much going on around 1317 Olive Street. Desolate warehouses line the streets, with sporadic fruit stands sprinkled throughout. More than a couple walkable city blocks away from Downtown LA’s revitalized core of upscale eateries and rooftop hotel pools, 1317 Olive Street stands alone. However, this nondescript location, situated in the middle of Downtown LA was once revered for housing one of streetwear’s most pioneering brands: for over twenty years, 1317 Olive Street was the home of the beloved Freshjive warehouse. Home to Rick Klotz’ now infamous streetwear company, the offices provided a temporary workspace for a variety of creatives in varying fields to work, connect and grow in their craft. As crass and irreverent as the Freshjive offices were, inside these walls is where I first met Ian Flanigan.

A former product photographer for an electronics company called Accessory Power, Ian came to Freshjive aware of but unaccustomed to the nature of Freshjive, and Rick Klotz’ idiosyncratic mind. His first day of work couldn’t have been more different from his last…

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JUGGALO LIFE

JUGGALO LIFE

Daniel Cronin's film portraits offer a window into The Gathering of the Juggalos

Daniel Cronin

You’d be hard-pressed to find an experience more peculiar or extraordinary than The Gathering of the Juggalos. For many it was filmmaker Sean Dunne who introduced us to the cultural phenomenon, via his 2011 short film American Juggalo. A 22-minute documentary comprised of personal interviews with festival-goers, the film shed light on the five day, Insane Clown Posse-founded festival, an extravaganza involving love and drugs, music and sex, wrestling matches, helicopter rides, and pretty much anything else you can get away with. Now in its thirteenth year, the festival has ballooned since moving its annual festivities to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, welcoming well over 100,000 Juggalos and Jugalettes since its inception.

While the documentary, along with the notorious Gathering infomericals, have done much to showcase The Gathering to a wider audience, cultural documentarian and photographer Daniel Cronin offers an alternative glimpse into festival life through his lens. Snapping iconic photos of concert goers in the throws of the festival, Daniel’s images reveals the culture and lifestyle of the Juggalos through some of the particularly memorable characters and encounters he came across. We recently spoke with Daniel about his experiences there, lending his insight into one of the nation’s most popular music festivals you’ve never heard of.

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NOT A KID ANYMORE

NOT A KID ANYMORE

Catching up with Los Angeles based filmmaker Jason Madison

Fresh off of the debut screening of his latest film I’m Not A Kid Anymore, we find Jason Madison between projects. Planning more screening events while continuing to develop ideas, Jason’s years spent in his beloved city of Los Angeles have provided him with more than enough inspiration for his visual works. Over the course of the last half decade, his knack for channeling the city’s sun-drenched aesthetic has served him well, making him a go-to director for L.A. hip-hop mainstays like Dom Kennedy, Pac Div and Nipsey Hussle, whose lives and music provided the backdrop his short film debut, L.A. Is My Playground two years ago.

“I always believe in my cast more than anything,” Jason told us, in regards to his latest. And why shouldn’t he? After all, I’m Not a Kid Anymore finds the filmmaker stepping out from behind the camera, and starring, directing, and in a sense, even scoring his own coming of age story. Taking time to touch on the origins of his work, ’90s inspiration, and his early love affair with Home Alone, our check-in with Jason catches the director on his way to big things.

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FAR FUCKIN’ OUT

FAR FUCKIN’ OUT

Isis Aquarius remembers her days inside the early 70's spiritual commune known as The Source Family

The year was 1970. The chaos, freedom, turmoil and liberation of the ‘60s had yet to subside, seeping into a new decade that had yet to be defined. In the midst of war abroad and the struggle for civil rights at home, American society was in flux, with many left searching for answers.

Out of this landscape, The Source Family was born. Founded on a synthesis of spiritual beliefs and ancient religions, the Family was the brainchild of one man; his name was Jim Baker. A World War II veteran, turned martial arts expert, turned restaurant entrepreneur, Jim Baker the man was both famous and infamous. After being acquitted of murder for killing a man with his bare hands after an altercation with a neighbor turned physical, the onetime bodybuilding champion turned to health food, establishing one of Los Angeles’ premier organic, vegetarian dining destinations in the form of The Source Family Restaurant. From the health-conscious ethos that characterized Baker’s eatery, The Source Family was spawned.

Embarking upon a spiritual quest that consumed him for years, Jim Baker immersed himself in the metaphysical world, studying the teachings of any and every known Western and Eastern tradition, secret society, or metaphysical source he could find. After numerous encounters with the known spiritual leader Yogi Bhajan, Jim Baker found a new pursuit that would not only consume him, but transform him forever, into what many considered to be a spiritually enlightened being in human form. Following this transformation, Jim Baker was no more, and in his place was Father Yod. Birthing The Source Family soon after his transformation, he would go on to create his own self-sustaining commune; wholly spiritual, unwaveringly loving, and unimaginably wealthy.

The Source Family grew quickly, attracting those searching for answers while garnering widespread acclaim for their forward thinking restaurant and idiosyncratic leader. One woman at the center of the family was Charlene Peters, better known as Isis Aquarius, who served as the family’s chief historian and archivist. Collecting numerous artifacts from the family’s archives, she remains one of the prevailing individuals still preserving The Source Family’s legacy. As one of Father Yod’s 13 wives, she was intimate with the leader, digesting much of his guidance and teachings. On the heels of the release of The Source Family’s feature length documentary, we spoke with Isis about her experience in the family, shedding light on one of the ’70s most legendary spiritual communes.

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