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VERY FAR OUT

Far Out was another one to remember. We took it underground for our most recent Wine & Bowties party. Bringing together an assortment of DJ’s in Yung_smh, Starter Kit & Sad Andy, we brought the vibe back and then some. Shout out to the Command Center and the folks who helped put it all together, and a big thanks to our eclectic crowd who make the parties so dope.

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

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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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PRINT AIN’T DEAD

Tepsic Magazine and its founder, Morgan Tepsic, put your favorite artists' lives on 35mm film

Tepsic

Ladies and gentlemen, print isn’t dead, it’s merely evolving. If you take a close look, you can witness the transformation. Large scale conglomerate publications being brought to their knees, their beloved advertising dollars making an exodus the greener pastures of the internet. But in their wake new generation of print is on the rise, magazines and publications with an acute focus on quality, loads of passion, and more times than not, a shoestring budget.

While there are numerous mags in this revival worthy of being celebrated, today we’re focusing in on Morgan Tepsic’s eponymous Tepsic mag. Notable for its fan-first approach, Tepsic was born with the simple goal of offering a unique window into the lives of musicians. After personally decorating 35mm disposable cameras for his favorite artists, he sends them out to wherever they’re at, encouraging them to photograph their experiences before sending him back a fully used camera. Backstage access is the norm in Tepsic, with intimate tour shots from Toro y Moi, dinner dates with Ariel Pink, and posse shots with A$AP Rocky and the Mob all falling between Tepsic’s poster-size 11″ by 7″ pages.

Recently, we caught up with Morgan in the midst of an active Kickstarter campaign launched to support the publishing of Tepsic‘s fourth issue. Lending us some insight on the power of analog, and on his journey so far, Morgan also sketched out some bigger plans to come. For now, Tepsic’s movement is definitely one to keep an eye on.

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A LOOK AT THE NIGHTED LIFE

New zines from the Bay-based photography and publishing hub

Nighted Life

The folks over at Nighted have been quietly building something special for a while now. Defined by a gritty, late night aesthetic and an emphasis on collaborative projects, the collective has been steadily churning out high quality, limited edition publications from a wide variety of artists in the Bay and beyond. Founded by photographer Nick Garcia, Nighted functions as both a photo collective and an indie publishing imprint, creating a vehicle to showcase the works of their favorite folks.

Definitely not the last time we’ll be hearing from them, so for today, we’re taking a quick look into their latest releases: Brvinfreeze’s “Colors” and Evan McKnight’s “They Don’t Know”. Brvinfreeze is an LA-based photographer and visual artist working in a variety of mediums, and “Colors” combines his film photography work, drawings and graphic design work into a large-format 8.5 x 11 zine. Evan McKnight is a New York photographer, and “They Don’t Know” is a full-color document of his adventures through the streets of the city. Peep some scans below, and you can scoop either or both, at the Nighted online shop, and keep up with their latest here.

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