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.


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



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


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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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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An icy mid-summer anthem from the Wolfpack alum


Young L Allergic

Crazy it’s been damn near a decade since The Pack started putting music out. I feel like younger generations are better at gauging the impact they’ve had. We can save the influence discussion for another day, but a cursory glance at the state of the rap union–sonically or sartorially–tells you just about all you need to know about the Based boys’ collective footprint.

Over the last couple years, L’s had his hands in lots of different places, including a co-founding role and stake in Pink Dolphin, and an underappreciated run of left-field, space age synth slappers. 2012′s Enigma Theory in particular was full of slept-on gems. “Allergic” taps that same vein; it’s an icy, towering ode to staying in perpetual stack mode, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” dipped in frosty autotune gloss. If L’s MVP flies under the radar too, you can at least expect to hear “Allergic” at aggressive volumes in my car/apartment. And if history’s any indication, your favorite rapper might sound like this in a few years anyway.

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The inaugural Wine & Bowties bike party was one to remember

Photo by Max Claus

It was right around Lakeshore near the amphitheater when it set in. 6:45pm or so, the vision of the bike party had come to fruition. It was an adventure. It had been almost a year since the idea came to mind…happening upon a techno bike party in SF one night that illuminated what a bike party in Oakland could be. We linked up at Eli’s as noted, with more heads trickling in as the minutes passed. Around half past six, our guide for the night, Benny Golstein offered up some rules for the ride. And shortly thereafter we were in motion. Only a corny cat like me would want to ride out to some Drake, (“Trophies” FTW) but alas, the moment called for it.

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OSC's celebrating their second birthday with friends and fam


Oakland Surf Club

It’s been nothing but love since we first linked up with Oakland Surf Club. It seems like many moons ago when we first interviewed Max & Ari about their tastefully curated (literal) mom and pop shop in Downtown Oakland. Fast forward a year , and they’re our partners in crime, providing us an ideal space to host our documentary screenings for the community. Saturday, the 12th, OSC will be celebrating their second birthday with “Heat in the Streets”, a party and group art show, with sounds by DJ Willie Maze and others. Good times to come.

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Steph Curry puts on an unannounced show at the San Francisco Pro Am



Contrary to popular opinion, summertime is a wonderful time for hoop fans. For fans who didn’t make it to an NBA game this year, summer league and celebrity basketball games are the next best thing. Shit, remember two years ago during the lockout? It was joyous. KD at the Rucker, and Lebron at the Drew League? It doesn’t get much better…

Unless you’re a Warriors fan maybe. SF’s Kezar Stadium might just be the summer joog spot after what went down when hometown hero Steph Curry stepped inside the gym doors for last week’s Pro Am game. What transpired was nothing short of incredible, but then again, that’s just typical Steph.

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Rick Ayers looks back on a career on the front lines of education reform

Rick Ayers

He’s like the coolest person you’ve ever met. Mid-60’s, sleeve tat, just chillin. We meet on the outdoor patio of one of UC Berkeley’s favorite study hubs, littered with international students and finals tension. He sips an espresso and we share a piece of carrot cake, catch up on Berkeley High gossip and update each other about the making-its of Bay kids these days. His effortlessly chill affect makes it easy to forget that we’re decades apart in age, that he’s a local legend himself, an underground political revolutionary, and that in many ways, he can be credited with the student successes we discuss.

Rick Ayers taught at Berkeley High School for 11 years, and in that time, helped guide generations of kids through Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS), the small school within BHS he founded with fellow teachers to promote modes of academia they deemed lacking in the traditional classroom setting. CAS was formed around a vision of combatting this model, taking aim at conventions like test-taking, homework, antiquated curriculums, and arbitrary punishment for seemingly non-negotiable mistakes. Ayers fought for an academic space where students could be recognized and celebrated as individuals, experts, and visionaries through often controversial methods.

Along the way, Rick has never pulled punches in sharing his opinions either, offering harsh and honest critiques of an educational system he sees as fundamentally flawed. It’s been six or seven years since either of us have seen the inside of our own CAS classrooms, but Ayers is still on the front line of radical education reform, and as I learned in our conversation, as candid about his opinions as ever.

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Our good friend Lambo opens up shop with some limited edition prints


A few weeks back, we spoke to Lambo about his work in our May group show, Feels. In our interview, we chopped it up about some personal history, video games, Master P, and for obvious reasons, the power of nostalgia. This week, the LA-via-Bay collagist opened up his online boutique, The Lambodega, where you can find his latest limited edition prints. There are a few pieces from the show left, plus some new pieces, running the gamut from Pac to Pat Riley and beyond. Browse below, and go shopping here.

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Drunk gigs and a dog suit in the latest visuals from Berkeley's bedroom pop superstar


If you’re not familiar with Yalls, now’s as good a time as any. Over the last few years, the Jersey-to-Berkeley multi-instrumentalist has been active under a plethora of names–Dan Casey, Steezy Ray Vibes, and Yalls–a one-man band that combines groovy, psychedelic pop sensibilities with a healthy taste for digital experimentation.

A month removed from the latest Yalls full-lenghth, United, Mr. Casey has sprinkled some visuals upon us, and god damn are they likeable. “Like a Fool”‘s squiggly synth leads and distorted falsetto crooning are paired off with balloons, drunk wedding dancing, and Dan in a big furry dog suit. If for some reason, none of that appeals to you, I don’t know if we can hang out anymore. In any case, more from dude coming very soon, and more good things below.

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Understated but unapologetic, Queens D. Light makes her voice heard

Photography by Max Gibson

“You’ve got to be able to hold your own,” she tells me. A little while into our conversation at Grid Gallery, we’re covering some familiar territory, since I just asked Queens D. Light one of those eternally basic, cliche questions female MC’s tend to have to field too often. I ask whether she was ever intimidated by having to navigate the dude-heavy waters of the rap game, and in pretty clear teams, she’s telling me no, not really. She talks to me about growing up on gangsta rap as a little girl in L.A. and about how her dad was really with the shit, and how her upbringing left her with an inclination towards what she calls the genre’s “warrior-oriented” tendencies.

But even as she’s explaining it, she’s smiling, and for a sec, she trails off a little into a digression, “…and you gotta be graceful too, and be vulnerable…loving,” she pauses for a second to gather her thoughts, “and be yourself, unapologetically.” That push and pull figures pretty heavily into Queens’ art. Most of it is inviting–smooth, jazzy boom bap textures and spaced out, languid grooves. But her poetry is sharp, dense little thickets of words and imagery, with occasional pauses for a quick observation, or to create space. The music touches on her experience as a woman, as a black woman, as an artist–but without necessarily pushing an agenda. It’s conversational, which is to say, that it feels a lot like an actual conversation with Queens does. In person and on record, she radiates calm, cool energy. But under it, there’s a subtle intensity–a certain kind of focus.

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A look at some visuals spawned by Mr. Vazquez's latest


Kool AD

Shouts out the FADER for compiling a few of these, and shouts out me for having the wisdom to jack their article. But in light of Victor dropping a collection for FEELS, this one seemed important. Victor Vazquez, better known as Kool AD, has been churning out quality media in a lot of different formats lately. By the end of 2014, it looks he will have been responsible for a very dope rap album, a novel, hella art, some gear, and possibly even another human. Also, songs from the album have already soundtracked a gang of videos, including our personal favorite, “Word”, which is punctuated by some gratuitous psychedelic drug use and fucking, all animated in Victor’s signature style. They’re all worth watching though, so go ahead and do that.

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Oakland's Obi Kaufmann takes his painting work into the wild

Obi Kaufmann

My first encounter with Obi Kaufmann‘s stuff was at Surf Club. It was the first time I had set foot in the gallery, and I was greeted by Obi’s “Athena Portfolio,” a gorgeous series of paintings of classical, mythological figures from antiquity, slathered across plywood and found objects. The juxtaposition was crazy, and ever since, I’ve been watching Obi’s output from afar.

The Oakland-based artist’s latest showcase puts his “Mountain Verses” on display, a selection of “trail paintings,” handpainted on various trails spread across the California wilderness. In the paintings, watercolor abstractions, strange creatures, and symbols come accompanied by “verses,” short poetic musings on nature. A few selections here, but you can check out the “Mountain Verses” in its entirety over at Coyote & Thunder. Below, Obi offers up a little insight on the collection:

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