Much love to the folks that ventured out to the first Wine & Bowties of the Spring. To Tap 10, Starter Kit, Jay Casio and Yung_smh thank you for blessing us with your tunes. Consider it the first HNRL + TT6 + DRGN + W&B collab. Friday got weird but we live to tell to about it through pictures and words.
Shout out to Anika and Nasty Nate for being down, and to Morgan and co. for handling. The Day After Valentine’s Day was one to remember. Whole party going crazy. Thank you for supporting Wine & Bowties, check out some pics from the night right here.
February marked the first installment in our nascent discussion series, Talks, where we opened up a conversation about creativity and entrepreneurship. For the inaugural, we called on a superstar cast of young creatives: Cre8tive Class founder Daghe, photographer Lauren Crew, MC and visual artist Queens D. Light, Oakland Surf Club’s Max Klineman, and Flavourhood’s Japheth Gonzalez.
A few years back, one of our favorite artists laced us with a used Yashica. Since then, we’ve been collecting memories of people we love and the places we’ve been. A reminder to keep capturing these moments, and a thank you to Maggie for getting us started.
We step inside the world of the Top Dog Guy. Looking back on 23 years of service, we sit down with Top Dog’s longest working employee, taking time to learn about his life, his career, and his legacy as a Berkeley legend. With photography by Scott Rockwell and words by Max Gibson, this piece is one for the ages.
This past Friday was a special one. A stepping stone for us in our journey and a moment to remember for a number of reasons. If you’ve stepped inside a Wine & Bowties party before, with the exception of two, the intention more times than not has been to throw bangers. Complete, utter, unadulterated bangers. But this one was different. It wasn’t “crackin,” and it wasn’t going ham, per se. It was just settled, and it felt right. Somehow we brought the grown ups out, and also the kids, making myself, Will and some other 20-somethings the middle children within this eclectic night. It was kinda beautiful.
Many a thank you to go around for this event. First and foremost to Barry’s family for allowing us to share Barry’s work with a new audience. And also much love to the Scrivani family for providing us the space to hold our first art exhibition in Oakland, and the wisdom to help us do it right. To our friends and family who attended the opening, thank you for being a part of such a unique night. In the years to come we’ll look back and understand the significance of it all, but for now, let’s enjoy the moments that Barry captured in his time. A Dangerously Curious Eye runs from now until March 30th, and you can join us for the artist talk this Saturday from 4pm to 6pm at Warehouse 416.
When I first cracked open the cover of Barry Shapiro’s A Dangerously Curious Eye, I was floored. I had been told, in brief, what to expect–essentially an extensive collection of black and whites, shot in Hunter’s Point and other San Francisco neighborhoods during the turbulent 1970′s and early ’80s. Had that been all I found, it still would have been entirely worth the read. But what I did in fact find, was something more than just photojournalism–something much more resonant, much more powerful. This was indeed a portrait of a community in all its complexity–sometimes Barry’s lens reflects heartbreaking poverty and sadness, other times, pride and exuberance. There were nudes and neighborhood scenes, kids playing and drunks boozing, and running through each shot, a sense that Barry had captured a moment unlike any other.
Here in this collection, alongside its value as historical document, we get a genuine sense of Barry’s personality, and his deep fascination with the edge. Before and after the decade he spent exploring one of San Francisco’s poorest and most marginalized neighborhoods, his work reflected a passion for telling stories that might not otherwise reach the surface. More than anything though, this collection captures his instinctive talent for identifying and preserving the moment. From the candor of those Hunter’s Point portraits to the momentary, drive-by glimpses afforded by his Through the Window series, there’s an almost preternatural sense of serendipity surrounding these images. Naturally, the story of how these images found their way to us, the audience, is a serendipitous one indeed. Read on to learn more about A Dangerously Curious Eye.
Collaborations don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to, but when they do it’s a beautiful thing. Artists can either compliment each others’ strengths to produce something unique and memorable or accent each others’ weaknesses to create the easily forgettable. In the case of “Don’t Say No”, the recent collaborative effort from L.A. beatmaker Shlohmo and experimental R&B singer and producer Tom Krell, AKA How to Dress Well, the rolling, moody track feels as natural as any collaboration in recent memory.
The beat builds slowly, beginning with simple ?uestlove-esque thumps, before giving way to dark and distorted chords. “Real love,” Krell softly repeats before cowbell, stuttered hi-hats and deep synth-bass create a textured backdrop for Krell’s 90′s R&B inflected vocals. At the end of the track, Krell’s voice practically blends into Shlohmo’s ethereal sounds, a moaning falsetto sitting on top of filtered vocal runs while the beat continues it’s slow drive. Both artists have an uncanny ability to create reflective and emotive material, and together, they combine for a song full to the brim with feeling. “Don’t Say No” will be featured on Shlohmo’s Laid Out, which drops March 5th via Friends of Friends/WEDIDIT.
“I have spent much of my career examining the effects of religious beliefs on people’s lives–historically, a far more profound influence on society and individuals than politics, which is the substance of so much journalism. I was drawn to write this book by the questions that many people have about Scientology: What is it that makes the religion alluring? What do its adherents get out of it? How can seemingly rational people subscribe to beliefs that others find incomprehensible? Why do popular personalities associate themselves with a faith that is likely to create a kind of public relations martyrdom?
These questions are not unique to Scientology, but they certainly underscore the conversation. In attempting to answer them in this book, I hope we can learn something about what might be called the process of belief. Few Scientologists have had a conversion experience–a sudden, radical reorientation of one’s life; more common is a gradual, wholehearted acceptance of propositions that might have been regarded as unacceptable or absurd at the outset, as well as the incremental surrender of will on the part of people who have been promised enhanced power and authority. One can see by this example the motor that propels all great social movements, for good or ill.”
Heads in the Bay have to be juiced these days. As our good friend Yung Wave Dash observed the last time Antwon’s name came up on the Bowties, there’s a talented, forward-thinking class of rappers coming up Bayside, who share in common a certain eclecticism. Maybe most eclectic among them though, is the growing body of work Antwon’s accumulated already.
His fourth and most recent offering, In Dark Denim is the audio equivalent of the all-caps its song titles show up in in your iTunes library. It’s full of big, dirty noise, ranging in tone from grimy electronic neon to crispy retro-funk, and providing a perfectly warped canvas for Antwon’s outsized personality–and some solidly adult themes. “3rd World Grrl” is a bouncy slab of bargain-bin ’80s groove, just the kind of throwback jam that first got him some interwebs shine last year. It also happens to be accompanied by a visual featuring Crank Yankers puppet version of Antwon rapping, courtesy of Noisey, which is totally worth watching after the MORE, so do that too. Oh, and grab the tape here for the free 99 and cop a ticket to his show tonight at Elbo Room.
A comical glance into the construction of vanity, beauty and health, Fruits & Vegetables is among Heidi Voet‘s most engaging works. Positioning images of naked women cropped from Chinese magazines alongside vegetables, the resulting work takes on new meaning on closer inspection. Cropping out the top or lower half of the photographs, and replacing the missing body parts with vegetables, the juxtaposition helps to relate Heidi’s commentary. As the organic vegetables age and rot, the falsehoods of enduring beauty and eternal youth perpetrated by the photographs are revealed. In a sense, a duality of timelessness and ephemerality is related powerfully through the work as the fresh vegetables visually complete the young bodies–though both are inevitably destined to fade. I sometimes wonder if pretty girls ever feel trapped by their beauty, but let’s save that conversation for another day.
This one feels like it’s been a long time coming. On March 1st, we’ll be holding our first show at Oakland Art Murmur, and we’re proud to announce we’ll be presenting the work of Bay Area photographer Barry Shapiro. More specifically, we’ll be partnering with Warehouse 416 to present A Dangerously Curious Eye, a stunning and iconic collection of black and white photographs shot in Hunter’s Point between 1972 and 1982.
Barry Shapiro will likely be remembered as an unsung hero of Bay Area photography, an accidental cultural documentarian who captured an unforgettable portrait of San Francisco’s toughest neighborhood during turbulent times. Though largely unseen until shortly before his passing in 2009, his work was published in the 2010 photobook A Dangerously Curious Eye and was shown briefly in a solo show at SF Camerawork. Today, his work constitutes not only an invaluable historical document of a community on the whole, but also an idiosyncratic record of life lived on the edge. Barry’s story, and that of the community of which he was a part, is an incredible one, and one we’re proud to be able to share with you.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be showcasing more of his work here on the Bowties, in the interest of providing a preview of what to expect for the opening reception on March 1st. Additionally, the show will continue through March 30th, so stay tuned for other upcoming events at Warehouse 416.
Another night, another celebration. A lot of familiar faces in the building Thursday night; a lot of folks who’ve been down since Day 1. One day we’ll look back on these times and laugh, but until then let us cherish the grind. The successes, the flops, the smiles the tears, all in summation to tell ourstory. It was a beautiful one; with new chapters unfolding each day. Much love to everyone that’s stepped foot inside a Wine & Bowties celebration. Thank you for coming along on this journey with us.
It’s been a minute since we dropped one of these, which, generally speaking, means every one of these songs is worth spending some time with. A few things worth mentioning here. There’s Antwon’s awesome guest spot on Kitty’s mixtape, where he plays the big, bad influence to Kitty’s innocent little girl. The Kurt Vile might be the winner here though. It’s nine minutes of bliss–a wavy-ass, lazy Sunday groove that just stretches out forever. Plus, the Hemsworth-Angel Haze take on Cat Power’s “Manhattan” is absolutely gorgeous. A little Basedworld, a little Night Slugs, a party anthem or two–I’d say we might just have a weekend soundtrack on our hands. A happy half-century to Mike, and Los Angeles, thanks for the love Thursday night. We’ll see you again soon.
Building a tree house is already an arduous task within itself. But building a tree house in the middle of the woods solo, in Whistler, British Columbia on government property might sound damn near insane to anybody–aside from Joel Allen, that is. A software developer turned carpenter, Joel ventured into the Canadian wilderness to construct an egg shaped abode with no electrical power in the fall of 2008.
After going broke in the wake of a botched retirement campaign at the ripe age of 26, it was a by-chance encounter with a true wilderness man that compelled Joel to set out on his own, living out of his car while seeking out adventure at every turn. Turned on to the art of “sports sleeping”–the competition of seeing who could sleep in the most outrageous environment outside of a bed–by a friend, Joel was soon inspired to create the HemLoft.
Keeping it a complete secret for nearly three years after its construction, Joel only began to reveal the house’s existence recently. The house itself, a product of the painstaking process of walking each tool and material into the woods, and then walking all of the excess waste back out, is a true a labor of love, and one that Joel isn’t looking to part with any time soon.
It was 2010 when I first connected with Tiago Sperotto. On the verge of being fired from my first post-college job as a barista, on my last day, Tiago approached me with a simple question. “Dude, do you know anyone that needs some photography work done?” It was a serendipitous question, as the Bowties, still in its infantile stages, was in dire need of a shooter to add to the team.
From there, the rest is history, although our journey is still only beginning. Lending his photographic skills to a number of shoots for us over the years, it was love that eventually brought Tiago back to his native country of Brazil in 2011, where he still lives today. Currently residing in Rio, but raised in Porto Alegre, Tiago’s most recent work showcases some of the gorgeous environs the city has to offer. Chatting about his upbringing in Porto, the city’s evolution, and the magic of Guaiba Lake, Tiago offered some insight into what makes Porto Alegre so special.