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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.

SIDDHARTHA & GOTAMA

A passage from Hermann Hesse's seminal 1922 novel Siddhartha

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Siddhartha

Siddhartha wandered through the grove deep in thought.

There he met Gotama, the Illustrious One, and as he greeted him respectfully and the Buddha’s expression was so full of goodness and peace, the young man plucked up courage and asked the Illustrious One’s permission to speak to him. Silently the Illustrious One nodded his permission.

Siddhartha said: “Yesterday, O Illustrious One, I had the pleasure of hearing your wonderful teachings. I came from afar with my friend to hear you, and now my friend will remain with you; he has sworn allegiance to you. I however, am continuing my pilgrimage anew.”

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Kanye West

For all the things Yeezy’s been accused of over the years, subtlety is rarely one of them. So when he and the G.O.O.D. Music family premiered “New God Flow” Sunday night at the BET Awards, it seemed only right that he’d steal the fucking show. If the giant Lamborghini stage and the slightly awkward rendition of “Mercy” left something to be desired, Ye’s foot-stomp accompanied, take-us-back-to-church sermon of a verse pretty much made everything leading up to it seem completely irrelevant. Half-assed award shows aside though, the G.O.O.D. Music album promises to provide more bangers over the coming months, as evidenced by the full version of “New God Flow”, which surfaced this afternoon. Pusha T’s lead-in pretty much sets the scene: “I believe there’s a God above me, I’m just the God of everything else”– impassioned, fiery and entirely self-aggrandizing, pretty much as expected.


Download: Kanye West & Pusha T – “New God Flow”

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ORGIES BY STEINGRUM VEUM

A collection of illustrations capturing the joys of group sex

Surely I’m not the only one who has fantasized about what a true orgy would be like. Really, who knows if and when something like that would ever pop off, although I’m sure if you really look, there’s probably a good couple orgies going down right under your nose. Regardless, I remember my first observation of an orgy on film went down in Summer of Sam (great film by the way). But I can’t lie, those group sex scenes piqued my interest. Perhaps orgies were more acceptable in the ’60s, and ’70s, or perhaps they still go down now… I wouldn’t really know. Nonetheless, orgies also piqued the interest of Norwegian artist Steingrim Veum, enough so that he was compelled to illustrate 22 depictions of orgies in action. Makes you wonder if Steingrim himself has ever partaken, or if this is all just a fantasy…

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MID-SUMMER LEFTOVERS (6.28.12)

New music from Wine & Bowties

The Leftovers

Sultry summer days deserve slaps of all shapes and sizes and sounds. And, as you may have noticed, we’ve made a few changes around here lately, so it seemed only appropriate to break in the new site with a collection of things we’ve had on repeat while the weather’s been warming up. Highlights include Hodgy Beats restructuring some vintage D’Angelo, Mario’s “Let Me Love You” getting a groovy overhaul, Poolside coming with a sticky summer jam, and Big Boi and Theophilus keeping it settled, if not subtle. Oh, and that DIIV video is crazy too.

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WOMEN OF LEISURE BY HENRIK PURIENNE

Timeless images from Cape Town based photographer Henrik Purienne

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Henrik Purienne
Photography By Henrik Purienne

From the outside, the sixties and seventies seemed like a marvelous time. The love, the sex, the freedom of expression– for those that lived it, there will probably never be another time like it. For those who came after, our attempts to capture that feeling will, by and large, remain futile; although there are the rare exceptions.

Sharing his time between Cape Town and Paris, fashion photographer and filmmaker Henrik Purienne lives a life of unapologetic hedonism. “What is an average day like for Henrik Purienne?” an interviewer once asked. “I wouldn’t know,” The photographer replied, “I’ve never had an average day.”

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Freddie Gibbs

Slammin’. At this point, as soon as I hear it, I’m pretty confident some sturdy ass bars will follow. At this point, calling Freddie Gibbs solid seems almost redundant. For the latest installment of his ongoing collab with the Beat Konducta, Fred crafts an ode to the one night stand, with B.J. the Chicago Kid letting us know why the walk of shame need not be so damn shameful. Not to mention, like Thuggin’, Shame gets the full Stones Throw package treatment, complete with some icy artwork, a supplemental banger, and some flawless instrumentals. Add some silky smooth soul samplage courtesy of Madlib on this one, and once again, Freddie’s got a hitter on his hands. Cop on vinyl here.


Download: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Shame”

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INDIA, 1969

Photography by Roloff Beny

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Roloff Beny

Canadian photographer Roloff Beny is often described as having “obsessed with the beauty of the world”. Reading the words he wrote about India, or even a glance at the images he brought back from a handful of adventures there confirms that pretty convincingly. Aside from the beauty he found in the visual world, Beny was also famous for his illustrious lifestyle: friends in high places, storied parties and a lavish penthouse in Rome all seem to surface often when Beny’s life is being discussed.

Most importantly, Beny was a world traveler, and India is one of a number of his works which could effectively be described as a love letter to the place it documents. One of the most impressive examples of his eye for color, scenery and natural beauty, India finds Beny exploring a place with no shortage of gorgeous landscapes, architecture, and rich culture. In some ways, these images read like an idyllic Westerner’s portrait, an aesthetically idealized version of a complex place– and you could definitely make the case. Either way though, they’re pretty spectacular shots.

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IT’S GOOD FOR URBANO

A variety of gourment pizzas aim to please at Downtown LA's most underrated pizza bar

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Generally, happy hours aren’t really my thing. Mediocre beers and two for one sliders usually come to mind when I think about happy hour, although I’m never one to turn down a solid discount. It’s this prejudice towards happy hours that has kept me out of most evening eateries in the past, although I’ve recently had a change of heart. Open for a little over a year, Urbano Pizza Bar is Downtown LA’s most underrated gem. Amidst the already saturated niche of DTLA Pizza Shops, Urbano manages to carve out their own lane with the help of their remarkable happy hour.

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Ariel Pink

The first time I met Ariel Pink, I gave him a hug. I honestly didn’t really know what else to do. And besides, as I told him, I was thankful for the inspiration. I don’t have a lot of heroes, but Ariel Pink is somebody who’s carved out as distinctive a space as anybody. You could talk about the treasure trove of beautifully strange and subversive songwriting that formed his early catalog. Or the unexpectedly accessible triumph that was “Round & Round” and Before Today. But basically, Ariel Pink is cool to me because he confirms some of those very basic notions that cult heroes are supposed to confirm. Say, that being weird and different is cool, or that, assuming you’re creative enough, you can make brilliant, paradigm-shifting shit in your basement.

With follow-up Mature Themes on the way, Ariel Pink’s first choice for a single feels smooth and straightforwardly gorgeous in lots of the same ways as Before Today. More or less faithful to the mostly forgotten, but recently resurrected blue-eyed soul original from Donnie and Joe Emerson, “Baby” is a reverent rendition of a song that deserves to become a classic, even if it happens in retrospect. Not to mention, there’s just enough oddness and rough edges– the whistling outro, the “I Only Have Eyes” backup vocals, or Dam-Funk’s voice surfacing occasionally– to distinguish it as Pink’s.


Download: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Baby”

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EARLY APPLE

Catalog images of Apple's 1986 clothing collection

Surely some of you have seen these fits making the rounds via the interwebs recently. Featured below are a collection of rare images from a 1986 fashion catalog from none other than global tech giant, Apple. Utilizing an array of vibrant colors for their line, the collection screams 1986, although a few pieces may look even doper in the 2012. Revered for its minimalist approach to design today, it’s amusing to see the stark contrast of style that typifies the 80′s fashion line. Vibrant and full of color, the But let’s be real, there are some absolute hitters in here. Further proof that Apple’s been killin’ it.

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“Five Seconds” is a song that’s already been surrounded by romantic motorcycle myth. First, Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr. told us the entire new album was inspired by motorcycle rides through L.A., and then the single arrived in all its ’80s Americana glory, with visuals suggesting an endless stretch of road on Twin Shadow’s website and George decked out in leather, pristinely coiffed rockabilly haircut in full force. The video for the first single from Confess, appropriately enough, finds George cruising the open road, before transforming into a full blown, mysterious action sequence, apparently based on some short fiction penned by Lewis himself. Shot gorgeously, the video also finds our good friend D’Angelo rounding out one bad ass action duo. Which is awesome. In any case, more to come from Twin Shadow soon.

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ALL NIGHT LONG

A collection of moments from our recent event at DTLA's Think Tank Gallery

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It’s funny, you’d think by now we’d have our party throwing game under control. Fourteen parties in the game and yet we still find holes that need patching. Perhaps there will always be holes, but I do dream of the days when we’re sailing smoothly. To our team of individuals who helped put it all together, thank you. Much love to Roy, Pam and Yahya, the unsung heroes of the night. For Louis XIII, dJ Hem and Amy Phamous, it’s only the beginning. To everyone that stepped foot inside Think Tank, thank you for your energy and support.

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MEET THE DREAM TEAM

A documentary on the greatest basketball team ever assembled

I feel like the majority of us were still picking our nose and eating it when the Dream Team was first assembled. As the “finest team of basketball players ever assembled,” the Dream Team made history by annihilating the global competition in the ’92 Olympics by a regular margin of 40 points. We’ve all heard the stories of opposing players asking for autographs during the game, and players on the sidelines taking pictures, but it seems as though this recent documentary will reveal even more about this historic series of events. Combining personal interviews with the players with archival footage of the Dream Team’s practices, The Dream Team aims to reveal what was really going on in Barcelona on and off the court. Released last week on NBATV, this documentary is sure to satisfy hoop fans and ’90s aficionados alike.

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A JOURNEY TO JOSHUA TREE

California's desert dreamland, as photographed by Rebekkah Castellanos

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Rebekkah Castellanos

As far as California’s natural wonders go, Joshua Tree ranks pretty high on my list. Even apart from the shroom-trip mythology surrounding it, there’s an indescribable energy that permeates that stretch of desert. Almost everything about it is awe-inspiring. There are colossal, hundred million year-old rock formations and night sky that’s crispy and clear enough to make L.A.’s panoramic canopy of smog feel as ridiculous and claustrophobic as it really is.

Suffice to say, Joshua Tree is a special place, and when our good friend Rebekkah Castellanos told us she’d made a photographic pilgrimage there a few weeks ago, I was more than confident she’d come back with some gorgeous shots. With the help of her Contax T2 and 35mm film, Rebekkah manages to capture the natural beauty that is Joshua Tree, with a set of images that feel just as expansive and easy to get lost in. More from her soon. For now, vibe on these.

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