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MOMENTS FROM WALL TO WALL

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.

Chance the Rapper – “Chain Smoker”

Chicago's youthful rap landscape finds another promising voice

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Chicago has been in the news quite a lot in the past year. A year ago, folks all over the country were simultaneously fascinated and horrified by a 16 year-old rapper, whose intensely violent music reflected the realities of a city in which 508 people were murdered in 2012, and teenagers find themselves stuck at the center of the violence. But out of all that negative press and glorification, Chicago’s seemingly endless pool of talented rappers have managed to create a scene full of opportunities. Chief Keef and GBE have all signed deals, vets like King Louie are finally getting the recognition they deserve, and rappers on the more alternative side of things like Tree and Chance the Rapper now have the internet buzzing.

Chance’s first project, 10 Day, inspired by a ten day suspension from high school, found the then-18 year-old rapping about typical teenage preoccupations like drugs, school, and girls with remarkable virtuosity and maturity. His latest effort, Acid Rap, has made the Southside Chicago native nearly impossible to ignore. With off-kilter vocal inflections and a sing-songy delivery, the Kendrick Lamar comparisons are kind of inevitable. Like Kendrick, Chance seems to have found that difficult balance between substance and slap, managing to slip effortlessly between classic boom-bap and 808 slappers without sacrificing any lyricism. With that being said, it’s hard not to come off a little corny at times when you’re making music geared to appeal to such a wide variety of people–or, say, trying to bridge the gap between shoutouts to trap kings like Chief Keef and Fat Trel, and Childish Gambino features over the course of a few songs. But it’s somewhere between tracks like “Cocoa Butter Kisses”, and the one featured below when you realize that it’s hardly just internet hype; Chance is a seriously talented dude.


Download: Chance the Rapper – “Chain Smoker”

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JUGGLING ACT

A budding business, a new marriage, and a baby girl: short work for Max and Ari of Oakland Surf Club

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Oakland Surf Club
Photography By Lauren Crew

Starting a business isn’t easy. Raising a child isn’t either. The first words I heard inside the doors of Oakland Surf Club were barely audible. They came from the voice of Coco, the glowing creation of shop owners Max Klineman and Ari Serrano-Embree, and the OSC’s beloved shop baby. From Coco’s blue stripped blouse and polka dot leggings, to the vibrant array of men’s and womenswear pieces lining the walls of their Downtown Oakland boutique, the couple’s aesthetic synergy is constantly on display.

The first floor of OSC boasts an eclectic selection of the things Max and Ari love–from Mara Hoffman swimwear and Tepsic magazines, to art books, Madlib vinyl and skin care products from Baxter. Meanwhile, the second floor functions as a gallery space, playing host to a number of local artists, most recently Paul Solis. Through those two outlets, OSC has managed to celebrate art, culture and commerce while cultivating their own community of like-minded and creative individuals. It’s really something to be seen, especially considering the fact that the couple met, got married, opened a store and had a baby in the span of four years.

Passing the seven-month-old Coco back and forth, while taking turns answering questions, Max and Ari took some time to touch on the origins of Oakland Surf Club. Opening up about their approach to retail, the benefits of brick and mortar, and the importance of family, among other things, our conversation shed light upon one shop at the forefront of revitalizing Oakland’s retail landscape.

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Read our full interview with Max and Ari here

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ALL THE RIGHT MOVES

Charting the rise of Wardell Stephen Curry and his breakout season

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Steph Curry

I couldn’t tell you when it hit me. Perhaps it was the 54-point performance in the Garden, or maybe it was the 272 threes this season, many of them pull-ups off the fast break. Sorry Ray. Maybe it was the All-Star snub, his Alabama Shakes, or perhaps just the third quarter of last night’s series-clinching victory against the Denver Nuggets, where Curry once again took over the game. But regardless of when the turning point was, at some point throughout this illustrious 2012-2013 NBA season, Stephen Curry became a star.

Not a superstar just yet–you need some mouthpiece an endorsement or two, and some critically critical acclaim to achieve that–but to claim that Steph Curry has risen to the heights of a celestial being can’t be too far off. What happens from here is beyond me. Will Steph’s career mirror the arc of a Steve Francis or Baron Davis, with flashes of glory interspersed throughout an above average career? Or will Steph evolve into something greater, becoming synonymous with his era as Isiah was to the ’80s or A.I. to the early 2000′s? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, I’m going to watch some highlights and get juiced for the second round.

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WOMEN OF JUAREZ

Katie Orlinsky photographs the women of Mexico's deadly drug war

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Women of Juarez Katie Orlinsky
Photography by Katie Orlinsky

When a portrait is really good, it doesn’t just capture the subject’s essence – it gives you a glimpse into their world. Even better, is when that world is something most don’t even know exists.

Katie Orlinsky’s beautiful black and white photographs in her series Prison Portraits: The Ciudad Juarez Women’s Prison do just that. Living in El Diario of Ciudad Juarez, the then murder and drug capital of Mexico, Orlinsky sought out the women’s prison to capture images of the prisoners. What emerged are stunning black and white portraits that give a face to the growing female population participating in drug-related crime.

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MONDAY NIGHT LEFTOVERS (4.29.13)

New music from Wine & Bowties

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Wine & Bowties

First off, please don’t miss that Thundercat. That’s the one right there. I’ve been gushing for two weeks plus about Jai Paul and Kurt Vile, which means both their projects–official or unofficial–have plenty more to dig into. Among other gems here are the latest visuals from Julia Lewis, some road footage from Frank, and a feature-length, meditative stunner of a Nico Jaar remix, delivered specially for his Brian Eno/Grizzly Bear-assisted Record Store Day release. Oh and shout out to young Benny for putting me up on the latest from Davinci. Between that and the Mondre, it’s looking like an Oakland summer. Beautiful things ahead, please believe.

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Maren’s Guac

A simple guacamole recipe from culinary enthusiast Maren Ellingboe

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Guacamole is one of those perfect dishes. Simple, fast, and it makes everything better. This recipe is a culmination of perfecting my avocado-mashing technique over many years, and experimenting with different spices — sometimes I add a few chopped tomatoes, sometimes mix in some pre-made salsa, maybe even throw in a little roasted corn if you are feeling crazy. In my opinion, however, the best guacamole only has a few ingredients and is a balanced mixture of acidity, salt, kick and really lets the flavor of the avocado shine.

This is a perfect dish to serve at parties, and people are always impressed when they find out it’s homemade — but little do they know, making a great guacamole takes the less time than a trip to the store, and tastes so much better. I like adding pickled jalapeños for an unexpected kick, but you could easily substitute fresh jalapeños or serranos. You can add this guacamole to sandwiches or tacos, but my favorite is on its own with tortilla chips.

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