The New A Bathing Ape Store in Los Angeles

A couple weeks ago I was driving down Melrose heading toward the Beverly Center when I was shocked to see a pink, neon glow that I hadn’t seen before. Bear in mind I’m driving at dusk, a little after the sun had set, so this was BRIGHT. As I get closer I realize that this has to be the brand new A Bathing Ape store that has been in the process of opening forever.

For the five you who’ve never heard of A Bathing Ape, it’s basically this cult clothing brand in Japan, mostly because of it’s limited edition t-shirts and sneakers. Is it really all that exciting? I personally don’t think so, but Nigo, the man behind A Bathing Ape, is pretty smart and has come up with some great designs over the years. So while you won’t see me shopping there any time soon, it was still exciting to come upon.

The store was created by one of the best architecture/design firms companies out there, Wonderwall. I’ve been a huge fan of Wonderwall’s work for years now, so it’s exciting to have something of theirs here in Los Angeles. It’s a lot like the other BAPE stores out there, a lot of glass and patterns and neon, but it’s pretty cool in person. While I was taking photos there was a couple taking Facebook photos from the reflected neon light, so I thought that was funny.

Check under the cut for a bunch more photos!

Continue reading

Aparment Baking: Red Velvet Cupcakes

I haven’t really posted about my new apartment much, but I’m definitely going to once it starts looking better. It’s only been about two weeks now, but things are looking pretty great except for the living room, which is pretty barren. Anyhow, I made a decision when I moved that since I now had an oven, that I would start baking every weekend. I’ve never really been a baking kind of guy, but I have serious baking-envy because of my friend Frank who is the best cook that I know.

So I was going to bake chocolate chip cupcakes, but the power went out on my block for most of Saturday afternoon so it didn’t happen. But last weekend I made the awesome red velvet cupcakes you see above. I got the recipe off of so it wasn’t very special, but it worked. The recipe was one of Paula Dean’s, and even though I think she’s the most annoying little troll on earth, they ended up being fairly easy to make. Overall they turned out okay, though I think I cooked them a little too long, but my roommate and best friend Garrett ate 4 of the 6 of them anyhow.

If anyone has any good recipes that I should try let me know! I want to bake all the time, it’s become my new addiction!


Last Week in Music | 05/03/08 – 05/11/08

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be by The Black Keys

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Don’t Forget The Sun by The Explorer’s Club

Well it’s Monday again, and I had planned on posting things this weekend but that didn’t happen, so I’ll try a whole lot more posts in today. But first, let’s talk about LWIM. Does anyone know if I can have two clients running on two different computers? I feel like it’s only recording the music on my computer at work. Anyone know anything?

As for what I listened to, Death Cab for Cutie took the top banana with their new album, Narrow Stairs. I really like the album and I’m glad that it turned out much better than the last one. After that was Scar-Jo and her new album Anywhere I Lay My Head, which I’ve been listening to every now and then but I don’t think I’m going to love it in 6 months.

Then came The Notwist, Air, and The New Pornographers, all regular things. But then there was The Black Keys, who’s new album Attack & Release is actually pretty damn good. I had heard that Dangermouse had produced the album and became something of a third member, but it wasn’t until I saw the cover of the album that I had to hear it. While it’s pretty bluesy, it’s really a good album. I still need to listen to it more, but I think it’s gonna be one of the best of the year.

Broadcast and Elliot Smith were tied for 7th, and then came The Explorer’s Club, a Charleston, South Carolina band who’s new album, Freedom Wind, sounds EXACTLY like The Beach Boys. If you disagree with me you’re an idiot. Finishing off the album is the wonderful French Kicks, who’s album I listened to WAY more than two times last week.


Advice to Baby Photographers, Not Photographers Of Babies

I really love Clayton Cubitt’s blog The Constant Siege, I read it everyday and I just get a general good vibe about the guy. So I saw this excerpt on his blog from something he posted on his blog on Nerve and I thought it was really great. The original piece is basically words of advice relating to photography and life in general. What he wrote down made me laugh though:

– Rules were meant to be broken, yes, but it feels much better if you know what the rules were in the first place. Picasso started as a realist. Once he had that down he could paint whatever he wanted. Be like Picasso. He got laid a lot.

– Expensive gear won’t make your images better, and more gear won’t make you more effective. If you can’t do it with a basic camera, you can’t do it. The simplest 10% of a camera does 90% of the work. The rest is cock-waving for specialists. That short, aging bald guy in the red sports car? The one with erectile dysfunction? That’s your fancy camera.

– What makes up a style? Find a photographer you really admire and rip him off mercilessly.Consider it a remote apprenticeship. This is the history of culture. One day you’ll accidentally start doing original work, and then some young punk will start ripping you off. And the cycle of life is continued…

For more of these check out the entry here.



OMG, this is way fun for a Friday afternoon when you know all you want to do is go home. UT LOOP! is the newest creation from the folks over at Uniqlo, one of the finest Japanese clothiers. They also happen to destroy when it comes to viral marketing, as you can see above. UT LOOP! is basically sounds made by 9 different folks that you then combine to turn into little ditty. It’s like the music editor in Mario Paint but for the 21st century.

My loop is silly, but I like the rhythm of it. I also like ending with the fun UT kids, they were kind of my favorite sounds. I also love that the video of them making the sounds plays along as well, a nice detail. Go take 10 minutes and make yourself a loop!

My loop isn’t working, I don’t know why, but that’s rather annoying.


Narrow Stairs by Death Cab for Cutie

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You Can Do Better Than Me by Death Cab for Cutie

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bixby Canyon Bridge by Death Cab for Cutie

I’m happy to admit that I’m that guy who says he only likes a band’s “older stuff”, but I think there’s a validity to that. If a band has a life of 10 years or so, obviously their sound can change. And if anything, I get sad when my favorite bands release records that I don’t like, I don’t care about how cool they are I just want an awesome record. Upon hearing the first single from Death Cab for Cutie’s new album, Narrow Stairs, I was totally mortified. I Will Possess Your Heart is and 8 and half minute guitar jam that ends with some horrible vocal arrangements. Don’t get me wrong, I love guitar jams, Blue Line Swinger by Yo La Tengo is one of my all time favorite songs and that sucker comes in at over 9 minutes, but this new single was quite disheartening.

Nonetheless, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to listen to the new album. And well, it’s pretty dang good. The album starts out extremely strongly with Bixby Canyon Bridge, starting out crisp like DCFC songs usually do, and then the guitars kick in and things get serious. Gone is the pussyfooting around of the last album, and back to the more raw and lo-fi sound that they used to have. Skipping past I Will Possess Your Heart leads to No Sunlight, a poppy tune with slightly cheeseball lyrics, but the piano in the background makes me love it.

Then there’s Cath…, a song that feels much more like old DCFC. What really stands out on this track is the drums, much more creative and up front, something they used to do a lot more in their older stuff (think of A Movie Script Ending). Talking Bird is more of a mellow somber song, that then leads into the one of the best damn songs on this album, You Can Do Better Than Me. This song is possibly one of the best songs they’ve ever written, with Beach Boys-esque drums, piano melody and an organ providing a good backing. The song lyrically is not happy, nor is the title, but the music itself will make you instantly happy, I guarantee it.

Grapevine Fires
is another gem on the album with some great backing vocals and a nice drum beat to it. The song talks about the fires here in Los Angeles along the Grapevine, a stretch of freeway that connects the Los Angeles area to the northern part of California (for those who aren’t from around here). Your New Twin Sized Bed is a good song, but I think it’s weird that he had Brothers on a Hotel Bed and now this… c’mon Ben, there’s lots of things to write about. Long Division is another really great song on the album, sounding like it could have been off of The Photo Album almost. Pity and Fear is not one of my favorites, it’s slightly electronic with a sort of Conga beat to it, I’m just not feeling it at all. But the album ends with The Ice Is Getting Thinner, a somber little ballad that ends how I think a DCFC album should end. It kind of reminds me of Coney Island.

Overall this album gets 7 or 8 out of 10, if I was to give it any sort of rating. It’s not perfect, nor is it the best album of the year, but it’s a really great step in a good direction, and something definitely worth taking a listen to. Now DCFC needs to call Modest Mouse and tell them to get their shit together and I’ll be REALLY happy.

Narrow Stairs comes out on May 13th through Atlantic Records.


Penguin Books Releasing New James Bond Covers

I never thought I’d be posting another Penguin Books story, but they’ve totally upped their game as of late! Following on the heels of their Shepard Fairey redesigned covers they’ve decided to redesign the covers of all the James Bond books in honor of (what would have been) Ian Fleming’s 100th birthday. The covers were created by illustrator Michael Gillette and feature beautiful women, a well-known vice of James Bond, with beautiful type artfully placed over their body.

The covers themselves are great, perfectly minimal, but they’ve also thought about the spines as well, adorning them with silhouettes of women and a good numbering system to keep your collection in order. I think this redesign is so successful, it works on so many levels. These are going to be released in hardback on May 29th, and you may just want to pick up the entire set just to have the hottest bookshelf ever.


Storm Troopin’

About 5 years ago I worked at a comic shop and it was one of the best jobs I ever had. I worked with this guy Rex who totally made it even more fun, and while we both liked comic books, we were not nerds, or at least compared to some of the people who came into the shop. In the store, we had a toy section, and in the toy section was a sale section where I found a Captin Jean Luc Picard action figure. He came with cloth clothing, which I decided to take off, leaving him only wearing his boots which also earned him the name, ‘Nude Picard’. Nude Picard would fight other toys all the time, being so bad ass he didn’t have to wear clothes, even though the dorks and geeks that strolled through the shop thought this was the most ridiculous thing they’d ever seen.

Storm Troopin’, a set of Flickr by Cindi G., totally reminds me of those days. Basically what she’s done is set up a bunch of Storm Trooper action figures in ridiculous (but well photographed) set-ups and started posting them onto her Fllickr. What’s most funny I think is that she treats them like small people. She doesn’t try to pretend that they’re full sized, they’re tiny storm trooper people who have feelings just like you and me!

My favorite is TK-315, who is always photographed with his coffee mug, as you can see above. The way she cocks their helmets and positions their bodies gives them a real sense of movement and life. If you need a good chuckle, definitely check out her photos!