ARTS & CULTURE

Viewing posts from the ARTS & CULTURE category

Yaegaki Sake Sunday

In 2004, Reiko Kushibiki became the first female Sake Master in the US for Yaegaki, importing an art form that dates back to 1666 when the original sake brewery was founded in Japan.  Known for brewing pure rice spiced with the richest local flavors, the brand is established on it’s high quality ingredients and use of traditional methods, even winning several prestigious awards.

Now, it took me years to give sake a chance, and it wasn’t till I discovered cold sake that I really made up my mind.   After a modest start, sipping on a new one here and there, I one day was introduced to the Yaegaki craft. And what a craft!

YAEGAKI Dry represents the top of YAEGAKI’s domestic sake line. It is made with rice polished to the extent that the nearly 40% of each grain has been polished away, and is brewed at a low temperature for a long period of time.Full-bodied and slightly acidic, YAEGAKI Dry goes well with a wide variety of foods.

The meaning of Yaegaki implies that there are several layers of flavors.  Thus working wonderfully with different foods… or none at all!  It is also important to highlight that Yaegaki now comes in a 300ml bottle (pictured above), and can be found at a grocery (or specialty) store near you.  Even better, the smaller bottle makes for a perfect Sunday night companion, packing just enough for you to work your way through Dexter and Boardwalk Empire, closing the weekend  with class and style… and no hangovers.

Thanks, Reiko! And here’s one to girl power!

The Invisible Man


A process that takes on average 10 hours to prepare for each photograph, is a way for 38 year-old Liu Bolin to express how he sees himself in his society, and how invisible he feels to the world.    It’s inspiring how he turns a feeling that would depress and drag-down most, into a very creative form of self-expression and art.   His social protest is a quiet but carefully crafted one, leaving us with images that get the message across loud and clear.

Read more on the story here.


Grandma’s A Superhero

To cheer up his depressed 91 year-old grandma, french photographer Sacha Goldberger convinced her to pose for a series of absolutely awesome photos!  Each shot was crafted with attention to the most minimal details, bringing depth and life to these staged shots and making you want to be Super Grandma.  Check out the photos below and more on the story straight from the source.

Euro Street Art | BerlinParis

Kid Robot Black | SSUReal From the Cradle to the Grave

New vinyl toy hotness from Kid Robot Black in collaboration with SSUR.  Save up, skully here will cost ya $200 bones but is super limited with only 200 produced.  Check out more here.

SSUReal From the Cradle to the Grave is a 6-inch, matte black vinyl skull featuring gold chrome-plated ABS teeth, articulated jaw, and a unique, embossed sylvan pattern covering the entire surface of the cranium &  features a gold embossed Kidrobot x SSUR logo on the base of the skull.

THE ELECTRO WARS

Coachella is just two days away and I am ready for the dance-off!  To help get you in the mood (and in case you missed the screening at Winter Music Conference) check out THE ELECTRO WARS documentary from director Stephen Vasquez.  The doc provides some compelling commentary on the current electro dance scene and features folks like DJ Premier, Diplo, Justice, Spank Rock and our friends The Electrolightz.

Mom, mom, mommy, ma, mom, mom, ma, ma, mommy, mommy… WHAT!!… hi!

Brands and wanna be social media gurus take note.  Mom, mom, mommy, ma, mom, mom, ma, ma, mommy, mommy… WHAT!!… hi! Facebook fan page has 4 Million+ fans.  Become a fan here and tell your mom you love her (and apologize for that chocolate stain you made on her new white couch).  If you are a brand maybe you should think about creative and unique ways to not only ‘engage’ your audience but also entertain them.  The creator of this fan page has 4 Million fans, imagine if your brand was sitting on that treasure chest of gold.

Dark Side of 8-Bit

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is arguably my favorite album of all time.  When I read the news that the band won their lawsuit  against EMI recently because they never permitted the publisher to sell individual track downloads I thought, well if anyone has a case it’s Pink Floyd.  I mean, between Floyd, Zeppelin and Steely Dan they practically invented the album oriented rock genre and the multitude of AOR radio stations to follow.  These days it’s rare to see contemporary artists recording full bodies of work that actually constitute an album (not to mention producing a concept record).  I am excited to see the Floyd still live on digitally, even if you can’t buy their songs one at a time on iTunes…this 8-Bit ditty of Money somehow translates into pop culture genius.

Muppets | Happy Easter

Happy belated Easter wishes from Big Mean Carl and the Muppets.  There is nothing like a nice chocolate bunny and a fresh glass of milk to wash down this unusually awesome (and creepy at the same time) Muppets rendition of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me. I’ve always had a deep fascination for these furry iconic creatures, not to mention an intense fear of the Oscar the Grouch stuffed animal I had as a kid that sat in the corner of my bedroom next to the dresser but that’s another story.

The Muppets are officially digital and have increased their online activity, they even have their own iPhone App.  I’m excited to see what musical cover they do next.

Absolut & Spike Jonze | I’m Here

Absolut Vodka has collaborated with Spike Jonze to bring you his latest creation: I’m Here | A Love Story In An Abolut World.  The film is a short 30min love story between two robots living in LA and you can watch the movie in its entirety (and for free) on their website here. These types of collaborations are initiatives I’d like to applaud and see more of, a partnership that is mutually beneficial to the arts and the brands, while it doesn’t lose sight of either party’s integrity.  Besides, Spike Jonze is one of my favorite directors ever and I appreciate anyone that empowers his geniality. I’m Here is the latest materialization of Jonze’s ability to personalize an unseen & unconscious reality, while delivering a beautiful tale of selflessness and unconditional love.  A must see!

http://www.thechurchoflondon.com/imgs/2010/03/im-here-robots.jpg

Who You Calling A Sissy? Sissy Bounce

What is Sissy Bounce?  Peep the video above for Sissy Nobby’s Word of the Day – SPIN (to rotate constantly in a single direction) for a taste.    A sub-genre of the still underground New Orleans Bounce scene most notable for Juvenile’s Back That Azz Up, Sissy Bounce is similar to Crunk, Miami Bass and Bmore (Baltimore club music).  According to artists such as Big Freedia describes the mix as some of the most hypersexual, bump and grind you can imagine, remove everything but the sexed up chorus, speed it up, and then remove the sexual identity of the artist performing it. Sissy Bounce artists are purposely androgynous, sometimes referred to as queer, sometimes transgendered, a very direct intent is to fuck with people’s heads about sexuality.

For more check out Sissy Bounce A Taste of the Real Underground by Sean Bonner.  The link also features a great interview with Alix Chapman by Scott Beibin for the definitive Sissy Bounce 411 and check the Vanity Fair New Orleans Sissy Bounce: Rap Goes Drag article here.

Dennis Hopper – The Artist

When I saw Dennis Hopper on the news this week it deeply saddened me and reminded me of how big a fan I am of his craft.  The clip above shows Dennis from his early days.  Currently, in a battle for his life against cancer I prefer to share more of a living tribute and send our well wishes to Dennis and his family.  I can only hope that the rumors are true and the MoCa museum will be featuring an exhibit dedicated to the photographer’s ’60’s period pieces.  Dennis Hopper starred in such film classics as Rebel Without A Cause, Easy Rider (which he co-wrote and won Best Original Screenplay at Cannes), Blue Velvet and Apocalypse Now.  Hopefully, more people will also be able to share and experience Dennis Hopper the photographer, painter and sculpture.

Janelle Monáe & Bruno Mars @ The Viper Room

The (tiny) Viper Room was overwhelmingly packed on Tuesday night (3/23) for Bruno Mars and Janelle Monáe.  Mars, the singer behind B.o.B.’s chart topper Nothing On You, was instantly captivating with a charismatic stage presence and a pretty eclectic line up of songs.

Janelle Monáe was, as usual, amazing! The cyber girl delivered a non-stop & energy-fueled performance, full of schizofrenic choreography and a great showcase of her soulful singing and vocal range.  I’ve been waiting for this girl to shine for over 2 years and it seems that her time is finally here.

Keep an eye out for her record The Archandroid coming out on May 18th. Bruno is currently finishing his album, but aside from Nothing on You (which you can non longer avoid) you can also hear him on Travis McCoy’s new single Billionaire.

US Census 2010

Civic duty of the day accomplished, we just completed filling out our 2010 US Census.  We Can’t Move Forward Until You Mail It Back. Honestly, I don’t understand why everyone is so paranoid about what information about us the Census collects.  Sure you might have your reasons for being skeptical or not trusting Big Brother or  Uncle Sam but consider for a second that you have to provide more personal data just to get a cell phone contract.

C.N. Le, Professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst states, “…an accurate count of the U.S. population forms the basis for many important but often overlooked political, economic, and social decisions that are made that end up affecting our daily lives.”

The US Census web site comments, That’s why it’s so important that you fill in the form and promptly mail it back. Census information affects the numbers of seats your state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more.

When you do the math, it’s easy to see what an accurate count of residents can do for your community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. In fact, the information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services like:

  • Hospitals
  • Job training centers
  • Schools
  • Senior centers
  • Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects
  • Emergency services

For more information check out the US Census 2010 web site.