Tag Archives: music

APPROPRIATION: CLOTHING STORE MINES ‘80s L.A. SURF CULTURE TO HELP SELL DENIM

Junk Food Clothing and Levi’s, the iconic purveyor of denim jeans, had collaborated on a pop-up concept store in Venice, Los Angeles.

The store is located on fashionable Abbot Kinney Blvd. and is called Tees & Jeans. It offers customers personalization of the brands’ clothing, which is  growing fashion-and-style trend.

In the service of the selling of these clothes, and adding edge to the shop’s collabo idea, is a retail design concept and interior decor that rips from a specific era of Los Angeles’s pop cultural history: Gritty 1980s Venice and the SoCal surf and music scenes as epitomized by an obscure local band called the Surf Punks.

The clothing is sparsely displayed a minimalist space that feels raw, under-decorated and under-produced. But it is very much produced and every detail has been thought through.

These details include the vintage framed black-and-white promotional photos of the Surf Punks, founds objects like  traffic road signs, and used surfboards covered in dirty wax and scrawled with graffiti, deftly propped up in a corner of the store. (Yet another example of the over-employed cliche of a surfboard as decorative object in a shop or restaurant, as also seen here.)

PROJECTS: OUR BAND ALOHA DEATH HAS A NEW TUNE CALLED “SHIBUYA”

One of our current projects here at Global Graphic is a music collaboration turned band called Aloha Death.  We’ve just released our second tune! It’s called “Shibuya” (Yay!!!) and you can find it now on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc.

Check out the band website for more details. In the meantime, follow Aloha Death on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

SIDE HUSTLE: WE’RE IN A BAND CALLED “ALOHA DEATH”

The cat’s out of the bag! It’s true, some of the Global Graphica squad are musicians. In fact, they (we) are musicians who write songs and record those songs too! We’ve been loosely collaborating for a while now on music for various projects, but have now officially formed a band.

The name of this musical outfit is Aloha Death. The music and sound is mostly electronic with an artsy, indie vibe and some hip-hop beats and guitars thrown in here and there and some danceable tunes too. We’ve just released a single. It’s called “Sea of Fog” and you can find it now on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc.

We have another single coming out on February 15th, so check back or visit the band website for details. In the meantime, follow Aloha Death on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

BROMANCE: THAT TIME WHEN MICHAEL AND BUBBLES WERE BESTIES

In 1988, the artist Jeff Koons created the  brilliant porcelain sculptural object “Michael and Bubbles,” a kitschy, super-sized 3D depiction of late man-child and mega-pop-star Michael Jackson and Bubbles, his famous chimpanzee pet-as-sidekick.

Michael and Bubbles were kind of like best friends for a while. Human and chimp as pals. Cross-species buds. Besties. BFFs way before BFF was even a term that would be abbreviated. Continue reading

LUST: A VISIT TO “LONE WOLFS’” LOS ANGELES MUSIC STUDIO

The hyper-aesthetically single-minded and stylistically dialed-in guys who started Lone Wolfs (sic), a surf shop and brand in Los Angeles, are also musical creative types with bona fide pedigrees in music composition and production for big-brand advertising campaigns.

Behind their Venice surf shop, there’s a full-blown recording studio. It’s called Wolf at the Door. And it is sick, dope, boss, fire, Bible, lit AF, etc.

We recently got a private tour and chance to spend some quality time appreciating the studio spaces filled with musical instruments, mixing boards, gadgetry, gear and good lighting. We were enraptured in the presence of such a cool and fun space.

We won’t lie, savvy reader, we did indeed experience many emotions upon feasting our eyes on this studio.

One feeling welled up most strongly: Lust. We were wholly possessed by a powerful urge to just pick up guitars, turn on amps and start making sounds, leaning hard into indulgent audiofile ecstasy.

Just look at these pictures we posted here (below)! LOOK! Don’t these just make you want to start a band right now?!?!?

“I don’t play a musical instrument and I can’t sing,” you plead.

What? Are you kidding?!?! That’s no excuse. It doesn’t matter. Start that fucking band right now! Do it!

LOST & FOUND: TOY FIGURES OF ANGRY EDM DJs

During our annual Mew Year’s House-cleaning ritual we uncovered these two toy mini-figures of DJs. We love (and are slightly disconcerted by) how angry one of them looks. The headphones and eyeglasses are a nice touch. The look reminds us of early 2000s and the late “electronic” era. We bought these years ago at Toy Tokyo, a specialty toy and model shops in the East Village of New York.

NOSTALGIA: STREET ART HAS NO SHAME FOR MEMORY LANE

The British jazz-pop singer Sade can be counted in the Pantheon of 1980s music icons. Her music videos for songs like the “The Greatest Taboo” and “Smooth Operator” were a staple of MTV (back when MTV entire programming consisted of music videos). 

She is among several influential 1980s pop-cultural icons depicted in street art portraits by Los Angeles artist Alex Ali Gonzalez. This mural of Sade pictured here is in the Arts District near Downtown Los Angeles.

Continue reading

On the Scene … At the Painting of the Beastie Boys “Paul’s Boutique” Mural, New York

Pix here at the scene of artists putting the final spray-paint touches on a mural honoring punky New York hip-hop greats the Beastie Boys and one of its late members, MCA (Adam Yauch). The graffiti artwork is at the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow streets in the heart of New York’s Lower East Side, and at the site of what was once — long before the neighborhood was gentrified — a low-rent clothing shop called Paul’s Boutique. A photograph of the store appears on the album cover of the Beastie’s classic 1989 album titled “Paul’s Boutique.” The shop has long since closed, and a series of cafes and restaurants have occupied the premises over the years with the subsequent waves of gentrification.

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Urban Life … Mexican “Mariachi” Band at Rooftop Cinco de Mayo Party, New York

In celebration of the annual Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, our ad agency threw a rooftop party complete with a mariachi band atop its global headquarters building in New York City. Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!

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On the Scene … The Swedish Band I Break Horses’ Show at Rough Trade New York

This past Friday we went out to Rough Trade New York in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for a performance by Swedish indie-electronic duo I Break Horses. The band were joined by a live drummer and in spite of some old-school analog-synth equipment needing reboot during the show, they sounded great in Rough Trade’s perfect cavernous performance space.

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Design … Framed Classic Roots Reggae Album Covers at Miss Lily’s

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The restroom at Miss Lily’s — a Jamaican-and-reggae-themed cafe and shop in downtown New York City — is decorated with the framed record covers of roots reggae and dub music classics from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Our favorite is the cover for Dr. Alimantado’s “Best Dressed Chicken in Town” record pictured above.

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NYC Street Art … Selena Gomez “Sin Fronteras”

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Here’s another one of those street art wheat-paste-ups of actress and singer Selena Gomez.  There are a bunch of variations on the Gomez theme. This one has the Spanish words “Sin Fronteras” (English translation: “without limits”).

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The Beautiful Balcony Bar at Bowery Ballroom

One of our favorite haunts in New York City is the Bowery Ballroom, a live music venue in the Lower East Side. We often go to see bands perform there, but it’s also a great space to just to have a beer and enjoy the space, especially the the bar on the balcony. The bar is backed by a large window that faces Delancey Street and glitters with the light of passing cars on the street below bouncing off the glass panes and rows of liquor bottles. A beautiful black chandelier hangs above the space, adding a touch of dark downtown indie rock glamour and elegance.

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Jake Shimabukuro Visits Our Office

Hawaiian-bred musician and ukelele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro stopped by our office while in New York on his tour for a brief performance that was amazing and impressive for its musicianship, range and energy. Shimabukuro has pushed the boundaries of how the ukelele can be played and what it can play. His instrumental cover of Queen’s rock classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” is
nothing short of jaw-dropping.

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Video Projection of Kanye West’s “New Slaves”

Back in May, in New York’s Meat Packing District, there was a massive video projection of Kanye West’s minimalist music clip for the song “New Slaves,” a sparse acid-house-hip-hop tune about racism and materialism. The video was projected on the side of a building and the event coincided with video projections in 65 other locations around the world. We missed this event in NYC, but we would have loved to have experienced the video in person. This clip is the next best thing to having actually been there.

 

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