Saturday, August 29, 2009

Whatever It Is You Do. I Guess Nothing.

Maybe there is a legitimate reason for Twitter to exist: this 28-year-old dude named Justin lives at home and writes down the stuff his 73-year-old dad says, and then posts it* on his Twitter account:

*See, I could have said he "tweets" it but then I'd sound like a fucking idiot.

Click here for more.

Friday, August 28, 2009

El Rey de la Radio

Polito Vega in 1957, the year he came to New York from Puerto Rico. Photo by Tim Knox/NYT

There was an interesting article in the New York Times yesterday about Polito Vega, the pioneering Latin music DJ who has been on New York radio for over fifty years.
In the mid-1960s Mr. Vega was one of the first radio personalities to identify and ally himself with the commercial potential of the musical style that came to be known as salsa. From the beginning of his career, he said, he was bothered by the difference between the powerful, driving music he heard in clubs and the tepid recordings that came his way.

“It was two different worlds in those early days,” Mr. Vega explained. “At the dance halls and up in the Catskills you would hear the Tito Puente and Machito orchestras tearing things up, but on the radio the kind of thing you heard was romantic trios, unless you were tuning in to Symphony Sid late at night.”

All that began to change in 1964, when Fania Records, often called the Motown of Latin music, was founded. With Cuba, the traditional center of tropical music, cut off from the rest of the Caribbean, New York began to emerge as the place where Latin musicians could test one another and blend their musical styles, and Mr. Vega was right there to watch and encourage it.

“He was part of the whole salsa movement, one of its pillars, really,” said Mr. Pacheco, a founder of Fania. “As we were building the company, he was there with us. I’d bring him the LPs, he’d listen and say, ‘I like this song, I’m going to push it,’ and he’d play the hell out of it.”
Though I honestly don't know a ton about Latin music (yet) beyond the various records I've picked up over the years, this was of special interest to me because for the past several months I've been working with Fania Records as creative director of their forthcoming relaunch. There are loads of great (and, I hope, nicely designed) releases on deck, as well as a brand new website. For now, here's the newly re-drawn logo and colors...stay tuned for more info.

Read the rest of the article on Polito Vega at

My Favorite Things

Jasper Johns, Target, 1974

If you find yourself in or near downtown Seattle this evening and are looking for some culture and what promises to be a fascinating and enlightening half-hour of conversation, be sure to drop by the Seattle Art Museum for Joey Veltkamp's public tour of the museum's current special exhibit, Target Practice (organized by SAM curator Michael Darling and focused on artists who challenged the conventions and traditions of of 20th century painting in myriad ways). From SAM's daypage:
This week SAM offers a tour of Target Practice: Painting Under Attack 1949-78 with painter, curator and writer Joey Veltkamp. Since 2007, Veltkamp's blog Best Of has been essential reading for the Seattle visual art community. His paintings and drawings have been seen in numerous exhibitions around Seattle. Veltkamp's [new] project [is] transforming a group of beloved cupcake stores into a showcase for emerging and established community-minded artists.
The tour is free with museum admission (which is pay-what-you-can), and will meet at the entrance to the exhibition on the Fourth Floor at 6:30. SAM is open until 9 p.m. tonight, and there's lots of other great stuff to see while you're there. More info on Target Practice here (and more on cupcakes and art here).

Spirit Walker

After an amazing lunch at La Carta De Oaxaca in Ballard yesterday I stumbled belly first into Bop Street Records and found this Spirit record among their dusty stacks of over half a million records. The album is pretty much hippie drivel except for this one song which I heard somewhere while roadtripping in the West. My compliments to the anonymous FM radio DJ who chose to play this instead of another song by The Eagles.

Listen here.

Image of the Day

Helmut Newton, Le Smoking, 1975
(Rue Aubriot, Paris)

As we move inexorably towards autumn, Helmut Newton's iconic image of Yves Saint Laurent's equally iconic le smoking is a seductive reminder of the attractions of a darker season.

From Alicia Drake's endlessly fascinating book The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris:
By the early 1970s, fashion photographers were the new visual heroes. Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin were producing powerful and arresting images at French Vogue, each exploring their own highly personal obsessions under the patronage of fashion photography. Newton was transfixed by sex, power, and a subversive tension to his narrative compositions . . . .

Newton's vision of woman coincided almost exactly with that of Yves Saint Laurent. "I like to photograph a certain kind of woman that seems to have a certain availability, a woman that is probably gonna cost a lot of money to have but that makes it even better," said the late Helmut Newton. "Yves made a woman look just like that. A lot of his clothes, le smoking for instance, are exactly the way I wished my ideal woman was dressed. It is the glorification of the sixteenth-arrondissement bourgeoise woman with too much money, too much free time on her hands, and up to all kinds of tricks."

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

When it's too hot to snug, Jeans sleeps on the table behind the bed and uses the alarm clock as a pillow.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


North Cacalaca

In the immortal words of Petey Pablo: "North Carolina/ throw your hands up/ take your shirt off/ wave it in the air like a helicopter," a refrain often heard when cocktail hour would arrive everyday after coming in from the beach, tennis or golf. Here are some pictures of the fun we had last week in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, located right close to Cape Fear and Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington is a town with a lot of history, Southern mansions, film studios and plenty of shrimp and grits. Dawson's Creek was set and filmed there (for all you Dawson's freaks).

View from the condo. This is a fancy house. (Click to enjoy the fanciness).

Blend fresh watermelon, lime juice and vodka. Add ice. Enjoy.

Professional shrimp preparation. Unprofessional camera focus.

The intercoastal waterway. Hours of entertainment.

A couple hours later. Timeshare madness. I appreciate the boldness of the paint choices. Red hot sun.

Might As Well Have The Best

It's supposed to be 87º today in Seattle, but Fall is on the way – and with that in mind we are pleased to pass on a special 20% discount on any one full-priced Filson item when you order from between now and Monday, August 31, 2009. Enter the code THANKS at checkout.
(Not valid in the retail store.)

Image of the Day

Crystals in the sewer system under Moscow. The colors remind me of that Sølve Sundsbø bag Emily posted the other day. Click here for more.

[ via
Viva Vena Cava ]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy, Hyannis Port, 1948

[via the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum]

Psycho LES

NYC and Seattle fam alike, take note:

If you are lucky enough to find yourself on the streets of the 206 this evening, head up to Havana (1010 East Pike Street) for the Northwest premiere of Captured, Ben Solomon and Dan Levin's documentary on photographer Clayton Patterson and the Ed Koch-era Lower Eastside. I believe the gate opens around 8pm and the movie will be shown at dusk on the big wall in Havana's parking lot.
Cover: $5.
Via Tribunali pizza: $6.
Drinking outside on a late summer evening with LES mayhem splayed across the wall in front of you: priceless.

See also:
The New York Times, for a 2005 article on Patterson

Image of the Day

Similar color to yesterday's boat.
More rusty warplanes

[ via
A Time To Get

Joe Biden on his friend Teddy Kennedy


I read the news today

From the John F. Kennedy Library, credited to the office of
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, copyright unknown.
Dated September 18, 1962.
"Edward M. Kennedy, Democratic Primary Night 1962"
– "Hotel Touraine, Boston, Massachusetts"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The BX

"I saw where I used to live – I saw burned-out lots. I saw kids in the middle of burned-out lots acting like kids would anywhere else, and I photographed them.... I really didn't photograph a lot of the rubble – I photographed the life that persisted in the middle of all of this."

Photographer David Gonzalez returns to his home, the South Bronx, through photos he took there in 1979. Click here for his audio slideshow, and here to read the full article at
The New York Times.

All photography David Gonzalez

If You Can't Open It, You Don't Own It.

An interesting interview with Mr. Jalopy,
from the archives of Studio 360:

Note: It might take a second for their audio player to load on this page, and when you click 'play' it might take another second to start. If you want to go directly to their site, click here.

Image of the Day

for no particular reason other than i like the colors, and boats are always interesting. also, a boat stuck on the shore seems oddly fitting for a tuesday. can't remember the source of the photo.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Image of the Day

One of nineteen covers shot by Paul Rowland for a special 96-page Supreme Model Management supplement to V61. Check for the other covers and a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot, and look for V61 on newsstands September 1st.

I Die.

Clear your schedule.

The Rachel Zoe Project, season two, premieres tonight at 10 (9 central) on Bravo.

Video via

Good Morning Home-Schoolers


[via TBTL]

Need vs. Want

WANT. I really wish I
needed another bag:

Oversize satchel, $200, part of a collaboration between Paris's Surface to Air Studio and Norwegian photographer Sølve Sundsbø. The collection will consist of a limited edition of 3 dresses, 3 tops, and 3 bags, each printed with one of three photographs by Sundsbø. More info at
Surface to Air.

Film still of Scarlet Macaw in flight by Sølve Sundsbø.
See more of Sundsbø's work at art+commerce, here.