Monday, June 14, 2010

Stars - The Five Ghosts

Stars The Five Ghosts
Indie Pop

1. Dead Hearts
2. Wasted Daylight
3. I Died So I Could Haunt You
4. Fixed
5. We Don't Want Your Body
6. He Dreams He's Awake
7. Never Been Good With Change
8. The Passenger
9. The Last Song Ever Written
10. How Much More

11. Winter Bones


This was definitely one of my most anticipated albums of the year. Listening to it still feels like a dream, and hearing Amy/Torquil's voices again feels every bit as good as I was hoping. In my opinion the album starts very strong and kind of loses steam in the second half, but there's just something about them (it's probably the voices) that makes even their most boring songs stand out in some way or another. From my first impressions, "Wasted Daylight" is my favorite.

The Glitch Mob @ The Music Box

This show cemented my opinion that edIT is a genius. The crowd wasn't really what I was expecting (a lot of crazy, screaming fan-girls?) but it was a fun show. The unreleased tracks they played were amazing. iPhone photos, poor quality, sorry. Free The Robots played a crazy opening set too. Acid jazz, psychedelic trance, dubstep, a rapping Mac text-voice, and everything in between. I don't know. I liked it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Trad's Blind Chino Tasting

Staying on the subject of chinos, the excellent blog The Trad recently did a series of 'Blind Chino Tasting,' posts where men's style writers G. Bruce Boyer and Robert E. Bryan reviewed 13 pairs of chinos with the tags and prices removed. The results are interesting, and without spoiling too much, lend faith to the idea that when you purchase a garment produced with a focus on detail, fabric, and history, the extra money is worth it. I've never heard of Bill's Khaki's (link) until the posts, and while I'm a positive they won't fit me without some serious alteration, I'm a bit curious to try a pair.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

EP's Rivet Chino

(Note: Father's Day Gift Idea?)

I like Epaulet (link). On one hand, they are a nicely curated web-store with quite a strong list of brands in stock (including Alden, Gitman Vintage, Mark McNairy, Wm. J. Mills & Co.). What I really like about them though is that, when they find a hole in the market for simple and classic men's garments, they will find way to fill it with a quality product and at a very competitive price point. In this regard they're not so unlike Drew and his ToJ project. Both offer clothing where attention to detail is put at the highest priority, and pricing is always as fair as possible, the difference being that Epaulet does very small stock runs vs. ToJ's made-when-ordered system, meaning Epaulet tends to sell out quite quickly but at least you can have your order within the week.

I was a little on the fence about the styling of their products, though, until they released their EP's Rivet Chino which is right up my alley. Their attention to fabric choice and detail is readily apparent: The cotton is a nice and smooth Pima cotton (link) sourced from the UK, the 8oz fabric is a perfect summer weight, and the fabric has been "Mercerized," (which...uh...apparently makes it stronger), and the entire pant is produced domestically in Los Angeles. As if that wasn't enough, the pockets are a nice hickory-striped contrast fabric, the fly consists of gun-metal donut buttons, and the main seam is taped up for longetivity. But my absolute favorite detail of all on these pants is the natural harringbone twill that runs down the entire inside seam, which beautifully covers up the stitchwork and provides a really eye-catching detail when the pants are rolled up (and for those of you who know me...they always are). Finally, it comes down to the fit, which is a perfect, slightly slim and tapered cut that isn't too tight and provides enough room for comfort. For $135, I think these pants are a steal, and it looks like they've been selling very well. Compared to Uniqlo's very popular vintage chinos (which retail at $40 I think), the price difference may be a bit steep, but this is one of those rare cases where the extra attention to fabric, fit, and detail on the Epaulet chinos makes them worth every extra penny. I honestly can't think of a detail I'd like to have on a pair of chinos that isn't available here.

Buy here, while they're still available: EP's Rivet Chino (Offered in Navy and Khaki)

Sorry if it seems ridiculous to have written so much about a pair of chinos. Its nice to take a break from writing my personal statement, and honestly I love these pants to death. It's not that often anymore that I fine a piece of clothing that feels really special, and really earnestly designed, and I wanted to share that feeling. Expect some more reviews in the future of stuff that makes me happy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

june 5

Sorry for the lack of updates, quite busy lately. AMCAS, moving, unpacking, reading, watching, etc. The candle helps.

Mount Kimbie's new album finally pushed me to review something again, but I've certainly missed a lot of great stuff from last month (Glitch Mob, Tame Impala, DOM come to mind...). When I have access to my computer again, with all of my music, I'll try to recap things that shouldn't be missed. I feel a bit disheartened these days, as I can't shake the feeling that so much is passing me by, and I can't keep myself updated because of all the crap I have to do. You know... that feeling when Google Reader posts start piling...and piling...and piling some more. Terrible.

Some quick thoughts:

My impressions on Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses: This was the wrong movie to watch on Bluray. I am an idiot.

My impressions of UCLA's campus: There is a cafe geekily-called Cafe Synapse down the hallway from the lab I'd like to work in. This is a huge deal for me. If I take the 110 to the 2, then the 101, I might even be able to skip through the worst of rush-hour traffic. Actually, who I am kidding.

My impressions of the Panasonic DMC-GF1: I love this camera more and more every time I use it. I am constantly being amazed by the quality of the lens, and the size/look of the camera is simply unbeatable. I know a few people who I have picked one up at this point and no one seems disappointed. For a non-professional photographer, the GF1 is (almost) the perfect companion. I hate to say it but sometimes I feel like I won't be touching my 40D for a long, long time. I'll convert this into a proper post about the camera at some point.

My impressions of Umami Burger: The burger was okay. Pretty good. The thin fries though!!! Holy shit!!! With truffle-oil ketchup! (Even though all truffle oil is apparently fake!)

Mount Kimbie - Crooks and Lovers

Mount Kimbie - Crooks and Lovers
Electronic / Dubstep

1. Tunnelvision
2. Would Know
3. Before I Move Off
4. Blind Night Errand

5. Adriatic
6. Carbonated
7. Ruby
8. Ode to Bear
9. Field
10. Mayor

11. Between Time


Unfortunately only the promo is available right now, with Hotflush voice-overs, but I suggest you grab it anyways. It sounds like Mount Kimbie have diverged a little from the ambient, warm dubstep sound that made them famous; this album's production is definitely colder and crisper, and the sub-bass is much more subdued than before. The album isn't perfect, but at it's high points it's beautifully restrained, infectious, and extremely creative. If 'Field' isn't an homage to The Field, it sure as hell sounds like one. And I can't think of better cutting of a vocal sample than what MK accomplish on 'Before I Move Off.' That song and 'Carbonated' are probably my favorites, but it's still early and I'll be listening to this one for a while.

Mount Kimbie - Carbonated