Weekly Cuts 02: Praise Saint Heron

Lately I’ve been all over the place with my music. I’ve delved into all kinds of stuff & haven’t even listened to most of it. I will show you my favorite music since the last post & a ton of free shit too. Let me know in the comments what you have been listening too.

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Various Artists – Saint Heron

By far the best album release recently by Beyance’s indie little sis. Alt-R&B, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it, got a huge breath of fresh air with Solange’s compilation album of a dozen deep R&B cuts by some of the best out. This album sparkles from front to back with R&B gems that shine brighter with repeat listens. Solange’s “Cash In” ends the album as a simple & catchy love song with enough cow bell to please Will Farrell. Kelela is the only artist featured twice for a good reason & she kills it on “Go All Night” with what can only be perceived as effortlessness. Her mixtape CUT 4 ME is free here in exchange for your email address. BC Kingdom opens the album with “Lock Up” as an unapologetic homicidal maniac wielding a Golden Gun wearing Versace Versace out to kill his past lover. Or it’s a metaphor, either way, it paints a picture in my mind I like to look at.

Mapei – Don’t Wait

This is my jam. I could put this on toast all day. Mapei calls this “21st-century gospel or doo-wop.” I call it taking everything I like from every genre I like & adding a robot. She is signed with Downtown Records & has an album coming out next year. It is my most anticipated album of 2014.

Blood Orange – Chamakay & You’re Not Good Enough

I heard these two songs from Blood Orange & thought I found the album of the year, but the balance of the album isn’t that great after these two tracks. These two songs have pretty much been on repeat with my mind having to keep my body in check before it automatically bursts out into dance. “Chamakay” is a sad, hypnotic track of trying to love someone too much & “You’re Not Good Enough” is a funky dance party anthem of another not being good enough to love. The dichotomy alone is enough to keep me thinking.

Tinashe – Vulnerable ft. Travi$ Scott

Post Yeezus R&B. Post FKA Twigs. Postapocalyptic R&B. This would sound at home on the new Mad Max movie’s soundtrack, enough said. Free download.

Evian Christ – Salt Carousel

If you don’t know Evian Christ, you should. He is a producer from the UK whom usually heavily samples rap and loops it over & over. This track goes against that formula by only sampling a chipmunk getting its brains scrambled backwards & a guy yelling “GO!,” but still knocks. I have to confess, outside of a few artists, I usually can’t listen to albums by producers. This dude gets it though. Recently he produced my favorite Yeezus track “I’m in It” & if you don’t have his Kings & Them mixtape(free), click the link. Also track “Payo Rent” here for free.

Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips 2 Mixtape

I haven’t even listened to this whole mixtape, but it is an instant classic. Chef turned MC Action Bronson is a short, white, fat Ghostface Killa. The production is fun, which is a breath of fresh air in hip-hop. Action’s cadence, flow & punchlines flow perfectly with Party Supplies’ production. Action is the blue-collar rapper, the only rapper I’ve heard bragging about his Saabs & Jeeps. This free mixtape can be downloaded here.

Can’t Buy Class, But You Can Wear It.

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Bow ties are an interesting piece of menswear. There aren’t many other items with such a large gap of social impressions on people who wear a bow tie. It is still the most formal article of clothing, oft denoting high society. While Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill & James Bond are all famous bow tiers, it is also notable that society also believes that bow ties are for nerds.

Whether one wishes to look like a clown, a college professor or classical musician, the bow tie only means one thing today for certain, which was best stated by Warren St John of The New York Times:  “The bow tie hints at intellectualism, real or feigned, and sometimes suggests technical acumen, perhaps because it is so hard to tie… But perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think.” Today bow ties are designated to the renegades among us. Rogue Sophistication.

I would dare say the percentage of men who can tie a bow tie is below 5% of the american population. Even when a boy or man goes to prom or gets married, most rental bow ties are pre-tied faux-ties. Also, in menswear today the rule is a necktie is as formal as a bow tie. So just the fact that you show up in public with a tied bow on your neck shows your skill and sophistication is above many others’, even though a true gentleman would never say that out loud.

If you are feeling defiant (and any true Portlander should) then I suggest getting a bow tie, but realize you will be the center of attention and maybe even the but of a few jokes, but laugh along and know you can’t buy class, but you are wearing it. Wear to a bar, a party or dinner date no matter the dress code. This is MoFo P-Town boys, get your rebel on.

How to buy it:

I recommend to get started you should go to a store like Nordstrom Rack instead of going full price designer, they are only $15-20 there and have a good selection. I shouldn’t have to say “never get a faux-tie(pre-tied)” but I did just to make sure you don’t, that is a cop-out and the exact opposite of why one would wear a bow tie. You should get a smaller size, else risk looking clownish, but do make sure it fits your body size and type. Speaking of clownish: don’t get a neon, multicolored, glow-in-the-dark tie either; the fact of wearing a bow tie is the statement, not the bow tie itself, get it? Get a simple classy tie, less than 3 colors and simple design. I also recommend a reversible one, as it is two patterns in one tie. After you get deeper into it, you can go wild.

How to tie it:

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Haha, just kidding. Get your bow tie then YouTube it: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/04/12/how-to-tie-a-bow-tie-video/ This was my favorite of the videos I watched. Good luck, you will need it. It is like riding a bike so it should only be a one-time investment of your time.

How to wear it:

Obviously you have to wear it with a collared shirt, but you cannot wear it with just a collared shirt as it makes your shirt look completely bare, and nature abhors a vacuum. Minimally you will have to add suspenders. Preferably worn with a cardigan. Maximally with a blazer or suit. The best part about the bow tie is after 10pm (or your 4th drink, whichever comes first) you can undo your tie and top button to rock the Life of the Party look. See below:

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Weekly Cuts 01: Komodo Dragon Skin on a Letterman Jacket

Stevie Crooks – Cloud Captain (The Arrival) ft. Liym Courteous & Snazz Gordy

In rap you have to keep it real. But sometimes keeping it real is boring. Sometimes you need something fictitious and inventive. Fly away with the Cloud Captain on his pterodactyl with his komodo dragon skin letterman jacket, Siberian werewolf hoodie and boots made of penguins. Influences include Mortal Kombat, Dragonball Z, Avatar: The Last Airbender, etc. These three MCs obviously earned their letterman jackets for killing the rap game even though no one knows who they are. Stevie Crooks murders it on the 1st verse and the chorus, Liym Courteous is aight for the 2nd verse & then Snazz Gordy comes in for the 3rd verse with a flawless victory.

Sage The Gemini – Gas Pedal ft. Iamsu! (Salva Remix)

It’s a new Bay. Sorry Andre Nickatina, RIP Mac Dre. Sage The Gemini is tearing the Bay up with his catchy dance cuts for the youth. Salva’s remix gives it real substance for you to abuse substances to. If these horns, drums, snaps and claps don’t hit you at your core, nothing will. If your head isn’t bobbing your neck must be atrophied. Play at any party and grab the wall… Gas Pedal. Free Download.

DJ Class – Tear Da Club Up (Sam Tiba & Myd Remix)

If you aren’t familiar with Bodymore, Murdaland club music aka Bmore Club or just B-more, then the original song may have never crossed your path. But if you knew Diplo in his Florida days, before producing for Usher or 2 Chainz then you probably know why Scotty B runs Baltimore clubs. Scotty B’s label T&A paved the way for most of the mainstream club bangerz today, and is probably father to now-popular electronic trap music. This track is again an example of what the future should (read: wont) sound like. Lots of textures and vibes to enjoy on this track. Free download.

LIZ – Stop Me Cold

Speaking of Diplo, new off of his Mad Decent label is a single from LIZ. This track will throw you back into the 90’s and make you go dig up all your TLC and Aaliyah tapes. Free download if you like LIZ on FB.

Autre Ne Veut – On & On

This is an older one I accidentally left out of the last post. Autre Ne Veut is the new Prince/Artist Formerly Known As Prince/Prince. Not only that, but the dude has an insane sense of beats. Something is always happening in his music, if he’s not crooning the beat is going ape. ANV subscribes to the idea that the sounds/emotions of the singing are more important than the words you sing, the thoughts/feelings behind it are more important in the sound wave than the words themselves bouncing into your ear, and he forces me to agree wholeheartedly. Free download here, just find Autre Ne Veut on the left-hand side.