Feb 26, 2010

Jean-Michel Basquiat in his studio, 1985.

"I start a picture and I finish it. I don't think about art while I work. I try to think about life."

Feb 24, 2010


Today I've been listening to the Jazz duo from Sweden, Koop. Koop is Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simonsson, with a killer rotation of Vocalists such as Cecilia Stalin, Ane Brun, Yukimi Nagano, my personal favorite, Hilde Louise Asbjornsen, Rob Gallagher and Mikael Sundin.

Being a musician myself I was amazed at how their sound is created. The music is based on samples, essentially thousands of small clips from records puzzled together into new songs, which can be a very time consuming way to make music.

The vocals, musicians playing solos, percussion and bass are the only sounds not being sampled. Koop themselves play piano/accordion and sampler. Koop Island Blues is sung by Ane Brun and is taken from the album "Koop Islands". JF Julian directed the video in Paris. Starring French Actor, Mia Jacob.

This remix, Baby by D'Malicious is taken from the album "Waltz for Koop . Alternative takes" (2003). Vocalist is Cecilia Stalin. Waltz for Koop (2002) sold more than 200,000 records around the globe, followed by world tours and hundreds of remixes. You have most likely heard one of their remixes before without knowing it.

"We create jazz music. It´s as simple as that. We can´t do Pop, Electronica, Techno or whatever because we´re just no good at it. Knowing this and having accepted it we can basically do whatever we want. If we wanna explore and pick up pieces from, say, 1929 – we can."

-Oscar Simonsson of Koop-

Feb 22, 2010

Red Truck California Pinot Noir

Red Truck Pinot Noir is one of my favorite bottles under $15. Red Truck Pinot Noir retails for $10.99. Red Truck Pinot has a strong black cherry and red fruit on the palate and tons of juice with a hint of spice on the finish. Red Truck Pinot won the Gold Medal for Best of Show at the Monterrey Wine Competition.

This wine will actually impress you for the price. Pinot is one of the most versitile food wines so you can pair it with pretty much anything. Try it with roasted chicken or pork loin. Don't be afraid to use spicy seasonings as the Pinot will be strong to hold it up. You can purchase Red Truck at most wine retailers.

Red Truck Winery

Feb 19, 2010

Have a Superfly Weekend!

I've been getting into a lot of early 70's Action flicks and Blaxploitation lately. One of my favorites is Superfly. Not only did they have one of the most amazing soundtracks by Curtis Mayfield but Superfly exudes the street-tough and gritty drug life of the era.

The story is about Youngblood Priest, a hotshot drug dealer in the inner-city streets of New York. He has it all, women, money, cars but Priest wants out of the game. The only way to get out is one last score but what Priest finds out is sometimes it ain't easy to leave the game.

The clothes in the flick are great as well. I admit there are some outlandish looks in the early 70's but the wide lapel butterscotch leather jackets are my favorite. Great flick. Great soundtrack. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Superfly snippit, 1972, Curtis Mayfield singing, Pusherman

"Look what would I do? With my record I can't even work civil service or join the damn army. If I quit now, then I took all this chance for nothing and I go back to being nothing. Working some jive job for chump change day after day. Well if that's all I'm supposed to do then they gonna have to kill me 'cause that ain't enough."

-Youngblood Priest-

Superfly Soundtrack Written & Performed by Curtis Mayfield

Feb 18, 2010


The way you walk into a room, the way you sip your drink, the way you light a cigarette, how you stare across the room...It's all about attitude, confidence, style, and of course, swagger. This guy is a popular figure on The Sartorialist and it's easy to see why.

From the leather gloves peeking out from the front lapel, to his intense stare. Instant cool. He looks like a painter or writer. Imagine what having a cup of coffee with this dude would be like.

(Via Sartorialist)

Feb 16, 2010

Abbey Road For Sale

According to Reuters, "debt-laden EMI Records" is looking for a buyer for the infamous Abbey Road Studios, where The Beatles recorded most of their music. The London-based studio has been put on the market to settle an specified amount of debt. An unnamed source says the sale of the studio could fetch upwards of $50 million dollars.

Abbey Road, which was originally a Georgian town house, built in 1831 that would eventually come to record such amazing artists as Pink Floyd, composer Edward Elgar, Jeff Beck and countless other mega stars. Here are some performances in the Abbey Road Studios...

Pink Floyd, Abbey Road Studios 1972, Small clip of interview

The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios, 1969, Rare footage of recording of, Get Back

Feb 15, 2010


This has to be one of the greatest opening scenes ever. The beautiful 1967 Lamborghini Miura flying through the Alps, the song composed by Quincy Jones with vocals by Matt Munro, the cigarette dangling and sunglasses, the way the credits ease in from the right. Unmistakably Italian and original. Of course my favorite part is hearing the engine noise from the powerful V12 Miura engine shift change.

The Miura you see at the very beginning is actually a new one that was later sold. The production team couldn't afford the hefty price tag to crash the new Miura so the one shown crashed is a new shell placed on a damaged chassis which was refurbished after a fatal car crash that killed the owner, an Arab prince.

Miles Davis, 1969 with red, Lamborghini Miura

The Miura, (pronounced me-you-rra) was named after a Spanish ranch famed for its ferocious bulls. After the vehicles unveiling at the Turin Motor Show in 1965 it quickly became the "rock star of sports cars" with heart thumping performance, acrobatic suspension and exotic good-looks.

Jazz trumpeter, Miles Davis was known to stash his .357 Magnum handgun under the seat of his Miura and terrorize the streets at high-speeds often outrunning police cars and scarring his passengers. He later crashed his Miura in 1972 "breaking both of his ankles and immediately ordering another". Frank Sinatra had his upholstered in tanned wild boar skin with orange metallic paint and matching shag orange carpet interior.

Frank Sinatra's Lamborghini Miura 400s

1968 Lamborghini Miura p400

Feb 12, 2010

Love Sick

Chet Baker in Tokyo, 1987 - My Funny Valentine

It's that time of year again...for some, the most romantic, sensual, sexual, Marvin Gaye good lovin' time of the year. For others, the most depressing holiday of the year. For me, it's a tradition...Casablanca and a bottle of Jack. A bit cynical I know, but hey, that's the way it goes sometimes. Either way I hope you enjoy or despise this cold and winter Valentine's Day! Here are a few of my favorite things to love or hate...

Casablanca, (1942)

Allegrini Amorone, Italian Red Wine

Classic Fender Jaguar, Candy Apple Red

A Dozen Black

Brigitte Bardot

The world was on fire
No one could save me but you.
Strange what desire will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that I'd meet somebody like you
And I never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you

No, I don't want to fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart]
No, I don't want to fall in love
[This love is only gonna break your heart]
With you
With you

Chris Isaak - Wicked Games

9 1/2 Weeks, (1986)

Ellen von Unwerth Fraulein

"Je t'aime... moi non plus" (French for "I love you... me neither) is the title of a French song written by Serge Gainsbourg and sung by Gainsbourg and his lover at the time, Jane Birkin. The song was originally written for and recorded in 1968 with Gainsbourg's then girlfriend, Brigitte Bardot. However, Bardot pleaded with Gainsbourg not to release their recording of the song: she was married at the time, to German businessman Gunter Sachs. Gainsbourg complied.

Later that year, Gainsbourg met, and fell in love with, English actress Jane Birkin, on the set of their film Slogan. "Je t'aime... moi non plus" was re-recorded with Birkin replacing Bardot, and was released early in 1969.

The explicit eroticism of the song was declared offensive at the time of its release. The lyrics are commonly thought to refer to the taboo theme of engaging in sex without love, and were delivered in a breathy, suggestive style.

(Editorial via Wikipedia)

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin

The Night Of The Hunter, (1955) starring Robert Mitchum, Love/Hate tattooed on the knuckles.

My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything, (1988)

Feb 10, 2010


“For me, music and life are all about style.”
-Miles Dais

Feb 7, 2010

London Calling

Maybe it's the dreary, English-like weather we've been having here lately but I've been feeling a London-vibe. London isn't known for its dental hygiene, sunny weather or sandy beaches but it is known for its amazing music, style and flair. Out of all the European cities London has a style all its own. Below are a few of my favorite things British.

Actor, Michael Caine

Savile Row, London..where handmade tailored bespoke suits are made so fine you'll forget Italy is a country.


The British, Chelsea Boot

Kate Moss, Supermodel

The former-fierce Footballer turned Actor, Vinnie Jones

Cult-fav British Film, Lock Stock & Two-Smoking Barrels directed by Guy Ritchie

Ray Davies, The Kinks, Backstage

The Clash

1960 Jaguar MK II

Burberry Trench

1960's British Mods

Police & Thieves, The Clash (To be played @ high-volume)

Feb 5, 2010

Last Good Day of The Year

I hope everyone has a great weekend...It's been a pretty exhausting week and I haven't been able to write much but hopefully next week will be much better. Maybe I'm lacking some seratonine...I've been feeling this lazy jazz-laced song, Last Good Day of The Year from the English band, Cousteau lately.

This song came out way back in 1999 and the band had some success in the States and in Italy but then kind of fell of the face of the earth. Kind of reminds me of a mix of Burt Bacharach and Morrissey...Perfect middle of winter type music...I need sun!