Thursday, January 31, 2008

KCRW Music Match - Preserving a Piece of Music History

I'm sure you all have realized by now that the FoundTrack's #1 resource for music comes from KCRW public radio. This Santa Monica based station single-handedly changed my life path when i was exposed to its eclectic music and sophisticated news programming in college. I have since felt compelled to give back by any means necessary and will forever endeavor to retain the spirit in which it was established. At the moment I'm privileged to be a part of the Music Match: A Campaign to preserve their priceless collection of more than 60,000 recordings housed in their divine music library.

A documentary team called the Naturalist Project has kindly offered their time and services to produce a behind-the-scenes video about the historical importance and cultural relevance of the music library featuring the hands of yours truly (2min 13sec mark).

KCRW is in the midst of their Winter subscription drive. If you have been influenced by their many efforts to change the way we think and live, i strongly encourage you to make a donation. There are plenty of premium incentives to accompany your pledge from cleverly curated cd-packs to coachella ticket giveaways and romantic getaways for your looming and loving valentine's days to come. Each pledge enables eligibility for the winter sweepstakes which offers the chance of a Macbook Air, iPod touch, Smart Car, or a trip to Australia. You can also choose to make an additional donation towards The Music Match campaign in saving the music library.

Pledge drive ends on Monday February 4th.
For more info. tune in or go to

Colette Paris - Hot Store, Hot Brand, Hot Website, Hot Music Compilation

Colette Paris isn't exactly a fashion brand, isn't exactly a design brand, isn't exactly a music brand, and isn't exactly a store. What it is, is probably the best example of a 'lifestyle' brand out there. For those of us that are striving to build cultural brands like this ourselves, they've really set the benchmark. Some of you might already be aware of them, but for those of you that aren't, Colette is a boutique in Paris that displays and sells the hippest of the hip. The coolest gadgets, cutting edge fashion and more are available in this stylish space. Think of it as Fred Segal squared.

The boutique also has a cafe, bar, and on the upstairs, an exhibition space for art and events (being one of the first to feature the likes of Banksy). One of the major elements of Colette that we here at FoundTrack have really enjoyed are their music compilations- always filled with the newest and freshest in electronic and loungy tunes. (Thanks to FoundSister Maryam for turning us onto this):

In addition to the physical storefront, what's really caught my eye is their amazing and immersive website. It features a highly complex and animated design, but manages to load really quickly and run super efficiently- the site was designed by and features animations by Add A Dog). While you're perusing the site, the streaming player will keep you in the mood with the most recent in Colette-worthy tunes:

For a peak inside the Paris boutique, checkout this video vignette from

Source- Fashion Nation (A Singapore Fashion blog)
Source- a Kugel (A blog about marketing in the digital age, humor, pop culture, and the just plain random

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

KCRW Music Match - Preserving a Piece of Music History

Read Entry Here

New Kids on the Block Reunion... way cooler than the Spice Girls "Reunion"

After weeks of speculation, looks like we're really getting a New Kids on the Block reunion (by choice?). We here at FoundTrack were actually give the official word a few weeks ago, but were sworn to secrecy by virtue of a promised death by Hollywood talent agent. NKOTB (as they're known to their hardcore fans), have been denying it for weeks, but checkout their newly designed official site- all you eighties Gals out there can obsessively refresh the page for more details to come.

Alright, so they might have been pretty boys back in the awesomley tubular eighties, but come on ladies, can they really keep up with this?- I present to you straight from our '07 Holiday Party, OUR version of NKOTB 2008:

Source- New York Magazine

OLPC - One Laptop Per Child

I've been following the development of the little computer above (which bears a striking resemblance to Shrek) for some time now and thought I'd share. The OLPC or One Laptop Per Child was developed as an inexpensive laptop intended to be accessible by children in developing countries. The computer, which currently has a ridiculously low price point of around $188 is targeted at reaching a targeted goal of $100. In a time when we're obsessed with flashy, expensive and questionably useful gadgets, it's nice to read about one that was developed with a good cause in mind.

What sparked me to write this was a casual AIM conversation I was having with my friend and coworker Adrianna (solo artist and also member of the band Liftoff). She donated the background music for the following video exposé profiling the machine and some of the people in the OLPC Social Welfare organization that helped develop it:

NewFound Love- New Balance European Collective 1500s in Purple / Croc

So I couldn't resist the temptation of the Fred Segal sale (more specifically, the Conveyor boutique's sale) and ended up buying the above, from the "European Collective" 1500 series. They're the third pair of New Balances I currently have, but definitely the first I've gotten for any purpose other than running. Loving all the random textures, and of course the purple suede definitely didn't hurt.

Anyway, in my newFound adoration of these New Balances, I've discovered that there's actually an entire cult of people out there dedicated to all thing relating to the NB. Saw the following at the New Balance Blog (not an official associated site) and thought they were vintagely sick:

The above are the 320 series and were rated 1976's shoe of the year by Runner's World magazine. In my world, they're rated "fly-ass shoe of the week." To bring this entry back to 2008, the following (also from the 1500 series) are currently getting a ton of hype, and are available exclusively through Aussie sneaker shop Provider:

Speaking of running shoes, next time you're out on a long run, we suggest listening to FoundTrack's January '07 Mixtape - The play list was designed to gradually peak at the 1 hour mark, so just as you're out of energy it'll provide you with a nice little rocket boost.

Source- Nice Kicks (Blog)

FoundTrack February 2008 Compilation Cover Art

Check Out the Newest Mix Here !

Check Out the FoundTrack Archive Here !

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jillian Kogan's "State of Mind" Gallery

I found out about this gallery while looking into the upcoming Edward Walton Wilcox opening. Jillian Kogan, the artist who created the above, creates unique pieces of "flag art" that set out to "demystify the iconography of state flags." Using various themes that touch on the daily lives of Californians, Kogan incorporates everything from caffeine obsession to the porn industry (like the Californication piece above) into her works.

Thanks to our new FoundTrack Friend, the lovely Vanessa from the Ambrogi | Castanier Gallery, who invited us to checkout the opening this past weekend. For those of you in LA, the show runs through February 24th, 2008. Take a peek at a few of the pieces on display- they're all pretty reasonable, so make sure to get in touch with Vanessa if you're interested in any of them:

Having your own Californication issues? Listen to "California Girls" by The Magnetic Fields, on FoundTrack's February '08 Mixtape

How many Five Year Olds could YOU take in a Fight?

This is one of those things that's just so wrong, but makes you feel so right. I'm not a big fan of spreading time wasting humor sites from the interwebs, but this became an instant hit at the office today:


I can't imagine the above is too difficult to picture, but IF you need a visual,watch the following scene from the Matrix (this version way cooler than the original since it features Metallica's Master of Puppets as the backgound music). One more thing, instead of highly skilled martial artists imagine little 3 foot tall a.d.d. engergized little savages:

Speaking of the Matrix, you have to checkout the trailer to the Wachowski Brothers' next movie, Speed Racer (based on the wicked cool vintage Japanese cartoon). Talk about super slick visuals...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Oakley's Medusa Collection - I want whatever they're smoking...

The designers at Oakley must be watching way too many Nine Inch Nails videos lately. The above are from their new "Medusa Collection." All the nu-metal goth cyberpunk kids that happen to have $250-$500 burning a hole in their black leather pants pockets can go purchase a set now.

Me? I'm more of a traditionalist myself... take for example these classic Oakley Blades from the 80s that I envied my big brother for having:

Source: LikeCOOL Magazine

Robot vs Puppy video proves Judgement Day is near

Two posts loosely relating to the Terminator movies in one month can only mean one thing - the feared "rise of the machines" is near and we're all bound to face Skynet's impending wrath. Take this video for example- It's quite apparent that man's best friend is no opponent for what, in my opinion, is the most insanely ferocious children's "toy" I've ever seen:

Is it just me or does the "toy" robot have a little bit too much in common with the following fella' from Terminator 3D the ride?:

On the positive side of things, news like the above can only help to boost Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ratings. Unfortunately for us, poor little Rupert Murdoch is yet to share a penny with yours truly.


FoundTrack's January '08 Mixtape - Liner Notes (Tracks 9-11)

Track 9 - Waldeck - Memories
Album - Ballroom Stories (Sample/Purchase)
Label - Dope Noir Records
Release Date - 6/25/07
Founder - Chris Douridas - KCRW DJ

Comment - Viennese producer Klaus Waldeck re-creates the rich pursuit of pleasure lost after the world war in the speakeasy's of the early 20's and 30's with long-awaited full-length, "Ballroom Stories". This distinctive sound plays better on record ; that is the old grammophones and shellack recordings that assisted the authenticity in its recording. Waldeck dwells on offbeat rhythms such as swing and combines them with his old passion: dub & reggae. Zeebee is the featured new voice on "Ballroom Stories", writing 5 tracks including the featured "Memories".

Please drag Ballroom Stories to your Gatsby party playlist where "swing meets tango in a heavenly cocktail promising a life richer than the thick smoke of cuban cigars."

Here is a clip of a Mercedes advert which features "Make My Day", also featured on the new album.

Track 10 - Sam Sparro - Black and Gold

Album - Black and Gold
Label - Island
Release Date - March 31, 2008
Founder - Stereogum

Sam Sparro is a 24 year old offering up a mix of funk, soul, electro and dance in the form of "Black and Gold" - a highly anticipated debut full-length that is already making this LA based musician a breakout artist for 2008. Originally from Sydney Australia, Sam and his fam moved to LA when he was ten years old, discovering his soulful voice in the Pasadena Chruch where his father was a minister. The kid made quite an impression on the churchgoers including Chaka Khan. After crafting his musicianship in England, Sam was re-discoverd in an LA venue sharing the stage with the Nightwatchman, and immediately after the show was signed by the Modus Vivendi indie label head Jesse Rogg.

Sam is currently wrapping up his Black and Gold debut this spring. We will keep you updated on his upcoming gigs but he is sure to receive lots of attention at SXSW and the Miami Winter Conference.

Track 11 - Ticklah - Si Hecho Palante
Album - Ticklah Vs Axelrod (Sample/Purchase)
Label - Easy Star
Release Date - 9/18/07
Founder - Pitchfork

Ticklah AKA David Axelrod obviously feels that he is the only thing that can stop him these days, according to the title of his new album. As a founding member of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings as well as keyboardist for the afrobeat band Antibalas, Ticklah finds a rhythm between Jamaican reggae and Cuban mambo, combining ska trombone with Spanish vocals and tiny hints of dub. He plays keyboards, as well as drums, bass and guitar on this album. However, he gets by with a little help from his friends from the Easy Star All Stars as well as featured guest vocalist Mayra Vega on "Si Hecho Palante" which recalls the romantic expressionism of the great Omara Portuondo.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekly Events Calendar : Found in LA (Jan. 28-Feb. 3rd)

Monday Jan. 28th
Radar Bros. @ Echo

Petra Haden @ Troubadour

Parson Redheads @ Spaceland

Bloodcat Love @ Viper Room

Tuesday Jan. 29th

Tom Brousseau @ Largo

Shelby Lynne @ Amoeba Music (FREE)

Stuntman Appreciation Night @ Silent Movie Theatre

Wednesday Jan. 30th

Peter Moren (Peter Bjorn and John) @ Hotel Cafe

KCRW Presents Ryan Adams & the Cardinals @ Royce Hall

The Section Quartet @ Ech0Mr. Lif @ Knitting Factory

Chapin Sisters, Kind Hearts and Coronets @ Bordello

Asher @ Spaceland

Grand Opening of Opera + Crimson Wednesdays - Featuring performances by The Pharcyde and DJ $quigz. Gift bags provided by Envyus Clothing. RSVP to and/or

Thursday Jan. 31st

KCRW Presents Ryan Adams & the Cardinals @ Royce Hall

KCRW Presents Dengue Fever @ Echoplex

Airborne Toxic Event, Deadly Syndrome, Castledoor @ Spaceland

Molotov, La Banda Skalavera @ Wiltern

Friday Feb. 1st
First Fridays @ Natural History Museum - Featuring music by A-Trak and Kid Sister and DJ sets from Frosty and Take of Dublab

Bodies of Water @ Echo

Matt Costa @ Troubadour (SOLD OUT)

Nellie Mckay @ Largo

Autolux, Health @ El Rey

Pedestrian @ Molly Malone's

Saturday Feb. 2nd
Matt Costa @ Troubadour (SOLD OUT)

The Deadly Syndrome @ The Scene

The Bravery @ Crash Mansion - Official Crash Mansion LA Grand Opening Party

Sunday Feb. 3rd

SUPER BOWL - Giants vs Patriots - In a rematch of the last game of the regular season, the Giants are looking for revenge and the Patriots are looking to make history as the NFL's greatest team. Tom Petty performing at halftime.

Square Girls and Radio Free Silverlake Presents The Tartans, Maria , and Murder Mystery @ The Scene

Long-Running Events
2008 Dine LA Restaurant Week
Jan. 27- Feb. 1
Feb. 3- Feb. 8

Takashi Murakami
Oct. 29- Feb. 11th, 2008
MOCA at the Geffen Contemporary

Will Rise
Jan. 19- Feb. 12th
Robert Berman Gallery

Alex Steinweiss' Album Covers
Jan. 19- Feb. 12th
Robert Berman Gallery

SMMoA 20th Anniversary Installation by Michael Asher
Jan. 26- April 12th
Santa Monica Museum of Art (Bergamot Station)


KCRW Presents

Next: Found in LA (FILA) Listing

Feb. 4th -Feb. 10th

Friday, January 25, 2008

"Will Rise" Exhibition at Robert Berman Gallery

Earlier in the week I mentioned the Alex Steinweiss exhibition which is currently taking place at the Robert Berman Gallery. On the same night that that opening took place, the "Will Rise" exhibition opened, also at the Berman. The gallery features works from the Seventh Letter (T7L) Graffiti crew- more specifically, from the elite sub-crew, Angels Will Rise (AWR).

AWR are known as some of LA's most influential urban artists. To be completely honest, I didn't actually know that before writing this entry, and pretty much took it from the description on the gallery's webpage- What really drove this point home for me was the sheer turnout at the event. Everyone from Shepard Fairey to random 12 year old skater/graffiti/hiphop fanboys were on hand.

The show runs through February 12, 2008- it's a must-see for any fan of street art or design in general. Thanks to FoundTrack friend Marquis Lewis aka Retna (who is one of the featured artists) for the heads up on the event and opening. Checkout a few photos we snapped at the event:

Carmen Electra has a crush on her Boyfriends at FoundTrack

Check it out! Our first celebrity crush!:

While in the imaginary land we live in, the above is true, in reality as I'm sure you've realized by now, it's just another viral film-marketing stunt- this time for the uber-horrendo spoof movie, "Meet the Spartans." Sorry for subjecting you guys to news relating to two potentially horrible movies in one week, but the above was too good to resist. Have a crack at it yourselves, over here.

Coverse x (Product) Red x Kenji Nakayama

Converse has teamed up with Boston based stencil artist Kenji Nakayama for the 9th custom shoe from their 1HUND(RED) Artists’ squad. The shoe is based on Coverse' Jack Purcell model- the red line is meant to represent a timeline, with the vertical lines representing moments of time passing.

As you one might assume by the branding, the 1HUND(RED) series supports Bono's AIDs benefit, Project (RED). To date the series has featured shoes designed by artists as Camilla Engman, John Minardi, and Michael White who created a tribute to his late brother, Dondi White.
Nakayama got his degree in mechanical design in Hokkaido, Japan, and currently at the age of 28 is one of the sickest designers around. A lot of his works are stencil based like the above. While the pieces are definitely stenciled, many often think that they must be produced via other methods such as screen printing, due to their immense complexity. For those of you in Boston/Cambridge, Nakayama's work is currently on exhibit at Gallery 38 until March 1, 2008.

Speaking of Project (RED)'s head-honcho Bono, checkout Saul Williams' cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" on FoundTrack's November 2007 MixTape

Source- Complex Blog's Kicks of the Day

FoundTrack's January '08 Mixtape - Liner Notes (Tracks 6-8)

Track 6 - Late of the Pier - Bathroom Gurgle

Album - Bathroom Gurgle Single
Label - Moshi Moshi
Release Date - 9/10/07
Founder - Stereogum

Comment - Late of the Pier are an English quatro hail from Castle Donington. (I wish i was from a castle, would have helped introductions in my first days at Round Meadow Elementary : ). Late of the Pier didn't have a problem introducing themselves to the republic of avid listeners after releasing the Zarcorp Demo , a popular download given away for free by the band. Their demo was a hefty 14 tracks inluding "Bathroom Gurgle", which was produced by Erol Alkan and later released by Moshi Moshi as part of their Singles Club limited to only 500 copies. With it's 8-bit beats and Gary Numan-esque synths, its unclear chorus/s and rocky horror picture capades, "Bathroom Gurgle" spits out multiple personalities i'd gladly befriend.

"Its the nu-rave Bohemian Rapsody"
-moshi moshi.

Late of the Pier's myspace quote reads "music to have asthma to". The group's wooden percussion fell to pieces in the middle of one of their sets at the Leeds festival and they continued playing without hesitation. Sounds like a band that can't be stopped.

Track 7 - Sebastien Tellier - Sexual Sportswear (SebastiAn Remix)

Album - Sexual Sportswear EP (Sample/Purchase)
Label - Record Makers
Release Date - 11/02/07
Founder - Thomas Golubic - KCRW DJ

Comment - This first single from Sebastien Tellier's upcoming release has been remixed by the french electro artist SebastiAn. This isn't the first collaboration between the two Sebs. They teamed up along with Mr. Oizo for the soundtrack of the french film Steak. Tellier calls the upcoming album, Sexuality, "a tribute to the Beach Boys and the Juicy Fruits."

Track 8 - Bullion - I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
Album - Pet Sounds in the key of Dee
Label - None
Release Date - 2007
Founder - Gorillavsbear

Comment - This UK producer fuses the Beach Boy's "Pet Sounds" with beats from the late great Jay Dilla's catalogue of defty cuts. This bootleg is as ambitious as Danger Mouse's "Grey Album." You can download Bullion's whole album for free on his myspace.

To get you in the mood for our economy's second favorite holiday, listen to his special guest mix on the Shhhhh website.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Alex Steinweiss, the Father of Album Art at Robert Berman Gallery

In 1939 at the age of 23, graphic designer Alex Steinweiss became the first art director for Columbia Records where he invented album art. *Pause* Repeat that... invented album art. I don't know about you, but I would've never thought that one person actually came up with the idea of album art- I always assumed that the front of a record sleeve was just a handy dandy place to put an image. But hence, I degress.

Over the course of his career, Steinweiss created over 250 pieces of cover art- all unique and wonderful from a graphic design standpoint. If you're currently in LA, selected Steinweiss covers and select tributes to him are on display at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica, until February 12, 2008. While you're there, make sure to checkout the "Will Rise" exhibition which is also on display and features works from some of LA's best Graffiti artists (more on this in the near future). We were on hand for the opening of both, and snapped a few photos for your viewing pleasure. Here's a slideshow from the Steinweiss exhibition:

Steinweiss also signed select non-album-art pieces as "Piedra Blaca,"- I dug a few of the following pieces as much as the album covers:

LA Fashion Fans- Sales to checkout this weekend

Hola LA FoundTrack Friends... two big sales going on this weekend where you can find all your favorite couture for half as much as you shouldn't spend anyway!

First off, the semi-annual Fred Segal Santa Monica 50% off Sale starts this Saturday, January 26 2008. (the sale is usually affective starting the Friday before, but you didn't hear from us). They have a mean turkey burger at the coffee shop, and if you happen to be in need of a haircut, setup an appointment with FoundTrack friends Shannon or Hannah at Fred Segal Beauty and before you know it everyone will be checkin' you and your fresh new do' out.

Next up for all you WeHo fashionistas, checkout the Kin Boutique, who are also having their sale starting this Friday, January 25 2008. Supposedly everything in the store is priced from $5-$100. They carry all the hotness from Vivienne Westwood to Alexander McQueen to J Lindeberg (a personal favorite). Have fun and make sure to save some money for rent...

"Rambo" opens. Rocky could care less- still claims best montage ever.

Look people, I'm trying here, but I can't even work up an ironic "it's gonna be so bad it's gonna be awesome" interest in seeing the new Rambo. As of the publishing time of this entry, Rotten Tomatoes' top critics give it a nostalgia-genre crushing 0%. Even the promise of the highest body count in a Rambo movie EVER, can't persuade the 80s kid in me to awaken:

Or, maybe it's just that I've always leaned toward Rocky. Now, I know you Rambo fans out there might argue that John Rambo is a supreme badass that's fought terrorism and communism, but he never really BEAT either of them. No my fair friends, for that you need Philly's boxer with the mostest... Rocky Balboa. Mister Balboa singlehandedly defeated communism in "Rocky 4" and in preparing to do so, provided us with the single greatest montage in an 80s film EVER (** Update- Entertainment Weekly seems to agree with us):

For some Rocky music awesomeness, checkout Maynard Ferguson's cover of "Gonna Fly Now" on FoundTrack's January 2007 MixTape

Rudolf Dassler, Mihara Yasuhiro, and other new Pumas

This must be Puma week at FoundTrack... first, awesome bikes, and now back to their tried and true... awesome shoes (or ahem... trainers as our British counterparts would call them). We swear Puma's not paying us off for the coverage... if only...

Okay, so the above are from the Rudolf Dassler retro collection- a tribute to Dassler who was the founder of Puma. Not so coincidently Rudolf was the brother of Adidas founder Adolf "Adi" Dassler, Adidas' founder- no wonder why there's always been a rivalry between the brands...

The above design by Mihara Yasuhiro sport an awesome modern dotted version of camo that contrast against the simple white of the rest of the shoe. Caliente stuff for sure.

All of the above are available at Overkill Shop Berlin. Like me and short on frequent flyer miles to Europe? Don't worry, they have an online store.