Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crooks & Castles' Collection- The Art of Sampling

Crooks & Castles is... Actually, I'll just let them explain who they are and the meaning behind the name. Here it is in their own words:

"Crooks", criminals, pimps, hustlers, thieves, etc. And "Castles" those who got rich by becoming a crook. From the robber barons of the early times like the Vanderbilt's, the Rockefeller's, the Carnegie's to the modern day billionaires - Bill Gates & Microsoft. Those who stopped at nothing to get their "Castle".We too hope one day to be the next rich crook. In some of our designs you might see a familiar icon or logo that we took (stole) and gave it our own twist. We felt that some high fashion brands only catered to someone in a certain lifestyle or with a rather large bank account. Therefore we took what they made and crafted it to fit ours.

Holding true to classic hip-hop form, Crooks have borrowed from elsewhere and made it their own - just like rap artists who have borrowed (sampled) beats and add their own lyrics. After reading what they were about on their site Crooks & Castles I was sold on the brand. Hip-hop artist seem to have much love for the brand. Memphis Bleek was caught rockin' a Crooks T on stage at the Palladium during the Jay-Z concert (where DJ AM made his post-accident live comeback).

The classic play of Versace's Medusa is probably my favorite print they do. I am loving the bandanna made of roses in the picture above (female T). The brand started off doing silk screen prints but is now expanding and collaborating with other brands to create a larger scale of products. Check out the rest of the collection at Crooks & Castles' official site, and in the meantime, catch this collaboration they did with Mosley Tribe (the eyewear company) to create these cool shades, the Castellano's:

Weekly Events Calendar : F.I.L.A. (Found in LA) Dec 1st-7th


Monday December 1st

KCRW Presents The Herbaliser, J Boogie @ Echoplex
Weave, Fool's Gold, We Are The World, Rainbow Arabia @ Echo (FREE)
The Movies, Eagle & Talon, Wrong Way Driver, The Lemurs, DJ Kevin Bronson @ Spaceland (FREE)
Kneebody,Busdriver,Take, and Frosty (Dublab) @ Little Temple

Tuesday December 2nd
Smashing Pumpkins @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Universal City Walk)
ShockHound Presents No Age, Titus Andronicus @ Troubadour (SOLD OUT)
Indie 103 Presents The Gray Kid, Love Grenades, Karin Tatoyan @ Echoplex (Check One...Twosday)
Johnny Love, Lauren Flax @ Cinespace (Dim Mak Tuesdays)
KCRW Presents Oren Lavie @ Hotel Cafe (Early Show)
Gary Jules, Holly Conlan @ Hotel Cafe (Late Show)
The Dot & the Line" Animation Festival @ Silent Movie Theatre (Cinefamily) - a traveling film festival of experimental animation through "Visual Music"

Wednesday December 3rd
School of Seven Bells @ Airliner (Low End Theory)
Los Angeles Ladies Lotto Cocktail Party & Silent Auction feat. Liza Richardson (KCRW), DJ Lady Sha (Lioness), Ana Calderon (Dim Mak) and Valida with Performance by Anne Montone @ Royal T Cafe (8910 Washington Blvd) -
Smashing Pumpkins @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Universal City Walk)
Grammy Nominations Concert @ Nokia Theatre - feat. past grammy winners Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Foo Fighters, BB.King, John Mayer, many more
Sebastien Tellier, Hearts Revolution, DJ miss Toats @ Henry Fonda
*55 DSL Presents The BPM/Vapors Holiday Party feat. DJ's Klever, Treasure Fingers, Gina Turner and special guest MSTRKRFT @ Roxy - (FREE w/RSVP)
NME and Indie 103 Presents Afternoons, Useless Keys, Billygoat @ Spaceland (CLUB NME)
Eagle Winged Palace, Rocking Horse People, Amanda Jo Williams, Super Karma, Jim Hanft @ Silverlake Lounge
Ghettogloss Presents Nico Stai @ Twilight at the Club (Griffith Park Clubhouse)

Thursday December 4th
GOOD Private Launch Party feat. KCRW's Jason Eldredge @ The GOOD Space (6824 Melrose) - RSVP -
Rainbow Arabia @ Venus Warehouse (1228 S.Flower St.)
Future Sounds Presents The Rumble feat. The Growlers, Ferocious Few and Resident Rumble DJ MiCHAEL @ Three of Clubs (Free with RSVP)
Oasis, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Matt Costa @ Staples Center
Wu Tang Clan @ House of Blues (Sunset Strip)
RELENTLESS7, Grace Woodroofe @ Spaceland - This is one of the first live gigs for RELENTLESS7, a new LA band fronted by Ben Harper
KCRW Presents Keane @ Echo
Screening of Cheap Trick's "Live at Budokhan" @ Echoplex - 7pm- Q&A with legendary producer Jack Douglas follows screening
The Sea and Cake, The Uglysuit @ Troubadour
Meat Beat Manifesto, Dub Gabriel @ Knitting Factory
Ladies & Robots (Opening Reception) @ Ghettogloss Gallery - Feat. new works by Darren Le Gallo

Friday December 5th
* Nick Dixon @ O'Brien's Pub (Santa Monica)
Bangkok Five, Opus Dai, Cage 9, Kaura with Special guests DJ C-Town @ House of Blues (Sunset Strip) - Benefit show for Joshua Kerr
Launch of Good Magazine's Pop Up December Community Center feat. Dublab's Into Infinity art and music exhibition (Daytime) and 826LA's Dead Author Reading (Night-time) - FREE w/RSVP
The Submarines, Patrick Park, Free the Robots @ Echoplex
The Bronx, Crystal Antlers @ Echo

KCRW Presents The Sea and Cake, The Uglysuit @ Glass House (Pamona)
100.3 The Sound Presents Keane @ Roxy
Flavors feat. DJ Spinna and J.Roc @ Echoplex
"Doubt" (Preview Screening) @ LACMA
"Casablanca/Citizen Kane" Double Feature @ Egyptian Theatre
Special Observing Event: The Moons of Autumn @ John Drescher Planetarium at Santa Monica College -A up-close look through telescopes at the moon ; great date option ; )

Saturday December 6th
Grand Opening of the Grammy Museum @ 800 West Olympic (Figueroa)
GOOD Presents Local World's Fair feat. DIY Workshops, KCRW's Evan Kleiman (Good Food), musical performance by Lucky Dragons @ GOOD December Space
Bust Magazine's Holiday Craftacular @ Echoplex - holiday shopping bonanza feat. 50 arts and craft vendors, DJ's, drinks, more from 11am-6pm
Bootie LA Holiday Mashup Party feat. The Hood Internet, resident DJ's Mysterious D, Paul V and more @ Echoplex
Aimee Mann's 3rd Annual Christmas Show @ Wiltern
ACDC @ The Forum
John Mayer @ Nokia Theatre
Cheech & Chong - Light Up America @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Universal City Walk)
Gunferty, The Monolators, Karabal Nightlife, Ema and the Ghosts, The Sweet Hurt @ Pehrspace
Dressy Bessy, Colourmusic @ Spaceland
Pop Noir, Love Grenades, Big Moves @ Knitting Factory
Opening of Greg Papazian's Rock Photography Exhibit @ Eddie's Rock and Sole Shoe Repair Shop (Sherman Oaks) - Almost 30 years after the lights flashed and faded on to the hay-day of Los Angeles’s rockin’ Sunset Strip, former Rock Photographer Greg Papazian has unearthed his amazing collection of original images and will permanently transform the walls of his family’s renowned shoe repair shop into a Rock Photography Gallery.
Mae's Dress Shop's Winter White Soiree and Sale @ 1729 Maltman Avenue (Silverlake) - Hors d'ouvres, desserts, cocktails , city views, designer party favors, music, and much more - RSVP + event details

Sunday December 7th
GOOD Presents Local World's Fair feat. DIY Workshops, KCRW's Evan Kleiman (Good Food), musical performance by BLACKBLACK @ GOOD December Space
Dublab presents SECONDHAND SURESHOTS @ Silent Movie Theatre (Cinefamily)- an experiment in creative sound recycling starring Daedelus, J-Rocc, Nobody and Ras G.
Little Joy, The Dead Trees, Red Cortez @ Troubadour
Friendly Fires, Glasser @ Spaceland
"The Godfather" @ Egyptian Theatre
McCabe's Annual Holiday Show @ McCabe's Guitar Shop

Long-Running Events
Good December Community Center - Dec. 5th-19th @ GOOD Space

KCRW Presents

If you want to receive these listings by email at the beginning of each week ; sign up by sending me an email -
nassir at foundtrack dot com

Saturday, November 29, 2008

FoundTrack's Fall '08 Collection (Track 11/20) - The Golden Dogs - Lester

The Golden Dogs - Lester (Track 11/20)
Album - Construction Worker (B-side of 7" Release)
Label - Indie

The Golden Dogs are an indie rock band hailing from Toronto. They are led by Dave Azzolini (pictured in Golden Dog attire above) on guitar/vox and wife Jess Grassia on the smashing keys and accompanying vocals. The first time i heard of the Dogs it was when they were introduced to to join Feist on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, accompanying the canadian chanteuse on her summer tour. If the Golden Dogs were a football team as their name might suggest, they would be the team that looks pretty unassuming when they step on the field during warmups but once the whistle is blown, they might have to destroy their opponents and eat the football..such was my surprise as i caught the band's performance the night after at Tangier, a local haven for singer songwriters. The dogs were let out and the band provided a great world of sound from the light pop of our featured "Lester" to the gritty hard-nosed rock n roll licks on this fine cover of Paul McCartney's "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five".

Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five - The Golden Dogs

Check out this video for "Construction Worker" directed by Arno Salters..they use the same signs in this video to conveniently display the songs in their setlist during their live shows. Wish other bands would do the same.

For more info. contact Graham Stairs - Finkelstein Management

Oliver Peoples Marclay Sunglasses & Spring/Summer 2009 Collection

It's been a while since I've posted some nice sunglasses here, so what better to restart with than new frames by one of my favorites, Oliver Peoples. The oh so sharp and well designed eyewear brand is back with their new Spring and Summer 2009 collection. Of the many new styles (see below), the Marclay design has to be my favorite. They feature a metal wire frame encased in layers of translucent plastic. I'm digging the clear pair above, but the light brown/tortoise pair below is a close second. Checkout the rest of the collection featuring new cover girl, actress and musician Zooey Deschanel at Oliver Peoples' official site.

Friday, November 28, 2008

FoundTrack's Fall '08 Collection (Track 10/20) - Donkeys - Walk Through A Cloud

The Donkeys - Walk Through A Cloud (Track 10/20)
Album - Living On the Other Side (Sample/Purchase)
Label - Dead Oceans

A few years ago on my religious weekly trek to Amoeba, I noticed a featured title from an unfamiliar band. Of course, there are many of these but this one had a nice picture of a candle-lit piano in a dark cabin and something about it seemed to attract attention to the music within. Thus, I did my homework to find an impressive debut from four San Diegans, playing country-tinged Americana that seemed to fit perfectly to the lifestyle of the sea world they lived. I shouldn't have been surprised to find out that at one time or another, various members of The Donkeys have been the backing band for such veritable acts as Cass McCombs, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, and Papercuts. They def'ly didn't disappoint on their sensational sophomore effort, Living on the Other Side, with such standouts as our featured "Walk Through A Cloud" and "Dolphin Center", the latter of which gave me goosebumps after Jessie Gulati's nearly two minute guitar solo led to the en-chorus. Listen below and test the hairs on your arms.

The Donkeys have just wrapped up their national tour but you can get a great feel for their quality live performances from their dual Daytrotter sessions.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

FoundTrack Fall '08 Release Party Recap & Photos

Thanks a million to everyone that came out and supported us last Thursday for the Fall '08 Release Party. It was quite the jam and the perfect way to celebrate with the extended FoundTrack family. If you don't mind staying in your seats for the closing credits, I'd like to give special thanks and single out some groups who made the event happen.

The FoundTrack Fall Artists-
The 20 artists on FoundTrack's Fall '08 Collection have given us an opportunity to celebrate their work. The music you hear on the compilation is just the tip of the iceberg. Please explore the rest of their music and check them out next time they are scheduled to perform in town. I know a lot of you were asking for CDs and unfortunately we ran out but you can still download the collection until the release of our Winter compilation in late December so get down on it.

Colin Young-Wolff
While all of us were enjoying food, music, and brews, the Wolff man with the cam was capturing the story of the night. Colin has been a constant on the pulse of LA's hottest events including the Scion house parties. Make sure to consider him when you're planning those holiday bashes. Checkout his event photo blog and his portfolio. AND checkout his full gallery of FoundTrack's Fall '08 Release Party photos.

Chef-Boy-Are-Deejays were Off the Hook!

Reckless Romeo (AKA Paul Jones) - starting us off the night right with his old school pre-80's crate of vinylistic delight was Paul Jones- Look for Reckless Romeo himself to be contributing on our blog dropping some knowledge on some lost tracks and back-catalogue classics.

DJ Scratch N Sniff (AKA Jose Galvan) - Next on decks was our Foundtrack homey Jose (formerly of Indie 103) coming through with an eclectic mix of great stuff including several FoundTracks from previous compilations. You can catch Jose at his weekly residency on Wednesday nights at the hip new Kitchen 24 on the Cahuenga strip.

DJ Mario Cotto - Super Mario gave us all one ups on with his crucial and crafty mixes on the ones and twos. We were very grateful to have him- Check out his weekly show on KCRW Monday nights from 12-3am or listen on-demand here. Come by Miss T's Barcade in Korea town the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month at his residency, Power Up . He will be in effect this Friday so work off that turkey and get down on the dance floor.

DJ KnewJack - Last but definitely not least is the beast himself, Knewjack, doing us all the favor by giving us the flavor that kept us at the bar past 3am. Now do yourself the favor and support Knewjack and his booming monthly DJ Mixes and monthly residency, Neon Rocks, at Trip in Santa Monica.

We couldn't think of a better place to bring a family of supporters than this fine establishment. Laura, Hope, and the rest of the R-Bar crew have been big supporters of us since they opened their doors and they were more than accommodating. Make sure to come by next time you're in the area. They're starting to book bands and have added food including a killer grilled cheese/tomato soup combo and of course their jukebox is one of the best in town, evidenced by inclusion of the exclusive and rare Foundtrack/R-Bar 80's Megamix:

R-Bar - 3331 W 8th St. Los Angeles (K-town)

Independent Kitchen Fiesta
Thanks to Nora at Independent Kitchen Fiesta, the #1 independent catering service in LA for helping us out with the delicious Mediterranean feast for our fiesta. Contact Nora Gunner @ (818) 981-7548 next time you need some affordable and delicious grub for your special event.

We hope you will continue to support these artists and good folks so consider them for parties and events that come up throughout the year. Feel free to contact us directly if you'd like to get in touch with them.

Have a great Thanksgiving Everyone! AND, see you all next at next season's bash.

CLICK HERE for the FULL PHOTO GALLERY from the Fall '08 Release Party.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Samsonite and Fashionable in the same sentence?... Black Label "Trunk Original"

When the name "Samsonite" comes to mind, I for one think of those hideously gnarly looking hard-shelled 80s suitcases such as this one:

Much to my surprise, I've come to learn that the company has it's roots in some pretty stylish pieces. Take for example this reissue of an original 1920s trunk- The piece is part of Samsonite's high end Black Label. The art deco style, detailing and metal trim on this thing are simply fantastic. I'd really love the white one above if anyone's got a spare $640 lying around. Wait, you DO have an extra $640 and would like to get me an early holiday present?... All you have to do is make your way over to our favorite trendy Parisian boutique Colette to pick one up!


Pre-Thanksgiving with Obi Best and Woolfy

Before you chow down on the grub on turkey day, check out two FoundTrack Fall Collection artists performing locally for some pre-thanksgiving jams sessions.

Performer Magazine and Isgoodmusic Presents Obi Best at the echo for a FREE show along with other local faves, Princeton, The Flying Toubillon Orchestra and I Make This Sound.

If you're going to be in Monterey Park, the place to be is Monterey Hill to catch Woolfy performing with a live band along with Garth, Hotlips and Hawkeye. Drink specials, various dj's and craziness goes til 4am.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Movie Trailer Mondays - "The Wrestler" starring Mickey Rourke

A few weeks ago, Nass and I were fortunate enough to catch the AFI Film Fest premiere of "The Wrestler" - a film that has been getting a TON of hype since it's world premiere at the Toronto Film Fest earlier in the year (and started a multi-studio bidding war). While the film signals the successful return of director Darron Aronofsky (of "Requiem for a Dream" fame), the real story here is the so-called "resurrection" of actor Mickey Rourke. In the film, Rourke plays a pro wrestler who is 20 years past the peak of his career- once being at the top of the wrestling world, and now forced to perform for small groups of die hard fans at community centers and conventions. A heart attack forces him out of the ring and more importantly, forces him to reevaluate his life, his relationship with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood who puts in a great performance), and a blossoming romance with an exotic dancer (Marisa Tomei in a role all the guys are sure to dig...).

Having seen the movie now, I can definitely say that Rourke's performance lives up to the hype- You really really feel for this big lug of a guy by the end of the film. Though a brilliant character study, "The Wrestler" isn't exactly best picture material- But, it IS best actor worthy for sure. The film brilliantly balances emotionality, humor, and visceral action. This one's highly recommended folks:

* Checkout the high quality QuickTime HD version over at Apple Trailers

Weekly Events Calendar : F.I.L.A. (Found in LA) November 24th-30th

Monday November 24th
KCRW Presents The Decemberists, Loch Lomond @ Wiltern
KCRW Presents Pop Levi "You Don't Gotta Run" Screening and acoustic performance @ Silent Movie Theatre (Cinefamily)
Western States Motel, Marching Band, The Voyeurs, Tigers Can Bite You @ Spaceland (FREE)
Japanese Motors, His Orchestra, Yellow Red Sparks, Juliet Piper @ Silverlake Lounge (FREE)
Weave, Crooked Cowboy, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Fawnhawk @ Echo (FREE)
The Monolators, Milton Melvin, Croissant, Kevin Shields, Ema and the Ghosts, Icy Demons @ Pehrspace

Tuesday November 25th
Coldplay @ Honda Center (Anaheim)
KXLU Presents Deerhunter, Times New Viking @ El Rey
Dr. Yes, Danger Bees, So Many Wizards, Czech Summer @ Silverlake Lounge
Indie 103 Presents The Rosebuds, Jonah Ray, Lemon Sun, Dazzler @ Echoplex (Check One Twosday)
Indie 103 Presents The Hold Steady, Drive By Truckers @ Wiltern
Gary Jules, Mike Andrews, Ben Sollee @ Hotel Cafe

Wednesday November 26th
Nas @ Club Nokia
NME and Indie 103 Presents Circus Minor, Paper Pills @ Spaceland (CLUB NME)
Matthew Sweet, The Records, Death On Two Wheels @ El Rey
Performer Mag and Isgoodmusic Presents The Flying Tourbillion Orchestra, I Make This Sound, Obi Best, Princeton @ Echo (FREE)
My Brightest Diamond, Clare & the Reasons @ Hotel Cafe
Filter Magazine Presents Stab City, Paging Beto @ Redwood Bar
HARD Presents Guns N Bombs, Turkey Soup, Don Rimini, Destructo, Marshall Barnes, Good and Plenty @ Roxy

Thursday November 27th

Friday November 28th
The Union Line, Local Natives, Voxhaul Broadcast, My Pet Saddle @ Hotel Cafe
Melvins, Big Business, Porn @ Troubadour
Bell Biv Devoe @ House of Blues (Sunset Strip)
Bowerbirds @ Echo
Big Trouble in Little China @ Nuart Theatre

Saturday November 29th

M83, School of Seven Bells @ Henry Fonda
KCRW Presents Sergio Mendes @ Club Nokia
Hit and Run 3 yr anniversary Party @ Echoplex -
Admission is FREE to everyone wearing a HIT+RUN t-shirt, and you get a FREE blank shirt at the door to customize that night!
FMLY Blog Presents Subtle, Zach Hill (Hella) @ Knitting Factory
Holly Golightly & The Broke-Offs, Frank Fairfield @ Spaceland
Melvins, Big Business, Porn @ Troubadour
Hungry Beat Dance Party feat. DJ's YY (Dublab) , B-rok (Substance), Marion (Squaregirls), and Michael (Part Time Punks) ; last Saturday of every month @ Pehrspace
Love Grenades, Jean Paul Yamamoto, Ladyfingers @ Redwood Bar
The Last Dragon (Midnight Screening ) @ New Beverly Cinema -Part 3 of the Vanity Insanity Triple Feature also including "Never Too Young to Die" and "Action Jackson"

Sunday November 30th
Blitzen Trapper, The Parson Red Heads @ Echo (Early Show)
Protect Me, Harlem @ Echo (Part-Time Punks)
KCRW Presents Azure Ray, Tim Kasher, Whispertown 2000 @ Troubadour

KCRW Presents

If you want to receive these listings by email at the beginning of each week ; sign up by sending me an email -
nassir at foundtrack dot com

Sunday, November 23, 2008

FoundTrack's Fall '08 Collection (Track 9/20) - Jail Weddings - The Spell Has Lifted

Jail Weddings - The Spell Has Lifted (Track 9/20)
Album - "The Spell Has Lifted" / "People Like Us (Are Extinct)"
Label - Albino Crow
Photo by Lauren Everett

Swampy, doo-wop artists Jail Weddings is a ten-piece ensemble hailing from Los Angeles. In addition to ex-Starvations and Fortune's Flesh frontman Gabriel Hart, the lengthy roster features two female vocalists, Tornado Jane and Katya Nadia Hubiak, as well as members on violin, piano, saxophone. Their swirling melodies result from a lavish approach to equal parts 60's pop, soul, and garage rock with an unmistakable penchant for the dramatic. Hart's lyrics reflect a sense of gravity, recklessness, and portent all at once, translating into a live show that has earned substantial praise from critics and concertgoers alike for its air of heroism as much as its vulnerability. Jail Weddings is currently recording an EP, not to mention their full-length debut, Love is Lawless. But, in case you can't wait any longer to hear more of them, they'll be performing at the echo on Dec. 17 in support of the record release of their highly anticipated "The Spell Has Lifted" single.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

FoundTrack's Fall '08 Collection (Track 8/20) - Rodriguez - Sugar Man

Rodriguez - Sugar Man (Track 8/20)
Album - Cold Fact (Sample/Purchase)
Label - Light in the Attic

The first time i heard Rodriguez my friend made me stop what i was doing to listen to Cold Fact. The first song was "Sugar Man" and my initial reaction was immediate familiarity. By the end I felt like I was taken through a rite of passage from the 60's pop folk world into a 70's type psychedelic wonderland. I did my best to find more information but the only thing i found was a tribute page built by people in South Africa. It went on to describe how music was extremely popular among white people during the Apartheid. However, his music barely made a ripple in his homeland in the U.S. due to the fact that he recorded his two albums for the Sussex label which went under shortly after his second album. Luckily people in South Africa and Australia bought the rights to the music and have been re-issuing this album since its release. Thanks to Seattle's Light in the Attic Records, 39 years later this album finds a home in America with the company of a renewed and growing audience. If "Sugar Man" makes your ears perk, I highly recommend the rest of the album which features the bass player from the Funk Bros. on multiple tracks. For more info. check out this great feature on NPR and a recent video below, both produced just before the start of his tour through the states with Connie Price and the Keystones as his backing band.

Special Thanks to Reckless Romeo for introducing me to Rodriguez's music and contributing to this feature.