Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Digging Deep: Cap'n Jazz

Cap'n Jazz broke up in 1995, when I was 4. They inspired many a band and loved to play music. Many members still play music via Joan of Arc. They repped Chicago hard.




Review: The Hundreds Dig Dug Sweatshirt

"Streetwear sucks" may be considered true by some and I will agree, some streetwear is of poor quality and fit, and just hands down isn't something anyone would wear. Of course, there are a couple gems here and there worth picking up. Certain sneakers and jeans come to mind but good sweatshirts (that I would wear) by these streetwear brands are few and far between. Most streetwear sweatshirts/hoodies fit baggy, have obnoxious color ways with zany designs that look appropriate on an 8th grader, and have the quality of a plastic bag from your local grocer. However, I think I hit something half-decent.

The Hundreds Dig Dug Crew Neck Sweatshirt:

Now, I can't tell you where to find this as I picked it up at Jackthreads.com (for those who don't know, it's a streetwear version of giltman.com) for dirt cheap, and I can't find anyone else who keeps it in stock. I'm not really sure when The Hundreds released this as when I inquired twice via email I received no answer (so much for customer service, huh). So as far as finding your own, you might be out of luck; unless Jackthreads.com throws up another The Hundreds sale.

The sweatshirt fits like a charm. It's long enough for my abnormal torso, with arms that do not over bunch at the wrist. It's got two ribbed panels at the side, allowing for more flexibility and for a better fit. The pocket on the chest is too small to keep anything, besides a set of keys but the detail is a nice accent to an otherwise boring sweatshirt. Above the pocket there is a tastefully embroidered The Hundreds logo. It should be noted that I purchased the sweatshirt in brown which looks much better than the black, I just couldn't find a picture in brown. Overall, the look and fit of the sweatshirt is exactly what I was hoping for.

The sweatshirt may not be as thick as some would hope as it's made out of a thinner cotton, but it's perfect for when I go snowboarding as I don't leave the slopes drenched in sweat. Having worn this on the slopes a few times, I feel that this is the perfect layering pierce under a parka. IF (a big big if) you can find it, I would recommend at least giving it a thought before you buy a LL Bean or JCrew sweatshirt.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shoes: Old Adidas Ransom

You've probably already seen this. It's old hat, rotting on the grapevine, etc. I, however, have just stumbled upon (can I steal this phrase from LAS?) Adidas's Ransom via Full Clip.

I like Adidas shoes, as they have a European vibe without being "oh, look at me and my Euro-trash trainers". The Samba (I'd throw a link to Sart Inc.'s Samba post here but I'm too lazy), Rod Laver, Stan Smith, are all wardrobe staples for many men. You can't play tennis in Red Wings and you can't kick the ball around in Alden's. So I think it's fair to say that the Adidas brand has influenced the way men dress for the past few decades; they're by no means newbies re-interpreting old designs. The designs shown in this video, however, are Adidas recreations of other brand's shoes. I see: Common Projects, Danner, Russell, Creative Recreation, and maybe a few other influences. This is nothing new, nothing eye-catching, and says to me that Adidas wants a piece of the minimalist/boot pie. It's their attempt at taking someone else's bread and butter (everyone does this, I know). However, the pieces look clean and are probably of good quality. I wouldn't mind having a pair in my closet.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review: Woolrich Flannel-Lined Chinos

I call chinos khakis. I don't know why, but chino never really made it into my dictionary. Even if the chino is navy blue, to me, it's a pair of khakis. Finding good fitting khakis has always been a bit of a problem for me. Finding good fitting jeans always seems easy, khakis on the other hand, is like trying to find a pinnacle for which you can't even get to the base camp. The worst are the ones that balloon around your butt. Bleh! In general, most of my khakis have sucked. Of course, I hadn't gotten Woolrich's Flannel-Lined Chino until last Christmas.


They're heavy, giving them a good fall against your leg, well-cut, as in a bit of a high rise with nice straight legs, and has anyone mentioned warm? The sew is very good, and they will probably last me quite a few more winters. Of course LL Bean makes a good flannel-lined chino, as I'm told by my father, but since I've found something that works...

Parting thoughts: I live near Woolrich PA. A factory tour really should be in order.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ebay finds

With the flexibility of a debit card, I now troll the site known as ebay.com. There's always really good cheap stuff being sold there. I'm not sure why we need flea markets when we have things like ebay now. Hell, I don't even have to move an inch to find a LL Bean flannel for $9. Ebay may be taking the fun of the hunt in second-hand shopping, but it certainly is easier to find exactly what you want. Instead of swimming in a second hand suit, you can find something that might actually fit you (as long as you know how to measure yourself).
Enough endorsing ebay, now to the real stuff. Every now and then you come across those things on ebay that you would never come across anywhere else. This is an example of that:



Brutally, brutally cool, this old 1930's drumset is being sold here starting at $650. I can't believe how well maintained this drumset is. Despite some rusted hinges and bolts, everything is still intact, including the front bass drum head which is beautifully adorned with the band name. Googling "Art Jayson and his Orchestra" turned up nothing. While it's history is cloudy, this is a drum collector's dream.

I listen to bad music. Here's a composed letter that I sent concerning DDG's album creation. It may shed enlightenment in why so many bands sell-out and the truth is: they have to in order to keep playing music as a job.

Dear DDG,

It was my original intent to write you a letter that I felt expressed how Worse Than A Fairy Tale is one of the most under-appreciated albums that I know of. When I gave it it’s first listen, I thought Worse Than A Fairy Tale (WTAFT) was terrible. It lacked many things that In Vogue provided. Breakdowns are few and far between, guitars are dirty, and the vocals seem off, more whiney than before and after. I left WTAFT on the shelf for about a month, enjoying some crappy pop infused post-hardcore album more. Finally, figuring that I should give WTAFT a full listen to before I wrote it off as a lousy album, I threw it onto my iPod before a run. After that run that I never wanted to end, I was sold.

When your most recent album came out, it was obvious what had happened to the band. Hot ‘N Heavy was filled with crowd pleasers. Similar to In Vogue but with a bit more pop that was been syruping the industry for the past two or three years. While your most recent album is by no means bad, something you had on your previous album you lost some where in between albums. I understand that as a band, your livelihood is from shows and WTAFT is not a very live friendly album. But at the same time, you lost what made WTAFT different than almost every album out there.

Following this realization, I decided to go back and see what others said about WTAFT. iTunes reviews proved themselves to be unreliable. Some loved it and some hated it but almost all conveyed it through an unintelligible babble of caps and numbers. Searching websites proved more successful although provided more mellowing results, I found a review that labeled WTAFT as a cult classic. What? This amazing album is just a cult classic? While it relegated me to the label of fanboy playing video games in his underwear at 3 a.m., it made sense. The concept was very non-mainstream, as concept albums tend to get swept under the carpet unless they’re by Muse or Coheed & Cambria, and the content was very dissonant, a recipe to turn away most listeners.

So now we come to the major questions. Do you satisfy the alternative mainstream or do you cater to those who want you to tell a story? As a band, could you survive another concept album? If you continue to produce albums like Hot ‘N Heavy will you continue to headline tours or will you fall into nothingness? I understand that nothing is forever, especially not bands, but I’m under the impression that if you release an album with the same amount of creativity as WTAFT, you will be able to continue to be a band for sometime. Many bands think that if they create more mainstream work, it will allow them to reach more people who will be able to support their band. This theory seems to work for some, though I do not think it is a fact. In turn, those who believe that this is fact have muddied up the alternative music industry with music that sounds generally the same, creating a glob of bands that may just sink. While I understand that it may be the death of you, please make music that lets everyone know that you still care about producing albums (yes, I know the album is dead and that WTAFT did not sell as many copies as In Vogue) and not just songs to be played at a live show.


John Lugg


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Frozen Run

Frozen Run makes birch beer in Lycoming, Pennsylvania. It's top notch stuff. Adorned by it's classic logo, a black bear, the can gives basic info about the bear and it's habits. It has a lot more peppermint than a usual birch beer soda, making it taste a million times better for the holidays. My family has always been a big Coca-Cola family and I have only recently discovered this stuff, even though it's made only a half hour away from home. If you're passing through central PA, I recommend stopping by a Weis supermarket and picking up a six pack. It's extra sugary, so watch out! Go forth, support local businesses.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thinkin' 'bout Summer

The chilly weather has me thinking about Summer. I wanna' kick back, with my canvas folding chair that is beautifully sun faded, drink a diet coke, and read some comic books in a fresh t-shirt.


And maybe after that, go canoeing on the Susquehanna with the Dad in some Visims.


After all that, play some ping-pong in some clean sneaks.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Week before finals

Sorry, I've had a ton of work the past week and no end is in sight. The College Writing Seminar class at Juniata has pushed my tolerance of busy work.

Instead of reading a poorly written analysis of some random picture or item, I would recommend listening to some Toto. It's inspiring.