Penfield Fall/Winter 2010

Established in Massachusetts in 1975, Penfield has developed a reputation for making the highest quality down-filled jackets, vests, and other outerwear. Fashion, function, practicality, and durability are the key elements incorporated into every design. With a classic New England look, Penfield products are designed to withstanding the harshest Nor’easter storm.

Featured below are a few of my favorite jackets from their new winter collection. While Penfield is known for their quality outerwear, the company has continued to develop a great line of apparel and accessories. Click on the above logo to check out the entire collection at the Penfield site.

The Summit Nylon

The Kasson

The Shire

The Danville


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Different Music, Same Story

I love rap music. To me, its my generation’s cultural revolution. Sure, the baby-boomer hippies turned yuppies of the 1960s had their cultural revolution; a period of artistic creativity and social progression that to this day is unmatched. But the “urban hip-hop movement” of the 1990s has come closer than any other pop culture movement since. It’s the classic tale of African-American music and culture infiltrating suburbia. Both movements produced music, art, and fashion that pushed the boundaries, made statements, and above all else, really pissed off your parents.

I have recently developed a theory that closely links the progression of the rap movement to that of rock and roll. Both genres have progressed on a similar timeline in which each new decade brings a new era. With rock starting in the 1950s, and rap in the 1980s, the two musical genres have a 30 year gap, but share a very similar history. Let me explain…

1950s Rock/1980s Rap

Buddy Holly and The Crickets / RUN DMC Trading in the bow-ties for gold ropes (keep the glasses)

During these decades, both genres were in their infancy. A basic beat and a simple melody were all that was needed to make a hit. Lyrical content consisted mainly of describing different dance moves, and expressing how each particular artist could rock/rap better than the rest. That, and of course sex.

Elvis Presley / LL Cool J The first sex symbols

Attire was simple. Suits (formal/sweat) were the staple, and hair was slicked back/flat topped. Both genres began to catch on quick, and by the end of each decade, both were on the verge of a cultural explosion.

1960s Rock/1990s Rap

John, Paul, George, Ringo / Dre, Snoop, Pac, Shug Everything else is an imitation

In the 1960s/1990s, each movement became a full-blown pop culture sensation. It was during this time that each genre truly came into its own; creating new, exciting subcultures to be embraced by youth, yearning to distinguish themselves from pervious generations. Musical and artistic possibilities were explored, boundaries were broken, and legends were made.

Jimi Hendrix / Notorious B.I.G. Undeniable music, untouchable legacies

Each year of the 1960s/1990s brought new artistic style, and with it the attention of the media. Stars were made out of the most unlikely of characters. Individuals once deemed socially subversive became idolized. Their every word, movement, and fashion choice were closely scrutinized, then mimicked. Music created during these two decades would come to be regarded as masterpieces; the pinnacle of artistic achievement for both genres.

The Velvet Underground / The Wu Tang Clan Infamous crews that ain’t nothin’ to fuck wit

As the decades of the 1960s/1990s came to a close, a series of tragic events symbolized the end of each era. Success, money, fame, drugs, and violence lead to the destruction of some of the most influential figures of each genre. By this time, it was clear that there was serious money to be made. This attitude, coupled with the death and destruction, took away from the free-spirited innocence each movement shared during the beginning of the 1960s/1990s, drastically shaping the future.

1970s Rock/2000s Rap

Robert Plant / Jay Z The definition of a rock/rap God

After the cultural renaissance of the previous decades, the 1970s/2000s picked up on the commerical success each genre had achieved. This is not to say there was a lack of musical substance. During the early parts of each decade, artists continued to explore sounds and experiment with composition, striving to create epic masterpieces of the highest production value. Everything was bigger and better than the previous decades. Sold-out stadium tours, private planes, and multi-million dollar mansions become the symbols of musical success.

Elton John / Kanye West Vocalists, composers, silly glasses wearers

With artists striving to become larger than life in the earlier part of the 1970s/2000s, a plateaued was reached and the music began to stagnate. This, coupled with economic decline at the end of each decade, left record companies scrambling to keep business going. Artists were manufactured by producers and record executives with low artistic substance and production value in an effort to maintain profit. This led to the one-hit-wonder dance music eras of disco and club rap.

Johnny Rotten / Lil Wayne Covered in bling (safety pins are the original bling, fool)

As a reaction to the manufactured music, underground artists began creating raw forms of rock and rap, designed to attack the system on the verge of destroying both genres. Punk rock and southern gangster rap emerged as the voice of the people, creating a new subculture in the attempts to keep the integrity of the music alive.

This brings us to the present day. What are my predictions for the future of rap? Well, according to my theory, mainstream rap will continue down its current path of over-synthesized vocals, much like the new-wave movement of the early 1980s. At the same time, I predict a resurgence of the rap group. Look for groups to come out with a sound that is loud, yet manufactured, with messages of excess and debauchery. Raps version of the 1980s hair metal scene is on the horizon. While this may be frightening news, rest assured that rap will make a triumphant, albeit brief, return to its roots. This striped down, raw sound will be similar to the grunge movement of the early 1990s. Personally, I’m can’t wait to see who will emerge as the Kurt Cobain of rap.

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Filed under Buddy Holly, Death Row, Elton John, Elvis, Jay Z, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Rotten, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Rap, Robert Plant, RUN DMC, The Beatles, Velvet Underground, Wu Tang

Dynamic Duo Dispense Dew

During the Duration of last week, the Dew Tour Descended upon the Downtown District, Dragging Dozens of Dudes and Dudettes from the farthest Deserted Desert Demographics. These Dyrdek-Dressed Droids came by the Droves to Divulge their Dreams and Desires of becoming Dirt bike Demigods. Decked out in DC, these Delinquents quickly became Dehydrated, Directing their Diaphrams to Demand Dew. Luckily, Dos Dickheads were Down for the Dirty Deed. Dropping to their knees, Dummies Drenched their Domes in the Deliciousness that is the Dew. Damn it was Demeaning.

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“Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.”

Tom Wolfe

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Supreme Fall/Winter 2010

This content has already been posted on tons of homogeneous fashion blogs, and a few good blogs too like my friend Eric’s. Still, I had to make a post featuring a few of my favorite pieces from the new Supreme collection.

Who knew that skateboarder/artist/former Jack Osbourne roommate/crazy person Jason Dill was also an incredibly talented model. The guy is seriously awesome.

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B-17 Nose Art

The B-17 Flying Fortress was the largest and most devastating aircraft used during World War II. During the war, the four-engine heavy bomber was used primarily in the United States bombing campaigns against German industrial and military targets. Touted as a strategic weapon, the aircraft was a potent, high-flying, long ranger bomber capable of mass destruction. With gunner stations positioned on the top, rear, and nose of the aircraft, the B-17  was able to ward off enemy fire during flight.

Stories and photos of B-17s successfully returning from missions with extensive battle damage added to the almost mythic image of the aircraft as a weapon of mass destruction. My grandfather was a B-17 pilot stationed in England during WWII. He flew 30 successful missions over Germany and Western Europe, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for “surviving,” as he put it.

I was able to track down a photo of him and crew of the 490th Bomb Group B-17 Snootie Cutie.

Thomas Amer, third in from right, top row

There were some 12,700 B-17 bombers produced during WWII. To distinguish themselves, crews gave their aircraft names and custom paint jobs. From the research I have done, nose art seems to have a pretty consistent theme. For me, it’s a great reminder that with new threats of war, new advances in technology, and new forms of mass destruction, some things just seem to stay the same.

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Snowboard Memorabilia

It was the winter of 1995. I was in the fourth grade. My family took our first ski trip out west, to Beaver Creek. Unknown to me at the time; Beaver Creek, Vail, and the outlying Summit Country, CO area had some legit shit going down. Homies were busting off, removing their highbacks, t-bolting their stances, and jig-sawing their board tips into the shape of paper plates, all in the name of getting loose.

It was on this trip that I went snowboarding for the first time. I remember going to the shop, which I think was The Other Side Snowboard Shop in Beaver Creek, and renting some sort of Morrow Snowboard. While in the shop, I did what any 10 year old does and bothered the shop guys for free stickers. They gave me a few stickers, then handed me this signed Burton postcard of Stevie Alters. I remember the shop guy saying, “Go ahead and take this photo of Stevie, anything that guy signs is worthless anyway.”

Just before my era, most of what I  know about Stevie Alters I learned from Kingpin Productions “Kingpin’s Greatest Hits” (if you are under the age of 18 get ahold of some Kingpin and learn something). Alters is one of the first in a list of notorious snowboarders who couldn’t handle the obligations and narrow-mindedness of the industry. There was Scotty Wittlake, Nate Bozung, and Justin Hebbel among others, but before those guys, there was Stevie Alters.

He claimed Burton tried to brainwash him, and put a cigar out on his lip. I believe him.

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Filed under burton, snowboard, Stevie Alters