I’ve long assumed that Kurt Cobain would despise everyone that purports to be influenced by him stylistically, or, at the very least, he’d administer some onstage sarcasm their way. I also think he cared about his appearance a great deal more than he let on too, like that indie kid who puts in a lot of work to look like he doesn’t give a shit. As a fan of Nirvana and Goodhood, it was nice to get involved in their Cobain 50th birthday celebrations, because they always do this presentation and content stuff better than the rest. The illustrations are tremendous and I love Gregk Foley’s writing. Check it out right here.
This Jodeci VH1 biopic might be the best news of the day — a Jodeci flick and a full Ric Flair documentary? An amazing time to be alive, contrary to those apocalyptic headlines. If that rising ocean and those missiles can hold off for a couple of years, that would be ideal. I’m also very excited about the impending issue #1 of TTTISM magazine from the Sang Bleu stable. Maxime Plescia-Büchi is a friend and role model — a man so prolific that he’s put together an entire supplementary publication to an existing rollout, a complete apparel range and even changed his name since I saw him last. And that isn’t even his day job. On an unrelated note, big up Hezakya Starr for upping this 1993 news piece on the sagging, baggy denim boom — big jeans will be back soon (note: bootcut and baggy are two different things), and this is a reminder as to haw voluminous things got back in the day. Switching to unrelated mode again, a couple of cool Larry Clark interviews have appeared online too, including one where Clark talks about an impending retirement from films to drive around Europe in a Bentley and another one for French news — I post a lot of Larry interviews on here, and most tell the same tales and ask the same questions, but he is a character who will forever prove fascinating to me.
After years of haplessly attempting to write and watch TV shows and films at the same time, the ascent of the podcast has been a godsend. A wealth of deep conversations on niche topics scattered with anecdotal diamonds and some necessary myth busting is the soundtrack to most of my afternoons and it’s notable that the sprawling length of some favourites like Drink Champs fires warning shots in the direction of those who demand that information be kept to pithy lengths. Those attention span deniers are a regressive bunch. Give me hours of meandering chats over condensed blocks of information any day. Mark Anthony Green and the New Yorker’s Matthew Trammell entered the arena recently with Rich Friend: the Elevated Conversation and the interesting choice of guests thus far has made it one of my favourites. The most recent episode with DJ Clark Kent is a break from the regular shoe-centric direction he’s taken in to showcase how smart he is — never a passive conversationalist, Clark has an interesting opinion on the state of rap and the state of the world right now, plus an insane level of history in the hip-hop industry harking back to when it was just a scattering of New York jams. Good guy, good hosts, good podcast.
It looks like we’re getting a memoir by no less a legend than ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan via Constable this March. David Rodigan MBE is a national treasure and, from a very brief interaction with him, a very decent chap (though his contract stipulated that he couldn’t be billed as “the Gentleman Rudeboy”. Somehow managing to keep it very real but also create wild onstage personas for clashes, how exactly he rose to international fame and find favour with a Jamaican audience who have zero chill if you don’t come correct is a story I’m keen to read when My Life in Reggae releases. That he had cameos in Doctor Who (and another scene boying off Sherlock Holmes) around the same time that he was hiding his craft with Kingston’s finest just adds to the mythos. Whether he’s entering the stage dressed as Elvis to unleash a Junior Reid Crank That dubplate, rocking a turban or having a Test Match theme skit lead into a Rodigan special take on Merciless’ Ole Gallis in NYC, that taste for the theatrical adds a manic extra dimension to his work. Long may he reign.
There’s a two-part drama miniseries on the way that’s entirely based on the adidas/PUMA rivalry. Am I the only person excited at the prospect of a three-hour film about the Dassler brothers? The apocryphal tales of a misunderstanding over the supposed “the dirty bastards are back again” remark/unsubstantiated accounts of infidelity or Barbara Smit’s more feasible history of the family feud have long fascinated me and I’m interested to see which version makes it to screen. Adi and Rudi’s post WWII contempt for each other is the stuff of legends, and this German-language production was titled Die Dasslers in its origin country and will be retitled Rivals Forever: the Sneaker Battle (I would prefer The Dasslers, but I appreciate that it probably wouldn’t draw the crowds) for its subtitled distribution. Whether it’s going to be a two-parter outside Germany or a single film (it’s even up for offer to potential distributors/broadcasters as four 45-minute episodes) is up in the air, but the trailer — which you can view right here — makes it look quite appealing. I’d likes to see more shoe related dramas in the future — a Bowerman series, a biopic of PONY founder Roberto Muller and his wild ‘80s antics, a Reebok vs Nike production and a slapstick comedy about Nike’s Steph Curry presentation starring Seth Rogan.
Continuing the holiday theme on here, this four year old upload of some 26 year old footage needs some shine. The Video Music Box episode filmed from Elektra’s Hard to the Left release party — an incredible promo tape of the label’s future stars — was recorded in December 1990, and DJ Iran dug the raw footage out of storage. That footage included some unedited seasonal shoutouts that features a young Apache, Dante Ross, Clark Kent, Nikki D, De La, Funk Flex, Bönz Malone (looking very sharp), Zev Love X (aka. MF Doom) and his wife, plus many many more faces. Carhartt levels were extremely high and that Heavy D & The Boyz promo jacket is powerful, but keep your eyes peeled for some other excellent garments in that crowd. Salutes to Digital Hustle Films for that one.
I’m fascinated by how some prices stay static — or, in some cases, are less than they were 30 years ago — while some have hyper inflated beyond the relative value of the pound or dollar. I’ve seen reissued adidas shoes with an RRP of less than they were in sports shops 25 years ago and I’ve seen Air Jordans from 1988 and 1989 with a 2016 price tag that’s more in line with inflation (the Air Jordan V was 90 pounds in 1990, which is the equivalent of roughly 200 pounds now), but the quality of materials – despite some romanticism regarding quality the first time around on some things — and disorienting dip from less than original RRP around 2006 on some retro releases to twice the amount a decade later, throws logic to the wayside. Since Fila got sold into multiple licensing deals, its early prestige was sullied. In 1984, the brand’s velour warm-up suits were selling at 268 dollars — over 600 dollars in today’s money. Now they can be bought for under 150 if you’re looking to dress like Roger Moore in A View to a Kill. Of course, the manufacturing wouldn’t come close to the Italian brand’s heyday, but any example of inflation reverse on that scale should dead any premium expectations.
Completely unrelated, but well worth watching, the conversation below is worth an hour of your time. As part of Harmony Korine’s Shadows and Loops show at his birthplace of Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts, he chatted with curator Mark Scala. There’s some cryptic laughter during the proceedings (and you’ll have to guess what the audience’s questions were from the answers), but, as with some lucid podcast interviews of late, there’s some good Korine trivia, like an account of his short-lived graffiti career. Part of me wants his shelved project Fight Harm to see the light of day, while the other part just wants to imagine how amazing it is.