How sick is this?

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EVOL is an artist that I have been following for a while. He has a knack for turning small items into cityscapes with his precision stenciling. I had the pleasure of shooting some of his work earlier this year at Volta. It was awesome to see his work in person. But his latest piece is the coolest that I have seen in a while. He excavated a field to create crisscrossing trenches, before lining them with his stenciled plywood walls. He documented the entire process on his Flickr page. Check it out.

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[images: EVOL]

’tis Friday

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This was one of those weeks that couldn’t go by fast enough for me. I can’t say that there was a particular reason that I felt that way. But, I’m just very glad that it is now Friday. I have some big plans for the weekend, including shooting the annual Rock Steady B-boy competition. It is going to be at the Red Bull space this year. I was blown away last year, and I can’t wait to check it out again. If you are in the NYC area, you should definitely stop in and check it out.

If you are in LA, you might want to check this out: Shepard Fairey and gang have been busy on the walls of the West Hollywood library throwing up a mural. There is also work by Kenny Scharf and RETNA. My homey Matt shot some pics of the stuff going up and you can check it out over here.

No matter where you find yourself this weekend, you can enjoy this next one. If you liked the Tom Selleck waterfall sandwich blog, then this is right up your alley– Spock is not impressed. Boing Boing shared the link yesterday. Since then I have been checking it religiously, and have laughed audibly on more than one occasion while doing so.

Have a great weekend.

[Photo: Shepard Fairey on Rivington]

I want this: NOKTOR 50mm f/.95

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I was browsing Hypebeast today, when I came across this gem. Made by NOKTOR, this 50mm prime opens up to f/.95. Yes, that means that the aperture actually goes larger than the focal length. Pretty amazing. They are billing is as a “HyperPrime.” The lens can be ordered on the NOKTOR site, and ships starting July 31. The price is about $8,400 in Hong Kong dollars (from where the units ship). But that is only about $1100 USD. So, it is actually less expensive than the Canon 50mm f/1.2L. I would be curious to know how the NOKTOR glass stacks up against the Canon L optics. There is one huuuuuugggggeeeee drawback from my perspective, though. Besides not having AF, this lens only comes in MFT and E-mount. Which means that I would have to get an adapter to shoot with this on a Canon body. Hopefully they will remedy that issue by the time I actually get serious about purchasing one.

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[images via NOKTOR & Hypebeast]

about running

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(photo: me right after a run)

I love running. But I have been bad about it for the last week and a half. I’m several weeks deep into a training program, right now, and I have really had a hard time getting out the door and putting in the miles because it has been so hot outside. To compound that problem, one of my go-to distance routes is now blocked off, as the result of a pump fire at a water treatment facility that sits along the river. I was writing a weekly summary of my workouts on JNB, before I shut it down. I think that I’m going to have to pick it up again on Jake’s Mag, just for accountability’s sake. So, I guess, look for that on Sundays  between now and November.

In the mean time, I want to share another blog with you. The author is a guy that I have come to know over the past couple of years through correspondence about nerdy stuff. But it started with a conversation about our Nike+ sport bands, which we were both using at the time. His name is Andre, and he is a serious runner. I mean, the dude can run close to or better than a 16 min 5k.

Anyway, since he is basically constantly training, he has quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to running. Everything from improving your pace, to staying injury free, to how to rotate core workouts,  to diet. His blog, “I run like me” is about to turn 1 year old. All I can say, is that I wish I would have had it as a resource, when I started getting into running. Definitely check it out. Feel free to ask Dre questions, too. The dude is super personable. I just hope that he forgives me for choosing right now to tout his blog, when he is coming off of a pretty serious infection that has had him laid up for a while. If nothing else click through to see a photo of his ailing eye.

Audio Goodness– Wugazi

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It’s Fugazi. It’s Wu-Tang. It’s amazing. It’s a free download over here. There aren’t really any tracks on this collaboration album that don’t have spicy lyrics. So, if you aren’t normally a fan of Wu, it might be a bit much. I was pretty stoked about the way this collaboration came off. Who says rap-rock is dead? Check out one of my faves “Killa Hill.”

Happy Friday

I had myself quite a busy little night, last night. I stopped through the new location of the Hole Gallery on Bowery to see NYC graffiti legend, TAKI 183 in the flesh (and shoot his book signing for curatedmag). For fun, I put together a little animated gif above of TAKI scrawling his tag in someone’s book. I hope that it doesn’t give anyone seizures.

After the book signing, I headed across the street to the New Museum for an event with KAWS and Hennessy to celebrate the ltd. edition bottle that KAWS designed for them. ?uestlove was the DJ. It was a cool scene. Here are a couple of my favorite shots–

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Above and below: ?uestlove, of The Roots.

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I threw this one in just for kicks. The CK billboard hasn’t been as good, since Eva Mendez left. But I think it is funny the way that the BP and CK logos line up from this angle. Anyway, I’m a nerd.

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I feel like Jakesmag has been a little bit heavier that I intended, for its first week in existence. I think it is partially a result of the fact that I have been in such a serious mood all of the time lately. I’m shooting for a bit of relaxation this weekend, so that I can tone things down a bit, if that’s ok. Have a great weekend.

BYU ranks No. 6 on GQ’s list of top 10 d@#chiest colleges

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According to one of the stupidest lists I have seen in a long time, GQ ranked BYU the 6th “douchiest” college in America, in its August ’11 issue. I’m not going to lie, I don’t have a lot of nice feelings or nice things to say about BYU. In fact, I don’t like the school– at all. I grew up being a fan (and later earned an undergraduate degree from) their most bitter rival. So, normally upon reading such a blurb in a magazine that I have traditionally enjoyed as one of my favorites, I would smile and snicker to myself in agreement.

Unfortunately these types of satirical/critical remarks lose a bit of credence/humor  coming from a magazine that is apparently trying to bolster it’s own ranking in the douchiest magazine polls. August was one of the worst issues I have read in a long time. I’m not sure if it is just because I started reading it on the same train ride that I finished reading the latest Wired, or if it would have seemed just as bad had I chosen to read GQ before Wired. Either way, it was piss poor. Is Jim Nelson on vacation right now, or what? The overall article quality was crap, and in an apparent attempt to compensate, the magazine was riddled with incomprehensible pervy/porny infographics. Dude, if I wanted to read FHM, I would subscribe to FHM. Stop hiring Terry Richardson to shoot your covers (ok, maybe don’t go that far), and tone down the fratboy pervitude.

Given the massive level of disappointment that I felt towards the latest issue of GQ, I couldn’t even enjoy the dig at BYU. In fact, BYU– you and all of the rest of the schools who made the “douchiest,” you all get a pass. Someone who can’t come up with a better word than “douchiest” in a national publication to describe the schools that they are taking a piss at, is really not in a position to be talking down on anyone.

Step it up, GQ.

audio goodness– austra

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I don’t know how I feel about “audio goodness.” It’s no LMC. But I already committed “ear full of gold,” which audio goodness (if I keep name) will most likely be excerpted from on a weekly basis at some future point, anyway. So, for now– audio goodness.

To the point: Austra is seriously getting it done for me, these days. There is an awesome write up on the group, which is held down mostly by frontwoman Katie Stelmanis, over on the page where I borrowed the image for this post. “Feel it break” is the name of the album, released on Domino Records. Apparently they killed at SXSW, and have already had a video banned from Youtube. I don’t think that one could ask for a more winning combo. I’m seriously digging basically the entire album. Here is one of my favorite tracks: Lose it.

On “rad”

[above: some photos of youngish me, when I freely used the word “rad”]

Unfortunately, this post is not a synopsis of the 1986 BMX movie RAD. Instead, it is actually a carryover from a discussion that originally took place on Facebook. I posted a semi-priggish blurb about people trying to bring back 80’s skate culture vernacular. It has the same effect on me, as if my mom would have said “gnarly” to me when I was 6th grade. I would have been disgusted, and probably dropped the word from my vocabulary. Not that there was anything wrong with my mom. But I mean, from an adolescent point of view parents tend to fall short when it comes to pushing the boundaries of social trends. Such has been my experience when hearing the term in question used by unlikely individuals describing things that certainly would not have been considered “rad” by the 1989 version of myself.

Anyway, I have noticed the term “rad” coming back pretty strongly over the last while. Overall, I think it is great. But, from my observations it appears that the connotation of rad has evolved from the days of yore, when it was was a frequent (probably too frequent) part of the jargon that poured out of my adolescent mouth. I’m considering re-adding “rad” to my conversational vocabulary. But first of all, I need to make sure that I fully understand what constitutes “rad” in 2011. So, I’m going to include a little survey below, to try and gain a better understanding of what rad means, based on how (and by whom) I have heard it used, as of late.

Which, if any, of the following items could be considered “rad” in 2011?

  1. Brooks Brothers
  2. Knife fights
  3. Shark fin soup
  4. Shark attacking a bear
  5. “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet
  6. “Anarchy in the UK” by the Sex Pistols
  7. Drinking Starbucks, while perusing your collection of old Domino Magazines
  8. Eating Dominoes pizza while perusing your collection of old Thrasher Magazines
  9. The Bieber movie
  10. Search for Animal Chin
  11. Taking your foam roller with you on vacation
  12. Taking your machete slingshot with you on vacation
  13. Rodeo Drive
  14. Rodeo flips
  15. Baking
  16. Breakin’
  17. Xanax
  18. X-games
  19. House Cats
  20. Laser Cats

One of those things I read and hope is true

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[photo]

David DiSalvo wrote an interesting piece in the Forbes blogs this week about a study of the link between men’s wellbeing and their appreciation of art. The title of the article is “Study: Men Who Dig Art and Culture are Happier, Healthier and Calmer.” Sounds intriguing, right? You can check out the abstract of the actual study, over here. But the gist of the data, according to DiSalvo is that,

Overall, both men and women who participated in cultural activities—including playing an instrument, painting, going to the theater and visiting museums—had lower levels of anxiety and depression, reported more life satisfaction, and generally “felt better” than those not participating in cultural activities.

But the biggest beneficiaries were men. And here’s the strange part: men more interested in watching and looking at culture—in museums and art galleries, for example – enjoyed the greatest benefits of all; even more than men actively participating in cultural and creative activities.

So apparently, a guy doesn’t even have to be an actively creative person to reap the mental/health benefits of appreciating those who are creative. I feel like I’m wound a bit more tightly than I would like to be, a lot of the time. Apparently, I need to spend some more time in the galleries.

Some faves from last week.

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Element held a preview for their new Emerald collection at Saturday’s Surf (above). I did a little editorial shoot with my homey Jace, on an UWS roof top, for Sons of Intrigue (below).

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After shooting, we hung out and enjoyed the weather for a while. I snapped this long exposure of the UWS at dusk.

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I covered an Olek installation that was held in a recording studio. You may recall that Olek is the eastern European knitting street artist who once completely covered the Wall St. Bull. Part of the exhibit included various people wearing full body crocheted camo suits (below).

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Awkward Cheek Kiss Greetings

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The other day, I was shooting this thing at the new agnes b, store in SoHo. They are rotating art installations through the store there, and are currently featuring the work pictured above (among other items). Anyway, the PR person who organizes these openings is a really cool lady. At the last one that I went to, I ended up talking to the woman for at least a half hour.

The other night when I showed up, I walked over to say hi and she leaned in for the cheek kiss. PS, this is totally normal practice for this scene. I grew up doing handshakes and high-fives. And I have to admit that I was a bit caught off guard when I first moved to NY and people were doing the cheek kiss thing. I was like, “what is this, France or something?” But over the years I have grown accustomed to it, and even tried to learn how to do it without being totally awkward. But the problem is, I can’t.

My friend Mike, who was born and raised in southern CT has the greeting down pat. He makes it look so easy. I really envy that. When I was in Spain recently, some of our friends there, even gave me some pointers, on how not to mess it up so badly. But inevitably, every time someone opts to do the cheek kiss thing with me, I either end up giving an accidental headbutt, or else actually planting one on the cheek (you are supposed to kiss the air).

So, I apologize to the very nice PR girl and countless others over the years who have been the recipients of my poorly executed attempts at the cheek kiss greeting. One of these days, hopefully I can get it down. Maybe I’ll watch some instructional youtube videos.

Beastie Boys X Santigold X Spike Jonze

I know it is back to back videos, but I really couldn’t wait to post this one. I have been super stoked since I heard about it. Just released today, here is the newest Beastie Boys’ video, featuring Santigold, directed by Spike Jonze. “Don’t play no game that I can’t win”

 

I was only the 230th person to view! Woot.

Love Me calling out BNE

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It is no secret that I’m not super fond of the French, generally. I mean, they basically don’t really like me either. Don’t get me wrong there are loads of great French people. I just never met most of them, I guess. Anyway, the same it true IMO when it comes to French street artists. Invader, yes. JR, yes. Guetta, no thanks. BNE, no thanks. Since when was putting a sticker with block letters everywhere (I seriously don’t think that I walked 2 blocks in paris w/o seeing another stupid BNE sticker), art. I’m sure that some people find the ubiquity alone, a form of art. I on the other hand really appreciate the latest Love Me campaign, which appears to be calling out the lamitude of BNE’s garbage sticker campaign.