Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Giant Robot Art Exhibition and Celebration

Following the Nike 10K at USC in the early morning, I went back to L.A. with Carmen, Rachel, and Allie at night. Traffic was crazy. Apparently, a lot of different big events were staged on the same night: UFC 104 at the Staples Center, the Nike Human Race Tailgate Party at USC, and Giant Robot Magazine's Art Exhibition in Little Tokyo. We chose the latter.

After a little exploration around Little Tokyo and a small morsel of takoyaki, we headed over to the art gallery at the Japanese American National Museum. Giant Robot was displaying the work of numerous artists who had collaborated with the magazine. The main attraction featured two of my favorite artists - James Jean and David Choe.

I can't emphasize how great it is to see artwork in person. There is something extraordinary and overwhelming about standing in front of a painting that's twice the size of you. It locks eyes with you; it becomes interactive and conversational. You become a part of that painting.

Art can be strictly aesthetic or it can be intellectually challenging. Sometimes, you look at a new painting and it's strangely familiar or it's a totally fucking mystery. In any case, I always leave an art gallery feeling a little more cultured and educated.

The Good: Seeing the artwork of James Jean and David Choe in person.

The Bad: Traffic on the way to Los Angeles.

The Ugly: Non-existent service at an otherwise awesome restaurant called Zen Cu. May it forever live in infamy.
"Most people wait for their life to happen. Restaurant servers happen to wait for their life." - Bobby Hundreds

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nike Human Race 10K

Last Saturday, I ran the Nike 10K at USC with my friends - Natalie, Howard, and Randy. Our times?

Randy: 48 minutes.
Me: 53 minutes.
Natalie and Howard: 54 minutes.

Initially, we wanted to stay together as a pack. But over the course of the race, we decided that it was better to run at our own paces. At least, we accomplished our goal of running under 55 minutes.

A lot of people turned out for the race in their complimentary Nike Dri-Fit shirts. Over the course of the race, we lost sight of one another in the sea of red. I, on the other hand, thought that it was too hot to run in the shirt and I decided to run with my white singlet. I ended up being an easy target for others to pass me up throughout the race.

Overall, I wasn't tired or sore during or after the race. Yet my legs couldn't run any faster. Next year, I hope to shatter my time.

My team's aspirations were very high.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Upper Playground October

Sam Flores - Lone Wolf

Adnauseum - Little Friend

Alex Pardee - Full Metal

You know what the formula is? Finding great artists to consistently do the work. Upper Playground wins.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Freedom of Beats in L.A.

Last night, my friends and I checked out Freedom of Beats at the 7 Bar & Lounge in L.A. It was a live event for DJs to showcase whatever the hell they want - numerous, lost hip-hop classics and unconventional songs that you wouldn't normally here at the club.

I thought I knew more about hip hop than the average guy. But after the jungles and the esses came and filled the room, I realized that I don't know NADA. That night, I realized that I need to be listening to more Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys, and Sugarhill Gang.

Today, DJing is an overshadowed occupation that, ironically, archives and chronicles the hip-hop classics for our listening pleasure. There would be no MC without a DJ backing him up. Anyway, I left very inspired by all of the DJs' performances. Here's a few videos from the event.

PacDiv - Mayor
Spun by DJ Steve1der

Nas - Made You Look
Spun by DJ Revolution

Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Spun by DJ Melo-D