Sunday, August 17, 2014

The 7 Nachos You'll Eat in Heaven

Nachos is one of my all-time favorite foods. It makes me think of happy memories at Ice Palace (the only ice skating rink in Hawaii), sporting events and college bars. I decided to have a nachos themed dinner party where everyone could make whatever nachos they liked. There were no rules except one: you have to be able to eat it with your hands. 

Some stayed true to the classics and some ventured into foreign territory. If I died and went to heaven, I'd be super content eating all of these:







Saturday, August 16, 2014

How Porter Robinson Created His Own World Separate From The EDM Scene

If you haven't heard of Porter Robinson, that's probably a good thing. I'll tell you why: the reality is Porter Robinson has been a big-name electronic music producer and DJ for several years (see "Language" and "Unison"). He's performed at big festivals and mega clubs and hangs in the circles of now popular artists Zedd and Skrillex.
So, how is Porter Robinson supposed to launch his newest album Worlds without being sucked into the polarizing EDM bubble criticized for commercializing the scene and diluting the music? He creates his own world. And, his world has brilliant marketers. 

To avoid being associated with the garbage in mainstream EDM, you basically have to avoid it all. Robinson skipped this summer's festival season and is, instead, headlining his own North America tour. Rather than having Billboard or Dancing Astronaut leak his album, he had a 'First Listen' on NPR music. And of all places to attract a new niche audience, he had an interview with vogue.com. It's not to say his team isn't doing any mass marketing, such as Youtube pre-roll ads and companion banners, they've just chosen to be strategic with its targeting.

Of everything I've seen for the promotion of Worlds, I was most impressed by Robinson's choice to livestream his entire album and himself answering fans questions on Twitch.tv, a platform typically used by videogamers. Robinson sources video games as a big inspiration for his album: "For the Twitch stream, I'm going to wander around a few of my favorite virtual environments while streaming the record. I'm hoping it'll give people a sense of what inspired the album."
Additionally, his own site porterrobinson.com is smartly designed to keep users engaged with large video player and running playlist of music videos and his social streams.  

While Robinson tells Vogue that his "new music isn’t a reaction or an intentional subversion of EDM,” you can't deny that he's paving his own path away from the bubble. At 22 years-old, Robinson's approach to his album, attention to the details and restraint in selling out sets him apart as an artist. Especially when many artists today choose antics and gimmicks for stardom (Miley Cyrus?). I admire his hard work and hopefully can experience how Worlds comes to life on his tour.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Garry Winogrand Convinced Me That Summer is Better in Black and White

In need of some culture, I forced myself to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art last weekend to see the Charles James costume exhibit and the Garry Winogrand retrospective. Both were equally inspiring, exceeded my expectations and definitely worth leaving Brooklyn for. I was particularly inspired by photographer Garry Winogrand and his black and white portraits of America, so much that I ended up shelling out money for the 463-page exhibition catalog. I took a black and white photography course back in high school and his photographs made me nostalgic for the full process of shooting black and white film with an SLR (notice the missing "D"!), developing the film, creating proofs and enlarging the photos in a dark room. I now take photos recreationally with my DSLR and seeing the beautiful grain and soft lighting in Winogrand's photographs inspired me to take another look at my photos from this summer--this time in black and white:
Locations, top to bottom: Children's Museum in London, Donau Kanal in Vienna, Jalpa's birthday surprise, Alfresco dinner in Williamsburg, Ai Wei Wei exhibit at Brooklyn Museum, Streets of Bushwick, Rockaway Beach, Streets of Portland, Portland, View of Manhattan from my roof, Charles James at the MET, and Terrace on the Park in Queens.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Our First Time in PDX

A glimpse of what we ate, drank, saw and smelt in our brief two days in Portland: 

Ate brunch at Tasty & Sons
Waited in line at Voo Doo Doughnuts
Devoured a 6-course dinner at BEAST
Frolicked in the International Rose Test Garden
Drank at Hair of the Dog Brewery
Sampled every brew at Hopworks Brewery
Hung out with family at Woodsman Tavern
Felt real classy at Multnomah Whiskey Library