Category Archives: Reviews

MIKE ABU vs. GOOGLE GLASS

Fashion week is pretty ridiculous for a myriad of reasons, but one thing  that’s easy to get a kick out of is what people wear to the events. Imagine: you’re going to an exclusive party for people who celebrate the art of appearance, and if you’re the type of person who cares about that kind of thing, your own appearance is pretty important. So when I see a guy confidently walking into a room while wearing something as absurd as Google Glass, I obviously have no other choice but to try to figure what the fuck the guy is thinking.

Mike Abu: Can I ask you a couple questions?

Google Glasses: Sure.

MA: How does it feel to be the only person wearing Google Glasses?

GG: Um, it’s kind of awkward. It’s interesting because people come up to me and ask me questions about it. It’s a good way to network.

MA: That’s why you’re wearing them?

GG: I can also take pictures whenever I feel like by winking.

MA: Have you ever thought about using a camera like a normal person?

GG: [pause] You hate Google Glass, don’t you?

MA: I’m just confused why anybody would want to wear them.

GG: It’s still a prototype. Obviously they’re still bulky and aren’t fashionable, but they’re coming out with a new model that looks more like glasses.

MA: Do you think Google took into consideration what the glasses looked like on a real human being when designing them?

GG: The things is, they’re working on the software development to make sure people can makes apps on them and that stuff, so once they’ve figured that out, they can focus more on the design.

MA: So do you think the glasses look like they do because Google is filled with nerds who don’t know any better?

GG: I don’t think that’s the case. It’s more about the technology that’s in it. You can only make a chip so small and put it all together, right? But they have this girl who’s into fashion, and she did the best she could to make them look as fashionable as possible.

MA: Wait, do you work for Google?

GG: No, I have a startup. I’m launching an app called Shoptsy next week where you can shop for products that you see on Instagram.

MA: Can you use it on Google Glass?

GG: [pause] Eventually.

MA: Can you give us a wink?

GG: Certainly.

GOOGLE GLASSES

I’m Not Going To Pretend That I’m Poor To Be Accepted By You

Every now and again, I stumble across an article so terrible that I can’t help but shake my head and look out the window, subconsciously wondering if I’d be one of those unfortunate random people who accidently survive an eight-story fall. On those days, I like to order a couple cyanide pills with my coffee. The baristas laugh and I look to the street, wondering if a sympathetic bus driver might do me a quick favor.

21920_595346323812451_1389002141_nToday is one of those days.

A friend from Oakland posted an article about how some girl had decide that she wasn’t going to pretend to be poor, no matter how much more acceptance she’d find in what must be her day-to-day interactions, and damn it, the article is hilarious in the most frustrating way.

Now, I can’t lie—she’s not the worst writer. In fact, she’s probably better than me. I could probably chalk that up to her expensive out-of-state education she so eloquently apologizes for, but that would be jumping the gun. It isn’t her writing that’s ridiculously offensive. It’s simply her main point in general and how she goes about making it.lacrima

To begin with, let’s skip the Mulberry bit and move right into the cashier’s glare. Somehow I don’t quite believe that the cashier is glaring at the author because of her extreme wealth as much as the cashier is pissed another person is in line. To loosely quote Randall from Clerks, “This job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers.” Beyond that, I wasn’t aware that Diet Coke was a clear-cut sign of class superiority, but I am glad that the author was willing to educate me on that one. From now on, every time I see someone refill a 64 oz. thermos with Diet Coke, I’ll know that I’m standing next to a deferential individual who should be treated as such. Of course, I won’t see that here in New York—we’re too class conscious. Moving right along…

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So the cashier ignored the author huh? Who cares? She lives in the West Village. Has she ever walked around her neighborhood? Ignoring people is a way of life in New York. Deal with it. If I had a nickel for every time I’d been ignored, I’d be able to live in the West Village too. At least she walked out feeling like a turd, so that’s something.

From what I can gather, it was apparent that both the clerk and the customer in front of the author were being “that obvious.” If they’d known she had purchased her bag at 70% off, I’m sure they would have greeted her like an old friend. Instead they can, “fuck right off.” There’s nothing wrong with that. But if they can fuck right off, so can you, right? What’s the big deal?

“I am sorry that I was born into great financial circumstances and my father likes to provide for me.” We’re also very sorry for you. Feel better yet?

Next, she goes into a diatribe about how there’s a certain amount of tact you have to show around people who can’t buy expensive things. If there’s one thing that’s clear, this girl knows tact. Should we judge her for being able to showoff her wealth? Maybe not. Should she judge a cashier for not happily responding to her, “have a great day?” Maybe not. Instead she calls us “petty,” “bitter,” “unhappy,” and reflecting our own “misery” with our nasty glares. Nothing judgmental about that.

559238_10151658323396633_890228809_nShe then starts talking about how fortunate she was to be raised alongside billionaires before letting us know that her parents bought her clothes at Old Navy and food from McDonalds, which I assume is her way of trying to relate to the poor. I mean, she didn’t even know she was wealthy as a kid! But then she follows it up by saying she’s not, “one of those people who try to be poor to relate to people,” thereby rendering her statements about Old Navy pointless. She uses disgusting twice in the second to last paragraph, both times in reference to the behavior of those who vilify her financial status. I can’t argue against that. If there’s one thing poor people know how to do, it’s disgusting. Thanks for putting me in my place.

I’m not even going to touch the “damn fairy” line.

Finally, she reaches her conclusion: “What I’m saying is that it should not be made into a spectacle that there are differences in income.” Apparently she’s unaware just how different incomes are in this country. Is she aware that we currently have the largest income gap since the Great Depression in this country, and the trend is actually increasing the disparity? If we shouldn’t make a spectacle of it, what should we do? Smile and pretend that our lives aren’t quite as peachy-keen as hers?

Rachel Sacks, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. The thing is, pretending you were poor wouldn’t work anyway. You don’t know what it’s like, and how could you? You’re rich, game over. It’s like that song Common People from Pulp. “If you call your dad, he could stop it all.” Don’t act poor—I doubt you’re a good enough actress. But don’t give us shit for not giving a flying fuck about what you think, especially when you’re making a point of not giving a flying fuck about us. Good luck and God bless.

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MPeach: Venamo

[youtube http://youtu.be/hv8SBqGSrtU]

I wrote this video statement a few months ago for my friend Mariana, a.k.a. MPeach. It was interesting to do mostly because it exposed me to a culture that I knew nothing about, specifically changa tuki. The fact that I now know a thing or two about current Venezuelan electronic music is kind of weird to me, but I’m obviously not that surprised either. Mariana pretty much sat down with me and explained everything, making this less my interpretation than an actual statement on what the video is about. I believe she’s on tour in South America at the moment, so it might be a minute before you can catch her live state side. Looks like we’ll have to settle for the video above for now. Below is what I had to say about her video.

Venezuelan musician MPeach (a.k.a. Mariana Martin Capriles) teamed up with Director Crystal Moselle to create a music video for the song “Venamo” from MPeach’s new EP “Vengo Pro Ti.” This raw video captures scenes from everyday life in Caracas, Venezuela, including chaotic traffic jams, energetic Tuki dancers and the street vendors that call the city home. Moselle’s signature style can be felt throughout this visually compelling journey, focusing not on violence but summer fun in its essence, when there’s nothing better to do than drive around with your friends, dance and be alive.

MPeach’s sound is a mixture of multiple musical influences, including electronic beats, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, traditional Venezuelan melodies and most strongly by the ghetto-dance style Changa Tuki. Changa, a name used to describe house/electronic music, is wildly popular in Venezuela. As the production of Venezuelan Changa grew in the early 2000s, a number of subgenres of ghetto dance styles appeared, including Hard Fusion (DJ Yirvin) and Raptor House (DJ Baba). For a period, the term Tuki was used as a discriminatory slur against Changa dancers who came from the city’s barrios, but it has recently been embraced as the popular name of the scene as a whole. The Tuki dancers are at the heart of the movement. This video highlights these dancers alongside the newfound acceptance their scene has generated.

The song “Venamo” was co-produced alongside the innovative DJs Pocz & Pacheko and remixed by Cardopusher. It’s been released on the Caracas based net-label Abstractor, who represents Venezuelan talent worldwide. The work speaks for itself. Press play and enjoy.