Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kevin Durant at House of Hoops 2

With the World Basketball Festival still raging in New York, there are events happening all over to promote the basketball lifestyle.  One of the most important tools for any baller is his/her sneakers.  Nike is synonymous with top quality footwear and are now promoting their new Hyperfuse shoe.  It's advanced fusion construction process eliminates traditional stitching techniques allowing for a new level of lightweight and breathable shoes.

NBA Superstar Kevin Durant stopped by briefly to talk about the shoe as well as to encourage local youth to follow their hoop dreams.  The children were given free Hyperfuse t-shirts and a few lucky individuals won Foot Locker gift cards or Kevin Durant t-shirts.  They were super excited to be so up close and personal with such a big star.  I was truly moved when I overheard a young boy, no older than age 4, have this dialog with his mother:

Boy: "Mommy, who is that?"
Mom: "It's Kevin Durant.  He's an NBA player.  He's plays basketball on TV."
Boy: *Stares in amazement for a moment*
Boy: "Is he going to play with me?"

Anatomy of an Urban Legend Premiere

Thibaut de Longeville and Nike premiered their film 'Air Force 1: Anatomy of an Urban Legend' at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem last night.  What better setting to celebrate the history of "Uptowns" than Uptown?  People from all walks of life converged at the historic theater to pay respect to the incredible history of the shoe's evolution from a nearly nixed line to a global icon.

The director went to some of the most widely recognizable sneaker aficionados for their unique perspectives.  Sneaker fans like myself will have no trouble identifying these faces:

Bobbito Garcia

Anthony Gilbert

Udi Avshalom

DJ Clark Kent

Grandmaster Caz

The hour long film was a blast to watch and viewers cheered and applauded throughout the showing at their favorite sentiments, comments and personalities.  After the film's end, the director sat down for a brief interview.  He spoke of his excitement about working on the project as well as his admiration for the cast and their respective passions for the hobby.
It was very nice to kick back and watch such a thorough examination of the storied history of the Nike Air Force 1.  Of course, there were quite a few rare examples in the building.  Here are some of my favorite captures of the evening:

Jump over to my flickr page to view more shots from the event.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Legend Factory Live at Crash Mansion

Legend Factory, in association with SESAC, Reverb Nation and other sponsors put on a wonderful showcase yesterday for upcoming artists.  I haven't been so pleasantly surprised in a long time.  I would have missed the event were it not for Mr. Devine posting it on Twitter.  He was excited about seeing Cocoa Sarai, so I decided to go down and check it out and take some shots.

Host: Trey Morgan of Z100

 The night was put in gear by Dimestore and Donovan.  This band from Washington, D.C. has a great blend of funk, pop and rock and roll.  Their sound is probably best likened to that of Maroon 5.  Their stage presence was a little awkward at times for me, but overall the band is very solid. 

Nita Chawla's sound I can only describe as clean.  There wasn't anything that really stood out to me but I think that was largely due to her confidence on stage.  I don't expect much movement with vocal and acoustic guitar but the energy was stiff.  Her voice is lovely though and she has chops on the guitar.  I'm excited to listen to her EP "Fall Again".

Next to hit the stage was rapper Soope the Roadrunner from Indiana.  Soope has a great musical ear and his beat choices knock HARD.  I saw quite a few people making the "stank" face with me when Soope's beats kicked in.  The sound was so ridiculously loud for such a relatively small space that I couldn't even focus on Soope's lyrics.  I enjoyed his performance though and will be giving his mixtape "Welcome to Indiana" a thorough listen.


From this point on, the night was on full tilt!  Singer/songwriter TL Cross and his band hit the stage and turned the event from a showcase into a party.  You probably know TL from his hook with Jadakiss on "All Falls Down".  TL and his team Da Gutta Fam have an impressive resume of collaborative efforts with some of the biggest names in music, including Usher, Diddy and 50 Cent.

Cross and his band took us 80s babies back with covers of BBD's "Poison" Tony! Toni! Tone!'s "It Never Rains (in Southern California)" and others.  The room was packed with industry personnel and media and TL got everyone to come to the front of the stage and cut loose.  I was half expecting someone to start a Soul Train line.

TL Cross

TL Cross was a hard act to follow but Cocoa Sarai was more than up to the challenge.  She's very petite but commands a stage like she's 7 feet tall.  Her sultry and soulful sound is full of energy and bounce.  She went from standing on the stage, to lying on it, to the floor, to sitting in the crowd to dancing past the bar and back around during her set.  There was never a dull moment.  She's a dynamite performer who's traveled the world sharing her talent. 

She's definitely an artist to keep on your radar and I will certainly be looking out for her upcoming work.  Ms. Sarai is a great singer/songwriter and an even better performer.  I expect that she'll have a healthy career.  She's more than ready for the big time. 

Cocoa Sarai

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

M.I.A. - "XXXO" Video

M.I.A. just debuted her new video via twitter for fans to ogle over.  Her signature visual flair is of course used to support her signature sound.  Only Maya could make diamonds, swans and YouTube frames work together.  Check it out...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aleise - "Blackberry"

I don't know why I'm just hearing about this, but better late than never....right?

Someone sent this to me via Blackberry Messenger. After poking around on the net it seems that the song was originally recorded by Warner Brothers recording artist Tynisha Keli.  I'm posting this version 1. because it came to me first and 2. because it's just that good. 

I love antagonizing my friends that own the iPhone and this just adds more fuel to my fire.  We got our own song!