I didn’t know it then, but I owned a pair of Chelsea boots once. They were grayish Timberland slip-ons, with the black elastic slice on the ankle, bequeathed to me by my dad during senior year of high school, when I was just starting to assert a sense of personal style—partly, I’m sure, because I was leaving for college the next year, and no longer cared what more conservatively dressed Midwesterners at home would think, and partly because I was going to college, and believed I would need to individualize myself somehow.
They were good boots. My favorite boots. I wore them with everything—jeans, corduroys, khakis (when I still wore khakis, regrettably), even cargo pants (when I still wore cargo pants, more regrettably). That my favorite writer at the time—ironically not even a real writer, but the fictional protagonist of Showtime’s Californication—sported a similar pair only enhanced their value.
They withstood the test of freshman year muck, only to fail me shortly thereafter, going down in a flame of broken soles and unsightly tears. But by then I had other boots. Also, someone may or may not have canceled our Showtime subscription (Mom).
Here’s what we know about the new Scorsese-Jagger vehicle, Vinyl, that’s premiering this weekend on HBO...
It looks like it’s going to be good. It’s got Olivia Wilde. And it’s set in NYC in 1973, a pivotal year for music: marking the inception of punk rock, disco and hip-hop all within a few months—and a few city blocks—of one another.
Meaning, it was also a pivotal year for style: from the rise of the denim-and-leather-clad rockers to the floppy-collared disco’ers to the Kangol-hatted rappers. So we thought we’d take a look at the new show and look back at major players of the time—your Kool Hercs, your Sex Pistols, your Andy Warhols—to see how they stack up.
Count on Tom Waits to dig up both an all-but disappeared species of creole jazz and an all-but-disappeared record player to play it on. Sometimes, you just have to go for the full anachronism.
As part of a benefit for Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Tom Waits teamed up with the house band for a recording of two classic Mardi Gras chants circa 1947, but they’re only being sold as limited edition 78-rpm records, just like back in the day. If you spring for the deluxe package, they’ll even throw in a custom-made 78-rpm phonograph to play it on. It might be the crown jewel of a vinyl culture based on tactile authenticity…or just a really cool party favor.
Between Stations: The next time you’re passing through Narita Airport, you may want to stop by the United Arrows shop for some duty-free button-downs. [Hypebeast]
Start with Husbands: An online doc provides a surprisingly rich guide to John Cassavetes, one of the 70s most prolific badasses. If you’ve ever yelled at one of your friends while drunk, you were ripping him off. [SlamxHype]
Magic Eye: An assembly of some of the longest-exposure photographs in history, including the skeleton of MoMA as it was being assembled. Well played. [ItchyI]
Warning: May Be More Trouble Than It’s Worth: A gentleman’s guide to copying vinyl records. [Mike Sense]
Tomorrow marks the celebration of wistful anachronism that is Record Store Day, observed by heading out to your local vinyl outlet and picking up a platter or two. Normally we wouldn’t fall for such a transparent marketing gimmick, but, well…it’ll make you cooler.
There. We said it.
Of course, you’ll also need a turntable handy (and a pre-amp, and a receiver), but given the amount of energy a gentleman expends on keeping up appearances, that’s really not that much to ask. You don’t have to ditch your iTunes account or anything, but it’s nice to have a few albums you can hold in your hands. Think of them as crackly, analog special editions.
Old tech is usually left to the limbo of the semi-vintage market—VHS tapes for a quarter, anyone?—but the nice thing about limbo is that there’s usually a way out.
Case in point: Best Buy may be getting back into the vinyl game. The vinyl resurgence isn’t news, but no one expected it to get this far into the mainstream. Of course, that’s what happens when the only positive parts of the music industry’s balance sheet are digital downloads and 33s. Best Buy has to justify shelf space just like anyone else, and they certainly can’t fill it with mp3s.
Does this mean they’ll be stocking turntables too?
Vinyl obsessives tend to be pretty retro-minded, but going back to our lumberjack ancestors may be pushing it. Then again, maybe not.
Audiowood (via NotCot) specializes in turntables made from raw slices of wood. You don’t see much bark outside of ski lodges, but given that you probably had to dig up most of your records from inclement conditions, it’s only fitting that your player get a little rustic.
So far they’re all one-of-a-kind…but let us know if you see them in any DJ booths.
Our friends at UrbanDaddy just turned us on to Assembly New York, a new vintage-plus boutique on the Lower East Side. Like their neighbors Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons, Assembly stocks a healthy selection of random objects to back up their more than formidable rack fodder. Our favorites include a ram-shaped bolo tie, four-eyed Chinese masks (an artifact of an earlier time, we’re sure), and enormous (but surprisingly sturdy) vintage corkscrews.