i actually made this video back in November while I was making the prize bag for the D.C. Obama Alleycat race. It's the first (and only) video I've ever made, and honestly I wasn't too sure if I'd ever put it up. Lately though, I've felt like I might as well, and the beginning of the Obama era seemed like a great time to do it. Enjoy!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
One of the purest signs that I go by when I think of who I need to make a tribute bag for in my Music Series is whether or not I instantly become overwhelmed by emotion when I think of the artist in question. In this particular case - the incomparable genius that is Stevie Wonder - there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever. Just thinking about some of the music that he has put out over the years literally makes my heart warm. In fact, he was one of the first people that I thought of when the series was first conceived over a year ago. I can't really say what took me so long....well, part of it was definitely hesitation as far as what the graphic itself would look like. He's been through so many periods and styles that I honestly couldn't decide which iteration of Stevie that I wanted to go with! Finally - about a week ago - I realized that I really wanted to do another J Dilla bag (actually, I think I could do a Dilla bag every week and not get tired of it). And if this was the case - I was starting to set up and prep a second Dilla bag (I kept the first one, as he is my favorite producer of all time), I could easily justify eventually making more Stevie Wonder bags with different graphics as well. So, I chose a pic and work began.
For an artist as well-known as Stevie, there's of course a ton of biographical information and pictures scattered across the internet, so I won't go too deep into his history. Instead, I'll just share how I feel about his music personally. I can remember back when I was in college; I hung out with a friend a few times and we got on the subject of music. I mentioned Stevie and she says "the guy from 'Woman in Red' (80's movie starring Gene Wilder and Kelly Lebrock in case you don't know)?!? He SUCKS!" Instantly my whole attitude towards her changed! I mean, you don't have to love him, but to hate him? I feel bad for anybody whose image of Stevie is based on that movie or hearing "I Just Called to Say I Love You" alone. The man dropped classic album after classic album for almost two decades from the late sixties through the early eighties....the "Woman in Red" soundtrack (which isn't even bad per se, just not up to his regular standards) aside, you could extend this through to his 1985 release "in Square Circle", which, although not usually grouped in with legendary LP's such as "Innervisions", "Songs in the Key of Life", and "Musiquarium:, happens to be one of my favorites.
Anyway, the real thing about Stevie Wonder, as far as I am concerned, is the range of emotions that his music possesses. Seriously; regardless of what your mood is - maybe you just broke up with your girl, maybe you just caught up with an old friend, maybe you just fell in love, maybe you're thinking about what to do with your future - he's got you covered with something. He's been there just about every time my life has really gotten rough. He's got songs for when you're sad and need to feel better, or for when you're sad and just want to stew in your sadness for a while longer.
Selecting just a few tracks from his body of work is a bit difficult, so I'm just going to go with a few personal favorites....First up is "That Girl" off of his "Musiquarium" double album from 1982. The quality on this video isn't that great, but i just love the fact that it's live from '82.
"Living for the City" is from his 1973 release "Innervisions". This video is best watched while wearing headphones (edit - actually all of these are best played loud with headphones)!!! I love this version.
This next one I actually chose for the second song in the video: "Maybe Your Baby", which is taken off of his 1972 LP "Talking Book". The version was just too sick to pass up. Not that the first song - "Superstition", which is off of the same album - is bad by any means, but it's not one I would have chosen given the small scope of this post.
"Superwoman (where were you when I needed you)", off of "Music of my Mind" is one of my favorite Stevie Wonder cuts. Check for the transition at about 3:00....and the buildup near the end is absolutely ridiculous.
I could probably fill this up with about 40 songs pretty easily....I'll just leave it with this last one: "Love Having You Around", again off of "Music of My Mind".
I think I'll probably spend another few hours just on YouTube with these other videos! Hope you've enjoyed 'em!
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Chuey and I talked a little while ago about doing some sort of collaboration hats for the New Year....well, they're done. And they're ridiculous. I just got these flicks from Chuey himself, and although we wont have the hats physically in our hands for another couple of days, I couldn't help myself from posting this up right now. These hats are AMAZING!!!! They're wool, with ear flaps, hand-printed and stitched, and there's only 50 of them. Check out for them in the clothing section of our web site by the end of the week!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
The wait is officially over! Our new Minipacks are done, and ready for sale....you can order a custom one to your own color specs (just email us) , or grab a stock color way option (they should be up pretty soon in stock formats on the collections page). Either way, they're redesigned in the mold of their older sibling, the Midpack. Fully weatherproof with a brand new fold-over flap for complete coverage. Mesh side pockets for water bottles. Inside organizer pocket and inside rear full-length pocket for folders, laptops, whatever. And a huge waterproof outside bellows pocket for everything else. With closed-cell foam shoulder straps featuring adjustable sternum straps and d-rings, and a padded back panel, this thing is ready for your daily expeditions. 15" h x 12" w x 5"d.
The completely new-for-2009 Softpack model is finally ready for release, and apparently not a moment too soon! We actually made a bunch of these to put up on the site for the Holiday rush, and they sold out of the store before we could even get most of them up on the site. The concept is pretty simple, and is based almost entirely on customer requests from the past few years: A small, lightweight, durable pack that can replace regular "knapsacks" and is made entirely in the U.S. Introducing - for your wearing pleasure - the R.E.Load Softpack.
The Softpack shares the exact dimensions of our new Minipack (15" h x 12" w x 5"d), as well as the same redesigned shoulder straps (anatomically-molded closed cell foam with an adjustable sternum strap and d-rings for keys and such). As well as a padded closed cell foam back panel for comfort. And it has the same redesigned fold-over flap and upper side compression straps. However, as opposed to the Minipack's vinyl-coated nylon liner, the Softpack boasts a pack cloth liner that, although not fully weatherproof like the Minipack, remains waaaay more water-resistant than the average school pack. Meaning, unless you stay out in the rain for a long time , your stuff will still be dry. And - taking a queue from the successful Dash/Sprint releases, the Softpack features three flat, velcro-free pockets on the front of the bag as well as the inside. Plenty of room for all of your valuables.
This new bag is super-light (about half the weight of our Minipack, at 1.8 lbs!), and super-soft and comfortable. We've gotten great reviews already from the ones we've sold so far...you can order yours in the "collections" pages of our website!