Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Who you calling a 'Toy'?!

I've been following Tristan Eaton from NYC for a little while. Carl, the toy collector, told me that he's an ex-designer from Kid Robot. I just knew his work with Seen, the graff legend and the Pigs project, better known as 'NoSkool'.

So I get an email telling me that Tristan is in town this week. Earlier he was at the Munkey King toy store on Melrose a few blocks from home. But I'm no toy fella, so I opt for the art show at Blk/Mkt in Culver City instead.

There was live music from Fred Wreck, of Tha Dogg Pound fame ~ he dropped the ol' skool, classic party tunes. Oh, that would've been a cool mix tape! And, for visual stimulation there some live painting of panels that were selling for $500.

Here are some photos from the night out. It was fun. And the pretty, cute girl quota was high ;-) Hello Serena. Hahhaa. But I was there for the love of art.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mammoth, ain't big enough for Stevio ;-)

The first day at Mammoth was amazingly bright! The second day was a blizzard (see the video clip below!) The whole weekend had great snow, especially up top.

On this beautifully sunny and warm Saturday it was like being in LA. We all headed, at a leisurely pace much to Paul's annoyance, towards the Main Lodge. Lumme and I disappeared to grab our beginner lift tickets ($35 vs. $78) and rental equipment. I um'd and ah'd, but decided I should try snowboarding again first before I was too lazy ;-) I was a little apprehensive after the last distastrous attempt at Mountain High with Noelle where I got so exhausted I was ill for days?!

I grabbed myself a three-hour lesson till lunchtime. That was very productive and I learnt how to turn from heel- to toe-edge and back. What does that mean? It means I can have a better repertoire on the slopes. For the rest of the afternoon I practiced those moves with Lumme. She stubbornly refused to try them ;-)

Check these crazy sledge dogs that are on the mountain if you fancy a romantic, but bumpy ride up and down Main Lodge.

That night, Suzanne and Joe were headed to the local club. I was gungho, but then my sensible side grabbed me by the nuts: there are gonna be loads of dudes there, it’ll be cramped and I’ll get bored, really bored hanging out with college kids who’ll puke in the bathroom over my $200 New Balance Butterfly sneakers!? Hahah. I wasn’t far off, by all accounts. But I forgot to mention the possibility of a ruckus. Yea, that comes with the testosterone, booze and not enough women, I guess! Well, I'm glad I slept early.

Oh, here's that blizzard. This is the ride on the second day on Eagle Lodge's Chair 25 lift. It was cold, but not as cold as Park City or Whistler. But mate, it's so beautiful it's worth it.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Mammoth...Traffic's gonna blow!

On Friday I met at Lumme’s house in Brentwood where Paul C met us to drive the 6 hours to Mammoth, via Mojave. She was a PhD candidate at UCLA in mathematics and and I guessed she was from Finland. Nope, she was from Estonia, next door, but I was close ;-)

Let’s leave by 6pm”, Paul said, “traffic’s going to blow!” You see, Paul is a surfer and a volleyball player who lives on the beach. He is Ecudorian, works as a film editor and talks in affirmative “beach speak”, dude! We headed off in his Nissan Armada which comfortably carried the three of us and our winter gear up the 405, 5, 14, 395 freeways. In the car I asked Paul: “When something ‘stinks’ we know it’s bad, but when something ‘sucks’ or ‘blows’ what does that mean?!” “Good question...”, Paul said. Lumme was silent. “I mean, is it a sexual swear word thing…to suck or to blow?”, I continued.

We stopped off at Denny’s in Mojave. We were nearly halfway there. The food was consistently Denny’s. When Tina and I went skiing in Park City during Sundance Film Festival (1999) we loved our Denny’s that was under our Best Western motel. Their skillets of home fries, sausage and cheese hit the spot on a cold, winter’s day, just before skiing. May be not the healthiest start to the day, but crazy tasty!

Paul looked around at all the white families in Denny’s and said we were the most diverse group in the place. Understatement! I mean, I couldn’t get over the fact that we’d only known each other a few hours, were from different backgrounds and were voluntarily going to share our long weekend together. But we were getting on fine!

It was near midnight when we arrive safely in Mammoth. Paul had stayed the condo last week, but that was the only constant. This weekend, we were all new to each other. Inside I met Joe, the financial advisor from Seattle and Suzanne from LA whom I’d had a couple of chats with. She was blonde, tallish and pretty in a Claire Waller kinda way. In fact, exactly like Claire Waller. For those of you who don’t remember her, Claire was the singer/pianist girl who Jason met and made part of the band I named Fat o’ The Land, along with Nick. We had some minor success on a Sickle Cell charity recording with fellow Bristolians, Tricky, Massive Attack,

So, this was my Big Brother experience: five strangers, a condo and Mammoth Mountain. All brought together through Facebook. (As it happened Joe and Suzanne actually met in Whistler earlier in the ski season, but you get the jist.)

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mammoth skiing courtesy of Facebook?!

I sent out a note to my network asking if anyone wanted to go skiing. In reply, this week I got a call from Ryan. I was excited 'cause he said there was a group going skiing in Mammoth this President’s Day weekend. Cool! Especially, as Ryan's a pro who organized a couple of trips to Mammoth when we were at USC.

But this trip was different...In fact, Ryan couldn't make it, but wanted to introduce me to the group of people who were planning on going in case I wanted to join then. The intriguingly odd thing about this group was the fact that no one knew each other. No one! The only connection was that they were all members of Facebook’s winter sports group. At the time it didn't seem such an odd prospect...but with hindsight I can see why it's a bit freaky!

Suzanne was the organizer and a law student and USC alum. She was my contact and “she likes English accents”, Ryan offered up. So, after I juggled a few things I agreed that I'd join these strangers to go skiing. I wanted to leave on Friday so I could ride up with Paul and Lummee.

This could've been an episode of MTV's Real World or a Mammoth Big Brother!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Nooo way...BBC dig in the archives for $2,500

How much will people pay for Billionaire's Boy Club stuff? How about $2,500 (euro 1,900) for a leather jacket? I found this whilst checking out 'We Sold Out', a great French store from Colette and Lamjc.

But, this is no ordinary's a copy of the B-Boy New York classic, aka 'buff jacket'....I bought my original one in the summer of 1988 in LES/Chinatown during my first trip to NYC.

Picture this: 100F (30c) heat, me in the back of this Jewish-run leather store in the LES:
"Do you have any goose jackets?", I ask.
"Hooose jakcets?", was the reply...
"No...", I exclaimed, "Goose..!" as I flapped my arms like a bird's wings.
The owner went into the back of the store and pulled out my polished black leather, V-quilt, Double Goose Country. It's made in Korea, but when I was in Seoul in 1994-5 I never saw any for sale ;-)

This jacket is one of my treasures from the ol' skool. I lent it to the Victoria & Albert Museum for the Streetstyle exhibition in back in 1994. I found a book with the collection in and this photo of the outfit I put together, including my leather adidas track pants and adidas Run DMC sweatshirt.

I was inspired and looked on eBay for leather goose-down jackets. Yeah, I know I live in LA, but this is historic! Anyway, I found one ~ and it was size 'Small' ~ like mine in the pic shown here. The main difference is this one is a 'box'-quilt, not a V-quilt ~ look closely ;-). But, they are all a piece of 80s NYC! Amazing!

I thought to myself, "how much is this worth now? How much is it to me, and what's a good price?" Here's my approximation: 1988 my jacket was $200. So, 20 years later how much is this deadstock, totally hard to find jacket worth? How much considering one of my new adidas jackets was $300. Ummm. Finger in the air guestimate: "$400"..."$500"..."$600"...I settled for "$700" in Ezsniper as there was a guy in the UK interested and those pesky Brits ;-) have a GBP1/USD2 exchange rate, so I had to step it up! Anyway, I won the coat for $489, but I was ready to spend a chunk!

B-Boy 4 Life!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Out For Fame - B-Boy battles

Hip Hop is alive and kicking across the country. I wish I could see more of the West Coast events, but here is a taster of the 'Out For Fame' battles that have been going on every year.

There is some real rivalry in last year's battle between the 'Headhunters' and 'Transitionz' crews.

Sticking to the West Coast here Seattle represents: StepRoc crew bring on some original and double-jointed moves here...Wow!

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Please Take A Number...Amazing show

Nia Orms is a beautiful, tall, 'African American' actor. Her show has been extended in LA in a small, cozy Hollywood venue called the Lounge Theatre.

The play is about people on welfare (aka 'the dole') and their different stories. It's a sad, but humorous, story as we learn about them, their lives and how they end up on welfare. Orms introduces six different characters to us: a disabled lady whose boyfriend pimps her for drug money, a young, naiive girl who's in love with a gangsta' dude who raps about "Mary Had A Little Lamb" ~ it's funnier than it sounds ;-)

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

adidas are killin' it for Chinese New Year!

Feb 18th is the start of 'Year of the Boar'. Ping Pong anyone?

adidas Originals have done a Top Ten sneaker to celebrate. These are too much...I saw the t-shirt and was like: "yea, I have 100 black Ts, but this is special...", then said, "If you like this, look at this..."

That grey jersey design may take some getting used to..."Size US 8 please!"

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Scallys, Scousers, Cockneys..The UK is a "high crime country"

The European Union has confirmed what I knew all the UK you have a "very high risk of common crime" ?!@#

Hear this ~ the European Crime and Safety Survey finds the UK has high levels of hate crimes, and a high risk of theft from cars and personal theft. In fact, the UK is one of only three countries (along with the Republic of Ireland and Estonia) above the EU average for both pickpocketing and personal theft.

Another #1 for Blighty: the UK has the highest levels of assaults without force and of burglary. *However*, there is an "extremely low chance" of attempted bribery, and consumer fraud is "not a concern" in the UK.

How'd the EU come up with these shocking truths? More than 40,000 people in 2004-5 were surveyed and showed the level of crime in the UK has decreased - from a 1995 peak - but was not improved as in the rest of the EU.

Other countries that join the list of crimes capitals include the Irish Republic, Estonia, Netherlands and Denmark, which all have rates 30% higher than the European average although the European survey is three years out of date and there are some doubts the quality and comparisons in the results.

But know this, the Brits are hard...the UK is far more in favour of prison sentences for habitual burglars - at 52% - than any other EU country, so the UK ain't no soft spot! Of course, this report was a field day for all the politicians: Shadow home secretary (David Davis) said, "It is clear that 10 years of failure have left the British public more at risk from both property crime and violent crime than any other comparable country in Europe." And Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said the UK was the "sick man of Europe."

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sitting on 20" chrome

There's a customized car show happening in San Bernadino (50 miles east of Los Angeles) on 12th May, 2007. It's organized by West Coast Customs, the shop that was made famous by MTV and Xzibit.

I want to go to see the ridiculous and the fabulous cars on show. There will definately be some Hip Hop going on, and I think a beauty parade too. Come on, cars, girls and beats have always gone together. Why else would guys do this? Wait for my upcoming blog on this...until then I found some pics of cars being 'pimped'. What do you think of that Rolls Royce Phantom from Platinum Motorsports?

Platinum Motorsports is on Melrose. I pass it every day I head to work. I see Ferraris, Bentleys, Mercedes...and everything looks amazing. But what do they do? I did a Google search and found a report from a paparazzi who was following Kimberly Stewart (is that Rod's daughter?) She got her 'Range Rover' marque bling'd out (she swapped the standard lettering to a diamante set!) But Platinum do some more serious stuff too to 'tweak out' your ride, engine tuning and lowered suspension. As they say on the streets: "...sitting on 20" rims!"

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Buffmonster cashs in...

I went to Gallery 1988 on Melrose to see the opening of the Buffmonster show. I'm still thinking the work is too derivative of other stuff: a lot of Japanese, a splash of phallic symbolism, a bit of vintage recycling and a can of pink paint. But it has caught people's imagination because it's simple, cute but with an underlying grubby message which some people think is smart.

I didn't buy the $40 poster print and get Buff to sign it for my wall. I may have been tempted to stick it on eBay! And that's not what art is about, right?!

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