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, May 31, 2008

BYOB Tube party...London

If I was in London this doubt I'd be on the Tube at an "alcohol party".

Why? Well, in seeking to enforce social order London's becoming as sterile as New York has in recent years. The new London Mayor Boris Johnson has banned alcohol consumption on public transport all across the capital: the Tube, London buses, Docklands Light Railway and stations.

Dunkirk Spirit So what's there to do? Well, in Dunkirk Spirit 1000s of revellers have RSVP'd to have their final tipple at a party on the London Underground tonight before the ban kicks in! However crazy it sounds, these parties rock! Expect over 4,000 people busting moves to Jimi...

"...this has to be done... to celebrate our freedom to drink", said Circle Line Party - Last Day of Drinking on the Tube. But it's not chaotic disorder. Nope, there are rules to the party as laid out by The Tube Party:

* Start @ 9pm, Saturday May 31, 2008

* Fancy Dress - Come dressed as your favourite Tube Station!

* Board the Last Carriage of each train In order to maximize our interaction with other like-minded folk, try to board the last carriage of each train. Also, that will minimize the impact we might have on those who aren't in a fun mood (booo!).

* Someone please invite Boris - I know the man must be fun, so let's invite him along. No hard feelings!

Circle Line Of course, the Tube route of choice is the infamous party line aka the Circle Line (or the Yellow line for all you visitors). Imagine, a route that just goes around and a loop. You simply jump on and off a particular carriage or carriages depending on how big the party gets! Nice! Oh, and of course it's BYOB! Hahaha!

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Bomb It - The Movie comes to town

Six days and counting 'til "Bomb It" opens in West Hollywood. This is a global graffiti documentary. It's kinda been done before by Pablo's "Next: The Primer", but I'm still amp'd to see this as it explores some new ground:

"If Style Wars was the gold standard of graffiti documentary films, Bomb It is the new platinum standard. Bomb It is dope! Don't sleep on this movie....", Bounce FM.

The film has love and support, even the poster is done by none other than Shepard Fairey, aka OBEY (aka DJ Diabetic)! Last weekend, I went to see T-Kid in town who features in the film, as does Mear One who was also painting at that 33Third event.

If you can't get to the cinema go get your own DVD. No excuses. Go see this film.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw topless?

Nah, may be headless!
London does it again...This is so original and subversive it's undeniably British.

Decapitator has been running riot (mostly) in London with his cheeky, grotesque, gory and absurd defacing of adverts around town! His latest and timely customization is Sarah Jessica Parker as she poses headless on a Sex and the City billboard on the streets of London. Love it!

You gotta laugh My fave has to be the Bouygues Telecom decapitations...they're like a teen slasher Hollywood film. Kinda disturbing, but somehow fitting! I had a giggle checking out his work...Weird?

Execution This amazing film shows the planning and execution that went into the most subversive stunt from The Decapitator (a la Bansky style)!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

T-Kid rocks the spot

The graff and music store 33Third is a hotspot for writers in LA. In the past it's brought old skool legend Cope2 to town and this Memorial Weekend T-Kid flew in from New York.

For the occasion, I took my photo canvas of a 1982 T-Kid mural painted on a #1 train (Broadway & 7Av Local) to get signed. There were some dope canvases for sale which got me excited, but I left the markers and fat caps alone ;)

Graffiti Love The LA graff scene was in full effect this weekend: there were guys, girls, young and old. And, as as it's LA, well rep'd by Latinos. The love for the artform is clear and local artists like LA's Mear One take graffiti to another level where it's hard, even for graffiti haters, not to give him a nod of respect!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? There were some interesting characters at the event too. The caped crusader told me he was a 'character'. That didn't really tell me anything :) but I knew he and his mate freestyled (see video). I also met Tracy Wares, one of the producers on a film called Bomb It. It's a global look at graffiti and was premiered at New York's Tribeca Film Festival this past spring.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Portishead remixed

Portishead barely released its latest album, "Third", when Brooklyn (Bed-Sty) rapper, Spec Boogie, had remixed a tune off of it!

"Dollar Sign Language" has Spec Boogie rhyming over Portishead's "Machine Gun" and a bunch of other people's tunes. That's his M.O.

Chopshop In his past life Spec Boogie and his Loosie crew have done a bunch of collabs. Not sure they're legit, but you name'em they're there...Pharrell, check. LCD Soundsystem, yep. Mark Ronson & Lily Allen, uh huh. Peter Bjorn and John??!? No doubt!

Get Spec Boogie shite free from Digital Gravel. It's a bit complicated, but I got it work.

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Britain and US...solidarity

Three reasons the UK and US stand together! A little bit of politics? Nah, not really, just some lighthearted observations.

Holiday I just realized that this weekend in England is a Bank Holiday...yes, the banks are closed, but so is everything else except retail looking for extra cash as consumers try to quell their boredom ;) And in the US it's Memorial Day, aka a long weekend.

Weather Another common factor...this weekend Cali (ok, may be not the whole of the US) and the UK will probably be overcast by clouds with a high chance of rain.

How's Your Father? Unlike Mother's Day, the UK and US Father's Day are on the same day next month. June 15th...Don't forget, Stevio's given you plenty of time to work it out!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Eco-friendly transport

If the gas (petrol) prices are getting you down
, check out parkour. It might just be the alternative mode of transport you've been looking for!

I don't remember the first time I saw parkour, but the majority of Britons were introduced to it through a BBC1 TV ident featuring one of its creators, David Belle. Parkour is now considered a sport with its system of leaps, vaults, rolls, and landings that are combined to help an (athletic) person get around town.

"David Belle moved to Lisses, a suburb of Paris, at the age of fourteen. Inspired by his father, an acrobat and fireman, and by the French sports theorist Georges Hébert, he began performing stunts on a nearby climbing wall. Through online videos, his sport, whose name he coined, caught on internationally."

Mais oui Since Belle lives in Paris as does parkour's co-founder, Sebastian Foucan, it's no surprise the most inspiring films are from zee French who've embraced it! (Don't front...our own 007 featured Foucan too in the last Bond film.)

These films will give you vertigo! Seriously. Hold onto your armchairs!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kimora Lee...Life in the Fab Lane

OMG. I'm a hater. I know! But why is it so easy to dislike this woman? She's too much to handle....She has to be to silence her recent ex-husband, Russell Simmons. On a re-run of MTV Cribs he looked like he was looking at her with daggers as she totally took over the tour of the house!

In their family home in New Jersey (which is on the market for $23m) she created a Versace tomb! She's bought the late Gianni Versace's master bed, his china and numerous other "gold" items. Kimora is trashy and loud like a magpie collecting stuff that is shiny, but without much purpose!

During the tour of her wardrobe she points at shelving full of footwear, "This is all my shoes", (sic) she said..."my boots, coordinated by pumps..." She goes on as she gives the cameras a tour, "our pool table made by Brunswick". Russell can't help himself and asks her "do you play pool?" Yea, pleeease tell that woman to shut up!

Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane - Make it Stop!

Ah man, I can't wait to watch her reality show "Life in the Fab Lane" to hate on her some more! I need therapy!

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Eric Haze and Alife LA put on a show

Last night was an opening party for Haze's new artwork collaboration with Alife for Dumar Brown's new book, "Nov York City". I looked around and wondered why half those peeps were there...was it for Squeak E Clean's mash-up music? For Alife's bold, but dull clothing? Or the complimentary rum bar?

Who is he? Did anyone care that Haze has been down since the 80s with RTW (Rolling Thunder Writers) or his 90s show at PS.1 in Queens? May be not. To me, this is the man behind the classic Public Enemy logo with the target man, the Tommy Boy Records logo, as well as working with The Beastie Boys, Delicious Vinyl and a long list of dope design projects since moving to LA!

The Party's Over Haze has returned to New York now after a decade in California, but tonight's work didn't bring the energy or excitement I'd expect. Monochrome and big, ironically the canvases didn't say anything to me even though the message was clear. Except may be "The Party Is Over"!

I know that Brown has been selling books with Alife since 2003 so there's love there, but the $75 Haze/Alife t-shirt with the signed Dumar Brown novel seemed contrived and Alife lifestyle marketing without the heart.

One online reviewer joked (I think...) about Brown's first book, "Nov York": "This book is really really really cool. It has inspired me to move out of my mother's basement and to get a job!" So go read it!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

For the love of hiss...the love of mixtapes!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Bode lives

It's amazing what's possible with a few computers and some talent. This animation house collaborated with the Bode Foundation to bring Vaughn Bode's classic Cheech Wizard to life! So cooool!

"Wher you get doze?" Who is Cheech? Ask the hip-hoppers. Ask the graff writers. Hell, ask Puma who released a range of clothing and Puma Baskets with Cheech patterns. All limited-edition and eBay fare of course! I got mine.

Here's a quick read of the "Lizard of Oz" comic illustrated and written by Bode. Classic B-Boy shite!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Enough already...No More Obama!

Everyone's inspired by the race for the Presidency. For me, I'm bored and have been numbed from all sides as even the artists have got in on the act!

Upper Playground and Sam Flores did a nice poster to show support for the Obama campaign, but can you beat the propaganda king Obey? Nah, man! Posters, limited-edition eBay fare, t-shirts in Urban's crazy!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oh snap....Hip-hop Ya Don't Stop

I hate karaoke! But, this sounds like a great night out. But, don't expect to know what the *real* lyrics are to all those tunes unless you get a lyric sheet. This karaoke session has no 'bouncing ball'!

So, I went looking for some more info and whadya know, I found Hip-hop Karaoke chapters in NYC and London...

But nothing can tell you more than this video!!! You know I'm going when I'm in New York in August!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

13...unlucky for some in the UK

13 teens have been murdered in London this year! Each week I seem to read about petty crime, sex crimes and now murder all over the UK or involving Britons! I wonder if it's just the tabloid press reporting what's always been there or is the UK getting worse? The latest victim is 16-year-old Jimmy Mizen.

Well, I think it's the latter and I'm not sure the new Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has what it takes to sort it out.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

La-Di-Da-Di, the Ruler hits Long Beach

So, Long Beach is "towner" central on Friday night, but it needs to be done when Ricky D, aka Slick Rick, is in town.

I grabbed my Newcastle Brown Ale and stepped to the stage waiting for Slick Rick to appear - I've never seen him live, but I grew up on "La Di Da Di" and "Children's Story" is a classic to the def degree!

This show was for the real fans...

A crew of hip hop heads rolled wheelchairs. That's love. Respect that! And yes, the crew has a MySpace.

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You may not know Kevin Lyons...

But you know his work. After all, he's been design don at Urban Outfitters, Spike Jonze's Girl Skateboard Company, TOKION Magazine Nike and a bunch of other hip brands like Adidas, Stussy and Stussy Japan, Beams Japan, HUF. And he's taught at RISD and CalArts and Yale!

Interesting stuff, but I wasn't sure I was gonna go to his show at HVW8 until I read about his clothing companies. He runs a line for 2K and his own Natural Born which I love!

His philosophy built up over many years is priceless. "Just sharing. Warning. But not apologizing...Just carry the art in a bag on a plane and put it up in less than 24 hours..."

Here are a few pics of the scrawlings and artwork.

Corporate life Right now Kevin works for ultra-cool branding company, Anomaly, in New York which he calls a "pseudo ad agency". He commutes nearly 4-hours a day and during the bumpy train ride he draws and doodles. Amazing and prolific! I think I'd sleep ;)

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Blondes aren't my type...

But there's something about this it the gappy teeth, the geeky techie babble or that she's in her 20s?! ;)

Or am I missing England...? Gasp...!

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Nick Walker fans go camping

If you're not in London or the UK like me you might have missed the buzz around Nick Walker's latest show at the Black Rat Press space last month. He sent me a link to Romanywg's reportage photos, but this scene captured the spirit of his recent success. People were camped out the night before to get hold of one of the limited signed prints!

Imported success It's sad that it took a sell-out foreign show to establish Nick in his home country. He's probably going to do more shows in the US than in Britain this year, but as we all know you can be a millionaire in the States just selling t-shirts and baseball hats 'cause are so many people. Let's hope that the looming recession doesn't affect the street art market 'cause Nick's time has come!

Here is some commentary on the show...

And a couple of great videos from Romanywg

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Keith Haring's 50th birthday

If Keith Haring was still alive he'd be 50 years old today!

His work is a reminder of how something as simple and fragile as a chalk doodle could manifest into an art organization for learning and understanding. For me, as Haring was in New York and his art was in public places it immediately grabbed me.

Pop Shop Haring's images had street cred, yet were critically-acclaimed by the establishment too as his work was collected by galleries and museums. And there's no doubt Haring inspired others to experiment with the high and "low" culture of art - the art of selling a commission for millions or a selling millions of t-shirts for $30. Just look how Haring pre-dates the likes of Murakami's and his KaiKai Kiki studio by at least a decade.

Thanks Keith for inspiring my interest in the Pop Art scene and collecting stuff. Peace.

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LA heads represent...Cali love

MySpace was my social calender this weekend. I got news of the Crewest Gallery Fotograff photo show from Make One's bulletin. His bredren, Vyal One, curated the show over a two-month period, but did the installation in a single day! See the spray-painted fence patterns and other overlays that really show the pictures in the urban environment they were taken in.

I love that Crewest space - it's huge, full of aerosol, markers, t-shirts and other graff paraphernalia. Man One runs this place - see him on my LA River Hall of Fame event video. His partner hit me up to the T-Kid visit later this month at the record store, 33Third. Expect more graff madness then!

Give the drummer some Afterwards (and avoiding the big scuffle outside ;) ), Ja and I tried to get to our fave Indian spot for dinner, but it was late so we hit Lil' Tokyo instead before going to Funky Sole to see the Root Down and Stones Throw crew dedicate a whole night to "Mr. Please Please", James Brown! It would've been his 75th birthday yesterday and in tribute Cut Chemist came out with his James Brown t-shirt and a signed framed photo which he placed beside the turntables and proceeded to rock the 1s and 2s till closing time. That was a funky, funky session. Jimmy's Lounge rocks!

Perfect for another photo blog, but you'll have to imagine the jam down instead as I left the camera in the car... ;) Go to Cut Chemist's website and listen to his album. Nice.

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Don't bore me...

I have no idea why folk want to bore me about how their 'hood is better than my 'hood...

Is 90403 better than 90036, 90210, 91502? Who knows, who cares?!

The Rules At a party, don't talk about politics or religion. And here's my addition - No zipcodes chat either. Or whether you rent or own. Please! Don't get me started, foo'!


Saturday, May 03, 2008

"We're the hottest in the world right now, just touched down in London town..."

This UK gal's name is Estelle and she's been rising on the music scene in the UK and making waves in the US in some circles (how about David Letterman last week and Rolling Stone magazine?!). Luckily she has Kanye and Will.I.Am on her side too. This collaboration below for her American Boy tune is ill. Not just a few verses...Kanye is feeling this tune. So am I. Love it, so much so I'm giving you two versions! ;)

YourTube Love that she's up on the vlogging ting. You can listen to all her news here...

Please, sir If you want some it is!

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Friday, May 02, 2008

London in LA

Freddi invited me by to see O Two paint some canvases for her new yard. Nice.

O Two's one half of the "Rock Group" art project with She One...the abstract, sharp monochrome strokes are definitely evident. Striking! He primes the canvas to set it up for the blackness that makes his pieces so bold. Then there are layers and layers of acrylic paint. Voila!

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Wanna rifle through Pam's drawers?

If you fancy getting up close and personal with a Hollywood starlet, then go up the road to Pamela Anderson's Malibu home where she's having an estate sale.

I'm sure you can find her address online or from one of those star maps they sell in Hollywood, but for sale seekers there's a shuttle bus that takes (blindfolded) folks to her home from two rendevous points. Ok, I made the blindfold bit up!

Once you get to Chez Pam's 5,000 sq-foot home you can take a peek at her poolside furniture, bicycles, tools, French country furniture, chandeliers and I hear a ton of the Baywatch babe's designer shoes and clothes. Gulp. What will you do with those?

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

One day special offer sale...

Well, it's not strictly a sale, but *it is* a seller's market...the seller being the government! On April 7th UCSIS opened its doors for the H1-B immigrant working visa applications. One day later on April 8th, the agency closed its doors and issued a statement that said both the 65,000 H-1B cap and the 20,000 H-1Bs for advanced degree holders cap had be reached!

USCIS just split the was 92% over-subscribed having received almost 163,000 H1-B petitions! Of these, advanced degree holders sent in 31,200 application, which adds up to 56% over-subscribed. That is not good news for all the foreign students.

ChIndia? Information Week, a top IT magazine, published findings on the top 10 companies sponsoring H1-Bs for fiscal 2007 (which began on October 1st, 2006). Eight of the companies are Indian with Infosys coming in #1 (again?) with 4,559 approved visa applications - that's nearly 6% of all of the available visas! The remaining two companies are American, but still in the IT sector: Microsoft and Intel with only a combined 1,328 visa petitions approved.

In total, the top 10 companies had 15% of all the available H-1B visa petitions approved. For the full story at Information Week, click here.

Happy Labor Day people!

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