Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cosmic Compositions - Avant Garde Series Vol.1 [Pharoah Sanders]

Underground Album of the week:
Cosmic Compositions Avant Garde Series Vol.1 [Pharoah Sanders]

Pick it up for free HERE.

Monday, October 29, 2012

ESPN - "The Worlwide leader in playing the hits"

Every morning I take a moment to check and see what the headlines for the day in sports. 
As the years have gone on, I have realized that ESPN may be more interested in getting 
hits on their website, than actually showing the true journalistic integrity that ESPN was founded on.
It is well documented that ESPN loves them some Tim Tebow, Dwight Howard whining, anything with Skip Bayless yelling at Stephen A Smith, Diva Wide Receivers, Alex Rodriguez controversies and of course Tim Tebow.
On Tuesday October 23rd, I realized just how visually skewed and misguided the ESPN website could be to true fans of real sports and real journalism. 
The San Francisco Giants had completed something truly remarkable on Monday October 22nd, by earning a trip to the World Series after being down by 2 or more games to none in both the NLDS and NLCS and dramatically winning in the 5th and 7th deciding games of both series.  In the NLDS the Giants were down 2 games to 1 to the Reds, getting no hit in game 3 and still came back to win the next three games in Cincinnati and win the series. In the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants were down 3 games to 1 before they brought it to a decisive game 7, where the Giants never lost again for the rest of 2012 season. 
Sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series is remarkable and should be honored for many reasons. Pablo Sandoval's 3 home runs in Game 1 of the World Series put him in the company of Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols and will go down as one of the greatest single game performances in baseball history. Not one, but two of those dingers came against Detroit's Man of Steel, Justin Verlander, and for the first time of the 2012 season, someone finally got to him. 
But ESPN Radio blow- hards like Colin Cowherd and ESPN's Website don't care for these stories very much. Often the fact that the World Series is traditionally a low TV draw will drive Sports News companies to not cover it as much, forgetting about the fans and relying on focus groups that tell them to: when in doubt, 
"Play the hits."

Which leads me to the question: "If ESPN doesn't blow it out of proportion, did it actually happen?"
The following screen shots depict how ESPN has done a terrible job of covering the World Series and basically ignoring playoff and championship match-ups that aren't, "sexy".

Photo 1: October 23rd, 9:00 am Pacific Standard Time
Miniscule coverage of Game 1 of the World Series.
How is it that the World Series is not front and center under the title, "Headlines"?
Instead of baseball, we see some irrelivent college football team, while the SportsCenter Feeds on the right show the "Giants up end Cardinals, Reach Series" the 10th most popular entry.
Sounds like a real boring game. Thanks ESPN.

Photo 2: October 25th, 9:00 am PST
In resounding fashion, Giants went up 2 to 0 in the series and this was the next morning's Headlines. 
Not one mention of the World Series at all.
I know what you're saying, there's a header at the top that says Tigers v Giants.
I know you're saying that there's a thumbnail photo link on the bottom of the screen.
Why won't ESPN just post a graphic or one of their numerous photographs of baseball players involved in the World Series?
Their Sportscenter Feed has nothing about the Giants at all. 
ESPN is simply trying to cram as much crap onto their screen to get hits and that's sad.
Topics that don't even matter like:
 "NFL Poll" Tim Tebow is Most Overrated Player"
"Dwight Howard reveals his like to go to Brooklyn Nets instead"
"Packer's Jennings to have surgery on groin"
"New York Indicts 25 in $50 Million Gambling Ring"
and my personal favorite,
"Hurdler Lolo Jones makes U.S. Bobsled Team"

Gotta love the Roberty Griffin III photo. 
Why isn't the World Series up in the photo area at this time of the day?
Are you serious ESPN?

Let's face it, San Francisco versus Detroit just wasn't sexy enough for ESPN. 
If it's Yankees, or the Red Sox, or the Angels of Anaheim of Los Angeles of Disney or whatever the hell they're called, they are all over it. During the 2012 MLB Postseason, there was arguably more coverage of Alex Rodriguez signing baseballs during games, than what the San Francisco Giants were accomplishing. While they gave more of a hoot about the Yankee's inability to hit Home Runs, ESPN missed the real story of a team who just knew how to hit when it counted most. 
Of course I am happy that the Tigers were swept, they embarrased my Yankees in epic fashion less than a week ago and I am still bitter, but I'm happy for a different reason completely. 
The Giants dominated their last 5 games of the season in a steamnroller style 
that left the entire Motor City stunned this Monday morning at work. 
Not since the New York Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 and the Cincinnatti Reds of 1975 and 1976, has a team won two World Series in 3 years or less. 
San Francisco, we tip our caps to you.

On side note:
Game 4 of the World Series ended on a called strike looking on the 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabreara. 
Let me repeat...Strike Out looking on the first Triple Crown winner since forever. #Insane ( I hate Twitter, but I just love putting it before really beefy words) haha (#beefy) Try it it's fun (#fun).
The last time a World Series ended on a called strike looking was in Game 7 of the 1925 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Senators.
A memorable play occurred during the eighth inning of Game 3. The Senators' Sam Rice ran after an Earl Smith line drive hit into right center field. Rice made a diving "catch" into the temporary stands, but did not emerge with the ball for approximately fifteen seconds. The Pirates contested the play, saying a fan probably stuffed the ball into Rice's glove. The call stood and Rice parried questions about the incident for the rest of his life—never explicitly saying whether he had or had not really made the catch. His typical answer (including to Commissioner Landis, who said it was a good answer) was always "The umpire said I caught it." Rice left a sealed letter at the Hall of Fame to be opened after his death. In it, he had written: 
"At no time did I lose possession of the ball."

See you in Winter Transactions and 2013 Spring Training.
Special Thanks to: the "24 and 1 theory on Alex Rodriguez" by Joe Girardi in paperback and your local bookstore this Spring (Not really a book, but you see where I'm going), that Marco Scutaro "Magic", Kung Fu Panda's 3 home runs, Getting to Justin Verlander first, Jim Leyland's future with the Tigers - Question Mark, Fatty #1 Prince Fielder and Fatty #2 Miguel Cabrera for feeling the wrath of the sweep, Detroit must be sick to their stomachs that the Red Wings might not play this year, the Pistons haven't been good since Lebron put them out of their misery, the Lions will not be making the playoffs this year, and just imagine what Detroit will look like in 4 years if Mitt Romneyis elected next week, Kendrick Lamar battles with Duke and the first meeting of the "Sunday Morning Movie Matinee Crew": Cloud Atlas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kicks #5 - Converse "Missoni"

 Welcome back to another edition of Kicks. 
In issue #5 we examine some of the finest Converse I have ever seen.
Personally I can't stand Converse shoes. They look awesome with any pair of pants, 
but in my old age, they are damn near a nightmare for my back and my hips unless I have insoles that are 3 inches thick. The Converse All Star have no support and the thinnest sole ever. Period.
For these kicks, I would risk all the medical issues for. 
The Converse All Star "Missoni" is a style that has been with Converse for a few years now.
Every few months or so, they release another limited edition shoe that is unlike any other pair of crappy All Stars. 
Of the six seasons Missoni has been working with Converse, the two brands' newest partnership may have yielded their most exciting products yet. Twenty deadstock fabrics from the Missoni archives have been applied to Converse's iconic Pro Leather and Auckland Racer shoe designs.
No need to go any further on this one... simply FRESH!
Retail Price: $250.00, ha.
 Good luck wearing these on the East Coast and not destroying 
them the day you forgot it was going to rain.

Special Thanks to: Earthquake drills, Beer that is over 7.5% alcohol, Aardvarks Co-Op, Dwight Howard + Steve Nash + Kobe Bryant = The 3 Amigos, Los Angeles' summer 2012 is finally over, Denying you're a racist when you are part of the middle class and vote for Mitt Romney, Jneiro Jarel, Intelligent Manners, Making fun of guys I went to High School with that are now Pop Rap DJ's in Orange County because they purchase and play anything from 2 Chainz seriously, the 2012 New York Yankees 1 upping the Boston Red Sox on worst meltdown in baseball history, Tickets to Heat versus Lakers in January 2013 already costing over $250 each, Ryan Simoneau's San francisco Giants making it to the World Series... Go Get those F-ing Tigers for me!

Jigmastas - "Infectious" - DJ Spinna

This is for the real heads. 
DJ Spinna.
MC Kriminul.
Featuring Mos Def, Apani B Fly Emcee, Eminem

Jigmastas - "Elevate"

Back in the early 2000's there was this Hip-Hop record store in my home town. It was run by a local cat whose father had mad dough, so he bought his son a business and the dude killed it for years. 
This place was my second home for a long time. Unfortunately I was young and not as socially open as I am now, so hanging out with these Hip Hop dudes was not happening. I did however spend many nights watching ill performances by some of my favorite all time MC's and spent hundreds of dollars on vinyl in his spot. You're welcome Ed from The Cop Shop! 
Thank you too, of course.
Where was I...oh yeah, records. 
I used to BS with Ed about Hip Hop and would feel him out on certain albums I knew nothing about and would also rap with him about the music that everyone knew was A+ at that time. 
I once asked him what his favorite Hip Hop was at the time and he wouldn't stop referring to the Jigmastas.
Around this time DJ Spinna had just come out with the mixtape, "Beyond Real Experience",
featuring artists like Guru from Gangstarr. 
Not taking Ed's words for real, I moved on from it and never heard about them again. Or did I?
Fast forward to 2010 and I am working for the beloved Sinning In LA web magazine doing event photography in the heart of Los Angeles. Along with some very understanding members of the staff and my own personal hustling, I was able to set up an in depth interview with DJ Spinna in his Brooklyn recording studio.
Just like the good old days at The Cop Shop, I had finally gathered up enough balls to talk to the real Hip Hop heads. I rapped with DJ Spinna, a true legend in music and Hip Hop about the old, the present and the future. 
We discussed everything from his roots in House music, the influence of Disco on House music, his fascination with Michael Jackson, crate digging habits and the just recent passing of Guru from Gangstarr.

Here is 1 of the 9 clips from my interview with him.  

Although the Jigmastas did not pan out nearly as long as DJ Spinna's career has, they are one of a group of artists who kept it real and we salute them for it.

Special Thanks to: DJ Spinna, BBE, DJ Spinna "Here to There", DJ Spinna's massive record collection, The Cop Shop, Underground Hip Hop, Jigmastas, Possible new Jigmastas album coming out soon according to DJ Spinna, my future post with some select film photos I took of DJ Spinna in the past few years.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vice Magazine - - Epicly Later'd - Skateboarding Addicts

Patrick O'Dell - Epicly Later'd's Producer

Whether you are a fan of Vice Magazine, skateboarding, edgy journalism or all three, 
you will definitely enjoy Vice Magazine's video offspring. 
Served in major cities around the world's high - end hip -hop clothing shops, Vice Magazine is by far the greatest free publication of all time. Filled with groundbreaking photography, writing and journalists who do not know the meaning of holding back for a story, Vice Magazine has long been a staple in the print world since 1994.
With the advent of Youtube and Vimeo being on every website under the sun, Vice Magazine along with director Spike Jonze sought out to create the digital video equivalent to their magazine and they have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. creates a virtual magazine for subjects like:
Human Rights issues
the Vice Guide to Travel
Current Events
Obscure visions into the rest of the world
Important Artists who are changing the world
Modern Science

Patrick O'dell is the genius behind some of the most in depth and current biographies on some of the greatest skateboarders of the past, present and future. 
Chock full of videos representing skateboarding from around the entire world,
Epicly Later'd is the foremost place for all that is skateboarding and documentary. 
Ryan O'dell gains such inside access to the skateboard scene that it is almost 
as if he is a pro skater himself... even if he's just a video nerd who loves skating.

Here's a screen shot of the video interface on's Epicly Later'd page.

Below the video screen is a plethora of videos to keep you rollin' on the concrete and grinding those rails for days.

Special thanks to: After Hours Promoters who don't know the meaning of friendship, the internet, Tom Coughlin, insanely tight Presidential election, Bill Maher putting my entire life into perspective, children who inspire me to be better at what I do, taking a dump while on the phone, learning how to change host files in Mac OSX (Don't ask).

Music Mondays: Scuba Drops new Mix for FACT Featuring Unreleased Hotflush Recordings Material

Who doesn't love starting the week off with some excellent new music? The fine folks at FACT have delivered a fresh mix with none other than Hotflush Recordings boss (and one of our favorite producers), Scuba!

Featuring plenty of unreleased music from Scuba himself as well as his Hotflush Recordings cohorts, this sublime mix is not to be missed!

You can get the FREE download of Scuba's October FACT mix right HERE

Special Thanks:  Scuba & FACT Magazine for the mix, Giants forcing a game 7 in the NLCS, Cafe Gratitude, Gramatik's beats & warm bagels for breakfast

Monday, October 15, 2012

Free Download: Photek Makes His 2012 Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1 Available Via SoundCloud

Wow, as we get ever closer to Photek's new album, "KU:Palm" dropping later this month...the talented producer stepped up to the plate to deliver his second BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and it's a real gem! Featuring all sorts of different bass music sounds and some exclusive Photek productions from the new album...this is not to be missed!

You can download Photek's Essential Mix HERE

Special Thanks: SF Giants tying their NLCS series against the St. Louis Cardinals in thrilling fashion, the new Robert Glasper Experiment Black Radio Remix EP, Jazzanova live, UNKLE, DJ Shortkut reggae mixes and delicious veggie burritos

Friday, October 12, 2012

Photek Preps New Album 'Ku:Palm' and Offers Free Download of First Single 'Pyramid'

We at Upperhands couldn't be more excited about the long-awaited new album from acclaimed electronic music producer, Rupert Parkes, aka Photek.

Photek made his mark initially as one of the pioneers in drum and bass, releasing standout singles on LTJ Bukem's Good Looking label as well as Goldie's Metalheadz. 

Never known to stay in one genre for too long, Photek's last solo album, 'Solaris,' came out in 2000, and saw the producer incorporate deep house sounds into his repertoire. In the following years Parkes went on to produce for artists like Nine Inch Nails and then start his own record label. Last year saw a slew of outstanding new Photek EPs from that, which have been building towards finally putting together a proper long-player. The result is the eagerly anticipated 'KU:Palm,' which is coming out on October 23rd. Judging by the early sounds, it looks to be a mixture of all the musical elements that fans have come to love from Photek over the years. 

You can download the first single 'Pyramid' for FREE right here

Special Thanks: SF Giants back in the NLCS, Amon Tobin ISAM 2.0 Tour at Greek Theater, frozen peanut butter cups, Biden sticking it to Ryan in the VP debate, crisp Autumn weekends

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

S.P.Y. - "What the Future Holds"

"What the Future Holds"
Label: Hospital Records
Genre: Drum and Bass

Nothing better than a great post up spot in a big city. 
Big Ups to grayscale and late nights.

Special Thanks to: Presidential Debates, Playoff Baseball, NHL Lockouts, NFL in general, Beatport allowing me to research and purchase Drum and Bass from even before 1994, Thanks.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What the Future Holds: Watch the Stunning Official Music Video From S.P.Y feat. Ian Shaw

So the debut album from one of our favorite drum and bass producers S.P.Y., was mostly disappointing but there are a few tracks that are instant classics though. The title track, 'What the Future Holds,' is one of them and this official music video is just as beautiful as the song itself.

Special Thanks: S.P.Y for giving us this jam, beach days in October, SF Giants Sunday rebound, Buster Posey, Blue Dream, vintage Tecate and fresh issues of Frank 151 from Upperhands

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How Patrick Willis Became One of the NFL's Best

Duke here...

Just came across this great 2 minute video (from Duracell no less) featuring Patrick Willis of my beloved 49ers. Whether you know him or not, his story is very inspiring and as perfrectly illustrated in my previous post...he's become one of the best in the NFL.

Special Thanks: Duracell for making this, Month of Horrors, First Fridays, SF Giants playoff time, Scuba, Photek and Gladkill late night sessions

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Big Hits: Watch Patrick Willis of the 49ers Absolutely Level Brad Smith of the Jets


Special Thanks: To the 49ers ferocious defense

On Tour: Get Ready for the New Scuba Live Show

Big news from one of our favorite producers, Scuba! The Hotflush Recordings head honcho is stepping up his game by unveiling his super slick new visual setup for his upcoming live shows.

Check out the cool promo video below and here's hoping he brings this bad boy to the USA for the next tour!

Special Thanks: Scuba's Essential Mix, 'Looper' being an instant classic, Playoff baseball beginning, and cool Venice nights.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Vintage Beats 1999-2003: New DJ CAM Album Out 11/5/12

We at Upperhands have been BIG fans of Paris-born and currently LA-based DJ CAM since the 90's as his beautiful fusion of crisp hip-hop beats and sublime jazz licks always makes for a cinematic soundtrack.

Now DJ CAM is putting out a proper retrospective and the time is certainly right, with peer DJ Shadow recently releasing a greatest hits album of his own, 'Reconstructed.' These pioneers of the 'trip-hop' genre have certainly evolved their sound over the years, but it's in revisiting their back catalog that you realize just how ahead of the times these artists were (and still remain).

'Vintage Beats 1999-2003' will be coming on on CAM's own Inflammable Records on 11/5 but you can check out the cover art below. Also, for you vinyl heads - there's a strict limited number of 500.

Special Thanks: DJ CAM for staying true to his roots, playoff baseball being nearly upon us, big fantasy football wins, Mr. Joseph, scorching LA October heatwave, good friends and big bass.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Kicks #4 - Nike Sb Dunk High - Twin Peaks Edition

Whether or not you are familiar with who FBI Agent Dale Cooper is, 
the slightest idea who killed Laura Palmer, or are aware that the "Owls are not as they seem", 
these kicks are still one of my favorites of all time.
In the same field as the MF Doom Dunk Highs and the De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising Dunk Highs, these kicks represent the rarest of issues and complete homage to some of the 
greatest forms of entertainment of all time. 
For anyone reading this now, if you have a Netflix account, you should add Twin Peaks to your Instant Queue now. You will fall in love with the narrative, the mystery, the laughs the suspense and the down right gangster violence that was unheard of at that time (1990).
Nike has taken various important elements and subjects from the show's cinematography, storylines and opening credits. 

Here is how it all breaks down:

 Featured in this shoe are multiple references to the classic TV show "Twin Peaks".

1. Neon Green Laces to mimic the opening credits to Twin Peaks show. By far the weirdest opening to a show you will ever see, yet brilliant at the same time.

2. Blue Owl print on the ankle. 
As FBI Agent Dale Cooper is trying to solve the mystery of  "who killed Laura Palmer", he begins to realize that there are strong forces working for and against him. 
He is notified by a giant during a vivid dream that, "The Owls Are not As They Seem".
The owl actually represents far more than that, but if I told you, I would be ruining something for you. Just go watch the damn show!

3. Red Silk Curtains and Zig Zag Floor print on inner sole.
This is pretty on point here and I salute NIKE. 
Recreating the red silk curtains that Dale Cooper sees in many of his dreams
and upon his journey to the dark side, he encounters a wicked place with zig zag floors.


Interior of the Dark Side. 

Definitely on my list of pairs of NIKE shoes that you own, but you don't wear. Ever.
 Retail Price on eBay: Aproximately $250.00
A classic!