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NEW LIFE December 13 2011

We’ve posted behind the scenes footage of his photoshoot, we’ve directed you to live performance videos, and we’ve encouraged you to get this before everyone else by purchasing a compilation album. Today, Garfield Adams releases his new single called “New Life (State of Mind)” featuring J. Maka El.

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Arguably the most personal song on the album, Garfield explains it saying, ” It’s about change, empowerment, progressive-thinking, motivation…all of the things that move most of us to explore our life’s passions and achieve our higher selves. It’s about being secure in yourself while going forth in your life, relinquishing fear and intently exploring and discovering new relationships, new vision, and new determination.”

“New Life (State of Mind)” is the second single off of his debut album 1st Things First that was released last month on 11/11/11. It features the vocals of J. Maka El who has previously worked with names like Exile and Fashawn.

Get a free download of “New Life (State of Mind)” HERE. Stay tuned for the music video slated to drop in January 2012.

 

GRAND OPENINGS December 12 2011

Over the weekend, I made my “opening reception” rounds in LA. I hit FourTwoFour on Fairfax and then COLORS in Downtown.

I recently read an article about the pop-up shop trend. With the current real estate market, there has in effect been a power shift in retail. Shorter terms have become just as attractive as longer terms. For retailers, this means rapid exposure and additional revenue that comes at a fairly low cost. Anyways, FourTwoFour exists for pop-ups. On Saturday, the space became dedicated to all things vintage. They had cool pieces from brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Polo, et al. I had my eyes on a cropped acid wash denim jacket with a Lakers patch across it. Swag.

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Then I went to DTLA to be at the tail end of the COLORS opening. The main buyer for the shop is my good friend, Thurzday. I had interviewed him earlier this year and he told me his marketing plan for LA RIOT also included a retail store. And here it is. COLORS carries vintage sportswear and also brands like Polo, Supreme, and 10 Deep. Thurz and I caught up a little bit; stay tuned for him to stock Japanese brands, but don’t wait for too much “streetwear”. The shop is a nice complement to Holy Grail next door, and definitely testament to the DTLA revival.

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SPOTLIGHT: DJ DESCRY December 8 2011

We’re rounding out 2011 with the 12th installment of LIFESWELL on Thursday, December 22. This one means a whole lot to me because we will be celebrating the launch of Rick & Ray’s website. To help make it official, we have two guest LA DJs (actually they’re both from the valley, 818 stand up), Descry and Ro Blvd. We had a chance to get to know a little bit about Descry before he soundtracks the party.

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1. Where did the name Descry come from and what does it mean?
Descry’s an actual English word that means to see something unclear by looking carefully. I first came across it while reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a freshman in high school, and began to use it as an alias when I entered my first DJ battle because I couldn’t come up with anything clever. I bombed that evening, but my friends started calling me that after that evening so I kept it.

2. When and how did your DJ/producer career begin?
I got into DJing after seeing Q-Bert live, circa…2001. A good friend of mine (who was a wedding DJ at the time) invited me to a DJ showcase at the El Rey, and that evening changed my life. Seeing what Q did with 2 turntables got me so excited.

I tried to save up whatever birthday/Christmas/chore/side hustle money I could, and a few months later, I was finally able to buy a pair of used turntables off Craigslist. I literally didn’t go out for 6 months after that because all I’d do was go to record stores and spin music. My parents were furious because I’d spend all my money on records and turntablism VHS tapes.

I started to dabble in production about a year after I started DJing. I started with a Yamaha PSR400 connected to my Soundblaster Live and sequenced in Reason. I made terrible beats, so I put music making on the back burner. It wasnt until a friend of mine showed me the MPC4000. It was so beastly! I managed to get my hands on a cheap broken unit on eBay and that’s when it all started to click for me.

3. Top 5 favorite albums of all time
Madvillain - Madvillainy
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
The Pharcyde - Labcabincalifornia
Nas - Illmatic
2pac - All Eyez On Me

4. Favorite place to spin in LA.
I don’t have a preference venue-wise, but I love spinning for fellow Hip-Hop enthusiasts. So whether it’s for an underground rap concert or just a small Hip-Hop night, those types of gigs are my favorite.

5. You dropped “As Serenity Approaches” in September of this year. Why did you decide to drop an album and how has the response been so far?
I started work on “As Serenity Approaches” for purely selfish motives…to put my favorite MC’s on beats I enjoyed. Overwhelmingly, the response has been great! I’ve gotten a lot of favorable reviews, but really…I just shared it hoping other people would enjoy it.

The full length interview can be found on the LIFESWELL website. Check it!

 

BEST MOVIES 2011 December 7 2011

First up in my best of blog series is my top 5 movies of the year. Here goes:

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
3D is hit or miss. I either leave the theater dizzy as hell, pissed that I spent an extra $7, or feeling really good about it. Transformers justified the upcharge. There was glass and metal flying at my head, and I felt surrounded and plunged into a universe that defied the laws of physics. Plus the political tie in of JFK and Buzz Aldrin was pretty rad.

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Bridesmaids
You see, I’m a huge fan of Hangover. And when I heard that a sequel was coming out this year, I was in over my head. Except that it sucked, and I was mad. Then I watched Bridesmaids. The girls show the boys how it’s done. There’s nothing truly substantial about it, just a whole lot of laughing out loud.

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Limitless
I left this movie wanting NZT, the fictional drug premised in Limitless. It solves literary paralysis and then some. I kept thinking what I could do with unlimited intelligence, and any movie that has that kind of impact on my thought is good in my book. There were optical illusions, themes of greed and speed, and it was reminiscent of an old favorite, “A Beautiful Mind”.

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X-Men: First Class
Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a comic book purist by any means. I watched and read X-Men as a kid, and watch the movies for entertainment. I really enjoyed understanding the background of one of the most interesting rivalries in fiction - Magneto and Professor X. I can’t wait to see who’s next. I’m hoping for Gambit!

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The Help
I’m all for stories about going against the grain and taking risks. That’s what The Help is all about. There’s a writer and her unlikely friendship with “the help” breaks societal rules and puts them all in a predicament. But they kept telling their stories for a secret writing project, they kept crossing the lines that defined them. Upset the setup!

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IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR December 7 2011

It’s that time already - the time when I reflect on the year in terms of fashion, art, music, entertainment, and even moments. First off, can y’all cosign that 2011 went by waaaay fast? I swear, I was just planning the first LIFESWELL.

As I start to format how I’m going to do this “Best Of” series, I can’t help but look back and say it certainly was a good year. I turned 30, I went full time on my passion projects, and I fell in love. I freaked out realizing my 20s were over. I went through the quintessential crossroads questions of “do I have anything to show for it?”, “did I do everything I wanted to do?”, etc. As my birthday approached, it became clear that I do have something to show, and I pretty much did do everything I wanted. 30 just means I get to do it all over again. Back in March, I ditched the survival job and committed to CA and Rick & Ray full time. Right brained, creative types have a brilliance that constantly spurs imagination. That’s great for pushing out ideas, but restraint and focus are necessary. I finally settled on my projects, nurtured, and developed them. That dedication is perhaps one of the most challenging hurdles to clear, and I’m still making my way to the finish line. I learned commitment, and then I fell in love. I fell deeply for my work and everything that goes along with it. As cliché as it is, 2011 was my year.

And while all of that was going on personally, I was paying attention to the popular culture around me. So stay tuned for my best picks. I’ve got a lot to choose from: Transformers, Watch the Throne, Art in the Streets, the NBA lockout, Pendleton, the list goes on.

 

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