• Jul28

    Sound like your kind of ecology? Well, that’s the thought behind this cooler from Cascade made from 70% recycled cardboard. You can check out the full details and buy on their website. This is obviously a huge improvement over the old logo covered styrofoam day-at-the-lake stand-by, and is certainly far trendier… Although, I think I’ll stick to my 50yr. old Kamp Kold and keep one more thing out of any landfill or lake – biodegradable or not. I’m by far no expert on green living, so by all means use your living standards to guide you.

    I do, however, 100% agree on this idea for those of you looking for an option you won’t mind getting wasted and forgetting at that “friend of a friends” house and never seeing again. You’ll also look downright cool rolling up with something so ecologically responsible. This idea is something do-gooders of every commitment level can embrace, and I can certianly say if someone would think up more ways to save the planet by drinking beer, I could probably dedicate a good portion of my life to it… hell, there might even be a Nobel prize in my future!

    Stay Frosty,

    -The Chiclet Bandit

  • Jul27

    I thought long and hard about the subject matter for our first music post, a serious issue for me given my love for music and diverse taste. I felt obligated to choose a figure both influential and relatively obscure to my mainstream contemporaries… STOP! Before you post comments flaming me for calling Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson obscure, rest assure I too share an ovewhelming appreciation for his work. For the sake of this article, just consider yourself one-up on the uninitiated for having been exposed to his musical magic. For those of you who don’t know Roky’s tale and talent, please allow me the privilege of taking you on a brief tour.

     

     The Austin, Texas born rocker already had a regionally successful band (The Spades) and had gone on to co-found the 13th Floor Elevators, before deciding to drop-out of Travis High School only one month before graduating, rather than cut his hair to conform to the school’s dress code. The Elevators almost added Janis Joplin to their line up, but an encounter with The Family Dog’s singer Chet Helms sent Janis to San Francisco where she found her fame. I’m not a Janis hater, but I’m glad the dynamic stayed as is with Roky on lead vocals. His song “You’re Gonna Miss Me” is arguably his most recognized work. The album it was featured on, “The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators,” was released when he was only 19 years old! The 13th Floor Elevators pioneered (dare I say even invented) the psychedelic rock sound – bringing in insanely wild, but effective, elements like the electric jug into studio and live performances. This may have been the band’s only hit, but the influences were far-reaching. R.E.M., ZZ Top, Poi Dog Pondering, The Judybats, T-Bone Burnett, Julian Cope, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cramps, The Minutemen, Television, The Cynics, The Lyres, Teisco Del Rey, The Fuzztones and Radio Birdman have all either recorded or played live versions of Roky’s songs. In addition to these performers, Roky is an acknowledged influence on such diverse musicians as Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Henry Rollins, Mike Watt, Sonic Youth, The Butthole Surfers, Jon Spencer, The Damned, Red Krayola, Pere Ubu, and The White Stripes.

    The band’s prolific and outspoken use of LSD, mescaline and marijuana made them targets for the cops, and in ’69 Roky got arrested for a single joint in his hometown of Austin. Looking at 10 years in the pen (yeah, for 1 joint!) he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity (he had previously been diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic after being pulled off stage in ’68 @ HemisFair) which landed him in the Austin State Hospital. After numerous escape attempts, he was sent to Rusk State Hospital For The Criminally Insane, where he endured Electroconvulsive Therapy and massive Thorazine treatments. Released in 1972, those closest to him agree Roky was never the same. He went on to form “Bleib Alien” a few years later. The name being described as “Blieb” (German for stay) and an anagram of “Bible” and “Alien” being a pun on the German word “Allein”- meaning alone… translating into “Stay Alone”. Leaving the Elevators sound and opting for something sounding like a hard-rocking track from a horror movie.

    Though in a band off and on, the two decades following his release began some of the lowest years for Roky, often living in a hermit-like state with his mother “caring” for him and keeping other family, friends and fans locked out. A deeper look into this dark period can be seen first hand in the film documentary “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” After much strife and a long court battle, Roky was rescued by his younger brother and given the proper medical and mental health help he needed. He has now begun the slow climb back out of the abyss.

    In 2008, Erickson received the lifetime achievement award from long time friend Billy Gibbons at the Austin Music Awards. Rocky also recently released a new album – “True Love Cast Out All Evil” with Okkervil River. He is now performing live again and is a not-to-miss if you get the chance. Below is a video of one my favorite’s from him, albeit during his “darker” period, “2Headed Dog.”

     

     

    Hopefully some of you guys will be inspired to check out more of his work and begin to see what a tremendous impact he’s had on Rock ‘n Roll and music in general.

     

    “Rok” on,

    The Chiclet Bandit

  • Jul27

    This may be an appropriate time to confess my affinity for the… ahem “unique”. Okay, I confess I can be downright fucking tacky. When others wince and shake their heads in dismay, I often find myself aglow with admiration. So, it should come as no surprise that Nudie Cohn’s body of work gives me great joy. I won’t get into his history other than to say he was a living juxtaposition being a Ukrainian-born Jewish cowboy. If you’d like his full history The New York Times did a full story you can check out here.

     

    My question is could this 5’7″ master of the unapologetically ornate be the originator of todays hip-hop bling? There’s no doubt he was a tailor and car crafter to Hollywood and Nashville elite, having worked with stars: John Wayne, Gene Autry, George Jones, Elvis, Cher, John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, Elton John, Robert Mitchum, Pat Buttram, Tony Curtis, Michael Landon, Glenn Campbell, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams Sr., and groups such as, America, Chicago, ZZ top, and the Flying Burrito Bros. Newer generation stars- Dwight Yoakam, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Perry Farrell, Jeff Tweedy, and other A-list Rockers of today keep the Nudie flame burning, and even inspired a few of them to create their own line of signature clothing.  Most recently, his work can be seen on the new Kid Rock album cover “Born Free.” An impressive list by any measure, but I think a far-more impressive accomplishment was his ability to leave a footprint that transcended generations, race, and culture. OK, admittedly today’s rappers aren’t wearing wagon-wheel and cactus appliqued suits (yet). But one look at Gram Parson’s aptly named “Gilded Palace of Sin” suit’s flagrant drug subject matter, and Nudie’s prolific use of money, gold and jewelry at every turn, shows today’s moguls to be imitators to the concept. Aware or not.




    Gram Parson’s infamous “Gilded Palace of Sin” complete with Marijuana leaf front, naked lady lapels and pills down each sleeve. (yes, you can say kick-ass even if you’re at work)


    Can you look at Nudie’s leather, silver and gun clad Cadillacs (and Pontiacs) and not see the original West Coast Customs? These were the original pimped out rides that stars who wanted to be noticed were dropping rolls of hard cash on. I can honestly imagine spinning 45’s on the rims… ah, if only I had a time machine!

    I think you guys get the point, and perhaps moreover can now see how clever adaptation can bring any look to a relevant and timely place. We all know fashion is cyclical and, for now anyway, vintage is in. I, for one, love it and hope everyone can find a way to incorporate something from the ghost of bad ass’ past into their current aesthetic. I’ll leave you all with a few more pics of the awesomeness that is Nudie Cohn.

     

    -The Chiclet Bandit


  • Jul26

    It seemed like shaving had become something I was doing on automatic pilot… sometimes early, sometimes late, but always in a hurry. As a result, I was not always making nice with my skin. Yep, you guessed it, razor bumps. This may be something other guys have just come to accept and live with, but it is one of my pet peeves and I absolutely hate it. I should also add living in Texas during the summer makes not getting them exponentially more challenging.

    Fear not, there’s no need to go full-on Billy Gibbons just yet (although is there really anyone more bad-ass?). The Art Of Shaving has a pre-shave oil ($22 retail) perfect for preparing to drag that finely honed piece of metal across your jugular! If you can do the full kit ($100 retail), more power to you, it’s full of great products and you’d be hard pressed to fine higher quality. However, if your looking for what I consider THE essential item in the kit, this is it. A couple of drops combined with a good creme (not your can of Barbasol) or shave soap will get you primed and ready to go.

    I know for some guys twenty-two bucks sounds like a lot to drop on something they may not have even been using before, but trust me you will see a difference. A couple of other benefits to note: 1.) you only use 3-4 drops per shave, so it lasts quite a while, 2.) Your shaves will get MUCH closer and depending on your beard type, you may get more mileage out of each shave. Trust me, anyone close enough to your mug to care, will definitely feel the difference too!

    Happy Shaving,
    The Chiclet Bandit

  • Jul21

    What the heck is a “Rogue Stylist” anyway? It’s a term we created out of near-necessity to describe the collective “us”. We were tired of being saddled with labels pertaining to our style or aesthetic like: modern, vintage, contemporary, western etc. You see, if it kicks ass, we dig it all. For us it’s about being moved, or soliciting a feeling, which can really be an oxymoron in itself…