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Christopher Owens, The Gotobeds, Homeboy Sandman, Kilo Kish and a Cool Hunting #PrivateJam in the music we tweeted this week

by CH Editors in Listen Up on 31 August 2014

Albums, Hip-Hop, ListenUp, PrivateJam, Rock, Stones Throw, Christopher Owens, Girls, Kilo Kish

Kilo Kish: Locket

The imitable and charming Kilo Kish has returned with "Locket," off her Kitsuné-released Across EP. In her trademark dreamy style, Kish offers a chilled out track—her vocals floating atop the slowed-down beat. To match the song, there's now a video aptly depicting a time-lapsed party which happens around a somewhat detached Kish. It's the perfect blend of melancholy and sweetly optimistic, cruise-y, summery sounds.

The Gotobeds: Poor People Are Revolting

The team at NPR Music has a serious knack for finding new talent, and this week they highlight that in their album stream of Poor People Are Revolting, the debut LP from Pittsburgh's energetic shredders, The Gotobeds. Described as "a rowdy, ramshackle party house of a band," the foursome's tuneful riffs are a welcome change from the ubiquitous electronic scene. Clever lyrics match their frenetic pace, yet the vibe is simple. It's clear these guys just want to rock hard, and throughout the 11 tracks on …Revolting, you'll find you do, too. Pick up the album from Austin-based record label 12XU.

Mamas Gun: Red Cassette

For this week's #PrivateJam, we finally take our turn to share. Cool Hunting founder Josh Rubin (whose eternal jam is likely Shuggie Otis' "Inspiration Information") tells us he's recently become smitten with the London-based five-piece Mamas Gun. "Summer always includes lots of time in the car driving with the windows down and music blaring. I usually have a favorite song, or sometimes even a favorite album, on repeat. This summer has been sadly lacking an anthem—until now. 'Red Cassette' by Mamas Gun is fun, a little funky and easily listened to over and over. Thanks to our new friend Larry Flick for the tip."

Christopher Owens: Never Wanna See That Look Again

In anticipation of his second solo album, the former lead singer of now-disbanded Girls, Christopher Owens, shared yet another track from the LP. "Never Wanna See That Look Again" has potential to be a sappy addition to an indie film's soundtrack, but the tenderness from Owen's voice in the most unexpected turns—and the track's immaculate production that indicates it's contemporary, not old-school—make it a brilliant take on the classic Americana genres of country and rock'n'roll. A New Testament releases on 29 September 2014 and features contributions from Owen's former bandmates.

Homeboy Sandman: Problems

Queens, New York's Homeboy Sandman is a true MC's MC. The University of Pennsylvania grad ditched law school to pursue his career in music after earning his stripes performing live in clubs and releasing mixtapes adored by hip-hop heads and industry influencers alike. Sandman's latest release "Problems" sees the 33-year-old MC slowing down his normal up-tempo delivery over a minimalist beat. Hitting topics from sexual health to hipster culture, the verses are an honest, thoughtful, if not humorous, take on the little issues that swirl around our heads. Sandman's fifth full-length Hallways is out 2 September 2014 on Stones Throw Records.

ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted throughout the week. Often we'll include a musician or notable fan's personal favorite in a song or album dubbed #PrivateJam.

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Link About It: This Week's Picks

A kickball ice cream maker, drug-detecting nail polish, Miranda July's "Somebody" app and more in our look at the web this week

by CH Editors in Link About It on 30 August 2014

Link About It, Architecture, Burning Man, Derelict Design, Ice Cream, Innovation, MB&F, Miranda July

1. Buick's Dapper Derelict

When car restorer Jonathan Ward found a '48 Buick in a Pennsylvania barn, it hadn't been on the road since '73. Instead of bringing the classic beauty back to its original condition on the exterior, the ICON founder chose to purposely keep all of its patina—rust and all—perfectly intact. A prime example of derelict design, the Buick now has power windows, navigation, a back-up camera and a new stereo system, striking an impeccable balance between meticulous modernity and natural transience.

2. MB&F for Hodinkee

The last two characters within the name of Max Büsser's stellar horological company stand for "and friends." And this time, Büsser has partnered with one of the best: Hodinkee. His MB&F Music Machine 2 Limited Edition in gunmetal is a hand-worked piece of wonder, playing six songs on three internal music box cylinders—and it's Star Trek-inspired. The edition is limited to just five and they're selling exclusively from HODINKEE for $23,500.

3. The Sound of the Future

Loop-based music may have revolutionized (and democratized) the production world, but for electronic musicians, it's also resulted in pretty formulaic club tracks. Taking the less-traveled road, London-based experimental musician Lee Gamble sits down with RBMA Radio to explain his unique composition process, in which he views the computer as a potential instrument (such as recording the output of pieces of software crashing). The results are futuristic sonic hallucinations that feel as if you're traveling through the inner-workings of a complex machine.

4. Tehran's House of Rotating Rooms

Iran's Next Office studio has conceived one of the most creative approaches to residential architecture in a complex project that architect Alireza Taghaboni says went through 16 iterations. The surprising Tehran home features three pod-like rooms resting on motorized turntables that can be rotated 90 degrees, allowing them to become opened or closed to accommodate the region's extreme weather.

5. A Breathtaking Burning Man Time-Lapse

This year's Burning Man festival comes to a close today, celebrating its 28th year. From its humble beginnings on a beach outside San Francisco to today's massive week-long gathering in the Nevada desert, the festivities feature elaborate sculptures, handmade costumes and expansive art pieces that are nothing short of epic—as we saw first-hand last year. With so much going on, capturing the festival's grand beauty from daybreak to twilight is difficult, but Roy Two Thousand's 2013 time-lapse video succeeds in this. A must-watch for fans of the festival, the seven-minute overview provides an unshakeable portrayal of the gathering and all the magic that has made it a global phenomenon.

6. Miranda July's "Somebody" App

Created by film director, actor and artist Miranda July in partnership with fashion label Miu Miu, the new iOS app dubbed Somebody is a comment on how technology affects our most intimate relations. Send a text message through the app and it goes not to your friend, but a Somebody user close by (most likely a stranger) who then delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. July's entertaining 10-minute film demonstrates the app in all its clever, cringe-worthy glory—think marriage proposals, break-ups and make-ups performed by whoever's nearby.

7. Churn and Burn

Hammacher Schlemmer may have just created every kid—and adult's—dream toy: the Kickball Ice Cream Maker. An inner chamber holds the necessary ice cream ingredients while another compartment houses rock salt and ice. Once you've got the essentials packed inside, it's go time. The rubber outer keeps the inside safe from breakage so you can kick, throw and play to your heart's content. After about 20 minutes, you'll have a pint of fresh (and well-earned) ice cream.

8. Help Is On The Nails

There's been a recent surge in new sexual assault prevention apps that focus on keeping users safe and their friends informed. Engineering students at North Carolina State University took it one step further, wanting to integrate technology into products that women often use, by developing a range of nail polish that detects date rape drugs. Dip a manicured finger into a drink, and a color change indicates it's been tampered with. While there's plenty of discussion regarding whether this shifts responsibility from perpetrators to victims, it's a step toward raising more awareness surrounding rape culture.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.

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100 Proof Black Dirt Apple Jack

A potent small-batch brandy made in upstate New York from local apples

by David Graver in Food + Drink on 29 August 2014

Alcohol, Apple Jack, Apples, Black Dirt, Brandy, Spirits, Food + Drink


Anyone who's been to Normandy, France or has a solid interest in spirits knows the wonders of Calvados, the high-proof apple brandy that really packs a punch. However, apple brandy happens to be an American tradition, as well. It's known as Apple Jack and, while the ABV is still high, the finish is definitely sweeter. Black Dirt Distilling—named for the Black Dirt region where the distillery is located, which was a hot bed of Apple Jack production prior to Prohibition—produces a small-batch Apple Jack. It's handcrafted on location in upstate NY and made with the state's apples. Though potent and powerful with the first sip, when that initial strong brandy impact recedes, the tongue is left with the richest fresh apple taste—and it lasts long into the next sip and beyond.

Black Dirt's Apple Jack is aged for at least four years, though most of their batches have been aged at least six—always in American Oak casks. Before that, the apples are pressed and fermented and are then distilled in a Christian Carl copper pot still imported from Germany. For further evidence of quality, Master Distiller Jason Grizzanti actually went to Cornell as a fruit science major before founding the craft distillery. With Apple Jack, he's developed a modern take on something historic that's a little bit sweet and very strong, but balanced all around.

Purchase Black Dirt Apple Jack online from Caskers for $43.

Images by Cool Hunting

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