Designers Sarah McLellan and Kristina Ortega met in 2007 while they were both interning for Rodarte in LA. This is just the first item on a long list I'll call "Things That Make Them Really, Really Cool." After bonding over their mutually shared love of science, the natural world, and design, they decided to collaborate on a small jewelry project. (Emphasis on small.) Except that a feature in NYLON magazine’s fashion news section, and the subsequent sale of their first collection to Barney's co-op in New York, meant that they suddenly had a thriving, small business on their hands. Item number two on the Cool List. They've created special designs for some people you might have heard of, like Snoop Dogg in Katy Perry's "California Girls" video, and now they're blowing up runways and fashion awards shows everywhere. Items number three through five on the Cool List.
Their Kickstarter project will help them launch their Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which they feel will be their "best work yet." Based on their stellar past collections, I can't wait to see what that will entail. I'm also pretty excited that the girls are offering an exclusive, new edition of their coveted Friends Only necklace for just a $25 pledge. If it were up to me I'd get two — one for me and one for my BFF, obvs.
Browse what the girls have available in their rewards — tons more cool stuff to be had!
You may remember Indelible Dance Company as the lithe and limber folks behind "Illuminate," one of our favorite Kickstarter dance projects to date. Performed last fall at the Center for Performance Research in Williasmburg, each movement in "Illuminate" was inspired by a different aspect of the Big Bang, featuring some supercrazyawesome sound-sensitive LED costumes designed by Mary Huang.
Several months before joining the Kickstarter staff, I learned about the project in the KSR weekly newsletter, pledged for a ticket, and attended the performance. With pitch-perfect lighting and sound to complement the grace and strength of Indelible's most ethereal performers, that show was bananas, and I told everyone I knew about it. Repeatedly.
Now the Indelible team's at it again, and so I shall announce once more: For the love of fun, catch this show! Their latest performance, "Inundate," features eight dancers paired with eight live musicians. Crazy eights!
"Inundate" runs September 2nd and 3rd at 8pm, at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, NY.
If you were wandering around Spanish Harlem in the '60s, you probably walked past many a club with salsa horns and soul voices seeping onto the street. What sound was rocking the 'hood? Boogaloo: the genre that turned classic Cuban music on its head by throwing rock-n-roll and soul into the mix, creating a totally new New York groove. Whether you've never heard of it or sing it in your sleep, we're all lucky to have Mathew Ramirez Warren documenting its history in We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo. We asked Mathew to fill us in on his project and dish the scoop on where to find boogaloo today.
What got you into boogaloo? What was your first brush with the genre and how'd you decide, "This music needs a documentary?"
Though I was always surrounded by Latin music,
having a Colombian mother and just growing up in New York City, I did
not discover Latin boogaloo till I started collecting records about 10
years ago. I was interested in mambo and salsa, but when I started
finding these Latin boogaloo records in flea markets and used record
stores around the city, it became so clear to me how much a product of
New York all this music was. Latin boogaloo, with its hybrid style and
bilingual lyrics, just represents New York in the 1960s so well.
curious about the genre and a few years ago I wrote an article for Wax
Poetics magazine about Johnny Colon, one of Latin boogaloo's founders.
After that I decided to see how many more of the original boogaloo
artists I could interview, but I decided to interview them on camera
because I felt it was time someone should make a film about this great
period in New York and Latin music history. Every other film I had seen
on Latin music in New York seemed to either overlook the era or
marginalize it and I didn't think that was right.
I hear the same classic Boogaloo songs over and over. Is
that just me or are there some standards you'll hear everywhere, like "Girl from Ipanema" with bossa nova? How vast is the repertoire?
There are definitely some big names and songs that are most
associated with Latin boogaloo, but there were actually probably
hundreds of new bands that sprouted up during the boogaloo craze in New
York in the '60s, as well as countless boogaloo records made by Latin
music veterans who were jumping onto the trend.
The songs we hear the
most, like Joe Cuba's "Bang Bang" and Pete Rodriguez's "I Like It Like
That," were songs that crossed over onto mainstream radio and became
national hits. But for anyone willing to dig a little deeper there is
definitely a vast amount of phenomenal Latin boogaloo music out there,
including some contemporary groups making new boogaloo music today.
What was the process like getting in touch with the original musicians behind the music?
The process of finding these artists involved first finding any
trace of them on the internet. Occasionally I would get lucky and they
might have a website of their own, but usually I would first find an
article that mentioned them or, say, the Facebook page of one of their
children, or of someone who had worked with them, and then I would contact whomever
I thought might be able to put me in touch with that artist.
Eventually, after I had made a number of contacts, some of the artists
began putting me in touch with other artists.
If you like _________, you'll like boogaloo.
I would say if you like soul music and/or any Latin music, you will definitely like boogaloo.
Where do you turn to hear boogaloo these days, in New York and elsewhere?
There is definitely a boogaloo revival that has been happening for
some time now. Spanglish Fly is a group from New York keeping the sound
alive. The Boogaloo Assassins are doing it in LA. DJs like Turmix and Bobbito regularly spin boogaloo records across the city. There is also a lot of
love internationally for this music and original boogaloo artists like
Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon, the Lebron Brothers, and many others are still going strong and performing around the world.
You moved into video after getting an MA in journalism. What was that transition like?
Transitioning from print to video has definitely been a learning
process. I had always been interested in visual storytelling, so it was
a natural jump for me to make, but it took some time for me to
understand the difference in the process as compared to print. Making
this film I've really enjoyed being able to incorporate music and
archival images into the storytelling process.
Who designed the poster?
Making the poster was a two-step process, the background image of
album covers was designed by me and my friend Niko Koppel, a photo editor at
the New York Times. The lettering and finishing touches
were done by my friend and designer extraordinaire, Kate Trotter.
What are some of your favorite past projects? What's next after this film?
Some of my favorite past projects were my other articles for Wax
Poetics magazine on Tyrone Thomas and Patrick Adams, as well as being
the magazine's videographer at SXSW in 2010. Also, my videos for NYTimes.com on the friars of the South Bronx and circus performers at
underground raves in Brooklyn. My next documentary after this one will
be a shorter film about Freedom, an artist famous for painting massive
murals spanning 10 city blocks in a tunnel under Riverside park.
Any closing thoughts?
I just want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this
project and helped make it possible, including my girlfriend Neshani
Jani, my co-producer Elena Martinez, my editor Andrew Romero, all my
interview subjects and many others. As well, I would like to thank
everyone who has donated to our Kickstarter campaign and helped to
spread the word, with your help the dream of releasing this film to the
world will become a reality. Viva boogaloo!
Attention marshmallows! It's our pleasure to inform you that the Veronica Mars movie will hit theaters on March 14, 2014, a year after the project launched on Kickstarter. We know 91,585 people who can't wait to see the film!