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If you read this blog, then you know how we feel about road trips. We love the open roads, wide expanses, and colorful characters we meet along the way. So when we saw the Outdoor Retailer show pop up on our calendar, we knew we would fire up The HEX Bus and make a run across the desert to Salt Lake City.
The drive started as expected with mile after mile of LA-area sprawl. But once out of San Bernardino, we were on and off of the old Route 66 trail and on the way to Vegas. I love this drive across the Mojave. The desert landscape has really grown on me to the point where I really look forward to anytime I get to make this drive. On a more unusual note, there were some pretty intense storms dropping a lot of rain just ahead of us. In fact, the ground outside of Vegas was covered as far as the eye could see with several inches of water and we followed these storms most of the way to Utah. Beautiful.
We stopped at The Summit Inn, a vintage Route 66 landmark, and were intrigued by their ostrich burgers - although time did not permit a sampling. Then we swung by the world's largest thermometer, window shopped the alien jerky, and blasted our way into Vegas, where we found freeway closures due to flash flooding from the heavy weather.
Heading north from Vegas, the scenery starts to morph from arid desert plains filled with joshua trees to steep canyon walls that rise up from nowhere to meet the interstate as we headed across the corner of Arizona.
The rocks around us continued to change into a deep red color as we moved from Arizona into Utah. I'm always surprised to see such trash-free, little towns around St.George baking in 100-degree-plus temperatures and yet boasting perfect, emerald green little league baseball fields.
If you are ever along the I-15 in Utah you have got to check out one of our favorite spots: Kolob Canyons at Zion National Park. We popped into the park and took our Splitty for a drive along the canyons to enjoy the epic vistas at dusk. This was definitely a highlight.
After that, it was a pitch black blast up to Salt Lake City which we made in respectable time and fashion.
In Salt Lake City, we had a little time before setting up the show to cruise around the 9th & 9th area of town, which houses the local creative-types and coffee-junkies. Then we pulled our bus right onto the show floor and it became our booth display for the Outdoor Retailer show. Needless to say, we were a big hit, with many a "best booth in the show" comment from the attending retailers. The other thing you can count on from The HEX Bus is a steady stream of conversation from anyone who sets eyes on it. It brings back memories and evokes feelings for almost everyone, and it's cool to hear all these kodachrome recollections that come flooding back to each person's consciousness. It connects us at a more personal level with the people who support our brand.
I will say that the weather continued to be unpredictable during our entire stay in SLC, raining nearly every day and drenching us to the bone at least once.
Other highlights included sunset at the Great Salt Lake, some tasty artisanal pizza at The Pie Hole, and some of the best BBQ I have had in a long time - complete with peach cobbler - at R&R. We also stopped by one of our local stockists, FRESH, and peeped some vintage mid-century furniture at Tomorrow's House and The Green Ant, both recommended.
But the best thing is always just seeing the beauty of the countryside slipping by outside your window in the way only a road trip can provide. If you have a road trip coming up, enjoy it! If not, we hope you enjoy this quick account of ours and make sure to watch the video for a little more flava.
'Til next time.
The Great Salt Lake
Seen here in the Division colorway, the Cloak is a full Rucksack-style laptop backpack. With a modern look and the core features you would expect from HEX, it is a hip bag that will keep you looking great wherever your travels take you.
The Division Cloak silhouette is outfitted here in a 16oz waxed canvas in a custom geometric print with black accents for a water resistant exterior. Here are the specs:
Exterior: 19"L x 11.5"W x 6.25"H
Interior: 20.00 Liters or 1221ci
In true rucksack style, the Cloak laptop backpack incorporates a drawstring liner underneath the top flap. This provides security and protection for your gear, to ensure everything is held in place. The top flap is held in place by 2 magnet straps.Drawstring liner in fatigue green for the Division colorway.
Inside the main storage area, is the padded, and fleece lined laptop pocket. It will hold your 13” - 15” MacBook Pro including retina models and other similar sized laptops. There is a velcro enclosure to ensure your laptop stays safe.Padded laptop pocket for your 13" - 15" MacBook Pro. (15" MacBook Pro with Retina pictured)
On the exterior of the bag, there is a zippered fleece lined quick access tablet pocket and zippered sunglass pocket. These pockets allow you to access your most used gear quickly by not having to open the bag to get what you need.Front zippered iPad pocket.Zippered Sunglass Pocket
Genuine leather zipper pulls, green custom logo lining, bar-tacked critical seams for durability, and surplus grade web straps can make you wonder how something so functional can look so good.
The Cloak featured in this months Product Spotlight, is apart of the Division Collection. Division is a 12-piece capsule of bags, cases and carry-alls.
Click here to view our full assortment of backpacks and carry-alls.
We're no strangers to New Image Art Gallery, so when they announced a solo NeckFace exhibition on a Friday night, it was on! The name and theme of the show was "Drinkin' On The Job" and it seemed fitting to head down to Hollywood and have a beer while shooting some rad pieces.
I showed up just before doors opened at seven and was blown away by the huge line to get in, it went all the way down the block and was starting to wrap around the corner. Neckface and free beer on a Friday were the right ingredients to start a party and as the night went on, things got pretty wild!
The line moved slowly and the entire sidewalk filled up as we waited. It was basically the equivalent of tailgating before a football game, everyone was partying in line before entering and it got even crazier as we went in.
The gallery was packed, hot, and the free beer was running out fast. I made my way through the drunken crowd and saw tons of awesome Neckface pieces scattered all around the room. I know some of the beer bottles and cans were placed on purpose to go with the theme of the show, but they really started to pile up towards the end of the night. The art seemed to be in it's natural habitat and I'm sure it's exactly what Neckface wanted.
What do you spend your money on?
Simple math, it makes sense...
Are you a beer??? Classic Neckface, hilarious.
This one cracked me up! Damn, It's dead in here...
Lots of love on Instagram tonight: @nastyneckface1 #Neckface #Drinkinonthejob #newimageart
These custom Neckface kegs were insane! Some interesting characters hanging out around them as well...
New Image Art was one big party tonight, I bet they didn't know it was going to get this crazy!
If I get shot, you get shot!!! This was a huge piece that you saw right when you walked inside.
Even after the gallery closed, the party raged on in the streets of Hollywood. Not sure how the cops allowed this to happen... Only Neckface can bring together such a rowdy crowd for an art show!
The "Drinkin' On The Job" exhibition is on display at New Image Art (7920 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood) until September 13th. It won't be as rowdy, but go check out some awesome and hilarious art while you can.
Today HEX announced the release of the Division Collection, a 12-piece capsule of bags, cases and carry-alls. The Division Collection is the latest HEX’s line of award-winning products and boasts a striking new print and color palette paired with superior device protection.
“The Division Collection features a fresh geometric print,” says Dan Maravilla, Co-Founder. “We played with intersections and convergent lines and then added the fatigue green lining and vachetta leather pulls to give it that extra dimension.”
The collection features a durable, water resistant, premium waxed canvas outer shell in a custom brown and black geometric print with fatigue green custom lining. HEX pairs this with their signature surplus grade cotton web strapping and interior micro fleece lined pockets for ultimate device protection-achieving both looks and performance. The Division Collection reflects abstract and modern art that will enhance any wardrobe. Priced from $34.99 to $69.99 for cases and wallets for your iPhone 5/5S, iPad Mini, and iPad Air and from $39.95 to $139.95 for the collection of bags and backpacks.
One bag to highlight is the Cloak Backpack. This great shape really mixes both the urban and modern elements of HEX’s style. It has a large main compartment, organizer and includes the front padded iPad or tablet pocket that is so recognizably HEX. But it also features a rucksack-style liner, as well as a fleece-lined sunglass pocket on the front flap. The Cloak Backpack will accommodate up to a 15” Macbook or laptop and is priced at $99.95.
The Allah-Las are one of our favorite Los Angeles bands. We recently had a great time chatting with Matt, Spencer, Miles, and Pedrum before their killer set at Echo Park Rising downtown. It was short and sweet and the guys talked about beginnings, inspirations and their new album.
Here's how the convo went down:
HEX: I know a bunch of you guys met when you were at Amoeba Records, can you give us the backstory on that. What brought you there, and how did it all come together?
Allah-Las: Matt started working at the San Francisco Amoeba, and then he got me a job, and Pedrum worked there as well. We worked there for a little while together, and then started the band together, with Miles. That was about six years ago.
Three of us went to high school together. That's how we knew each other.
HEX: You guys work a lot with Nick Waterhouse on your recordings. How has he influenced the progression of the sound?
Allah-Las: We also want to give a shout-out to Dan Horn who was a big part of the last record we did.
The studio is actually right here, on the other side of that red, that red brick building [points].
So Dan Horn and Nick Waterhouse both have a good influence, and are great people to work with. It's always fun making records with those guys.
HEX: You guys are traveling all over the world now. How would you define “The L.A. Sound” , or what you guys' version of the L.A. sound is?
Allah-Las: I think people take different things and try to mix them up together. That's, that's kind of what this town is all about. But it’s hard to say. Everybody takes their different route, I guess.
HEX: What's the vibe behind the new album? Where did it come from, where are you going with it?
Allah-Las: This one we had all the songs were thought out on the road by us individually or collectively, and we've gotten a chance to kind of work them out, hash them out in the studio afterward. As opposed to the last record where we just played them live over and over again, and figured them out that way. Doing it in the studio gave us the opportunity to be a little more creative with instrumentation and throw different things in there, try things. It was a good experience for us. We really enjoyed doing that.
HEX: It's coming out, what, September, next month?
Allah-Las: The 16th, yes.
HEX: So your tour will start off in Europe. Are there any specific place you guys are really looking forward to playing or places you're looking forward to getting back to?
Allah-Las: We really like Greece.
The South of France. Spain. Those were fun places to visit.
The first show we're playing is in Mallorca. It's a festival out there, so that's going to be really rad. We are really looking forward to that.
HEX: When I listen to your music, I hear a lot of modern elements, but I also hear some kind-of classic, and some nostalgic stuff. Is that something that you guys do on purpose, mixing the modern and the nostalgic stuff, or does it just kind of come out that way?
Allah-Las: Well, since it's being made now, it's going to sound modern in some capacity.
That's the modern thing about it. It's music being made now by people alive now. But we also like a lot of old music, so that's in there, too. It's not a very conscious thing.
With the sounds we like, it just adds up.
HEX: So it just comes about organically then?
Allah-Las: Yeah, we didn't get together like, "Let's make an old-sounding band." We just kind of got together and started playing music together and we were all inspired and influenced by a lot of the same stuff, and a lot of that's older stuff, so it just kind of came out that way.
HEX: When you write your songs, do you guys write lyrics first, and then construct the songs around it, or do you guys just jam and get the music, and then put lyrics to it? How does it usually come about?
Allah-Las: Well, the first record, it was mostly that someone would have a riff or something, and we would jam on it and make the parts, and then Miles would go and write lyrics for it. For the most part, that's how the first record went. The second record, I wrote some songs, Miles wrote some songs, and we just put them together with all of us, all the input, to make them what they are now.
HEX: So it's almost a different each time, kind of based on where you're at.
Allah-Las: Yeah. It's kind of how it happened after being on the road for so long after the first record.
You never know what's going to become a song and what's not. Maybe you'll think of a lyrical idea, or maybe you'll think of a musical idea that forms into something great.
HEX: To finish up: What are you guys listening to currently? What would we find on your playlists?
Allah-Las: We've got this blog called Reverberation Radio. It's a podcast we do with us and six of our close friends, and every week, we have a 30-minute playlist, and share music around and post it up. So that's the best way to, to find out what we're listening to, is... Too much stuff to name, really.
That’s kind-of our outlet for sharing the stuff that inspires us.