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Tag Archives: HEX

  • Field Report: Taliesin West



    I recently had a great chance to get my architectural fix when I was able to tour Frank LLoyd Wright's design school and studio, Taliesin West.  Located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Taliesin was dubbed "West" as it was his winter home, as opposed to his studio and home in Wisconsin - which was dubbed "East" after the birth of this Arizona property in 1937.  Today the facility houses the Frank Lloyd Wright School Of Design as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.


    The main design studio at Taliesin West



    Interior spaces were built behind thick cement and rock walls to insulate against the heat

    Sometimes it is hard to remember that such a premier talent in design, and someone who had such a marked influence in the modernism movement, was born over a century ago in 1867.  He created Taliesin West as an experimental space to house his apprentices in 1937 as it was believed that the dry desert air would benefit his health.


    There was nothing else around when Taliesin West was built and that frontier feeling still exists today


    Wright pioneered the idea of using local materials so that his spaces would fit into the environment around them, and Taliesin West is no different.  It used stone from the rocky hills it sits on for the walls and cement mixes.  Keeping in mind there was no electricity out in this area and that no heavy machinery was used in its construction only further amazes.  Wright would have his students, who lived on site, gather their own materials and build their own structures with their own hands.  Many of these structures were never intended to be permanent - something highlighted by the fact that none of the structures on the campus have foundations - the rock walls themselves served as strength and structural support.  Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982 means that maintenance and conservation efforts will remain employed to keep the structure for generations of designers in the future to see.



    Architects still study and work at the facility today


    Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked here until his death in 1959.  He was well known for always being dressed to the nines, despite the desert heat.  Many of his most famous works were designed in the studio at Taliesin West, including the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City.



    I always enjoy seeing the works of master artists and designers - whether they be architectural, industrial, visual, etc.  They inspire us to think new thoughts and show us that reality today does not have to be reality tomorrow.


  • Agenda Long Beach 2015

    This past week we were back at one of our favorite trade shows: Agenda. We had a new booth, a ton of new gear to show off and great staff to make it all happen. A lot of accounts, athletes and photographers stopped in to check out the new gear and say hello. We have a lot of big things in the works and you can get a sneak peek in some of the photos. Enjoy!


    We gave the booth a mid-century modern vibe and kept it very inviting with a huge couch in the middle for accounts to stop by and check out our brand new Spring '16 catalog. If you were not able to make the show, please contact your rep and we will get a new catalog sent your way.


    A quick look at the future. Check out some of the new fabrics and shapes before they are released next year.



    Master lens-man Van Styles stopped in to catch up and check out our new DSLR bags that will be available very soon! Is that a carry on roller duffel I see?


    We cruised outside of the convention center to check out Transworld's "Snap The Gap" Contest. Rad concept, a street gap that can be moved to different lengths. So rad to see everyone destroy this thing, when there is cash for tricks...why not! Dane Vaughn warming things up with a big kickflip.


    Brad Cromer busting out an impossible and taking home some cash.


    TJ Rogers making a switch frontside bigspin look too easy. So much style!


    Lizard King keeping things interesting with a kickflip curb clipper. He definitely got some cash for that one! Who purposely clips a landing...only Lizard.


    Dashawn Jordan steezin' out a hardflip and making some money. We didn't stay for the whole thing, but things got wild with a 14 foot kickflip and 16 foot ollie. Peep #snapthegap for the footage!


    Back in the booth our friend Guy Mariano couldn't get enough of the new gear!


    DJ Mariano dialing in his skills with a special set at the HEX booth. Follow Guy on Instagram @guymariano for some HEX giveaways these next weeks.


    The Chief himself, Jamie Thomas cruised by to hang with the crew and check out the new gear. Stoked to be working with Jamie on some upcoming projects as well! Well that's a wrap, two days went by way too fast and it was great catching up with everyone. See ya next time!

  • Field Report: Pow! Wow! Long Beach


    If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, then you know how we feel about art.  Art does something to us, something that we all need, but is difficult to describe.  Something positive.  Street art, in particular, is such an amazing and interesting medium.  The talent is undeniable and the fact that it is so public makes it accessible to everyone.  It also creates thought and discussion around what qualifies as art.  Does it have to be in a museum to be art?  Is graffiti art or is it vandalism?  Who gets to decide what is of cultural value and what needs to be scoured away?  For all these reasons and more, street art is special and engaging.  So when we heard that Pow! Wow! was literally painting Long Beach, we knew where we would be.

    Take a look and see what some of today's most talented artists were up to, we enjoyed every minute!


    The HEX Bus was there as Benjie Escobar was getting his mural going.


    Me with John Pangilinan in front of the Pop-Up Shop.  Nice color, BTW

    Andy Song rehearses with the band at the School Of Music


    Hueman working on her piece in collaboration with Madsteez


    Madsteez himself in front of his labor of love


    Tools of the trade


    Tristan Eaton going up


    Here's the blueprint.  Easy, right?


    Coming to life


    James Jean


    Fafi's signature style


    Really dug this by Aaron De La Cruz



    Bumblebee in progress


    This spot gets a facelift, courtesy of Cryptik



    Push getting it done on this massive wall



    The HEX Bus fits right in!

  • Catching Up With Elephant Stone At Levitation Vancouver


    Vanessa Tam is a freelance marketing consultant and lifestyle writer based in Vancouver, Canada.  An all around music lover and friend of HEX, she takes every opportunity to attend as many live music events as possible.  Vanessa met up with Montreal based Psych-Pop band Elephant Stone at Levitation Vancouver and here is how the conversation went:

    Levitation Vancouver is our version of the Austin Psych Fest music festival produced in collaboration with Timbre Concerts, a local concert production company.  Along with live performances happening all day at Malkin Bowl, a scaled replica of the Hollywood Bowl in LA, the party continues throughout the night at select venues in the city.  The festival boasts a solid curation of both local and international artists celebrating psychedelic, pop, electronic, shoegaze, metal and experimental music.

    I was stoked to be able to sit down to chat with Rishi Dhir from Elephant Stone, with a cameo by Christian Bland from The Black Angels, after their set.  Influenced by bands such as The Beatles and Primal Scream, Elephant Stone incorporates traditional Indian instruments like the sitar and the tabla into their psychedelic sound.  Outside of Elephant Stone, Rishi has toured around the world with bands such as The Black Angels as one of the most sought after bass and sitar players in the genre.  Scroll down to check it out our interview below.


    Rishi Dhir and Christian Bland

    Vanessa: So this is your first time in Vancouver eh? Welcome!

    Rishi (Elephant Stone): Thank you!

    V: So I read somewhere that you were first inspired to pick up the sitar when you were traveling with your family in India?

    R: True?

    Christian Bland (The Black Angels): False!

    R: Correct! I grew up listening to a lot of Indian music and you know, we also grew up on The Beatles.

    C: Yeah and we were exposed to The Rolling Stones.

    R: Yeah and all those bands.  The sitar was just something that's always been there, and everyone wants to own a sitar correct?

    C: Oh yeah, I wish I could get a left handed one...

    R: And it just so happens, you're in India.  So what are you gonna do?  Buy a sitar.  So in India, I bought a sitar.


    Elephant Stone

    V: So here at Levitation, you're sharing a stage with The Black Angels, whom you went on tour with as a bassist in the past.

    R: True?

    C: Yes, that is a true statement.  Haha!  What a job Rishi did.

    R: Man, what a time.  That was in 2012!  My second child was born and I was like, awesome!  Then Christian called me and said, wanna tour Europe with us?  I was like okay!  Then I was on the road for a year.

    V: Awesome!  So are you still lending your sound to other bands or is Elephant Stone your main focus musically?

    R: Elephant Stone, but...

    C: Yeah we're mainly focusing on Elephant Stone

    R: Haha!  Yeah it's true!  Elephant Stone is my baby, but I'm always interested in collaborating with bands.



    Elephant Stone

    V: I read somewhere that when you were touring with The Black Angels, their music influenced your musical style and also influenced Elephant Stone.  In a positive way of course.

    R: Now there's a lot of truth to that because Three Poisons (Elephant Stone’s third LP), have you heard my record? *looks at Christian*

    C: Yeah!

    R: You have? No you haven't!

    C: Yeah I have!

    R: Sing a verse!


    R: Yeah so during 2012, playing with him (Christian Bland) for a year, I learned a lot.  These guys are a phenomenal band.  Like one of the first songs on our record, that riff, that could've been an Angels riff.  It's funny because I wrote the riff thinking of you (Christian Bland) playing it.  I was like, ugh, it sounds too much like the Angels!  Then I put it on a sitar and it sounded more like Elephant Stone.  So yeah, I had a lot of influence from these guys from touring with them.


    Elephant Stone

    V: I read somewhere that your main goal when writing a new song is to create the perfect pop song.

    R: Well yeah, every song should be your best song.  You always want to refine your craft, so I always want to write a better song.  You don't want to release stuff that's not the best thing you could make.

    V: I feel like, especially in music now, there's a lot of pressure on artists to constantly just pump out stuff.  Not necessarily good stuff, but just volume.  Because people's attention span, especially on blogs or on Soundcloud, it's so short.

    C: I mean, I don't know.  I guess you just gotta play what you enjoy.

    R: I don't know.  I think it's too unfiltered, music right now.  I think the industry needs people to tell bands that's not the best you can do.  Like the last record we did,  Three Poisons, we pretty much recorded ourselves.  Now I look back on it and i'm like, it sounds like it's pre-production when it released.  So to answer your question, yes I do believe people need to filter their music and that people are putting out too much music right now.

    C: Yeah, it's hard to weed through the good stuff.


    The Black Angels

    V: What are your favourite festivals that you've played in your career so far?

    R: Well, I've played a lot of festivals with these guys (The Black Angels).  I would say Coachella was great.

    C: Yeah, oh that was really cool!

    R: Harvest Festival was really cool too; that was in Australia.

    V: Last question:  What's going on with the rest of your summer?  Are you guys touring a lot?

    R: No, we're not touring much.  We're in pre-production for the new record.  So we're recording in September then we're coming back to play California in November.  So yeah, I don't want to tour much this year, I just want to make the best record I can make, no matter what.

  • Art Sux Anyways Photo Show in DTLA

    We recently sponsored a photo show in Los Angeles at Think Tank Gallery.  The show was organized by Art Sux Anyways and raised money for the Music Unites charity, so we were down with that for sure.


    The curated mix of photographers spanned both East and West coasts and was intended to "document the lifestyles that we live and breathe, bringing the tranquil and the disobedient to one location where the viewer can, too, participate in the simplicity of nature and the complexity of adapting to urbanization".  Some of the photographers on display included C.R. Stecyk III, Grant Gutierez, Liz Gilson, and Morgan Phillips, to name a few.



    We were lucky enough to be able to select and feature one of our favorite photographers, trashhand, and it was great to see his shot of the Paris underground on such a large scale.


    We brought the HEX Bus along and maneuvered into a very Austin Powers inspired parking spot for the evening.  Desillusion Magazine was also out back showing videos over their projector.

    The Black Suns provided the music and Golden Road Brewery provided the beer, so it was a good night for all involved.


    Max Ehrlich and Nathan Warner were our distinguished hosts


    So check out some of these fine photographers and be on the lookout for The HEX Bus - you never know where it will turn up next!

    Flyer (2)

  • Ghost Writer: Jeff Staple - Different Drums, Same Rhythm

    Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

    Many of you know Jeff Staple, or think you do.  But to us, he is more than just the enigmatic force behind his namesake fashion brand, Staple Pigeon.  He is also an aficionado of art, music, and all things creative.  So, when he agreed to contribute to our Ghost Writer series, we knew we were in for a treat.  So enjoy Jeff's take on two current exhibits at The Brooklyn Museum and his exclusive words and pics.

    There are currently two exhibitions happening right now at the Brooklyn Museum  The pairing could not be more perfect and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in town.


    “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” is on display until August 23rd and "Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic" is on display until May 24th. Their work is decades apart from each other chronologically, but their mission could not be more complimentary. If you read every single caption and subtext of the exhibition, you may notice a small coincidence (or maybe not) that both artists agree on one thing: They wanted to place people of color in a world where they don’t normally see it: ART. It’s extremely likely that Wiley is influenced by JMB, but you don’t actually get that feeling. Stylistically, they could not be more different.


    Wiley is a master—and he knows it. You know how a skater will pull a ridiculous trick even though he knows he’s won the competition? He’ll risk humiliation or even worse, injury; all in the name of just going for it. Wiley does the same. It’s obvious he’s good at his craft. But he just rubs in it. Cmon! These pieces are on a level fit for Napoleon.






    Basquiat on the other hand, wields what any pauper has at their disposal: A composition notepad found at any 24-hour bodega and a No. 2 pencil. Maybe sometimes a crayon if you’re lucky. Basquiat makes you think with his word play. Wiley makes you think with his sheer artistic prowess. The great thing about what you see in Basquiat’s work is his brainstorming process. Most of the words, phrases and sketches seen in these notebooks never appear in his actual exhibited work. It’s like being a fly on the wall in his thought process. It’s really a rare experience.





    The curator of the museum gets five stars from me for pairing these two artists together. One from the era of Fab Five Freddy and Boogie Down Productions. The other from the Rocafella Era and Watch The Throne. Two artists from different eras, different instruments, but playing the same exact rhythm.

    - Jeff Staple

    follow Jeff Staple on Instagram

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