Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 music round-up

as you know, i am obsessed with music. i’ve even been taking guitar lessons for an embarrassing number of years! being a pop/rock star is still one of my goals, so needless to say, the studio here usually has music playing.

so here is a short list of what got played the most with a short review from me.

au revoire simone: reverse migration
not a new album from this adorable brooklyn based band, but rather a re-working with additional musicians/engineers. i actually like it when artists revisit old work and this is a very successful project in that vein. vocals between 60s folk pop and pop with signature electronica music.

MGMT: Oracular Spectacular and Time to Pretend
another nyc-band! i am visually in love with their lead singer...he is so cute! but more than that, MGMT brought a wonderful light to music this year with their cryptic yet optimistic lyrics and a sound so eclectic, it defies classification. i was hoping they’d break-through but the thinness of the vocals was never addressed on their re-release nor did they capitalize on how sexy they are...oh well...i’m not their manager.

Eugene McGuinness: Eugene McGuinness
a UK entry, eugene mcguinness sounds like a happy morrisey who enjoys sex. what more needs to be said? love this record!

the Presets: Apocalypso
hailing from australia, these neo bogans bring the delirious sound i like to call boganzatronica to the masses. seriously, as i said the first time i heard “the girl and the sea” from their 2006 release, the presets have mastered sophisticated song writing so lacking in electronic and pop acts. that doesn’t mean there aren’t silly meaningless club tracks here though...a very fun album.

School of Seven Bells: Alpinisms
nyc locals again, the school of seven bells are a pleasure to look at as well as listen 2. live, they are part of the small wave of new psychedelica – an amazing wall of sound from a 3-piece outfit – powerful music with powerful multi layered vocals. the album, being recorded in a studio has a different feeling, more accessible, pop, and pretty.

Black Devil Disco: 28 After and Disco Club
you can read all the legends about the french librarian who recorded as black devil disco in the 1970s and their current revival. all i can say is that i always applaud music that is both dark, sensuous and full of energy – yummmmmm!

Midnight Juggernauts: Dystopia
also from australia here is another band i can not get enough of. though lumped in electronica, i hear the potential for this band the expand their line-up and be the next arena rock star band like queen and r.e.o. speedwagon as they have a really big sound [and by big, i mean full of drama-potential]. also, they have injected sci-fi back into music which is right up my alley – so really, they're the sci-fi synth sweet in outer space...they should do a cover of love is like oxygen to test my theory.

Panda Bear: Person Bitch
this came out in 2007 but got lots of play in the studio in 2008. also, hard to put in a genre, their ethereal psychedelic sound is evocative of the 60s yet is somehow fresh, hypnotic and happy.

Hercules and love affair: Hercules and love affair
gosh, brooklyn produces a lot of great bands these past few years. i read reviews of this band as ‘the comeback of disco’ but really, their sound is more like the no-wave music of NYC from the early 1980s. it’s also pretty gay. a great album with something for everyone.

and if i can add one more:
portland's glass candy. i would describe as a porn soundtrack meets disco dollies in the back of a nyc taxi cab known for sloppy trannie blow jobs...this is your night time soundtrack – whatever you do.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

thank you

i have two posts i want to get up before new year's eve, one being this one, and the other my year end music review.

creating nooka has been the most engaging and satisfying experience of my life – i wish i had made the decision to produce my own products years ago! unlike a large brand, i still have a personal connection to what i produce and truly see each product as a personal ambassador going out into the world. there are still many challenges ahead, especially trying to get new product lines launched in this challenging environment without any access to credit and financing, but i've done that before – so as always, cautious and optimistic for 2009 and beyond!

as with any complex process, i would not be here writing this without the support of others, and for this i am always grateful. and here is a short list of people who have channeled, championed, promoted, understood, supported, reflected me and nooka with such honest and enthusiastic authenticity that i can only start by saying "THANK YOU!"

matthew cohen and joe chang of the raw information group for keeping the press focused on nooka. this is great validation for a small brand that can not yet afford a national ad campaign and something i appreciate daily.

kanye west for being the only style icon in the public eye worth watching – your journey is truly inspiring!

javier laval for keeping us hip in L.A.

ddc lab and their wonderful staff for including us in all they do as well as giving nooka the only retail space to carry ALL our lines at once – thank you savania, roberto and brad!

MoMA for being a constant supporter from the very start. I can not think of a more cordial process driven organization of this size and magnitude that truly supports emerging talent with a commitment to product design.

everyone at elsewares for being constant supporters from the beginning of this journey.

daiki suzuki of nepenthes for being my first mentor to the fashion world. i do not think he realizes how helpful his advise and introductions were for me to get the nooka ball rolling 5 years ago!

united arrows for being a major brand champion for us in japan which opened many doors for us in japan and moreover, asia!

eugene kan of hypebeast for being such a great supporter!

yu yamada for making japan our 2nd biggest market after the USA.

alexander allen for his keen eye, enthusiasm and talent.

michael surtees of designotes for putting an articulate designer-lingo voice to me, nooka and my process.

tina roth for just being tina roth/swiss miss – you inspire me.

missy and sam of ghostly records for being so inclusive and supportive. it's so important to have friends with similar sized struggles and triumphs!

anya mills of poptags for her support of nooka from its inception in the late 90s on a napkin!

lil wayne for rocking the nooka on national TV more than once [and for producing truly complex music in a sometimes banal music scene].

fall out boy also for rocking the nooka on national tv. also thanks for the rockband your manager sent the studio!

erykah badu for being the most beautiful canvas i've seen a nooka on last year.

mark graham of i love dust in the UK – simply "wow, thanks!"

steve heller of SVA and the new york times for always being an accessible giant.

todd owyoung of ishootshows for always letting me know when there's a nooka sighting in a live music show or event – you truly rock!

miho hatori for reminding me of the art and inspiration i put in my work but had forgotten.

claude cohen in france for championing nooka in france, a market i was ready to give up on 2 years ago! merci bien!

josh spears for your great eye and words.

alicia in spain, magnus in sweden, falko and ben in germania, roberto in italia, stephen and maz in the UK, and viktor in hungary for helping to make nooka an established brand in europe. i'm excited for 2009!

jonathan winer for putting nooka on the map in israel.

adnan of wristfashion in dubai for not only giving us a foot in the arab world, but also being such a constant and articulate supporter from my first designs way back when it was an ignored license at seiko!

allan ho for championing not just nooka, but me as a designer in HK. when's my next interview?

raoul and marleen in the nederlands for rocking the tulip empire for us!

my staff in new york, tokyo and our one man crew in HK [eddie] for untiring enthusiasm.

william yan – keep up the tireless blogging!

carrie campbell for being our eyes and ears (and moreover, legs, arms and mouth) from the mississippi to maine – i don't know how you do it!

my friend edward enrique of the taf buying office for his advise and company for our executive lunch meeting!

joost elffers of elffers books for being an incredible mentor.

everyone who has bought a nooka and especially the fans who took the time to send me an email.

and this is by no means a complete list, so feel free to nudge me if i left anyone out [i wrote this BEFORE the benefit of a cup of coffee].

much love to everyone in 2009!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

seeking production advice

i need help. here is a design we came up with for a nooka sign to use at shows and parties. each single letter should be about 15 inches [38 cm] wide based on the 'N'. the quotes we're getting involve building each letter like a box from acrylic which i do not feel will ship well at all. any ideas? thank you in advance!

nooka sightings: chad beatz

chad beatz is a rap/pop/r&b producer who is also an ardent supporter of nooka. i love this foto of him wearing a nooka zen-h!

buy the same nooka watch here.

nooka press: stuff france

pretty cool full page coverage of the nooka glow in the dark [gitd] zub in the french edition of STUFF magazine. mercĂ­ claude!

it is interesting that they gave it a full page but only a 3-star rating...i'm not complaining.

Monday, December 22, 2008

happy holidays!

blogspot screws with the image so the animation is not working but click here for the full intention.

nooka sightings: fall out boy

nooka sighted on jimmy kimmel live a few days ago – the bright green zub! if anyone has a link to a better quality video, please send.

get your green zub here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

nooka sightings: code magazine

thank you marleen in amsterdam for sending this nice jpg of the cover of dutch magazine code where the model is wearing a metal mesh nooka zen-h. i really like the rings on the cover...i need to remember to get marleen to snail-mail me a copy of the actual magazine.

get your zen h here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

more recent press: KING and BLACKBOOK

thank you KING magazine and josh spears [for blackbook] for the amazing coverage! of course, much love to our PR peeps, matt and joe!

funny juxtaposition: king is really the real blackbook

Monday, December 15, 2008

let's missbehave, again

i blogged a last week about the wonderful coverage nooka is getting in missbehave magazine, and it continues...

the winner of the hellz bellz watch from last issue is TAWNYA. the missbehave post about this is here.

if you'll be anywhere near williamsburg brooklyn this thursday, december 18th, you must check out dj semen sperms' set at the annual missbehave holiday bash. do you think "sperms" is short for spermstein? they'll be a present giveaway from burton AND nooka!

online store is down

our online store is down since yesterday in the US and japan thanks to dreamhost! direct your hate mail to them. it's always at the worst possible time as well!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

mini holiday shopping guide

o.k. even though i'm a bah-humbug! kinda guy when it comes to x-mas, i do throw a great holiday party. i actually believe you should be buying gifts for friends, family and self ALL YEAR ROUND, but here is my very concise holiday gift guide with a focus on the practical:

the takumi 10 key calculator is a bit of an anomaly in that it's modeled on an old apple computer extended keyboard aesthetic yet the usb functionality only works on a PC! even without the usb functionality, it is a smart looking calculator with a great touch-and-feel. my book-keeper can not say enough good things about it for using with excel and our various accounting software! also, idea japan is a company i consider a friend of nooka as they sell us in their brick and motor stores in tokyo and through-out japan – but you don't have to go all that way to buy this little gem as they now have a U.S. online shop! $58. get it here.

another idea product, yuento music mug is the perfect gift for the music geeks in your life. i have tried every possible way to simply get music into every room and i find this product to do the best job for 2 applications: music in the bathroom and for ambient music in small spaces. the yuento doesn't require any batteries so you don't have to worry about electrocuting yourself or having to find tiny batteries to get music from your ipod. i like to use this to have ambient music in the bedroom during parties that won't compete with music in the living room – a nice touch when people get their coats and bags. buy it here for $48.

popptags is the creation of my former business partner anya [go anya!]. it's the perfect gift to keep handy at home to add value to anytime you want to gift [or re-gift] a bottle of wine. 3 for $9.95 here. buy some for your friends too!

and of course, my suggestion for the best nooka gift is the revamped gold ip zirc. simply gorgeous if i do say so myself. buy yours on or at the many fine nooka retailers worldwide. $350.

one last thing: want a magazine that is well-designed and an intelligent read from cover to cover? then the answer is monocle magazine. i LOVE monocle magazine even though nooka has yet to be featured there. a subscription to their magazine is the perfect gift that keeps on giving all year round [i know i'd appreciate one]! place your subscription order online here. £75 and up. then tell them how odd it is that the zon hasn't been featured yet:)

Monday, December 8, 2008

norml x-mas party nooka give-away

uh-oh...i've been reduced to picture only blog posts!

Friday, December 5, 2008

nooka zon launch party NYC [and miami!]

we will be part of the details block party with ddc lab mpd this coming saturday to introduce the zon! ddc lab is an incredible brand which we share conceptual synergies. they also throw the best events! i hope to see you there.

if you can't make it to the party for the launch discount, you can buy full price here, or at fine nooka stockists.

ALSO THIS WEEKEND, a ZON launch event at BASE in miami. this is one of my all time favorite stores, well curated and fun. 939 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139 t (305) 531 4982. so if the art at art basel is too expensive, come buy some of my product.

recent blog press:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


nooka and matthew waldman finally have a stable and properly categorized entry on wikipedia! thank you michael surtees!

Monday, December 1, 2008

missbehave magazine

missbehave magazine is showing nooka mad love in their upcoming issue! we are all-over the main fashion spread, they write about the sooperdooper limited edition hellz bellz collab AND they have a contest give-away on thier website. makes me want to be a teenage girl all over again.

missbehave giveaway is here.

nookas featured can be purchased at fine shops near you or here.