DubiousLive TV


New Music Review: Karaoke - T. Pain feat. DJ Khaled

This is one of those classic tracks that spends most of its potential and energy calling out other rap artists for stealing or 'borrowing' a style from the accuser that was already created by an artist that was around way before them.

Enter: T-Pain's effigy to the Auto Tune, 'Karaoke' featuring the ubiquitous DJ Khaled.

There is something to be said about a new school rap artists who puts out a track that admonishes anyone who has ever used an Auto Tune to create their own hit: They are more than likely a hypocrite.

T-Pain (left) and DJ Khaled performing at a Miami club earlier this year.

Unfortunately, T-Pain is absolutely no exception to this rule. Even though he may pay tribute to the great Roger Troutman, but most of the song is dedicated to the idea that people are biting a style that he (clearly) made more popular than Zapp and Roger themselves.

Bottom line: T-Pain was a tad bit misguided with the production of this song. He took a few jabs at his style too seriously and allowed it to manifest itself into the song, 'Karaoke'. Hopefully, he will not take this oversensitivity to any higher levels and make a whole album damning those who stand against him. Hopefully...


DubiousSighting: Guerrilla Cuisine - SPAM Jam 2008

So, I had the pleasure of attending Guerrilla Cuisine's SPAM Jam 2008 (much to the chagrin of my innards), and sampled some of the finest, most inventive dishes that I never would have expected from a standard can of the processed, yet iconic, meat.

Held at the Tin Roof in West Ashley, SPAM Jam 2008 brought together some of the most eccentric minds and personalities in the the greater Charleston area for a night that did not disappoint.

Some of the dishes that stood out included the SPAMburger and French Fries. The spuds were fried in truffle oil and the burgers were accompanied by an Asian pickle and black truffle mayonnaise. Another favorite of mine was the Hawaiian-style SPAM Kabobs with a spicy, chile oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

Jimi Hatt, practically the face of Guerrilla Cuisine, graced us with his presence in between meals to make sure everything was copacetic (and to provide a great deal of comic relief), which made the experience twice as enjoyable.

The infamous Jimi Hatt posing for the cameras. Guerrilla Cuisine/BadJon Photography

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience filled with wine, music and canned meats that no one in this world should have missed. Their next event should be taking place near the end of this year and will include a rather popular, French dessert.

I'll be sure to keep you posted...



DubiousEndorses: 12seconds.tv

The funny thing about this site is that it really isn't anything revolutionary, by any means of the definition, or cutting edge. It is basically a video version of Twitter.

But there's a catch with 12seconds.tv: It is one of the most user-friendly vlog services that I have seen in a long time. Yes, you could invest the time and money into an awesome video studio setup, light box, reflector and all the other cumbersome goodies that come with the whole kit 'n kabootle.

Or you could go to your nearest electronics store/department, pick up a $30 webcam and get cracking on potentially making some of the most entartaining and interesting, 12-second videos that the world has ever seen!

If your not that ambitious, you could just vlog about your daily goings-on and with the mobile video feature, you could become your very own walking, talking mini-vlogger.

Either way, I highly recommend asking a friend (or even a complete stranger) for an invite to one of the best condensed vlogging sites to come around in a long time.



DubiousCraves: The Nokia 7900 'Prism' Phone

Why is it that some of the most advanced, highy adaptable and asthetically pleasing phones are never available in the United States?

Why do we have to settle with all the second-rate crap that comes across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans while folks in other countries get to revel in the idea of own phones that can e-mail, tether WiFi connections, babysit the kids and make a mean shrimp and grits all at the same time?

Nokia's 7900 'Prism' Quadband Phone, $699

Since I do not have the $500+ dollars it takes to acquire one of these babies via eBay, I guess I am forced to envy from afar.


P.S. - This Nokia is a beast. A sexy, 3G-capable beast...

The Essentials: How To Be a Hipster

I have never really been one to place people in categories or sub-categories based on the way they dress, but in recent years I've caught myself paying more and more attention to the wardrobes of my peers in an attempt to gain a better sense of how my generation thinks and acts.

Therein lays the concept of the hipster. One of the most reviled and revered looks in contemporary fashion circles, 'hipster chic' was created through a skilful combination of the acid punk movement and the inner-city, hip-hop sub-culture that arose in the 1980s.

Nowadays, people from ages 10 to 110 (don't ask me), can be seen sporting elements of this fashion-forward movement all around the world, and Charleston is absolutely no exception to the rule.

Now, in an effort to keep guys from looking like straight-up poseurs, I am here to make sure you find the perfect balance between Joey Ramone and Biz Markie:

1. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, $50, converse.com

When it comes to the kicks, keep one thing in mind: It's either 'all or nothing'. 'All' means finding a pair of shoes that look like a million dollars and cost about as much, too. You can easily accomplish this at stores such as Suite Sole and Urban Outfitters. 'Nothing' means getting your shoes from either the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army store. This way, you still maintain that rakish, devil-may-care attitude that many hipsters are famous for without falling victim to the superficial machine.

For those of you who like to remain somewhat in the middle, you can always spring for a comfortable pair of canvas Chucks (pictured above). But remember: 'all or nothing'. Either buy them in a bold off-the-wall color (i.e. - neon green, pink or yellow), or keep them mute.

2. Cardigan Sweater, $283, nomdeguerre.com

Made famous by the likes of Pete Doherty, Pharrell Williams and Mr. Rogers, the cardigan sweater has transcended the closet of the nuclear family's father and has become modernized in the eyes of hipsters everywhere. Popular colors include: grey, black and the iconic burgundy.

3. Skinny Jeans, $69.50, us.levi.com

As much as your 'boys' are not going to like being stuffed in practically a 4x4 square of denim, this is the best way to optimize the hipster look. Make sure your jeans are a color other than classic blue. Red, black, grey and white are all acceptable choices. And if there is no way you could possibly shimmy your way into a pair, opt for the roomier straight-leg (which is what I usually wear) or a slim-fit jean. It will still do the trick.

4. Retro T-Shirt, $24, redbubble.com

Think vintage, not necessarily 'old'. Anything that incorporates bright, bold colors or fabrics/patterns that haven't been used since the mid-1970s are all perfect candidates for pulling off the look. Just make sure you stay away from 'ironic' shirts like: 'South Korea's Got Seoul'. You'll look like a poseur and, more importantly, a douche bag...

5. The Hipster Media Library, $13-$20, amazon.com or other music dealers

This one is pretty straightforward: Delete everything that has been heard on the radio in the past 18 months and substitute that for artists such as Chromeo, The Shrines, Neon Neon, The Klaxons, Cut Copy, Little Jackie, The Arctic Monkeys and others of the like. This will indefinitely boost your hipster score. You can get extra points for mentioning bands that no one else has ever heard of.



Brian J. Wilder Photography

Yes, it's official!

I am now (some what) an accomplished photographer...

I've completed my first portfolio and I'm hoping for great results.

Here are a few from the collection:

'Lichen' - Taken with Sony Alpha 100

'Water Drops' - Taken with Sony Alpha 100

Anyone with a discerning, photographic eye please do not hesitate to give me some constructive criticism on how I could get better. Thanks.



Tech Review: MinoHD Mini Cam from FlipCam

I am very excited about the release if this camera. With that, I'll save you the sappy, gushy stuff and get right down to the nitty gritty:

This camera shoots in 720p high-definition. Period.

There is nothing that YouTubers and video bloggers alike are going to love more than this one feature. With its 4GB storage space and relatively long battery life (60 minutes of footage on one charge), the MinoHD is a great investment for those looking to upgrade their video arsenal without getting too technical.


DubiousCraves: Cotton Suit by Nautica

I need a suit. Every self-respecting man in this world needs a suit.

But not just any suit, my friends...

Cotton Suit by Nautica, $369, nautica.com

We as men need a suit that we can feel both comfortable and confident in. Some tailored to our every contour in such a way that makes women turn thier heads and other guys feel just a little less superior than they once were.

This is my suit, ladies and gentlemen. What's yours?



DubiousEndorses: TheDigitel.com

There is something going on with the transition from print to digital media nowadays, and that is the complete lack of a transition! In Charleston, there are a handful of print publications that have made their mark of the greater population, so much so that even if they manage to produce less-than-stellar work, readers will still flock to the stands to pick up the latest issue. No questions asked.

Enter: TheDigitel.com

The Digitel is an aggregation site that was designed to sift through all the fodder that the online versions of larger publications tend to haphazardly throw on their sites everyday.
Local and easy to use, The Digitel serves as sort of a news terminal that allows readers to determine what they think is truly newsworthy.


New Music Review: Kanye West - "Heartless"

As much flack as Mr. West has been getting from the hip-hop world for his latest album, '808's and Heartbreak' set to drop Novemebr 21st, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the new idea that he has taken with his music.

The best example of this comes from the single, 'Heartless', and I for one cannot wait until the album release. But the big surprise was the music video for the song. Not only was it produced by the legendary Hype Williams, but it was shot entirely in rotoscope animation!

Kanye West - Heartless Official Music Video. Directed by Hype WIlliams.

Think 'American Pop' or 'A Scanner Darkly'...



DubiousSighting: My 'Green' Initiative

I've been contemplating creating a photography portfolio for my resume and have been taking a few pics here and there. Nothing too exciting, (or perhaps more exciting than I think).

But this photograph in particular struck a chord with me:

Taken with a Sony Alpha 100. 75mm lens.

I was at the Starbucks downtown on Calhoun Street and this one little shoot of grass that decided to defy convention and set up shop on a barren plot of land.

As much as I would like to make some cockamamie parallelism to how this plant is like America and change and blah blah blah, but I don't think it would it justice.

Simply put: It's nature striking out on its own. Nothing more, nothing less...



DubiousPolitics: Email from Jeri O. Cabot, Dean of Students for the College of Charleston

We have reaffirmed with the Charleston Election Commission that CofC students can use their CofC ID cards and voter registration cards to vote. If for some reason you were turned away today or given a provisional ballot, please return to your precinct to vote.
We have arranged for people to be present to assist returning students and guide them to the head of the line. Tell a poll watcher that you are a CofC student that was improperly turned away earlier. This message is likely to apply mostly to the precincts voting at Buist Academy, Memminger Elementary or Charleston Water Works. The differences in interpretation of state law have been resolved.
The polls close at 7:00 p.m., so please hurry if you this message applies to you!!!
Jeri Cabot
Dean of Students


Late Night Technophilia

Here's my current screen shot. This is the 'cleaned up' version:


It's The Little Things...

Accessories. When a man hears this word, he automatically assumes (more often than not), that it is more of a concern for the female persuasion. Unfortunately, it is that kind of one-sided thinking that has brought us androgynous attempts such as the 'Fanny Pack' and 'Chaco' sandals.

Here are a few, more 'manly' accessories that have caught my eye over the past few weeks:

Collar Stiffeners by James & Longbourne

Watch by Simon Carter of London

The Blackberry Storm by RIM for Verizon Wireless

Moleskine notebook

Business Card Holder by Acme Studio

Dino Bone Dog Tag Necklace by David Yurman




New Music Review: Beyonce - 'Single Ladies'

This is one of those rare occasions when I deviate from the status quo and take the road less traveled. The focus is not necessarily on the song or lyrics of this track, but more so on the visuals.

A friend sent me an audio sample from Beyonce's new album, '
I Am...', and at first I was quite reluctant to say anything about them, let alone donate the space on my blog for it.

Beyonce's video for 'Single Ladies'.

But then, I came across the music video for 'Single Ladies' and for a moment I was stunned. There was something about the choreography that I could not quite put my finger on. Then, after the 7th or 8th viewing, it hit me! She borrowed much of her steps from an old performance on the Ed Sullivan Show back in the mid-70s.

A trio headed by Gwen Verdon performed a dance number called, "Mexican Breakfast", that has been manipulated to follow the song, 'Walk It Out' by DJ Unk.

The original Gwen Verdon performance from the Ed Sullivan Show.

Granted, it was a formidable attempt by Beyonce to reaffirm herself as a mainstream, pop queen but it was her videos, not her voice, that took the cake this go-around.



DubiousCraves: Coppa Salami

Yes, this is rather weird at first glance but bare with me. Coming from a mainly Italian/Sicilian upbringing, I have had the liberty of tasting a fair amount of what the Mediterranean has had to offer; but amidst all the amazing frutti de mare that have helped to hone this palette, I have always had an affinity for the turf and not so much the surf.

With that said, I must mention one of my most beloved cuts of meat, Coppa Panchetta, or 'Coppa' for short. This cured ham is cut from one of the most sought after parts of the pig, the spare ribs. It's a very sweet-smelling and strong-tasting salami that I have been having so much trouble finding here in Charleston.

Fortunately, I was recently tipped off by one of my foodie friends that Mr. Sean Brock, of Food Network and McCrady's fame, just so happens to create his own selection of cured meats, including Coppa! I just might have to make the trek to his farm in the near future. Trust me, it is definitely worth it...


The Essentials: The Recession Wardrobe

As much flack as I have gotten in the past about my opulent clothing/accessory choices, I feel that in light of our country's current financial situation, perhaps a more spendthrift-friendly 'Essentials' is more in order. So, without further adieu:

1. TopMan Indigo Straight Leg Jeans, $70, topman.com

I am firm in the fact that every self-respecting man needs a good pair of dark-washed jeans in their closet. Not only can you pair them with a nice driving shoe or moccasin, but they are dressy enough to match with a dark blazer and leather dress shoes as well.

2. US Navy Type Pea Coat, $69, peacoats.com

Granted, it may not get cold enough for a full-on, military-inspired pea coat, but that's all the more reason to perhaps take a trip to a more frigid climate. If all else fails, you can wear this indoors, because you will lose your heat at least once this season. In the end, I recommend pairing this with a broken in Oxford and a skinny tie to get the desired effect; this way, the modern look of the tie will offset the imposing silhouette of the coat.

Oh and remember: Never by a coat like this a size or two too large, you don't want to give off the appearance of an actual sailor. It should fit snug on the shoulders and give you room throughout the arms.

3. Argyle V-Neck Sweater, $49.50, gap.com

A lightweight sweater is essential to any male wardrobe as the go-to 'top', so to speak, if myour not in the mood to throw on a heavy-duty jacket or coat. Try put it over an unbuttoned, point-collar shirt for a very unkempt, rakish look.

4. Desert Boots, $80, eastlandshoe.com

Seeing that I am about to graduate from college, there seemingly needs to be a point where one have to throw out those bulky, square-toed shoes that get dusted off for anything that may remotely resemble a 'special occasion' (i.e. weddings, funerals, job interviews, etc.).

Instead, i would opt for a pair of these understated boots that can be worn from the office to the dinner table without scrutiny. I would still suggest picking up a pair of leather dress shoes (cap toe or otherwise), for the intermittent interview...

5. Rugby Stripe Scarf, $26, urbanoutfitters.com

I've noticed lately that men are really getting elaborate with their scarf selections, which is odd, considering the fact that it's still about 80+ degrees during the day here in Charleston.

Bottom line: Your scarf should be one of the more understated accessories in your repertoire as not to run the risk of clashing with any of the other colors in your outfit. I know that crazy, multi-colored Tartan scarf looks bad ass now, but once you find out that you can't wear it with anything without looking like a douche, then it just looks bad. Keep your colors to about one or two per scarf; you'll thank me later.


Tech Review: Amex Digital Blu-Ray Burner/Player

In the wake of Steve Jobs' lackluster 'announcement' of a new-and-improved MacBook/MacBook Pro release, people have been left wondering, 'Where's the Beef?'

Not only did Apple fail to introduce anything really compelling to an audience that was practically on the edge of its seats waiting for the 'next big thing', the upgrades that were revealed lacked any real staying power, I mean, removing the track button? Really?

Amex Digital Blu-ray burner and player, $289, amexdigital.com

But fear not, for the good folks over at Amex Digital have unveiled an external Blu-ray burner (and player), for USB-ready Macs, including, iMac and MacBook Air, and with a rather light price tag of only $289, it just might force Apple to start burning the midnight oil.


In Other News: Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka Goes National

Anyone who has been around me in the past few months knows that I have been a HUGE supporter of Firefly's Sweet Tea Vodka and after I found out that they sold the brand to a Kentucky-based distillery for over 16 million dollars, I was unsure as to the future of such a specialized 'elixir'

I mean, in all honesty, sweet tea is a very Southern thing, you know? Very few people in the world, let alone this country, can really grasp the gravity of the situation.

Firefly Distillery. Wadmalaw Island, SC.

Luckily, I got word from TheDigitel.com that said distillery has decided to mass-produce the product and will definitely go nation-wide on January 1st. So, for all of those who thought that Sweet Tea vodka was just a fleeting memory, it's time to wash out those glasses.



DubiousEndorses: Pandora Radio

So what if I'm just a tad bit late to jump on the online radio bandwagon, in essence, Pandora Radio is pretty much the only radio client you will ever need.

More so, because they have recently added the most updated version (Pandora 1.2) to the Apple Apps Store, so anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch will have the opportunity to listen to Rilo Kiley, Prince or Talking Heads all day, everyday ad nauseum.

Either way, I highly recommend adding this site to your bookmarks and letting the tunes flow forever and always.



New Music Review: Common feat. Pharrell - "Universal Mind Control"

First off, I am a very big fan of the music video legend, Hype Williams. The same individual who directed memorable videos for Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot and Noreaga has come back with a very futuristic and robotic video for a very futuristic and robotic song (which is the main attraction here).

It is safe to say that Common has definitely fallen under the influence of the N.E.R.D machine. Not saying that this is a bad thing at all, it's almost kind of refreshing to see Common Sense take a shift from the overly sensitive, bleeding-heart rap that everyone has grown accustomed to.

Common - Universal Mind Control music video. Courtesy of Hype Williams.

In the end, I am very excited to see what Common has in store for us...



DubiousSighting: The Suite Sole Opening Party

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening party for 'Suite Sole' the newest addition to the Charleston fashion scene.

Owned and run by Gustavo and Andrea Serrano, 'Sole' has all the makings of an uptown boutique with the heart and soul (for lack of a better term), of a downtown, neighborhood sneaker shop.

These are my absolute favorite: Nike Vandal Hi, $150.*

With brands like Nike, Creative Recreation, Adidas and Alife, 'Suite Sole' shows no signs of becoming a one-hit wonder.

Good luck, you guys...


*Andrea and Gustavo: If you could, I'm an 11.5. Hit me up as soon as you get that new shipment, feel me?


Quick Update!

As I had mentioned in a much earlier post, 'Janelle Monae is the proverbial shit!'.

She now has an amazing music video to reaffirm that fact:

Janelle Monae - 'Many Moons' music video. Bad Boy Records.



DubiousCraves: The Heineken Beertender

Ok, I am well aware that I am still a college student, so old habits tend to die a little harder than most others. With that said, this $300 gem is definitely being put on my wish list for a few reasons:

  • It’s a mini-kegerator.
  • It keeps track of both core temperature and capacity.
  • It determines how many 16-ounce beers you have left at all times.
  • It comes with a nifty little ‘skimmer’ that allows you to make your beers look like the ones in those ultra-mod Heineken commercials.

Either way, I need this delivered to my residence as soon as possible, any takers? Who knows? There might even be a beer or two in it for you…


The Essentials: Technophiles Only!

To honor those who have willingly given their lives (and savings accounts) to the never-ending quest for, well, ‘stuff’, I have taken the liberty of compiling a list of items, both past and present that every techno freak, geek and misanthrope should own. Or at least think about owning:

1. Western Digital 120GB Passport Hard Drive, $80, wdc.com

Keeping in with the true spirit of American excess, the Passport is the perfect companion for those who insist on owning the entire series of ‘Seinfeld’ on iTunes. Not only that, but it is a great way to store music, photos and large projects on an auxiliary drive without having to sacrifice your computer’s processing speed.

2. Apple iMac, $1,200, store.apple.com

Granted, I am typing this very post from a PC, but don’t let me be misunderstood. My loyalty definitely lies with Apple’s latest line of desktop computers. Its integrated CPU design makes the iMac very portable and excellent for easy transport. Not to mention, they are just so damn sexy, right?

3. LG Dare, $199, verizonwireless.com

This is a very ‘smart’ phone considering the fact that the iPhone is still the must-have item of the decade.
The Dare incorporates all of the syncing technology found on many of the leading handsets, but what sets it apart is its advanced touch-screen technology. Very fluid and highly responsive, the Dare is a smooth operator with amenities that stack up against the best of ‘em.

4. X-Box 360, $260, microsoft.com

Because it’s 2008, already. At least make very good friends with someone who doesn’t mind you freeloading in their house for hours at a time.

5. Lumix DMC-TZ50 Digital Still Camera
, $450, panasonic.com

From the makers of some of the most popular electronics out now, Panasonic outdoes itself with the creation of the DMC-TZ50 digital camera. With an impressive 9.1 megapixel range and 28mm wide lens, the Lumix has all the makings of an advanced piece of technology. That’s not even the best part, though: It also comes with built-in Wi-Fi! This means you can send your photos to an online account for viewing, editing and sharing all in one fell swoop. Facebook, beware.


Tech Review: The ‘G1’ for Google Android by T-Mobile

In the past few weeks, I have been scanning the Internet trying to figure out what the ‘true’ final verdict on what the ‘G1’ has to offer. Frankly, there is very little I can say in regards to Google’s attempt at raking in some of the market shares on the high-end smart phone business.

From what I can tell, it almost seems a little counterproductive for Google to compete with the one company that all of its products and services are most compatible with. This seems to be a situation where Google is trying to take a stab at Apple on a near-personal level otherwise I see no reason to release the ‘G1’. Unless, of course, Google is trying to further expand its empire Alexander-the-Great style?

T-Mobile 'G1' for Google Android

Either way, the ‘G1’ has practically the same amenities that iPhone does (save for the fact that you CANNOT sync/dock your contacts and agenda via Outlook), and is slated to cost about the same as its Apple opponent.

Bottom line: Save your money and your time, keep your iPhone and pick up a copy/subscription of MobileMe as soon as you can. It will be the better decision in the long run, hands down.


DubiousEndorses: Twitter

For all of you out there who live life slightly on the ADD side, there is treatment available in the form of a 140-character update service known as Twitter.

Now, although Twitter may not be the most amazingly new thing on the web right now, it has—since its establishment back in 2006—the micro-blogging site has gained a very loyal following, so to speak, with over 2.2 million accounts registered as of July 2008.

Twitter screen shot.

Allowing you to do everything from mobile updating to being able to link other micro-blogging accounts/features (i.e. Digg, Facebook, MySpace, etc.) to you ‘Twit’ account, there is no reason why I would could not see this service reach unspeakable heights within the next few years. Twitter integrated into the public school system, perhaps? We’ll see…



New Music Review: 88-Keys feat. Kanye West - 'Stay Up (Viagra)'

This track is a very good example of what neo hip-hop should be.

88-Keys, who has been in the game since 1998, is a Long Island-born rapper and producer who got his start making beats for artists and producers such as Q-Tip, Pete Rock and Large Professor.

88-Keys: Adam's Case Files mixtape. 2dopeboyz.com/RS

‘Stay Up’ is a very jazzy and simple-beat song that has the potential to do big things in the very near future along with the highly anticipated release of his solo project, The Death of Adam. I, for one, cannot wait to see what 88-Keys has in store for the hip-hop world.


DubiousSighting: McCrady’s Restaurant's 10-Course Tasting Event

Chef Blais doing what he does best. Bravo/Top Chef

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of being wined-and-dined by one of the most innovative, and often times ‘explorative’, duos in the dining world. Chefs Richard Blais, of ‘Top Chef’ fame and McCrady’s executive chef, Sean Brock, treated guests to an astounding 10-course tasting menu that featured everything from pork belly (my personal favorite) to green tomato soup, and everything in between.

Chef Brock hard at work in the kitchen. CCP/Reuters

All in all, it was an amazing event that I implore every man with half a conscience to participate in. Not only is it an opportunity to fill one’s gullet with preposterously good food, moreover, it is a chance to experience something that is truly awe-inspiring and beneficial to upping one’s ‘cuisine cred’.

Blais' 'Canned Soup' course that put a Southern twist on traditional gazpacho (top) and a rendition of crab and cole slaw. DubiousOne/GSO