DubiousLive TV


Tech Review: Olympus' EVOLT E-520 DSLR

I had to pull some very, very tough strings to even get my hands on this camera (ah, I love press privileges), and I must say that there are very few defects that I can point out with this unit.

Keep in mind, there was an earlier unit of a similar caliber that was reported to have several defects coming along with it. A setback like that would cause any prominent camera company to take their flagship product back to the drawing board.

Considering the fact that it would seen difficult to convince a novice photographer to pick up this camera without becoming a tad bit intimidated, the fact remains that the Olympus is a perfect model for those who may seem more than anxious to hold such an advanced piece of technology in their hands for the first time.


New Music Review: The Streets - "The Escapist"

I haven’t heard from this character since, ‘You’re Fit’ and quite frankly I am kind of relieved that he has finally mustered up the energy and courage to release a brand spankin’ new album. On the unfortunate side, The Streets has a very definite UK release set for September 15 but there I absolutely no stateside release slated—well, as far as I’ve heard.

I have always been a fan of The Streets ever since I first heard him and this newest release has absolutely flaws from hat I can tell. The music video alone has the title rapper coasting through the French countryside to a very menacing beat. The same kind of beat that you would be likely to find on a Dizzie Rascal or a catchy Timbaland-produced track.

Either way, I am very excited to see what The Streets has in store for the greater population; even if that means me having to swim across the pond to see what all the fuss is about this time around.



DubiousCraves: The Technics SL1200 MKVI Turntable

Nostalgia at its very best; turntables have been staples of the both hip-hip and techno/rave music genres since the mid-1980s. Since then, over 350,000 units have been sold worldwide which is pretty impressive for a device that required elbow grease (and ample amounts of patience), to operate.

The SL1200 MKVI Turntable with Direct Drive Technology, $699, panasonic.com

Not until recently have I gained, lost and then regained an unexplained appreciation for vinyl. Moreover, I couldn’t figure out why until I was promptly reminded by my mother not to long ago, “You know nothing about this music right here!” she said. She was beyond right, not withstanding. She possessed a collection that spanned decades and included the classics (The Temptations – Motown Hits), the unexpected (Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions…) and the downright obscure (HiroshimaProvidence).

Either way, her bounty was the stuff legends were made on. This was until a minor flood claimed almost 95% of her precious stockpile. Years and years of history and memories down the drain—literally.

With that inspiration, I have set myself on a life quest, of sorts, not only to restore her collection to its once pristine condition, but to add this turntable as kind of the icing on the cake. Granted, she probably won’t have the capacity to appreciate the increase in torque or improved vibration dampening technology like most professional DJs, but I have a feeling that what she’ll lack in overall techno-savvy will be made up for in sheer exhilaration when it is all said and done.


DubiousPraise: All's Well That Ends Well

A few things:

  1. I wanted to take some time and thank everyone (men and women, surprisingly enough), who have made the perilous trek to and from my blog. From the die-hard fans to the one-night standers, you are truly the glue that holds this rickety, old ship together. Merci, beaucoup.
  2. As always, if there is anything that you would like me to feature more--or less, for that matter--do not hesitate to let me know at bri4579@gmail.com.
  3. I am happy to report that DubiousOne surpassed the 2,000-page-views mark a few days ago with the addition of nearly 300 new visitors in the last three weeks. In layman's terms: Great Success!
  4. Lastly (shameless plug alert!), if you know of anyone who would find my content even remotely appealing, do not be afraid to give them the head's up. Think: Pay It Forward.


The Manual: The Perfect Pair--of sunglasses, that is...

Like taking a thorough shower every morning, you also need a quality pair of sunglasses to get you through the unforgiving rays of the summer sun. Many people fail to take the proper steps towards securing a reliable and stylish pair of shades usually opting for something far less superior located on the plastic, revolving kiosks found in ‘beach’ shops en route to the shore.

Before you fall victim to the vicious cycle of that dreadful machine, take some time and familiarize yourself with these high-quality examples of the ‘perfect pair’:

The Perfect Throwback – ‘Wayfarer’ by Ray Ban, $109, rayban.com

Yadda, yadda! Before all the eye wear impresarios start flapping their gums about this model making the list, take heed: I am not including the ‘Wayfarer’ out of some unspoken deal with the Devil (or Ray Ban, whichever you prefer). This is simply an attempt to pay homage to one of the most iconic pair of shades to grace everything from the silver screen to the walls of the Smithsonian and everything in between.

Wear them with anything else in your closet that you may deem a ‘favorite’. I assure you, no matter how bad the rest of your outfit might look; your sunglasses will be absolutely perfect…

The Perfect Tortoise shell – Rectangular Sunglasses by Persol, $360, persol.com

What may seem like something geared more towards the ‘hipster’ crowd, the rectangular version of Persol’s legendary frames have been created with special attention paid to detail. This devotion to quality has allowed wearers of all facial types to walk the Earth with a better sense of both style and self.

The Perfect Aviator – ‘Hawkings’ Aviators by Tom Ford, $490, shop.nordstrom.com

If you purchase nothing else this summer, be sure that you at least invest in a sleek pair of aviators that you can easily carry over into the just-as-humid-but-not-as-hot fall months. Tom Ford is and was the front-runner for the Gucci fashion house and knows a thing or two about making men look invariably sexy without compromising their masculinity, so it is only fitting that the ‘Hawkings’ takes the cake for the perfect pair of aviators.



Tech Review: The Apple iPhone 3G

Half the price. Twice the upgrades. Those are the two most important things that I wanted to get out as far as the newest iPhone release is concerned.

There is not a phone on Earth right now that could stand up to the capabilities that the new iPhone is willing to offer right now. Along with push e-mail pretty much coming standard, the newest addition to the Apple family boast real-time GPS in conjunction with the Google Maps application as well as faster download times when it comes to surfing the Internet.

In essence, the iPhone 3G is practically everything we’ve been hoping for and more with all the capabilities of some of the most sophisticated Smartphones at nearly half the price of all of them.


New Music Review: Santogold - "L.E.S Artistes"

For some reason when I first heard this track, I was eerily reminded of Tegan & Sara circa "Walking with a Ghost”. Now, I’m not exactly sure if this is a good thing or what but I would like to think that Santogold has a lot of promise with her latest album. Oddly enough, many people would be surprised to find out that Snatogold has been in the singing/songwriting business since 1993, which makes her even more of a wild card at this point.

Santogold - L.E.S Artistes. Directed by
Nima Nourizadeh.

All in all, I have a very good outlook for Ms. Santogold but keep in mind that if she doesn’t establish her individuality among the younger crowd as soon as possible she mind end up falling in the ranks somewhere between M.I.A and Tracy Chapman, and that is a level a purgatory I don’t think Dante himself would want to be stuck in.



The Essentials: "Something to Drink, Anyone?"

As we hit the halfway point of the summer, I have quickly come to the realization that for most people in the South there are only a few things that this sticky, humid climate are good for: a reason for women to traipse around in next to nothing, a ruse to legitimize the idea of throwing those infamous 'Hurricane" parties, and the license to drink after 2 P.M.

But before you venture to your nearest grocery store to grab the usual case of Bud Light and ever-so-nifty Styrofoam coolers, sit down and reconsider your options with these no-frills essentials. Bottoms up!

1. Long Drink Tumblers by Riedel (S
et of 2), $67, tableandhome.com

These glasses are not only stylish and a great companion to your ever-growing glass collection (you do have one, right?), but they are also serve as a multi-purpose tumbler in the sense that you can make drinks that usually require a highball or you can opt for just a short cocktail kind of elixir with the same glass. Essentially, you need these. Well, at least until you can bump up to a more extensive, glassware roster.

Warning: If you have roommates who are prone to using your newfound glasses for everyday wear-and-tear, please invest in some new roommates, for your own sake.

2. Hendrick's Gin, $30 (750 ml), hendricksgin.com

I must admit, I was never really a huge gin fan until I took a trip to New York a few months back and had a Hendrick’s variation of the gimlet at the Roosevelt Hotel. After that, the rest was practically history. Speaking of which, Hendrick’s gin has a very rich past that started all the way across the pond in Scotland during the 19th century. Hendrick’s has strong hints of both juniper and cucumber (yes, cucumber) which makes this spirit worthy of more than just a half-and-half of store-brand orange juice.

3. Martini and Rossi Asti Spumante, $11, martini.com

Keep a bottle or two of this on chill at all times, you know, for those small victories in life. This sweet spumante is perfect for those who aren’t privy to the dozens and dozens of high-end champagnes that are on the market. Don’t worry, I don’t judge…

4. Chivas Regal 12-Year Old Scotch, $35 (750 ml), chivas.com

Do not be intimidated at the idea of indulging in a spirit that is probably older than many of the things that you own, that just means that this scotch is delightfully aged and mature (read: delicious). Scotch of this caliber should be consumed both neat and slow because it’s not everyday you’ll have the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy something this uncommon.

5. Mr. Boston's Bartender's and Party Guide, $10, amazon.com

Take an afternoon and flip through the pages of the book that has been the Bible for bartenders from some of the most well-known establishments in the country since 1935. Maybe after a little practice you, too, can shake and stir ‘em like some of the best...maybe...


DubiousEndorses: The 'I'm So Chris-py" Blog

I don’t normally do this but…

As much as I would love to forever inhabit this heavenly slice of the World Wide Web, I’ve realized that the only way the masses are ever going to get their hand on that good, wholesome, Dubious-type advice is to branch out to my fellow bloggers.

Speaking of which, I stumbled upon one such individual who willingly admits that he is “just tryin’ to get famous on the internet”…Duly noted, Chris.

This Central Jersey native’s musings include everything from a shout out to an up-and-coming remix impresario from Canada to a mini-war, of sorts, with the lead singer of the group who sang about a quaint, little town in Massachusetts—whom he just so happened to go to college with.

Either way, this guy is definitely one to keep a look out for if you’re in search of a good laugh, a promising new act or even the occasional ‘friend fight’.



DubiousCraves: The John Varvatos Henley

John Varvatos Henley, $109, shop.nordstrom.com

Aside from the fact that Mr. Varvatos is probably one of my more admired designers, it has been scientifically proven that women love a man in a long-sleeved henley shirt.

There is a certain, rakish c’est la vie attitude that comes with wearing one and not only are they practical enough to wear during those cooler summer nights, but they have enough of a trim and stylish appeal that they can be paired with a good pair of jeans, desert boots and a relaxed jacket for more ‘dressed-up’ affairs.

Give yourself a reason to show off those summer workout sessions and leave a button (or two) open for good measure. Oh, and don’t brandish a full-waxed chest for this one; there’s something almost pre-pubescent about the ability to see one’s reflection off of themselves.



New Music Review: Hot Stylz - "Lookin' Boy"

Granted, there are a plethora of things wrong with this song that I could easily point out with my ears closed, but just when you think the cons far outweigh the pros, I am reminded of the few things that truly bring people of all walks of life together, albeit temporarily: Insults.

No, I’m not talking about East Coast against West Coast or Brittney Spears versus…the world; I am talking about the Dozens. An old-school game that people from very urban communities played where the objective was simple: Embarrass your opponent with the best insults in your arsenal; think ‘Yo Momma’ but without Wilmer, or MTV for that matter.

Hot Stylz feat. Yung Joc - Lookin' Boy music video. Hilarity ensues.

It was good, clean fun that hardly ever resulted in any kind of violence—perhaps a black eye or two if you dropped an infamous ‘Momma’ joke—but all in all, an entertaining time.

This track shows me that there is hope in a world where it seems as though rappers are becoming more sensitive than the soccer moms that admonish their music.



DubiousTrend: The Evolution of the 'Shirt Emblem'

Since the dawn of time, there has always been this nagging obsession with labels and the things that we do (and claim) with said labels. This has never been more apparent than with the ubiquitous polo shirt emblem:

Original Penguin (top) and Lacoste have always been two of the few clothes makers that have kept a rather conservative stance on the size and content of their emblems.

Over time, though, this fashionable, little understatement has evolved and taken many shapes and faces to a point where more attention is being paid towards the 1-by-1 inch space occupying the top left of your chest than the rest of the shirt:

More 'creative' versions (and parodies) of traditional emblems are becoming almost a dime a dozen and feature everything from Port-a-Potties to malt liquor (top, right).

With that said, I propose that we as a society band together and fight for that ever-shrinking piece of real estate in our closets better known as: “The rest of my damn polo”. Who's with me?

Ralph Lauren gives us the best example of gross, emblem over-coverage. The last one is half the size of his bicep already!


The Manual: Suits, For All Occasions...

Bottom line: Men, especially younger men, have this misconception that when it comes to formal attire, the basic rules to dressing one’s self properly take a back seat to an individual’s ‘unique and eclectic’ personal style. “It makes me who I am!” they say to me, “I’m going to make my personality shine through my off-beat, wardrobe choices!”

…Great…How about we don’t do all of that and just say we did?

Instead, here are a few of quick and simple solutions to that age old conundrum: What suit am I going to wear?

2. Bang For Your Buck: Nautica Wool Suit, $270, nautica.com

Wear it with a polo shirt. Oxford cotton, perhaps? No matter how you wear it, this suit is an all-around, multi-purpose tool that can take you from the office (or internship), straight to the nearest beachside cantina in a matter of minutes.

3. A Lifelong Investment: RL Black Label 'Anthony Garbardine' Suit, $1,795, ralphlauren.com

Money should not be an object when it comes to acquiring an impeccable taste. Suits are definitely no exception to this rule. This is the perfect mainstay for your formal wardrobe. Just make sure that as your body type changes, so does the fit and cut of your suit. In other words: Don’t skimp out on a good, damn near great, tailor to help you keep up with your ever-changing…ahem…style.

4. Stepping Out: Banana Republic Glen Plaid Suit, $775, bananarepublic.com

There is something very ‘James Bond’ (pre-Pierce Brosnan), about a 3-piece suit. Something that definitely says, “Shaken not stirred”. You can comfortably wear one out for a rousing night of espionage or an elegant dinner with the missus.



New look, same great taste...

More to come...