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January 23, 2015

Listen Up! Dainjazone

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or, at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.


OK, let’s briefly remember LMFAO from a few years ago, the most annoying band in the world that also seemed to be having the most fun. Dainjazone was their deejay. Turns out his club/EDM mixes are superb for working out. Especially if you enjoy the ego-canceling fury of, say, a good spin class.

Not that the nephew of Motown founder Berry Gordy doesn’t have taste or range. He just understands that music is kinetic. Dainjazone (real name Joseph Hampel) spoke with us on the phone between club gigs from Los Angeles. Topics included health, travel and the baffling power of horns.


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January 16, 2015

Listen Up! DJ Diamond Kuts

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Don’t take our word for it, go ahead and ask Nicki Minaj or President Barack Obama–they’ll tell you DJ Diamond Kuts rules. Philly native Tina Dunham has rocked huge crowds on the Obama campaign trail and helped break Minaj in her early mixtape days, eventually producing original music for the superstar rapper.

More impressive to us, though, are Diamond’s regular radio mixes on hip-hop and R&B station Power 99 FM, each one a furious dispatch with flawless between-song cutting (hence the name). While her mixes come in many modes–hip-hop, reggae, R&B–her dance mixes are arguably her most exciting work and perfect workout soundtracks.

We caught up with Ms. Kuts on the phone and talked about exercise, the art of deejaying and things to eat in Philly which are not cheesesteaks (no disrespect to cheesesteaks).

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Our guest editor Thig Nat (right)—a polished professional by day, hip-hop musician and talented photographer by night—possesses an innate sense of style that shines through on the microphone as much as it does in his personal appearance.

Keep reading for a look inside Thig’s creative process as his band, The Physics, heads back into the studio—and to see his favorite fall items that work as hard as they play.

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As part of our fall 2014 Men’s Shop Catalog, we profiled 4 real men of style and substance. Here, Blue Note recording artist Robert Glasper.

Whenever we interview a world-class chef, a pro BMX rider—or, in this case, a Grammy-winning jazz composer who works alongside the best musicians in the business—our goal is not to offer you life hacks to follow in their exact career path. Instead, we aim to inspire you with a glimpse inside the mind of a guy who’s at the top of his game—and to discover and share wisdom of a more universal nature.

In chatting with multifaceted jazz man Robert Glasper, we found out a thing or two about conquering writer’s block, learning from your dislikes, and documenting ideas even at inopportune moments. Keep reading for the full Q&A, and to hear our favorite examples of Glasper in action.

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During his time in Seattle, Nathan Quiroga has made some noise, left some marks, hung a gold record on his wall, and changed his life top to bottom in order to hit the ambitious goals he set for himself.

As he prepares to make another drastic change, uprooting his life (and his current band, a melodic, meditative, ’60s psychedelia-tinged power duo called Iska Dhaaf) in order to take a leap of faith in New York City, we caught up with the songwriter / stage-climber / rapper / author / multi-instrumentalist for a Q&A in his Seattle apartment—which had already begun to fill up with moving boxes.

Keep reading for some wise words about hard work, being yourself, and the dedication it takes to follow your instincts (whether it makes practical sense to do so or not).

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Our friend Hollis Wong-Wear is kind of a big deal—and we’re not even saying that for ironic effect.

She blew up The Tonight Show alongside Schoolboy Q and Macklemore, belting out the crazy-catchy (in a good way) chorus to “White Walls,” a moonroof-open ode to the road. Her band The Flavr Blue pumps out indie/pop/electronic/alternative gems that will win over people (ourselves included) who weren’t even fully aware of how much they enjoy indie/pop/electronic/alternative music. And she cracked a Socrates joke within the first three minutes we met her.

To which the only logical response was, “What are you listening to lately?” Keep reading to find out.

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To say that we like it when girls play in bands might be the understatement of the century—but let’s go ahead and banish the phrase “girl band” from the collective lexicon. When female rockers are putting out some of the best (and loudest) music around, there’s really no point in drawing distinctions.

Case in point: Sleigh Bells (top left) and Haim (bottom right), who co-headlined an epic concert in Brooklyn Bridge Park the other night on behalf of Levi’s. Keep reading to hear handpicked tracks from two of our current favorite bands (female-fronted or otherwise).

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Hot weather’s officially upon us, and with it, the perennial question arises of how to look your best without breaking a sweat.

Keep reading to find out what to wear—and drink, and take pictures with—at an outdoor concert. We’ve taken the liberty of prepping you for two potential circumstances: a gruelingly gratifying 72-hour festival, and a night of bar-hopping and backstage debauchery.

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Hip-hop maestro, talented photographer, and Men’s Shop Daily guest editor Thig Nat (short for “Natural”) recently offered us a glimpse into a music/art/charity event that he helped organize and host. Being an after-hours event and taking place at a museum, this was one of those frequent yet potentially perplexing occasions when a tuxedo is too much and a T-shirt won’t cut it.

Keep reading for stellar photos from the night’s proceedings (which included a performance by Thig’s longtime friend and colleague Macklemore) and to see how Mr. Nat struck an ideal balance between decked-out and laid-back.

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From slingshots to sporks to a solar-powered phone charger, our latest Pop-In Shop, LET’S GO! (which shuts its doors this Sunday), has everything you need for an epic American road trip—including expertly curated tunes to fuel long hours in your #adventuremobile between points A and B.

Keep reading for classic soundtracks, from Sabbath to the Stones, for a REAL road trip—one that spans 10 full albums, at least—courtesy of Matt Jencik at Reckless Records, a London legend for 30 years that now operates three record shops in Chicago.

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