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Stylish Hardware by Melon Optics

“We work hard and we like to ride hard, so our equipment always takes a beating.”

Melon Optics gear demonstrates excellent craftsmanship cleverly combined with simple, refined design. For those of us who don’t want to forgo the action in the name of style, this is a brand that speaks volumes.

From goggles, to sunglasses for daily wear, to pretty cool apparel basics, you want to get your hands on anything with their trademark. Not to mention they're totally affordable. We urge you to have a peek at their website - if not for shopping, at least for their video-led blog entries, which will leave you day-dreaming about your next extreme adventure.

Stand-out pieces include their customisable classic design the LAYBACK and the TRIPPER from the premium collection… *swoon*

THE TRIPPER

Words by: Nicole

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Mr. Eames – Insomnia

It was one of those nights. Toss the covers off one leg. Turn to the left, unable to get comfortable. Turn to the right. No difference. I lay on my back closely listening to the fan above the bed, its blades making their whooshing sound, which I normally find mind-numbing and soothing, the perfect remedy for a noisy brain. But tonight it’s distracting and inefficient.

Ordinarily I’d be K.O’d after a long day at the office followed by one too many ciders in the evening summer sun. But sleep was determined to evade me so I reached for my phone. When all else fails, turn to the internet for light-hearted entertainment in the slow-ticking hours of the morning.

I was in the middle of typing ‘grumpy cat memes’ into Google when the phone vibrated. It startled me and dropped it on the bridge of my nose.

Ouch.

Scrambling to sit up and see who the hell had the audacity to call me at 3 am on a Tuesday, I saw his name flashing on the screen. I fumbled and nearly dropped it again but managed to answer in one quick swipe, just as I was about to miss it.

I half-exhaled, half-spoke a ‘hello’ into the receiver.

“I thought you’d be in a comatose state at this hour,” he said. His voice poured into my ears, husky and warm, immediately rescuing me from the shackles of insomnia.

Eames,” I said, trying to sound as composed and nonchalant as I possibly could. “You’ve been M.I.A for too long.”

He chuckled. “I’ve been,” long pause, “busy.”

“Busy?” Don’t pry, I had to remind myself. It was relatively easy not to ask too many questions because his elusive, mysterious persona was part of the appeal.  Our restraint from wanting to completely unravel this bizarre being is probably the only reason we’ve been able to keep in touch with him. I use that term loosely because keeping contact was completely on his terms and came as sporadically as a panda bear’s desire to procreate. We didn’t mind - some of the most enlightening experiences we’ve ever had have been thanks to him in one way or another, so we just let it be.

“Story for another day, though. Listen, I’d like some company for my next trip. I have two round trip tickets for you both.”

My cheeks flushed, my face was hot, I pounced out of bed and fist pumped the air. When I managed to compose myself, I realised how lucky I was that Eames isn’t partial to communicating via Skype. “Um, well I’ll have to see if I can get the time off work. And I have no idea if H is free. And more importantly, where the hell are you thinking of shipping us to? And how did you get the money?”

Don’t pry. Oops. I was getting too worked up.

He laughed whole-heartedly. “I called in some favours. As to where we’re going, well, you’ll find out when you get my email tomorrow. Are you in or are you out?”

Fuck it. “I’m in. I’ll call H in the morning.”

I switched on my fairy lights, put in my head phones in and played Buena Vista Social Club on repeat. Eames introduced me to Cuban music with the promise that once day we'd be sipping rum listening to the real deal.

God knows what I just got us into. Then I thought, why do I still have fairy lights?

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Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc – Wake me up

"Wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older. All this time I was finding myself and I didn't know I was lost."  Poignant lyrics sang by Aloe Blacc.  I really love those lyrics and am just going to leave them to speak for themselves.  Who I really want to talk about is Avicii, I've heard of Avicii a few times over the past few years but nothing has ever really prompted me to look him up and find out a bit more about him until this tune.

This song makes me want to be at an outdoorsy festival, dancing with a drink in hand next to my favourite people, it was because of this that I went on a little search of said DJ genius.  It turns out Avicii is a young and extremely talented Swedish DJ, record producer and remixer who was named the 3rd top DJ in the world by DJ Magazine in 2012.  His house beats and funky melodies have become a recognisable style that he is constantly improving and shaking up.  Avicii plays regular sets in Ibiza and it seems like he's conquering the music world already, at only 24 years old - respect.

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Fat Freddy’s Drop album launch

Fat Freddy's Drop

“Let's start from just over halfway through the third album by Fat Freddy's Drop. It's the point where it goes beautifully bonkers, and showcases the band as not only the kings of laid-back and lilting epics but brain-rattling beat and soul mantras.” This is an excerpt of a review of Blackbird in the New Zealand Herald which I think does a pretty good job in describing Fat Freddy’s Drop latest album.

A long-time fan, I am absolutely thrilled that I got to go to the launch on Wednesday, which was live streamed worldwide from the Village Underground in Shoreditch. It was everything I expected – a solid two hours of their new stuff plus a couple of classics thrown in there for good measure, like The Raft and Roady. My absolute favourites from the new album have to be Blackbird, Clean the House and Bones. The gig had a more mellow kind of vibe than I was used to; I've seen them in Bristol and at Bestival where they got their raw, energetic skank kicks going full throttle. This didn't detract from their perfomance because their beautifully intricate sounds are enough to capture the attention of even the most wandering, ADHD-stricken minds. Their sound is more captivating and more self-assured than ever, but still keeping that vintage Fat Freddy’s style.

I love seeing them live, not only because they’re musically tight every time, without fail, but also because they’re actually entertaining to watch. Going to gigs these days can sometimes be SO boring, unless you’re going to see a huge act where it’s half about the music and half about the multi-million pound show. But with Fat Freddy’s you get vocalist Joe Dukie who is an absolute legend and gets so transfixed and into the music he often looks like a he’s on the best, more soulful trip of his life; then there’s Tony Chang on the trumpet, always looking slick, and next to him is Joe Lindsay aka Hopepa on the trombone dancing like a maniac, sweating his balls off in a shiny tracksuit jacket.

If you missed the launch but want to see them, they’ll be back in October at the Brixton Academy. I’m there.

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Darwin Deez – You Can’t Be My Girl

If you have post-Bank Holiday blues, fret not - Mr. Eames is here to save you with refreshing new beats that will keep you in high spirits through the rest of the week.

New York indie Band Darwin Deez, fronted by headband rocking Darwin Smith bring the good feels and fuzzy guitars out in force for the track 'You Can't Be My Girl'. Beck-inspired and with a stock video parody to boot, you can't help but feel the good times, even if Darwin is having a bad time trying to get the girls.

Mr. Eames

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Ghost Loft – Seconds

LA's Danny Choi (AKA Ghost Loft) makes the kind of grooves that perfectly suit the end of a hard night's summer partying in the city as the sun's about to come up. Ghost Loft's bubbling, slow grooves are the essential cure for any post clubbing blues this summer.

Mr. Eames

Who is Mr. Eames? Find out about this elusive character here

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City and Colour – Silver & Gold

When he's not bursting eardrums in the hardcore group Alexisonfire, singer-songwriter Dallas Green (AKA City and Colour) goes to the opposite end of the spectrum with melancholic folk ballads that make lying in a field staring at up at the clouds feel like a perfectly reasonable way to spend a day.

Mr. Eames

Who is Mr. Eames? Find out about this elusive character here

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Alpine – Gasoline

The video may well be full of snow, log cabins and warm fires but make no mistake – this is the perfect tune to play at any beach party or back yard barbecue. This six-piece band from down under are masters at the kind of dreamy indie-pop that will be filling up party playlists this summer.

Happy Friday people! Let the long weekend begin.

Mr. Eames

Who is Mr. Eames? Find out about this elusive character here

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Bearcubs – Home

Spring is finally here and although the weather doesn't seem to be getting any warmer, I've taken the time to make you a little summer jam teaser playlist this week as it’s Bank Holiday on Monday to help you daydream about trips to the beach and barbecues under the stars.

First up is Bearcubs.

The London-based producer has created a track that can make you feel like you're driving to the beach no matter where you are. Seagulls and beats = good summer vibes! This is 'Home.'

Mr. Eames

Who is Mr. Eames? Find out about this elusive character here

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Hundred Waters – Boreal


The weather's getting warmer, nights are getting longer and US Band Hundred Waters provide the perfect soundtrack to a late night chill session under the stars with their hypnotic track 'Boreal'. Sounds like Four-Tet, Bjork and Tune-Yard's Merill Garbus messing around with a bunch of instruments… in a good way, of course.

Mr. Eames

Who is Mr. Eames? Find out about this elusive character here

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A completely biased review of the Mrs. Carter Tour

mrs carter show

I'm currently listening to "I Care" by Beyoncé on full blast. In my head, there's some ridiculous scenario playing out where I'm either singing it with her in front of thousands of screaming fans or I'm at my local pub and suddenly I get handed a microphone and as if by magic I'm belting the lyrics out, note for note, along with the electric guitar - just like Queen B.

I seriously love her, guys. I'm completely unapologetic about the fact that I look up to her as a woman, admire her as an artist and for her relentless aspiration to be the best. She is the biggest, most fabulous super star of my generation and no one comes close to matching her calibre. This notion, by the way, is arguable but I'm not putting it up for discussion. So this is why I am hugely indebted to my dear friend for getting me a ticket to the Mrs. Cater Tour at the O2 in London recently. I don't know what black magic she had to pull to get them, but she did and one had my name on it.

Now, the concert. There have been mixed reviews, some praising it for Beyoncé's compelling vocals and choreography; some slating "her booty-shaking, self-assertion" because well, they're haters (yes, I'm judging you Simon Price from the Telegraph). This post biased because what follows is certainly not a balanced view. In the two hours I was there amidst a largely female crowd who knew pretty much every word to every song, I was left speechless and in complete awe tune after tune. Opening with her unmistakable girl-power anthem, Run the World (Girls), Beyonce was enthralling to watch from the get go and her all-girl dance crew and all-girl band kicked ass. Yes, it was a little weird that she said something along the lines of "I can see the hive is full tonight," implying that we're like her little bee workers, which I'm guessing is the kind of comment that sparked criticism over her self-adulation. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the vibes of "ancient goddess worship ceremony" because, after all, that's what we were there for and it's really no different than the god-like status we give to many music legends. A big concert like that is about the whole experience, not only about the music and not only about the performance - it should marry up the two to make an unforgettable show.

In a nutshell, I was expecting an amazing night and she delivered the goods. That woman can seriously sing her heart out. And dance her ass off. Particular props need to be given to Les Twins (her only two male dancers on tour with her). They were insane! Watch them here.

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Kiev – 3rnd

Trippy American indie band Kiev make that kind of alternative/progressive/experimental rock music that the Americans seem to do so well, which is mainly making it listenable, and trust me that's a hard thing to do! Like a smooth blend of Beck, My Morning Jacket and Radiohead in their more upbeat moments, '3rnd' is a great tune to cruise through the desert in an open-top Chevy, Hunter S Thompson style!

Mr. Eames

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Chet Faker – Archangel

Chet Faker is one of the brightest amongst an ever growing sea of Aussie music stars. Alongside artists such as Flume, Tame Impala, Matt Corby & Elizabeth Rose, Faker looks set to spearhead Australia's burgeoning electro/dubstep/post-rock movement across the rest of the world. Not only does he have an awesome beard, he also makes brilliant tunes! Check out his brooding cover of Burial's track 'Archangel.'

Mr. Eames

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Jamie Lidell – Don’t You love Me

Jamie Lidell has been on the scene for sometime now, his early journey into the realms of beatboxing and techno music have slowly evolved into a mixture of blue-eyed soul, electro and funk. Lidell is one of the most creative and talented British artists working today and his latest self-titled album sounds like Prince and Stevie Wonder jamming with 'Speakerboxxx' era OutKast. Awesome!

Mr. Eames

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Kelly Joe Phelps – Country Blues live

Kelly Joe Phelps is one of those artists you've probably never heard of unless you go out looking for that kind of thing. He seems to be content with flying under the radar, avoiding publicity. However, this US free jazz influenced guitar virtuoso makes blues-folk music like no other. Intricate and captivating guitar arrangements accompanied buy a husky yet melodic voice make Phelps an artist worth finding out about! Just watch this hypnotising performance of 'Country Blues' and you'll see what I'm talkin' bout y'all.

Mr. Eames

Who is Mr. Eames?  Find out his story here

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