‘Bad Taste’ Rules At The Arcade
This new addition to the Arcade lineup is bringing a whole new dynamic to the place; it’s like a party in there. These guys are just so much fun to hang out with — friends, customers, and even other Arcade shop owners wandered in and out during my visit. It’s like that one room in the dorm where everybody always hangs out.
So who do we have in this picture. On the left is Bad Taste employee Cøøg and on the right is his pal Louie who had dropped by. Together these two are The Daily Note, a hip hop platform “bringing the dopeness to you.” (Not to be confused with The Daily Dose who “keep the lame off.”) The duo is also getting into events, at AS220 and elsewhere.
Standing center stage, giving the side eye, is Rhode Island artist and designer Lvngstvn — he answers to “Long” — the mastermind behind Bad Taste. This shop is not just another collection of cool clothing and merchandise; there is a unique aesthetic vision at work here. Some of the merch is new, some vintage; themes include sports, pro wrestling, television; while musical references and influences range from sixties psychedelia to metal to old school hip hop. (I am going back for that ODB tee.) And yet it’s all of one piece somehow. It’s like the outer manifestation of the inside of Long’s brain . . . as clubhouse.
Long creates much of this himself (as Lvngstvn). The Hendrix piece is his work, and he is developing a Bad Taste clothing line with jackets, caps, tees. The T-shirt graphics often feature readily recognizable brands and logos reconfigured to sublimely goofy effect (see below). The best way into what they are doing is at BadTastePVD on Instagram where just this morning Long posted a hand-painted vintage Levi’s jacket — acrylic paint, ink, paint markers, and acrylic spray paint — and it is amazing! If you know a Guns N’ Roses/Appetite for Destruction fan . . . they want this!
Upcoming event: While I was there, Lupe Aguilar, the gregarious owner of Say Cheese (just right down Weybosset Street) dropped by. Bad Taste will be collaborating with Cured Collection for an in-store event on Friday, April 7th. Say Cheese is handling the food.
Before I left, Cøøg and Louie felt that I could not truly understand what makes Mr. Lvngstvn tick without knowing about his all-consuming obsession with Popeye’s chicken. (An obsession I understand completely.)