Wowch's Favorite Things

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Here is a short list of things Wowch finds funny: pugs smoking doobs, pandas flipping the bird, dragons with beer cans. Not coincidentally, these are themes you'll find on the New York-based brand's t-shirts, whose psychedelic-meets-thrift-meets-Bill & Ted's aesthetic is not for wallflowers. Wowch was started in 2003 by Columbus, Ohio expats Matt Shankman and Max Cattaneo, who like to listen to Delia & Gavin and claim ducks as their spirit animal. It has since morphed into a full-time job, albeit one that is not too serious. "We don't have too many concepts when we design," writes Cattaneo, "We just try to make stuff that we don't see out there. And that always seems to involve cats for some reason."

Fuck This Life t-shirts ($30)
Gangster Dave's morbidly hilarious zine Fuck This Life juxtaposes monsters, creatively edited porn, and cartoon characters with intense newspaper headlines, and he's got a line of limited-edition tees that covers similar territory. I like the basic blackon-white-shirt style–it makes them look kinda like those "Choose Life" shirts Wham used to wear. Dave doesn't have a website but it's cool to publish his number (718-915-6189) because he likes getting calls from strangers/fans.

Teeth of the HydraGreenland ($13)
If you're into head bangin', then this album might just rip you a new one. It's the stoniest, awesomest doom metal we've heard in a while. Every song tells a fantastical story that takes you on a horrific voyage to Indian burial grounds, World War II Siberian prison camps, and frozen Viking outposts. Turn off the lights, turn on the strobe, light one up, and listen at full blast!

Umbro by Kim Jones sneakers ($180-$200)
It's taken about four years for me to find another brand of sneaker that really wows me besides Adidas Originals. Umbro by Kim Jones shoes are a breath of fresh air in a market that's all about rehashing old ideas. These woven ones take the cake. Granted, they take a while to break in, but that has given us two straight dudes time to truly appreciate the saying "fashion before function."