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For The Record: Spoon


What's our favorite new record? We're thinking Spoon's forthcoming They Want My Soul is a pretty solid contender. Each track the band has released from the album thus far ("Do You", "Rent I Pay", "Inside Out") has been good, but we've come to expect no less from Spoon. The band's been putting out music for over two decades now, and their consistent, catchy sound has guaranteed that they've stayed relevant to listeners of all ages throughout the years. Even though the band may be in their 40s now, they're still the quintessential college band. There's something to be said for staying power like that.

Ahead of their newest album They Want My Soul (the band's first in four years), we'll be having Spoon come out to our Soho, NYC store (628 Broadway), August 4, from 2pm-3pm to sign some records and chat with fans. And for everyone out there who's heard a lot about Spoon but isn't sure where to start when it comes to their music, we've compiled a list of our favorite Spoon songs to get you going. Some are hits and some are just personal favorites around the office, but all are amazing. If these don't get you pumped on Spoon, then nothing will!

And of course we also have to mention that the latest music video from the UO Video Series is Spoon's "Do You", which you can watch in full below.



Read more about our recent UO Video Series featuring Spoon

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For The Record Upcoming Schedule

7/31 Temples: UO Chicago (20 S. State St.) 8pm-9pm
7/31 Jenny Lewis: UO Indianapolis (8702 Keystone Crossing) 4pm-5pm
8/4 Spoon: UO NYC (628 Broadway) 2pm-3pm
8/8 Zach Braff: UO NYC (1333 Broadway) 5pm-6pm
8/12 Jenny Lewis: UO Salt Lake City (12 South 400 West St.)
9/10 Banks: UO Brooklyn (98 N. 6th St.) 6pm-7pm

Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!

Studio Visit: Outlaw Soaps

For this installment of Local Beauty, we're headed to the Bay Area for a study in soap-making with Outlaw Soaps, the Oakland-based line whose products are inspired by the attitude of some famous rule-breakers. Who says you can't be both rebellious and clean, right? We talked with co-owner Danielle Vincent about tiki bars, irreverence, and how a random stop at a Paso Robles farm stand inspired a business.

Photography by Keko Jackson.




What's the Outlaw Soaps elevator pitch?

We make exciting soaps for adventurous people. Everything we do is filled with love and laughter and the same irreverence that we feel toward life overall. We want the people who use our soaps...[have] a daily reminder of whatever it is they're passionate about, whether that's a big ol' bonfire on a camping trip or a quiet desert at sunrise. 


What’s the backstory? 

It seems kind of random, but I guess everything does from a certain angle. Russ (my husband and business partner) and I were on our honeymoon outside of Paso Robles on the 46. We stopped at a farm store and I ended up picking up some soaps, not really thinking much of it. Over the weeks that followed, I got really attached to them because they reminded me of that wonderful trip, and I thought, 'Hey, what if I could make soaps that reminded me of everything I wanted to be reminded of!' So we started studying how to make soaps. A week after we launched officially, we got a huge order for shaving kits and I quit my job. We moved to Oakland shortly after that. Many of the pictures on the vision wall are from that farmhouse store. It's really where I see us going in the next five years. 


What is "ridiculous soap"? 

We don't take ourselves too seriously and we have a lot of very funny friends. If someone comes up with a soap funny enough for me to spit coffee into my keyboard, we sometimes give it a shot. That's how Unicorn Poop came up: my friend Gretchen's daughter had the idea and I happened to have a lot of baked goods scents around (like blueberry muffin and birthday cake), so we decided to try it. And of course, it became everyone's favorite soap right away.


Why Oakland? 

Oakland was a very convenient place for us to settle. We live and work in a very, um, "safety-challenged" area in Oakland. We chose this place for very practical reasons: the rent is cheap and no one minds if we wander around looking like the cast of Breaking Bad (we wear a lot of safety gear when we're working). 

In addition to being practical, though, Oakland has really grown on us personally. There are lots of amazing places, and it's wonderful to see places like Jack London Square and downtown being revitalized. There's a lot happening in Oakland now. 



Can you share some favorite things that are happening in the area? 

I have always loved Jack London Square. Heinolds's First and Last Chance Saloon is one of the most magical places on the planet, let alone in Oakland. It's a very eccentric place, but it also feels like they kind of expected you to come in and make yourself at home. Very comforting. 

Recently, I went to an exhibition at Redux Studios and Gallery in Alameda, and it was wonderful. Alameda is just overall idyllic, but their growing art scene is significant. I feel like they're building a very unique and independent culture over there. And speaking of Alameda, Forbidden Island Tiki Bar is THE HANDS DOWN MOST AMAZING TIKI BAR EVER. Yes, it's all-caps amazing. I have quite a lot of glassware from there (they have cocktails that come with their own cup to take home). It's just wonderful. 

The place I always go when I happen to find myself in the city (that's what we Oakland people call SF) is the American Grilled Cheese restaurant. I am a huge fan of cheese and the New American has the best grilled cheese sandwiches ANYWHERE. 


Who are some of your favorite outlaws—historic or just general rule-breakers? 

Of course, I'm partial to fellow soap salesman, Soapy Smith. He had a slick swindle where he'd slip some money into the soap wrappers and then just sell off the soaps seemingly at random. People would go crazy buying the soaps hoping to get what sometimes was as much as $100 (and in 1870s money, that's a lot). Of course, Soapy didn't ever sell the winning soaps to the general public, he just sold it to his friends and got the money back at the end of the gig. 

My favorite outlaws are the ones who have a touch of humanity in their outlaw dealings... one outlaw, Tom Bell, was a surgeon and had a habit of bandaging up any victims hurt in his hold-ups. I mean, sure, he stole all their money, but that's no reason to be cruel about it. 
 

Quick: recommend one product to us (If we can only have one). 

Sage Copper Canyon soap. It will absolutely change your viewpoint for the rest of the day. 


What are you working on next? 

We just launched a lotion-to-go. It's called The Stick-Up and it's kind of like a big glue stick, but instead of glue, it's lotion. It can get through airport security, it lasts a long time, it's amazingly nourishing and soothing, and it smells incredible.


Shop Outlaw Soaps in UO Beauty!

About a Girl: Best Friends on the Road

With the long days of summer comes the itch to get up from our desks, get out, and explore—whether that means finally putting our dusty passports to use or just making a point to find newness in the familiar. 

To learn more about the latter, we called on the expertise of Los Angeles-based best friends Melanie Ayer and Kristine Claghorn. The girls initially met through each of their boyfriends (and Melanie's now-husband), both members of the band the Local Natives. Frequently making trips back and forth to see their guys on tour, Mel and Kristine's friendship has been largely built on the road...time spent on long plane rides, car trips, and nights in tour bus bunk beds. 

We caught up with the duo on a rare weekend at home, following them around on their perfect LA day. We asked them to share travel stories, packing lists, and their curated itinerary of what to see and do in their own stomping grounds. It's a timely reminder: sometimes you don't need to go far to find an escape. Photography by Chantal Anderson | styling by Katrina Thomson 

Hello K + M! Can you each introduce yourself, please? 

Kristine: I’m an Indiana native, but I’ve now lived in LA for three years. After graduating from Indiana University, I interviewed at a custom apparel company in LA, got the job, and packed up and moved two weeks later! It was a whirlwind. I’m now doing social media for them, so I spend most of my day on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

Mel: I’m a California girl, born and raised. I grew up in the Bay Area, about an hour outside of San Francisco, and I always dreamt of living in LA. It had a sparkle to it. I made the move after college to pursue a career in television. I love living in such a creative city that fuels so many of my passions: writing, photography, and collaborative brainstorms.

 

Set the scene for us about how you two initially met.  

Kristine: Mel and I met for the first time in 2011 at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. The next time we hung out was on a trip to New York about four months later. It was Halloween weekend and we ended up at a random loft party in Manhattan. Mel and I took over the music and had our own dance party in the living room. It was hilarious because it was just us (and a random guy dressed as a ghost) dancing the entire night.

Mel: That New York trip is definitely what sparked the goofy, carefree side of our friendship. We have so many inside jokes and silly nicknames that stemmed from a series of awkward events throughout that day. We always get into the strangest situations when we’re together.

You obviously have a connection through the band, but how has your friendship evolved through this?  

Kristine: When I met Mel, I was still living in Indiana. We chatted online about our relationships and interests...and that really helped us get close. I moved to LA the next year, and Mel was the head of my welcoming party. She helped me find my first studio apartment and drove me around after my car was stolen...oh, LA. 

When our guys are away on tour, we spend a lot of time together both at home and planning trips to visit them together. When they’re busy with the band, Mel and I have our own little adventures. Once we stayed at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and got massages & facials. It ended up being a couples massage, which was hilarious.

Tell us some stories about traveling together. What trips stand out, both good and bad? 

Kristine: One of my favorite trips was a day we had in Columbus, Ohio last summer. Mel is the master at finding good spots and she had bookmarked a bunch of cute stores, restaurants, ice cream shops, you name it. We had so much fun exploring, dancing around, and taking pictures.   

Mel: Most of our recent travel has been on the road in a tour bus. This means we’ve had nights with little sleep thanks to bumpy roads, strange food in the middle of nowhere, crazy cab rides, and so many airport drop off and pick ups. We’re almost always on the go. I think my favorite thing about traveling with Kristine is that she always shows up with her favorite pillow, which is a green, squishy cylinder shape that she calls “Pickle”...and also a pack of Lysol wipes to clean off the arm rests and tray tables on airplanes.

 

What are some tips for traveling with friends and not going crazy?

Kristine: My biggest advice is to make sure you like your friends! Mel and I are both good at going with the flow and taking moments as they come, but also like to have a little list of things we’d like to do. There have been times that we’ve had to wait in long lines at the airport, which can be infuriating. Instead of getting annoyed and impatient, we just laugh it off. If you remind yourself that you’re with someone you love, you can make any situation fun. Don’t take anything too seriously!

Mel: I have to say that I love a good bike tour. It’s a great way to take in a city without worrying about maps and directions. Everyone can just follow the guide and have fun together. And I agree with Kristine. It’s really important to go with the flow and remember that sometimes the plan isn’t going to work out exactly how you thought it would. And the cool thing about travel is that it’s always reminding you that the spontaneous, unexpected moments usually end up being the most memorable.

What items are always in your travel bag?

Kristine: a chunky sweater, a fully-charged laptop, face elixir by Caudalie, and vitamin E oil as a moisturizer.

Mel: Batiste dry shampoo, Yes to Cucumbers facial towelettes, and a swim suit — just in case!

 

What destinations are on your travel wish list?

Kristine: I’m dying to go to Spain. I majored in Spanish in college and didn’t study abroad, so I would love to be able to go use what I’ve learned. I also want to go to Tokyo, Paris, and South America. It’s pretty hard to narrow down because I’d be happy to go just about anywhere. I’ve been able to see a lot of the U.S. in the past few years and I want to eventually visit all 50 states.

Mel: Bali, Morocco, Melbourne, and I’d love to spend more time in London and Paris.

Walk us through the recipe for an ideal LA “staycation”

Kristine: I’d begin the day with yoga at Yogala in Echo Park or a hike up to the Griffith Observatory. There’s a great little café at bottom of Griffith, Trails Cafe, where you can grab coffee or tea before making the walk up to the top. After, I’d go grab brunch at Local on Sunset. On Saturdays, you can walk down the street to the Silverlake Farmers' Market, which is the place to go for vintage finds on a budget. Painted Bird is another vintage store favorite of mine. For dinner, I’d make the trek downtown to Bäco Mercat and to The Pie Hole for dessert. Make sure to get slices of the Mexican chocolate and the Earl Grey pie. They’re to die for.

Mel: I would start with a massage at The Raven Spa in Silver Lake. It’s so peaceful there, and it’s the perfect place to de-stress and get inspired. From there I’d visit Atwater and grab a burrito at Tacos Villa Corona, and stop at Individual Medley, one of our favorite local shops. For a dinner date, I’d go to Canele. On day two, I’d drive to the West side. The Getty is a great spot for checking out art and amazing views of the city. For dinner I’d want to try one of the many restaurants still my list to check out, like Superba Snack Bar or Son of a Gun. Lastly, I love going to the movies at the Arclight in Hollywood. The chairs are super comfy and the screen in the Dome is massive!

What is it about LA that keeps you there?

Kristine: Since moving to LA, I’ve met so many inspiring people that have helped pave my way into the creative world here. I have collaborated with Kate Miss and Katrina Thomson on lookbooks for their handmade jewelry. I also worked with Wade Koch on a music video for Mister Goodnite.  I do freelance graphic design and styling, and I just started my own blog. Being surrounded by such a supportive community of creatives has really helped me grow into my own. It’s nice to connect with friends that give you the push you need to get started. 

Mel: What I love about LA is connecting with creatives on projects, big or small. I’ve written articles for a friend’s magazine, modeled for a friend’s knitting bookand danced in a friend’s music video. There are so many inspiring people to talk to and it’s really fun to see what a conversation with a new person will lead to. I also love connecting my friends with other friends when they’re looking for a certain skilled person to work with on any particular type of project. It’s exciting to find that perfect match—the missing link—that fits right into the puzzle, and see them all create something awesome together.


Music Monday: July 28, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Francisco The Man - Progress

Super duper rad track. Summer, summer, summer. "Progress" is off the forthcoming debut LP Loose Ends coming in late September. Beach vibes, pre-game vibes... just all the vibes, really. The vocals are reminiscent of Beach House - amazing.

Hudson Mohawke - Chimes
Put on your trap hats, folks! It's gonna be a wild one.

Seekae - Test & Recognise (Flume Re-work)
Flume certainly has a way with re-works. This track is gorgeous. In usual Flume fashion, it's pretty and thumps at the same time. Australia, huh? 

St. Tropez - Let Go
Has anyone ever seen one of the "I'd rather be yachting in St. Tropez" t-shirts? Because this is exactly how this song makes me feel. Wonderful pysch-pop here. These guys have been on the radar for a minute and this track is stepping it up a notch, for sure. 

Benjamin Booker - Have You Seen My Son?
Straight up rock and roll right here. Solid tune, which looks to be the second from Benjamin, and we're looking forward to more. Rock and roll.


Friday Download: July 25, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! We rounded up some delightful internet tidbits for you, but read fast and then head outside - it's beautiful out there, and you aren't going to wanna miss this sunshine. #SUMMERFRIDAZE



Banks "Beggin For Thread"
This newest song uploaded by Banks from her upcoming Goddess LP is sooo good. It's a little more upbeat than what we're used to hearing from Banks, and I'm a big fan. (via Idolator)



Ryan Adams "Stay With Me"
This past week, Ryan Adams started touring with a full band again, and he debuted a few new songs from his upcoming self-titled album. Here he is playing his new song "Stay With Me" at the first show of his tour (his banter!!). And if you feel like weeping at your desk this Friday, here he is closing with "Come Pick Me Up." (via Stereogum)



If I Stay
Listen, I know this looks corny. I know they are using that horrible, cheesy "SAY SOMETHING I'M GIVING UP ON YOU" song. I know of all this. But there's also a sad grandpa. And a boyfriend playing guitar romantically. And tragic, loving parents. So, yes, I will weep at this in theaters. Let's all weep at this, together.



Fifty Shades of Gray
Yeah, I know. We've all seen this trailer already. But I needed to post it again because I need to talk about how surprised I am that Focus is involved in this. And the fact that this definitely, absolutely looks like it's going to be a horror movie for the first 1.5 minutes. And the fact that all I can think of with the whole, "There's not much to know about me. I mean, look at me," line is the "She's got glasses and a ponytail! And paint on her overalls!" line from NATM. And Beyonce is involved, which is surprising? (Even though we all know Bey has terrible taste in movies.) Wow, anyway. Can't wait for February.

UO Beauty: Summer Hair Repair


Now that we're deep into the summer and have been spending most of our days at the beach and pool, our hair is juuust starting to look a little worse for the wear. This is the time we whip out some of our favorite hair repair products, so our locks can get back to model status in a hurry. Read on for our current favorites below.





1. Alterna Bamboo Beach Sun Recovery Spray
Alterna's Sun Recovery Spray is a leave-in conditioner that can be applied to dry hair, which means it's incredibly easy to use and you have no excuses not to use it on your poor, over-chlorinated hair. Just spray some on before running out the door and you're good to go. (This one also happens to smell really, really good.)

2. Cocooil
Cocooil is MAGIC in a bottle. First of all, it's fine to use on your hair or your body, so it's a good buy if you like a nice two-in-one product. Secondly, if you have sensitive skin, Cocooil is a smart choice because it's an all-natural coconut-oil blend. There are no artificial fragrance or colorings are in this one, so it should be totally soothing to even the most sensitive skin.





3. Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum
Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum is a lightweight, silicone-free, hair oil that "reverses and prevents damage caused by heat-styling, color-treating and chemical straightening." The secret ingredient is its monoi oil. We love this serum because it makes our hair incredibly soft after only a couple of pumps.

4. Murray's CocoSoft Coconut Oil
Best for thick, curly hair, Murray's coconut oil is formulated a little differently from regular coconut oils. It's thicker and works as a "light-hold pomade" on top of just moisturizing, which means you don't need a lot at all. If you're looking for a lighter spray or something that's more of a straight coconut oil, then this product isn't for you!

Shop Hair Repair

Brands We Love: CMRTYZ


Seattle-based duo CM Ruiz and Ty Ziskis, aka CMRTYZ, are an artistic team that creates original artwork for "anything from T-shirts to album covers." UO design teamed up with the duo to print their lo-fi creations on one-of-a-kind destroyed tees, and subsequently created some of our favorite tops of the summer. We caught up with the duo via email while they were on opposite sides of the globe to find out a little bit more about their design process and inspirations. (And they also had some incredibly inspiring words of wisdom for all aspiring artists out there! We're feeling like we can take on the world now.)



How did you guys get started as a company?

TYZ:
[Carlos] and I met through a mutual friend who was curating a NW poster art exhibition. I had just been laid off from my job and volunteered to help with the project. My contribution was the idea to create a group of products incorporating the work from the artist and the music from the bands that were featured on the posters in the the show. The whole thing ended up being kind of a bust, but through being a part of the show I met Carlos and we clicked immediately. I was blown away with his work. We decided to continue the concept of building products using his work as our graphic identity. We never visualized ourselves being a clothing brand really; we're just two guys that like to be productive. We like to daydream and then get a kick out of figuring out round about ways to make those dreams happen.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

CMR:
I'm inspired by things that have similar energy or humor as I do. I like comic books, '60s mod design, The Simpsons, and my other creative friends' work. I look at a lot of Reddit and Tumblr when I can't really think of anything, because an artist's block can be reduced just by laughing at some dumb thing and feeling relief.

What is your design process like?

CMR:
I go to a copy shop and just start making stuff. I'll come with some books in my bag I know I can pull from, things like pretty girls or interesting body movements, and start creating things around these people. Landscapes, text, shapes, bugs, brick walls, floating creepies, stuff that I like to draw and I think can balance a composition. Around 3/4 way in I will start to pull back the insanity and start to think of it mathematically. I'll listen to whatever music I think best fits the tone, mood, and voice of whatever particular project I'm working on.



Any advice for other young artists/entrepreneurs out there?

CMR:
I think if you're naturally talented you really have to hone it and try your hardest to make as much work and get as much practice as you can. If you're not going to go to school, then you have to learn from whatever scene you're in about what works and what doesn't. You can't be resigned to give up because it didn't happen in a year or two; it may take ten years but at the end of it you'll be "there" which is the mountain peak you wanted to get to all along. You have a story and you need to just go for it 100%, not halfheartedly.

TYZ: Don't listen to the people who tell you you can't because of "this or that." Think outside the box, then think outside that box, too. Think backwards and upside down. There is always a way as long as you believe there is. Be persistent even if it feels like you're being annoying. Always be productive, be prolific, don't stop working. If you are doing EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) in your power to make "it" happen, the universe will more than likely take care of the rest.

What are your favorite spots to hang out/eat/etc. in Seattle?

CMR:
Lots of places! Ba Bar, Tacos Chukis, Ezells Fried Chicken, Ballard Pizza Co. For drinking there's The Streamline, The 5 Point, Rendezvous, Hazelwood. For shopping there's Totokaelo, Glasswing, Comics Dungeon, Zanadu Comics, Red Light Vintage, Pike Place Market. Literally any park is nice, or see a movie at any of the art house theatres (Harvard Exit, Guild 45, Central Cinemas). Just pick up a Stranger and see what's happening. A lot of the time they're not far off.

TYZ: BPC (Ballard pizza co.), Pho Cyclo, Pike Street Fish Fry, GGNZLA karaoke, T-docks for a good swimming spot, STARBUCKS for coffee (:p), Fremont Vintage Mall/Market, my backyard and Magnusson beach dog park.

What are you currently listening to?

CMR:
Detective Agency, White Fang, Juan Wauters, So Pitted, The Trashies, Times New Viking, Vaguess, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, Outkast, M.I.A., Chiddy Bang, Ice-T.

TYZ:
Detective Agency, So Pitted, Johnny Thunders, Pet Shop Boys, Stickers, The Memories, Yves/Son/Ace, King Krule, Damaged Bug, and everything on Castleface Records.

Shop CMRTYZ

Behind the Scenes: White Sands

Our newest Shape Shifter photoshoot took us to New Mexico's incredible White Sands, the largest white gypsum desert in the world. 275 square miles of crisp bright dunes set against a pristine blue sky: it's a must-see. (And a favorite photoshoot destination for its surreal, perfect light!)

Behind the scenes with the lovely Joanna Halpin, we tromped around the mountains, asked about that whole radioactivity thing and even made a new (animal) friend. 
Photographs by Devyn Galindo.

Meet our new camel friend. The production team explains, "The park ranger sent us a text and said 'We have a camel.' At first we thought it was a typo, then we looked at the white dune across from us and there was the camel in all of his glory."

His owner, George, was nice enough to let us hang out with them for part of the afternoon (read more about the White Sands camel here). 

New friend #2: the park ranger.

Who's leading who? 

Three notes on the White Sands:

1. Sabertooth Tiger footprints have been found there! 

2. The White Sands are considered an active dunefield, moving from west to east as much as 30 feet every year (the wind also leaves amazing patterns in the sand). 

3. It's also the location of the Trinity Site, where the government detonated the world's first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945. We are told it is now only "mildly radioactive."

For The Record: Temples

Temples looks and sounds like they're straight out of the '60s, and even after seeing them live in person, we're not 100% convinced they're not time-traveling from the past to grace us with their musical prowess. How else could we explain their impeccable vintage style? Since we've been groovin' (first and last '60s pun we'll put in here) to their debut album Sun Structures since it was released earlier this year, we're happy to announce that the band will be joining us in Chicago, July 31, to sign records at one of our downtown locations (20 S. State Street). Ahead of the signing, we chatted to the band via email to find out a little bit more about them.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you formed?

We are Temples from Kettering in the middle of England. We recorded some songs as an experiment a few summers ago and put them on YouTube. We were asked to play some shows, so we thought we'd figure out how to play the songs live, and we haven't really stopped since.

What were you doing before Temples really took off?
Some of us were at University, or working, but we all were living in different cities at the time. We all just happened to be back home in Kettering at the time Temples was coming to form, so for that coincidence, we're very thankful.

What cities in the US have been your favorites to tour through?
Austin, Texas is always an experience. We loved the time we had on the West coast, too. So many of our favourite musicians are from there. We found tranquility in Santa Cruz.

We'll be seeing you at our vinyl signing in Chicago. Any particular things you like to do while there?
Thrift stores, getting our native foods card stamped and listening to some blues.



We saw you perform on a rooftop in Austin for SXSW. Have you performed in any other interesting locations?
We played in a swimming pool in Geneva, Switzerland. They'd emptied all the water out of one of the pools, built a stage and these huge lights; everyone was in swimwear and barefoot. The reverb was wonderful.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done at a festival?
Stayed up all night to watch my favourite band play at 11am the next day, and fell asleep an hour before they were about to play. Sorry, Dark Bells.

What are some of the instruments you like to use to get your sound?
Anything we can find. The idea is to make the instrument you're playing sound like something completely different.

Do you guys have any hair tips and tricks? Yours is all pretty fantastic.
It's important to let things dry naturally.

Who have you all been listening to lately?
Nick Nicely.



What have you been watching lately?
Dario Argento films.

What do you all like to do when you’re not playing music?
Go find the nearest record shop and sightseeing 'til we can see no more.

What does the future look like for Temples?
Bright and progressive.

Shop Temples on vinyl



For The Record Upcoming Schedule

7/31 Temples: UO Chicago (20 S. State St.)
7/31 Jenny Lewis: UO Indianapolis (8702 Keystone Crossing)
8/4 Spoon: UO NYC (628 Broadway)
8/8 Zach Braff: UO NYC (1333 Broadway)
8/12 Jenny Lewis: UO Salt Lake City (12 South 400 West St.)
9/12 Banks: UO Brooklyn (98 N. 6th St.)

Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!

About a Face: Joanna Halpin

We’re always curious about the daily beauty, hair, and skincare routines of the effortlessly made-up women we know. From concealer to coconut oil, "About A Face" is our insider glimpse into the makeup bags and medicine cabinets of our everyday muses.


On set of our Shape Shifter lookbook in White Sands, NM, we couldn't help but ask our model the stunning Joanna Halpin about how she stays fresh-faced. Here, she dishes on her favorite products and her secret blemish remedy. 
Photographs by Devyn Galindo.


I cleanse my face every morning and night with a brand called Cactus Skincare that I found when I was in Australia at the beginning of the year. I do that first thing in the morning. I also use one of their moisturizers. If I'm not working, I try to not wear any makeup unless I have a really bad pimple or something in which case I'll cover up with Laura Mercier's cover-up foundation. I try to not wear any makeup because my skin gets so bogged up when i'm working.

I also do a Cactus Skincare face mask sometimes — it really helps make my skin very clear. 

I don't do much to my hair other than wash and condition it most days. I will typically blow dry it and finish with a bit of leave-in conditioner. I use supermarket shampoo! Is that my secret? [Laughs.] 

Occasionally I'll put coconut oil in my hair when my hair is wet and then wash it again in the morning.

One thing i always use to get rid of spots — in England there's this stuff called Sudocrem, it's a white cream or paste. I think people even use it for nappy rash. But I put it on my spots and it works! 


Above: Off-duty face mask, via Joanna's Instagram


I try to drink lots and lots of water for my skin to try and keep it as clear and hydrated as possible.
I have started trying to drink more hot water with lemon as well as apparently that is good for your body inside and out. I also try to eat healthily and remind myself to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I recently fell in love with avocados which are apparently good for skin and hair so have been eating them whenever possible. I also drink lots of tea: lemon and ginger is my new favorite but I love green and mint too. 

As for my beauty muses, there are so many beautiful women I could pick as my beauty icons I don't even know where to start... Maybe Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin.


Shop Joanna's Picks in UO Beauty:

1. Holika Holika Hello Holika Breeze Kitten Blush

2. TONYMOLY Crystal Light Highlighter

3. nyl Skincare Gentle Sugar Body Polish

4. Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel

5. ModelCo Eyebrows Designer Brow Kit

6. Herbivore Botanicals Lip Butter

7. dpHUE Hydrate Masque

8. Herbivore Botanicals Sea Mist Hair & Body Spritzer

9. Cocooil

10. Stila MAJOR Major Lash Mascara

11. Stila Color Balm Lipstick

12. Stila CC Color Correcting Stick

13. dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo

Near and Far: Victory Press x UO


Victory Press is designer Jessica Humphrey and artist Jonathan Cammisa, collaborating to create a collection of men’s clothing inspired by post modern art, prints and silhouettes of ‘80s skate and surf culture, and the functionality, integrity and ideology of ‘90s outdoors wear.

En route to launch a Victory Press pop-up event at our Los Angeles-based concept store Space 15 Twenty, Jess and Jonathan drove across the country, visiting American factories and getting up close and personal with the country’s great outdoors. Here, the design duo lets us in on every adventure of their nationwide trek.







How did you two come together and launch Victory Press?
Jess: Jonathan grew up in South Philadelphia skating. He was heavy into grafitti and hip hop, and he spent his summers at the Jersey Shore. I grew up in Virginia Beach surrounded by surfing and skateboarding, and as a teenager photographed every punk and hardcore band that came through my town. We met about five years ago in Vinegar Hill, a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. We both were obsessed with 1980s and ‘90s vintage clothing and we had the same taste in art and music, so we became best friends. We decided to start a clothing line out of a shared realization that outdoors wear just wasn't cool. We wanted to make outdoors wear that like-minded people want to wear.

Tell us about the Victory Press pop-up that brought you across the country!
Our friend Kyle came to our studio one day and proposed we set up shop at Space 15 Twenty for the summer of 2014. As a new brand, we were stoked on the opportunity to build out a space with our creative vision and spread our ideas to the West Coast. So, we though it was only appropriate to see the country on our way here so we can tell our story to you.







What was your favorite city or pit-stop along the way?
Mystic Hot Springs, Utah was by far the most interesting destination. We spent a few hours soaking in old claw foot tubs filed in with mineral rich hot springs with epic views of the Utah Mountains. Mystic Mike, who hosts the property, has an extensive collection of posters and stickers he's illustrated for touring bands, including the Grateful Dead. He also has a YouTube channel where he hosts live music and does an awesome job recording. There is also a collection of buses previously owned by Deadheads, for which you can rent and sleep over, if you want. It was truly a mystical moment. And then there was Yellowstone National Park—there are no words for how beautiful it is there.

Any travel mishaps?
Not really. We had good vibes on our side!

What was your day-to-day life like on the road?
We woke up. I'd heat us up some Grady's Coffee we cold brewed the night before. I might have some time to make breakfast while the boys break down the camp. If not, it was Early Bird Granola and yogurt and then we were on the road. Some days were long drives—almost 14 hours. We literally drove until it was time to sleep. Our meals that day would be "Jon's Back Seat Turkey Sandwiches" and the good old gas station special. The other days we'd drive for six hours or so and set up camp. We'd cook chili or hamburgers, relax, shoot our BB gun, then go to sleep extra early, wake up, maybe do a hike and then hit the road again. We were lucky enough to spend a good stint in Yellowstone and Utah where we could meander a little more and soak up the environment. We drove through 15 states in seven days, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to stay idle.







What were some of the best and worst meals you had while traveling?
The best meal was the chili we cooked over campfire the first night in Yellowstone. We brought our cast iron dutch oven and made a slow cooked chili and cornbread. We set up camp with the Grand Teton mountains as our backdrop, with no other human in site. It was magical. We actually ruled on the food tip. Even the sixth time we had turkey sandwiches, they were delicious!

What are your top five travel essentials?
Our trusty Birkenstocks, Oberto Beef Jerky, Snowpeak Titanium Stove, our dog, Jasper, and Santa Maria Novella Potpourri (for the stinky truck).

What advice would you give to someone about to embark on a cross-country trip?
Give yourself a good month because there is too much awesomeness to see.





The Victory Press x Ours Gallery summer pop-up shop at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahunega Blvd) is open now and runs through July 27, 2014.


UPDATE: Now you can watch the video Victory Press made with the help of Nathan Caswell about their cross country trip!

Happenings: On The Boat


This weekend, we'll be up in beautiful Newport, RI, hanging out on a decked-out boat with The Wild Honey Pie and some of our favorite musicians. Recording special sets on the boat all weekend long, the artists will also be making appearances on the ground at Newport Folk Fest. To get everyone pumped up for the big event, we interviewed a few of the artists involved to learn a little bit more about each of them. See you at the fest!

TALL TALL TREES




Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Well, my name is Mike Savino. I grew up in Long Island, NY, but I’ve made my home in Harlem, NY, for the past 11 years. I’ve been a musician all my life, from my humble beginnings as a heavy metal bass player in my youth, to a jazzer, to my current life as a banjo slinging troubadour.

How would you describe your sound?
Psychedelic banjo?

How do you feel about other people’s descriptions of your sound?
People throw around the terms “maverick” or “banjo wizard” which I don’t mind at all.

How long have you been playing the banjo? Do you remember the first song you tried to play?
I’ve been playing the banjo for almost 20 years (yikes), though at first it was a hobby as I was more serious about becoming a jazz bassist. On the side I was studying Earl Scruggs and Pete Seeger, learning to play those old-time songs like “Cripple Creek” and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown."

A show is a success when everyone leaves feeling elated and mystified.

The best part about touring is seeing old friends and making new ones.

Favorite memory from 2014?

The year is half over and I feel like I’ve already done so much. I just returned from a tour of Japan for the second time. That was pretty amazing.

Have you attended Newport Folk Fest as a concertgoer? If so, any favorite memories?
I haven’t. This will be my first time!

Any NPFF moments/sets through the years that particularly stand out to you?
I’m guessing that this year will stand out. :)

Who are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
So much! I’m excited to reunite with my friends Lucius and Valerie June who will also be playing. I’m a huge fan of Trampled by Turtles whom I’ve never gotten to see. Robert Hunter has always been a hero of mine. I’m excited to see Jack White, Jeff Tweedy, Conor Oberst, Deer Tick... there’s so many. I’m going to be very busy.

What do you like to do when you’re not playing music?
Unfortunately, when I’m not playing music, I’m sending emails. Haha. One day I’m going to get me a little cabin in the woods and just sit there listening to the birds, drawing in my sketchbook, and drinking coffee.

Who are you currently listening to?
At the moment I’m listening to Sean Lennon’s new band GOASTT, Floating Action, and the tracks from my upcoming EP - getting them ready for release. I’ve heard those, WAY too many times.


THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN



Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started as a musician.
I'm Thao. I grew up in Virginia and taught myself to play guitar and other stringed instruments and the first song I ever wrote was for a book project on Lord of the Flies in eighth grade. Still some of my best work.

How would you describe your sound?
Old country and blues and R&B influenced loose and energetic rock and roll music with melancholic lyrics.

How has your upbringing shaped your music?
I think growing up in an immigrant household as a first-generation American kid raised by a very hardworking single mom infused me with a social consciousness and empathy and I hope that is evident in my music.

What would you most like for people to take away from your music?
Empathy and energy.

Who inspires you musically? (Singers/songwriters/etc.)
Dolly Parton, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Lucinda Williams, Bill Callahan, Outkast, Elvis Perkins, Songs Ohia, John Prine, older street musicians, our bassist Adam Thompson, my dear friend Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, writers Joan Didion, Grace Paley, Dennis Johnson, and all the fantastic people with whom I've had the pleasure of collaborating.

You’ve collaborated with a lot of amazing artists. Who would you like to collab with in the future?
I would love to collaborate with brass musicians in New Orleans and genius musician kids and comedic actors.

A show is a success when you feel like you and the crowd were in it together and either side gave just as much as the other.

The best part about touring is seeing old friends you'd otherwise never get to see, eating amazing food you'd otherwise never get to eat.

Who are you currently listening to?
The Byrds, En Vogue, Mavis Staples.

What does the future hold for you?
Writing our next record and then recording it and then releasing it and then touring it. Immediate future holds eating kale I bought at the farmer's market.


DEATH VESSEL



Hi Joel! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in a small coastal town in Maine. Before Death Vessel, I formed the band String Builder with my brother, Alec. I first started making music in Rhode Island in 1997.

How would you describe your sound?
A friend once described Death Vessel's sound as "melancholy candyland."

A show is a success when when all is a wow.

The best part about touring is is feeling welcome in a new and distant place. Additionally, I've always liked the routine that a well-planned itinerary provides.

What do you love about RI?
The official state rock of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is the Cumberlandite. It's exclusive to RI. And it's magnetic.

Where are your favorite places to hang out in RI?
I spend most of my time on the west side of Providence. Parker Woodlands is great for shady hikes. I recently had the opportunity to visit Clingstone. It's a lone house built on a tiny rocky island in Narragansett Bay near Jamestown. It's quite a sight.

Have you attended Newport Folk Fest as a concertgoer? If so, any favorite memories?
Yes, last year. Michael Hurley's performances in the Harbor Tent (with Black Prairie as his backing band) and in the Family Tent were festival highlights.

Any NPFF moments/sets through the years that particularly stand out to you?
I'm easily enthralled by the video clip of Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers with Pete Seeger (1964?) that's circulating online.

Who are you currently listening to?
I've been on a Francois Rabbath kick lately.

Shop Joel's vinyl picks

On The Boat Performers
Tall Tall Trees
Death Vessel
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Shakey Graves
Lucius

RSVP for the On The Boat experience here! Spaces are extremely limited. Winners will be randomly chosen starting July 24. For more info, click here.

Recap: Afterfest Chicago

At this time last year we were holding our first ever Afterfest in the ever-charming Chicago, and now this year, with a few more successful Afterfests under our belt, we were happy to return to The Mid for our second Chicago Afterfest! For our triumphant return, we headed back to Chicago Friday night where we had Liars, one of our favorite bands, and Vatican Shadow, one of our favorite electronic artists, play to a packed house. As always, Dave P. and Sammy Slice from Philly collective Making Time were on hand to DJ throughout the night to make sure everyone was dancing their little hearts out. (We seriously wanted to hand out medals to the intrepid partygoers who made it all the way until 4am.) The whole show went off without a hitch and was a perfect end to our otherwise super hectic Friday! If you're bummed you missed out, keep your eyes peeled for more of our upcoming Afterfest events, because chances are we'll soon be in a city near you. Photography by Evan Jenkins




Dave P. and Sammy Slice...UNITED.




The awesome graphics from Klip Collective.




Vatican Shadow taking the stage.








Liars on stage.









Read our recent interview with Liars!

UO Video Series: Spoon


Playtime for one group of beings can be angst-riddled Armageddon for another. If that sounds way too close to some kind of intense Bruce Willis film, just think about the difference in perspective between ants and humans at a picnic, and you’ll get the gist of music video director Hiro Murai’s not-that-serious thought process when creating the video for “Do You” by Spoon, off their forthcoming They Want My Soul on Loma Vista.







We’re hanging out beneath a windswept tent in the abandoned parking lot of a shop long out of business that, in its heyday, was amazingly named “Travel Around the World with Bertrand Smith’s Acres of Books.” (Yes, that was the whole name of one single business.) A pyro crew’s on deck, prepping a trashed-out Mercedes and some rubber tires with industry secret sauce to sustain some serious flames. The art department is littering all kinds of detritus on the grounds, right in front of the police. Hey, it wouldn’t be the end of existence without at least a little rubble.

“Not to get super heady about a music video concept,” Hiro says, “but I’m really interested in a pocket moment that takes place in a doomsday world.” In the case of this video, that means Britt Daniel, the lead singer of Spoon, is cruising in a vintage Plymouth wagon through a very lackadaisical Sunset Drive kind of vibe, and it just so happens that the buildings are on fire behind him. Which is actually kind of what Los Angeles feels like sometimes anyway, metaphorically, Hiro concedes. “Hey, once you own the chaos of the apocalypse,” he says, “there’s a certain kind of calmness to it.”

Just then Britt walks up, head to toe in black, before he hits makeup for some bandages and bruises. “We’ve never really made a video where I totally understood the concept,” he says. “But this one, I get it.”







Though they’d had several conversations over the phone about the video, Hiro and Britt are meeting for the first time on set. (The rest of the band was back home in Austin, enjoying the day off.) “This is one of those videos we have to rehearse 800 times and then do it once correctly,” says Hiro, explaining why we’ve been watching them do laps around the parking lot for hours. The video is to be shot almost entirely in one take.

“I like really deliberate filmmaking,” Hiro says. “I like things that are very in control—the pace of the storytelling, what you show the audience, and when. Although I don’t know why I haven’t learned my lesson from the one-shot thing, because every time I do it, it’s such a pain in the ass.”







Britt isn’t worried in the slightest. “I looked at Hiro’s videos and it seemed like he really knew what he was doing. Like he had a flair for the bizarre and the unique.” It’s part of an aesthetic his band’s been mining for two decades and eight full-length albums.

Sometimes music videos “can be one of those things that you ‘have’ to do for a record,” says Britt, “but I’m enjoying this one because I have a good feeling about it.” The way he sees it, he explains, “is that we’re seeing the last scene of a movie, right? And you as the viewer is dropped into this last scene without understanding the full context. I’ve been battered around, and I’m driving down the street and you don’t really understand what’s going on. You see a few reveals of who I’ve got in the car, you see there’s all this destruction going on. The car’s on fire, people are running, you don’t really understand why. And the last bit of video…”

Well, if we continued with the explanation, what would be the point in watching? No spoiler alerts here: check it out and find out how it ends yourself. Photography by Mike Selsky

Pre-order They Want My Soul on vinyl

Music Monday: July 21, 2014

No more Monday morning excuses! Stop staring at the clock and start your work week out right with five hand-picked songs from our music stylist, Corbin, who wants to fill your brainwaves with summer-ready sounds and auditory illusions.

Tom Misch - Now

"Now" is a chill hip-hop track from Tom Misch, who is keeping it super real. All his stuff has been really good. This one has a Sohn vibe, but the beat of Apollo Brown. Incredible tune here. 

Hotlane - Whenever (James Curd Remix)
"Whenever" is a poppy dance gem that brings you right back to that amazing 2006-2008 sound of pop vocals and glimmery '80s nu-disco. See: Russ Chimes, then and now. #tbt

Merle - Fannie Likes 2 Dance
This is one of those tracks where you almost can't tell whats going on, but you don't want it to stop. Very confused and very interested. Killer summer joint here. 

Sinead Harnett - No Other Way (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
No point in explaining this Hemsworth remix... just listen.

Los Angeles Police Department - She Came Through (Again)
Insanely chill track from the forthcoming debut LP from LAPD out in September. Beach vibes all over this one.





Friday Download: July 18, 2014


Summer is hurtling by, and that means Jenny Lewis' newest album The Voyager is coming out so soon (only a little more than a week, now). This is so exciting. My teenage self from 2003 is screaming in excitement. Her video for "Just One Of The Guys" came out this past week, along with some other awesome vids. Let's check them out below. Katie



Jenny Lewis "Just One Of The Guys"
Jenny can do no wrong and Kristen Stewart is incredibly charming in this, HATERS BE DAMNED. Always here for the "kinda totally random" actor cameos in music videos.



SZA "Julia/(Tender)"
Here's the newest video from SZA, another perfect jam for the summer. There's also this clip of SZA and tiny little Willow Smith performing their song "Domino" together earlier this week, which was fun to watch. (via Vibe)



Made In Minnesota
I was recently re-reading an article on The Replacements in a Sassy mag from, like, 1991, so when I saw that Noisey went out and did this mini-doc on the Minnesota music scene, I was pretty pumped to watch it. It's good, and made me finally realize that Craig Finn's speaking voice sounds literally exactly the same as his singing voice. I have no idea how I'm just finding this out now.



Lapsley "Painter (Valentine)"
This song is sooo pretty and Låpsley is apparently 17 years old, so have fun feeling like an untalented garbage can after you listen to this one. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)



"My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers"
Caity Weaver is my favorite person to read over on Gawker and her most recent post over there may be her best yet. Basically, she sat in a TGI Friday's for 14 hours to test out their new unlimited apps deal, and boy oh boy, the laughs you'll have along the way are endless.

About a Space: Beachside Bungalow

"I always knew I'd end up living at the shore…but figured that I would know when the time was right." 

In the spirit of the lazy, beach-filled days of summer, we took a quick trip to the tiny, nautical-inspired beach bungalow of Steve Olszewski. Steve is a stylist at Urban Outfitters, and commutes 80 miles each way from his home in Villas, New Jersey to UO's Philadelphia home office—a schlep, but one he considers well worth it to live in the history-filled, 550-square-foot beach house he's completely restored in the last two years. We talked with Steve about beach life, DIY renovations and tips for making the most of a small space. 
Photography by Michael A. Muller.




More than just an escape from the city, Steve's beach house is the realization of a childhood dream: the house originally belonged to his grandparents, and Steve grew up spending every childhood summer in the house he now lives in. "I always wanted to live at the shore," he explains. "I remember fantasizing about living in my grandparents' beach house as early as when I was nine or ten years old."

Two years ago, he started making steps toward leaving the city and retreating back to his roots. He sold the house he owned in Philadelphia and bought the beach house from his cousin. "It was really a surreal moment of all the right things happening at just the right time," he says.


He started renovating last January. Within two months, he and a friend had completely redone the interior. "I had originally intended to just spruce things up," Olszewski explains: "Embrace the 1970s wood paneling…[but]these things do tend to snowball. And just because you get nostalgic over a memory of playing Chinese checkers on the front porch addition of your grandparents' house—complete with shag carpeting, dropped ceilings and dark wood panelling—doesn't mean that it's something that warrants preserving." Above, coats hang on a wall made from reclaimed cedar fencing.  



Throughout the renovation, he also kept in mind that he was converting a summer home into a full-time home, and made steps to have it be "comfortable for summer visitors but also functional as my home when they were not." 

Above, a nautical mirror in the living room that Steve can trace back to a provenance inside his grandmother's shed. ("I always loved it!") When his mom tried to sell it in a yard sale, "I made sure it didn't get sold," Steve explains. "It sat in [storage] for years as one of my 'I'll have a house at the shore one day' belongings and just recently saw the light of day for the first time in over 20 years when I hung it on my wall." To continue the nautical influence, the mirror hangs over a displayed U.S. Navy blanket from WW2.


To make the most of the small space's limitations, Olszewski installed these paneled doors so the heat can get through. 


On living with less, he says, "I accumulated so much stuff while I was living in Philly and had to let go of a lot of things...living in a small space forces you to have less. The bedrooms in my spot are pretty tiny—this place was built for someone to drop his things and go fishing and then stumble home to sleep…space and comfort were the least of the worries of the people building these houses." 

Steve makes up for quantity with the quality of objects he keeps around: The house is packed with relics from the home's history that Steve has preserved and re-realized to fit into his own aesthetic. Above, vintage fabric used for bedroom pillowcases. 


Steve gutted and rebuilt the entirety of the tiny bathroom after discovering a leak buried beneath three layers of tile and concrete. "There were days this winter where there literally was no floor," he explains. "All you saw was the dirt in the crawlspace underneath the house; I referred to it as my litter box."


Details on a cedar wood shelf, constructed from the same reclaimed cedar as the wall in the front room.  


"This is my Great Aunt Mary passed out in a hammock." On his collection of vintage photos, Olszewski says he eventually wants to create "an installation of photos of people relaxing and having summer fun."


Steve's future plans for the beach house extend outside: painting, building an outdoor shower and planting a garden. 


"It always drove me crazy when I saw people ditching their beach chair in the trash because their butt ripped through the seat," Olszewski says. "I always thought, 'It's a perfectly good chair! It just needs new fabric!' Over the past few years, I've been grabbing beach chairs with good solid salvageable frames and refurbishing them with new fabric."


Steve's tips for small-space living:

1. Figure out what you will need space for, and plan accordingly
"You really need to consider how you are going to use a particular space, how often you plan on using it and form your plan around that. For example, I knew that I would only eat at my table when I had friends over, and also that when I have friends over, we pretty much spend most of our time out on the closed-in porch. So, moving the table out there in order to have a more open space in the kitchen was a no-brainer. Same goes for the second bedroom…I'll not have guests way more than I will have guests…so it only made sense to utilize the room as an extension of my bedroom (but leave enough space for a really comfy air mattress)."

2. Be inventive with storage
"You have to utilize every nook and cranny for storing things. Don't just have a coffee table…have a coffee table that’s actually a giant old trunk with all of your extra sheets blankets and pillow cases in it."

3. Keep things clean and bright
"As for keeping a space seem open and larger, I always stick with light, bright colors and avoid too much clutter—put your stuff away! I also painted the entire house one color so that things didn't feel separated at all. I wanted it to feel like every room was an extension of the next."


A nearby escape — Steve's two-block walk to a quiet stretch of beach. 

Brands We Love: Cleobella


We're always keeping an eye out for the next best bag, and this summer the artfully designed handbags and totes from Cleobella have caught our eye. Printed in eye-catching colors and fabrics and inspired by the travel stories of founder Angela O'Brien, the bags are basically made for summer. (Does that fringed one not just scream "sunshine" to you?) Initially started by O'Brien after a particularly inspiring trip to Bali in 2008, each piece continues to be made by hand, making each bag unique in its own way. All of the materials used are sourced locally in Bali and include limited edition textiles, recycled metals and quality leather.



The brand was first inspired by Angela and her husband Jim's love of surfing and travel, and that free-spirited quality is still a big part of the bags you see today. (Which is a big part of why we think that these bags are perfect for weekend getaways or quick festival jaunts.) Now grab one of these bags and go have an adventure of your own.



Shop Cleobella

Studio Visit: Duffy's and Herbivore Botanicals

This week, we're looking to Seattle to two favorite beauty brands doing things differently in the Pacific Northwest. First, a trip to the sunny studios of Herbivore Botanicals, where owners Julia Willis and Alex Kummerow share how running a do-it-yourself "science lab" is pretty much the best job ever. Next up is a visit to the Elysian Brewery, where we talk with Duffy's Brew owners Nicolette and Sean about the magical haircare benefits of their line's not-so-secret star ingredient. Photography by Robin Stein



A natural apothecary line operated by Julia Willis and Alex Kummerow, Herbivore Botanicals' ingredients run the gamut from Japanese Bamboo Charcoal to Brazilian gemstones. We talked with the couple about being accidental soap makers, drawing inspiration from scent, and their ideal Seattle day.   


How do you describe Herbivore Botanicals?
Julia: Herbivore Botanicals is kind of my dream come true. Its all about bringing together my favorite things: creating amazing natural scents, spa-like experiences and pretty designs. I love my job.

Alex: I couldn’t be happier. I love how everything is still done in-house. It is so rewarding creating a product from the ground floor. The initial ideas, the formulations, packaging and design, seeing the label printed for the first time, combining design and product to make something that people know as Herbivore Botanicals… I love seeing people love our product. 


How did this all start for you?
Julia: It really just came together out of nowhere, definitely not planned. In 2011, Alex, who is now my husband, and the other half of Herbivore Botanicals, bought me a soap-making kit for fun. Once I started, I became totally obsessed and knew that I had come upon something important. My friends and family were totally confused by why I was spending all my time doing this! I had never really made anything before and was definitely not a crafty person but once I started I knew it was what I needed to do. So, I pretty much followed my gut feeling
 and started this business. Alex and I now create and design everything together. We are our own formulators and graphic designers.


What inspires your products? 
Julia: For me, new product inspiration usually starts with a scent. Since all of the scents that we work with are plant based and natural I then look into the the properties of that plant, what it is traditionally used for from a therapeutic healing perspective. Then, I start blending and thinking about what other ingredients it would work well with, and what the purpose of the product will be. For example, we are working on a new body oil and our first full blown perfume right now, so I am very much in a world of scent experimentation. Visual images, color and words come next and we like to keep them simple and directly related to the scent of the product and the feeling that it evokes.



Tell us more about where you work. 
Alex: We love our workspace. The building is a tri-level building from 1900 that was used to house the horses that pulled carriages for the Bon Marche back in the day. Sadly, no more horses live here, but it is a great building filled with a handful of artists and creative businesses. 


Any new-to-you ingredients you've been experimenting with? 
Julia: I order samples of new ingredients to test out weekly and am kind of the mad scientist / mixologist around here. My current favorite ingredient is probably Tourmaline gemstone powder. This powder is amazing. It is a pure gemstone powder from Brazil that naturally brightens and refines the skin. You can find it in two of our newest facial masks: Brighten and Activate. My other current favorite is Jasmine Sambac essential oil, it can be found in our Egyptian Jasmine Luminous Body Oil and most likely a few new products that will be coming out for Spring 2015. 


Why Seattle? 
Julia: I am from here, actually. I grew up in Snohomish, a small town outside
 of Seattle. I tried moving away from Seattle a few years ago but missed it too much and came right back! I love Seattle: I think we want people thinking its all doom and gloom here so we can keep it all to ourselves.

Alex: I love the rain. Well, I loved the rain back when I moved to Seattle from a very arid climate. There is something about the Pacific Northwest that I have always found enchanting. It has an almost dreamlike, surreal vibe. The foggy mountains, the misty nights, the perfect summers...


What are some of your favorite things that are happening in the city right now?
Alex: I think maybe the best way to answer this question would be to describe
 my perfect day off. Julia and I sleep in a bit. We wake up and walk to local coffee shop Vivace for a espresso and delicious pastries. We walk a block or two over to Volunteer Park and relax in the grass amongst other Capitol Hill patrons looking to escape the hustle. Next, brunch at our favorite vegetarian restaurant Cafe Flora before heading to a trunk show at Glasswing at Melrose Market. Maybe a little siesta before heading to one of our favorite bars Montana for a Moscow Mule made with Rachel’s local ginger beer. Grab a bite at In the Bowl vegan thai restaurant and set off to see our friend Garrett Vance’s band Night Cadet at some venue on Capitol Hill. To cap it off, we would go to Pony to dance until closing to the tracks our employee/ favorite DJ kkost (Kyle Kostrzewa) would be spinning. 

Shop Herbivore Botanicals in UO Beauty

***

Duffy's



There is an old wives' tale that goes something like: put beer in your hair and the malt, barley and hops will make it shinier and healthier than ever before. Duffy's products puts a modern spin on it, using beer from Seattle's Elysian Brewery to make shampoo and conditioner. 

Why Seattle? What was it that drew you to the city / what has kept you there?
Both of us were drawn to Seattle because of its music culture. The beauty here sucks you in too… every time we fly somewhere else it looks lackluster compared to the breathtaking views and lush green landscapes we’re used to. We’re also huge foodies and severe coffee addicts and there is no shortage of either here. As far as starting/running a business, we’ve grown to love how much Seattle fosters those with an entrepreneurial mindset. We began selling Duffy’s at local farmers’ markets in Ballard & Fremont…not many cities have those kinds of grass roots venues so readily available.


Can you share some of your favorite things that are happening in Seattle right now?
We just checked out the Georgetown Carnival last weekend. So many cool things happening in that neighborhood right now! It reminds us of the way Ballard was before it exploded. We had some of the best Mexican food in the city at Fonda La Catrina in Georgetown. It was amazing. 


How do you describe Duffy's?
It gives people a unique alternative to spice up their grooming routine. We’ve revived this age-old wives tale into a fun and sexy product line that has a little more personality and lot more performance than your average shampoo/conditioner.


Tell me more about the Duffy's backstory: what exactly is the old wives' tale about beer and hair?
Back in the 60s and 70s women used to pour straight beer on their hair to add volume and shine. This works great as a short-term solution for dull, drab hair…but we wanted to expand on that. With Duffy’s, we amplify all the benefits beer has for hair while still maintaining that salon quality. We also process out the majority of the alcohol so that your good results don’t end in a dry, pungent mess days later.


Tell us more about how the Elysian Brewery got involved?
We approached several big players in the Seattle brewing scene to gauge who would be interested in working with us. Elysian was enthusiastic from the get-go. They aren’t afraid to get involved in something unique and they’ve been nothing but supportive since day one. Plus their craft brews are complex and delicious! 


What's your go-to brew (for drinking, not hair-washing)?
We're both really excited about the cider scene happening right now. 2 Town’s BrightCider (out of Corvallis, OR) and Seattle Cider Company’s Dry Hard Cider are two of our favorites.  


What's next?
We’re in the R&D stage right now on a beer-based beard wash/conditioner as well as some hops infused styling products. 

Shop Duffy's in UO Beauty

Brands We Love: One Teaspoon

Jamie Blakey, founder of denim and clothing line One Teaspoon, started the label when she was just 21 and with only $3,000 to her name. Now stocked in 32 countries worldwide, One Teaspoon shows no signs of slowing down. We spoke to Jamie about her favorite denim she's put out over the years, what she's currently wearing, and how we can get our own perfectly distressed denim.



Hi Jamie! What are your favorite One Teaspoon jeans, past or present?
My most favorite jeans of ALL TIME are the Ford King Pins and they're only just about to hit stores! When the sample finally arrived (this sounds lame…), my eyes welled up a little bit! Heavy, I know. Over a pair of jeans. But I couldn't believe them. Everything was perfect and just so me.

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans to wear?
Ford King Pins and the Black Wetlook Runaways.



How long have you had them?
They’re freshies. So only about 2 months.

What's the best thing that happened to you in those jeans?
Heaps of cool shit. Just everyday life is pretty damn great.

What's your favorite outfit currently?
You know what… It’s been the same since I was about 13. Mid-wash indigo baggy jeans with an oversize white tee. The cuts vary from season to season and the styling changes with what shoes and accessories I put with them. But it’s always that. Jeans and a white tee. That’s me.

How many pairs of jeans do you own? How many do you actually wear?
About 50 pairs. I get obsessed with one or two pairs for a month, wear them always and then I get over them and move on. Always have a drop crotch baggy on high rotation, though!



Any tips or tricks for distressing denim?
Just get some scissors and sand paper and rip in. The blunter the scissors the better. A big bottle of cheap bleach is always good to have on hand, too. The cheaper and more shit the better. I like to use the whole bottle with only water. Don’t be shy about it. After that, you just watch them until they reach the color that you’re after. Don’t do stretch denim, though, as you’ll lose all your elastane out of the denim. Once you’ve gone mad cutter and finished sanding and bleaching, put them in the washing machine with a decent scoop of powder and you’re away. Always dry them in the dryer after so they come out nice and soft.

Tips or tricks for making vintage denim wearable?
I only ever wear men's vintage denim. Low waist and baggy. Make a couple of nips and tucks and rips here and there and they’re good to go.



Favorite places to shop for denim?
I don’t have a favorite. For vintage I only ever go to thrift stores because getting them for a bargain is part of the fun. New denim I don’t buy so I wouldn’t know where to go that’s great... other than One Teaspoon and Urban Outfitters, of course!

What's been the best moment of your career so far?
It’s all pretty great. I feel like the best is still yet to come though for some reason?

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