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Featured Brand: Publish


Looking for the next great streetwear brand to flesh out your Fall wardrobe? Look no further than California-based brand Publish. Started in 2010, Publish focuses on creating refined, wearble streetwear for men. Michael Hyunh, the brand's founder, wanted to make a line that was "casual, with an air of sophistication," but soon discovered that people didn't fully understand the concept of his brand. Customers were thrown off by the joggers he was producing in sleek, utilitarian fabric, far different from the cotton joggers everyone was familiar with at the time.

By pairing his elasticized dress pants with classic sneakers that his customers were able to put into context, Hyunh painted a picture of the aesthetic he had in his mind, and helped people realize that the dressier pants were, in fact, just as accessible as the standard cotton joggers they were used to. Hyunh feels that his clothing is still extremely accessible for any man out there, and we can't say that we disagree. See below for our favorite shots from our Publish lookbook shoot.













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About A Band: Strand of Oaks


During the recent XPoNential Festival in Camden, NJ, which took place right across the river from Philadelphia, we spoke to Strand of Oaks frontman (and incredible hugger) Timothy Showalter about the band's upcoming tour, hometown pride and making an album his parents can be proud of. Interview by Katie Gregory



Hi Tim! Thanks for talking to us. Are you guys excited about your headlining tour?
Yes! We're gone until November. We have a couple Philly shows at Boot and Saddle in September, and then we go to Europe directly after. Like three days after the Philly shows, we're gone. And then we added two more weeks in Europe, so that's exciting.

Are you guys still headlining in Europe too?
Yeah, we actually have a lot of groundwork laid in Europe, so we've been headlining there for like a year or two now. We headlined Europe before we headlined the US. We wanted to wait. I was lucky enough to open up for killer bands in the states, like every band was so good. We got to open for them, see how it worked, and just took our time until it was the right moment to do it.

We were talking earlier about how you'd opened for Tallest Man on Earth.
Yeah, Kristian [Matsson, of Tallest Man] and I, we were only supposed to play four shows together and then it turned out to be two years of tour [laughs]. It was supposed to be four shows and then it turned into, like, five different tours together, all over the world. He's one of my best friends. I love that guy.

He seems like a great inspiration.
He's like my brother. We call each other warriors. He's my man, I love that guy. Man, I wish we lived closer.

Your newest album is a little different from your older ones. How has the reception been from the fans?
Surprisingly great. It helped being paired with Dead Oceans, because it's such an awesome label. They believed in it as much as I did and... well, they also believed enough in what I did to let me do whatever the fuck I wanted. Like, I made a record that was very different from my previous records, but they were totally open and just told me to do it. And that's the best thing you can get from a label, just to have someone 100% behind it. Plus, it paid off. I think listeners react to a record when they know the person loves the music that they're making, when they know that it's genuine. I think this is my first record that I genuinely loved making.

The videos that you've put out so far for this album have been amazing, very thoughtful. Did you put a lot of time into fleshing out their concepts?
I actually thought a lot more about the directors than the videos. Rick Alverson [directed "Goshen '97"], he's my hero. He did The Comedy with Tim & Eric and James Murphy. That movie is just bonkers. But yeah, I wanted to work with him forever. And then Zia Anger who did the other video ["Shut In"], she's worked with Angel Olsen and she's just fabulous. We lucked out. It's just a matter of choosing the best team of people to work with. I'm not inherently talented so it's a matter of choosing people who make me look more talented. I pick people who are better than me to be surrounded by [laughs]. You saw the band! They're so much better at music than me, that's why I work with them.



How long were you all recording the latest album?
I started writing and recording last September. I finished the record around Christmastime. It was a pretty quick process.

We love that it got great reception from so many publications and music blogs.
Yeah, which I just feel like... I think it's a good time to be making records. I'm proud of music. I'm proud of my contemporaries. I think right now some of the best records being put out in years are happening, as we speak. It's a really good year to be putting out a record, like there's a really good crop of things [laughs].

Do you have anything you're looking forward to?
Man. Well, those two Boot and Saddle shows. They're super intimate. We wanted to play smaller venues for the first round. They're going to be intense. Wild.

That venue is pretty perfect.
It's one of my favorites. We decided to play there because I've been there a few times and I was like, “Holy shit, this place is incredible.” I'm really excited to get back into it. We're playing some awesome gigs, cool rooms. Like The Independent in San Francisco is awesome. I'm actually playing my hometown in Goshen [Indiana]. I'm super nervous about that. It's gonna be people like family members. I'd rather play to thousands of people than to two family members [laughs]. You can't really be cool around people who used to change your diapers when you were a baby. It's hard to pull that off.

That's exciting, though! When's that one?
August. So it's coming up soon. Old girlfriends and old friends.



But now you have this cool new record so you can be like...
[Deep voice] Look what I've done! Look at me! Exactly! My goal is... well, I don't know how to use the internet, but I need to get on the Goshen Wikipedia page under notable people. I don't know how that happens, but I need to find a way to get on there.

Anyone can edit it! You should totally add it in.
I know [laughs]! That's my goal. We've been kind of everywhere with this record, but my local newspaper wrote about it and that was what did it for my parents. They were like, “You were in the NEWSPAPER.” And I was like, “I know, I was also in...” And they're like, “No, but YOU were in the NEWSPAPER.” [Laughs] I made it! There it is!

Do you feel more like Goshen is your home or Philly?
Philly. I mean, I moved in 2000, so like at this point, that's almost 15 years. Playing something like this [WXPN festival] is hometown. When you grow up, you can't consider where you're from your home. I lived in Goshen for my upbringing but I was never an adult there. I moved out when I was 18, so it's pretty much over [laughs]. I go there because my family is there but this is where I live. I love it here. Especially right now. I don't think there's a prettier city in the fuckin' world looking at this [gestures to skyline]. This is amazing.

It's great looking over from Camden.
Who woulda thought! The Camden view is the view to have.

[At this point a woman comes up and asks Tim if he is Dawes. When he explains who he is, she gets her picture taken with him before leaving.]

Nice. You're Dawes!
Usually I get like, “Are you in Skeleton Witch? Are you in a doom metal band?” Somebody asked me about Skeleton Witch like four times once, so I finally looked at their press photos and I was like holy shit, I look like I'm in Skeleton Witch [laughs]. Valiant Thor! If I didn't have my shirt on right now, I'd definitely be in Valiant Thor [laughs]. Doom metal.

Years ago, you played this small art gallery, Eckhaus, in Kutztown, PA, and now you're starting to get recognized and playing big shows.
I love [Lehigh Valley]. There were so many good shows there. It took a long time to do big things. It definitely didn't come fast. People still ask me if we're a new band and I tell them yeah, we played our first show in 2004, we're pretty new [laughs].



Do you feel like you're where you want to be now or...
No, I want to sell out stadiums. If you're from Indiana, you don't do something without doing it all the way. Basically, parents aren't instantly satisfied with you if you're a little successful. Like if you got an A- they'd be like, “You didn't get an A?” So, for me right now, it's not even for my own ego or anything, I just need to prove to my family that I'm making it. They don't understand under-the-radar stuff, so I need to get much bigger for them to understand what I'm doing. [Pauses] This is like a therapy session! But no, I love what we're doing now. I think it's exceeding my expectations, for sure. It's awesome.

Are you guys already working on the next record?
We'll be touring until, like, fall of 2015, so we're not too worried about it. I can make a record in two weeks. I can't do anything else in life except make music [laughs]. The best is when you tour for a long time and then you stop touring. You play the guitar on the road, but you're playing it for a purpose. You don't get a lot of time to just write on the road, for me at least, so it's so awesome to finally get done with touring. Like, then it's record time and your mind just opens up. I already have another record written, but I don't think I'll put it out. I like it, though. It's fun. I was writing R&B songs a lot, singing up in the falsetto range. Thinking, “I wonder if people would ever want to have sex to my music.”

You should definitely try that.
I was listening to that one Drake song that everybody likes, "Hold On We're Going Home," and I was like, “I wonder if I could write a song like this.” [Laughs] I think that song is so good. But no, I'm into playing the guitar. The next album will probably be even louder, more rock. I want to make records that sound good in stadiums. I'm kind of a scatterbrain, but I think it works out.

Strand of Oaks Tour Dates

UO Beauty: Contouring


What is contouring, you ask? It's that magic beauty trick that makes everyone look like a Kardashian. Even though contouring is a little bit more involved than just slapping on some blush and heading out the door, it's a great way to amp up your regular makeup look for a night on the town. And since there are now a million YouTube videos for just about every beauty technique out there, the whole process is even easier. Read on for some of our favorite tips and products.



Okay, so you're ready to contour. Great! We're here to hold your hand and pet your hair as you head out on this daunting journey. First of all, make sure you start out with a good brush. At UO, we like to use this angled one from Japonesque, because the angled handle makes it easier to control. (We're not sure why, but we're guessing science.)

Now, when you're contouring, you want to make sure the look you're creating is natural looking. What you're trying to achieve is a slightly more sculpted face. To start off, you want to use a darker product than normal in the hollows of your cheeks, because you want to create a fake shadow (that's what makes the cheekbones pop). Don't get in there with bronzer if you're very fair, because you'll just end up looking like you smeared some dirt on your face. We like this bh Cosmetics palette because of the variety of colors, but there are plenty of options out there for a variety of skin tones. For creating the "shadow" in the hollows of your cheeks, you'll want to stick to a color that has beige or even gray undertones - that'll help it look most like a natural shadow, and not just makeup that's been plopped randomly on your face. The illustration above is a great, quick reference for where to put this color.



While doing this, remember you absolutely don't need to use a lot of product for the contouring, and when you do apply it to your face, make sure it's blended well into the skin. And try to do your makeup in direct sunlight, because contouring can go horribly wrong if you're sitting in a dark bedroom - you'll end up looking very makeup-y the second you step outside. After you have the color applied, you want to make sure all the lines are blended away (we like to use this Stila brush, specifically made for contouring). It definitely takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's like second nature.

After that, top off the apples of your cheeks with some blush. Whatever blush you normally use is fine. Then, top that off with some highlighter to really accentuate the cheekbones. It's a lot to get the hang of at first, especially if you aren't a beauty guru, but it's super fun to play around with and to see how close you can get yourself to looking like Kim K. If you're reading all this like "wat," then we highly recommend also checking out this video from Lisa Eldridge on contouring. She makes it look incredibly easy and her beautiful, elegant voice will soothe you into thinking that you, too, are an accomplished makeup artist who can achieve anything you set your mind to. (We highly recommend this Lisa Eldridge video, too, even though it has nothing to do with contouring.)

So, there you go! Obviously everything is always trial and error, but these tips and resources should send you all on your way to becoming the most beautiful and talented makeup geniuses. Good luck!



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Happenings: UO x Jansport Event Recap

To celebrate the launch of our collection of exclusive Jansport backpacks available only at UO, we teamed up with Jansport to throw a little party in NYC last week with performances from Phosphorescent and Strand of Oaks. In the midst of all the craziness, we grabbed some pictures of everyone jammin' and a quick interview with Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent. Check it out below! Photos by Jonathon Bernstein // Interview by Jessica Louise Dye







Hi Matthew! Tell us a little bit about how you got started as a musician.
I wanted to pick up a guitar probably just like every other kid - by listening to Nevermind by Nirvana. That’s definitely what made me wanna try and learn some tunes.

How would you describe your sound?
Oh, yeah. I would generally have to try to dodge that question, about describing sound. Hopefully it does that job by itself!

What would you most like for people to take away from your music?
I would want people to take away... just some sense of something beautiful I think is what we’re aiming for, some sense of beauty.

A show is a success when we all make it out alive.







I know you just became a father, congratulations!
Thanks! She’s just a little baby still.

What do you hope her first record will be?
Well, it better be a Phosphorescent record.

The best part about touring is the shows, and playing music all over.

The worst thing about touring is the transit. The transitioning between places can be the thing that really weighs you down.

What does the future hold for you?
Yeah, I don’t know. I am going to be getting back into the studio after getting off the road and seeing what comes from that. We’ve been on the road for about a year and a half, so it will be good to get back into the studio and see what we can make of it.

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Featured Brand: Focused Space


Focused Space, a San Diego-based accessories brand, focuses on providing good-lookin' yet functional backpacks and other goodies to help organize your chaotic, electronics-filled life. We spoke to founder Bryan Grismer to find out a little bit more about how the brand got started and what his favorite and most-used Focused Space products are.



What makes your brand different from other accessory companies?

Focused Space is an exploration into the fine products of efficiency. We create a fashionable look with functional compartments to store your laptop, iPad, iPhone and electronic accessories.

What are your goals with each bag you design/make?
The goal with each design is to elevate the travel experience and how we transport and organize our technology.

Which bag of yours is the most popular?
Each style serves a different purpose depending on the length of commute. The Curriculum and The FS Commander are very popular. The brand's heritage was developed around the Silo collection, which was made of a reinterpreted woven upholstery elk fabric and fashioned to resemble a livestock feed bag. The Silo reveals unexpected constructions that stand as a salutation to America’s pastoral traditions. The Silo backpack is also the favorite backpack style of Brandon Flowers, frontman of The Killers!

Which bag is your personal favorite? What kinds of things do you find yourself putting in there daily?
The Framework convertible backpack is a personal favorite of mine. I wanted to incorporate the timeless aesthetics and convenience of a fan-opening frame combined with a multipurpose shape that solved fast pace street travel. The straps can be tucked away to carry like a tote or attached to carry like a backpack. The bag has several organizational compartments to house everything needed in a daily commute.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the sound stage you guys have set up in your home office? How did that come about?
Although our brand emphasis is focused on travel efficiency, our family grew up playing music and rehearsing in our surf/skate shop in Southern California. We wanted to create a sound stage for bands to come in and express themselves.

What kind of bands have performed there? Do you record the performances?
Up and coming indie rock, underground hip-hop and EDM type performers.

What does the future look like for Focused Space?
We will continue to create fine products of efficiency and work towards expanding into exclusive offerings for our key strategic stockists!

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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

***

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

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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.