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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?

Shop One Teaspoon

About a Guy: Paul Koneazny

Philadelphia artist Paul Koneazny was kind enough to let us invade his Fishtown apartment for our newest men's photo shoot. Packed with original art and works-in-progress, the space (which he shares with his girlfriend, fellow artist Jamie Felton) was the perfect setting, and we left feeling inspired by Paul's refreshing outlook on art, music and his approach to creating pieces. On a break from shooting, we sat down with Paul to talk about the creative life. 

Photography by Mark Peckmezian



What's your process like for creating a new piece?

Most of the ones here I've been working on a long time. I like to keep a painting going as long as I can to have as many edits with it as possible. The way I look at it, all of the work I make can be opened back up again.

How long is a "long time" for you?

Well, I have been working on some of these for over three or four years [Laughs]. It doesn't look like four years worth of work, does it?



It's great that you're able to remain interested in and actively inclined to work on the same project for that long. That means you're in the right place.

I don't know if I always want to work like that. I envy people who can move from one piece to the next and knock things out, but I feel like after a certain amount of time, the me that started the piece is in a different frame of mind, so it becomes a collaboration with yourself, gives it more range than was originally possible.

Do you ever have a show or display pieces publicly and then get them back and revise them after that point?
If it's in my possession I will change it. It's too hard to resist! My sister has one of my pieces, and it's no different: either she needs to finish it or I do. I'm really not sure what that's about! I'd like if a light show came down over me and said, 'This is done,' or something, but I feel like there's always a way to improve something.





What are you working toward right now?
I feel like I'm at the end of a period of tunnel-vision painting. Just working. Most of these will probably wrap up at the same time; I'm gradually building it all up so that most of these will get sewn up in the same day or two.



You experiment a lot with medium — can you talk about how fabric and experimental "canvases" play into your work?

A lot of my paintings start with a more specific grounding that I leave peeking through in a way that communicates with the piece. That element is a starting point, then I find ways to show how that functions in an opposite way. Any move made or material or style that goes in there has to show opposite purposes. Also, it's just an odd technique to have a rug or carpet soak up paint. This [points to art piece] was originally a blanket from a thrift store. That [another painting] was a Mickey Mouse bed sheet, and I tried to take as much information as I could to try to make it something else.

So they're all playing with the idea of art versus art-objects, and the line between those things?
Yeah, most of these start to go toward the realm of objects. I guess that's what the found fabric is about. I haven't stepped too far into sculpture, but these are all augmented toward sculpture or environment.



You mentioned earlier that music plays a big part in the work you make. Tell us more about that.
I listen to music all the time in general, but I think when I am painting well, the album will end and I'm still painting and I don't realize that the music is off. I think I steal a lot of devices and strategies from musicians as well as visual artists.

Can you cite any specific examples?
Like drum and bass, which is about sensory overload but there still also being a steady rhythm that keeps you from being off-put by it. When I look at certain pieces I sort of hear that playing.



Do you have that same connection with any other art mediums?
I look at images on the Internet all the time as a way to just soak up imagery, but I never really look at that while I'm working—just before or after. As I'm doing it, I never realize it's art-related; I just need to absorb it. 




About a Band: Liars


Before heading out to Chicago and hitting the stage at our next Afterfest, we wanted to catch up with Liars’ guitarist Aaron Hemphill to hear what the band has been up to, listening to and looking forward to, following the release of their seventh album, Mess.
Photography by Zen Sekizawa and Jiro Schneider




Hi Aaron! What have you been up to since we last spoke? (For the “Mess on a Mission” video.)
I’m not sure if we’ve ever been as busy as we have been in the last few months, but we’ve gotten to do some amazing projects and it’s all to do with Liars so I’m definitely not complaining. In between playing more shows in support of Mess, we hosted and curated an event called Friday Flights at The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which was really special. We assembled and installed a wide range of visual pieces all exclusive to the event and space. We also got to involve our very special friends like Mary Pearson Andrew, John Wiese, Kate Hall and Protect Me to do the same. At the moment, Angus and I are working on a special project that’s somewhat a secret at the moment, but we’ll be dropping clues on our social media and website to keep everybody informed as soon as we are able to. When we last met, our beloved Clippers were still alive in the NBA playoffs, so we’ve been dealing with the crushing blow of our early dismissal and are looking forward to the future and rebuilding for next season.

In the immediate future we have some exciting plans, all things we’ve never done before. First we are going to be performing at the Roskilde Festival where some little band called the Rolling Stones will be headlining. After that we are performing at All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP) in Iceland—our first performance and trip ever to that country!

Really, we’ve been super busy and we’re so grateful for all of these amazing opportunities.





Can you tell us about the process of making Mess? Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?
The process of making Mess was all about immediacy and trying not to over analyze too much. WIXIW was such an intense experience where personal issues mixed with our inexperience with tools we were using. This led us to a very critical, doubtful, and calculated process. With Mess we had more experience with the music programs and we really felt grateful to be in the position to make records. It was a much more relaxed and confident atmosphere that I think was—dare I say—more playful. It’s not to compare one album with the other; it’s more that both records were made over a period of time where as we moved forward, the more we learned, and the more songs were able to flow with less debate. There are always things you wish you did differently, but you always realize that it’s better to learn from it than to be able to change it. Whatever happens is part of the album, and the experiences around it that you hope to incorporate into the music. If every record was perfect you might lose any sense of place or timing the album should hold.

What can we expect from your upcoming Afterfest performance?
To be honest, our live shows are similar to how we write our records. If we start feeling too comfortable with what we are doing, we naturally gravitate towards an environment where we are forced into feeling like complete novices. We like to feel that anything can happen, both good and bad, during a performance. It’s been our experience that when we play a show where we feel there were no mistakes, this rarely equates to what the crowd feels is a great show. This contrast is what keeps putting on a great performance a mystery and not a formula, which is great since there is the band experience meeting with the crowd’s experience. That said, I think the highest expectation we could hope to attain is for the crowd to expect the unexpected.

Are there any bands you’re excited to check out while in Chicago?
There are certainly a lot of great artists performing that we admire. I’m sure Kelela, Grimes and our friends Factory Floor will all be amazing.

And any spots you like to visit whenever you’re in Chicago?
Chicago is a great city. While we’ve been there many times on tour, we’ve never had any time to take in the sights. We’ll be so preoccupied with preparing for our show, we won’t be able to devote the time and attention a great city like Chicago deserves.

What’s been one of the best parties you’ve ever been to (besides this Afterfest, of course)?
For Angus’ birthday we raced go-karts and went to a Clippers game. We don’t have much downtime and when we do we tend to spend it apart doing our separate things, which is totally understandable. It’s nice to get together outside of band situations and cut loose a bit.





We saw the recent video you did with Yoonha Park for “Pro Anti Anti.” How did that come about?
What we like to do is give the directors complete freedom to execute their interpretation of the song. For all of our videos that aren’t directed by a band member, the story and vision is all from the director. One of the reasons we prefer this method is because we feel it adds another meaning or possibility for the song’s interpretation by having someone else’s vision represent the track. While in certain circumstances we like to make the videos ourselves, we fear that if we do it too often it might be perceived as how the song should be heard. We feel that once we’ve released the album, the song’s meanings are no longer strictly based on our perspective. Any misinterpretation is not only welcomed, it’s an invaluable part of us being able to learn what has been communicated by our album.

The ending was awesome, but do you wish you had gotten to keep the busts of yourselves?
I don’t know… for me it was really hard seeing my head that way. I got to see angles of myself that I’m more than happy never to see again!

What do you think are the best albums of 2014 so far? Any upcoming releases you’re stoked for?
Container’s Adhesive 12" is amazing. Also, HTRK’s Psychic 9-5 Club is pretty amazing. I’m excited for the new Grimes record, though I’m not sure when it’s due to come out. We did some shows with Jana Hunter recently where she played some of the new Lower Dens tracks solo. From what we’ve heard, the new Lower Dens record should be pretty amazing.

What are you listening to currently?
The two records I mentioned above are played quite frequently. I recently got a hold of Free Kitten’s discography, which is awesome. I think Kim Gordon’s bass playing was so huge in defining Sonic Youth’s sound. If you imagine any song of theirs with a different bass player, with a different bass line, you might argue that it’s the backbone of their sound. I got to see Free Kitten play once back in the day and it made such a huge impression on me. At the time I hadn’t ever made songs or played in a band but I had been playing guitar since I was really young. They sort of fortified the concept in my head that anything is possible. I know that sounds cliché, but I can’t describe it any other way.



Come see Liars at #AFTERFEST in Chicago on Friday, July 18th! Click here to RSVP.

As always, Making Time DJs Dave P. and Sammy Slice...UNITED will be DJing our Chicago event. Listen to
July's edition of Making Time RADio here!

Music Monday: July 14, 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.

TRACK PREMIERE: Lyon & Lowe - Everyone Walks to the Beat of a Child

New track premiere (*airhorn*)! This is Lyon & Lowe's sophomore Music Monday appearance and it's a goodie. Head to Facebook to learn more about Lyon & Lowe. And if you head to their Soundcloud, you can get a free download of this track!

"Heaven" is a nice, chill, endearing track from No Rome. "Floralpunk" is the self-declared genre of No Rome, who hail from the Philippines. This one sounds like Ryan Hemsworth would like it a lot, because it's in the similar realm of RnB infused trap-pop. Great track regardless of the genre or scene. 

If this is a demo, I'm especially interested in listening to the studio version. This is that classic, Prince-y poppy funk stuff. This one has a nice summery vibe - good for a funky beach trip for sure. 

"Time" has been floating around the interwebs for some time now (no pun intended). It was played on a Boiler Room set that left everyone wondering when and where this track would be released. Turns out it was the great Will Saul, Aus Music head, who recently included it exclusively on his DJ-Kicks. Thanks, Will. 

Solid tune from what appears to be a brand new band, Soph Nathan. This is a killer chill indie track. Listen if you like: Beach Fossils, and other awesome shoe-gaze bands. 



Friday Download: July 11, 2014


Can you even believe that it's already mid-July? Because I sure can't. Luckily there will always be songs coming out that help us hang onto that "endless summer" feeling. Here are some of my recent favorites. Katie



Yumi Zouma "It Feels Good To Be Around You"
I'm really into this one from Yumi Zouma for the aforementioned summery vibes. Makes me want to sit on the beach in a sparkly leotard while drinking a Raz-Ber-Rita. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)



Christopher Owens "Nothing More Than Everything"
Listen, if you know anything about me, you know that nostalgia is everything to me, which means that I am so into the vibe of this video and song. Great job, Chris Owens. You're really doin' it.



Little Dragon "Pretty Girls"
Realllly into this new video from Little Dragon because it involves a beauty pageant, pageant queens and ZOMBIES! It's a real delight. Very girl power, TBH.



Dev Hynes "Chandelier" Remix
"Chandelier" on its own is a very special song so I was a little unsure about any remixes, but Dev Hynes did a-ok with this one. Gonna make a playlist with just this and the original "Chandelier" looped over and over again for 40 straight hours. (via Pitchfork)



Interpol "All The Rage Back Home"
Interpol are coming back with a brand new album, El Pintor, this September and the first single is here with an accompanying video shot in a moody black and white. INTO IT.

UO Beauty: Rosy Outlook


We've fallen down the rabbit hole of all things rose-based lately, because with this hot, humid weather, we need all the soothing skin care products that we can get our hands on. Read on for some of our favorite products and to learn all about the magical ways roses can make your skin (and life) a little bit better.



1. Anti-inflammatory: Rose oils are actually very anti-inflammatory, which means that all those rose products you're buying for your face actually help soothe any patches of redness you may have. For example, rose water is an easy, natural way to soothe and soften skin. Using rose water and rose toner is better than using alcohol-based toners because it's not as harsh on the skin and isn't drying. (See? Magic!)

2. Aromatherapy: A rose-infused bath will not only moisturize your skin, but it'll also relax you due to the therapeutic qualities of rose oil. One of our favorite bath soaks currently is this all-natural milk bath from Lola's Apothecary. One of the reasons we love this one so much is because of how goooood it makes us feel after a long, hot day at the beach. Plus, you can totally get romantic with yourself and throw some real rose petals in the tub along with it to make yourself feel extremely elegant and spoiled.



3. Moisturizing: Roses have natural oils in them that moisturize the skin, so any kind of rose-based moisturizer is going to be especially good. One of our favorite moisturizing products that isn't a lotion is the Jurlique Rosewater Mist. It's easy to throw in a purse and spray anywhere, and it's also ridiculously moisturizing. It's our secret weapon for this heat, because we can moisturize without having to completely grease up our already greasy faces with lotion.

4. Scent: Whatever, we love the smell of roses, even if the scent is a little reminiscent of Senior Prom 2003. The nice thing about a lot of rose-based products is that they smell that good naturally, so you can smell delightful without worrying what kind of artificial scents you're rubbing all over your precious skin.



Shop Rosy Outlook

Brands We Love: Antonym

We're excited to welcome Antonym into the UO Beauty lineup, a mineral-based and eco-friendly line founded by the French makeup artist Valerie Giraud and designed in subtly-bold shades that strike that perfect, just-made-up-enough balance. And with a namesake that emphasizes moving away from homogeneity and moving toward people who think outside of the box: it's a movement we can get behind. 

We had fun playing around with all the amazing Antonym products, and asking the ladies behind the brand to share what all is in their summer makeup bags.


What sets Antonym apart from other natural beauty lines?

Antonym was founded on strong performance. We set out to create a line of products that uses gentle natural ingredients but still performs as a premium line should. For us this means strong pigments in color and silky textures.

 

What products are in your makeup bag for summer?

This summer, it is vitamin E oil, the Antonym Medium Foundation, The Peach Blush and the Koral Lipstick. It’s a very summery look, with orange hues. The mascara also never leaves my bag.


 

What's in the Antonym starter kit? 

Mascara, lipstick pencil and blush 


 

What products do you recommend for makeup removal?

I use the Miscellar Cleansing Water from Nuxe or the Melting Cleansing Gel from Nuxe, and follow both with gentle toning lotion. They are very gentle on the skin yet remove makeup perfectly.


Who are some of your beauty muses?

Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn. Both strong, beautiful women. 

  

Can you share any secret-weapon makeup tips?

I have two tips, especially since Antonym products are gentle on the skin:

1. If you use the eyeliner with a small angled brush you can apply a lighter and more define line for daytime.

2. You can use the baked blush as eye shadow and also on the lips with lip conditioner.


Shop Antonym in UO Beauty

About A Band: Led Zeppelin


When it comes to classic rock, nobody has done it bigger or better than Led Zeppelin. Sure we could all rattle off a list of bands that have stood the test of time, but you’d be hard pressed to name a group as iconic as this one. Beginning in the late '60s under the name The New Yardbirds, the band quickly morphed into the musical powerhouse we know and love today, churning out anthems that still make us raise our lighters into the air. During the decade or so they were active, Led Zeppelin created the standards (and broke a lot of the rules) of modern music, setting the bar for future groups in rock-and-roll, heavy metal, and beyond. Words by Amanda Weatherford





Formed in 1968 in London, England, the group was wailing vocalist Robert Plant, John Paul Jones on the bass and keys, John Bonham railing on the drums, and of course, Jimmy Page killing it on the guitar (what aspiring guitarist hasn’t spent hours locked in their rooms trying to copy his riffs from “Stairway to Heaven”?). Often considered the fathers of modern metal, the foursome took heavy influence from blues and even folk. This unique sound landed them a record deal with Atlantic Records, with whom they released their self-titled debut album in 1969, followed quickly by Led Zeppelin II, and then (no big surprise here) Led Zeppelin III in 1970. Plant generally wrote the band’s lyrics, and Jimmy Page wrote most of their music, creating a string of albums that followed that self-titled trio, all helping to cement the band’s popularity and influence in rock music.

Widely considered one of the most successful bands in history, it’s estimated the group’s record sales are somewhere around 300 million albums worldwide. Each of their nine studio albums placed on the Billboard Top 10 and six reached the #1 spot. Rolling Stone has referred to Jimmy Page as “the pontiff of power riffing” and his legendary solo from “Stairway to Heaven” is commonly lauded as the greatest guitar solo of all time.





During their heyday, Led Zeppelin also (supposedly) took the rock-and-roll lifestyle to new heights. Their record-breaking tours came with a reputation for debauchery and excess. Some have since lamented that the stories of hotel room destruction and venue banishment are exaggerated, but the tales have done nothing but reaffirm the mystique of the group as rock gods. Led Zeppelin continued their legacy of rocking and touring until the group ultimately disbanded in 1980 after the death of drummer, John Bonham.

Every self-respecting audiophile owns at least one Led Zeppelin record, but so does your next door neighbor and probably a few of your former elementary school teachers as well. That’s the beauty of the group, they’re more than just musicians: They’re legends. Let’s be real, just about any Led Zeppelin song that’s playing on your record player is, at least for that moment, the greatest song you’ve ever heard.




Free Led Zeppelin poster! UO exclusive and available in stores one day only, Saturday, July 26th.
Shop Led Zeppelin

About a Girl: Keating Sherwin

"You can call me Keating," says Lindsay Keating Sherwin

"Dropping the first name actually came from signing my full name on art pieces," she explains. "It just took up too much space."  

Off with the excess; it's a do-what-works attitude that the young Brooklyn painter abides by, both in her unconventional, self-taught art background and general outlook about what it means to build a creative career in New York. Photography by Andrew Musson
 


We meet on the summer solstice in her sunny Bushwick studio, and Sherwin has a sore neck from a couple bad nights of sleep made worse by the fact that she can't quite find anywhere quiet to escape. Between her studio's location on a busy Brooklyn industrial thoroughfare and her new apartment smack in the middle of Chinatown, it's no wonder that Keating is wanting to install her next art show—an in-the-works series of abstract portraits—inside NoLIta's quiet, lush Elizabeth Street garden gallery space. "I love it there," she says, "But actually, my ideal place would be more like The Secret Garden, you know, with ivy walls and no distractions." 
 
Sherwin has a direct, serious presence and an artist's intuition that results in big, textural and color-driven pieces that are at the same time powerful and delicate. It's a mesmerizing balance founded on instinct. "I don't work this or that way," she says. "I just go!" 

In our studio visit, we talked with Keating about following her nose, finding a place in the "art world," and trying to make her own way amid all the noise.



Tell us about the current series you're working on, a set of portraits all done with live models. 
Well, I'm still trying to figure out how long it takes to make one! I'm seven portraits into this series now, but the sittings have all been kind of spaced out, which is not so good for positioning. I spend a lot of time backtracking. I feel like at this point I should say: It's five sittings for a portrait, but I could work on one for two years! At some point you've got to stop. 

I like the process a lot. When you're painting from your mind you have to make every decision; with this, I feel like I can just get lost in it.  


What else are you working on? 
The other big project is a commission for a film, a portrait that's supposed to be a love homage painted by this character's ex. He painted it when they are in love and now they're separated and it's the big piece he paints in this show. So it had to be kind of this epic thing. I think Alec Baldwin is going to be playing the painter, which is amazing and really hilarious.  

That is amazing! Who is the painting of? 
I painted that from a photograph—this is creepy—that image is a combination of a photograph of me when I was 21 in Savannah….and a selfie of Molly Shannon's face. [Laughs] I don't know! 


Where did you grow up?  
I'm originally from the Northeast but grew up in South Florida on the water. I'm used to constant humidity. When I came here, the first winter I was just pissed off. Then summer came and it's so amazing that you forget winter could ever exist.  

Do you think being in New York matters for work? 
Personally, I'm affected by where I am. I don't think I need the intensity of New York to get work done—in fact, I might be better off from being somewhere else. But I feel like I'm at a place where I'm so close to having a firm hold on my career, and I am not going to walk away from that. I can be very focused here.  

So no summer escapes in the works? 
My only plan is to be here, working and being hot in this studio! I've been on lockdown over here. You know, it's summer but I feel like I am just now coming out of my winter hole. I was recently talking about how I think September is the perfect time to leave. The summer months are overrated! You go to Montauk in September and you have the whole place to yourself. 


You didn't study art in school, and actually came into painting in a roundabout way. Can you talk about your background? 
As a child, I remember having a thought that I would grow up and be an artist in New York. Actually, maybe I made that up in retrospect. But either way, I didn't have a concept of what it meant. So I moved here in 2007, but it took me awhile to step away from just being caught up in the city. I worked in fashion showrooms, and then I worked for a branding company and then I was working in nightlife and met so many interesting people and artists. I think that made me re-remember, like, 'Oh yeah. That's why I'm here.' At the time I was doing makeup on photo shoots, and—this sounds weird—but I just picked up paints and started painting. I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  

Kind of the opposite way of getting into it than most people. 
Right, totally in reverse. I said it, and then I had to become it. But I had no fear to hold me back. I took a drawing class in college and loved it and worked hard in it, and I've always made charcoal drawings. It wasn't something that I was even aware of was 'art.' But sometimes, as far as art is concerned, when you have too much knowledge about a field it can steer you away. 




So what was a turning point then in transitioning from deciding to make art to getting solo shows?
Oil paint. Once I started using it I got a show! Well, first I had a couple solid years of painting and painting and making crap. I didn't feel like I was in control, so I incubated for awhile. I had been working in acrylics and I randomly went out and bought three tubes of oil paint. A friend told me I should enter this art competition so I did, and I ended up winning, and that got me a show.  


Are there people who you look to for advice or guidance with your work? 
I share a workspace with another [hyperrealistic] painter, and from sharing a studio space I have learned a lot about technique. In the past, I just used my own made-up technique! It's been great to observe what he does and take what I want from it. I find it very hard to find people who you trust their opinion of your work, but then there are times when you're alone and frustrated and you're like, 'How did this thing ever get to this place?' I have  a friend back here [in another studio in the same building]… another artist, and it's so valuable to have someone you can express things like that to. You don't want their advice, you just want their mutual understanding that you know they get it, and now you can move on.   


How do you approach that balance then, between relying on your intuition and knowing you have to participate to some extent in order to have a career? 
It's tricky: It's great to be a little bit oblivious, but you don't want to be a moron. Some days people will see what I'm doing and call it out and say whatever painter it looks like, which is so annoying! I don't work that way or think about that at all. I have freedom but it's both an asset and an inhibitor. But, you know, I try to remember that this is a long-term operation; I have some time to discover things. 


Happenings: Afterfest Making Time Chicago


Chicago, listen up! We're excited to announce that for this year's Afterfest our friends Liars and Vatican Shadow will be performing at The Mid (306 N. Halsted St.) on Friday, July 18, from 10pm-4am. As always, Making Time's resident DJs Dave P. and Sammy Slice will be continuously DJing throughout the night. Admittance is free with RSVP, but make sure to arrive early to guarantee entrance. We hit capacity last year (thanks, everyone!) and expect the same to happen this year. Read our recent feature with Liars here and watch their video for "Mess on a Mission" below. See you in Chicago!



Click here to RSVP for #AFTERFEST

Behind The Scenes: Adri Law


Behind the scenes of our latest lookbook, Midnight Hour, we got up close and personal with Los Angeles-based photographer Adri Law.
Photography by Bobby Whigham



Hi Adri, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Adri: My name is Adri Law, I'm 24, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I earned my BFA from Art Center College of Design and have been taking photos since I was about 16.

How did you first become interested in photography and get started in the industry?
I started taking my camera to a lot of punk and hardcore shows when I was about 16 and it kind of just grew from there. I would shoot bands, live shows, then started shooting my friends out and about then eventually it progressed into shooting models, editorials, and look books. It was a long process to get to where I am now.

Are there any photographers that you look up to?
A few photographers that I have drawn quitw a bit of inspiration from are: Edward Colver, Glen Friedman, Paul Jasmin, and Danny Lyon.

What else inspires you?
Though I get bits of inspiration from numerous things, I am, and always have been, inspired by the original hardcore and punk scenes, musically and photographically. Photos from the first Black Flag and Minor Threat shows have always struck a chord with me and photos of bands like The Clash and The Smiths provide endless styling inspiration when I shoot men.





If you couldn’t be photographing, what else would you be doing?
If I wasn't taking photos I would love to be doing some time of photo art direction.

How do you spend a day off? What are some of your go-to spots around town?
Many of my days "off " are spent editing photos. But if I have an actual free day I like to hang out with my best friend Eva and my pup Baxter, or ride motorcycles with my friend Dug. There are a handful of amazing spots I'm bound to be around my neighborhood...Echo Park Lake, the Echo Park or Silverlake Farmers Markets, Sage–the best vegan restaurant in my neighborhood, or somewhere in Little Tokyo having Sushi.

Where is the best place to get a cocktail in LA? What about New York?
I love Bloody Marys and Little Doms in Loz Feliz has the best ones. As far as New York goes, I'm not all that sure..though I did have a great Dirty Martini at Lovely Day last night.

What do you like to listen to while editing photos?
It really depends on my mood that day, and sometimes the weather. My solid go-to is always The Smiths or Morrissey. But sometimes I just sit in silence like a weirdo, haha!

Can you tell us about your personal style and how it has evolved over time?
I know what I like, so my style has been pretty consistent over the years. My taste levels have evolved, but I've always been attracted to dark colors, unique boots, and quality items, so my wardrobe has been building itself for quite some time.

Can you tell us about your shoot with Urban Outfitters?
I was actually approached about the shoot on my birthday, which was pretty exciting. The shoot took place in New York and we had three great models and amazing locations. The team was great and the shoot went smoothly, every photographers dream. I'm excited for everyone to see the photos!

Happy birthday! What are you looking forward to this year?
What do you hope to accomplish? Thank you! I'm looking forward to a year of firsts. I want to travel, meet new people, and create amazing opportunities for myself. I'm really making an effort to step out of my comfort zone and do things I didn't think were possible. 24–just GOING FOR IT.




Space Ninety 8: Welcome to the Gorbals


Ilan Hall, winner of Top Chef season 2, star of Knife Fight, and owner of the wildly popular downtown LA restaurant The Gorbals is a long-time friend of Urban Outfitters. Who better, then, to open up a restaurant (and open-air rooftop bar) at our new Brooklyn concept store Space Ninety 8? In Hall’s hands, food is fun, fresh, often irreverent (bacon wrapped matzo balls, anyone?), and always yummy. We caught up with the Long Island native, who has returned home to the East Coast to open The Gorbals’ new Williamsburg outpost, to talk trending ingredients, supermarket sushi, and what we can expect to see on his new menu.





Hi Ilan! Tell us about the concept for The Gorbals at Space Ninety 8.
I like to make food that’s a little bit cheeky, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the end of the day is delicious. We started out the concept for our restaurant in LA with it being based in traditional Jewish food, with elements of pork sprinkled in! I try to keep that attitude in my food. Not that every dish has to have, like, shrimp and hummus—I don’t want to do it for the sake of doing it—but I like food to be fun. Some of it will be a little bit weird and maybe a bit challenging for people, but for the most part I want it to be tasty and really satisfying and for people to maybe eat things they haven’t eaten before. As a chef you want to open people’s eyes to new ingredients or things that are new to them.

So, you’re going beyond the Kale we see on many a Williamsburg menu?
I’m sick of kale for the sake of kale! I think there are so many great vegetables available, I don’t know why kale has had such a boom in popularity. It’s a good green… I just think that the idea of food trends is kind of ridiculous. We’re not going to have a kale salad on our menu, because everyone has a kale salad on their menu. I think that, being a chef, you need to utilize everything that you can. There are no rules. There’s so many types of greens you can use—different types of watercress, chickweed… I sort of want to stay away from bigger trends because it’s easy to get sucked into them. But maybe that’s a bad business decision! Who knows?





What can we expect to see on the menu?
I’m maybe about a third of the way through working on the menu. I’m trying to use things that are really seasonal and maybe a little bit more obscure. Not obscure but, like, less common fish. Most people don’t put bluefish on their menu—bluefish is one of my favorite fish. I’d rather use a skate cheek than a skate wing. I’d rather use a monkfish liver or a monkfish tail. There are so many great parts of an animal, and you don’t have to always use the basic filet. There’s this farm really close to where I grew up on Long Island in Glen Cove that, in the spring and summer, has amazing produce. We’re opening at the best possible time for New York [produce]. There’s peas, ramps, spring garlic, fava beans, soft shell crab, Bouchout mussels from Maine.

How did you approach the design of the space?
Within Space 98 I really wanted to keep the aesthetic of the restaurant soulfully connected to my restaurant in Los Angeles. It’s a bit more rough and rustic in LA, we have this giant 18ft communal table. Here, the focal point is our grill, once that’s fired up it will be the hearth, and heart, of the restaurant. I wanted to go a little bit more polished in terms of the furniture here. A friend made the tables, they’re a bit midcentury-ish. We got the legs from a metal-smith in southern California and and our plates are all organic and rough. I wanted to adapt to the space and have some plants and for it to be more put-together. When we opened up the restaurant in Los Angeles, we opened it with no money, all of our chairs we got at a secondhand place. I’m a father now—it’s time to grow up a little bit! At Space Ninety 8 we had the opportunity to do something that was really beautiful that wouldn’t take away from the old building. I think we did a pretty good job!





How did you come to open The Gorbals inside Space Ninety 8?
I’ve had a relationship with Urban Outfitters for a few years. I’ve done some charity events and some cooking things and hosted a lot of parties for them at my restaurant in LA. I was talking to someone about possibly doing some consulting work on a café here that Urban was thinking of opening and then I said, “That would be a great place for a restaurant!” And now, a year and a half later, we’re in the restaurant. It’s been a dream of mine to come back to New York and Williamsburg is the epicenter of new restaurants right now; it’s where people are doing exciting things, lots of late-night things. It’s similar to the push in New York around 2004 when all these new places were opening up in the East Village and Gramercy Park area—Momofuku and Casa Mono—and it all keeps moving East. We’ve been open in Los Angeles for almost five years, so it was time to come home.

Have you been shopping in the store yet?
I think my wife bought me some jeans! The space is beautiful, they really did a great job. It’s quite lovely. I love the renewal shop downstairs on the first floor, that’s my favorite. You just opened a bar on the roof deck, too.





What’s your poison?
I like to order very simple things at the bar. I like Irish whisky, I like single malt scotch. Lagavulin is my everyday scotch—I don’t like subtle scotch, I like something really smoky, really peaty. I drink gin; I’ll have a gin and tonic. If I’m ordering a cocktail I’ll usually have something that’s gin and a bit bitter.

How does the New York dining scene differ from LA?
New York people are very adamant about what they want, they have very high expectations of service and quality—you can’t really get anything by New Yorkers! New York is one of the most critical food scenes. Everyone works in their first six months towards that New York Times review. I’m not nervous, I just want to offer the best possible product that I can. I want it to be fun; I want people to have a good time when they’re here! Because when I’m cooking, even if it’s stressful or very busy, I still try and have fun, and I want my employees to have fun. That’s why we have an open kitchen—I want our cooks to be part of the party. I want everything to come together in an enjoyable way.





Where do you like to eat in New York?
I love going to Chinatown, I love going to Flushing. In Chinatown I love Great NY Noodletown—they have this balance of simplicity and super-powerful flavors. I have friends with some great restaurants. Casa Mono where I used to work is still probably, pound for pound, my favorite restaurant in New York. It’s tiny and the quality of food they put out is amazing. My friend Dale Talde opened two places in Park Slope—Talde is a really amazing restaurant. It just hits you in the heart, it’s really tasty and sort of Asian with no direct focus. My friend Damon Weiss is the chef at Lafaytte and he’s doing amazing French food on a very large scale. Edi and the Wolf in the East Village is amazing; [it has] Austrain roots—I like food from all over. Every time I have a meal, I’m inspired. I love places in the [Williamsburg] neighborhood: St. Anselm, Café Mogador. I love eating wherever I can, all the time.

What’s your food guilty pleasure?
Supermarket sushi! It’s gross! But there’s something about it. Like, a step below Wholefoods sushi, but not bodega sushi. I don’t know why. It’s gross in theory, and it’s gross in actuality too [laughs]. Because I’ve eaten sushi at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo at 6am and I’ve had some of the best and… that’s just not acceptable!