If you'd been looking for the most epic film masterpiece of our time, then look no further. Kanye West and Scott Disick have done it, y'all. THEY'VE DONE IT. —Katie
Alt-J's debut album was released just shy of a year ago, but that doesn't mean it's old news. The record, An Awesome Wave, is quite true to its name with its calming, glimmering sounds that flood your ears upon first listen. Plus, it's got some pretty shiny album artwork that will surely draw you right in! —Maddie
The album's cover art is my favorite part of the whole thing! Totally into the oil spill swirl situation. An Awesome Wave also has a nice double gate-fold packaging, with all of the song lyrics printed on the inside. The LP sleeve also has a pretty cool layered photo of the band, plus tracklisting on the opposite side.
From end to end, this album is pretty good in my opinion, and Alt-J has a sound I don't think I've ever heard before. Throughout the record, An Awesome Wave carries a smooth and mellow tone. My favorite track that I thought best captured this feel is actually the last song on the album, "Taro." I really liked the interesting percussion on this song, and how the song gains layers as you listen.
What it's good for:
This album is a good one for poppin' into the turntable with your windows wide open while you daydream. An Awesome Wave has some super calming tendencies, so get ready to feel as zen as possible when you listen!
Shop Alt-J's An Awesome Wave
Guards, an NYC-based band, released In Guards We Trust earlier this year to very positive reviews, which is unsurprising because its '60s and '70s pop sounds make it super listenable. (Plus, doesn't it look so classy on top of my deer antlers?) In Guards We Trust is the band's first full-length album, and totally catchy, so it's hopefully not their last. Can't wait to see what else this band puts out! —Katie
I love the cover art on this one, as well as the inside pictures that are included. And this record comes with a download card which is awesome. (The only thing that makes me happier is when there's also a CD because I perpetually live in 2003.) Makes it so easy to pop the music right onto your computer without having to rip it from the vinyl.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I love a solid pop song. One of my favorite songs on the album is "I Know It's You" because it's super catchy and super danceable. I wish I had crazy, club-quality speakers in my bedroom so I could blast this and dance around like crazy. Another great song is the second track on the album, "Giving Out."
What it's good for:
Dancing! There's just something about '60s inspired music that just makes me want to kick out my heels and dance like the cast of Charlie Brown.
Shop Guards' In Guards We Trust
The Replacements haven't played a show in 22 years, but this year they've confirmed that they'll be headlining three Riot Fests in Chicago, Toronto and Denver. Hell yes! Their EP release last year, Songs For Slim, proved that even though they haven't been around, they're still kicking as much ass as they did in the '80s. Pretty cool that a brand new generation will get to see these guys live. —Katie
I love this tumblr Scorpion Dagger which makes collaged .gifs out of old religious paintings and other bits of visual nonsense from the internet. If only my art history textbooks were this wacky! —Hazel
Love this Flavorwire post featuring photos of "cultural icons" at camp! Aw, look at baby Lena Dunham! Too cute. If I ever get majorly famous (as if!) I really hope someone doesn't drag up my camp photos. NOBODY wants to see the pre-teen, bedraggled "camp me." —Hazel
Night Beds played a couple weeks ago at our Omaha store, and proved they're just as amazing live as they are on their album Country Sleep. One of our part-time associates, Chevy Anderson, shot this video of the event and we love how it came out, so we thought we'd share with all of you. "22," the song the band is performing ruuuules. Nothin' like a good lap steel to put you in the mood for drinking some whiskey and crying over lost loves. —Katie
There were so many employee group shot cuties this week on our store Instagrams that we just had to feature a few of our favorites! Thanks for looking so good, everyone!
(Photo via Glamping Holiday)
Now is the time that tons of people head off to the woods in droves to pitch tents and sleep out under the stars. I will not be one of those people because bugs being a centimeter from my face while I sleep? No thank you! But for all you campers out there with nerves of steel, here are some books that'll help aid you on your adventures, or at least help you kick back and relax. —Katie
Camping & Survival
I've flipped through this book and, no joke, it has literally everything you could ever need for when you're camping. First aid for everything, how to chop down trees, how to like, not die. It's legit. And awesome.
Backpacker Magazine's Outdoor Knots
For you serious mountaineers out there.
For the serious mountaineers out there who are also really concerned with being cute. (There are SO many cute ideas in this book. Like, sure, you don't need a pennant banner on the front of your tent, but don't you want one now?)
If you have a special vacation spot you always like to go, then this is the book for you. The pages have checklists and fill-in-the-blank areas so you can fill out your favorite spots and pass it on to a friend.
Hell yeah you are gonna be hungry after you scale that mothafuckin' mountain to pitch your tent!
Spooky Campfire Stories
If you're into scaring yourself shitless while you're miles away from civilization, then this is the book for you! Me, I'll be hiding under my sleeping bag, crying.
The Little Prince, that super whimsical book that everyone was gaga for on Tumblr a couple years ago, is getting turned into an animated movie! Which is totally fun! And it'll apparently be voiced by James Franco, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard, as well as other A-list movie actors. James Franco, gettin' involved in every movie ever made. If you've never read the book, click that image above and it'll take you to a totally sweet Angelfire site where you can read the whole thing. Tumblr-ness aside, it is a great story, and will probably make an awesome movie. —Katie
Do you guys want to know my nightmare? Going to a supposedly awesome summer camp and then getting murdered by a crazed individual because the camp ended up being Jason's mom's revenge. Like, have you seen this Great Horror Campout that is happening in L.A. this weekend? Holy shit! Can't even imagine how fast I would have a heart attack doing something like that. If you're as terrified as I am that you'll wander all willy-nilly into Murderville this summer, here are some foolproof ways to tell that you have, in fact, landed yourself in a horror movie camp instead of the normal, craft-makin' camp you were hoping for. —Katie
If everyone at your camp is totally hot, RUN! No good will come of this! You might be like, "Wow, this is great! We're all going to have a lot of fun, and I'll probably get to make out with a fine hunny." Don't think that. Just hop back in your mom's station wagon, and go on home. Real camp is not this great. Real camp will have that mouth-breather from Hey Arnold! hitting on you, not 1980 Kevin Bacon.
2. Making out with aforementioned hotties
Duh. No one ever gets to really make out at camp. If you do, you're most certainly going to get a noose put around your neck, or you'll be getting ready to make out and then you'll realize that something wet is dripping on you from the top bunk and it's your bunkmate's blood and then you'll get your head cut off. Seriously, unless you're wrapping yourself in a robe and calling it a night at 9 PM, you better get out of that camp. And fast.
3. A lot of people looking to go have fun in the woods, especially at night
NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS IN THE WOODS, YOU SILLY KIDS. Don't fall prey to the lure of a free keg and a good time. Nothing. Good. Happens.
If you're going to camp, just stay away from water in general. Night swimming is especially bad, but even day swimming is pretty risky. Canoes? Forget about it. If there's a lot of all that going on, there's a pretty solid chance you've landed yourself in a horror movie and it's only a matter of time before one of the campers you're bunking with gets themselves dragged to the murky depths of the disgusting lake you're swimming in by some rotting zombie-monster.
5. Decrepit housing
In like, every scary camp movie or "cabin in the woods" movie, the main characters always parade happily into a cabin that looks like it's literally held together with popsicle sticks and glue. Are you kidding? Hightail it out of there, you idiots. Why do you want to stay in that spider den anyway?
Surfer Blood just came out with this nice new jam, "Gravity," from their upcoming second album Pythons, out later this month. I'm loving the breezy, fast guitars that prove why they're indeed called Surfer Blood. Because if this new tune doesn't make you want to run down to the beach, there could be a problem! —Maddie
Remember how amazing the Parent Trap with double the Lilo was? SO GOOD, right? To this day I get excited when I run into a British person who has the same kind of accent that LiLo did in this movie. That little gal could act her butt off. Here's how we can emulate her ("their") perfect camp style. —Katie
Get the look:
BDG Speckled Raglan Sweatshirt
Gotta have a green hoodie to help you blend into the trees—don't want the Marvas to spot you when you're setting up that bucket full of chocolate on the front porch.
BDG Tri-Blend Blocked Pocket Tee
Classic ringer tee. If only it had a Camp Walden patch on the pocket it would be perfect.
A Beautiful Life Honey Do Shampoo
So maybe you want to dump honey on your bunkmate but you don't want to do too much damage. Honey shampoo will sufficiently freak all campers out, but won't force anyone to go out and shave their heads after you dump it all over them.
Proraso Shaving Cream
What, you don't use fancy Italian shaving cream in your camp pranks? Get with it.
Sling King Water Balloon Cannon
If your stupid frenemy/secret sister is grinding on your last nerve, you'll need to blast her in the face with a water balloon or 10.
Initial Heart Locket Necklace
You'll need a BFF twinsie necklace for when you find out that you're actually 100% sister twins and not just, ya know, coincidentally fucking identical. (Seriously, how did no camp counselor call these girls' parents ASAP?)
Nancy Jo Sales, author of the 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspects Wore Louboutins" and newly released book, The Bling Ring, recently spoke to us about her involvement with The Bling Ring movie, her thoughts on Amanda Bynes, and if she ever actually called Alexis Neiers back.
Interview by Katie Gregory
When you initially heard that Sofia Coppola was going to make a movie about The Bling Ring that loosely focused on your Vanity Fair article, what did you think?
I was thrilled because she’s such a great filmmaker. She’s someone with an impeccable reputation and I knew that she would do a great job—if it got made. I didn’t have high hopes for that, as it’s hard to get a movie made, and it all just seemed too unreal. So when it happened, I was even more amazed at her ability to get things done in Hollywood, and to do things her own way.
You sat down with Sofia Coppola several times to discuss the movie. What kind of things did you make sure to touch on?
We talked about all the amazing particulars of the case—like how they found Paris Hilton’s key under the mat, and then she replaced it with another key. We talked a lot about the way they spoke, their accents and attitudes. Also the themes surrounding the case: celebrity obsession, the changing nature of celebrity (i.e. “famous for being famous”), social media obsession, materialism and conspicuous consumption.
Did you find the movie accurately represented what you found out after interviewing the kids involved in The Bling Ring?
I think it’s a true representation of not just the case but of the environment these kids grew up in. “Accurate” isn’t really the right word, as it is a work of fiction. I like “true” better because the film expresses something true in our culture. The characters and the information in the article and my book were obviously the basis for the film, but the film itself is Sofia Coppola’s own vision of these iconic characters and crimes.
I found that the male character in the movie, based on Nick Prugo, was the easiest to empathize with, as well as in your article. Did he seem the most regretful of his actions?
Nick Prugo had a lot of regrets about what he had done and also took responsibility for his actions. He was honest sometimes even to his own detriment. I think a person who’s honest and revealing is always more sympathetic.
How did you feel when you heard what each of the kids involved were sentenced to?
I think their sentences were very light considering the fact that they were involved in a successful crime organization that stole more than $3 million worth of property. You have to wonder whether, if they had not been kids of relatively privileged backgrounds, their punishment would have been more severe.
Alexis Neiers, one of The Bling Ring suspects, became sort of a cult hit with her phone call to you in Pretty Wild [short-lived E! show]. Did you think she was going to react that way to your article?
I found it odd that someone who was being charged with burglary was upset that I had allegedly misidentified her shoes!
Did you ever end up calling her back?
No. But if I had, I think I would have reassured her that my article would have no bearing on her case, and it didn’t. She pleaded no contest, faced with the evidence that was being presented by the district attorney.
Why do you think that scene took off so much with a certain demographic?
I’m not sure. A lot of people seem to find it funny, but I think it’s sad. She’s very upset, and however misguided she was, she’s still a teenage girl in a lot of trouble.
What are your feelings towards Alexis currently?
Alexis achieved the fame she sought through her reality show. She did 29 days for burglary and was well paid for her involvement in the film. Now says she’s writing a book. So it seems like she got what she wanted, overall.
Do you think America has too much of an obsession with fame?
I talk about this a lot in my book. There is more focus on celebrity than ever before. There are more celebrity news outlets—celebrity news didn’t even used to be “news.” Now celebrities are covered 24/7. Reality shows make celebrities out of people who really have very little to offer besides a willingness to expose themselves and act out on camera. All the studies about kids and fame show that kids today have a real thirst for fame—becoming famous is their number one goal in life. And I don’t think this can possibly be a good thing. They want to live a lifestyle they see famous people living, that isn’t really available to most people, but is held out as the most wonderful way to live. And this leads to a lot of disappointment and problems with self-esteem.
How do you feel about current celebrities (like Amanda Bynes) seemingly becoming more famous after displaying relatively disturbing behavior, especially over social media?
I think it’s obviously a dangerous thing for someone in the public eye, who’s struggling with various issues, to be able to broadcast their state of mind—and semi-nude pictures of themselves—at 4 a.m.
As someone who spends a lot of time on the internet, I really love the internet, but do you think having all that information available at our fingertips is one of the reasons U.S. culture has become so obsessed with celebrities?
It’s become cliché to say “the internet changed everything,” but it’s true. The internet is a tool like any other—it can be used for good or bad. What’s good in it is the democratization of media and the increased accessibility of information. There’s a lot of creativity and humor on the internet which is wonderful and fun. What’s bad, I think, is a lot of triviality and shallowness, and yes, focus on celebrities.
If you could interview any living celebrity, who would you choose?
I’ve been getting a lot of tweets asking me if I’m going to do a story on Amanda Bynes. But Bynes doesn’t need me and probably wouldn’t talk to me if I asked. She’s broadcasting her own story, the way she wants to. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you to decide.
The Year of Hibernation is Youth Lagoon's first album, and it's fantastic. Trevor Powers, the man behind Youth Lagoon, is onto his second album now, Wondrous Bughouse, but this special UO exclusive blue vinyl edition of 2011's The Year of Hibernation makes sure that the first album is definitely not forgotten. —Katie
The packaging on this is awesome, especially the electric blue vinyl that it comes on. Clear, colored vinyl is just SO MUCH FUN! It looks cool spinnin' on a turntable, and is like art.
Okay, I'm super into albums that have great opening tracks, and this album is one of those. "Posters," the first track on the album, really gets me in the mood to chiiiiiiill ouuuut. The fuzzed out vocals and boppy background instrumentals just put me in the best mood. Also super into "Daydream," but if I'm being honest, I don't think there's a track I don't like on this album.
What it's good for:
Chillin' out! Maybe even CHYLLIN' out. It is that chill. Any album that can walk the fine line between Cool Indie and Super Fun Pop is my absolute favorite, and this album does just that. You won't be embarrassed to tell people you're listening to Youth Lagoon, but you'll still be able to groove just as hard as you would to Britney Spears.
Want to take a walk on the wild side? Yep, thought so.
The Lonely Island get so many great guest singers. HOW DO THEY DO IT? This song with Robyn is actually pretty catchy, too. Their new album, The Wack Album, isn't going to be released until June 11, but if you're curious to take a look at the tracklisting, head over to Pitchfork. Apparently Kristen Wiig is going to make an appearance on a song, so you know it's gonna be good. —Katie
Well, it's finally happening: an internet meme is being turned into a movie. It looks like good ol' Grumpy Cat (real name Tarder Sauce) is getting her very own live-action flick! She'll play a talking and, we're assuming, very grumpy kitty. Now we can only hope that Lil Bub will get the same treatment. A live-action Lil Bub the Unicorn movie, perhaps? —Katie