Festival season is upon us and if you're about to head to SXSW (like us!), then you're probably starting to plan what essentials you're going to be taking with you. If you aren't hitting the fest-circuit this year, then these home items will at least make you feel like you're there. (Which is especially nice if you want the feeling of the great outdoors without the dirt and the 3,000 drunk adults.) —Katie
Globe Graphic Bantam Skateboard
When there are no taxis within a 50 mile radius after a long day of band-stalking, you'll be glad you packed this cute little skateboard to scoot home on. It may not be super fast, but it'll sure beat walking.
Around the World in 80 Raves
If you aren't exactly sure what festival you want to hit up this year, Around the World in 80 Raves will open your eyes to fests you didn't even know existed. (And if you're not planning on going anywhere except your couch, this is almost as good as being there.)
Quilt Held In Splendor LP
One of our favorite records for getting into the road-trippin' spirit.
Fashion Flap Journal
Perfect for when your phone dies and you just absolutely need to jot down the name of that band with the cute lead singer who played at 1:30 AM.
Magical Thinking Flower-Tile Handmade Rug
Thin rugs like this are great for ploppin' down on the grass at festivals. Plus, they'll totally look great in pictures.
Friday again, y'all! And a foggy, sort of warm one at that. How exciting. It almost feels like the rest of our lives won't be spent in the soulless crush of winter. A true miracle. Here are some of my favorite internet tidbits from the past week to keep everyone feelin' as posi as the weather. —Katie
CHVRCHES put out one of the catchiest pop albums of the year, so obviously they made it into the top ten of our year-end countdown. In between shows, we were able to ask the band a little bit about their favorite moments of the year, and what albums they think everyone should listen to.
Interview by Katie Gregory
Tell us a little bit about your band.
CHVRCHES are an electronic three-piece from Scotland.
How would you describe your band’s sound?
Electronic and synthesizer-based alternative pop music.
What's one of the craziest things that you got to experience as a band this year?
Supporting Depeche Mode was incredible because we are all big fans of the band, and their live show is still amazing.
What does it feel like to know you made an album that resonated so well with fans?
This year has been amazing, and none of that would be possible without the people who have been supporting the band, coming to the show and, eventually, buying the record, so it’s great to know that the album lived up to their expectations.
It's Friday, so here are some end-of-the-week internet clippings for you! You know, to get you through that last hour of work. —Katie
Nathan Rabin: R.I.P. Blockbuster
Blockbuster is closing its doors tomorrow... forever. It's weirdly sad? Nathan Rabin also thought it was weirdly sad and wrote this great piece for The Dissolve about all his fond Blockbuster memories.
Cut Copy – Free Your Mind
Cut Copy released their new album this week and if this (GODFORSAKEN) time change is already starting to kill your spirit, then this upbeat album will perk you right back up. And Consequence of Sound wrote a great review about the album that tells you everything you need to know. (But if you're not into reading about music, the link above takes you to the album's Spotify page.)
Malls Across America by Steidl
This is a photography book about mall fashion in the '80s. Pretty delightful, right? The perfect coffee table book, TBH. Check out some of the preview shots in this post; I am obsessed with the Tape World store pictured above.
The National "Lean"
The National put out a new song for the Catching Fire soundtrack, and it's pretty National-y. If this wasn't already made for a movie, I wouldn't be surprised to see it turn up in several Zac Efron movie trailers. (And none of that is a bad thing. The National, and Zac Efron, rule.) This soundtrack is shaping up to be prett-taaay, prett-taaay good.
Arcade Fire "Afterlife" video (Live at the YouTube Music Awards)
I still have no idea what the YouTube Music Awards were. Does anyone? Like, where were they? Why were they? This Spike Jonze-directed Arcade Fire video from the event is pretty cute, though. Greta Gerwig is a national treasure.
We wish Delorean was still going to be in town to play at Fun Fun Fun and our AfterFest this weekend. In honor of the lovely Spaniards, here's a video of their live performance from AfterFest FYF of their song "Spirit." Be sure to check the guys out when they return to the states in the new year! —Ally
Hey, if you feel like having your HEART RIPPED OUT AND STEPPED ON, then may I suggest watching this video? Our music director here at UO sent me this video to check out, so I did, and then I yelled at him through a waterfall of tears because OH MY GOD. FEELINGS. Had to pause this a minute in to silently weep. And then our other blog team member Ally also got about a minute in before she started weeping. So get your tissues, buddies, because you sure are gonna need them. —Katie
You've seen them on Tumblr, you've seen them on Project Runway and now you can see them all over the Urban Outfitters website! Of course we're talking about the Pretty Snake Crazy Kitty Sweaters! Here we talk to Joe Segal, the designer and man who makes those magical cat prints come to life with fuzzy sweaters and 50,000 (yes I said 50,000) googly eyes a year.
For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?
For this installment, we spoke to Kim Krans, the incredibly talented artist behind The Wild Unknown. In the spirit of the season, we found out what books Kim recommends to keep the mind mystical.
(Photo above by Daniel Arnold)
Yesterday the world lost an extremely influential and groundbreaking musician, Lou Reed. Although he was a founding member of The Velvet Underground, he also had an extensive solo career, and was responsible for influencing the psychedelic and punk scenes. Beginning his career with the Underground, Reed later collaborated with other influential artists like Andy Warhol, and worked on his own solo career, even releasing the controversial album Metal Machine Music. Through it all, Reed made a gigantic impact on the world, for musicians and non-musicians alike. His work and attitude influenced and continue to influence nearly every band, old and new. Music surely would not be what it is today without his contributions. Here's a little playlist for your mind and ears to remember some of his best. We'll miss you, Lou. —Maddie
Since we're celebrating Wes Anderson this week, I think it's extremely fitting to share the official trailer for his new film coming out next year. Entitled The Grand Budapest Hotel and set in the 1920s, the film will feature plenty of Anderson regulars (Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, and Adrien Brody), but with Ralph Fiennes as the lead this time. It looks like the story is centered around Fiennes' character, his "lobby boy," and the friendship they form. But what would the film be without a little love interest for Lobby Boy, played by the beautiful Saoirse Ronan. It looks like another excellent Wes Anderson adventure, set in a giant pink hotel. Sounds good to me! —Maddie
Danish vocalist MØ, aka Karen Marie Ørsted, releases her Bikini Daze EP on 10/20, but there's a special advance streaming over at Pitchfork. The EP is fun and danceable; if you haven't heard it yet, make sure you check out "Never Wanna Know", posted below. —Katie
In case you're in need of some musical inspiration for this upcoming Halloween (#HALLOWEENJAMS!), look no further than the video for "Die By The Drop" by The Dead Weather. For starters, this video has some seriously dark lyrics. I mean, just look at the title. Next, lead singers Jack White and Alison Mosshart are dressed totally macabre. Like, check out the eyes painted on Alison's eyelids, and Jack's casual pale vampire looks. Also in the video for this rough rock tune are incredibly creepy people dressed in masks, black capes, broken mirrors, fog... basically all of the elements to create serious eeriness. I hope you jam to this song while dressing up as a mysterious, mystical person with eyeballs painted on your eyelids this Halloween! —Maddie