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Happenings: FYF Festival 2014 Recap


This year, FYF Festival moved to a new location, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and spared no expense when it came to the vibes, food, and, of course, the artists playing. Last year, FYF expanded to a two day festival, making it an even bigger deal to us LA-natives. What’s better than a festival just twenty minutes from your house? Nothing, in our opinion. Sean Carlson, founder of FYF, stacked the lineup this year with favorites like Ty Segall and Mac Demarco, and even gave the fans huge comebacks from The Strokes, Interpol, and Slowdive. LA ladies Haim also played one of our favorite sets of the weekend, along with excellent solo sets from members of The Strokes, and a perfect daytime set from Real Estate.

We caught most of Interpol’s smashing set and they were totally shredding the whole time under beautiful red lights. We were most excited to see Grimes perform over the weekend, since it'd been a couple years since we caught her last. She closed out Friday night at The Lawn stage, with her incredible beats and dancers in tow. On Sunday, we spent the entire day at the Main Stage, anxiously awaiting The Strokes, but while waiting for the band that's influenced so many of us, we also got to see Kindness, Tanlines, Blood Orange, and Haim perform. Could there have been a better set of bands to “open” for The Strokes? Nope! All in all, FYF really honed in on the meaning of the music this weekend with an extraordinary lineup of bands and good people. Check out some of our favorite pics from this weekend below! Photos by Maddie Sensibile


Matt Mondanile of Real Estate calming the crowd with beachy vibes on Saturday afternoon.


Albert Hammond Jr. graced the Main Stage on Saturday afternoon to TONS of excited Strokes fans, and even covered "Last Caress" by The Misfits. It was so good.


We've never seen someone dance like Gerrit Welmers of Future Islands. Absolutely insane. Now we've got the itch to see them again, ASAP!


Paul Banks of Interpol on Saturday night.


Queen Grimes! Claire Boucher played a ton of old favorites like "Genesis" for the crowd, and even brought out Blood Diamonds for a performance of "Go."




Above we have Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange performing at sunset on Sunday at the Main Stage. We never tire of Blood Orange. Check out Cupid Deluxe if you haven't already.






Need we say more about how hard the girls of Haim rocked? Their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" is always amazing. They know what they're doing, and they do it well.




THE STROKES, YOU GUYS, THE STROKES! We got to hear "Barely Legal" and "New York City Cops" live, so we're content.


Okay, ending this recap with Maddie's selfie with Mac Demarco.

Happenings: Afterfest LA Recap

This past Friday night in Los Angeles, Making Time brought Afterfest to Los Angeles with Kindness and Ramona Lisa headlining. Dave P of Making Time quickly transformed Los Globos in Silverlake into a club straight out of 1977, disco ball and all. Before we knew it, Ramona Lisa had taken the stage all in white, performing one of the most ethereal performances we’ve ever seen. Caroline Polachek and her singers who doubled as backup dancers performed a carefully choreographed set, with matching outfits and eyeball print nail art.

Kindness, aka Adam Bainbridge, took the stage next to close out the night, and wooed the crowd with his smooth disco-infused music - he even brought his close friend and collaborator Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange out for a few songs, and eventually brought Dev back on stage with the entire Blood Orange crew for a performance of “On the Line.” Kindness is definitely an artist to watch, especially with his swift dance moves that rival that of Mick Jagger and James Brown. Scroll below to see all of our photos from the event!

Photos by Maddie Sensibile

























Afterfest LA with Kindness and Ramona Lisa


If you’re in Los Angeles this weekend, you’ll definitely want to make sure you stop by Los Globos in Silverlake today, August 22, to catch Kindness and Ramona Lisa at Afterfest. The name Kindness may be familiar to you as he often tours and works with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, but now he’s on track to release his second studio album, Otherness, this October. Adam Bainbridge, aka Kindness, mixes dance, electronica, and a little disco to create his unique sound. Perfect for any Friday night dance party.



Ramona Lisa, the new solo project by Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, will join Kindness that evening in providing the grooves. Polachek calls Ramona Lisa’s genre “pastoral electronic,” which is realized through rich vocals and calming beats on her debut record Arcadia. Make sure to RSVP for Afterfest here. You know you don’t want to miss this one!

Learn more about AFTERFEST

For The Record: Washed Out

Washed Out, aka Ernest Greene, put out one of our favorite albums last year when he released Paracosm. Now, he joins the ranks of the many artists participating in our For The Record vinyl signing program. We've worked with Ernest before when we produced his "All I Know" video last year, and we're psyched to work with him again, especially in a setting where he gets to interact with his many fans.

Washed Out will be on tour this fall, so if he's heading to a city near you, make sure you catch the show. His live performance is just as incredible as his album, and hearing him in a live setting only makes the experience that more magical. Watch the video for "All I Know" below, read our interview with the video's director Daniel Kragh-Jacobsen, and check to see what cities he'll be visiting for For The Record!



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For The Record Upcoming Schedule

8/27 Washed Out: UO Pittsburgh (435 Cinema Dr.) 7:30-8:15pm
9/10 Banks: UO New York (98 N. 6th St. Brooklyn) 6:00-7:00pm

Shop Paracosm

Friday Download: August 15, 2014


Happy Friday! Here are some of our favorite internet tidbits from the past week. Check 'em out and then go out and have a great weekend.

1. This write-up on Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson in NYMag takes a look at her life post-high school, as well as her upcoming play This Is Our Youth that will be opening for previews on Broadway later on this month. As always, Tavi is extremely well-spoken and fascinating.

2. Recently, we've become very interested in the projects of Nicholas Gottlund. Gottlund is an artist who splits his time between LA and small-town Pennsylvania, where he runs a small publishing outpost called Gottlund Verlag out of a book bindery that's been in his family for generations. Along with publishing the work of other artists, Gottlund's own work is beautiful in its experimentation and versatility, and his current show, "Always," is at PLHK in Chicago. Check it out if you get the chance!

3. There's a new exhibit by the radio DJ group Chances with Wolves opening at Pioneer Works this weekend – if you're in the area, make sure you give it a look before it closes September 7th.

4. "Say You Love Me" is the newest song from Jessie Ware and it's kind of ripping our hearts out (in a good way).

5. Finally, we've been really into the Tumblr of Charlotte Audrey Owen-Meehan. Her aesthetic is super cool and very inspiring.

Happenings: Afterfest LA

L.A., listen up! Next Friday, August 22, we'll be throwing another one of our fun-filled AFTERFEST parties! This time we'll be setting up shop at Los Globos (3040 Sunset Blvd.) from 9pm-3am, and we will be hosting performances by Ramona Lisa and Kindness. As always, Dave P. and Sammy Slice of Making Time will be there to DJ throughout the night to keep the masses dancing. Attending the event is free but you must RSVP beforehand as space is limited. Make sure to arrive early to guarantee admission and we'll see you out there, L.A.!



RSVP here

Dreamers and Doers: College Marketplace


Calling all local artists! This fall, the newly created UO Marketplace will provide local college artists with a platform to sell and promote their work. UO will be selecting college students to curate their shop in their local Urban Outfitters store. That means that you'll be able to sell your goods in a storefront, free of charge!



To be a part of the marketplace, you will need to submit a photo of your work, along with a quick profile on yourself (including what school you go to) to uomarketplace@urbanoutfitters.com, which will then be reviewed and hand-selected by the team at Home Office. The deadline for these student submissions is 8/29, so hurry and get your ideas in before it's too late! All the artists chosen to participate in the marketplace will receive a $100 UO gift card, along with the chance to sell their goods online and in-store. We're constantly being impressed by what students can turn out, so show us what you've got!



Stores participating in UO Marketplace:

@UOPhiladelphia
@UOSanFrancisco
@UO_LosAngeles
@UOArizona
@UOColorado
@UOKansas
@UONewEngland
@UOBoston
@UOKnoxville
@UOTallahassee

Find out more about the UO Marketplace here!

Students receive 50% off their first year of Squarespace. To learn more about Squarespace for students, click here! Winners will also receive a year subsciption to Squarespace.

Happenings: Outside Lands Music Festival


One of my absolute favorite things to do every year is head up to the Bay Area to go to Outside Lands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. This year, the festival featured some highly notable names like Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, The Flaming Lips, and The Killers, as well as newer favorites like Jagwar Ma and Woods. While you’re not catching a band play, there are literally so many other things to keep you busy. There’s this incredible stand-up comedy tent called The Barbary, a digital detox zone called summer camp for adults, and not to mention Chocolands (literally all dessert all the time)!

Golden Gate Park is no ordinary park. When at the festival, you feel like you’re surrounded by an unbelievably beautiful forest that you never want to leave. Seriously, I didn’t want to leave. But to commemorate my visit, I snapped a ton of photos over the weekend with my Polaroid camera. Above, you'll see a shot of Woods who I started the last day of the festival with, and one of the many cool homes around the park. See the rest of my photo diary below! Maddie


The food situation was excellent. Above is the giant "Beer Lands" sign and below is my favorite vendor from the fest. They had the best sweet tea.



Two of my favorite acts that I saw at the festival were Jagwar Ma, and Arctic Monkeys, who closed out Friday night.


Here we have the incredible Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips in a tinsel jacket, the beautiful greenery and my favorite spot at the festival, the 2 Bandits booth!


Myself in front of one of the many hand painted walls at the festival.


I carried these flowers around the festival and felt like Morrissey.

For The Record: Spoon


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

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

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



Read more about our recent UO Video Series featuring Spoon

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For The Record Upcoming Schedule

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

Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!

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.

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!

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

For The Record: Little Dragon

Little Dragon, a Swedish group that has consistently put out dreamy, uptempo tunes to keep us dancing, is the latest band participating in our For The Record program and will be signing vinyl at our Herald Square location (1333 Broadway, NYC) on June 21 from 1-2pm. We spoke to Yukimi Nagano, the band's frontwoman, to find out a little bit more about their latest record Nabuma Rubberband and what the band has planned for their inaugural U.S. tour.
Interview by Katie Gregory



Katie: How are you today?
Yukimi Nagano: Good! It’s a beautiful day. I’m home in Gothenburg.

How does it feel to finally have Nabuma Rubberband, your new album, out?
It’s amazing! I think we’ve waited for that time, and now it’s actually happening and it’s good to finally share the music with the fans and people—not just journalists and the label.

How long did it take to record the album? Because you’ve taken a break for the last couple years, right?
Yeah, we toured after Ritual Union for a year or two years and then I’d say we were in the studio for about a year, year and a half.

What has the reception been like? Have your fans been into the new music?
Yeah, it’s been amazing. [We’re] definitely feeling the love from the fans and even new people who don’t know about us, who have discovered us from this record. I mean, you’re always going to have those people who have their opinion with, "Oh the first one’s my favorite." Or, "Ritual Union was my favorite." But that’s just the world! It would be boring if everyone had the same taste. I don’t mind.

I saw on your Twitter that you retweeted Willow Smith who said she liked “Paris,” which I though was cute!
Oh yeah! Yeah, that was fun.

Was it easy getting back into the touring game?
It took a minute, for sure; I think just to sort of feel tight as the band. We needed to just throw ourselves out there and have some shows. I think we feel ready now.

I saw that you guys participated in “Tumblr IRL.” That show seemed really awesome!
Yeah it was really special actually; it was pretty crazy. We had a small space—it was maybe… 200-300 people capacity—but the line has two thousand people so it was pretty amazing. It was frustrating because we obviously wanted everyone who came out to come in but we were at least able to give everyone the comic. It was a special space because Brian Butler, who created the comic, also did our art installation in there. It was good to do something for the fans that was genuinely just from us so it was fun.

So that was kind of a one-off event right? And how about the comics? Would that be something you would bring on tour?
[The event] was definitely kind of a one-off, but the comic is something that me and Brian and the guys have talked about doing for a few years, but it didn’t happen until now. Obviously it made sense to do now because of the record coming out; I sort of kept in contact with him and waited for the right minute to be like, “Alright, let’s do this comic!” It all fell into place spontaneously but it was also something we talked about doing.

I saw all of the pictures online, and the actual comic looked so cool!
Yeah! And you know I really love comics and the stuff that they brought was kind of in the similar spirit to the Nabuma comics, so it had humor, it was surreal, it was fun stuff! I got in and bought a whole bunch of comics myself to read on the road or whatever.



I saw that you guys have been doing fun things around the album release, like the derby car contest for people to win tickets. How did that come to be?
It was something we decided to do! It was partnered with Redbull but it was our initiative to do it. All of the cars were really awesome. There were some really creative, fun fans who did amazing little cars. I was really impressed; it was fun. The whole idea was initiated by Adam Farrell from Loma Vista who has this really creative mind and he always comes up with crazy, interesting ideas. It’s fun when you meet those people who are like, “Hey I have this idea that sounds stupid and amazing!” And then it actually happened.

Do you have any upcoming festivals or shows that you’re looking most forward to play?
I mean, I think were just looking forward to so much. I think for sure doing the tour. I think we’re going to be doing our first U.S. tour in June. So compared to festivals that should be fun to be able to get into the zone a little bit and actually have time for a proper sound check. But I really enjoy playing festivals because of the other bands. You get to see the other bands and check out other acts and also get into the adrenaline of playing for a big group of people and people just come check you out and don’t know who you are. It’s a larger scale and more intense, but I look forward to both festivals we’re doing this summer but then proper shows as well.

I saw that actually both of your New York shows sold out, which is awesome!
It’s really cool! When we started we felt a lot of love from the West Coast in the U.S., especially L.A. and San Francisco. It’s nice to really feel the love from New York and feel it grow there. It’s a special place; I mean I really love going there and playing there.

What do you like to do for fun on tour that’s not musical related? Any rituals or places you like to go?
When we have the time, because we don’t always, we definitely like to eat good food—everybody’s kind of foodies. You want to get a contrast from your everyday so definitely like some beautiful nature, or a park. Erik is into speed skating on ice and weight lifting. Håkan tries to find the little weird gear stores where you can find some synth that is rare but hopefully cheap because they don’t know it’s rare. Fred is always looking for the best coffee place. I think it’s just sort of about finding that space to relax.

Do you have any music or TV shows that you’ve been into lately?
True Detective… I was pretty mesmerized and scared. Like, it really scared me! A couple nights there I was like, “Uhhhh… when I get up to use the restroom I might get murdered!” Fred is into Fargo. Håkan had a moment of Game of Thrones but apparently he’s kind of over it now [laughs].

Where do you hope to see yourself in the future with the band?
I definitely see us making more music and trying to challenge that—I want to do different things. I don’t know how exactly. Not necessarily collaborations with other musicians, but maybe collaborate with a painter, or make music for film. I don’t know, definitely creative stuff and staying inspired, and making music and kind of continue to make things that feel fresh, inspiring and new so you keep your mind on the edge and inspired!

Shop Little Dragon’s fourth studio LP, Nabuma Rubberband, out now on in the U.S. on Loma Vista Recordings, and in the U.K. on Because Music.

Summer in the City: Northside Fest


Join us in Brooklyn for New York City’s largest music festival, Northside, featuring exclusive performances and vinyl signings with your new favorite bands.

Space Ninety 8 (98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY) Stage Line Up
Saturday, June 14, 2014

1:00pm-1:20pm: Teen Girl Scientist Monthly
1:35pm-1:55pm: traumahelikopter
2:10pm-2:40pm: Your Friend
2:55pm-3:25pm: Neighbors
3:40pm-4:10pm: Special Guests
4:25pm-4:55pm: Piers (formerly Gondola)
5:10pm-5:40pm: Special Guests

For The Record Vinyl Signings at Urban Outfitters

June 12, 2014
2:00pm-3:00pm: Dev Hynes (signing Cupid's Deluxe) and Gia Coppola (signing Palo Alto soundtrack) (1333 Broadway, NYC, NY)

June 14, 2014
3:00pm-4:00pm: Eleanor Friedberger (98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)
4:30pm-5:30pm: Eagulls (98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)

June 15, 2014
12:00pm-1:00pm: CHVRCHES (98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)

We're excited to see the bands above play at our special Space Ninety 8 stage (98 N. 6th St.) on June 14 and at our various For The Record events, so we reached out to find out a little bit more about each of them.

PIERS



We are Joey & Sam (from New York), Isabella (from North Carolina), and Ricci (from Oregon). Joey and I (Ricci) met at a restaurant we were working at and started playing music immediately. We met Bella through a mutual friend and we met Sam while we were playing shows with his other band. We needed another guitarist and couldn't think of anyone else we'd rather play with than the shredding Mr. Yield.

Our sound can be described as if Colin Newman (Wire) and Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) got together and tried writing an album like Tusk.

On tour, we always have water, trail mix, and T-Rex (their entire catalogue).

In Brooklyn, we tell everyone to visit Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

A tourist spot we secretly love is The Chrysler Building. It's beyond beautiful. Whenever we see it peeking through the NYC skyline our faith is restored in our decision to move here. Also, the Staten Island ferry; grab some brews, ride around, and see Lady Liberty doing her thing. It's great!

This summer we're looking forward to rooftop parties, riding our bikes, and RELEASING OUR ALBUM!

We're currently listening to Swell Maps, John Fahey, The Walkmen, and Peter Murphy.

EAGULLS


(Photo credit: Sandy Kim)

We are five young men from various parts of the north of England, who now reside together in Leeds, West Yorkshire. We all met from friendships going all the way back to when we were 5 years old, and the DIY scene from previous bands. We have since been making music together for the last four years.

Our sound is described as "post punk" an awful lot, which we don’t particularly mind, but we’ve never really liked to label ourselves with any one thing. We try to focus on melody, energy and rawness when writing or playing.

This current US tour has been very enjoyable so far, an eye-opener for us all as it’s our first time around America. We've met some very interesting people along the way and are glad to be able to show our music to people who have never heard it before.

We've learned to pack light nowadays, just having all the basics helps. Lots of socks, lots of underwear, lots of music, lots of toothpaste and something to stimulate your brain in the van, like books, etc.

As it's our first time in America, each day we’ve been getting history lessons from our American tour manager or fed facts about anything we pass from city to city. It’s been very interesting. Also, just meeting the locals at each place we play, we always look forward to that, taking in the different landscapes and just looking for things we young men from England have never seen in the flesh before.

We're currently into a lot of Brian Jonestown Massacre in the van, The Smiths, Autobahn, Merchandise, Protomartyr, Blitz, Lou Reed, The Sound, Psychic TV, David Bowie, The The, Suede, These Immortal Souls, Al Green, and Future Islands.

Eleanor Friedberger



I didn't start playing music until I was 18; my brother gave me a guitar for Christmas and a 4-track tape recorder the following year. It wasn't until I moved to New York in the spring of 2000 that I attempted to play in front of other people. I started a band with a college friend, and when my brother moved to town several months later, he joined us and we called ourselves The Fiery Furnaces.

I would describe my sound as steeped in (copy-catting) the records I bought as a kid at Second Hand Tunes on Oak Park Avenue, on the west side of Chicago, mostly from the 99 cent bin: Astral Weeks, Tapestry, Some Girls, This Year's Model, Combat Rock.

On tour I make sure to have plenty of underwear and one outfit I won't wear on-stage to remember my non-tour self.

In NYC I mostly like cycling around town, with a destination in mind. Socrates Sculpture Park and the Greek grocery store, Titan, in Astoria are current favorites.

This summer I'm looking forward to going on tour in Europe, and then having a vacation. The trick is to make it all feel like a vacation, and it should be easy when I'm lucky enough to have shows in Italy, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Norway. I'm very lucky.

I'm currently listening to Cate LeBon, Vertical Scratchers, Tom Brosseau, School of Language, Deerhoof, and my incredibly talented bandmates - Icewater and Cassandra Jenkins.

NEIGHBORS



I am Noah and I am 30 years old, from VT, and have been living in Brooklyn for almost ten years. I started playing music when I was pretty young. I started with the drums but I was pretty bad at it and quickly transitioned to guitar. It was the '90s so I pretty much learned a bunch of Nirvana and Metallica songs and went from there. I started writing songs when I was around 15 and have been trying to write better ones ever since!

I would describe us as an electronic band that makes sad songs about our feelings that you can dance to. A recent review of our last record called the album "A dance party for downers" and I thought that was a pretty good description.

In NYC I always recommend Capri Social Club, which is a very old school bar in Greenpoint. It's usually pretty empty and the regulars are kind of surly old people who have been in the neighborhood for a long time. They have $1 Jell-o shots and 7oz mini Budwisers which are great for a light weight like myself. I also really like McGolrick park in Greenpoint. It's a lot less crowded than McCarren park and it's got a lot of trees so if you lay down and look at the sky it's got a killer canopy. For eating I think Kenka on St Marks is great. It's like a Japanese mess hall that just has such a great vibe. They have weird food like bull penis and turkey testicles and their ramen is great and their beer is cheap. At the end you get cotton candy which is a bonus.

This summer we have some shows lined up for this summer that I am super excited for. I also just moved and my roof is going to be perfect to watch the fireworks on the fourth of July. They are back on the East River this year! (Up yours New Jersey!) Besides that I am just stoked about making music and hanging out with buds. There will probably be some grilling involved at some point too.

I'm currently listening to a lot of different bands right now. I have been listening to the new Blood Orange record a lot and I think it's really great. Also, this band Saintseneca from Ohio who are fantastic. That new Sia song is my jam of the week, though. Her voice in those choruses!? Woof.

In the future we're going to be playing over the summer and our newest album is coming out on vinyl soon. Other than that I have been writing a lot and hope to have new music to share soon!

MAS YSA



I started playing music because my Godfather is a musician and bought me an acoustic guitar. I learned to play ”A Horse With No Name." Shortly after that I got to playing around on my friends' turntables and got into juggling, cutting and all that. It took me a decade to get back to playing a guitar at all or singing for the first time but now I often start there and move onto the gear, after I have some words.

I try not to describe my sound! Especially to myself. Thankfully language is not its mode of transmission. It describes itself, I hope. Generally one could say electronic 4x4 kicks with some confessional yellings. Some love songs. Some noise plane travels.

On tour I always have linen shirts. They look better a mess.

This summer I'm looking forward to
working more on my record. Mostly because I'm touring a ton and playing bigger shows to bigger crowds than I'm used to. The response is giving me a lot of focus and love for what I'm doing.

My favorite bands as a teenager were Violent Femmes, Renato Cohen, and Gangstar.

I recently saw Factory Floor at Primavera Sound in Barcelona. The festival was amazing. Jagwar Ma and Deafheaven were also highlights. I'm just in love with all the bands that I met and saw at that festival. I've been whiningly ignorant of everything everyone is making in the world and I had such a... not rude, but a positive, jarring awakening.

Happenings: For The Record Schedule


(Photo credit: Samantha Urbani)

For those of you who haven't heard, we here at UO have started a brand new music program called For The Record. Basically, we'll be bringing in touring artists to your local Urban Outfitters to sign vinyl, promote their tours and hang out with fans in a relaxed setting. We had our first For The Record vinyl signing in April of this year in our Chicago stores and the success of it all means we won't be stopping anytime soon. Some of the artists we've worked with so far have been St. Vincent, Black Lips, MØ, and The Head and the Heart, and we have a lot more planned for you all. Below, check out the signings we have coming up.

SCHEDULE



Who: Dev Hynes (of Blood Orange) and Gia Coppola, available for a vinyl signing. Gia will be signing the Palo Alto soundtrack, and Dev will be signing Cupid's Deluxe.
When: June 12th from 2:00-3:00pm
Where: Urban Outfitters Herald Square (1333 Broadway, NYC, NY)

Urban On Insiders: Get an exclusive meet and greet 15 minutes before the signing. Check the app for details! If you're not an Urban On Insider yet, click here to learn more.



Who:
Eleanor Friedberger
When:
June 14th from 3:00-4:00pm
Where:
Space Ninety 8 (98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)



Who: Eagulls
When:
June 14th from 4:30-5:30pm
Where:
Space Ninety 8 (98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)



Who: CHVRCHES
When:
June 15th from 12:00-1:00pm
Where:
Space Ninety 8 (98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)



Who: Little Dragon
When:
June 21st from 1:00-2:00pm
Where:
Urban Outfitters Herald Square (1333 Broadway, NYC, NY)

Make sure to share your signing experiences with the hashtag #fortherecord

Space Ninety 8: Bikestock Pop-Up


We spoke to Joseph Huba, one of the founders of Bikestock, a company that provides "support for urban cyclists through a network of vending machines, toolkits, and branded cycling products," to find out a little bit more about their current pop-up shop at Space Ninety 8, how their company was born, and (of course) the best places to bike in New York City.



What made you all come up with the idea for Bikestock?
It was actually Matt [Von Ohlen]'s idea. We were working at the same restaurant at the time and one day he ran the idea by me and it just made sense. It was like a light turned on inside my head and I just knew that this was something worth pursuing. And what made it resonate even more was the fact that I was working as a messenger and was always needing around-the-clock access to bike parts and repair. Matt has his fair share of horror stories on a bike, too. I mean, who hasn't needed an inner tube or access to air in the middle of night?

Was it hard to get the project off the ground?
Yes, it was very hard. From the get-go a lot of people just thought it was a great idea. And that was it. It was like, "I get it but how are you guys going to get money and find locations?" Needless to say that didn't stop us. We spent a ton of time writing our business plan and just kicking ideas back and forth. Eventually we came up with the idea of the toolkit as a way to start somewhere. I remember reading this book, I think it was the $100 Startup and there was a piece in there on starting a business tomorrow, with $50. I thought to myself, "Okay, if I had $50 to spend, what would I spend it on?" We kicked around a ton of ideas and the toolkit is what we came up with. That kept us motivated while we were searching for a location for a vending machine, a work stand, and air pump.



How do you choose what goes into your machines?
Well, I worked at a shop for years while I was going to school at University of Maryland and Matt has been riding bicycles since he was a kid, so we both kind of just knew what should go in the machine. We narrowed the selection down to what people need access to around the clock. There's something in our vending machines for everybody. It doesn't matter if you're not a cyclist. Whether you're a runner, a skateboarder, or someone commuting to work via the L train, we can take care of you.

What will we be able to find at your pop-up?
The pop-up itself has some bags and gear from our friends at Vaya Bags and Mer Bags; everything from rolltop backpacks to wallets to tote bags (and all the Vaya and Mer gear is handmade in Brooklyn). We also have some cycling related books, some awesome maps from All You Can Eat Press (a burger map, ramen map, and doughnut map). In addition to the books and maps we also have a film from our friends Crihs and Luke called Empire. It's chock full of some of the gnarliest fixed gear riding from the world's baddest ass riders.
And of course we have cycling specific items, like battery powered and USB rechargeable lights.



Where do you see Bikestock going in the future?
We see ourselves all over. We want to have a far reaching network that inspires people to ride and get outside more often.

What are some of your favorite spots in Brooklyn?
Jimmy's Diner is the best place to get food. Hands down. Get the chicken and waffles, you won't regret it. I also love the bar Lucky Dog. It's right across the street from DuMont Burger, which is also a great place to go for a beer and a burger. On a non-food related note, I also enjoy the LES Skate Park. It's my favorite place to go skate and it's one of the best parks in New York City.

Favorite spots to bike in NYC?
I love riding over the Williamsburg Bridge to work. That's always fun. And if you've been off your bike for a while, it can be a very unforgiving ride! I also love riding to the beach; whether it's to the Rockaways or Ft. Tilden, it's always a fun journey. There's something really special about when you get close to the water. It all of a sudden stops feeling like New York, but then you remember it is and that's what makes New York so awesome. There's even a (highly reputable) bird sanctuary out there, too! It's called the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. It's a super fun day trip and is easily accessible by bicycle.

What tunes have you been listening to lately?
I really love this DJ named Monster Rally. He is so incredible at mashing up songs and making them feel like original compositions. He just put out a 4 track EP that's got this cool vibe to it. It's definitely worth checking out. I also can't stop listening to Ghostface Killah. "Ironman" is one of my all-time favorite albums and to me it will never get old. Check out the music video for "Camay." It's got such a '90s feel to it, it's amazing. I've also been listening to this band California X. Bikestock actually helped put on a show at Shea Stadium in Bushwick and Cali X headlined a few months back. They played a killer set to a venue that was almost full. It was great! They kind of remind me of Dinosaur Jr. and some other good '90s bands.

Visit the Bikestock pop-up at Space Ninety 8 (98 N. 6th St.) through June 30

Interview: MO


After releasing Bikini Daze, one of our favorite EPs of 2013, singer released her first full-length album No Mythologies To Follow in March of this year. With some seriously impressive collaborations already under her belt (Diplo, anyone?), we were thrilled when the 25-year-old singer agreed to chat with us about her Danish roots, her infamous Spice Girls cover and her upcoming For The Record performance happening at our Broadway store in NYC.
Interview by Katie Gregory


(Photo credit: Thomas Skou)

Hi MØ! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in the suburbs, in a small town on an island in Denmark. It was kind of isolated, I guess you could say. I got into music because of the Spice Girls [laughs]. They were the first record I ever got for myself and I was just so inspired by their music. I felt like that was the first time I'd heard music that was appealing to me, you know? I decided from that day on that I wanted to be a musician. Neither of my parents were musicians, though, so I just had to start somewhere. My mother inherited a piano from my great-grandmother, and I started tapping on the notes. That was how I began to teach myself to write music. My parents were very supportive, but they don't do music [laughs].

So you were just doing it on your own?
Yeah, I was really fascinated from that day on, like this is what I wanted to do. I had to do it no matter what or it just wouldn't have happened. When you're from this little family with no musical influences, I was just like “I need to teach myself!”

I feel like your career took off pretty quickly after releasing your EP Bikini Daze. Has anything surreal happened to you in the last year?
About a month ago I won this award. It was a Danish national radio award, and it was handed to me by Sporty Spice from Spice Girls [laughs]. I was freaking out. I still don't believe that that really happened. It was really, really surreal.

That is amazing. Did they do that specifically for you because they know you love her?
Yeah, they knew. She was fully booked, but apparently she really liked the cover I did of their song [“Say You'll Be There”] so she was willing to fly. She wrote a speech and handed me the award and I was just freaking out, totally [laughs].

That's so nice of her! I love that cover you did. Is that one of your favorite songs or did you pick it because you saw that you'd be able to do something cool with it?
It is one of my favorite songs and the video was one of my favorites back then, but also when we decided we wanted to do a Spice Girls cover, we listened to the two albums again and this was just the song that I saw the most opportunities in. The hook, the chorus, you can change it into something a bit more melancholic, in a way. The original version is very happy, but I felt that you could change it into something that would be a bit more dark, and that's what I wanted.



You've done a lot of amazing collaborations too. Do you usually reach out to people you like?
We look for people and sometimes people reach out to us on their own, so it depends on the situation. It goes both ways. The collaboration I did with Diplo happened because of a coincidence. I didn't think I'd ever get to work with him, but I said in an interview in the UK that my dream collaboration would be to work with Major Lazer, so then a guy on Twitter tweeted Diplo and said “Please make this happen,” and Diplo wrote back and said “I love her.” When my manager and I saw that we were like “Oh my god!” And then we got a contact and had a session in Amsterdam and it was awesome [laughs].

Are there any other people you would love to work with?
There's a lot of people! I would love to work with Blood Orange. You know him? And Jamie xx from The xx? I would die to work with him. Oh, and the band Jungle. Do you know them? They're a new band who just signed to XL. They're so cool.

How does it feel having your first full-length out?
I was very nervous finally releasing the piece, you know? [Laughs] But I'm very, very happy that it's out there. It's a good thing because now you're able to move onto new songs and new journeys in this project. It's great having the debut album out there.

And you're performing at our For The Record program in NYC this month. Is vinyl something you've been interested in collecting yourself?
I'm not really the collecting type, if you know what I mean [laughs]. I'm not a collector but I've always really liked the... how do you say it? The form of a vinyl, you know? [Laughs] I love being able to have it in your hands. It's a medium for music that I really like.

You have also spent some time in NYC before. Do you have any favorite spots in the city?
Yeah, I was on an internship there for a month in 2012. I've actually been quite a lot to New York. Of course I love Williamsburg, it's great, but I also really love Manhattan. I lived close to Greenpoint, so we were hanging out there, too. I really like the street Bedford Avenue? That's Williamsburg, right? I really liked the venue called Cameo. That's also in Williamsburg. I like Glasslands a lot too and I'm playing there for the third time which is really cool.

What's in store for the future?
Of course now we're touring the debut album and then it's the festival season, but while touring I think we will start making new songs for a second album or EP. Ever since I was a little girl, writing songs has been therapy, something I need to do to let off steam, and it's a way of communicating my feelings. It's something that is very important for me to do all the time [laughs]. So we'll just keep on working, keep on aiming for the stars.

Come see MØ perform + sign vinyl at 5pm on May 19 at our Broadway, NYC store (628 Broadway, New York, NY)

Fine Print: Stephen Shore


Stephen Shore has been a known name in photography since the 1960s. Since the age of six, he's been working and experimenting with photography, specifically color, and has become an inspiration for photographers around the world. His early work depicts America at more than just face value, full of rich colors and culture. His latest project took him to Israel for a collaborative project which came to be his new book, From Galilee to the Negev, out in early May from Phaidon. We met up with Stephen before his book signing at Space 15 Twenty to talk about the book, his early days, and the Mickey Mouse-shaped camera and darkroom kit that really kicked things off for him. Interview by Maddie Sensibile

Tell us about your new book, From Galilee to the Negev, and what you wanted to accomplish with it.

It grew out of a project. 12 photographers were commissioned to go to Israel and the West Bank and we were given pretty much free reign to do whatever we wanted. Because it was a large group of photographers, I didn’t feel like I had to do something definitive. In fact, I’m not sure anyone can do something definitive in a country as complex as Israel and the West Bank, so that freed me up to explore what I was interested in. I wanted to explore a lot of the rest of life in Israel, of what daily life is like; it doesn’t avoid the conflict because that’s part of daily life, but life is much more than that.



Your book almost has the feel of multiple series put together; there are landscape shots, portraits, and lots of detail shots. Is this how you wanted the book to feel?

Exactly. There are conflicts in Israel that exist outside of the Arab/Israeli conflict. There’s a lot of contention in the country. There’s contention between Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox, there’s contention between ultra Orthodox Jews and reform Jews. There are all kinds of tensions. I wanted to not express the conflict but the idea that there are multiple voices that often talk past each other. In a way, I used multiple voices in the book which I think is what you’re picking up on.

What made you want to travel to this region of the world and make this collection of photographs over several years?
Well, I didn’t seek it out. The project was offered to me. Starting in the '90s, I began to photographically explore cultures other than North American culture. It was something that interested me, to bring what I’ve learned about getting a sense of a place and see if I can do that in a foreign place. So, I jumped at the chance when it was offered.



The book combines both digital and film photography. Do you feel that people will continue to use film even when digital photography has become so advanced?

I teach at Bard College and we still use film for the first two years. Students don’t use digital until they’ve spent two years working in a dark room; they spend at least a semester doing color processing and printing, and a semester with a 4x5 view camera. I love digital. All the prints I make are digital, all the photography I do now... I haven’t shot film since the Israel and West Bank book. I have absolutely nothing against digital. I think it’s allowing photographers to make a kind of picture that simply couldn’t have been made ten years ago. However, I think there is a tremendous amount that can only be learned through film.

You shot many photos of the Factory in black and white in the '60s. What made you want to shoot in color, as we see in American Surfaces and Uncommon Places?
There were a couple of events, one was in 1971. I started on two projects that both involved vernacular uses of photography. One was a series of postcards of Amarillo, TX, where I photographed the ten highlights of Amarillo and had the largest postcard printer in America make real postcards of them. Of course they were in color, because all postcards were in color then.

And the second?
The other series was a series of snapshots. Again, I wanted to bring a cultural reference of the style of the photograph to the meaning of it, so the image gained some meaning by being seen as a snapshot or as a postcard. This was a series called the Mick-A-Matics. They were taken with a camera, the Mick-A-Matic, which is a big plastic-headed Mickey Mouse with a lens in its nose. I had the pictures printed by Kodak, and they were also in color, and the Mick-A-Matic work led to American Surfaces. I wanted to continue something like the Mick-A-Matic, but with a camera that had finer optics than the plastic lens in Mickey’s nose. The one advantage of it, though, was every time I took a photo of a person, there was a genuine smile on their face. The other thing I really learned from doing the Mick-A-Matics was that part of the information that a picture can convey about a particular age in which it was taken is the palette of that age, which is out of the range of black and white.

What was your experience with color photography like prior to that point?
There was just one of these dumb events that could lead someone to think deep thoughts. I met a young composer at a party and he expressed an interest in seeing my photographs although he didn’t know much about photography. We went back to my apartment and I opened up a box, and his first reaction was “Oh, they’re black and white!” He had only seen snapshots, not art photographs, and he didn’t understand why they weren’t in color. He expected in that box would be color photographs. That led me to think about the snapshot and the postcard and why did this guy expect…I mean, I knew the art photography tradition. I knew color was light years from it; we didn’t see color in it. When I handed him the box, he thought it was going to be color. That, I found fascinating. I wanted to explore why he thought that. That’s when I started doing the postcards and the snapshots.

When you began taking photographs, who or what inspired you to do so?
I started because a relative of mine gave me a darkroom set for my sixth birthday. At first I wasn’t interested in taking pictures, I was only interested in taking my family’s snapshots and developing them and printing them. I did that for a couple of years. It wasn’t until I was eight and got a 35mm camera that I started photographing seriously. Before that, my real interest was darkroom work.



When you were 14, MOMA acquired your work, specifically Edward Steichen. Do you remember how you felt when that happened?
I don’t.

Would you say that was a pivotal moment in your career?
No. It wasn’t a pivotal event because I didn’t know enough for it be a pivotal event. On the other hand, if I knew more, I would’ve thought it was inappropriate to call up Steichen and ask to show him my work. So, my childish and naiveté led me to do that, but on the other hand it led me not to see it as a pivotal moment.

If you had one piece of advice for someone trying to get into photography and make it a career, what would it be?
Read my book published by Phaidon called The Nature of Photographs.

Happenings: The Impossible Tour


Impossible made a stop this week at Urban Outfitters Costa Mesa to set up their unbelievably cool portable pop-up shop in the form of a silver Airstream trailer. Impossible USA is traveling around the country until October 2014 to share the power of the Polaroid. I met up with two of the guys from Impossible, Kyle and Mitch, to learn a little bit more about what's going on inside the trailer, nicknamed "Silver Shade."

Inside Silver Shade you'll find tons of film, cameras, and an even cooler photo booth. Mitch and Kyle also lead workshops in the little nook on the left side of the trailer (which looks like it came straight out of the 1960s). Curious individuals can step inside and try out the various films and cameras as well as learn all about what Impossible is doing. While there, Mitch taught me how to use the brand's new iLab, which allows you to take a photo on your iPhone, attach it to a Polaroid camera and then print a true Polaroid. It's totally cool, so definitely give it a try if you find the tour stopping in your town.

Silver Shade just got back from Coachella and will be stopping at various UO locations throughout the year. Visit Silver Shade when it comes to your town and give analog film life again! Maddie




Happenings: Spring Kickoff & Plant DIY Workshop

This Saturday, March 29, from 2pm-5pm, we'll be hosting an outdoor Spring kickoff gathering at our Malibu store (3806 Cross Creek Road). There will be snacks for everyone in attendance, as well as a stocked DIY station for painting, decorating and potting planters. The best part? It's all free, so everyone will be able to go home with a brand new houseplant. (Ready for a timely Oprah reference from 2004? "EVERY-BO-DY GETS A PLANTER!")

During the event, photographer Ryan Brabazon will be shooting for a blog feature, so bust out that dry shampoo because there's a chance you may see your beautiful self pop up on our site in the weeks to come. Since our Malibu store hosts one of the cutest outdoor spaces around (with WiFi - perfect for Instagrammin'), we can't think of a better place to chill and craft in the sunshine. See ya soon, Malibu!