Spires "Candy Flip"
Friendly PSA! It's still very early in the month, so if you haven't checked out your monthly horoscope on Astrology Zone yet, you should do it now! Susan Miller is the lady to trust when it comes to horoscopes, especially if you like to plan for the month ahead. She basically needs to be everyone's mentor.
And you probably shouldn't walk outside without knowing what Susan says is in store for you. —Katie
(Photo credit: Arnaud Potier)
Phoenix, that little French band you may have heard about, recently set out on their headlining Fall tour after a big summer of festivals, so we caught up with singer Thomas Mars to ask him what he's looking forward to, his favorite albums, and Kanye's damn croissants.
Interview by Katie Gregory
Hi Thomas! How has the touring been going?
The tour was very stressful in the beginning because we started right away with big shows which we never did before, but it’s been the reward of two years we spent in the studio. It’s just nice to see the world with your friends and play music for people, it’s as basic as that. It’s the best way to travel the world. It’s very gratifying, very nice. I recommend it. [Laughs]
Do you guys like performing more for the big festival crowds, or do you like performing for the smaller, more intimate crowds?
I think on paper we like our own shows better, because there’s just a couple of things that are easier to bring some atmosphere, like some epic nights. Sometimes at a festival you play at daytime, and the attention of the crowd is elsewhere. But festivals also have this power, almost like a poetic, Roman Empire feel, like there’s so many people it’s just a sea of… you know, you never see the end of it. And it has some universal feel to it that is incredible but dangerous at the same time. It’s fascinating.
You said you love traveling for the festivals. Is there a favorite place that you’ve performed?
I think Lollapalooza was one of my favorite festivals this year. The crowd and the skyline. This festival never disappoints. It feels like a festival I could go to as a guest, like in the audience. There are some festivals we play where I could never picture myself attending. [Laughs] But Lollapalooza is one of the few where I really would like to be there.
But sometimes, the best shows, they’re usually not the ones in the big cities, they’re the ones in the middle, or on your way to somewhere, just because those places tend to see less shows, and they’re probably less jaded about shows or something. It’s more unique there. Some places in the U.S., like Salt Lake City, places like that, you wouldn’t bet on them, but then they become the most fun shows.
Since it’s music month here on the blog, can you tell us some albums you’ve been listening to lately?
I’ve been driving more than usual lately and the one CD I put on all the time is What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, because it’s exactly the length of my trip. More than a collection of songs, it’s one giant song. I think it’s my favorite album, because it’s very complex and the message is so pure. It sounds incredibly modern. It could have been made today and it wouldn’t be surprising. It wouldn’t feel old. What else? We’ve been touring with Mac DeMarco recently, and I really like his music. I love his album.
Do you guys collect records at all?
I have a few, yeah. Between the four of us in the band, we do have a semi-giant collection, but that’s between all four of us. Separately it’s not that impressive. [Laughs]
Do you guys have any rare albums that you can think of?
Yeah, we have… well, there’s one that we bought many, many times. It’s Kill City by Iggy Pop and James Williamson. It’s not that rare, but the vinyl comes in different colors – there’s a pink, there’s a green, I think there’s a transparent one. We have a strange relationship with this record. We had to buy it six or seven times because once it melted in the back of my car, and then things kept happening. I think we lost the precious one. I think the ones we have now are not the super limited edition anymore. [Laughs]
Do you have a favorite musician or band that you’re always in the mood to listen to?
Yes. What could it be? There’s a lot. Anything that I was listening to when I was a teenager, if I hear it anymore it’s very powerful. Anything from Prince or Joy Division or My Bloody Valentine or The Pixies, all these bands I grew up with. If I hear the same guitar or the drum machine that was used on "Little Red Corvette", I can burst into tears. [Laughs] That’s how powerful.
That’s amazing. Do you have a favorite Phoenix song?
No, no. I mean, I have favorites to play live, and it keeps changing, so it’s nice because we change the setlist pretty often. It depends on the mood we’re in. It’s really the only thing we fight for in the band, the setlist.
What’s your favorite song to play at the moment?
It’s one called “The Real Thing.” But it’s also the toughest to play, it’s the one we can mess up the most. And I can mess up the most. That’s why with my friends, it is not their favorite. [Laughs]
And once this tour wraps up, does the band have any new album plans?
No, we don’t. Well, right now we are doing our own tour, which is something we’ve been looking forward to because we mostly played festivals. You can play festivals from April to September, and now we are looking forward to playing our own shows, which starts [this week]. That’s something we’re all really looking forward to.
Okay, and I only have one more question for you. What’s the most common English phrase people ask you to translate into French? Are people always asking for curse words?
No, not that I can think of. But when we speak English, we don’t swear in English, but when we speak French we do swear pretty often, so I think sometimes we have to translate these, but nothing specific.
Have people ever asked you to translate the Kanye line, “Hurry up with my damn croissants”?
No, what is that? It’s a Kanye song? Oh, yeah! We did something with the NME, and they asked us that, but I had no clue it was a Kanye song. They asked us something about “damn croissants,” but I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. [Laughs] I was asked how to translate “cronut” recently.
Can you translate cronut?!
No, I think there’s “cro” in it for croissant, so it’s already in there. I don’t think you can translate it more. [Laughs]
Urban Outfitters' very own Marissa Maximo was recently featured on our favorite bookmarked website, Girls I Know NYC! I don't know about you, but I think it's a pretty perfect pairing—Marissa is one of the coolest girls WE know in the office, so it only makes sense for her to be featured!
Recently coming down from the success of last year's Ghost EP (buy it on iTunes!), 21-year-old singer/songwriter Sky Ferreira has been teasing clips from her then untitled debut album (the title has changed like 300 times—she's either stone cold ADHD or simply indecisive) on Instagram, on stage and in tidbits of lyrics on her personal Tumblr. (Look out for the kawaii .gif of her licking the cheeks of DIIV boyfriend Zachary Cole Smith!)
It feels like over the past few years we (as in the internet) were all watching Sky in transit and expected her to takeoff in the way we wanted her to, but since she is a young woman, we should let her find her identity. Let her slip different ones on like dresses, without judgment, until she is comfortable in whatever fits best. I mean, come on; growing up in the public, real time world must be pretty scary.
Now, it feels like her time has finally come and we can't be more proud. Patience is real!
She's gone from MySpace to Ck One to the cover of literally every magazine ever, gaining her a respected crown in the indie music scene. And now, Sky Ferreira is finally releasing her debut album Night Time, My Time via Captiol Records on October 29!
Right now Judy Gelles portrait series, titled “Fourth Grade Project,” is available for viewing at the Gallery at 543 Urban Outfitters at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia (5000 S. Broad St.). The photos will be on display from September 4 – October 3, Monday-Friday 8-5.
For this project, Gelles spent the last 4 years photographing children of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. To get a sense of their various upbringings, Gelles asked the children the same three questions to see how their answers would differ: With whom do you live? What do you wish for? What do you worry about? These simple questions prove to show a lot more about the childrens' lives than one might think. The entire exhibit is definitely worth a look if you find yourself in the Philadelphia area in the next month. —Katie
Slow news day, so you know what, just watch this video and try not to float away on a sea of your own tears. GOOD LUCK. —Katie
Dreams: what are they? What do they mean? What do I have to do to make One Direction be in them? These are the questions we ask ourselves. But, have no fear, we've got all the answers to your dream analysis inquiries. Here, we present to you the only guide you'll need for figuring out WTF your dreams are trying to tell you. Kudos to Dream Moods for their dream wisdom! —Hazel
In honor of Sunshine Daydream, I asked Mason, the biggest Dead fan in the office, to create a playlist for us of epic proportions. Below, learn more about Mason's history with the band, and then listen to his "Live Grateful Dead Playlist" to hear what his almost perfect live set would be. —Ally
Everyone's always talking about Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. They're the ultimate crimefighting team. Through Robin, Batman gets to right the wrongs of his childhood. Batman's a pederast and Robin is his underage gay lover. I'm so over it. Here's a cheatsheet for just some of the ladies who work under the Bat symbol. —Christina
New Image Art, an L.A. gallery, is hosting a show this month titled Dark Beach that will feature works that help contribute to the definition of "surf art." Dark Beach is a grittier look at contemporary surf art, and focuses on the artists' experiences along the coast. Some of the featured artists include Sean Tully (one of last summer's Employee of the Months), Dion Agius and Kassia Meador, along with many, many more. If you'd like to check the show out, there's an opening reception July 27, 7-10PM at New Image Art (7920 Santa Monica Blvd). Hope to see you there!
Superman is great and Batman is fine, but sometimes we're not falling out a window or getting handed kryptonite by a bald guy named Lex, and we might still need some help. Sometimes we're simply comatose on our beds over the thought of taking out the trash and we just need A Normal Superhero, not a Captain America. Lucky for us all, I found him. The hero we deserve, and also the one we need because we are lazy and life is hard. Here are his powers. —Katie
Able to take the form of Harry Styles on command. Or Jordan Catalano. Or all of The Spice Girls. Or 1997 Leo. Because "never getting to meet anyone famous" and "never having The Spice Girls perform in our basement" and "needing to make out" are very real and serious problems.
Never again would we have to worry about sitting in the grass, fruitlessly refreshing Instagram, shaking one fist to the heavens and cursing our failed "LTE," whatever that is. Anytime a single tear hits an iPhone, Normal Superhero is there to share his/her WiFi capabilities.
While most superheros are busy saving the world and like, whatever, Normal Superhero would concern him/herself with the more important tragedies of daily life. A quiet whisper of "Oh my god! I'm out of potato chips!" would bring Normal Superhero smashing through our walls Kool Aid Man style with 13 of the finest varieties of potato chips money could buy.
Normal Superhero has a magic bag of limitless cash because he knows what it's like out there. You really want to save us, Spiderman? Give us $20,000 to help pay off our student loans. Oh, you can't? You can only zap your little spiderweb across our apartments while you daydream about Mary Jane? THANKS FOR NOTHING.
Because jetpacks are fucking cool, okay. Plus, moon picnics!
TL;DR You'll die. —Christina
Comics have this reputation of being kid-stuff, but that's really not true. There's a lot of violence, sexualized characters, adult subject matter, and straight up creepy story lines, like that time the Joker had his face cut off then reattached it with hooks and staples and walked around like it was no big deal and ugh. Here's a list of age-appropriate comics starring teens, written for teens, and sold to adults because it turns out that teens love stories about sex, violence, and impotence. —Christina
(Photos via Ray Lego)