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UO DIY: Flower Crown with Lisa Przystup

Lisa Przystup, a floral designer drawn to the wild over-growths of the countryside, is the talented woman behind James's Daughter Flowers. Her flower crowns can be seen in our recent Stone Cold Fox feature, as well as at Space Ninety 8 this month. Since we're so clearly smitten with her creations, we decided to find out a little more about her and to get some tips for making our very own crowns.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Hey Lisa! How did you get into flower design?
I was working as a freelance writer and I had noticed what seemed to me to be a certifiable trend of lovely, stylish Brooklyn ladies getting into floral design and thought they would be perfect fodder for the New York Magazine’s The Cut’s Style Tribe column. After visiting the designers' studios and interviewing them, I just fell for flowers. I found myself buying cheap bodega flowers and augmenting them with a few precious and expensive stems from Sprout Home. I realized that I actually really enjoyed doing this, and that I wanted to learn more and get better. This past fall I assisted a florist and quietly decided that maybe I would give this a go.

How did you get involved with Space Ninety 8?
I met this lovely crew of super inspirational women when I ended up modeling for Helen Dealtry’s lookbook (a featured Brooklyn designer at Space Ninety 8). These ladies all have studios in Greenpoint in a courtyard that is just so chock full of talent: MCMC Fragrances, Odette, and Bailey Doesn’t Bark all call Dobbin Mews their creative home and they all happen to be featured in Space Ninety 8. These little enclaves are really what make creating in New York so special.

Where do you pull your inspirations?
The wild overgrowth and lines found in nature. The MET. The astounding work of other super talented florists who are light years ahead of me.

How To: Make Your Own Flower Crown

- Floral wire
- Floral tape
- Wire cutters (to cut the wire)
- Sharp scissors or flower clippers (to cut the flowers)
- Household scissors (to cut the tape)

Flower crowns are so much fun and really easy to make. You’ll need floral wire and floral tape – you can find this at almost any floral supply store online. I recently found this great twine covered floral wire that is heftier and provides a sturdier base for the blooms.

1. Wrap the wire around your head for size, leaving a little extra length. Clip it and fashion two u-shaped hooks that you can hook together – these can be bent and adjusted to size.

2. Now for the flowers: you’ll want some greens for filler and then a handful (it’s really up to you) of about six different types of blooms of various sizes. You’re going to start by trimming the stems, leaving them about three inches long and making small mini bouquets - grasp a spring of filler and one to two flowers, wrap the stems in the floral tape (leaving three to four extra inches of tape) and set it aside. Repeat varying the blooms and greens – once you have a handful of these mini bouquets you can start attaching them to the crown.

3. Take your first bundle and attach it to the wire crown using the extra tail of tape – wind it tightly and securely. Add your next bundle with the flowers covering the stems of the first set you attached, this way you’ve camouflaged the stems. Repeat. You can fill the whole crown with blooms, leaving the larger ones toward the front of the crown or you can just fill half of the crown. Where you stop is entirely up to you.

For the crowns I made for the Stone Cold Fox shoot I chose not to fill the whole crown with blooms – I liked that the negative space drew more focus to the blooms that were there.

You can mist the crown with water and put it in a Ziploc bag to keep in the refrigerator until it’s ready to wear. The sad reality of flower crowns is that they won’t last long – the flowers have no water, so they pretty much have a shelf life of two to three hours. Cherish them.

Read the full Stone Cold Fox feature

First Look: Teenage

The new documentary Teenage, which opened this weekend in New York City, takes a look at how different youth subcultures scattered across the world and throughout centuries have helped define teenage culture today. Through beautiful, super-8 archive footage paired with the recreations and narrations of four different teens, Teenage creates a vibrant "living collage" of history in a way that no documentary film has done before. (Check out some of our exclusive .gifs from the movie, posted below.) We talked to Matt Wolf, the director of the film, Jon Savage, who wrote Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, the book that served as the basis of the film, and Executive Producer Jason Schwartzman, about the movie, what they were like as teens, and why adults forget what it feels like to be a rebellious youth. Hazel

How did you all connect to make this movie?

Matt: I read Jon's book and I thought it was very compelling and that it could be a great film. He had just finished the Joy Division film and I had just finished this movie called Wild Combination about Arthur Russell, so we swapped DVDs and started talking. We thought we could work together so we started a sort of Skype relationship. Eventually I went to Wales with a hard-drive of footage and we started the process of etching out what the film could be. 

Jason: I saw Matt's film Wild Combination and I loved it; I remembered watching it many times over the course of a week after it came out. One person I was eager to show it to was this friend of mine, Humberto Leon, who has the store Opening Ceremony. Humberto said that he was friends with Matt Wolf and later [Opening Ceremony] wanted short films for their store opening in Japan, so he hooked Matt and I up and we made one together. It was during the shoot for that that he told me about how he was going to make a movie based on this book by Jon Savage and I was excited about it. 

In terms of how you, Matt and Jon, envisioned the film, did you have a clear idea of what the film would look and feel like? Did you two know from the beginning that you would want to use archival footage and take this in a more artistic direction?

Matt: We could have done a multi-part television series with expert historians and talking heads, but early on we knew we didn't want to do that. I had accumulated about 70 or 80 hours of archival footage at some point while we were piecing together the film. I had a residency at an artists' colony, and everyday I edited a compilation mix of archival footage to contemporary music. That was a really important part of the process for me. It made this "living collage" style we were going for.

Jon: Matt and I discussed early on that we didn't want the film to be from the point of view of adults, we wanted young people's own words. So Matt and I developed a narration where we took quotes from the book or wrote quotes that gave the teenage point of view—how it actually feels to be young. In general, the film is pretty much how we wanted it to be from the start.

Who is the audience for Teenage?

Matt: Teenage, to me, is an art film in a sense. The film is also an incredible music experience. I see the film almost like a record, and the narrations are like the lyrics to the record. You can just sort of sit and experience it without looking at it. I hope fans of music are a fan. And the film isn't really about your typical teenager, it's about the exceptional young people, people who think against the grain. I wish I had seen this film when I was a teenager.

Jon: Me too. Because then you realize you're not alone. 

Jason: I almost wish they would show this in schools because I think it's exciting. Also, I remember Matt came to my house with a rough compilation and narrated it for me in person, and even when he wasn't talking it was beautiful to watch. 

When you were going through all the footage and even watching the film now, was there a certain quote or piece of footage that really stood out to you?

Matt: The thing that was a big break-through for me was the color footage of German swing kids. The story of the German swing kids is the most moving to me because it was the story of how pop culture and politics collide. These young people were smuggling American music and culture as a way of expressing themselves but also as a subversive tactic to resist the Nazi regime. It's so punk. There's also this quote towards the end of the film, from a letter to the editor for Seventeen Magazine, that says, "I love being seventeen. I wish I could stay this age for awhile. Seventeen is that perfect spot between adolescence, which means you're going somewhere, and adulthood which means you're on the downgrade."

Jon: [laughs] I'm totally downgraded! I love the quote, "My world is speedy and they're old." That's from a book called Middletown, which is about this couple who went to a town in the midwest for a year in the 1920s and reported what they found. But, my favorite bit, is the footage of the Chicago swing jamboree in 1938 with 200,000 kids going mental. And it was an integrated audience, which is amazing, because black American music was incredibly important.

Jason: You know what's wild, and it just occurred to me, is that it blows my mind that you [Jon] wrote this book without seeing a lot of this stuff. The book and the movie, they're companion pieces in a way. Jon wrote this book without having seen a lot of it and Matt made that possible. 

Matt: We were really rigorous in making sure that everything in the film is based on historical truths and uncovered history. We based the narration on primary source quotes and based our characters off of real people. That rigor is really important to us as filmmakers and historians. 

Jason: Another great thing about the film is that it doesn't get into all the stuff you already know. These are the people and the stories that seeped through everything.

There was a line in the press release I was really interested in about activism and rebelliousness, and how you point out that adults today sort of forget what it feels like to be a teen. In your opinion, why do you think there's that separation?

Matt: At the core, I think it's that teenagers represent the future because they're going to live in the next era, and that creates a lot of hope and anxiety for adults. They project their fears onto young people and it leads to a desire to control them. But why do adults forget this need for freedom and self-expression and revert to this need to control? I think it's out of fear.

Jon: And also people get beaten down by life, they really do. People get into habits and raising a family. It also depends on temperament. I've always been a guy who's interested in the present and the future. A lot of my work is in the past but when I was a kid I was into stuff that was really cutting edge, which is why I'm excited about the film. You have the everyman histories, the history of the normal people, but when I was a kid I hated the normal people. I never wanted to be normal EVER. With the book and the film I was interested in the exceptional people who make the change. Because, if there's no change there's just entropy and then everything turns to shit. 

Matt: When I was a teen I was a gay activist, and I remember publishing this underground newspaper and dumping it in the middle of my quad and then going to the bathroom and just barfing. I didn't even think about it as brave, it was just this immediate need to express myself. As I get older I think about what people will think of me and I try not to think that way, but with teenagers, they just purely express in a very visceral way.

Jason: I do remember being an adolescent and feeling angry and sad and not knowing why. As you get older, adults need to find a reason for why you feel all these things. I have a daughter now and whenever I meet a parent of an older kid they go, "Just wait 'til she's 13!" And it's like, why the "just wait"?

Jon: It's part of that experience of separating from your parents and joining the world of your peers. 

Matt: When you're young, a lot of the time you're oppressed. I think with this film, it's really about a formative period in history in which young people were facing an unprecedented amount of oppression from their parents and the government. They were really just struggling for basic forms of recognition and to endure these struggles and define yourself under judgmental and high-pressure critique from adult society leads towards revolution.

Spires "Candy Flip"

Spires are your favorite Brooklyn studio bros that were born to make dreamy landscapes for our ears. Jack, Samuel and Ethan are revivalists of both the downer shoegaze days of the '90s, and hypnotic heat of '60s psychedelia on "Candy Flip." (Produced by Connor Hanwick of The Drums, holla!)

As winter approaches, this song is already making us think of next summer's nights!

Candy Flip" b/w "Comic Book" is now available via online retailers such as iTunes and Amazon, as well as a 7" via Insound and on import at Rough Trade UK. —Alex

Interview: Matt Healy from The 1975

Before their show in Philadelphia this past weekend, we sat down with Matt Healy of The 1975 to chat about the internet, how he feels about his blossoming rock star status, and cheesesteaks.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Urban Outfitters: How are you doing?

Matt Healy: Good, thank you. How are you?

UO: I'm great. How has Philly been?
Matt: I like Philly. It kind of reminds me of home. I like it.

UO: Did you like the cheesesteak I saw you having earlier?
Matt: I did. Well, it wasn't the best. We should have got one from – what's it? Jim's or Joe's or some shit.

UO: Oh yeah, Jim's. Where did you end up getting one from?
Matt: Some bullshit place right around here. It's not too bad. I just don't like bad cheesesteak when I'm in Philly.

UO: How often have you guys come here for shows?
Matt: This is our third time. I love it in Philadelphia. It's always a good show. It's our second time at this venue. We supported The Neighbourhood here in June.

UO: And now you're headlining. Is it weird getting all the attention that you have been from the album release? Because I feel like you guys blew up very quickly.
Matt: That’s kinda how it feels. We’ve been together for 10 years, and it is that amazing juxtaposition of everything being quite intense and surreal and also quite nostalgic because we have so much history. I think we’re in a good place because we can really invest in our relationship with one another and we can not panic too much. People are investing in what we do. But all our records were written when people had no idea who we were, so we weren’t harbored with the things like, “Are we being too honest? Are we doing things right? Are we doing things wrong?” It’s kind of like people have embraced exactly what we are, so we don’t have to worry about anything. And all of the things that come along with it. I could talk to you for hours about how it feels.

Especially in the U.K., one of the things I’m quite uncomfortable with, especially amongst young kids, because they’re so enamored with the band, is that I’ve become this kind of weird figure of intellectual desire. And I find that quite uncomfortable, because that album is really quite self-deprecating. It comes from quite a neurotic place, of which I’m not really too comfortable with a lot of the aspects of my personality that I’m discussing in that. To be kind of idolized not even from a sexual perspective by young people, but from an intellectual perspective, it’s a bit weird; I’m not doing this band for any other reason apart from I love making music. But now I feel this kind of peculiar social responsibility based on the fact that the band’s gone bigger and – the internet, man. It’s crazy.

UO: The internet IS crazy. I feel like what’s good, though, is that a lot of younger teens can relate to a lot of your songs.
Matt: I think the thing is, with our band, if we’re talking creatively, we create in the same way that we consume, because we’re a part of a generation – how old are you? 22?

UO: 25.
Matt: Okay, I’m 24, and you know, people of our generation, we’re a bit – I could talk at length about it. I think that we come from a history where, we’re adults now, we can take the internet for what it is. We grew up in an environment where it didn’t necessarily dictate our lives until you kind of acquired an understanding of what a genuine conversation is or what social dialogue actually means. The internet has created this weird kind of faux social dialogue that kind of tricks people into believing they’re connecting with one another. If that is informing the way that young people believe interaction is like, then it’s quite dangerous. This whole, like, following thing – kids kind of act like it’s the sole measure of human worth, like whether you’ve been followed. It’s peculiar and it’s dangerous and I don’t think it’s something that should be endorsed. But! That’s a different issue. What was the actual question you asked me?

UO: You know, now I don’t remember what I actually asked you. We can talk about the internet, though.
Matt: It is interesting, isn’t it? Because like, it’s a weird, weird world, and I think that – I don’t know. It kind of scares me a little bit, because I think that these kids – with bands now as well, there was no accessibility to people like Michael Jackson or Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones. If you wanted to try to get in touch with them, you and a million other people had to write a letter to a fan club. There wasn’t this immediacy. We live in a world now, not only the music industry but the world, where like, accessibility is paramount, and demand and obtaining something quickly and being accessible to the way that people market things, market their personality and it just dilutes things. Kids don’t understand. Kids think that they want to connect with these celebrities on a personal level, but they actually don’t. Like don’t meet your heroes. The only reason that all these pop stars were pantheons of pop culture was because you didn’t know fuckin’ anything about them. That’s why.

I’ve met David Bowie and people like that, and they’re amazing figures, but they’re amazing people. Just people. And it sounds like such an obvious, naïve thing to say, but you do realize that there’s a lot less illusion now with rock stars and pop stars. We live in a world where you want to know everything about their personal life and you basically can do that. Kids feel entitled to a response. Or kids feel genuinely ostracized when maybe you don’t interact with them. [Laughs] And that’s fucking crazy.

UO: The internet also just gets mean sometimes.
Matt: It just gets mean! If I occasionally dive into Tumblr, these kids have unmonitored free reign to express everything they’re ever thinking, and they shouldn’t be allowed that because the shit that I’ve seen – I’ve seen Tumblrs that have stuff... like it’ll be all your typical Tumblr stuff, really, really romanticized views of youth, like beautiful people smoking with no clothes on, and you know, your typical quote from Miley Cyrus, and then it gets a bit weird.

I saw one .gif, one Tumblr I was on, it was your typical kind of hipster thing, and it was a photo of me, a photo of A$AP Rocky’s grill, some weed, that kind of thing, and then, a photo of something from the holocaust with like, a joke that could only come from someone that just isn’t grown up enough to understand that amount of information. It’s all a bit fucking weird. So the internet scares me. That’s why everything with the band is kind of detached from reality.

UO: Do you have your own Twitter, or do you guys just have a band Twitter?
Matt: I have my own Twitter, but I only use it to try and inform people, and to try and channel all these kids who think that I am who you should be inspired by. And I try and send them to real orators of our time, like Christopher Hitchens, people who were actually saying something that aren’t parts of pop culture.

I love religion, especially from an atheist perspective, and society and science and politics, but I’m a fucking pop star. It’s not my position to inform people of those kinds of things. The only thing I do know is – well, like, it was mental health day the other day, so I just put a tweet up that said, “Be careful about using words like depression.” It’s that kind of thing. I get scared to tweet sometimes because I don’t want people to like… [Trails off]

UO: That’s good, though, because I’m sure whatever you tweet, the kids following you will listen. So if you’re putting out a positive message…
Matt: Yeah, my two objectives are if I can create music without it having a negative effect on anybody else, whether it creates financial gain or whatever, if I can do that and use art to make people slightly more conscientious, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to become some type of fucking, polemic humanitarian. [Laughs]

UO: You mean you’re not going to be Bono?
Matt: Yeah, I’m not going to be Bono.

UO: Have you noticed a shift in your fanbase after you did that One Direction cover?
Matt: We’ve still got all the same fans! We’ve just gained a lot.

UO: I can imagine you gained a lot of younger fans after that.
Matt: They like, again, say some shit on Twitter to me, that I can not believe. If I had a 14-year-old girl, she would not be saying that shit on the internet!

UO: Yeah, I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous stuff.
Matt: Just things like, “FUCK ME.” It’s fucking crazy.

UO: And it gets worse than “fuck me.”
Matt: It does, it really does. And it’s fucking mental. [Laughs] Like, what do you… you don’t have a clue. There’s a lot of fans like that. That whole world is crazy. But that Harry Styles guy, he’s really sweet, he’s a really nice guy.

UO: Oh yeah? You’ve talked?
Matt: Yeah, well. He texted me. I said, obviously, thank you for tweeting about us to millions of people.

UO: Yeah, like 13 million, right? [Editor's note: Actually around 17 million.]
Matt: Yeah, it’s cool. It’s crazy! [Laughs] I don’t really care... I don’t really care about anything apart from making records. My life now is just a string of surreal situations strung together by me telling people about surreal situations, but you know what? The thing that really inspires me is the fact that kids like our ideas and that’s bleeding into humanity. You see kids at our shows, like you can see when we play their song. And it’s that moment that I care about. That’s what really, really gets to me. We didn’t need any kind of statistical validation to be more proud of our record, because that shit’s been out there since day one. My reality is still kinda making records, and just doing what I do. If I get loads of really cool fashion labels in the process… [Laughs]

UO: That’s always a plus. What’s your ultimate goal with the band?
Matt: I used to think, “Oh, it doesn’t matter, nothing matters,” because people have embraced this, and they’ve embraced it for what it is, so we have no responsibilities, but we do. We have a creative responsibility the same way that bands like Radiohead took it on. Every time they did a record everyone went, “Well, that’s it. That’s the Radiohead record. They’re not going to better that record.” And every time, they did, because it was a distillation of everything that preceded it. It was everything that made it better but it was coming from a modern perspective.

A perfect example of that is Bad by Michael Jackson. I mean, the guy was following up Thriller, so he took it a bit more conceptually, and then created a distillation of everything that preceded it, and I think that’s the only thing we need to do. Stay true to ourselves. Make records that really, really matter, because it’s that feeling, it’s the humanity behind it that people have invested in. So, just do that.

The 1975 on Twitter
The 1975 on Instagram

Interview: Danielle Greco of VFile's 'Out Hear'

VFiles' new show Out Hear has hosts Danielle Greco and Brooklyn Matt meeting up with the coolest musicians around to hang out and take part in their favorite hobbies for the day. I spoke with my homegirl Danielle (aka the most famous bitch to ever come out of Northeast Philadelphia) about her experiences on the show, her love for Playboy and what she looks for in a man. Watch out world, she's out here and ready to take over!
Interview by Ally Mullen

Yo girl! Describe yourself to our readers in rap form!
I'd describe myself as a, "Cutie with a booty, fuxin' with sugar daddies only cause they chewy."

You started from the bottom making store videos, now you're headed to the top with your own VFiles show. On a scale of 1 to 10 how Drake are you feeling right now?
I'm feeling like Drake in the "Started from the Bottom" music video when he is standing in a white MOVING convertible while fake snow is landing on his all white outfit. That's my Drake level right now.

Explain your new show, Out Hear, to us. What's it all about? Why should we watch it?
Out Hear is the music show that has nothing to do with music. It recalls and updates the raw '90s MTV formats and stars Matt and I, who are like your personal Carson Daily and Jenny McCarthy.  We get to know everyone's favorite artists through their hobbies. Out Hear will integrate the worlds of music and fashion, detailing the eccentric style and lives of today’s most popular musical acts.

Who are some of the artists we can expect to see in the upcoming weeks?
We have a great lineup this season with guests including Rat King, Blood Orange, A$AP Ferg and Ssion.

Who would be your dream Out Hear guest and why? 
I HAVE BEEN BEGGING AND PLEADING TO GET INSANE CLOWN POSSE ON THE SHOW. Before even announcing them, I'd probably burst into Justin Bieber mania-type tears. ICP in my mind holds such an importance culturally. They have created a whole world of their own. I'm a huge horrorcore fan and their stage theatrics are actually mind-blowing. I've gone into past jobs with two day old Faygo in my hair.

Did you ever get hit on while filming? Who was it/what line did they use? Did you find love on Out Hear
I'm not going to say anyone hit on me outright, but I will say while filming with A$AP Ferg there may have been an unspoken love connection. The episode quickly turned into mine and Ferg's first date. It was adorable.

What's the most #embarrassing thing that happened on set?
SO MUCH EMBARRASSING STUFF HAPPENS ON SET. During one episode when we were filming with Mykki Blanco where I helped him give fans henna tattoos, the henna needle fell into a gutter drain and our producer stuck gum (CHEWED BY ME) on the edge of a stick to retrieve it while there were kids waiting for henna just staring at us all. I also try to hook the camera guys up with my friends while we are filming. They are real cute! 

In case you missed it: Out Hear Episode 1 with Mykki Blanco and A-Trak!

Tell us about the other host of the show, Matt. What's his deal? How old is he? Is he a male model? Is he single?
Matt has become one of my favorite people. I'm from Northeast Philadelphia and although Matt reps Brooklyn HARD he reminds me of everyone I grew up with. Matt is a total model boy, don't ever get started on his signature hair style! Is Matt single? Well, not after I'm done with him..

Your accent is beautiful but some people don't appreciate it. Do you have any accent haters? What's your response to them? 
I have actually NEVER received backlash about my accent which blows my mind because it's painful. As I was watching the first episode I texted all my friends saying, "OMG, you are all friends with Snookie."

What kind of looks can we expect to see you in for this series? Do you get to dig through the VFiles closet for filming? And if so, what are your favorite VFiles items of clothing to wear? 
All my looks for the show are pieces you can find in the VFILES Shop. In this season I am wearing some of my favorite designers such as Ammerman Schlosberg, Astrid Anderson, & Eckhaus Latta.

Do you get your nails done before each episode? What color/design are they now? 
I have actual meltdowns when I find out I'm filming and I'm missing like, a pinky nail and I'm rocking some sketchy look. My nail artist has like three daughters and a hot bod and I love her. They are long black and pointy now with little red designs; my new vibe is "evil." 

What's the craziest thing that you've ever been asked to do? 
I have this OBSESSION with Playboy and recently I got offered to do a spread for the upcoming Kate Moss issue. Sorry though, guys. Not happening. Also, you can find me in a faux tuffle with Jungle Pussy in the Danny Brown "WitIt" video.

Favorite musician(s) of all time? 
My favorite musician of all time is Trina. She is thee baddest bitch, and surprisingly the SWEETEST one as well.

Coolest"slang" words to be saying right now? 
I don't usually use slang words, I cringe at the word "swag," LOL. I also cringe at guys taking mirror selfies, but that's a whole other story.

What are you being for Halloween?
I actually hate Halloween, but I always tell people that I am going to be something really insane, like an AVATAR. 

Do you believe in ghosts? Ever see one?
I always see ghosts out of the corner of my eye so I casually tell people like, "Oh you have a ghost. What color should I dye my hair?"

What's your ideal first date? 
Yes, I love this question so much. My ideal first date would honestly probably be a hockey game where I can eat, and get drunk and scream. I usually do that on my first dates anyways, but that usually doesn't go over well at the Olive Garden.

Last text you received? 
The last text I received is from a guy I "know" claiming Project Pat is his favorite rapper which I'll probably respond to with, "Adventures in Hollyhood was brilliant."

What's the background of your phone? 
The background on my phone is a Playboy bunny. Like I said before, I am OBSESSED with Playboy.

BE HONEST: What's more important to you at the moment? A guy's looks, personality, or social status?
A guy's social status is the most important thing. I have a strictly "NO JOE SCHMOS" dating policy. If you can't Google your man and you're a hot girl, you're really doing yourself a disservice. Ultimately I'm attracted to successful, hard-working guys. That's hotter to me than some stud living in his parents' guest bedroom. It helps if they shop at VFILES.

Susan Miller's Astrology Zone

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

Interview: Thomas Mars of Phoenix

(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]

Thanks, Thomas!

UO's Marissa Maximo on Girls I Know NYC

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!

Hear Marissa's New York story here and get an outsiders perspective on our super inspirational Director of Brand Relations and Special Projects.

To learn more about Girls I Know, make sure to read our About A Girl(s) feature interview with the site's founder Jen Steele, and her partner in writing, Anna Gray!—Ally

Sky Ferreira Announces Debut Album, 'Night Time, My Time

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! 

For more info, head over to Pitchfork to see the tracklisting for the album as well as her future tour dates! —Alex

Judy Gelles: Fourth Grade Project

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

Video: A Letter From Fred

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
(via Buzzfeed)

The UO Guide To Dreamin'

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

Whoa, talk about creeptastic? Did you eat BBQ before bed? Oh, that question didn't have anything to do with your dream, I was just wondering. Anyway, if you're being chased in your dream, this means that you sense something, or someone, in your waking existence who/that is threatening you. Maybe it's the bodega dude who caught you shoplifting a pint of Ben & Jerry's that one time or the fact that you've got a weeks worth of work to get done and it's totally haunting you. Maybe you're just a big baby and are afraid of everything? Toughen up, jeeze!

The "Ewww, All My Teeth Are Falling Out!" Dream
So, your bright n' shiny teeth fall out in your dream. Not the best look, right? Well, the theory is that your teeth are representative of your entire appearance and demeanor. So, when you lose your teeth it means you're insecure about how you look to other people. Aw, I thought we were friends? You don't need to be self-conscious around us! Take some selfies, repeat some self-love affirmations, put on some glitter lip-gloss and maybe these toothy nightmares will subside. 

The "AAH, I'm Naked!" Dream
Uh oh, you're not just on Snapchat anymore. Your nudie dream, the one where you're baring it all for your classroom/office/yoga class (ew), is all about you being embarrassed and caught off guard. You're exposing it all literally 'cause you feel emotionally exposed IRL. It's also a totally common dream, so maybe our dreams are telling us that we should all, uh, get naked together? But only if you're really hot. Just sayin'!

The "Falling, FALLING, Faaalling" Dream
So what's up with that dream where you're falling, but not like falling for a boy or some rad song, just physically, dumb-ass falling? It means you're out of control of your life! Maybe you need to cut back on your Cat Marnell lifestyle or stop tweeting every 2 minutes? Chances are, a falling dream probably means you need to stop wearing 6-inch high heel clogs because let's get real, you can't handle them.

The "One Where You're Married to James Franco and You Live On a Beach Where There's a Strawberita-Flavored Waterfall" Dream
WAIT, this isn't real?! Ugh, dreams are the worsttttt.

Interview: Amy Symonds from Calamity Pass Trading Company

Amy Symonds combines nature with artistic nurture to create beautiful hand-painted skulls and jewelry under the name Calamity Pass Trading Company. Below, she tells us about how her upbringing has influenced her, shares her work process, and teaches us what a spit bath is. Make sure to check out Amy's art, some which will be available for purchase at our new Malibu store opening on August 15!
Interview by Ally Mullen

Introduce yourself! Where are you from and what was your childhood like? Where do you live now?

Hi! I’m Amy Symonds, owner of Calamity Pass Trading Company. I live in the Never Summer Mountains, in a tiny Colorado town, very close to my childhood home where my father was the caretaker of an abandoned Fluorite mine. 

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I am a mother, a wife, a collector and creator. 

Your work uses a lot of found and recycled materials. How much did your upbringing play a part into the materials you use?
Major!! The mine was literally a ghost town on the jagged side of a mountain. We drove snow machines to meet the school bus! We were always outside, looking for rocks, bone or arrowheads from the Ute Indians. We would snoop through abandoned miners shacks left with food in cupboards even clothes in the closets. Our favorite shack had pictures of naked ladies plastered across the wall. There were huge old mine buildings to explore made of rusty corrugated steel. This is where I fell in love with old things.

In the summer, my sisters and I would sleep outside and lay awake listening to coyotes howl. I am still so connected to nature—the smell of dirt…the wild.

Isolated and stuck together, my father (a solid, quiet, outdoorsmen,) hauled in water for bathing and drinking, and showed us how to skin an elk. My mom (an eccentric artist and free-spirit) taught us how to conserve and reuse and how to sew fabulous costumes for impromptu back porch performances. I learned to look at things in different ways.

P.S. I can also take a mean “spit bath”. (it’s not really spit, it’s using a washcloth and a very little amount of water.) Thanks mom!

What are some of the materials you work with the most? Which is the hardest? The most fun?
Most materials I work with are from nature. Porcupine Quills are the hardest. The tiny bastards make your eyes cross and poke your fingers. The most fun are animal skulls. I believe they keep and radiate their amazing wild animal spirit. I love capturing that, making it something you can hold in your hand. 

How many animal skulls do you think you have you ever made?
About 40. 

What's the process like for making them?
I hike around and find them, or local ranchers drop them on my porch. I love skulls that are old and deteriorated, the ones with half a face that look like they have been to hell and back. I also buy them from a local animal control contractor. We work together to reuse every part of the animal possible.

Then, some skulls require cleaning. This is very gross and stinky. The only one who enjoys this part is my dog. Then I paint them. I prefer to use ink as it soaks in becoming part of the bone. I free hand tiny designs into the skull, creating a folky, colorful feel. 

How long do most skulls paintings take? What's the longest you've ever worked on one, and tell us what it was/what it looked like? 
Most take about two to four hours. The most complicated went down like this: I had just scored a rad rattlesnake skin at a Mountain Man Rendezvous. I was stupidly inspired. Do you know how long it takes to recreate snakeskin on a cow skull!? Like six damn hours.

Tell us about your other works of art! 
I make one-of-a kind jewelry pieces from spent bullet casings, porcupine quills, leather and stones.

You also work with crystals. Do you believe in all of the powers that people believe they hold? What's your favorite one? 
 Yes absolutely! When you feel something from this earth in your hand, it calms you, reconnects you. Fluorite is obviously my favorite by far! 

You spend a lot of time collecting materials… things must begin to add up. Do you hold off on using them until you're ready to create the right piece? If so, what do you have the most of? Do you ever keep anything for yourself? 
I admit I have some sheds. They’re (crammed) full of fabric and fur, vintage clothing mixed with rusty machinery parts, dirty cow skulls, old bottles and wire... some pitchforks. When creating my motto goes, “One for you, one for me.”

So you'll be taking part in the opening of our UO Malibu store. What types of products will you have for sale? Any plans for opening day? 
My skulls will be featured to sell in Malibu. I am dreaming of showing up with my husband on our Harley to celebrate the opening and then cruise Highway 1 for a few days. 

Why do you think your skulls are perfect for the Malibu customer? 
Malibu is the west. Although I have never been there, it seems not so traditionally western. Like my work, it’s free spirited and bohemian, yet still has a rugged western vibe.

Give us your favorite quote about nature.
“To see the world in a grain of sand, heaven in a wildflower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour” —William Blake

Live Grateful Dead Playlist

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

"Hi everybody, I'm Mason! I'm going to start out by giving you a little background into my history with the Grateful Dead, which may explain why I chose to create a live Spotify playlist for you. 

From the years 1989 to 1994, I had the pleasure of seeing the Dead preform a little over 200 times, though I couldn’t be bothered with 1995... (Although in retrospect I would go see ANY show at this point, just to hear Jerry Garcia play again.)  Recently, I find myself revisiting older shows and I love the resurgence of Deadhead culture—especially the weird Simpsons and Wes Lang stuff. 

I think everyone should experience the music! You should give them a try by going online and learning all about first sets vs. second sets, encores, the Spinners, parking lots, “Shakedown Street,” veggie burritos, traveling, the folklore surrounding certain songs, the Wall of Sound, what the Steal Your Face is, JGB etc… The Dead are truly an American sub-culture!

The Playlist
I've created a playlist full of live songs performed by the Grateful Dead, separated into two "sets," in which I have formatted what I would almost call my perfect show. To begin, I have started out with a traditional format for GD shows: going back and forth between Bobby and Jerry, and I lose it a little at the end of the “first set”, which ends with the song "The Music Never Stopped."

Within the "second set," I've picked a special track for you: a nice lengthy “Jam” from Philadelphia in August of 1974. Overall, you should note that I prefer Jerry Garcia to Bob Weir, so this list weighs more heavily towards Jerry songs. (In the perfect world with the perfect show I can do that! Haha.) As most fans will see, the list lays heavy into the early 1970s, but I tried to use a few songs from the '80s and '90s as well just to give you, the listener, a perspective of the Grateful Dead’s range over the years—even if you have never listened to them. 

Now sit back, put one up for Ol’ Jer, Wave that Flag and listen to the music PLAY!"

Listen to the Live Grateful Dead Playlist here!

Bat Ladies

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

Barbara Gordon
To the outside world, she's the librarian daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. To those in the know, Babs is the mama bird of the dysfunctional Bat family and the boss of pretty much everyone else ever. She was the first Batgirl and after a run-in with the Joker that left her paralyzed from the waist down, she became Oracle. As Oracle, she ran the DC Universe due to her gigs with the Justice League and the Birds of Prey. She has since regained her mobility and is back on the streets of Gotham as Batgirl, bossing people around face to face.

Cassandra Cain
Let's get this out of the way first: Cass easily wears the creepiest Bat costume. But the gimp mask has a purpose! Cass is the daughter of David Cain and Lady Shiva, two premier assassins, and she was raised as the perfect fighter, responding only to body language. She could not read, write or speak. See, the mask is all poetic and whatever. Cass later learns English, gives the Batgirl mantle to her BFF Steph, and becomes the Black Bat

Stephanie Brown
She's been Spoiler, a superhero focused on spoiling the plans of the Cluemaster, her deadbeat villain father. She's been Robin, flying high over the city of Gotham. She's been Batgirl, where she came into her own and starred in one of the best Bat books ever written. Steph's had a quite depressing storyline and publication history but there are two things you must remember about this young woman: she doesn't buy into Batman's doom and gloom approach to life and she slapped Batman in the face after he came back from the dead.

Kate Kane
Kate is a Jewish lesbian that decided to become Batwoman after being kicked out of West Point under "Don't ask, don't tell." (Isn't it nice that her cutting edge origin story is now a tiny bit outdated?) There's more to talk about with her, but let's just look at the artBest art ever. 

Bette Kane
Bette is the younger cousin of Batwoman. As Flamebird, and later Hawkfire, she is Batwoman's go-to-girl. Guys, she kicks ass in ballet flats. Ok, not really but it's fun to pretend. Fun fact: Bette first appeared as Betty, the original Bat-Girl, in 1961. She worked with Batwoman back then too. She also constantly tried to kick it with Robin. Back when he unironically wore hot pants.

Carrie Kelley
She fights crime with a slingshot and fireworks while wearing the coolest glasses. Carrie is a Robin of the future, specifically the Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. She goes toe to toe with the Joker and his accomplices and wins! Hell, she even fights Superman. Future Batman may be a big ol' grumpasaurus (just like regular, present day Batman) but Carrie makes it work.

"Batgirl Beyond"
She's so mysterious! The newest Batgirl has popped up in Batman Beyond Unlimited, a digital comic based on the turn-of-the-millennium cartoon. (Don't you miss using "the millennium?") Who is she? What does she want? No one knows but Gotham City Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon (the older woman with the Carrie-Kelleyesque glasses in the background) is gonna find out.

Threads for Teens

We're super excited to hear that Threads for Teens is headed to Philadelphia tomorrow, July 25, to distribute clothing from 10AM-1PM at Xfinity Live (1100 Pattison Ave). We'll be heading out in the morning to check out the mobile boutique, so check back tomorrow for photos from the event!

"About: Threads for Teens is a clothing boutique located in Windsor, CA. We provide clothing to girls who are in foster care, group homes, and extreme situations of poverty. This summer, 2013, we are taking Threads for Teens to the road with our mobile boutique to outfit 1000 girls in a brand-new outfit!"

Learn more and follow along with their summer travels on their website!

Dark Beach Surf Exhibition

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!

FilTER Friday: Getting To Know !!!

On Fridays we'll be teaming up with our friends over at FILTER Magazine to share stories they have coming up that we think are totally awesome. This week we're sharing their article on the band !!!.

By Kendah El-Ali

Sometimes the simplest plan is the most successful. More than 16 years ago, some young men from Sacramento dreamed of a simple future. Fueled by old friendships and a few hits of LSD, the idea was to make strange, high-energy dance music, using live instrumentation rather than machines. Five albums later, the once-novelty band called !!! (Chk Chk Chk) has managed to become a staple in the arts scene.

“We didn’t start playing this because it was trendy, we just played this way because it was what we wanted to do. At first it was like, ‘OK, great—there are more models backstage,’” says singer Nic Offer over a coffee in New York’s Bryant Park. “And then we figured it would taper off and we would be considered uncool, and that definitely happened, but we weathered that. Through all of it, though, this was our sound. We were just doing what we liked.”

Led by Offer’s charismatic stage presence—not to mention his ability to pogo around onstage for an entire set, nonstop—!!! are now more known for their sweaty dance parties than the curiosity of their moniker. And though the formula might seem strangely uncomplicated, it never fails to be not only fun but also a solid musical performance.

Caught in the tide of the dance-punk scene that evolved in the early 2000s, !!! were able to ride a fairly simple wave to success. Their first break came during a party at Miami’s Winter Music Conference in 2003. At first, the most compelling part of the act was Offer’s then-curly mop, as a sizeable chunk of performances that March sounded remarkably the same. But the game changed when a building alarm went off, and the band somehow managed to make it a part of their set.

“I remember someone opened the backdoor while we were on stage and it set off an alarm. We just thought it was a part of the jam and kept going with it,” says Offer. The crowd went from drunk-and-dancing to thrashing in minutes. And in terms of “making it,” !!!’s experience following that show was similar. Everyone knew how to pronounce the band’s name afterwards.

“We were all, ‘Holy shit, we’re in Miami!’ at first,’” smiles Offer. “And I was in some fashion blog after that. And all our friends from back home in Sacramento were shocked. That was when our moment definitely began.”

!!! recently kicked off a tour to support their new release, THR!!!LER. The album brings heavy doses of what the band have always promised to deliver: good times, oodles of sweat and the occasional sonic curveball. “Slyd” sticks out as an odd disco gem, oozing with sexuality, while opener “Even When the Water’s Cold” almost sounds like a danceable folk song. A secret ingredient in the band’s success formula is this penchant for variety, which is no doubt sprung from Offer’s own inquisitive mind, not to mention his genuine, deep love for all types of music.

“Everything I do, though, every book I read, I hope that it just changes a little something inside me so I write a better song,” he says. “I’m good at music because I love it and I’m obsessed with it.

“Whenever I travel, I carry a transistor radio with me to see what’s happening. The radio recently led me on a journey in West Africa. I ended up in a studio in Sierra Leone, recording with these guys completely randomly by just following the music and asking them what was up. And next thing you know, I’m there.” Behind this hyperactive front man, the group of friends from Sacramento will continue to dance on—through sirens, West Africa and beyond.

F Nic Offer picks 3 !!! RELEASES you should already own

Out Hud/!!! [split 12-inch]
We were pretty proud of this when it came out and I think it stands as a testament to where both bands were at that moment. I swear it was radical at the time. Indie bands didn’t use drum machines or a “disco” kick drum, but none of that matters if it doesn’t sound good now... And maybe the first half where I sing isn’t so hot, but when Justin turns the second half of the song into a disco dub mix, it gets pretty good. He did that in two takes and we all sat there and watched. Would’ve been longer if the tape hadn’t run out.

Our first album and made just before we left Sacramento for New York. Sometimes when I hear songs off this album, I’m mystified as to why there are, say, four verses and one chorus in a song, but whatever. We were trying to break all the rules.

Myth Takes
If THR!!!LER is our “classic” album then the one that rivals it is definitely this one. They’re comparable, I suppose, in that they were probably the two records that were the funnest to make, and both times there was a real feeling in the band like we had something to prove. I’m sure there are those who will say this is better, but I like THR!!!ER more. But what do I know? Don’t the Rolling Stones always try to convince you the latest piece of shit is as good as Sticky Fingers?

This article originally appeared in FILTER 52: "The National: Emotional Transit," available now on newsstands and digitally in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

The Normal Superhero

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.

WiFi Tower
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!

10 Reasons Not To Date A Superhero

TL;DR You'll die. Christina

1. There's a trope called "Women in Refrigerators" which refers to the disproportionate number of female comic book characters who are injured, killed, or stripped of their powers, usually to further a male character's story. The term was coined by Gail Simone, the current writer of Batgirl, The Movement, and Red Sonja. The name of the trope comes from Green Lantern #54 (1994). The Green Lantern at the time, Kyle Rayner, comes home to see that his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, has been murdered by a villain named Major Force and stuffed into the refrigerator. (Major Force later decapitates Kyle's mother and stuffs her head in an oven. But don't worry, she's fine, it was just a mannequin. Because comics are ridiculous.)

2. By my count, 16 of Wolverine's love interests have passed away, sometimes even by the hand of Wolverine himself. This count includes Jean Grey (above); Mariko Yashida, Wolverine's fiancee; and Itsu, Wolverine's wife and the mother of his son, Daken. I know Wolverine is all mysterious and damaged but please, keep your distance. He will outlive you and it's not because of his possible immortality.

3. Oh, Madelyne Pryor. If Jean Grey isn't getting out alive, why would her clone? Madelyne, who also has a needlessly complicated back story that involves marrying Cyclops and tons of other nonsense, commits suicide, hoping to telepathically take Jean Grey with her. And yes, she wears this silly costume during the confrontation.

4. Donna Troy is . . . for simplicity's sake, let's just stick with her being Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman's younger sister. She married Terry Long, a middle aged, divorced college professor and single father. They had a child together and later went through a bitter divorce where Donna lost custody of her son. This all happened in a book called Teen Titans, a comic about young adults aimed at young adults. I don't get it either. Luckily, Terry and his children died when their car drove off a cliff during a storm so he never had to face an alternate future where his son became an evil dictator. It's almost better this way.

5. If you want to be surprised when watching The Amazing Spider-Man sequels, don't click on these links. (I feel weird putting a spoiler warning up for a comic from 1973.) If you know your Spider-Man, how did you feel when you saw these set pictures?

6. Even actual superheroes aren't safe. Tora Olafsdotter, better known as Ice, was a member of the Justice League and the girlfriend of Guy Gardner, a Green Lantern. She was murdered by the alien Overmaster and ended up being sent to Hell.  Guy attempts to rescue her but, like the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, she is sent back to the afterlife when her best friend, Fire, turns to look at her. She is later resurrected only to be turned into zombie intent on removing her ex-boyfriend's heart. But the DC Comics universe rebooted and she's totally okay now!

7. The story of Rachel Dawes was never going to end well. She was created for Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Batman is not known for ever getting a happy ending. (Have you seen what Batman's been dealing with recently? Will someone give the man a break?) She gets drugged by Scarecrow, stalked by serial killer Victor Zsasz, and tossed out of a building then blown up by Joker. I'm surprised it took so long.

8. The relationship between aliens Karolina Dean and Xavin is far from typical. Karolina is a vegan lesbian who is essentially a super-powered rainbow. Xavin is a shape-shifting gender-swapping royal who has been betrothed to Karolina since childhood. When Karolina's people come to punish her for her parents's warmongering, Xavin shape-shifts into Karolina's form and disappears in a spaceship, ready to endure her love's punishment. She has not been heard from since. Let's be hopeful, just this once. Repeat after me: Xavin's not dead and there will be more Runaways books. Xavin's not dead and there will be more Runaways books. Xavin's not . . . 

9. Betty Ross a.k.a. Betty Banner is the wife of Bruce Banner a.k.a. Mark Ruffalo. After years of an on-again off-again relationship with the giant green man, Betty discovers that she has become sick due to gamma radiation exposure. (Gamma radiation is what turned Mark Ruffalo into the Hulk.) One of the Hulk's enemies, Abomination a.k.a. Tim Roth, discovers Betty's illness and injects her with irradiated blood. Betty's illness and death is just proof the Hulk is a living, breathing cancer diagnosis. Oh, the Hulk knocked over a building? Big deal. The fact that you might need chemo after being rescued by him is way more worrisome. 

10. In the comic book tie-in to the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, the Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane and the super-fetus chilling in her uterus. If Lois Lane isn't safe, we're all fucked.