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I'm With the Band: Cage the Elephant


It's no secret that Cage the Elephant are one of rock and roll's biggest names right now; they just released their third album, Melophobia, this past October, and have been on the move ever since. Melophobia is their strongest record yet, with ten solid tracks that will keep you listening over and over. I caught up with rhythm guitarist Brad Shultz last Friday in Ventura, CA just before the band hit the road to play Coachella's second weekend. Maddie

What were your primary influences when recording Melophobia?
I think, if there was any influence for me, it would be the local scene in Nashville. There’s a ton of awesome bands that are coming out of Nashville: Jeff the Brotherhood, Bad Cop, Plastic Visions, Ranch Ghost. There’s a really cool music scene in Nashville. I had some time off and I live in Nashville, so I really got into going to local shows and stuff.

What do you feel is different about this record from your previous records?
I think it's more in-depth, if that makes sense. It's the closest interpretation of what we envisioned in our minds, what we wanted to achieve musically of the three albums.


Left, Nick Bockrath and Matt Shultz during the band's encore. Right, Matt Shultz and Brad Shultz backtsage.

What made you guys want to call it something that means "fear of music"?
It’s not really a literal use of the word, it's just based on being afraid of creating music under any kind of false pretense.

What are your three tour essentials?
Internet [laughs], that’s for sure. And clean socks and underwear.

What do you guys do to prepare for a gig?
There’s no kind of ritual that we do, we kind of just hang out and create a good environment as far as just chilling and vibing out and listening to music, just being as relaxed as we can.

Okay, now tell me three songs you recommend listening to right now:
Yeah, Broken Bells “Holding on for Life,” Bad Cop “Light On,” and Plastic Visions “Little String.”

Okay, now choose! East Coast or West Coast?
I’m going to say central. No coast! Middle of the country, Nashville, TN!

Crushed or cubed?
Oh, Sonic ice. The sphere ice, that’s the best.

Old or new, in terms of music?
I’ll say new because new is influenced by old, but still pushing forward.

Clean or dirty?
What are we talking about?

Anything!
Clean. I’m gonna go with clean. I like to be showered and fresh.

Morning or night?
Late evening, I like the late evening.

UO DIY: Plant Hanger


During our outdoor potted plant DIY at our Malibu store, we had one of our talented associates give us her (easy) step-by-step guide on how to make our very own plant hangers. Read on for full instructions, then go make your own! (And we promise, even if you don't have a single Martha Stewart bone in your body, you'll be able to make this.)

DIY Plant Hanger Instructions

Needed:
Spool of cord
(something durable, can be found in jewelry aisle of craft stores)
Key ring
Small potted plant



1) Cut 4 lengths of cord, about 10 inches longer than you want the planter to be when finished.



2) Fold the 4 cords in half at their midpoint. Slide the key ring up to the midpoint and tie a knot to keep it in place.



3) Separate the 8 cords into groups of two. About 8 inches down from the key ring, you are going to tie a basic square knot with the first two cords.



4) To tie the square knot, loop the two cords over each other, as if you're about to tie your shoelaces. Then loop the cords around each other a second time, leading with the opposite cord you started with.

5) Follow this step for the remaining groups of 2 cords. You should be left with 4 knotted strands. 



6) Grab a friend to hold your plant hanger up, or hook the key ring to something. Take the right cord from the first set, and the left cord from the second set about 10 inches down from the knots you've already tied. Tie another square knot.

7) Repeat this with the right cord from the 2nd set, and the left cord from the 3rd set. Continue with the remaining cords.



8) Gather all the cords together and tie in a big knot.



9) Fit your potted plant inside the hanger and enjoy!

Read full Get Outside feature

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




I'm With the Band: Drowners

Drowners are currently making their way around the West Coast in support of their debut self-titled record. In their downtime between Coachella weekends, they made a stop in Los Angeles to bring their melodic, jumpy jams to The Roxy. Drowners are made up of Matt Hitt, Jack Ridley, Erik Lee Snyder, and Joe Brodie. I had a chat with Matt and Jack to talk about where the band is at right now, their favorite songs to play while DJing, and more. Maddie

Since we last talked you had your debut record come out. How was the recording process and putting it out?
Matt: We finished it about nine months before we actually released it, like a human pregnancy, so when it came out, we were ready for it to come out. It was kinda sitting on the shelf a bit. We did it over three weeks last May in a basement under a bar and Gus Oberg and Johnny T produced it. My 25th birthday passed as we were recording it, and that’s pretty much all I remember about it.

Matt, you've been part of other projects in the past. What's different about Drowners as opposed to your previous projects?
Matt: Literally only that I sing in this one. I do Threats with Jack. I kinda stopped doing all the other shit before Drowners started, so it's really just Threats and Drowners. The only differences are that I sing in one and Jack sings in the other, and he writes all Threats and I write all Drowners. Basically the only thing that switches between the two is who stands in the middle of the stage.

Tell us a little bit about the influences that went into your self-titled.
Matt:
The things we were influenced by to record were like, The Vapors, Gun Club, and we were inspired vocally by like, when you listen to '50s and '60s shit, like when they scream and the mic blanks out. That was kind of a main point of it. Slickness of Vapors, energy of Buzzcocks, yeah.
Jack:
I would say for me, since he obviously wrote the thing in his bedroom, I think it was done with a lot of pain and fun and late nights and such. You play in a different way when all that is going on around. Depending on how you feel you play a bit different. I feel like a lot of long nights and mild suffering in different ways led itself to a nice product.
Matt:
There’s like twenty different versions of the same song, depending on how we feel. Particularly live, it completely changes. Like how hard you want to play or how much you want to scream or how much you want to move, that’s just night to night. When we were doing the record, it was like Jack said, fun and pain; basically two sides of the same coin, where you’re like one or the other.

How would you describe Drowners in three words to someone who has never heard you before?

Matt: “I’d hit it.”
Jack: “Totally fucking awesome.”
Matt: Yeah, do that one.

What is your dream venue or city to play in?
Matt:
I’m gonna sound biased in L.A., but this is only the second time in L.A. and I’ve fucking had a right laugh both times I’ve come here. There’s not like ideal size or whatever. I like playing in front of people who give a shit, because that’s not always the case. That’s my favorite thing. When people give a shit it makes us get hyped on it.



If you could have a tour with anyone, who would it be? Dead or alive.
Matt:
On the top of my head, we did four gigs with Cage the Elephant and I’d want to do another tour with them that was longer. I only had four days of ultimate bliss and I’d like to have like, a month with it.

When you're not playing music, what are you usually up to?
Matt: Sleeping.
Jack: Drawing or skating and walking around. Cuddling with puppies. Cuddling with puppies and watching Law and Order SVU.

What are your go-to tracks when DJing?
Matt: I want to preface this with like, we DJ a lot because we’re absolutely broke and we all need to make money. It’s a job and shit. I started DJing after I moved to New York because I'd sit and listen to Jack and some other people DJ. My favorite three to play I stole completely off Jack. Gun Club "Sex Beat," "Red Hot" by Billy Lee Riley, and "Train Kept A Rollin'" by the Johnny Burnette Trio.
Jack: I would agree with that as well.
Matt: ‘Cause I stole it off you!
Jack: “Love and Desperation" is creeping up on me. That’s a sexy song.
Matt: That is my new absolute favorite song! It’s the singer of Gun Club.
Jack: Jeffrey Lee Pierce.
Matt: It’s the best shit I’ve heard since “Stoned and Starving” by Parquet Courts.

Interview: Abbey Watkins for Morning Warrior


Tobacco & Leather's Abbey Watkins is an London-based illustrator and print designer with a penchant for skulls, women and a bit of warping. When Los Angeles clothing company Morning Warrior asked Abbey to work on a few summer tank tops for them, she conjured up the energetic warrior spirit of the brand and brought her earth-inspired designs to a whole new world. Here we talk to the 25-year-old beauty to get a glimpse inside her life, workspace and a sneak peek at the look book for the collection.
Interview by Ally Mullen


Introduce yourself!
I'm Abbey Watkins of Tobacco & Leather. I'm 25, living in London and working as an illustrator and print designer.

Where did you go to school?
I went to Manchester Metroplitan Universirty and studied textile design for fashion. I chose Manchester because it's a vibrant city, but it's not too overwhelming. At the time I struggled a lot with my confidence so this played a big part in my decision. 

I always wanted to study fashion in London, but this was the best I could do with the tools and finances I had. It worked out well in the end as I ended up with the best tutor, Alex Russell, and I got a career out of it which I'm very grateful for. I'm from a very small town in the middle of nowhere so university was my way out and my first experience of a real city.




How did you get involved with Morning Warrior and when and how did this collaboration come together?
I was already aware of Morning Warrior when they got in touch about working together; it was obvious we shared some interests and creative visions so we got together and created these three designs.

Tell us about the influences behind your art! 
There are many, many influences but it's really hard to name them! I'm influenced by mythology and ancient gods, strange creatures—especially the mixture of animal and human. I'm interested in things like the occult and witchcraft, shamanism, and hallucingenic visions. I have this deep-rooted love for tribes and people that live closely to the earth, treating nature like a language that can be interpreted and returned. I guess all of that mixed with some '60s pychedelia and old metal album covers is somehwere near my vision. I've still got a lot of work to do to bring it all together though.



What was the driving inspiration behind your collaboration?
There was a loose brief for the collaboration, but with themes like "Mystical", "Animal" and "Bad Girl Biker", Morning Warrior and I were already pretty much on the same page, so it flowed nicely.

How would you describe your style of art to someone who hasn't seen it yet?
I still can't find an answer that satisfies, but the basis of my work is set in pencil realism, with subjects of naked women, skulls, animals, mythic elements and hints of surrealism.

What is your favorite medium to use when creating your illustrations?
Pencil. It's the only one that comforts. If there's color, it's done digitally.


Of the shirts you designed, which is your personal favorite?


I haven't seen them in the flesh yet! But my favorite is the grey Eagles Tank Top. That was my favorite one because I remember learning from it. You are always learning every time you draw but sometimes you can feel it, and I enjoyed that time.

What are your favorite things to draw?
Naked women, skulls, anything where I can play with its form and mold it into something else. That's my new favorite thing to do!



Are you going to wear your own designs?
I never wear my own designs. I hope nobody takes that personally! I just feel weird wearing something that I drew. Like it's somehow saying, "Look what I did!” And that makes me uncomfortable.

What was the… 
Last song or album you listened to: "Desert Ceremony" by Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats 
Last movie you watched: Iron Monkey
Last purchase you made: A black, leather, bondage thigh-harness from Etsy that clips onto your belt loops and wraps around your thigh.
Best part about doing this collaboration: That I got to draw and create and was given artistic freedom. Morning Warrior were an absolute pleasure to work for. It's not always that way with commissions.




Look Book Information: 
Photography by Emman Montalvan
Hair and Makeup by Brittany Sullivan
Model: Courtney Money at PhotoGenics L.A.
Styling by Julie Swinford & Renee Garcia
Clothing by Morning Warrior: Twitter | Instagram

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!

I'm With the Band: The Orwells feat. Criminal Hygiene


For the latest installment of this column, I interviewed The Orwells and Criminal Hygiene when they made a stop in Los Angeles at the Troubadour this past weekend. The Orwells are a relatively young band based out of Chicago, Illinois, while Criminal Hygiene are based out of L.A. Both bands have deep roots in punk and garage, and have a clear goal to make rock and roll stand on its own again. See what the boys had to say below.
Interview and photos by Maddie Sensibile


The Orwells featuring their pal Jack from Twin Peaks.

Introduce yourselves!

Henry: I’m Henry Brinner.
Mario: I’m Mario Cuomo.
Grant: I’m Grant Brinner.
Matt: I’m Matt O'Keefe.
Mario: We are the Orwells!

You released Remember When in 2012, then Other Voices and Who Needs You. What can we expect from the new record?

Mario: It’s more soulful. There’s some soul on it, there’s some swingin’ beats. You’ll like it.

What record or records have influenced you guys most as a band? I know you mention Is This It a lot on your Twitter.
Mario: Yeah, we talk about it. I love soul. I love like, Sam Cooke and really soulful stuff.
Grant: It’s all different for everybody. Everybody has different taste in music.
Mario: Lyrically, I love like, “Ooooh!” when you feel it in your heart. Pretty much just Kendrick.

If your music was made up of three ingredients, what would they be?
Entire band: Sugar, spice and everything nice.

Favorite festival you've ever played?

Mario: FYF!

If you could put on your own music festival, who would your dream headliners be?
Mario: Day one would be Waka Flocka for me.
Henry: Everybody’s dead, it sucks.
UO: They can be dead.
Mario: Oh, what the hell. Well, let me reiterate: Waka Flocka.
Henry: I think T. Rex, though.
Mario: Okay, T. Rex, Waka Flocka, and Har Mar Super Star.

If you could bring three things on tour and nothing else, what would they be?
Henry: Headphones.
Mario: Condoms, money and beef jerky.
Henry: My drums.

Now choose:
Taco Bell or Del Taco?
Henry & Mario: Taco Bell.

Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper?
Henry & Mario: Mountain Dew

Boxers or Briefs?
Henry & Mario: Boxers
Mario: We’re so similar.

High or low?
Henry & Mario: High.

Saturday or Sunday?

Henry & Mario: Saturday.


Criminal Hygiene.

Hi guys! Introduce yourselves.
Michael F: I’m Michael Fiore.
Michael H: Michael Hiller.
Sean E: Hello, I’m Sean Erickson! We met Fiore at an Italian restaurant; turns out he was pretty good at guitar.

You just released the "Withdrawn" 7". Can you tell me a little more about who has influenced your sound?
Michael F: Actually, I wrote that song the day... well, I stayed up all night because one of my best friends went to jail for a DUI. It’s about that general mindset and feeling. So, that was influential. I was trying to be Rod Stewart when I was singing; it’s true, that’s what I was going for.

What's your favorite record to listen to while on the road?
Sean: Unfortunately, we have one of those stupid radio hookups. We’ve just been around the L.A. area so far, so we can’t really listen to it. It’s all static.
Michael F: When I’m driving places I like to listen to The Faces, and I’ve been playing the Mac DeMarco album a lot.

If you could put on your own music festival, who would your dream headliners be?
Michael H: I can answer for Sean and say it’s probably gonna be Jimmy Buffett.
Sean: ZZ Top would be one of them. KISS.
Michael F: The Shins, Replacements, Fugazi, and The Cigarette Bums.

Now choose:
Pepsi or coke?
Sean: Pepsi
Michel H: Coke
Michael F: Coke. Cherry Coke.

Scrambled or fried?
Michael F: Fried over medium.
Sean: Scramble it, cheese it, sauce it.

Stones or the Beatles?
Michael F: Beatles, for the most part.
Michael H: Can you pick both?
Michael F: What era? That’s where it gets fishy.
Michael H: There’s more shitty Stones albums than Beatles albums.
Sean: They’ve been around longer. They’ve had their chance.
Michael F: I like Exile more than I like Let It Be. But I like Sgt. Pepper’s more than I like Satanic - whatever that shit is.

Since it's festival season, real shower or fake a shower?
Sean: Oh yeah, bum shower. Baby wipes and McDonald’s sink.
Michael H: Real shower.
Sean: Real showers are beautiful, but they’re not always available. You gotta make do with the hand driers.
Michael H: Both.
Sean: I’d prefer to be on tour where you have to take showers in weird places.

UO Beauty: Obsessed with Oils


Oils. Everyone's talking about them. For your skin, your hair, your body...in your oatmeal. Don't know your argan from your marula? Robin Black of Beauty is Boring breaks it down for us, so you can reap the beauty benefits of the luscious stuff. Read the full feature here.

UO Music: Cherry Glazerr

Since forming in 2012, L.A. band Cherry Glazerr has attracted international attention thanks to their teen spirited lyrics and inimitable yet slightly puzzling genre (it's dream pop AND punk rock). This month, the trio (singer/guitarist Clementine Creevy, drummer Hannah Uribe, and bassist Sean Redman) head to Austin to play their first SXSW. We sat down with the band at Creevy's parents' house in Silverlake to talk about their creative process, balancing homework with sold-out shows, and their hard-to-pinpoint sound. Read the full feature here.

Fine Print: Jaime Hernandez


Jaime Hernandez, an illustrator from Los Angeles, is best known for his comic book series Love and Rockets. The series, which Hernandez writes and illustrates with his brothers Gilbert and Mario, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and continues to be a mainstay in the alternative comic movement. Last fall Hernandez teamed up with Riverhead Books to illustrate Junot Diaz’s book This Is How You Lose Her, a heartbreaking and tender collection of stories from Diaz that celebrates and laments his character Yunior’s relationships with the women in his life. We were lucky enough to talk to Hernandez from his home in Los Angeles about illustrating and writing female characters.
Interview by Maitri Mehta. Illustrations c/o Riverhead Books.



First of all, thank you for illustrating this book. It’s one of my favorites, and I just got a copy of the illustrated version. It’s beautiful!
Thank you! But I owe it all to the publisher [Riverhead Books]; they did all of the design work.

Did you know Junot Diaz before you illustrated his work for The New Yorker?
Yeah, I was emailing him back when I did one of his first stories, but my computer crashed and I lost all the contact information until this time around! I was first introduced to his work through part of the Oscar Wao story [The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao].

Many people—myself included—find a lot of similarities in yours and Diaz’s work.
Sure, sure. A lot of the character development is similar. Maybe it’s just Latino culture.

Is there a reason you’re drawn to creating female characters? Do you feel like it’s more important?
There’s a million reasons. I basically… like women! You know, all around. For the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong reasons [laughs]. I think it all started when I was 13 and learning to draw women. I was a little scared to before that. Growing up Catholic, my mom was uptight about stuff and uptight about sex and I was a kid, you know? It was always, “Don’t draw girls, you’ll go to hell," or worse, "Mom’s gonna get mad." And when I was 12 or 13 my older brother Gilbert was already drawing women and doing comics with women, and he was like “You should draw girls, it’s fun.” From then on, it was like if I wanted to do stories about women I had to... should I say, back it up? It didn't feel right JUST to draw curvy women. I had to put something else in there to bring them to life. I think that's where it started. I just started to like writing women. I don't know if I was doing it right, but I was trying, and by the time we did Love and Rockets, a woman came up to me and said, “I like your women characters and I like the way you do women.” And I said bam, okay, I'm here. I've got nothing to apologize for.

I think it's hard for male artists to write a good woman which is really why I love Junot Diaz. Did you have a favorite of the girls in This Is How You Lose Her?
Yes, the one that read comics, Nilda, because she had 50 million things going on in her head. I liked the craziness and the sweetness and the intelligence, all of that put together in one character. She spoke to me more than the others.



Was it difficult to illustrate someone else's writing?
Yeah, especially because in prose you don't have to describe people in detail so I was looking at every detail in the writing, thinking, "Okay, I'm getting an idea about this woman," and then three pages later I find out she's not Latina, she's white! I guess I could have asked Junot himself but I figured it was my job that I was hired for, to figure it out myself, to put my two cents in there. You know, to help create his world. Luckily he agreed with 99.9 percent of what I did.

Did you have a lot of freedom in how you interpreted his characters?
Yes, a lot, but there were a few things that came back to me in his notes. You know, make this character bigger, or make this character more this and that. But not too much, and I’m happy that he trusted me because this is his world, and I know how personal that can be.

Diaz’s stories are really autobiographical. Are yours too?
Yeah, of course, but I take liberties and change things because my life is pretty boring and my characters need a more interesting life for my readers to follow them. I romanticize sometimes but within reality.

It seems like you ended up doing exactly what you wanted to do in life—any advice for young illustrators or artists in general?
Ooh! Tell the truth. Or I guess, be truthful to what you're drawing; don't fake it because you'll be found out later. It's hard to explain... but that's why I'm an artist and not a teacher.

Did you ever teach anywhere?
Nope. I sat in on a graphic novel class once; I didn't know I was being primed to maybe teach a class. I just sat there kind of like a doofus. I could never express myself the way these teachers do; that’s why I let it come out in my art.

UO Beauty: Pop of Color

Makeup artist and photographer Robin Black of Beauty is Boring shows us how to add a pop of color to your look for Spring using new products from our Beauty Shop. Read the full feature here.

Our World: Urban Renewal at Space 15 Twenty


Last week, Urban Outfitters opened a permanent Urban Renewal shop inside of Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles. Bringing to life the Urban Renewal concept (a line of one-of-a-kind pieces crafted from vintage, deadstock and surplus materials from around the world), here you'll find anything and everything vintage-lovers could possibly want. Unique pieces made from denim, leather, and beautiful printed fabrics mingle with antique treasures and the perfect selection of pre-worn denim. From the candles and crystals by Spellbound Sky to the succulents hanging from the ceiling, this is a shop you'll want to take a few hours to explore. Maddie














Happenings: Urban Renewal at Space 15 Twenty

Opening this Sunday at Space 15 Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd) in Los Angeles is Urban Outfitters' Urban Renewal shop. The shop, called "Crystals, Candles, & Champagne," will be having an opening party from 12PM-3PM. There will be tunes by DJ Lord Prince, crystal talk with Spellbound Sky, and nail art by KLEUR. You won't want to miss this, because you're definitely going to find some incredible vintage treasures inside. RSVP here. Maddie

Editorial: Future Folk


The California desert was the perfect backdrop for our Koto shoot with L.A. musicians Chance from Jesus Sons and Joey from The Pesos. Check out the entire feature here.

Shop the collection

I'm With the Band: Johnny Jewel


Over the weekend Chromatics and Glass Candy played the Converse Rubber Tracks Live x UO event at the Tower Theater in Los Angeles. Before the gig, I interviewed Johnny Jewel, a man who wears many different hats. The L.A.-based musician is a member of both Glass Candy and Chromatics, and is currently scoring a television show and an upcoming Ryan Gosling-directed film. Needless to say, Johnny is one busy guy. Interview by Maddie Sensibile

Hey Johnny! What have you been up to lately?

I just had my first vacation ever for Christmas, and it was really cool. I went to Mexico. I never end up taking vacations during Christmas or New Year's, and if I'm traveling or try to take an extra day off, some work always comes up. This time of year everyone is on vacation, so nothing happened, and I didn't take a computer or a phone. I didn't listen to music for two weeks. It was pretty crazy. I was a little scared at first. I view myself as being okay with that, but I was worried I was going to have withdrawals and be embarrassed by myself. So, I did that, and since then I've been scoring a TV show that I've been working on for 20 hours a day. With film and TV, the music is important, and it's always the last thing. They don't think about the fact that music has to be made in real time. It's crazy cross-training for making pop music! 

You performed twice at the Urban Outfitters Rialto launch party, with Glass Candy and Chromatics. What do you enjoy most about being part of two groups?


The bands are really similar in certain ways. We sound more like each other than Bon Jovi and Garth Brooks or something. Live, Chromatics is...there's more people, so it's more choreographed. Glass Candy is kind of a loose cannon. I never know what Ida is going to do. For me, it's fun to have the improvisational aspect of Glass Candy, which is always after Chromatics. Chromatics builds up this thick mood, and Glass Candy is like this huge explosion. Chromatics is more suspenseful and disciplined in a way, and Glass Candy is really punk. It's just me and Ida, so anything goes. Emotionally they are really different, too. I enjoy playing with Glass Candy more after I've played a Chromatics set, and I enjoy Chromatics better when I'm on tour with Glass Candy.

Regardless of what band you're playing in, who are some artists or eras that have long influenced you? 

Well, I grew up in Texas, like in the '80s, pre-internet. You kind of felt that you were really alienated because all of the action was on the coasts. Now it's different, because everybody travels everywhere. It was hard to even get certain records in our town. You would just see things on MTV or in magazines, and you lived vicariously through that. My relationship with music and art has always been through a distant looking glass. That's just the way I learned to interact with art. That hasn't changed, but I developed a kind of fixation for climates or regions. I'm really into tropical. Like I just went to Cancun, you know! I didn't do anything but build sandcastles and chill out. I've always been really fascinated with bodies of water and things like that. I like fashion photography from the '70s and '80s, like Helmut Newton: Really tropical fantasies. We're all huge fans of Andy Warhol and the whole Pop Art era.



Do you create all the art for your releases?

I do. It's not silk screened, and a lot of it's photocopied and cut paper, whatever I could do at Kinko's. I was trying to emulate Andy Warhol and Interview Magazine in the '80s, all those pencil drawing faces and stuff like that. To me, it was a cross between Art Deco and Punk. Again, growing up so isolated, ideas were everything. You'd see a photo and sort of fixate on it, and you didn't know anything about that place or time. I didn't know what New York was, and I didn't know what Paris was. I was in Texas and that's the center of the universe if you're Texan.

I know, I've grown up out here in L.A. my whole life, so everything is kind of happening here. I don't have that smaller town viewpoint.

What's weird is that I moved here in March, because I have to come out here so much for film [work]. And now I live here and I don't do anything. I stay in my house and my studio. I kind of live like a bird on a hill. I travel so much, I have more weekends in a year than most people because of touring, you know. So when I'm at home, I don't do anything. It's ironic. I'm in L.A., a big city, and it's a great city for music and art, and I find myself just kind of being at home almost like a hermit. And this would've been my dream growing up, like Los Angeles! Crazy! 

What's your favorite part about having your own record label, Italians Do It Better?

I'm not a perfectionist, but I refuse to answer to deadlines, which makes me kind of annoying in Hollywood, but they put up with it. The best thing about running your own label is that you can do whatever kind of packaging you want, and I can release any artist I want, any song I want. There's no fiscal pressure, none of the bands have deadlines, none of the bands have contracts, no employees, no overhead, no office. It's really cool. I call this guy, like, "Hey, I want to press 10,000 records," then I wire him the money and they disperse internationally. You can do anything with a phone and computer. It's cool to have this huge indie label and to have that freedom.


After Dark 2 artwork.


Since the new year has just begun, have you got any music related resolutions?

I want Chromatics to start practicing. We all live in different cities and haven't practiced in, like, five years. I'm excited about getting a tour space and doing a tour in the spring. I also have a few records I want to finish this year, so that's a resolution, and finally I want to commit to this poet from Texas, Farrah. I want to finish her album. Obviously there's a new Chromatics record, too. The project I'm most excited for outside of the bands is this film I'm scoring that was written by Ryan Gosling [How to Catch a Monster]. It's his first feature-length as a director. He's not in it. It stars Christina Hendricks, Saorise Ronin, Ben Mendelsohn, and the dude that plays Doctor Who [Matt Smith]. He's crazy, he's the villain. He's really disturbing, and psychotic. He has a shaved head, and he wears this gold lamé jacket and drives around with a beat up chair on top of a convertible in dying Detroit. The soundtrack is incredible. We've been working on it since February. It's gonna come out in October, and it's gonna be really cool. This French cinematographer shot it, so it's absolutely gorgeous if you like beautiful but strange cinema. 

The Fresh List: Joyce Kim

Joyce Kim photographed by Drew Bienemann

This month The Fresh List highlights a handful of people and places we're excited about in 2014. First up, one of the freshest new voices in photography, Joyce Kim. Los Angeles-based Kim is a guest poster on our Instagram throughout January, sharing a bounty of bright, beautiful behind-the-scenes images from our Get Fresh shoot. We chatted to Kim about what separates her from her peers, the personality behind her pictures, and her relationship with technology.  Interview by Ally Mullen

Photographs by Joyce Kim for Urban Outfitters

Name: Joyce Kim
Hometown: Scarsdale, NY
Location: Echo Park, L.A.
Occupation: Freelance Photographer
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Instagram: @jokimbo

When did you first pick up a camera? 
I have a horrible memory, so it came from wanting to record good memories. [It was] around 15 years old, when I was super angsty and just wanted a way to connect with my friends and surroundings. My mom did an incredible job at documenting my entire childhood, so I think I got some of that from her without realizing it.

Did you study photography at school? 
I took a class in high school and that was the start of my photo education. I went to art school in Baltimore and started out in photography, but I switched my major very quickly because I figured I loved [photography] so much, I would keep doing it on my own. 

How would you describe your work? 
Meditative, quiet, minimal, and natural.

Photograph by Joyce Kim for Urban Outfitters

What type of camera do you use the most? Do you prefer film or digital?
A Canon 5D Mark III I bought less than a year ago—up until that point I had primarily shot on film. I’m used to a digital camera now and I shoot with it the most often, but if I had it my way I would always shoot with my Mamiya 7.

What is the biggest influence on your work?
I’m most inspired by travel and new places, and I’m most excited to shoot in a new environment. When I’m on the road I always want to bring my camera; I’m so obsessed with the world.



Personal works by Joyce Kim


What was your first big break?
It was definitely my first job for FADER Magazine this past July when I photographed Sir Michael Rocks. It was the first time I going to have a photo in print; having my photo in a magazine that’s on real magazine stands. It was really the ultimate.

Who has been your favorite person to photograph?
Ty Dolla $ign. He was so generous with his time and hung out with me for the entire day.

Ty Dolla $ign photographed by Joyce Kim

Where are your favorite places you've taken photos?  
Japan and Korea.

Favorite time of the day to shoot?
It’s hard to deny the golden hour. If I can get up that early, really early morning when the light's just coming out… nothing beats the sunrise or the afternoon sunset.

Who are some up-and-coming photographers we should be watching out for?
Daniel Shea, John Francis Peters, Milan Zrnic, Stephanie Gonot, Amy Elkins, Zoe Ghertner

What do you think separates you from your peers? 
I used the word meditative to describe my work because it very much describes my process; I take a lot of time to consider whether something’s a good image. I don’t even want to post a photo that I think is even touching on mediocre. I only want to show my very best all of the time. I really focus on a strong composition instead of letting a celebrity carry an image. I want to make sure all of the elements are harmonious. I think that consideration and that ability to take things a little bit slower and sit with it translates through my work.

Photographs by Joyce Kim for Urban Outfitters

How do you keep your work fresh and continue to evolve? 
Technology! The acquisition of this new digital camera has been a huge inspiration and motivation to keep shooting. I think embracing new technology and realizing how powerful it actually is, is what's getting me excited again. All of it is very scary but important for my growth as a photographer.

What do you hope your photos convey?
I think every photo I take is a direct reflection of myself and how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. I think the fact that I try to find a lot of stillness in my work, the overarching feeling is maybe taking a moment and trying to find something genuine. I want to shoot as naturally as possible, beyond just using natural light. I want to capture people and not pose them. Catching something real and making it feel genuine. 

What's the best piece of photography advice you've ever gotten?
At the end of the day, just always make sure it’s an image that I like and I’m using my own voice. Take all the rest into consideration, and stick to an assignment but not lose sight of an image that you want to shoot.

Who would you want to take your own picture?
Robert Frank. He’s incredible. It’d be him, catching me on the street.

When do you feel most alive?
I like when I hike to the top of something tall. I really like to get up high—walk, climb—and when I can look really far into the distance over a landscape… I feel pretty awesome.

What are your top five obsessions at the moment?
Green juice, my beanie, Canada, RunKeeper and seaweed.

What's coming up next for you?
Right now I’m heading to San Francisco to shoot a feature story for a magazine. Beyond that I’m just really trying to take control of my freelance life and travel abroad at least twice this year. And I want to just keep taking pictures!

Photographs by Joyce Kim for Urban Outfitters

Closet Project: Tara Violet Niami

Budding photographer, cinephile and model (and star of Samatha Pleet's latest look book), Tara Violet Niami isn’t your typical college sophomore. She owns a leather prom dress and collects Victorian flea market finds, while her style is inspired by the changing fashions of the early 1900s and the young protagonists of Little Women.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile; Photography by Amanda Charchian




Hi Tara! Tell me a little bit about yourself, and what you're up to right now.
At the moment I am studying fine art photography at the Pratt Institute and I am also doing other photography on the side, like fashion photos. In my free time I’m modeling as well.


Tara for Samantha Pleet S/S 14 photographed by Jacqueline Di Milia

When you walk into your closet, what are some essentials you always gravitate toward?
I really like my black oxfords, which are just really classic looking and worn out because I wear them so much. I generally like flat shoes. I'm also drawn towards patterns and interesting textures.

How would you describe your style?
Old fashioned, but with my own modern twist on it. I’m into drama in my clothes, and feeling like I’m a character in a movie or book. People that I look up to, style icons...I’m really into the 1900s. I guess because it was a very restrained time, both in terms of how women had to act in society, and how they had to dress. People found a way to express themselves in interesting ways with their own personal style. Also, growing up as a kid, I was really inspired by Little Women, and the idea of these really cool girls who would wear long dresses but would get them dirty and adventure around--I wanted to be like them. I like the idea that you should have fun in your clothes, even if you’re wearing something feminine, and you can mess it up.





You clearly love vintage. Where are your favorite places to search for special pieces?
In L.A., American Vintage on Melrose. The Melrose Flea Market is also really fun. There's also Jet Rag, which has a one dollar sale, and in Westwood, where my family lives, there's an Out of the Closet thrift store. I’ve found amazing things there, including a cashmere sweater for ten dollars. Those places are my go-to places in L.A.

What's the most treasured item in your closet?
I have this rainbow harlequin skirt that was my mom’s. I love it because it’s so colorful. I think it's from India, because it has batik symbols on it. I’ll never let that go. She also passed down to me this leather dress that I wore to prom. It's '50s style in the front with corset lacing in the back. It's really special. I don’t wear it that much, but I want to wear it more. Another thing that is super, super fragile that I love is a hand-embroidered 1920s dress that I wore to my graduation. It has butterflies on it and it reminds me of The Virgin Suicides.



What's your approach to skincare and makeup?
I don’t really wear makeup that often, but when I do, I’m really into lipstick, like wearing a red or plum color. I like the classic look of lipstick. It can dress up outfits too, and make you look more sophisticated and elegant.



Who inspires you?
Photographers that inspire me are Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, Edward Steichen, and Amanda [Charchian, who took these photos] is really amazing. And my friend Shae Detar, she hand-paints her photos. A photographer I’ve loved for years is Ellen Rogers, who’s British. She shoots large format and hand paints her photos, and they’re incredibly beautiful. They look like they’re out of a dream. And I always go back to the films I watched as a child: The Secret Garden and the Little Princess had a big influence on me, and still do. Those rebellious, complex girls in dresses. I don’t know, I just really like them.

Happenings: Converse Rubber Tracks Live x UO


If you're in L.A. this weekend, head over to the Tower Theater (802 Broadway) on Saturday, January 4th, to check out Glass Candy, Chromatics and Doe Eye, a great free show being presented by UO and Converse Rubber Tracks. RSVP is required for this event, but does not guarantee admission, so make sure you get there early!

Happenings: Urban Outfitters Heads to DTLA


Once home to a booming theater district, Downtown Los Angeles is reemerging as a bright light in the big city. The iconic streetcar is being brought back to Broadway, where Urban Outfitters debuted a new location on December 18 inside one of L.A.'s architectural gems, the Rialto Theatre building, which originally opened its doors in 1917. 


Located between the famous blue Eastern Building and Chinatown, the Rialto had fallen into disrepair, closing in 1987, but through the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, the new UO location is a pioneer in breathing new life into Downtown, where you can now grab a slice at NYC pizza legends Two Boots next door and soon stay at the Ace Hotel, set to open in the former United Artists studio building down the street.




With the Rialto Theatre marquee shining bright outside (lovingly restored along with the theater's original doors), inside you'll find a colossal selection of alphabetized vinyl records and a specially curated crop of Urban Renewal's latest vintage and re-worked finds. Suede fringe jackets mix with neon New Balance sneakers and vintage Fender and Gibson guitars line the walls, reflecting the eclectic style of the neighborhood's young denizens. The huge projection screen at the the rear of the store is a nice nod to the building's history, and will host a rotating selection of visual stimuli for your viewing pleasure. —Maddie Sensible


Get Gifted: Maddie's Wish List

Get Gifted: Maddie's Wish List!


For my holiday wish list this year, the things I chose are all over the place, which is how my brain feels most of the time. Everything I chose would be excellent for multiple people, like the creative person in your life, someone who enjoys bright colors, record albums, or having a great winter complexion. See, I told you my choices were all over the place! Maddie

1. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City

Frankly, it took me about six months to fully appreciate this record for what it's worth. Vampire Weekend's third LP is a total masterpiece, and a little bit different from their earlier material, but just as catchy. I want to pop this into my record player and pretend I'm sitting in the sun on Cape Cod with Ezra Koenig.

2. UO Sticker Collage iPhone 5/5s Case
I always tend to put stickers on the back of whatever boring iPhone case I have at the moment, so I love this case because it does all the work for me. It includes unicorns, stars, kittens, ice cream... basically everything cute, ever.

3.
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery
I'll admit it, I'm not the world's biggest reader, but if it's music related, I'll probably pick it up. Anyone who is into that stuff should check this book out. Definitely a great way to continue to build that vinyl collection, right?

4.
Andrea Garland Rose & Hazelnut Daily Moisturizer
It's wintertime, which means we all need a good moisturizer. This one by Andrea Garland sounds lovely and can be applied daily. Smelling like roses and hazelnuts is an added bonus.

5.
Magical Thinking Enamel Confetti Box
I have so many random little things in my room, especially various pins that say silly phrases or have band's logos on them. This adorable and sparkly box will be great to hold all of the things I never know what to do with.

6. 
Fujifilm INSTAX Mini Rainbow Film
I love taking my INSTAX camera with me as many places as possible during winter break, because there's always so many fun things to take a snap of. (And by snap, I do not mean Snapchat.) This rainbow film will nicely spruce up the photographs I take this holiday season.

7.
Vans Sk8-Hi Leather Women's High-Top Sneaker
I don't think any girl can deny that shoes are the way to her heart, so for the holidays, I would very much like this pair of leather sneakers by Vans. They're an updated version of the classic Sk8-Hi, made of slick leather. A little boyish and way classy at the same time.