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Friday Download: September 12, 2014


Happy Friday! Here are some of our favorite internet tidbits from the past week. They're all David Lynch themed in honor of his retrospective opening at PAFA this weekend, so enjoy!

1. This month, the first major retrospective of David Lynch's work opens at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In homage, Philly donut hub Federal Donuts has created an assortment of Lynchian-inspired pastries: varieties include Blue Velvet, Good Coffee, and others. They're $2 each and available at Federal Donuts starting September 13. Get there early because these will go fast!

2. The third issue of KENZINE is out, and the entire issue is inspired by — yep— DL. For those new to KENZINE, it's a sporadically-released magazine put out by zany fashion brand KENZO. This issue was edited by the amazing crew behind TOILETPAPER magazine, Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari, and Micol Talso. This preview on It's Nice That has some sneak peeks.

3. For some lighthearted David Lynch goodness, the Twin Peaks intro was redone in 8-bit a couple of weeks ago by Portland based artists Filthy Frackers. Their Casio keyboard take on the theme song is pretty soothing.

4. The Lady in the Radiator from Lynch's Eraserhead is an underrated pop star of the 20th century so we're just gonna let everyone know that with this deluxe CD reissue of the Eraserhead soundtrack, you'll be able to jam out to "In Heaven" in stunning clarity.

UO Live: Lykke Li

In the six years since Lykke Li emerged on the scene, the Swedish musician has built a huge following of fans drawn to both her critically-acclaimed music and reputation for being an equally mesmerizing and mysterious ingénue.  

Her newest album, I Never Learn, came out in May, and breaks away from the hand claps, broken rhythm, and intense drum beats of her earlier work and moves into very different territory. I Never Learn is stripped-back, refined, and sad — the songs are largely the byproduct of a major breakup that happened on the heels of her last tour. Nine songs long, it's both Li's shortest and most ambitious work to date.  

We partnered with Lykke to have her shoot some Polaroids exclusively for Urban Outfitters that share a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road. Afterward, we talked to her from LA about drinking wine, David Lynch, and never settling down. 

This month Lykke Li will do three exclusive UO Live performances + signings in UO stores in Portland, Or, Minneapolis, and Washington DC — read on for show details and to learn how you can win tickets to see Lykke Li live in your city! 


You're in LA right now — is this where you're living?

Yes, but only on this break between shows. I don't try to figure out where I should live anymore. 


Your childhood was spent traveling around a lot, right?

I went to 11 different schools! Born in Sweden, in the south, moved to Stockholm, lived in Portugal, winters in India, Nepal, Morocco. Then I moved to New York when I was 18 or 19. That's been my life.


But for now do you like being in LA?

I love it. The light, the ocean... 


What do you do on your time off? 

I love being outside. Also, I like to cook a big dinner with friends and drink a lot of wine. 


This album came out of a tumultuous break-up, which you've been really candid about. Did any of this play into moving or wanting to find a new place to live? It obviously affected what you wrote about but did it affect how you wrote?

Yeah, I ended my last tour and was really thinking about not having a place to return to. I have been traveling my whole life. It's fight or flight, you know? I thought that I needed to step back and heal for awhile, but I was writing all the time. I was completely obsessed with it. It always takes me a long time do a record but I love writing. 


Are there any places you go to write or be inspired in that way?

Just being solitary. I go into my own bubble and don't need the outside world. 


Were you surprised by anything that came out during the writing process?

It wasn't easy. I think I knew the emotions were there, I have always felt that way. But it was about finding the way to express them. I have to be honest...It's the only way I know how to do it. 

This album is the third in a trilogy of records that have seen you really change as a musician. In retrospect, what's it about?

This album is about me as a woman. But I think people can relate when you are 27 or 28 you can break free from your past. I guess it was that. I was trying to heal and let go of my past but also break into something new. I feel like we all have that. It's basically the return of Saturn. 

There's a lot of talk about it being "dark," but those ideas seem less about sadness and more about identifying points of transition.

I think so too. It's an interesting thing to think about…being lost. 


The cover of your album is an incredibly stark portrait of you…can you talk more about this as an aesthetic choice?

I think it reflects the music. With this [record] I felt like I could step out into the light. This is who I am and what I look like.


Does this play into what you wear on-stage?

Yeah, I like the idea of wearing the same thing for a tour. I wear all black. I have been taking the time between shows right now to figure out what I will wear on the next part of the tour. I work with a designer who helps me. 


Another collaborative project recently was with David Lynch last year on a song for his record, which is so amazing. Can you share more about working with him?

It was magical. He is very intuitive and was just an amazing person to work with…[he has a] really instinctual way of treating and making art. He also introduced me to TM [Transcendental Meditation, which both Lynch and Li are practicers of]. He is very easy to talk to and confide your worries — that's how he told me I needed to meditate. 


You also did a film project last year, the Swedish film Tommy, and you're set to be in a future feature from Terrence Malick. Are there things that come out in film — when acting, or just exposed to a different medium — that you can't express in music?

Acting is completely different. It is very difficult. I'd love to do more of it though, [and] have been humbled by being a beginner at it…You just make a fool out of yourself. 


You also do your own photography — can you talk about this?

I really want to make a book of my photographs sometime — I think that would be a project I want to do when I have the time. 


Right?! When are you going to find the time to do this?

I don't know! I still have a million shows left to play!

Lykke Li UO #FortheRecord Performances:

PORTLAND, OR

September 18th at 5:30pm

Urban Outfitters, 2320 N.W. Westover Rd. 


MINNEAPOLIS, MN

September 28th  at 1:30pm

Urban Outfitters 3006 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN


WASHINGTON, DC

October 6th at 2pm

Urban Outfitters, 3111 M St. N.W, Washington, DC


Want to see Lykke Li live in your city? 

UO is giving away tickets to shows on her upcoming tour — download the UO App to learn how to win!


Music Monday: September 8, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Tinashe - 2 On (Yung Gud Remix)

Oh man, this is a wonderful remix by Sad Boy Yung Gud. The trap-esque production has made this fully club ready. Great charge and great overall sound. Two thumbs up.

Julio Bashmore - Simple Love (feat. J'Danna)
Julio strikes again with another deep Detroit club tune here. We need more from Julio in the near future, so hopefully he'll deliver. This one is a good one, though, and should hold us all over until we have another EP (but fingers crossed for an LP).

Les Sins - Bother
Some of the best news in the past week or two has been learning there will be a forthcoming debut LP by Toro Y Moi's alter ego. This stuff is so chill but dance-ready, it screams new LA like nothing we've heard in a while. We're really gonna be monitoring the interwebs for this release. 

Macross 82-89 - Horsey (feat. Sarah Bonito)
There's something very interesting about this tune. It could be the nod to "future music" and this new 3D reader-style PC Music vibe. This one is great, and should sound great in the club, too. 

Class Actress - Let Me Take You Out
This is a good, classic feel-good tune. It can be played over and over, especially while driving. True gem here.

Friday Download: September 5, 2014


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

1. Some solid grammar jokes over in this McSweeney's list "Grammar Gossip," so you can be sure to start your weekend off very intellectually.

2. Vogue sent photographer Daniel Arnold to document the crowd at this year's U.S. Open. The result is, as Vogue put it, "chockablock." His images are unglamorized observations of candid behavior that are equal parts smart, funny, and kind of sad — Arnold is absolutely one to watch.

3. For all the UK-based people out there, musician King Krule is doing an art exhibit with his brother at Display Gallery in London. The show opens this Friday and is said to be a mix of poetry, music, painting, illustration, silk-screen, and linocut surrounding the themes of "memory, time, and role of the artist in an evolving cityscape."

4. Sam Smith covered Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge and it's exactly as sad and heart-wrenchingly emotional as you're imagining.

5. Cayetana, an awesome Philadelphia-based band that we've mentioned before, now has their album streaming a few days ahead of its release. They're performing a few shows around the release as well, so check them out if you can.

6. Last but not least, Tennis released a very aesthetically pleasing video for an acoustic version of their song "Bad Girls," which is on their upcoming album Ritual in Repeat (out Sept. 9).

I'm With the Band: Twin Peaks


From left: Cadien, Jack, Clay, and Connor of Twin Peaks.

Last weekend at FYF Festival I met up with another of my favorite bands, Twin Peaks, from Chicago, IL. Nobody in the band is over the age of 20, and already, they've released two albums, most recently being Wild Onion, which have both been received with very high praise. Cadien, Clay, Jack, and Connor have been on tour with The Orwells, Arctic Monkeys and Criminal Hygiene, and have been making their way up the ranks all summer. Read on to see what music the guys have been influenced by along the way and how they're feeling about it all. These guys are here to stay.
Interview and photography by Maddie Sensibile

You just released your new record, Wild Onion, a few weeks ago. How are you feeling about it?


Clay: We feel good about it, we feel great about it.

Cadien:
We made a mix tape with a lot of our favorite kinda songs.

Name a few bands for me that have influenced you when it comes to making music.

Clay:
I probably wanted to start making music from The Velvet Underground. Big influence for me.

Jack:
I like Black Lips. That was really one of the first concerts I went to that like, made me really want to play rock and roll seriously. I like R. Kelly a lot, and The Beatles.

Cadien:
Those are all great. I’m gonna throw out Jay Reatard too - he was pivotal for me.

Connor:
Watching Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin videos, ‘cause like, playing live what made me want to play music more than anything.

What were the first records you bought?

Clay:
The first time I bought music was when I bought Dark Side of the Moon. It started playing and I thought it wasn’t working or something. It was the first CD I ever had, so I turned it all the way up. It just starts with that woman screaming, and it keeps getting louder and louder, it really freaked me out. I didn’t listen to it again for another three years probably.

Cadien: I copped Beatles’ 1 when I was a little dude, from my mom, and I blasted that for a long time.

Connor:
A Blink 182 CD, and I don’t remember which one it was, but I remember buying it and being super stoked about it.

Jack:
To be honest, I was a big Britney Spears fan, and had mad love for N*SYNC as well, it was probably one of them. It’s pop perfection, who can blame me.



Clay, tell me about those dance moves you do with your guitar on stage.

Clay:
For most of us, I think we would just feel uncomfortable standing there. I don’t know, it just seems natural to me. I know it looks pretty weird.

I did see you guys perform last year in LA for the first time. How do you feel about playing larger festivals and moving up the bill at such a young age?

Clay:
We’re so about it.

Jack:
We’re starting to play more festivals like these, and the more it happens, kinda the more surreal it seems that we’re here now.

Clay:
In places like this, the artist area, you get to meet people, even just for a little bit, and everyone’s pretty nice most of the time so it’s cool.

Who are you listening to right now?

Clay:
I’m listening to a lot of Kinks. I just got Kinda Kinks, and it’s a really good record.

Jack:
I’ve been recently really getting into Blood Orange’s most recent album, and I got to meet him for a little bit, and he’s fucking cool.

Cadien:
Naomi Punk’s new album is super great, like their first album, and more people should check them out.

Connor:
We played with this band on our first tour called Teenage Moods, and a week ago I just kinda stumbled back on their stuff, and Mood Ring is so cool.

Twin Peaks music

UO Premiere: Karen O "Day Go By"


You probably know Karen O from being frontwoman of the indie rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs for nearly 15 years, but on September 9th, her debut solo album Crush Songs will be released. "Rapt," the first single off the album, premiered a little over a month ago - and has left us wanting to hear more ever since. Today, we're excited to premiere "Day Go By," the second track from the album.



Coming out on Cult records (the label run by Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas), Crush Songs promises more lo-fi tracks that ruminate on love and nostalgia. To hear the album in full, head to NPR this Friday, where the entire album will be streaming a few days ahead of its official release.

Read the lyrics for "Day Go By" below.



Shop Crush Songs
Follow Karen on Instagram

Music Monday: September 1, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Glish - Stu Hunkington

Man, this is a killer tune. "Nugaze" is a perfect subgenre for this sound. This is excellent - it's high energy but not intrusive. Perfect.

Tycho has been taken to the wonderful guitar finger picking, bird chirping place of Bibio. The whole effect is very pleasant and relaxing. "Spectre (Bibio Remix)" is a good fall transition track (if we're there yet), and the subtle drum track is mesmerizing. 

Psych indie rock might be leading the way as far as guitar music goes right now. This track has a feel good vibe and a lot of phasing; it's very enjoyable. Check out the other tracks from Swim Mountain here. 

A gem from Secret Songs, that's been curated by a certain someone (Hems). This track is ethereal and has an interesting movement to it. It's incredibly slow, but maintains a good sway. 

"Fantasia Arc" is calming, wonderful dream trap. Generally when you find an artist's Soundcloud and there are emojis in the track title, you know you're in for a treat. This appears to be a Sigur Ros track that has been spun into the abyss.

I'm With the Band: Joyce Manor


FYF Festival may have been hectic this past weekend, but I managed to meet up with Los Angeles natives Joyce Manor for a quick interview before their set at the Main Stage on Saturday at the fest. They say their new record, Never Hungover Again, took them a few tries to get right, but once things got on track, it was all golden from there. Never Hungover Again is a more dramatic turn for the band but one that's in a totally right direction. Read what the band (Barry Johnson, Chase Knobbe, Matt Ebert, and Kurt Walcher) had to say just before I took their portrait in front of John F. Kennedy. Maddie

How are you guys? Are you happy about how the record has been received so far?

Barry:
We're very excited to be at FYF, extremely excited about how our record's been received. I felt like it was pretty different and no one's really acted that way. Like there was no "What happened to this band? They used to have something and they lost it."

A departure from your sound.


Barry:
I felt like it was more so than people have been acting. People have been like, you know, it's cool, they did what they did but made it different. People seem happy with it.

So tell me a bit about how you guys got things started for Never Hungover Again and the recording process for the record.


Barry: There was an entire first chunk of songs that we wrote and scrapped because they weren't up to scratch.
Chase: We recorded them, too.
Barry: We recorded them, and we were writing songs, and I think we were kinda stuck. We started writing songs that sounded like songs we had already written. I think we got a little set in our ways, a little comfortable, and then Chase came to practice and was like “Hey, I have this riff,” and I was like I kind of have a song, so we went “Do you want to try playing at the same time?” And then we did and it was like, that’s how the new record needs to sound. As soon as that happened, all six or seven songs we had were just scrapped.

How do you feel about playing FYF this year with such incredible bands on the lineup?

Chase:
We’ve played the past three years, but today’s the first time we’ve played the main stage. We’re officially small fish in the big pond. We’re in the big pond now, so now we just have to eat a bunch of other fish.

Do you have an ultimate goal as a band?

Barry:
We’ve already surpassed it. Our goal was to press vinyl and have a piece of vinyl that we made, and tour Japan, and we did them both. So, this is all fully bonus right now. As bonus as it wants to get is great, but we’ve already done everything we’ve set out to do.

Tell me three bands you’d like to have headline your dream festival.

Kurt:
Guided By Voices.
Barry: Who else would we get on that?
Chase: Toys That Kill.
Barry: Guided By Voices, Toys That Kill headlining…
Chase: Weird Al.

What have you been listening to lately?

Barry:
My friend Tony Molina sent me demos for his new record and I can’t stop listening to them.
All: Spirit of the Beehive, from Philly.

Behind the Scenes: UO Live White Lung

We just wrapped up a Los Angeles taping of our UO Live video series with White Lung, the punk band to know right now. Inspired by the band's energy, the old-school Hollywood setting, and the rowdiness of punk music, our Los Angeles display team built an incredible stage just for the show, which we're sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of. And stay tuned for the UO Live video, coming out soon!



Bryan Yazzie, the Senior Display Coordinator for UO LA, developed the concept for the stage, which the UO display team pulled together in under three days! 




Bryan came up with the idea to create a light cut-out of the band's name set against black-and-white images of the band and their album art. He explains, "I like experimenting with lighting whether its for a permanent installation or a live backdrop like this — it's cool to see what can be achieved with lights."

With the show in the heart of Hollywood, he referenced the mood of old school horror films from the 1940s in finding a font, making the marquee letters, and laying out the stage setup with each of the members also backlit in the same florescent tone. 




"I hadn't seen White Lung live before but had watched videos — in a punk rock setting, the music and the atmosphere the band creates can be rowdy," Bryan explains. "I wanted to create an environment that was equally loud." 

In our recent interview with the band, frontwoman Mish Way referenced this same energy, explaining:
"For me to put on a really good show I need to be completely lost in what I'm doing. It's this completely unaware trance that's happening, and that's when I perform the best. That's when I act the craziest, and that's when I don't care. People like to see you lose control and like to see power. That's how I feel when I'm on stage. I feel really powerful, I feel really excited, I feel really nuts. That's just what the music my bandmates are playing evokes for me, and I think we build from each other."


Stay tuned for the exclusive UO Live video and behind-the-scenes coverage of the White Lung show, which will be out later this month!

About A Girl: Banks


Singer, songwriter and Goddess Banks recently spoke to us about her writing process, her love of Greek myths and what we can expect to hear from her upcoming album Goddess. And after a whirlwind year of EP releases and festival performances, we're thrilled to see Banks embarking on her own headlining tour this Fall. If you'd like to meet Banks and get her debut LP signed, make sure to catch her at our next For The Record vinyl signing event on September 10 at Space Ninety 8 in Brooklyn, NY!



On preparing for shows:

For me, I get nervous, but it's kind of just funneled into adrenaline and the second I'm on stage, it turns into something else - maybe some sort of power. I definitely get nervous before the start of almost every show; I'm not sure that will ever go away.

On being a self-trained musician and how it affects the way she approaches music:

I've never used music any differently than what it means to me. It's honesty and it's truth. It's really just a tool for me that I use to survive, really. [Laughs] A way of letting things out and expressing things that I need to express. Whether that's really happy and bright things or dark things, it's really just another language for me that will always be there.

I taught myself to have my own way of doing everything. I developed my own style and my own point of view and way of structuring my songs because of being self-trained. I didn't have any voices in my head, so it's had a lot to do with how I write, I think.

On her other hobbies and what she'd be doing if she weren't a musician:

I used to love drawing and painting, and I mean... I love art, but music is like my entire heart. Even if I love doing other things, it's not the same as writing music for me. That's something that I need. The other things are fun for me, but music is like water to me.


Banks' US television debut performance on Kimmel

On touring:

I played in so many different places! It's cool when you play in different countries, different cities, even different towns, because culturally the audience can interact differently with music and you really feel it when you're doing the festival circuit. When I was in Poland, the crowd was so juicy, they were just incredible. There was this staircase from the crowd into the audience, and I think you're supposed to tell security if you plan on entering the audience, which I'd never done before so I didn't think to plan out, but during "Goddess" I just wanted to be closer to everyone, so I went into the audience down these stairs, through this pathway. I was touching everybody as I walked and it's just one of my juiciest memories of performing.

You don't really get a day off when you're touring, but in every city I go to, I try to wander around for at least an hour or two, just to see things.

On what she's interested in right now:


I love all Greek stories, Greek mythology. I've been reading those when I've been on the road. I love moving my hands in hypnotic ways. Very smooth. And I love ginger. [Laughs] Any type of drink with ginger in it!

On her upcoming album Goddess:

Goddess
is my whole heart. It's me 100%. I put everything into it. I feel like after you listen to it, you'll really know me – my layers and all my flavors.

I don't really think in terms of albums. I'm constantly writing because it's just a part of my life - I can't stop writing, so I don't really think of it in terms of albums. Goddess is a body of work that represents a time in my life, a really important time in my life. I'm always writing, I have more songs, and I'll always be writing more songs.

On what the rest of 2014 looks like for Banks:

I don't know! Lots of touring. My album is coming out so soon. There's so many things that I'm doing that I've never done before. Even when I hear that question, my heart starts beating really fast. [Laughs] It's just a mix of excitement and nerves. Everything is new - doing Jimmy Kimmel is new, so I guess I'll be doing more stuff like that and more collaborations. Right now my head's just on the Goddess tour in September. I'm really, really excited for that. It's crazy. I'm so happy and it's the most fulfilling feeling to know that people are connecting with the music. Every stage is exciting - playing for five people or thousands of people, it's all great.




***

For The Record Upcoming Schedule

8/27 Washed Out: UO Pittsburgh (435 Cinema Dr.) 7:30pm-8:15pm
9/10 Banks: UO Brooklyn (98 N. 6th St.) 6pm-7pm
9/18 Lykke Li: UO Portland (2320 N.W. Westover Rd.) 5:30pm
9/28 Lykke Li: UO Minneapolis (3006 Hennepin Ave.) 1:30pm
10/6 Lykke Li: UO Washington, DC (3111 M St. N.W.) 2:00pm

Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!

Pre-order Goddess here

Happenings: FYF Festival 2014 Recap


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

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


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


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


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


Paul Banks of Interpol on Saturday night.


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




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






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




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


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

Music Monday: August 25, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Dntel - If I Stay a Minute

Love this one. For those of you that don't know, there's a new Dntel record out September 23 on Leaving Records. Dntel is comprised of one of the founding members of Postal Service, Jimmy Tamborello, and if you haven't heard the Dntel song that spawned the Postal Service, check it out; it's groundbreaking. 

Breathe Panel - On My Way
"On My Way" is a track from Breathe Panel, off of the Beech Coma Volume 2 Compilation. The compilation does a great job of keeping it uniform with this "beechy" indie-rock sound. This particular cut is one of the several gems on the comp. 

Real Slow - Sad Kids
This one is just as the genre tags say: #Chill #Trap #Bass #Future.

Gold Panda - Clarke's Dream
Gold Panda with a new one here. Good hip-hop production vibe with the loops. This sound mixed with the hip-hop/house fusion is very rarely a let down. This one verifies that and will have your head nodding in no time. 

LV & Josh Idehen - Shake
LV, the veteran Hyperdub duo, team up with Josh Idehen, the frontman of excellent afro-electro Benin City. This release, not unlike their collaboration with Okmalumkoolkat, features their classic Hyperdub dark club sound. The xylophone sound is killer.


Friday Download: August 22, 2014




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

1. We cruised by The Picture Room last weekend in NY and had never noticed it before, but apparently it opened up back in May. The Picture Room is a new art gallery and shop space that’s owned by McNally bookstore, and it's a really nice hybrid of bookstore/gallery space.  Here's a few pics over on Melting Butter that highlight the space.

2. HAIM’s new video for "My Song 5" came out this week and it features A$AP Ferg, Grimes and a ton of other famous people in a TV talk show themed video. Pretty sure these girls can do no wrong.

3. The Simpsons is now playing continuously on FXX until September 1, so if you're totally ready to binge, check out how Vulture ranked the first 14 seasons, so you won't have to compromise your valuable time watching less than stellar seasons.

4. Lately we've been feeling inspired by Joe Silveira's Instagram, an account full of the everyday observations of Toronto graphic designer Joe Silveira— it's a smart study in color and shape. If you like what you see, Toronto publishing house Colour Code Printing released a collection of Silveira's images, entitled So So Tired.

5. Is anyone else as pumped as we are on the newest Ariana album, My Everything? No? Just us? In any case, this preview of the first four songs over on MTV has us feeling some kinda way.


Afterfest LA with Kindness and Ramona Lisa


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



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

Learn more about AFTERFEST

For The Record: Washed Out

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

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



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For The Record Upcoming Schedule

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

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UO Live: White Lung

If there’s one name to know in punk music today, it's that of Mish Way, frontwoman of White Lung. White Lung originally got their start in Vancouver, and just released their third record, Deep Fantasy, on Domino Records. We recently had a chat with Mish, discussing the resurgence of punk music, her style icons, and everything that contributed to the recording of their new record. Make sure you’re sitting down for this one - it’s a heck of a good read.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile



Hey Mish! How have you been lately?

Fuckin' great. We just played this festival called Fuji Rock, which is held out in the mountains in Mount Fuji. Huge festival, it was great. I was only there for like 36 hours, so we went out, they took us into the festival, we played, we did some press, we went back to Tokyo, we partied with our friends, and then we went home. It was crazy. Japanese crowds are amazing. Everyone who worked at that festival was so polite and respectful and on point. Every piece of gear was perfect, everything you wanted was perfect; it was just very, very lovely. I'm all about the professionalism and they just blew me away.

You recently released Deep Fantasy on Domino Records. Tell me a little bit about the recording process for the record and where you drew inspiration from.

Well, we recorded the record in Vancouver with Jessie Gander, he's our guy. We started writing this record, and recorded half of it in December before I moved down to LA for a bit. Half of the record was written in isolation, which was really beneficial for us. We never heard any of the songs live until Heather and I went up and tracked it. Our guitar player Kenny played both bass and guitar on the record because we kicked out our old bass player. He did both, because he's a genius. The record was done a lot in the studio because we were playing more with tone and trying to piece together a rock record with a missing member. But it actually worked in our benefit because everyone was only bringing their best material forward. When we did work as a group, we couldn't just jam things out live, it had to be a little more calculated, a lot more thought out, and it worked for us. And the inspiration for the record, I just didn't want as much sugar on this record as the last one. I'm not sure if I achieved that, but I personally really wanted to write really strong, accessible vocal melodies that were aggressive and strong but still really catchy.

Deep Fantasy is full of slick and fast punk tunes that sound like they are totally timeless. How do you feel about punk music coming back and being more popular again? What was your goal when creating this record?

To me, punk music never went anywhere because that's the scene that I grew up in. Maybe it's having a resurgence in a more mainstream fashion now, but for us, those are my peers and that's who I toured with. We always put ourselves out into the atmosphere, and that's the great thing about punk - you can do things on your own and you don't need anyone else. That's the whole point of it, you know? I think it's great that loud music is coming back in a more popular way. I think people need it. Our world right now, we're doing everything in subtweets, you know? Punk music brings out true excitement and anger and expression. Even when you're watching a punk show, that energy is exhilarating and exciting and I think in a world where we're all so concerned with feeling and doing things on the sly, it's so complicated, and such a mindfuck, to have a form of straightforward, direct, and confident true expression. That directness is maybe what's so appealing. It makes me happy. The more the merrier. We've never been one of those bands that's been like, Keep us secret. There's nothing wrong with that. A lot of people in the punk scene don't feel that way.



White Lung's shows are extremely energetic and clearly elicit a physical response. For you personally, what do you feel is the key to putting on a meaningful live show and connecting with the people in the audience?

As we play venues or bigger stages, like festivals where there's this complete disconnect, I really had to learn how to convey what I'm doing in a bigger way. Put a little more musical theatre into it, you know what I mean? I've never been one that looks people straight in the eye while we're performing. I like to touch people and get involved there, but I don't necessarily look at people. I like to lose myself and forget what I'm doing. That's what makes a good performance for me. I'm aware that there's people watching me, but if I'm hyper-aware, and I see someone's eyes or something, it takes me away from what I'm doing. In the past I would always have my hair in my face. For me to put on a really good show I need to be completely lost in what I'm doing. It's this completely unaware trance that's happening, and that's when I perform the best. That's when I act the craziest, and that's when I don't care. People like to see you lose control and like to see power. That's how I feel when I'm on stage. I feel really powerful, I feel really excited, I feel really nuts. That's just what the music my bandmates are playing evokes for me, and I think we build from each other. Everyone has their role, but I like my front people to be front people. If you're paying money, I want to put on a show for you. It's exhausting but it's the best thing in the world.

Who have you been listening to on your own lately, while on tour or just in general?

I actually just deleted everything that was on my iPhone and I'm getting all this new stuff. I'm listening to a lot of, and this is probably because of my boyfriend, David Allan Coe's first record called Penitentiary Blues. Pink Mountaintop's new record I'm really into. I'm also listening to this compilation of all these Turkish garage bands from the '70s that I listened to years ago rediscovered again. Also a lot of weird old soul stuff, like Helane Smith and Joanne Garrett; all these old Miami soul artists I'm really enjoying right now. As for new bands' records, Mormon Crosses are coming on tour with us in September, and there's this band Love from the UK that I'm really into. I'm so eclectic with my tastes, I'm always searching for new old music. That's what I was doing yesterday for hours, just scouring old blogspots. People still have all this great shit up they uploaded from super old albums; it's so good.

I know White Lung was originally based out of Vancouver, but I've noticed you've been spending a lot of time in LA lately! How has this city played a part in your music and writing?

Well, now we're even further spread; our guitarist just moved to Montreal. When I was in Vancouver writing that first half of the record, I was very unhappy and I knew I was making this big change and was gonna try and move. I'm back and forth between the two still. I just really needed a step away from what I was doing in Vancouver. I was extremely unhappy and coming here gave me kind of a breath of fresh air. The second half of the record is a lot more positive than the first, and of course all of the songs are mixed up, but LA just put me in a better headspace. Everyone's gotta escape from the place they grew up in. I grew up in Vancouver, and I've been fortunate enough to travel so much that it was okay for a home base for a while, but it finally got to that point where I was sitting here bored out of my mind. I was done. I didn't have any work anymore and I was being paid in all U.S. dollars so what was the point? I really am a lot happier here, I just needed a change of scene. You can't not be happy in LA. It's a city where if you're already established, it's a really good place to come, I love it. I'm a West Coast person.



Now let's take a minute to talk about style. You do a lot of writing on the subject and how it relates to music. Some say there wouldn't be one without the other. How do you feel about the two and how they constantly work together or can they be separate?

They can be separate things, for sure but I feel like at least for me, the way that I use style in my performing helps me get into my character. Being on stage, you're exposing one very specific extension of yourself. Style and fashion is a great way to embody that and amp that up and really give yourself that extra boost to feel good. People are staring at you on stage, so you want to look and feel good to bring out even more confidence and put on a better performance. I used to have a really big issue with fashion, because I never had any money and I had to be creative with it. I would just feel so frustrated with it. When you follow the rules you feel frustrated but then you realize no one who's got great style follows rules. And, as I got older and got more comfortable with myself, I embraced fashion in a different way. I love it now. Being a female, too, gave me this total leg up with style. It can be frustrating when we're all having those days where you wake up and you hate everything in your closet and you hate your body, whatever, but those are the best days because you've gotta figure out a way to get around that. That's like a weird female thing, but it's an interesting part of it. Style is really important to me and has become more and more important as I've gotten older and I think it has a lot to do with confidence. All the people that I know who I think have the best style, they're just wearing whatever the hell they want, and it looks good because they feel so confident. I think the person with the best style in rock and roll, hands down forever, and will be Jennifer Herrema. She dresses insane. It's because she's made this self and this character and no one can pull off what she does. She looks incredible.

Who would you call your #1 musical style icon?

Probably Jennifer Herrema. And Judy Cole of Dead Moon. She picks one outfit that she wears for an entire tour. It's so cool, she'll just wear that every night and it's like her uniform. It's so badass. I've always loved Courtney Love and '90s style. The whole babydoll Kinderwhore thing, that was great. I think Jennifer Herrema is probably the most inspiring to me because she found this really great stride of hitting the mark between sexy and kind of butch. She's got this real fear in her style, I don't know. Little funny things, you know. If you can pull butch and sexy together, those are my two favorite things I'm always drawn to.

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Join us for the filming of our UO Live video series with White Lung on 8/21 in LA at Space 15 Twenty! Want in? Pick up your wristband at Space 15 Twenty anytime. Doors open at 7pm. Get there early for music, dancing, and free beer!

Music Monday: August 18, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Spooky Black - Pull (prod. Kid Hnrk)

There's a new Lil Spook/Spooky Black EP and it's terrific. Nice guitar RnB wonderfulness. Sadboys might be taking over the interwebs. 

Kaytranada - Leave Me Alone (feat. Shay Lia)
Kay Kay is preparing his forthcoming EP for XL Recordings. This new single proves that he's still got the spark, with his classic acid/funk bass sounds and his choppy use of percussion. These always have such a nice "drop."

et aliae - never let u down
The online market has been saturated by cloud trap/chill step (or whatever you want to call it), but that doesn't change the fact that it's a nice style. We love all the new artists with their own take on the situation. Vibe out to this one and you'll make Hems proud. Solid, bouncy tune. 

Tomorrows Tulips - Glued To You
Burger Records, or "Gem City" as I'm starting to call it, keeps putting out fantastic singles from fantastic artists. We love how consistent and carefree the label is.

R.L. Kelly - Alright
R.L. Kelly is super rad, and always has cute, simple tracks with really downer lyrics. This one is a great one, along with "Life's A Bummer."


Friday Download: August 15, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

Dreamers and Doers: Merge Records


Now celebrating its 25th year, Merge Records is the unlikely success story of two young musicians that went on to put out some of the most prolific indie rock of our time. Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance met, formed a band, dated, didn’t date, toured together, started a business together, and forged their own way in the music industry. Decades later, the two entrepreneurs talked to us about the early days of Merge, Superchunk, and just what it takes to make it all work.



Hi Mac and Laura! How did you two meet?

Laura Ballance: I am pretty sure we met at Pepper's Pizza (R.I.P.) in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1987 or somewhere around there. Mac was working there, and I started working there too.
Mac McCaughan: We probably met at a show in Chapel Hill or Raleigh in 198…6 or 7? We had a lot of mutual friends and were probably at a lot of the same shows. Then we ended up working at Pepper’s Pizza at the same time (in Chapel Hill).

How would you describe yourselves in just one word? How would you describe each other in just one word?

LB: I would describe myself as stubborn. I might describe Mac that way too. Perhaps I should use the word “determined” for the both of us.
MM: Me right now? Stressed. In general…active. Laura in one word…this is too hard! No one should have to be described in one word.

How old were you when you started the label? What kind of sacrifices did you make in order to keep a business running at such a young age?

LB:
I was 21 when we started the label. We worked hard to keep the business running. It took a lot of time and energy on top of touring with Superchunk, which we were doing a lot of at the time. We also kept other jobs for the first few years… I think Merge had been in business for about ten years before we were able to start paying ourselves.
MM: I was 21 turning 22 the summer we started Merge. Nothing felt like a sacrifice at that time because it was all for fun; it was what we wanted to do. We sold records and tapes but it didn’t feel like “now we are starting our business that will be our job for 25 years.” Laura sacrificed some space in her house where the boxes of records were.

Can you tell us about a funny/weird/memorable moment from the early days?

LB:
For a long time the “Merge office” was in my house. We had a lot of great times having 7-inch stuffing parties, where people would come over and we would drink beer, watch movies, and assemble 7-inches. One time I was also rushing to get some packages made to send out right before I needed to head to Kinko’s where I worked, and the tape gun fell off the shelf. Without thinking, I reached out to catch it, and the serrated blade fell right on my thumb and gashed it pretty bad. I probably should have gone to get stitches, but I did not have time before I went to work. I still have a scar that looks like a cartoon shark’s mouth on my thumb.
MM: Putting the records together was memorable, bands coming over and stuffing records into sleeves and sleeves into plastic bags. Very satisfying.

When Merge Records began, did you have any idea it would turn out to be so prolific? What were your initial goals?

LB:
When we started Merge, I had no idea it would last even a year. I really didn’t even think about it. It just seemed like a fun thing to do at the time. That said, some of our idols were Dischord and Sub Pop, and obviously they were in it for the long haul. Our goals at the time were to document the local music scene and also to put out our own records.
MM: Our initial goals were just to put out this music by ourselves and by our friends’ bands. It was to have a cool label like the cool labels we liked growing up: Dischord, 4AD, Factory, K, Sub Pop, Cherry Red, Rough Trade, Teen Beat.



Were there advantages/disadvantages to running a music label in North Carolina? Not exactly the hub of the music industry!

LB:
I feel like there were plenty of advantages to running Merge out of North Carolina. The rent was cheap, not too much competition in terms of getting attention, and we had and have a strong vibrant local music scene complete with lots of bands, great college radio, awesome clubs and promoters, and excellent record stores. People used to ask us all the time when we were going to move to New York City or Los Angeles. I think we would not have lasted five years if we had done that. But maybe we would have gotten to work with Pussy Galore…
MM: People would often ask when we were moving to NYC or LA, which seemed like a backwards idea to us; one reason we could exist was because we lived in North Carolina, paying NC rents and having plenty of space to practice with the band and stack boxes.

What were the advantages/disadvantages of being artists yourselves and running Merge from a musician’s perspective?

LB: The main disadvantage of being artists and running the label was trying to pay attention to the label while being a band that toured a lot. Now that is all easier because Superchunk does not tour as much, and I don’t tour at all anymore because of hearing damage from too much loudness. The advantages of running a record label as an artist are myriad! I feel like we are more in tune with our artists and what they might be going through as artists since we too are artists. We have gotten to experience all aspects of the record business from the side of the artist as well as the side of the record label. It’s good for perspective. As touring artists, we also got to see and meet a lot of bands while we were on the road and make connections that we would not have made otherwise. I don’t think Merge would have grown the way it did if we had not also been in the band.
MM: I think the obvious advantage is that you can see things from both sides; this is good for us, and it’s something the bands we want to work with can recognize as well. The downside is when you have to put on the “business” hat and negotiate with bands, or their managers—that’s my least favorite part of doing this.

You’ve taken a lot of chances on unknown bands—is supporting entrepreneurs and emerging artists important to you?

LB: Supporting developing bands is really important to us. It’s the best thing we can do as a record label. Working with known bands is great and all, but helping to lift a new or unknown band out of obscurity is most rewarding for all involved.
MM: Yeah, I think one of the most satisfying things about having a label is working with a band from before anyone knows about them, and watching as people discover their music and come to love them like we do. It’s also great to get to work with bands that we’ve been fans of for a long time—e.g., getting to put out records by The Buzzcocks or The Clean (David Kilgour’s new solo album is out in August!)—which we never could have imagined when we started. But yeah, working with emerging artists is an important part of having a vital label for us.

Arcade Fire was unknown when you signed them, and turned out to be one of your biggest success stories. What was it about them that struck a chord with you?

LB: Arcade Fire write amazing songs, and that first demo we got from them was just full of great songs that were full of this incredible exciting raw emotion. What we look for in every artist we put out is the ability to write great songs, and they certainly have that in spades. Plus, they are a great live band.
MM: Well, as any fan of Funeral will tell you, it’s an incredibly immediate album, both emotionally and musically. Musically it reminded me of some bands that were very formative for me—New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen—but then with these epic pop songs that were clearly coming from their own universe. Seeing them live was another level altogether.



If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you do differently, if anything?

LB: There are some small things, but across the board, in the big picture, I am happy with how we have run Merge.
MM: I’m sure mistakes have been made over the years, but in general it’s hard to imagine how things could have gone better. Of course there are albums or artists that we think have been overlooked and deserve more attention, but you can’t spend too much time regretting the things that didn’t go as planned. There’s too much work to do in the present.

What advice would you give to the young entrepreneurs out there today?

LB: Don’t expect anything to be handed to you on a platter. If you want to do something, you are going to have to go out there and work hard to make it happen. Social networking alone does not success make.
MM: Keep your day job! Seriously. We did, for quite awhile.

Shop Merge on vinyl

Music Monday: August 11, 2014

If you're always on the hunt for new music, head here every Monday for five freshly picked tunes to start your work week off right!

Cloud Castle Lake - Sync

Awesome vibe here from the Dublin three-piece. With great percussion and great falsetto, this track is a refreshing take on that Sigur Ros sound. Cloud Castle Lake is gearing up to release their Dandelion EP out September 22 on Happy Valley Records. 

SOPHIE - Hard
This is all over the place, but it's excellent. SOPHIE gives an interesting take on the UK bass sound with this B side. Make sure to check out Lemonade as well, the A side to this Numbers release. 

LOUDS - Ways
Beach pop all summer long. This track is right in between a folk-pop track and a regular electro-pop track, which gives it a nice, personal sentiment, all topped off with video game 8-bit sounds. Giving me the Lust for Youth vibe, big time. 

Mr. Twin Sister - Blush
Gorgeous RnB downtempo tune. Sade all over the place; anyone who knows and loves Rhye will be happy about this song. This has a Soulection touch to it, and a very nice production. 

Black Honey - Teenager (Demo)
Do we all agree that this sounds a lot like Oasis? The singing is obviously different, but it has killer brit-pop all over it. Long live 1996! Lana Del Rey fans and brit-pop fans alike will enjoy this one.