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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!


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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Dreamers and Doers: Bryan Metzdorf

Dreamers + Doers highlights emerging artists, entrepreneurs, and up-and-coming ones to watch. Whether it’s starting a new business, creating something beautiful, or just daring to do things differently, we stand behind those taking steps toward something new. 

This week we're featuring Bryan Metzdorf, Display Artist at Space Ninety 8 in Williamsburg, who worked for UO in Chicago, Boston, and NYC's Soho store before moving to Brooklyn. From conceiving, constructing, and problem-solving his way through huge installation projects to simply discovering unexpected potential and inspiration in places we would have never thought to look, we're hard-pressed to find something Bryan can't do. We paid a visit to Metzdorf's studio to talk about his art background, creative insatiability, and how he finds beauty in simply looking at things differently. 

How did this all start? 

I have always wanted to be an artist of some type. Growing up I never thought about doing anything else. I went to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and focused on design. However it was a pretty conceptual and multi-disciplinary school, so I was exposed to many creative outlets. After graduating I worked for several artists, designers, and architects in Chicago, again gaining experience in different creative jobs, and methods and scales of production. 

At the same time I was also working with some friends from school to design objects, and put together events and exhibitions. Needing something a little more steady than the freelance I was doing at the time I applied for a Display Artist position at Urban Outfitters, as it seemed like a job where I could use many of the skills I had picked up, and — most importantly — be creative every day. 

Above: Bryan and crew putting together the stage at this year's Northside Music Festival in Brooklyn

Can you share some sources of everyday inspiration? 

I have always had a pretty insatiable visual appetite, and I’m really inspired by seeing new things, or old things in a new way. When it gets down to specifics, it is a little tricky: I am kind of all over the place, but also very particular. I know very quickly what I like and don’t like, but I’m a big believer that with the right context almost anything can be beautiful or interesting. 

I find inspiration in everything from vernacular buildings to The Memphis Group to fashion design to mineral samples to industrial parts to certain lighting conditions, and on and on. Probably easier to just share my tumblr... 

How would a good friend describe your aesthetic? 
(As described by actual friends:) Geometric, playful, cerebral, elevated, modern, geologic

Offer two pieces of advice to your 20-year-old self. 
Stretch more… 
Stick with it… 

above: Bryan's installation for the Space Ninety 8 A Poster A Day pop-up. 

Your job as a display artist involves a healthy amount of problem-solving—conceptualizing and executing ideas within a limited space. Can you share some stories about particularly challenging projects you figured out or perhaps ones you are most proud of? 

A recent pop-up involved showing 40 large prints in a 10 x 20 foot space (and we wanted to keep the largest wall empty). I came up with some simple “J” shaped fixtures that were placed on an angles, and utilized double sided plastic sleeves, which allowed enough viewing room all around to properly display this artists project. I think the project turned out really well, the artists aesthetic was translated to the overall space, so she was pleased, and even with 40 posters in such a small space it didn’t feel crowded or overwhelming. 

Above: Installations at the recent Gather Journal pop-up at Space Ninety 8

Walk us through a typical day-in-the-life

Read on the train, coffee, answer emails, source materials, order materials, drawing, prototype, more emails, lunch, research, computer modeling, emails, beer after work, read on the train, cook and eat with my girlfriend, look for something new to listen to, try to work on my own stuff, play with our cat, sleep…  

What are five other things you are interested in right now? 

1. I’m still relatively new to NYC, so NYC, and other mega cities like Hong Kong, and Mexico City. 
2. Materials that play with light and reflectivity. 
3. Strange interiors from the 60s, 70s and 80s. 
4. People's interaction with nature / natural geometry and patterns. 
5. Making pickles. 

Complete the thought: 
I like it when… it all comes together 
I never want to be asked… where do your ideas come from? 
Success is… when it all comes together 
My biggest fear is… it not coming together 
I’d like to be… finished 
I’m secretly obsessed with… flowers 
The most fun I ever had… maybe riding (and crashing) a moped on an island in the South China Sea 
I am looking for… I’m just looking… 
My style icon is… creative people throughout history 
I dread… being bored 
I recommend… trying new things 
I couldn’t live without… traveling

See the past videos in our Dreamers + Doers series here:

Happenings: UO x Jansport Event Recap

To celebrate the launch of our collection of exclusive Jansport backpacks available only at UO, we teamed up with Jansport to throw a little party in NYC last week with performances from Phosphorescent and Strand of Oaks. In the midst of all the craziness, we grabbed some pictures of everyone jammin' and a quick interview with Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent. Check it out below! Photos by Jonathon Bernstein // Interview by Jessica Louise Dye

Hi Matthew! Tell us a little bit about how you got started as a musician.
I wanted to pick up a guitar probably just like every other kid - by listening to Nevermind by Nirvana. That’s definitely what made me wanna try and learn some tunes.

How would you describe your sound?
Oh, yeah. I would generally have to try to dodge that question, about describing sound. Hopefully it does that job by itself!

What would you most like for people to take away from your music?
I would want people to take away... just some sense of something beautiful I think is what we’re aiming for, some sense of beauty.

A show is a success when we all make it out alive.

I know you just became a father, congratulations!
Thanks! She’s just a little baby still.

What do you hope her first record will be?
Well, it better be a Phosphorescent record.

The best part about touring is the shows, and playing music all over.

The worst thing about touring is the transit. The transitioning between places can be the thing that really weighs you down.

What does the future hold for you?
Yeah, I don’t know. I am going to be getting back into the studio after getting off the road and seeing what comes from that. We’ve been on the road for about a year and a half, so it will be good to get back into the studio and see what we can make of it.

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For The Record: Spoon

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

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

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

Read more about our recent UO Video Series featuring Spoon


For The Record Upcoming Schedule

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

Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!

About a Girl: Keating Sherwin

"You can call me Keating," says Lindsay Keating Sherwin

"Dropping the first name actually came from signing my full name on art pieces," she explains. "It just took up too much space."  

Off with the excess; it's a do-what-works attitude that the young Brooklyn painter abides by, both in her unconventional, self-taught art background and general outlook about what it means to build a creative career in New York. Photography by Andrew Musson

We meet on the summer solstice in her sunny Bushwick studio, and Sherwin has a sore neck from a couple bad nights of sleep made worse by the fact that she can't quite find anywhere quiet to escape. Between her studio's location on a busy Brooklyn industrial thoroughfare and her new apartment smack in the middle of Chinatown, it's no wonder that Keating is wanting to install her next art show—an in-the-works series of abstract portraits—inside NoLIta's quiet, lush Elizabeth Street garden gallery space. "I love it there," she says, "But actually, my ideal place would be more like The Secret Garden, you know, with ivy walls and no distractions." 
Sherwin has a direct, serious presence and an artist's intuition that results in big, textural and color-driven pieces that are at the same time powerful and delicate. It's a mesmerizing balance founded on instinct. "I don't work this or that way," she says. "I just go!" 

In our studio visit, we talked with Keating about following her nose, finding a place in the "art world," and trying to make her own way amid all the noise.

Tell us about the current series you're working on, a set of portraits all done with live models. 
Well, I'm still trying to figure out how long it takes to make one! I'm seven portraits into this series now, but the sittings have all been kind of spaced out, which is not so good for positioning. I spend a lot of time backtracking. I feel like at this point I should say: It's five sittings for a portrait, but I could work on one for two years! At some point you've got to stop. 

I like the process a lot. When you're painting from your mind you have to make every decision; with this, I feel like I can just get lost in it.  

What else are you working on? 
The other big project is a commission for a film, a portrait that's supposed to be a love homage painted by this character's ex. He painted it when they are in love and now they're separated and it's the big piece he paints in this show. So it had to be kind of this epic thing. I think Alec Baldwin is going to be playing the painter, which is amazing and really hilarious.  

That is amazing! Who is the painting of? 
I painted that from a photograph—this is creepy—that image is a combination of a photograph of me when I was 21 in Savannah….and a selfie of Molly Shannon's face. [Laughs] I don't know! 

Where did you grow up?  
I'm originally from the Northeast but grew up in South Florida on the water. I'm used to constant humidity. When I came here, the first winter I was just pissed off. Then summer came and it's so amazing that you forget winter could ever exist.  

Do you think being in New York matters for work? 
Personally, I'm affected by where I am. I don't think I need the intensity of New York to get work done—in fact, I might be better off from being somewhere else. But I feel like I'm at a place where I'm so close to having a firm hold on my career, and I am not going to walk away from that. I can be very focused here.  

So no summer escapes in the works? 
My only plan is to be here, working and being hot in this studio! I've been on lockdown over here. You know, it's summer but I feel like I am just now coming out of my winter hole. I was recently talking about how I think September is the perfect time to leave. The summer months are overrated! You go to Montauk in September and you have the whole place to yourself. 

You didn't study art in school, and actually came into painting in a roundabout way. Can you talk about your background? 
As a child, I remember having a thought that I would grow up and be an artist in New York. Actually, maybe I made that up in retrospect. But either way, I didn't have a concept of what it meant. So I moved here in 2007, but it took me awhile to step away from just being caught up in the city. I worked in fashion showrooms, and then I worked for a branding company and then I was working in nightlife and met so many interesting people and artists. I think that made me re-remember, like, 'Oh yeah. That's why I'm here.' At the time I was doing makeup on photo shoots, and—this sounds weird—but I just picked up paints and started painting. I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  

Kind of the opposite way of getting into it than most people. 
Right, totally in reverse. I said it, and then I had to become it. But I had no fear to hold me back. I took a drawing class in college and loved it and worked hard in it, and I've always made charcoal drawings. It wasn't something that I was even aware of was 'art.' But sometimes, as far as art is concerned, when you have too much knowledge about a field it can steer you away. 

So what was a turning point then in transitioning from deciding to make art to getting solo shows?
Oil paint. Once I started using it I got a show! Well, first I had a couple solid years of painting and painting and making crap. I didn't feel like I was in control, so I incubated for awhile. I had been working in acrylics and I randomly went out and bought three tubes of oil paint. A friend told me I should enter this art competition so I did, and I ended up winning, and that got me a show.  

Are there people who you look to for advice or guidance with your work? 
I share a workspace with another [hyperrealistic] painter, and from sharing a studio space I have learned a lot about technique. In the past, I just used my own made-up technique! It's been great to observe what he does and take what I want from it. I find it very hard to find people who you trust their opinion of your work, but then there are times when you're alone and frustrated and you're like, 'How did this thing ever get to this place?' I have  a friend back here [in another studio in the same building]… another artist, and it's so valuable to have someone you can express things like that to. You don't want their advice, you just want their mutual understanding that you know they get it, and now you can move on.   

How do you approach that balance then, between relying on your intuition and knowing you have to participate to some extent in order to have a career? 
It's tricky: It's great to be a little bit oblivious, but you don't want to be a moron. Some days people will see what I'm doing and call it out and say whatever painter it looks like, which is so annoying! I don't work that way or think about that at all. I have freedom but it's both an asset and an inhibitor. But, you know, I try to remember that this is a long-term operation; I have some time to discover things. 

Behind The Scenes: Adri Law

Behind the scenes of our latest lookbook, Midnight Hour, we got up close and personal with Los Angeles-based photographer Adri Law.
Photography by Bobby Whigham

Hi Adri, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Adri: My name is Adri Law, I'm 24, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I earned my BFA from Art Center College of Design and have been taking photos since I was about 16.

How did you first become interested in photography and get started in the industry?
I started taking my camera to a lot of punk and hardcore shows when I was about 16 and it kind of just grew from there. I would shoot bands, live shows, then started shooting my friends out and about then eventually it progressed into shooting models, editorials, and look books. It was a long process to get to where I am now.

Are there any photographers that you look up to?
A few photographers that I have drawn quitw a bit of inspiration from are: Edward Colver, Glen Friedman, Paul Jasmin, and Danny Lyon.

What else inspires you?
Though I get bits of inspiration from numerous things, I am, and always have been, inspired by the original hardcore and punk scenes, musically and photographically. Photos from the first Black Flag and Minor Threat shows have always struck a chord with me and photos of bands like The Clash and The Smiths provide endless styling inspiration when I shoot men.

If you couldn’t be photographing, what else would you be doing?
If I wasn't taking photos I would love to be doing some time of photo art direction.

How do you spend a day off? What are some of your go-to spots around town?
Many of my days "off " are spent editing photos. But if I have an actual free day I like to hang out with my best friend Eva and my pup Baxter, or ride motorcycles with my friend Dug. There are a handful of amazing spots I'm bound to be around my neighborhood...Echo Park Lake, the Echo Park or Silverlake Farmers Markets, Sage–the best vegan restaurant in my neighborhood, or somewhere in Little Tokyo having Sushi.

Where is the best place to get a cocktail in LA? What about New York?
I love Bloody Marys and Little Doms in Loz Feliz has the best ones. As far as New York goes, I'm not all that sure..though I did have a great Dirty Martini at Lovely Day last night.

What do you like to listen to while editing photos?
It really depends on my mood that day, and sometimes the weather. My solid go-to is always The Smiths or Morrissey. But sometimes I just sit in silence like a weirdo, haha!

Can you tell us about your personal style and how it has evolved over time?
I know what I like, so my style has been pretty consistent over the years. My taste levels have evolved, but I've always been attracted to dark colors, unique boots, and quality items, so my wardrobe has been building itself for quite some time.

Can you tell us about your shoot with Urban Outfitters?
I was actually approached about the shoot on my birthday, which was pretty exciting. The shoot took place in New York and we had three great models and amazing locations. The team was great and the shoot went smoothly, every photographers dream. I'm excited for everyone to see the photos!

Happy birthday! What are you looking forward to this year?
What do you hope to accomplish? Thank you! I'm looking forward to a year of firsts. I want to travel, meet new people, and create amazing opportunities for myself. I'm really making an effort to step out of my comfort zone and do things I didn't think were possible. 24–just GOING FOR IT.

Space Ninety 8: Welcome to the Gorbals

Ilan Hall, winner of Top Chef season 2, star of Knife Fight, and owner of the wildly popular downtown LA restaurant The Gorbals is a long-time friend of Urban Outfitters. Who better, then, to open up a restaurant (and open-air rooftop bar) at our new Brooklyn concept store Space Ninety 8? In Hall’s hands, food is fun, fresh, often irreverent (bacon wrapped matzo balls, anyone?), and always yummy. We caught up with the Long Island native, who has returned home to the East Coast to open The Gorbals’ new Williamsburg outpost, to talk trending ingredients, supermarket sushi, and what we can expect to see on his new menu.

Hi Ilan! Tell us about the concept for The Gorbals at Space Ninety 8.
I like to make food that’s a little bit cheeky, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the end of the day is delicious. We started out the concept for our restaurant in LA with it being based in traditional Jewish food, with elements of pork sprinkled in! I try to keep that attitude in my food. Not that every dish has to have, like, shrimp and hummus—I don’t want to do it for the sake of doing it—but I like food to be fun. Some of it will be a little bit weird and maybe a bit challenging for people, but for the most part I want it to be tasty and really satisfying and for people to maybe eat things they haven’t eaten before. As a chef you want to open people’s eyes to new ingredients or things that are new to them.

So, you’re going beyond the Kale we see on many a Williamsburg menu?
I’m sick of kale for the sake of kale! I think there are so many great vegetables available, I don’t know why kale has had such a boom in popularity. It’s a good green… I just think that the idea of food trends is kind of ridiculous. We’re not going to have a kale salad on our menu, because everyone has a kale salad on their menu. I think that, being a chef, you need to utilize everything that you can. There are no rules. There’s so many types of greens you can use—different types of watercress, chickweed… I sort of want to stay away from bigger trends because it’s easy to get sucked into them. But maybe that’s a bad business decision! Who knows?

What can we expect to see on the menu?
I’m maybe about a third of the way through working on the menu. I’m trying to use things that are really seasonal and maybe a little bit more obscure. Not obscure but, like, less common fish. Most people don’t put bluefish on their menu—bluefish is one of my favorite fish. I’d rather use a skate cheek than a skate wing. I’d rather use a monkfish liver or a monkfish tail. There are so many great parts of an animal, and you don’t have to always use the basic filet. There’s this farm really close to where I grew up on Long Island in Glen Cove that, in the spring and summer, has amazing produce. We’re opening at the best possible time for New York [produce]. There’s peas, ramps, spring garlic, fava beans, soft shell crab, Bouchout mussels from Maine.

How did you approach the design of the space?
Within Space 98 I really wanted to keep the aesthetic of the restaurant soulfully connected to my restaurant in Los Angeles. It’s a bit more rough and rustic in LA, we have this giant 18ft communal table. Here, the focal point is our grill, once that’s fired up it will be the hearth, and heart, of the restaurant. I wanted to go a little bit more polished in terms of the furniture here. A friend made the tables, they’re a bit midcentury-ish. We got the legs from a metal-smith in southern California and and our plates are all organic and rough. I wanted to adapt to the space and have some plants and for it to be more put-together. When we opened up the restaurant in Los Angeles, we opened it with no money, all of our chairs we got at a secondhand place. I’m a father now—it’s time to grow up a little bit! At Space Ninety 8 we had the opportunity to do something that was really beautiful that wouldn’t take away from the old building. I think we did a pretty good job!

How did you come to open The Gorbals inside Space Ninety 8?
I’ve had a relationship with Urban Outfitters for a few years. I’ve done some charity events and some cooking things and hosted a lot of parties for them at my restaurant in LA. I was talking to someone about possibly doing some consulting work on a café here that Urban was thinking of opening and then I said, “That would be a great place for a restaurant!” And now, a year and a half later, we’re in the restaurant. It’s been a dream of mine to come back to New York and Williamsburg is the epicenter of new restaurants right now; it’s where people are doing exciting things, lots of late-night things. It’s similar to the push in New York around 2004 when all these new places were opening up in the East Village and Gramercy Park area—Momofuku and Casa Mono—and it all keeps moving East. We’ve been open in Los Angeles for almost five years, so it was time to come home.

Have you been shopping in the store yet?
I think my wife bought me some jeans! The space is beautiful, they really did a great job. It’s quite lovely. I love the renewal shop downstairs on the first floor, that’s my favorite. You just opened a bar on the roof deck, too.

What’s your poison?
I like to order very simple things at the bar. I like Irish whisky, I like single malt scotch. Lagavulin is my everyday scotch—I don’t like subtle scotch, I like something really smoky, really peaty. I drink gin; I’ll have a gin and tonic. If I’m ordering a cocktail I’ll usually have something that’s gin and a bit bitter.

How does the New York dining scene differ from LA?
New York people are very adamant about what they want, they have very high expectations of service and quality—you can’t really get anything by New Yorkers! New York is one of the most critical food scenes. Everyone works in their first six months towards that New York Times review. I’m not nervous, I just want to offer the best possible product that I can. I want it to be fun; I want people to have a good time when they’re here! Because when I’m cooking, even if it’s stressful or very busy, I still try and have fun, and I want my employees to have fun. That’s why we have an open kitchen—I want our cooks to be part of the party. I want everything to come together in an enjoyable way.

Where do you like to eat in New York?
I love going to Chinatown, I love going to Flushing. In Chinatown I love Great NY Noodletown—they have this balance of simplicity and super-powerful flavors. I have friends with some great restaurants. Casa Mono where I used to work is still probably, pound for pound, my favorite restaurant in New York. It’s tiny and the quality of food they put out is amazing. My friend Dale Talde opened two places in Park Slope—Talde is a really amazing restaurant. It just hits you in the heart, it’s really tasty and sort of Asian with no direct focus. My friend Damon Weiss is the chef at Lafaytte and he’s doing amazing French food on a very large scale. Edi and the Wolf in the East Village is amazing; [it has] Austrain roots—I like food from all over. Every time I have a meal, I’m inspired. I love places in the [Williamsburg] neighborhood: St. Anselm, Café Mogador. I love eating wherever I can, all the time.

What’s your food guilty pleasure?
Supermarket sushi! It’s gross! But there’s something about it. Like, a step below Wholefoods sushi, but not bodega sushi. I don’t know why. It’s gross in theory, and it’s gross in actuality too [laughs]. Because I’ve eaten sushi at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo at 6am and I’ve had some of the best and… that’s just not acceptable!

Studio Visit: Three Potato Four

Stu Eli and Janet Morales are moving away from owls, beards, and "I Heart NY" sweatshirts. The couple's seven-year-old brand, Three Potato Four, is a line of homewares, accessories and ephemera, for which they design and source U.S. manufacturers for antique-inspired objects. What began as an online platform to fund a mutual obsession with the thrill-of-the-hunt quickly evolved into a full-fledged business, eventually allowing Stu and Janet to create their own line of new items based on favorite vintage and Americana discoveries.  Studio visit photography by Michael A. Muller

Three Potato Four recently collaborated with Urban Outfitters' new Herald Square location on Souvenir Shop, a pop-up gift stand inside the store that offers an exclusive collection of New York-inspired objects. 

This weekend, the Souvenir Shop will pay homage to summer travels (or wanderlust) with a special postcard event. A variety of 3P4-designed NYC postcards will be available for customers to send a special message home—with pens, stamps, and a UO artist-designed mailbox included. 

Looking forward to the event, we took a quick trip to the 3P4 headquarters in small-town Pennsylvania, where we explored their studio and chatted about Charlie Brown ephemera, moving away from tchotchkes, and keeping up with trends. (If you're wondering, whales and owls are out; typography is in.)

Above: The 3P4 studio pegboard, including souvenir pendants, arrows, and a knot reference guide.

Can you tell us more about how 3P4 started? 
Stu: We started the company in 2007 as on online retail business, wanting to sell gifts, housewares, and fun novelty things from overseas that you couldn't find regularly over here. We also had a good bit of antiques, which sold really well so we decided to focus on shaping the business around that. After awhile we got into producing, sourcing, and manufacturing our own items in the United States based on the best-found or most-favorited vintage pieces. 

So this was really on the forefront of the whole Americana-influenced aesthetic that's been so big over the last few years. 
Stu: It was totally right-place, right-time; [when we started] the only place you could really shop for antiques online was on eBay. I think Etsy only had two vintage sellers at that time. All of that was in its infancy. 

Above: Framed maps, a 1950s circus poster, a mounted wooden first aid kit, and an illustrated guide to flowers

How have you avoided getting stuck in that genre? 
Stu: We've had to change our business every year based on trends and what's hot.  When we started it was all owls! 
Janet: It also helps that we have different taste and different backgrounds. 
Stu: Yeah, she has a design background and mine is in business. We are also into different things: I love '70s-'80s fun novelty stuff, like motorcycle-meets-MAD Magazine, with a touch of humor. There's so much seriousness with trends that feel really outdoors and camping-centered and, like, 'I'm an Adirondack Mountains man.'

So no more beards? 
Stu: No more beards.  

Above: Piles of paper ephemera fill a huge table in the studio wall, ranging from postcards and ticket stubs to cigar receipts and printed french fry bags. 3P4 sells "Paper Packs" of unique ephemera, each filled with a combination of numbers, type, pattern, graphics, and color.  

What about you, Janet? 
Janet: My style was originally more feminine, that's when DIY was really big. I'm a designer so I'm always drawn to things with nice type and that feel graphic.  

Above: An inventory of 3P4's linen portraits (and a taped-up reference for packing). Each of the paintings in the Portrait Study Series is based on original found early Twentieth Century artwork.

What about your own collections? What objects are you most drawn toward? 
Stu: When we first started we were big collectors: Mid-century stuff, ephemera, natural history… 
Janet: Lots of vials and specimens. 
Stu: Right. But since we've bought so much and it's passed through our hands, it's less that we keep. 
Janet: It's easier to pass things along to someone else. 

So no collections now?
Stu: Our house is pretty pared-down now. It's mostly kids' toys and laundry. 

Above: A 3P4 banner modeled after an antique biological study print of a rhino; a row of multicolor lights originally part of a seaside amusement rollercoaster ride in the 1950s. 

What have been some all-time favorite buys? 
Stu: My favorite find was a hand-carved 3D, folk-art style sculpture of Charlie Brown. It was something where there was clearly only one of them made and it was put together with such care. That said, it was clearly not for everyone! I think that's a lot of what our business is—'things' are so rooted in nostalgia. Sometimes people see something and just have to have it.
Janet: I think that's the entire idea behind Souvenir Shop—it's the feeling of going to a cool news stand full of special things, which [I think] is a hard thing to find in New York. We weaned to make new things that felt special, especially if you were a visitor.  
Stu: It's not an "I Heart NY" sweatshirt.

Above: A hand-stitched felt banner version of 3P4's Ace of Spades design, inspired by popular American folklore and iconography surrounding the Ace of Spades playing card, which was made popular by WWII and Vietnam war soldiers and then later by American motorcycle clubs. 

What other items are you continually on the hunt for? You mentioned loving natural history.
Stu: Yeah, one thing that really stands out was this set of vials filled with sand that this guy had collected and marked. For example, one filled from when he went to the Mohave Desert. I love that someone sought out to do this and kept it together.  
Janet: I think rather than always looking for something in particular, we're looking for something that when we see it, when know it. Those moments when you're just like, "This is it!" 

New York customers can visit Three Potato Four's Souvenir Shop at UO Herald Square (1333 Broadway), and be sure to stop by this weekend for their exclusive postcard pop-up, which starts on Thursday, July 3 and runs until postcards run out.

About A Guy: Thomas McDonell

Recognize this face in The Getaway Plan lookbook? It's actor Thomas McDonell, who currently appears on the CW's The 100, but whose multidisciplinary approach to work and diverse film role choices have us nodding in approval. 

The 28-year-old native New Yorker started acting in 2009, but before that worked as visual artist, showing work internationally after studying art in school. McDonell calls his initial foray into acting one big experiment—a small part in the Jackie Chan movie The Forbidden Kingdom, a role he landed after randomly going to a casting call while studying art in Shanghai. Today, his side project has taken center stage, with McDonnell appearing in big film roles ranging from an elevated bad boy Disney's Prom to portraying a young Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. It's a clever antidote to typecasting that leaves us curious about what multitasking McDonell will do—or rather, what can't he do—next? 

Shop The Getaway Plan

For the Record: Sharon Van Etten

Things people are saying about musician Sharon Van Etten’s new album, Are We There, include: 

1. “…a masterpiece, an album of extraordinary depth and sophistication that finds the New York singer and songwriter in full command of her considerable talent. (via Paste)
2. “…her most present-tense album to date, her most immediate and urgent—the peak of a steady upward trajectory. (via Pitchfork)
3. “A poignant tour-de-force, the message of Are We There is urgent, its delivery selfless” (via Pretty Much Amazing)

The record, Van Etten’s fourth, was released in late May, and like all of her work, it’s an earnestly vulnerable and deeply personal album filled with, as she explains, “songs that hurt like hell.” It is an often gut-wrenching trip through the complexities of a relationship. It is an appropriate use of the word “heavy,” but in a way that is satisfyingly sincere.  

Van Etten has spoken widely—widely!—about the album’s inception, from the break-up that inspired much of its architecture to feeding the songwriting cycle that her career has so-far dictated. 

Leading up to her UO “For the Record” vinyl signing on Thursday, July 3 at our Westover Road store in Portland, OR, we opted to lighten the mood by inviting Sharon to channel her own stomping grounds from the road—asking her to tell us all about her favorite things in NYC, from her ideal summer day in the city to her favorite haunts, from apartment horror stories to what its like to see Julie Andrews at the dentist.

This is Sharon Van Etten’s New York.

Years in the city? 

Current neighborhood? 

New York in the summer: what's on your itinerary for an ideal day?  
Bike Ride along the West Side, picnic, then read on a bench.

What was your first job in New York? 
Salesman at Astor Wines

Tell me a story about your worst New York apartment. 
I moved to Linden Street off the JZ line in 2005 and the neighbors told me they didn't want me in their neighborhood: Literally told me they didn't want me in their neighborhood after I had just moved in. They made sure I didn't feel comfortable on their block.

What's the most recent, truly great thing you saw in New York?
I saw The Great Beauty at Angelika. So moving.  So vivid.  And afterward, I went to Veloce wine bar and had amazing wine. Perfect evening.

Where in the city do you go to be alone?
I love going to Film Forum and IFC to movies by myself and wine bars, in general. Also, the Comedy Cellar when I am feeling low.

Tell me about a favorite New York memory.
I went to my dentist and as I was paying my bill, Julie Andrews walked in. I was immediately in tears. Childhood hero.

What's something very New York that you refuse to do?
Hang out in Times Square

What's something very New York that you shamelessly love?
The city skyline at the waterfront by the promenade driving in a cab at night.

Please share your best NYC survival tip.
Don't be an asshole, but be kind of on-guard while helping people. And work your ass off.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
 Living here and working here and helping people do the same.

Method of transportation?  

Bar where you're a regular? (and what's your poison?)  
Four Faced Liar, Bourbon and beer

Spot for leisurely brunch? 
Joseph Leonard

Spot for a celebratory dinner? 

Morning coffee shop and order? 
Americano at Joe's 

Favorite music store? 
Princeton Record Exchange (sorry! In Jersey!)

Music venue?  
Bowery Ballroom

Where do you get your news? 
Gothamist and New York Times

Place to see art?  

Place to be outside? 
Washington Square Park or the West Side

Easy summer day trip?  
Long Beach Island

Place for a group hangout?  
My friend Taylor's house

Place to people-watch?  
Washington Square Park

Place to be inspired?  


And if you're in Portland, be sure to stop by Sharon's UO "For the Record" vinyl signing Thursday, July 3 from 4-5pm at the Urban Outfitters on Westover Road, Portland, OR.

About a Face: Madelynn Furlong

We’re always curious about the daily beauty, hair, and skincare routines of the effortlessly made-up women we know. From concealer to coconut oil, "About A Face" is our insider glimpse into the makeup bags and medicine cabinets of our everyday muses.

Introducing Madelynn Furlong, a Minneapolis, MN-based blogger, designer, and stylist. We love Madelynn's blog Wide Eyed Legless, where she shares her pared-down approach to design and style. Think simple statements, fresh takes on classic pieces, and lots of white. Inspired by her minimalist approach, we asked Madelynn to share her equally austere beauty routine. Photographs by Caylon Hackwith.

Can you walk us through your morning routine? 
The first thing I do every morning is my oil pulling which is a relatively new habit for me, but I have started seeing the benefits from it! After that and brushing my teeth, I wash and moisturize my face. lately I have been loving the cream cleanser and anti-oxident serum from Grown Alchemist. My skin is very sensitive so I like to use as many natural products as possible. 

I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair; I typically shower at night and only wash it every so often. If I don't leave it down, I will style it in some sort of top knot or half bun and call it good. I have super thick and textured hair—a good cut and dirty hair are my two secret weapons to conquer my mane. 

For makeup, I have been loving the RMS Uncoverup. It's the perfect summer foundation. It's made from a base of coconut oil so it leaves your skin looking flawless and dewy. Then I add a little NARS matte multiple to my cheeks and lips, possibly some Eyeko eyeliner (if Im in the mood), and mascara. I always try to use cream-based products; I'm a big believer in only putting moisturizing and nourishing products on my face.

What about at night? 
At night I wash my face again and use a heavier night cream, depending on if I feel like my skin needs it. Lately its been alternating between Aesop's Primrose Facial cream and organic coconut oil. 

Above: images from Madelynn's Instagram from a lookbook shoot for Nanin

Do you have any secret products you swear by? 
Vitamin E oil. My mother used to use it on our skin as kids and to this day nothing will leave my skin and face softer and as refreshed! I also have been loving the skin stick by Earth Tu Face that I picked up a little bit ago. I'm constantly on the go, so its the perfect thing to always have handy in my purse (it also smells absolutely amazing!). 

How does health play into this? Are there any foods, ingredients, or other natural remedies you are religious about consuming (or avoiding)? 
Like I mentioned before I do an oil pull every morning with coconut oil. I also love detox baths with epson salts and sometimes a little fresh ginger as well. They work wonders on refreshing your mind, body and skin. In general I try to eat fairly healthy and drink as much water, green tea, and green juice as I can! 

Above: A low-fuss take on going out, via Furlong's Instagram

What about fragrance? What's your signature? 
I can't say that I have just one signature scent—I feel like I always smell like some sort of concoction of essentials oils. But I have been really loving the scents by OLO Fragrance- especially the Lightning Paw and Toji scents. 

Above: select beauty favorites, including Dry Shampoo by VERB.

Who are your beauty icons? 
I think I have too many! I find that I admire other women that have strong signature looks, and an ease to the way that they carry themselves, like Anna Karina, Jane Birkin, Leslie Feist, and Arizona Muse... the list goes on and on!

Can you share an embarrassing beauty phase from your past? 
I love having a bob haircut, but let's just say that before I found my current stylist, there had been many phases of awful layered cuts. Which for me usually resulted in poofy soccer mom hair.

Keep up with Madelynn on her blog and Instagram 


Special thanks for select wardrobe to Lily Stan Studio.

Summer in the City: New York Stories

From Bed-Stuy to the East Village, get to know New York City’s new stock of up-and-comers. We caught up with the dreamers and the doers that are bringing the city to life to get a glimpse into their worlds. Photography by Devyn Galindo

Anna Gray, 25 Editor at Homepolish

Years in New York: Seven
My neighborhood: I lived in the East Village for five years but just moved to Chelsea a few months ago.
I’m originally from New Jersey, moved to France when I was two, then Ireland and Virginia until decamping for NYC at 18.
My personal style is sometimes tomboy, sometimes girly, sometimes goth chick, sometimes ballerina.
I’m currently listening to Sia's "Chandelier" on repeat.
And reading a lot of Joan Didion, some John Updike and every fiction story in my pile of backlogged New Yorkers.
And seeing: Trying to get to the theatre to see Only Lovers Left Alive.
Right now I’m working on getting the Homepolish Magazine ready for a July launch! I can’t live without shoes I can walk in, my dog, my MetroCard, the weekend.
The best thing about New York in the summertime is rooftop BBQs and spaghetti straps.
I want to be remembered for being smart and funny.

Follow me @annazgray

Marcel Castenmiller, 27
Model, Photographer
Years in New York: Seven
My neighborhood: Chinatown
I’m originally from Port Moody, British Columbia.
My personal style: Jerry Seinfeld.
I’m currently listening to "Roxanne" by Cable.
And reading The Face Of Another by Kobo Abe.
And seeing: Just watched Hitchcock's Psycho this morning.
Right now I’m working on a zine and a book.
I can’t live without Ali Michael, my camera, Japanese food, cats.
The best thing about New York in the summertime is people going crazy!
I want to be remembered for falling in love.

Follow me @marcelc86

Arpana Rayamjhi, 26 Co-founder of DISPOSE, painter, sculptor, art student at The Cooper Union
Years in New York: Five
My neighborhood: I live in Union Square. I like walking around the East Village, Soho, mostly Downtown Manhattan.
I’m originally from Kathmandu, Nepal.
My personal style is anything I like and I can afford, clothes that are against the norm. I do not like trends. The ideal situation would be to make my own clothes and shoes–I already make my own jewelry–and wear only that. Nothing that involves fur and exotic animals.
I’m currently listening to James Blake, always listening to Neil Young, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Smashing Pumpkins, Bjork and so many more.
I’m currently reading critiques on Plato and Aristotle, The Communist Manifesto, Theories of Modern Art, Shel Silverstein and Little Mr and Miss books, like Little Miss Naughty, etc.
And seeing lots of stupid high school movies, some heady movies, following up on Boko Haram, The Guardian and New York Times, internet for my daily dosage of cute dogs and "restoring faith in humanity" videos and funniest game show answers of all time. I'm always looking at feminist theories and finding out about people who do amazing things.
Right now I’m working on DISPOSE, my senior thesis show at Cooper Union and figuring out what I truly value in life and how I can work towards it. That is the hardest.
I can’t live without: I do not know. I have never been in the position where I have had absolutely nothing even though I have lost a lot. And living in privileged urban places will make me want to say things like music and art and friends and all, but I think I cannot live without happiness and love.
The best thing about New York in the summertime is people everywhere (this is both good and bad), lots of things happening. Summer is when New York is at its best but its too short.
I want to be remembered for: It’s too early to say because I haven't done something radical as yet, besides going against every expectation and criticism and being myself fully.

Emily Hope, 28 Photographer
Years in New York: Five
My neighborhood: Lower East Side
I’m originally from London.
My personal style: I guess I dress quite English. Right now I’m wearing Reebok Classics, black jeans, gold chain, etc.
I’m currently listening to Telepathe.
And reading Violence, by Slavoi Zizek.
And seeing: I don’t have a TV so I don’t watch anything really, but Orange is the New Black is back on.
Right now I’m working on: I can’t say too much about it, but my friend Jaime Burke and I are starting up a creative agency, and are working on curating an art zine which will feature both our work as well as some other artists too, so I’m excited about that.
I can’t live without cameras, tea, and my mates.
The best thing about New York in the summertime is: the rainstorms in the hot weather.
I want to be remembered for being a good friend and artist.

Follow me on Instagram @emilio_hope and Twitter @emilyhopephoto

Mike Bailey-Gates Artist
Years in New York: Three
My neighborhood: Bed-Stuy
I’m originally from Rhode Island.
My personal style is a teenager going to Blockbuster to rent The Labyrinth on VHS.
I’m currently listening to feral cats in heat.
And reading It Girl & The Atomics
And seeing: The new X Men movie looks cool.
Right now I’m working on plaster molds of a baby I made. Editing videos.
I can’t live without my friends, Lemonheads, the internet, and Gatorade.
The best thing about New York in the summertime is a breeze.
I want to be remembered for change.

Follow me on Instagram @michaelbaileygates and Twitter @mikebaileygates

Ian Bradley, 28 Fashion Stylist
Years in New York: Nine
My neighborhood: East Village
I’m originally from the suburbs of D.C., Sterling, VA.
My personal style is sporty luxe.
I’m currently listening to TLC.
And reading James Baldwin Nobody Knows My Name.
And seeing old episodes of Sailor Moon.
Right now I’m working on shopping for Sky Ferreira, getting her ready for her world tour.
I can’t live without: Currently, rosé, Birkenstocks, and burgers.
The best thing about New York in the summertime is babes everywhere!
I want to be remembered for making cute outfits.


Shop White It Out

For The Record: Little Dragon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer in the City: Amoeba Music at Herald Square

Excited about the permanent Amoeba Music installation in our newest Herald Square store (1333 Broadway NYC), we spoke to Marc Weinstein, one of the co-founders of Amoeba, to get the scoop on what his brand plans to bring to the Amoeba Music record shop in their first NYC location.

Amoeba Music in Herald Square

Can you tell us a bit about how Amoeba started, and what it’s like to have grown from a small place to become such a big entity?
Amoeba started because two record store geeks got together to create a business that would be the closest thing to a mecca for record collectors, carrying as much music to do the overall subject the justice it deserves and a place that truly celebrates humankind's most "accessible" art. Our idea and our "style" quickly made many people enthusiastic customers and we grew exponentially in our first ten years of existence. Expanding our reach has been most gratifying as so many have been able to avail themselves of what we offer and have the next best thing to a big museum fully devoted to music: A place where you can actually buy the stuff and bring all that love home with you.

How has your taste in music changed and evolved over time?
My taste has only grown broader and wider in my 38 years in the retail record biz having been exposed to many new genres, scenes, and artists along the way. Mostly because we all work around other music collectors and experts all day, everyday, and get constant firsthand accounts of cool new stuff to check out—with much of this wisdom coming from the customers themselves. I am much more interested in jazz and "world" folk music than I was when I was younger. American "roots" music, too. I also now particularly love "experimental" and "improvisational" music, the stuff where amazing musicians go completely out on a limb and expose all their wackiest ideas.

What are three words you would use to describe Amoeba and its staff?
Love, passion and personality.

Amoeba Music in Herald Square

What do you think are the best albums of all time?
My "top" favorites would truly number in the hundreds and would include hit records as well as some super obscure titles. OK, I'll try. The Beatles' Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band; Sun Ra's Atlantis; Pere Ubu's The Modern Dance; Miles Davis' Nefertiti; and Led Zeppelin 4.

What will you include in your curated selection at Herald Square?
It will be a cross section of all popular genres—a small attempt to distill the half million used on out-of-print LPs that we have and hopefully a selection that will inspire people to delve deeper into the experience of listening to LPs... LPs that will show off how great the experience of bringing home something new to check out can be!

Can you talk to us a bit about selling records in California vs. New York?
For one thing, California has always had a love affair with records, with more record stores "per capita" than anywhere in the U.S. New York City might have come in a close second, at least until recently when real estate prices made it downright prohibitive for independent stores to exist. Like New York, Los Angeles is a 24-hour city and we have lines in our store right up until our 11pm closing time every night. NYC and L.A. have so much in common culturally with such utter diversity and an amazing array of art and music-related institutions. Also, like NYC, Los Angeles is home to so much media, we're almost always a part of the hype surrounding a given release which adds a lot of excitement. Both places are among the few places a store like Amoeba can thrive with such a feeling of constant cultural "critical mass"!

See more from Herald Square here!

Summer in the City: Rooftop Party with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

In New York City, as the sun goes down and the sweltering city heat subsides, the best gatherings are on the rooftops, where you can party all night and take in the view from above. We spent a summer evening on a Brooklyn rooftop, where we watched a live set by The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart against a glowing Manhattan backdrop. Here, the band’s leading man, Kip Berman, chats with us about NYC and what’s on his current rotation.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name’s Kip, I play guitar and I sing in The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. We’re from here in Brooklyn, I live up the street actually. I could’ve biked over if I didn’t have to carry my guitar!

Your new album just came out, that’s exciting!
That’s right, yeah, our album just came out in May, it’s called Days of Abandon. We were on tour in America with this band called Fear of Men, and we’re leaving tomorrow to go to Europe to play another month of shows with them, so it’s super exciting. We’re really excited about the new record.

How does it feel now that you’ve put it out into the world, is it like having a new baby?
It’s really different, actually. If you did have a new baby out in the world, you’d be really responsible for it and attend to it all the time. It’s kind of the opposite; it’s almost like you’ve put it up for adoption. It’s out in the world, and there’s almost nothing more you can do to help it grow and achieve its full potential. It’s really a relief, the release of the album. We recorded it last summer and we mixed and it’s been sitting around waiting to be released for so long. Now that it’s out there, it’s really exciting. People know the songs when we play them and seem to be excited about it.

When you set out to make Days of Abandon, did you know what you wanted it to sound like or do you feel it out as you go?
I think with our last album—it’s called Belong, it came out in 2011 and we recorded it back in 2010—we were really trying to make this big, heavy guitar rock album that was inspired a lot by the bands we loved when we were growing up: Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, Ride. It was all about making big and overwhelming guitar rock. That was so awesome and we were so happy with how it turned out, but we didn’t want to do the same thing again and try to be bigger just for the sake of it. I think it’s a real trap when bands try to make each album sound more massive than before. I think a record should be about songs and songwriting. So there was a conscious effort in trying to refocus and trying to write really good songs that we could play on a guitar for people and not worry so much about how it would sound in an arena. If we do end up in an arena at some point, I hope it sounds alright! [Laughs]

Can you tell us about the experience of recording last summer?
It was a really wonderful experience, making this record. It was a lot of fun. We did it up the street in Greenpoint, at my friend’s recording studio. He’s a guy I’ve known forever and I’ve recorded songs in his basement before. His name’s Danny Taylor. It was wonderful to work with someone who I’ve known for so long and we have such a good rapport. The thing that comes out of working with people you know and love is always… maybe 3% better. Maybe even four! [Laughs]

Do you have a favorite song on the new record?
I wrote a lot of songs after Belong came out, probably like 40, maybe 50. There’s only ten on the record, and that’s because I really believe that almost everything I do is terrible and you really have to look at yourself that way and be merciless and not think everything you do is special. We did a lot of throwing songs away after they were done, because it wasn’t up to what I thought the record should be. So if they made it to the record, they are all songs that made the cut!

One of the first songs I wrote on the record was called "Massokissed" and I really felt that it captured the spirit of the record in a lot of ways. It sort of captured the sound I wanted in a surreal, natural way. It wrote itself; I was working on another song that didn’t make the record, and I was working really hard on it, a really traditional Pains Of Being Pure At Heart-sounding song. I wanted to make it really good and it just wasn’t working, so I just put the guitar down for an hour and picked it back up and I wrote "Massokissed." It was really fast and easy. I know a lot of people like to talk about artistic struggle, but I tend to think the best things that you do are the things that come naturally and almost out of a sense of accident. That song, and I love "Art Smock" as well. It opens the record and it’s a very simple and subdued song.

You live here in New York. Do you have more fun playing shows here or elsewhere?
I think it’s a different kind of fun! I love getting to play music for people and I never take that for granted. I played in a lot of bands for a long time and I never really played outside of the zip code we lived in. To get a chance to travel and to play music is like a dream come true—but like a dream I didn’t even know I had. It’s awesome, but of course coming home and playing in New York… all your friends are there, they get to see you do what you’ve dedicated your life to, and it’s so fun to hang out. Usually when we play in New York it’s at the end of a tour, so there’s a real sense of excitement and relief, and just happiness having gone out into the world and made it home again. It’s a real thrill and I love it.

Is there a recent show that stands out as exceptionally fun?
There were so many great shows on this last tour! Chicago, at The Empty Bottle, The Troubadour in Los Angeles. It was really special for me to play in Philadelphia, because that’s where I grew up. My mom was there, my friends were there, it was at Johnny Brenda’s and was really packed and there was really good energy there. Getting to play and have your mom see you and realize you’re doing something with your life is an awesome feeling. Plus, then I got to go home and do some laundry! [Laughs]

What are some of your go-to spots around New York?
There are so many great places to go have a beer or a coffee. Maybe I’m just really stereotypical, but I really like bagels a lot. There’s this place called Baker’s Dozen on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint that I always go to for bagels.  There’s a great place on Franklin called Spina, and the Pencil Factory is right there, which is a great place to have a drink. Bagels, booze and coffee!

What are you listening to right now?
There are a few new bands that I think are awesome. One is from Gothenburg, Sweden, and they sound like they should be a really abrasive, hardcore band or a metal band but they’re not. They’re called Makthaverskan, it’s really emphatic, righteous, almost like punk pop. I love then a lot, and their record just came out this spring. There’s also Fear of Men, who we just toured with, and they just released their new record this spring. It’s called Loom. It’s really gorgeous. It’s really melodic guitar-centered pop. I think they’re great. There’s another band that I like right now, this band from the UK. They’re going to put out their record this summer, and we’ve toured with them a bit. They’re called Flowers, which is a very hard name to Google! There’s a lot of really good stuff happeneing right now, and the internet makes it easy to find your new favorite band, even if they’re from Gothenburg.

Special thanks to Brooklyn Brewery, The End., Pies 'n' Thighs, Sips and Bites and Luke's Lobster!

Summer in the City: Northside Recap

This past Saturday, we made the trek from Philadelphia to Brooklyn for Northside Festival to catch some of our favorite bands playing the Space Ninety 8 stage during the day. The event took place on Bedford Ave., and we were pretty pumped to see the street was closed off and covered in (temporary) grass, which made it perfect for lounging in the sun. After we got our fill of the stage, we made sure to hit up each of Space Ninety 8's For The Record signings, explored the shops along Bedford and admired all the well-dressed Brooklynites, taking Instax pics along the way. Read on for some of our favorite shots and to learn more about the amazing stage our store team built from scratch!Katie

The stage just starting to come together

Getting the stage ready the day of the event

Our finished stage ended up looking incredible and we have our talented store employees to thank for that. Bryan Metzdorf, one of our display artist mentors, told us, "The stage took several weeks to plan; I had to come up with a modular system that could be adapted to the different stage options that were talked about with Northside." Since Bryan hadn't seen the stage beforehand (and knowing that set-up time was limited), he had to come up with a simple stage construction using only triangles made from dowels, eye screws and dichroic window film that changed colors depending on lighting conditions, which was then assembled with zip ties.

Closeup of the finished product

Neighbors performing

Four days prior to the installation, Bryan had a team of seven local UO display artists come out to help with the fabrication and troubleshooting. To ensure a smooth build, the team broke the backdrop into eight large pieces that were easier to handle. "Overall, the display went up pretty smoothly considering all the variables, and the whole team was really excited to see it come together," said Bryan. The finished, seriously impressive product was the perfect backdrop for our performing bands. Seeing the crowd's positive reaction to the stage (and their selfies in front of it) showed that Bryan and his team's hard work didn't go unnoticed.

Mas Ysa performing on the finished stage

Stage installation in action

Top: Space Ninety 8 stage / Bottom: Bedford Ave.

Top: Loungin' / Bottom: Our first band Teen Girl Scientist Monthly waiting to go on

Left: Eagulls signing a fan's chest / Right: The best spot to hang

Top: Views of the city skyline / Bottom: 6th and Bedford

Top: The cutest bike / Bottom: Eagulls at their For The Record signing

Left: Checking out the Space Ninety 8 stage / Right: Eleanor Friedberger

Top: Flowers along Bedford / Bottom: All hands in at Space Ninety 8

Special thanks to all the bands and store employees who helped make this day a success!

Summer in the City: Northside Fest

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

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

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

For The Record Vinyl Signings at Urban Outfitters

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


(Photo credit: Sandy Kim)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eleanor Friedberger

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Behind the Scenes: Works Engineering

Works Engineering is a motorcycle garage, art studio, and living space that sits on a quiet street in Williamsburg. On any given day, you can most likely find the garage doors open, bikers passing through, motorcycles being worked on out front, and a couple of dudes hanging around outside of the shop.

The interior is filled with parts and pieces, bikes of all kinds, colors, and sizes, and a loft apartment at the rear, complete with a pool table and other man-cave essentials. The motorcycle enthusiast’s haven provided the perfect backdrop for our Shore Ride lookbook shoot, featuring a few friends and bikers from all over the city.

 See more in our Shore Ride lookbook

About A Face: Meaghan Mullaney

We’re always curious about the daily beauty, hair, and skincare routines of the effortlessly made-up women we know. From concealer to coconut oil, "About A Face" is our insider glimpse into the makeup bags and medicine cabinets of our everyday muses. For our first installment of the series, we spoke to the Brooklyn-based model, stylist, and international traveller Meaghan Mullaney about her favorite products and beauty secrets.
Photographs by Amanda Merten

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I love to travel. I've recently returned from a trip with my boyfriend to Patagonia, which was basically like visiting Mars. The most inspirational place I've ever been is South Africa; everything from the people to the landscape to the street style is insane.

What's your daily skincare/makeup routine like?
In the mornings I always use Elemis' Tri-Enyzme Resurfacing cleanser. All Elemis products are a DREAM. With a cleansed face I use Elemis' Gingseng toner before I apply Kate Somerville's oil free moisturizer. After all that, I'll throw on some Dior mascara with a neutral Nars eyeshadow. And Laura Mercier's Illuminated Tinted Moisturizer with SPF if it's a sunny day. It makes your skin have an amazing glow.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
I'm super impatient so I usually only take around 30 minutes to get myself ready.

Do you have a holy grail product?
I'd have to say the SKII facial treatment mask. It's definitely a splurge but well worth it. And Cate Blanchett uses it! Good enough for me.

How diligent are you about washing your face?
I try really hard to wash my face twice a day but let's be honest, sometimes it's only once and sometimes not at all if it's a busy day. Don't judge me!

What was your favorite beauty product as a teen? Do you still use it?
My favorite product as a teen was a lot of blue eyeshadow from MAC and too much eyeliner. Let's hope I don't use that anymore. Oh, and lots of Sun-In.

How important to you are eyebrows? If the answer is “VERY” what do you use to groom them?
My eyebrows are really important to me. I love a full Brooke Shields brow. Don't we all? I use a brown Nars shadow with a slanted brush to fill in my brows. And I always only tweeze in the middle.

What's your haircare routine like?
My hair is yet another thing I'm lazy about. I wash it once or twice a week with Komenuka shampoo and conditioner. Afterwards, I'll just give it a quick blow dry and then I use Davines hair oil which keeps it tame and makes it shiny.

Any hair products you can't live without?
Definitely my Komenuka shampoo and conditioner. It gives you mermaid hair!

Where do you like to get your hair done?
I live in NYC and the girls over at Adelaide Salon in Williamsburg know just what to do with my long locks.

What's a great beauty tip you've picked up over the years?
Sleep with braids in! It's my favorite trick. It gives your hair this really beautiful wave when you wake up.

What kind of fragrances do you like to wear?
I'm in love with any scent by Balenciaga and the bottles they use are gorgeous. I also like to switch it up with a men's fragrance. Preferably YSL Hommes.

What's your favorite nail polish currently?
I always and forever love Mint Candy Apple by Essie. It's the perfect shade of minty blue.

Everyone’s had a beauty mishap. What beauty nightmare happened to you that you lived through?
Growing my hair our from a pixie cut. Let me just say I wore A LOT of hats.

What's on your beauty wishlist right now?
Mountain Ocean Skin Trip lotion (the best body lotion and it smells like the beach), Fig & Yarrow mustard bath soak after those long NYC days, TONYMOLY Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub and Skinfoods Coconut Milk Hand Cream.

Happenings: For The Record Schedule

(Photo credit: Samantha Urbani)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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