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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.

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: Erika Linder

"I think I forgot to tell anyone I dyed my hair blonde" are the first words out of Erika Linder's mouth when we meet. Standing on a street corner outside Blue Bottle coffee in New York, the 24-year-old Swedish model's recent travel schedule has been, in a word: insane. She's on the heels of a shoot in Paris followed by a week in New York followed by 24 hours at home in Los Angeles and back to New York on a night's notice; somewhere in the middle were three days in the Cinderella suite at Disney World. (Long story.) After this: Toronto. Then Big Sur. We'll forgive her lapse in hair updates.


It's well-warranted demand — in an industry that seems cut and dry, Linder is rewriting the rulebook. Working as both a male and female model, images in her book range from personifying a young Leonardo DiCaprio to rolling around a Malibu beach in a bikini. She's striking in both a suit and a fully made-up face; it's an extreme versatility Linder carries with a cool, unflappable confidence and an eagerness for challenge. 
 
We spent the day with Erika on set of UO's newest lookbook, shot at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Westchester County. In between takes, she talked with us about Nick Carter, crying-on-cue, and how the biggest advantage you can have is simply knowing what you want. Interview by Leigh Patterson. Photography by Bobby Whigham. 

Tell us more about growing up in Sweden.

[Points to the giant field we're shooting in:] This is my vibe. I grew up probably two hours away from Stockholm, on what was basically a farm. It was our house and a farmer's house. It was everything you imagine: When we got food, we would get it for like two weeks to stock up...we had cows, horses, chickens, all that. 

Do you think about going back there? 

I've never been a big city fan. I have a vision for how I want things to be: my goal in life is actually to just get a cottage in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. People always ask, 'What do you want to do with your modeling career?' and I'm just like, 'I really just want that house.' Sweden is so beautiful, especially the countryside. So, for sure I plan to move back. I don't know when, but later. 

You were scouted as a teenager but didn't have any interest in modeling at the time, right? 

I got scouted when I was 14 outside a concert in Stockholm. I was such a tomboy. I mean, I still am, but back then, when you're 14? I imagined that being a model was more about being a princess. I played soccer and could never have envisioned myself in this industry. So after high school I went to university but I didn't know what I wanted to do. 

What did you study in school?

Funny enough, I studied law. Then I studied language — Japanese. But don't ask me to say anything in Japanese.

What! Law and Japanese? What were you thinking you'd do?

Yeah...I know. I don't know why I did that. I thought it was cool! Anyway!

Then I finished school and graduated and then was at that age where — like everyone else — I was like, 'I want to travel.' So I returned to the thought of modeling and realized maybe I should just try it. I didn't have any expectations. My first photoshoot was dressed up as Leonardo DiCaprio for Candy magazine [in 2011]. And then it just kind of took off. 

So your first job was modeling as a male — was that a hard thing for agencies to get behind?

The first year was pretty hard because people didn't know what to do with me. I get it. I mean, I'm a girl! So when they started pushing for me they were like, 'You have to be this, this, and that. You have to walk in heels.' I get that they pushed me for that. But at the same time I had my own vibe and was like, 'Well I think I want to shoot as a guy because that's how I started off.' I always had a vision that I didn't want to change myself. I still wanted to be me. 

But then I went to LA for the first time like two years ago and was really embraced — that's how I kind of became more of a 'character model' I guess. That's how it started off: LA pushed for me and that's why I am there now. 

It sounds like you've really been able to maintain a lot of freedom over what you do.

Yeah, for sure. I feel like people are wanting me for me. It's funny, I can go do the most girly shoot in Malibu, running around in a bikini, and then the next day I go shoot a suit story. I like to keep a balance between them because it's so much fun to be able to do both. And to see the pictures afterward because it doesn't look like me at all! 

It messes with you, though. I did this shoot where I was a girl and a boy in the same one. And when I saw the pictures I was like, 'Oh my god.' I'm used to seeing myself as both a guy and girl but both in one frame…I don't get it. It was weird. Then they used part of it as a commercial where I'm making out with…myself? I actually saw it for the first time when I was at a theatre waiting for a movie to start. It's playing and I hear this dude behind me say, 'You can totally tell that's a guy.' And I was like, '…Well, I guess I'm doing something right!' 

Do you think about using that versatility you've developed in your career to do other things? What are your other creative outlets?

I play guitar, drums, and piano, and I have been writing music since I was six years old. When I was a kid, I literally thought I was Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. I still love Nick Carter.

Nick Carter! Such a rise and fall!

But Nick Carter in the 90s! He was the best! I am such a 90s kid—he's my man-crush Monday every day.

With his big middle hair part?

Oh my god, yes [moves her hair to be parted down the middle a la Nick Carter]. It's so funny, once I did this to my hair and said to my friend, 'Who am I?' and she said, 'Aaron Carter.' And I got so pissed off. 

That is incredible. 

It's terrible. Anyway, I grew up playing guitar. I'm scared of doing it professionally or whatever, because I don't think I'm ready for that. It's something I want to do. But right now I just do it as a meditation. I go home and play guitar. 

I also have a movie coming out that I will start shooting in November. Have you seen "Big Fish"? It's kind of like the weirdness level of that. I can't really tell the story, not because I'm not supposed to but because I don't really get it, honestly. But I'm excited about having that coming up. 

What's a typical day when you're not working?

I play guitar, I go to bookstores...this is so boring! I go to Skylight Books in LA, that's my favorite. Right now I'm really into biographies. It's nice because you don't have to be reading it 24/7 to stay in the story. I read mostly men's biographies, recently Marlon Brando and River Phoenix. I have actually read...a Nick Carter biography.

What? When was that even written?!

I don't know! I Googled it! 

Speaking of 90s babes, let's talk about the Leonardo DiCaprio thing. 

Oh man, yeah. Well, people ask me about it now—'You know you look like a young Leonardo DiCaprio?'— and I'm like, 'Yeah, yeah...I know! I've heard it before.' I mean, I love him. One of my favorites. I just think people have adapted Leonardo DiCaprio as my male persona or something. I do love getting into that role, though. 

How did you get into character for the Katy Perry video [Linder stars in Perry's "Unconditionally" video]?

Oh man, one of the weirdest things I've ever done. First off, I had to get really emotional for it, which I just could not do. So I went into the bathroom and Googled "Lion King Mufassa dying." And, like "My Dog Skip."And I put stuff under my eyes to where they were like, stinging and watering. Everyone knew I was full of shit. 

It's great you've been able to do a lot things other than just "model."

It's crazy because I don't do what models do. But I want to do it anyway, even if I'm not 'modeling.' I'm shooting as a real person, a figure. It's not just "a guy" or a "girl." I'm going with what is. Whatever comes at me I'm just going to try to do my best. 


About a Band: Vision


All week long we'll be learning a little bit more about each of the bands in our Burger Records lookbook and feature. Up today: VISION.

Christopher Valer, Benjamin Nastase, and Phillip Dominick make up Burger Records outfit Vision. The LA-based band have been influenced by everything from Brit Pop to Nirvana's classic Nevermind, yet they have a sound all their own. Vision are a band that are truly loyal to the craft, working and sweating until the best product is done. Get to know Christopher Valer and the guys of Vision below.
Maddie

Hi guys! Tell me a little bit about how you guys formed.
All:
Christopher has always been in and out of bands in the LA music scene and he was just tired of playing other peoples' songs and he wanted to create his sound and form his own band.
Christopher: I couldn't find anybody who fit the band so I looked to my brother Phillip and our childhood friend Ben to fill in the slots and that's how it's been since.

As a band, who do you feel your ultimate influences are that carry through all of your material?
Christopher:
We all grew up together listening to The Doors and a lot of Nirvana. We feel we take the dark and serious part of The Doors with the aggressiveness and heaviness of Nirvana. Those two are our main influences but we take a lot of inspirations from a lot of Brit Pop bands like The Stone Roses, Blur, and Oasis.

What's the best part about performing live?
Christopher:
The fact that we're able to block out the world and our problems and be only in that moment.



Best summer memory ever?
Christopher:
Being in the garage, sweating, practicing drenched in sweat while everyone we know is at a pool party or a beach.

Who is your end all, be all favorite band or album to listen to in the summer?
Christopher:
Nirvana Nevermind. ALWAYS.

What's next for the band?
Christopher:
We just spent two years working on our first full-length album Inertia due to be released by Burger Records in January 2015. Aside from our new album, we're planning an east coast tour and traveling more up north and just wherever they'll have us. We just want to keep playing and sharing our music as long as we can.

Fine Print: Stephen Shore


Stephen Shore has been a known name in photography since the 1960s. Since the age of six, he's been working and experimenting with photography, specifically color, and has become an inspiration for photographers around the world. His early work depicts America at more than just face value, full of rich colors and culture. His latest project took him to Israel for a collaborative project which came to be his new book, From Galilee to the Negev, out in early May from Phaidon. We met up with Stephen before his book signing at Space 15 Twenty to talk about the book, his early days, and the Mickey Mouse-shaped camera and darkroom kit that really kicked things off for him. Interview by Maddie Sensibile

Tell us about your new book, From Galilee to the Negev, and what you wanted to accomplish with it.

It grew out of a project. 12 photographers were commissioned to go to Israel and the West Bank and we were given pretty much free reign to do whatever we wanted. Because it was a large group of photographers, I didn’t feel like I had to do something definitive. In fact, I’m not sure anyone can do something definitive in a country as complex as Israel and the West Bank, so that freed me up to explore what I was interested in. I wanted to explore a lot of the rest of life in Israel, of what daily life is like; it doesn’t avoid the conflict because that’s part of daily life, but life is much more than that.



Your book almost has the feel of multiple series put together; there are landscape shots, portraits, and lots of detail shots. Is this how you wanted the book to feel?

Exactly. There are conflicts in Israel that exist outside of the Arab/Israeli conflict. There’s a lot of contention in the country. There’s contention between Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox, there’s contention between ultra Orthodox Jews and reform Jews. There are all kinds of tensions. I wanted to not express the conflict but the idea that there are multiple voices that often talk past each other. In a way, I used multiple voices in the book which I think is what you’re picking up on.

What made you want to travel to this region of the world and make this collection of photographs over several years?
Well, I didn’t seek it out. The project was offered to me. Starting in the '90s, I began to photographically explore cultures other than North American culture. It was something that interested me, to bring what I’ve learned about getting a sense of a place and see if I can do that in a foreign place. So, I jumped at the chance when it was offered.



The book combines both digital and film photography. Do you feel that people will continue to use film even when digital photography has become so advanced?

I teach at Bard College and we still use film for the first two years. Students don’t use digital until they’ve spent two years working in a dark room; they spend at least a semester doing color processing and printing, and a semester with a 4x5 view camera. I love digital. All the prints I make are digital, all the photography I do now... I haven’t shot film since the Israel and West Bank book. I have absolutely nothing against digital. I think it’s allowing photographers to make a kind of picture that simply couldn’t have been made ten years ago. However, I think there is a tremendous amount that can only be learned through film.

You shot many photos of the Factory in black and white in the '60s. What made you want to shoot in color, as we see in American Surfaces and Uncommon Places?
There were a couple of events, one was in 1971. I started on two projects that both involved vernacular uses of photography. One was a series of postcards of Amarillo, TX, where I photographed the ten highlights of Amarillo and had the largest postcard printer in America make real postcards of them. Of course they were in color, because all postcards were in color then.

And the second?
The other series was a series of snapshots. Again, I wanted to bring a cultural reference of the style of the photograph to the meaning of it, so the image gained some meaning by being seen as a snapshot or as a postcard. This was a series called the Mick-A-Matics. They were taken with a camera, the Mick-A-Matic, which is a big plastic-headed Mickey Mouse with a lens in its nose. I had the pictures printed by Kodak, and they were also in color, and the Mick-A-Matic work led to American Surfaces. I wanted to continue something like the Mick-A-Matic, but with a camera that had finer optics than the plastic lens in Mickey’s nose. The one advantage of it, though, was every time I took a photo of a person, there was a genuine smile on their face. The other thing I really learned from doing the Mick-A-Matics was that part of the information that a picture can convey about a particular age in which it was taken is the palette of that age, which is out of the range of black and white.

What was your experience with color photography like prior to that point?
There was just one of these dumb events that could lead someone to think deep thoughts. I met a young composer at a party and he expressed an interest in seeing my photographs although he didn’t know much about photography. We went back to my apartment and I opened up a box, and his first reaction was “Oh, they’re black and white!” He had only seen snapshots, not art photographs, and he didn’t understand why they weren’t in color. He expected in that box would be color photographs. That led me to think about the snapshot and the postcard and why did this guy expect…I mean, I knew the art photography tradition. I knew color was light years from it; we didn’t see color in it. When I handed him the box, he thought it was going to be color. That, I found fascinating. I wanted to explore why he thought that. That’s when I started doing the postcards and the snapshots.

When you began taking photographs, who or what inspired you to do so?
I started because a relative of mine gave me a darkroom set for my sixth birthday. At first I wasn’t interested in taking pictures, I was only interested in taking my family’s snapshots and developing them and printing them. I did that for a couple of years. It wasn’t until I was eight and got a 35mm camera that I started photographing seriously. Before that, my real interest was darkroom work.



When you were 14, MOMA acquired your work, specifically Edward Steichen. Do you remember how you felt when that happened?
I don’t.

Would you say that was a pivotal moment in your career?
No. It wasn’t a pivotal event because I didn’t know enough for it be a pivotal event. On the other hand, if I knew more, I would’ve thought it was inappropriate to call up Steichen and ask to show him my work. So, my childish and naiveté led me to do that, but on the other hand it led me not to see it as a pivotal moment.

If you had one piece of advice for someone trying to get into photography and make it a career, what would it be?
Read my book published by Phaidon called The Nature of Photographs.

Happenings: The Impossible Tour


Impossible made a stop this week at Urban Outfitters Costa Mesa to set up their unbelievably cool portable pop-up shop in the form of a silver Airstream trailer. Impossible USA is traveling around the country until October 2014 to share the power of the Polaroid. I met up with two of the guys from Impossible, Kyle and Mitch, to learn a little bit more about what's going on inside the trailer, nicknamed "Silver Shade."

Inside Silver Shade you'll find tons of film, cameras, and an even cooler photo booth. Mitch and Kyle also lead workshops in the little nook on the left side of the trailer (which looks like it came straight out of the 1960s). Curious individuals can step inside and try out the various films and cameras as well as learn all about what Impossible is doing. While there, Mitch taught me how to use the brand's new iLab, which allows you to take a photo on your iPhone, attach it to a Polaroid camera and then print a true Polaroid. It's totally cool, so definitely give it a try if you find the tour stopping in your town.

Silver Shade just got back from Coachella and will be stopping at various UO locations throughout the year. Visit Silver Shade when it comes to your town and give analog film life again! Maddie




I'm With the Band: Drowners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

First Look: Teenage


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



How did you all connect to make this movie?

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

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

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

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

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

Who is the audience for Teenage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our World: Urban Renewal at Space 15 Twenty


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














Happenings: Urban Outfitters Heads to DTLA


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


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




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


Happenings: Miista Shoes Pop-Up Shop at Space 15 Twenty


Attention shoe lovers! For one night only, Friday December 13th, at Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd), UK shoe brand Miista are hosting their very own pop-up shop. Recently, Miista has collaborated with Urban Outfitters on a few pairs of totally rad shoes, like the Miista x UO Metallic Lace Up Boot, and the Miista x UO Georgie Heeled Oxford. From 6PM - 9PM this Friday, you'll be able to meet the Miista crew, plus see all of their wonderful sartorial creations. Enjoy drinks by Tequila de la Riva, and tunes by DJ Amy Pham. Plus, there's an Instagram contest you should totally enter: just post a photo of your favorite pair of Miista shoes, using the hashtag #URBANLOVESMIISTA, and you might just win a new pair of kicks from them! Maddie






Happenings: 'The Punk Singer'


Over the weekend I spontaneously decided to see a documentary called The Punk Singer at Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Originally premiering earlier this year at SXSW, The Punk Singer is a documentary that chronicles the life thus far of singer and songwriter Kathleen Hanna, who came onto the scene with Bikini Kill in the early '90s. The film features the voices and opinions of many strong feminists, including Kathleen herself, Kim Gordon, Tavi Gevinson, Carrie Brownstein, Kathi Wilcox, and so many more.

The Punk Singer
is a total must see, and you'll have no choice but to feel inspired after watching it. In it, Kathleen Hanna talks about her career with Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, her new project The Julie Ruin, and essentially why she has ever done everything she has accomplished. It's an excellent glimpse inside where and how the Riot Grrrl movement originated, which is what I loved most. If you're not in Los Angeles this week and can't catch the week long run of the film at Cinefamily, you can also view it in various other theaters across the country up until February, and you can also rent it on iTunes. Go see it and let Kathleen inspire you to let your voice be heard! Maddie


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone has lots of loved ones they want to snuggle up to today, and if not, we wish everyone luck on hiding in the spare room with a bottle of wine until the day is over. Either way, we love y'all.

And if anyone is braving the sales tomorrow, be careful! No flat screen T.V. is worth losing a limb over, yo.

I'm With The Band: Kate Nash

Ahead of the last gig on her recent tour of the United States, I caught up with singer-songwriter Kate Nash at The Fonda in Los Angeles to talk (amongst other things) about the release of her third record, Girl Talk, which came out earlier this year. Kate told me about her biggest role model, her experience at Reading Festival, and what she is most looking forward to about the holidays. Interview and photos by Maddie Sensibile

Maddie: You released your third record, Girl Talk, earlier this year. What was your mission when creating this album?
Kate:
When I was actually writing the record, I wasn't really thinking at all, because I was going through a lot of emotional crap. I didn't have any other way of being powerful, so I just wrote songs. I would go into my house and just explode how I was feeling. It was the only way I could be that honest when I was writing songs. 

I knew what the attitude of the record was going to be, but I didn't know how I was gonna make it until I started writing the songs. Playing bass made it sound really different. I wanted it to be an indie version of Destiny's Child's Survivor album, and bring together all the work I've been doing over the past couple of years… a really empowering album for young girls.

Maddie: Your opinions on feminism are definitely clear and very positive for young women. Growing up, did you have a role model, or is there one that is still important to you?
Kate:
Yeah, I would say my mum, really. I've got two sisters, they're both here [in L.A.] actually. My mum and dad were very open-minded. My mum was very much a debater, and taught us to argue and be challenged. She would always open debates and discussions growing up. That had a really massive effect on me. She's just a really strong woman. She's a nurse and she worked in a cancer unit when she had cancer [herself]. She's so strong, but really motherly and nurturing as well. She's my biggest role model.

Maddie: Speaking of being a role model, you're very close with your fans. Why do you think its so important to maintain this relationship?
Kate:
 Because you can. It's so easy now, it almost feels pretentious if you don't. There's a line where you should be able to switch off and have time to chill out and zone out or whatever, but there are so many opportunities now to connect with your fans, and it's a really nice thing. I have the sweetest fans as well. They're so nice, its ridiculous. They're just really nice to each other, and [have] become best friends across the globe.

It's also been really cool because I got dropped from my record label last year, and to see how supportive my fans are...it's great. As an artist nowadays, you don't have to rely on a record label or a radio hit. With things like Twitter and Instagram, and just meeting your fans, they'll always support you for that. I feel like I'm not just writing songs to be cool or to be a musician. I've always believed in revolution and change, and connection with an audience. 

Maddie: Your Girl Talk tour shows have gained some serious notoriety, stage raids included. What's the best gig you've had this year?
Kate:
I guess Reading [festival] was crazy. I was so nervous about it because I haven't played a UK festival for a few years. When I went to the tent, I was like, No one's going to be there! I'm really scared! And then the tent was packed. I could see people in the audience, either friends or fans that I've recognized from shows on the tours we've been to.

There's this band called The Tuts from the UK that have opened up for us a bunch. They're insane. Really, really fun. Nadia [Javed, vocals] will, like, crowd surf and get dropped. She doesn't care about looking stupid or anything. I've seen her slam down trying to crowd surf and failing, being stuck over the barrier. At festivals it's really hard to get over the barrier, there's like ten men lined up, and everyone was trying and getting carried off, but somehow Nadia managed to run on stage. We were all laughing so much while we were playing.


Me and Kate

Maddie: Who are your favorite artists or songs to dance to at parties?
Kate:
Mariah, first of all, is my queen. I love Mariah Carey so much. Beyonce, "Countdown," when I saw how many times I played that on my laptop, I was like, in shock. I have literally played that the most out of every song on my iTunes. Eminem, a bit of Slim Shady, you can't go wrong. Usher, R&B, Ashanti, maybe some N*SYNC, some Britney. P!NK. I love that Missundaztood album.

Maddie: You always wear the coolest outfits for every performance. What's the best thing you've worn on stage?
Kate:
Recently, I wore this costume by this designer called Bas Kosters, and it's literally made of, like, a thousand tutus. It's insane. You look at it and think, How could that be flattering? But somehow, it is. I went down on the floor after one of my songs, and one of my guitarists was just cracking up. It was just like tutus and a head. I want him to design something for me. He's from Amsterdam, he's always dressed up in crazy makeup and outfits.

Maddie: What's on your Holiday wishlist? 
Kate:
I'm obsessed with space at the moment. All I want are presents to do with space. It could be, like, pajamas that have planets on them, or one of those planet things that spins around, and a telescope. I'm so into Chris Hadfield. I've got his book and I'm going to his book signing in London.

Maddie: And the best gift you've ever received? 
Kate: It was the weirdest Christmas ever. I was 14. I had food poisoning, and I wanted these jeans from this store River Island. They were, like, bootcut jeans that were blue down the side and white down the middle, and covered in glitter. I was so excited for these jeans. We were opening presents and I was, like, puking in a bucket, and opening presents. My family was trying to still include me in the day, and I was just sitting there pretending to have a good time, even though I was destroying the atmosphere. Those bootcut jeans were like my favorite thing ever.

Maddie: Are there any family holiday traditions you're looking forward to?
Kate:
My mum makes the best Christmas dinner ever. My dad cooks the turkey on the barbecue outside. He wears a chef's hat in the garden. My mum is really obsessed with decorating the house as well--there are baskets of pine cones that have been spray-painted with silver and gold, and decorations everywhere. My dogs are like the kids now. We have Max and Molly, two Labradors, and Max, his face on Christmas! He smiles! He puked last year from excitement before anyone had opened presents. I just like going and eating and drinking during the day, and watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Since The Hobbit Two is out this year, I'm really excited.

Maddie: Tonight is the last gig of you tour. What do you have next on the books?
Kate:
I'm releasing a Christmas EP called Have Faith with Kate Nash this Christmas. I'm just going to go home [to the U.K.], and maybe do a Christmas show around that. I was in a movie last year, and that's coming out this week, so I'm going to go home for the premiere of that. As soon as I've done that stuff, I'm just gonna slob out, watch Lord of the Rings and get my mum to feed me.

Friday Download: November 8, 2013


It's Friday, so here are some end-of-the-week internet clippings for you! You know, to get you through that last hour of work. —Katie



Nathan Rabin: R.I.P. Blockbuster
Blockbuster is closing its doors tomorrow... forever. It's weirdly sad? Nathan Rabin also thought it was weirdly sad and wrote this great piece for The Dissolve about all his fond Blockbuster memories.



Cut Copy – Free Your Mind
Cut Copy released their new album this week and if this (GODFORSAKEN) time change is already starting to kill your spirit, then this upbeat album will perk you right back up. And Consequence of Sound wrote a great review about the album that tells you everything you need to know. (But if you're not into reading about music, the link above takes you to the album's Spotify page.)



Malls Across America by Steidl
This is a photography book about mall fashion in the '80s. Pretty delightful, right? The perfect coffee table book, TBH. Check out some of the preview shots in this post; I am obsessed with the Tape World store pictured above.



The National "Lean"
The National put out a new song for the Catching Fire soundtrack, and it's pretty National-y. If this wasn't already made for a movie, I wouldn't be surprised to see it turn up in several Zac Efron movie trailers. (And none of that is a bad thing. The National, and Zac Efron, rule.) This soundtrack is shaping up to be prett-taaay, prett-taaay good.



Arcade Fire "Afterlife" video (Live at the YouTube Music Awards)
I still have no idea what the YouTube Music Awards were. Does anyone? Like, where were they? Why were they? This Spike Jonze-directed Arcade Fire video from the event is pretty cute, though. Greta Gerwig is a national treasure.

Night Things "Sleeping Beauty"



Hey, if you feel like having your HEART RIPPED OUT AND STEPPED ON, then may I suggest watching this video? Our music director here at UO sent me this video to check out, so I did, and then I yelled at him through a waterfall of tears because OH MY GOD. FEELINGS. Had to pause this a minute in to silently weep. And then our other blog team member Ally also got about a minute in before she started weeping. So get your tissues, buddies, because you sure are gonna need them. —Katie

Model Moment: Stella Maxwell


We've been seeing super cool model Stella Maxwell around the office all week, so today we had a quick chat with her to find out where she's from, her secret talents, and her plans for Halloween.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Hey, Stella! Where are you from?
I'm from the U.K. originally. Both of my parents are from Belfast, but I ended up coming here [to the U.S.] to work.

And where do you live now?
I live in New York! I live in Chinatown. I just moved there last week, because before that I was staying near Union Square.

What are some of your favorite places to hang out in NYC?
I have some favorite spots to eat. It depends on what you're looking for. Like, for cafes, Cafe Select is a really cool place to go get a drink. I don't really go to clubs, unless I really want to dance.

Do you have any secret talents or weird hobbies you're into?
Secret talents? I don't know! I guess I'm pretty into fashion and pretty into dressing up and wigs and having fun with fashion. It's so easy to have fun with. I'm really looking forward to Halloween.

Do you know what you're going to be for Halloween yet?
It's a secret! It's gonna be awesome. Last year I was an Avatar. That was really good. Not sure where I'll end up, but I'm sure it will be somewhere cool.

Interview: Peace


Birmingham band Peace made a quick stop in Los Angeles this week, and I was able to have a quick phone chat with lead singer Harry Koisser while they were here. The band's had a whirlwind of a year: They've come out with their debut record, In Love, and have toured everywhere from their home country of England to Japan. Their music has an extremely unique sound that is somewhat psychedelic, but also sounds like something you've never heard before, which is unbelievably refreshing. As Harry says, the band was influenced by "everything you'd ever like." Harry told me about his favorite places, guitars, and the red velvet catsuit he just purchased. Don't fret, he's wearing it on Halloween.
Interview by Maddie Sensibile.

Maddie: Hey! How has your headline tour of the U.S. been treating you so far?
Harry: It's been fantastic, you know. I love going around the U.S.

Maddie: Your debut album, In Love, came out earlier this year, but just came out stateside. What were some of your main influences making the record, musically, or even non-musically?

Harry: Everything. I don't know really. Musically, just everything you'd ever like. We were just doing what we wanted to do, and we'd never made a record before. It was more about just doing it and making a record and writing songs. I guess we were influenced by the opportunity to do it.

Maddie: I know you've recently acquired a double necked Gibson SG, and I've read your tweets about looking for vintage guitar specialists. Is there one guitarist that really got you to become a guitar enthusiast, and eventually led you to playing music?

Harry: Guitarists... Jimmy Page was always my favorite. He's just, the one.

Maddie: Yes, he's everything.

Harry: Yeah, he's brilliant.

Maddie: Speaking of that, what was one of the first gigs you ever went to that you knew sealed the deal early on?
Harry: I don't know really! I went to my dad's band quite a lot. He was a drummer in a covers band, and he played like weddings and stuff. I used to go to those, and I guess that's kind of it, really. Seeing a band, when I was like two years old, was quite cool. It's what I wanted to do when I was really young.



Maddie: Aside from having incredible guitars, you're always dressed excellently on stage. What is the best piece of clothing you've ever worn on stage?
Harry:
I just bought a like, I don't know what you'd call it - it's almost like a catsuit. It's made of like, velour, and it's dark, dark red, almost black. It's kind of what Catwoman would wear, I guess. I've got that. I don't remember where I bought it actually. It's very good.

Maddie: You should wear it on Halloween.

Harry: Yes, I will. 

Maddie: Now, let's chat about tour. What do you guys put on your tour rider? Anything we wouldn't expect?
Harry: We don't actually put anything on it. We just say Whatever.

Maddie: You're very easy.
Harry: Yeah, we can't bother to write it, really. We used to have one, for Christmas, we used to ask for loads of stupid stuff, but now we just ask for whatever.

Maddie: What's the best city you've visited on this tour? Any place you'd really dig returning to?
Harry:
I always like going to Portland. We didn't actually play there, but we did stop there. I know it's not in the States, but Vancouver was really fun.

Maddie: What music have you been listening to lately that you just can't stop listening to?
Harry:
Queen, A Day At The Races. It's quite good. I've been writing new stuff, so I've been listening to myself, which is lame. Dom's [Peace's drummer] been listening to something awfully psychedelic. Dom's always got something terribly psychedelic from like, Budapest.

Maddie: Lastly, is there any song, new or old, that you wish you could've written the lyrics and music to?
Harry: I heard the demo of Lou Reed's "Walk On The Wild Side," and I was like, awesome. You know I've just been reminded of that 'cause he cocked it. I was thinking about that, when I heard [about his passing]. I was like, he wrote some songs that I really wish that I could've written.

Playlist: Remembering Lou Reed


Yesterday the world lost an extremely influential and groundbreaking musician, Lou Reed. Although he was a founding member of The Velvet Underground, he also had an extensive solo career, and was responsible for influencing the psychedelic and punk scenes. Beginning his career with the Underground, Reed later collaborated with other influential artists like Andy Warhol, and worked on his own solo career, even releasing the controversial album Metal Machine Music. Through it all, Reed made a gigantic impact on the world, for musicians and non-musicians alike. His work and attitude influenced and continue to influence nearly every band, old and new. Music surely would not be what it is today without his contributions. Here's a little playlist for your mind and ears to remember some of his best. We'll miss you, Lou. —Maddie





Interview: Palma Violets




Last Saturday, October 19, Palma Violets brought their extremely high-energy show to the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, and just before the gig I had the chance to sit down with them (literally, on the red, carpeted floor of the venue) to chat. Vocalist and guitarist Sam Fryer, bassist Chilli Jesson, and resident Palma Violets prophet/merch boy/band's best friend Harry Violent joined me. Here's what they had to say.
Interview and live photos by Maddie Sensibile.

Maddie: How's the Rattlesnake Rodeo Tour been treating you so far?
Chilli: It's been great.
Sam: It's been up and down.

Maddie: How was Berkeley yesterday?
Sam:
It was one of the ups, definitely.

Maddie: How does it feel to have such a well-received debut record, and to be so young still? Do you feel happy about it?
Harry: I'm twenty-two...

Maddie: I'm about to turn twenty. I know, getting so old.
Harry: Oh, to be twenty again!

Maddie: Only two years ago!
Chilli: Absolutely, it's been really great. Good reaction.
Harry: Gotta bring it down from the inside, haven't ya?



You recently released the "Invasion of the Tribbles" single with a special etching on the back, the purple "Best of Friends" vinyl, and the white "We Found Love" single as well. Do you enjoy collecting vinyl?
Sam: I think it's fantastic. I wouldn't say we're vinyl collectors, but we all have vinyl collections. We're not fanatics, we don't study it.
Chilli: Our sound guy goes to every city and picks up a little. You also need to have quite a bit of money to get a vinyl collection going, you know what I mean? On tour we need to kind of save our cash to buy food.
Sam: We've got a good collection, though. A good stash in 180.
Chilli: Most of mine are from my parents. Some that I've bought. It's building up into a good stash.
Sam: It's the best way to listen to music, to the ears.

Maddie: Speaking of all things analog, you guys use social media, but not too much. Do you think it's crucial for a band to have a strong social media presence, or do you think it's okay to keep it minimal?
Sam: We keep on being told it's crucial.
Harry: We've been tweeting, though.
Sam: These guys are trying their best.

Maddie: How do you feel about Twitter?

Chilli: Oh. By the way, I deleted it...
Harry: You deleted it?
Chilli: So, we had a twitter account, but I woke up this morning and felt like, very anxious...
Harry: Didn't you tell me something about it this morning? You told me we gained thirty or something.
Chilli: And then I thought, well then we'll just pull out.
Harry: We did two tweets.

Maddie: It was too much for you?
Sam: We're definitely too sensitive for Twitter, I think.
Harry: I'm too long winded as well.

Maddie: You recorded 180 with Steve Mackey of Pulp. Do you want to work with him again?
Sam: We're big fans. We went to go see them in Sheffield, one of their last shows ever.
Chilli: Supposed final show, in England, in Britain.
Harry: Final homecoming show!
Sam: We're big fans of Pulp, yeah. The future is unwritten as well for album two.


Palma Violets' drummer, Will Doyle.

Maddie: Who do you listen to before shows? Any specific things you do?
Sam: We don't listen to music; we actually just watch interviews. Nick Cave does good interviews, and Jesus and Mary Chain do great interviews. They're actually quite entertaining. That gets us geared up.
Harry: Sometimes Shrek and Depeche Mode as well.
Chilli: Yeah, and Zoolander.
Sam: Sometimes other peoples' music can pollute the soul, so you want to feel your own energy as you head onto the stage, as opposed to somebody else's.

Maddie: Since you guys are here, what are your favorite things to do in L.A.?
Chilli: IN 'N OUT BURGER! We've just been.
Harry: I want to go lick the sand on Venice Beach again.
Sam: Last time we saw loads of porpoises.
Harry: Call them dolphins.
Sam: I was told, "They're not fucking dolphins! They're porpoises!"