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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!



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For The Record Upcoming Schedule

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

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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:

About A Girl: Maddie Sensibile


For the past two years, our music blogger Maddie Sensibile has been our go-to gal out on the West Coast. With an eye for casually cool fashion and a knack for blending high-end and low-end pieces, Maddie's been a never-ending source of inspiration for us all. Since she's always on top of the latest music releases (she's like the Energizer Bunny when it comes to attending shows), we gave her her own column, "I'm With The Band," to give her the chance to chat to and photograph all the most talked about musicians. For this About A Girl, since we've been so inspired by Maddie for so long, it only made sense to feature her and let the whole world know a little bit more about our favorite girl.
Photography by Emmanuel Olunkwa. Styling by Rachel Ritter.



Hi Maddie! Can you talk to us a little bit about yourself and your background?


Hey! Yes. I’m 20 years old and grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA. I’m currently in my final year of college, studying Photojournalism and Anthropology. I’m a bonafide music lover and spend most of my time thinking about that!

Tell us a little bit about what you do for Urban Outfitters. How did you get involved with the Urban Outfitters blog?

I’ve been a freelance writer for the UO blog for about two years now. During the Rookie Road Trip in 2012, I met some incredible people that got me involved with the blog team, and it has been an incredible partnership ever since! I’m currently writing mostly music-related things for the UO blog and have my own column, “I’m With the Band.”



What other things are you working on in your spare time?

Right now in my spare time I am mostly working on my post-college plans which will probably include graduate school, and I also am hoping to start some sort of new lifestyle website or magazine in the next year or so. I really want to evolve my fashion blog, Obsessee into something new.

How do you spend a day off? Can you walk us through a daily routine?

Usually, when I’m not in school or busy doing something else, I like to go around LA to art museums or find new places to eat with my best friend Maggie. She always finds the best places! I’m a total foodie. I also have been really into comedy lately and enjoy going to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Franklin Village. The Cinefamily is also great, over on Fairfax. I just saw The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night there. The theatre itself is an old silent movie theatre, but now it draws interesting crowds for the quirky movies they show. As far as a daily routine goes when I’m not going out, I usually wake up, play with my dogs for a good while, and spend a lot of time on the web blogging or watching Kyle Mooney’s YouTube videos, then I’ll usually go to dinner with a friend or something later in the day. I’m guilty of enjoying being a couch potato from time to time.



You live in California. How has that shaped your tastes?


In the last two or three years I’ve become really close with people who like going to gigs and being surrounded by music. This has really helped me immerse myself in the scene here. There’s always something to do and see, whether it be in Silverlake at Lolipop Records or in Orange County with Burger Records. I think the huge wave of DIY record labels, like Burger and Lolipop, has helped people realize they can play music and be serious about it. These DIY record labels are run by extremely genuine people, which I think allows these young people new ways to produce music and put themselves out there. I think living in Los Angeles has given me a sense of freedom because there are so many creative people here. Someone is always up to something new, which is very exciting. There is a sense of purpose here, which has definitely driven me to be cultured and curious when it comes to music, fashion, art, etc.

Were there any bands your parents turned you onto that made you fall in love with music at an early age?

Funnily enough, I learned about music and everything I currently love through my own research. My parents always talk about Fleetwood Mac, though. I’d say they’re my parents’ favorite band, and one of mine too. My dad actually saw The Rolling Stones with me last year, and he’s been talking to me a lot more about rock and roll since then. We both really love Led Zeppelin, as well.



Who are some of your current/new favorites?

Lately I’ve been listening to a ton of Fleetwood Mac, specifically their Rumours record, and Stevie Nicks’ The Wild Heart. I’m also into the Talking Heads, Television, Led Zeppelin, and The Gun Club. Other, “newer” favorites for me are Arcade Fire. I’ve been listening to their new record Reflektor ever since it was released in October. That record was such a new direction for them and it is so great to dance to. I've also been listening to The White Stripes a lot, since I’m sad I never got to see them live! Seeing Jack White live, though, has filled the void. I can’t complain. The “newest” band I’ve been heavily listening to is SKATERS from New York City. I actually spoke to them last October for UO when they opened for Palma Violets in LA, and I just love their attitude and everything about them. My other go-to bands of the moment are The Babies, Twin Peaks, Mac Demarco, Real Estate, Drowners, Blood Orange, and Angel Olsen.

Your blog Obsessee focuses more on fashion than music. When did you first find yourself becoming interested in fashion?

I really became interested in fashion my freshman year of high school and then it really expanded from there. Initially I paid attention to the runways, and then it grew into a love of couture and all things ornate. I used to be into being really trendy and always wearing the newest thing, but now my love of fashion is more so a love of fashion as art. I don’t post on my fashion blog as much as I used to, but I still love to share my inspirations on the main blog, and I post more often on my Tumblr, which is more of a stream-of-consciousness for me.



How would you describe your personal style? Where do you draw your own fashion inspiration from?

My personal style mostly draws from musical icons and street style photos. British people specifically inspire me; they are so carefree with how they dress and have such a “whatever” attitude when it comes to their style. They’ll look so put together, but really they just threw on some cool leather piece that they’ve had in their closet for years. There is a book by author Sam Knee called A Scene In Between that has really become a style bible for me. The book is essentially a book made up of photos from the mid ‘80s to early ‘90s of the British music scene of the time. Knee shared photos of everyone from Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Orange Juice, and The Smiths, who all felt inspired by the ‘60s, but the look they created was grungier and all their own. A Scene In Between really explains how I see my style. It is always evolving, and always pulls from different eras, and you want to look like one person from, say, the ‘60s, but you’ll never nail it, so you just add your own touch. Music will always inspire my style because there is also a certain look that goes with a type of music. Bands like The Beatles and Nirvana really solidify that thought, in my opinion. I really love Bobby Gillespie’s style and Mick Jagger’s, from the earlier days of The Rolling Stones. My style is minimal, androgynous, and includes lots of stripes.

You’re also a talented photographer. When did you first become interested in photography? What cameras do you like to work with?

I started learning about photography in middle school when a few other friends of mine became interested in it. I took a liking to fashion photography early on, then moved onto art photography. I mostly like to work with film cameras, usually just little cameras I can take with me anywhere. I specifically like this one Canon AF35M camera I bought for $20 a few years ago. It has never let me down! It was Canon’s first point and shoot camera, which is super cool to me. When shooting film, it is really fun to play with older cameras, and toy cameras, as well. I do shoot digital more often when it comes to my work at school, and I admit, I may be a convert! But right now, shooting film and working in a darkroom is my “happy place”!



Are there artists, photographers, etc that you admire?

My favorite artists and photographers are Andy Warhol, Stephen Shore, Alia Penner, John Altoon, and Nan Goldin. I met Stephen Shore a few months ago and I was so starstruck. I think his work is my favorite because it incorporates aspects of both art and photojournalism and is very open-ended. Shore’s work really focuses on the open-road which I really love. His early color photography is so vibrant and always excites me when I see it.

Do you have any advice for other young girls who are looking to become journalists/photographers?

My best advice for girls who want to be successful in the future is to always let people know that you are willing to work and put out the best work that you can. That will always be noticed and that is what has helped me the most in the last few years. Making yourself and your career goals known will always help you achieve your goals.

What are your plans for the future? How would you like to be remembered?

I’m hoping after college and graduate school I can work as a journalist who focuses on mostly music and art. Right now I’m also very interested in museum studies and becoming a museum curator. I’d love to work somewhere like the EMP Museum in Seattle working specifically on music history exhibits. I’m hoping I can use my studies in anthropology to help me with that. I’d like to be remembered as someone genuine and as a creative professional!

Shop Maddie's vinyl picks

Dreamers and Doers: All Roads Design

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 are visiting the LA workshop and textile studio of All Roads Design owned by Janelle Pietrzak and Robert Dougherty, who combine their interdisciplinary skills to create one-of-a-kind weavings, large-scale installations, objects, and furniture. 

With Janelle's background in the fashion industry background and Robert's in carpentry, building, and welding, the couple has used their combined expertise to turn what was once a homegrown hobby into a full-time business. Read on for our conversation with Janelle about her process, background, and finding inspiration in her surroundings.


How did this all start? 

Janelle: For 10 years I worked in the fashion industry — in apparel and accessories design or in fabric sourcing. Essentially, I have been working with textiles for over 15 years: sewing, sourcing, or weaving by hand. I loved my job in the industry most when I was sourcing inspiring vintage textiles and developing them into modern wearable fabrics. I got to visit mills, and I learned how fabrics are constructed…this foundation made it an easy transition to weaving my own fabrics and tapestries. 


Can you share some specific sources of inspiration? 

Janelle: My biggest inspiration is the landscape around me. I live very north in LA in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains. The weather is hot and dry, and the mountains are covered in grasses that are dead and yellow. I love this golden color, especially when it contrasts with the deep green cyprus trees. 

I am inspired so much by friends around me that are creating beautiful things. I love going to my friend Joanna William’s textile studio Kneeland Co. for overwhelming color and texture inspiration. She has an incredible reference library of books, textiles, and objects anyone can go sift through for design inspiration. 




How would a good friend describe your aesthetic? 

Janelle: Heavily influenced by the 70s, with a focus on natural fibers. Bohemian Americana. 


Offer some advice to your 20-year-old self. 

Janelle: Keep doing all those weird, obsessive art projects; they will be good experience for later. 


Your brand's mantra is “All roads that you travel in life lead you to where you are now.” Can you share a story about a weird past job? 

Janelle: Yes! After I left New York, I got a terrible job at a uniform company in the suburbs of Philadelphia as a 'designer.' It was a huge culture shock after living and working in New York. They didn’t really need a designer, they just hired me to be a quality control manager in the warehouse. I kept trying to make the Catholic School uniform blazers shorter and cropped, like a cute little boy blazer. The office had that gross office carpet, and it smelled like old coffee stains. The owner had a huge office, like a cliche 1990s executive style and drove some kind of fancy sports car. He walked in every morning and asked one of us ‘girls to make coffee.’ I always refused! I got fired after three months. 


Walk us through a typical day-in-the-life for you now. 

Janelle: On work days I wake up around 7 or 8, have iced coffee, and then answer emails and work on quotes for new projects. My studio assistant comes in at 10, then we get to working. I make lunch and we take a break, then work more and usually afternoon the studio starts to get really hot in the afternoon sun and we sweat! We stop work at 5 so I can make it to swim practice by 6. After being hot and cramped over a loom all day, swimming is a great respite. After swim practice I come home and Robert and I have dinner. I am usually in bed around 10. 



Tell us something we do not know about making a weaving

Janelle: I usually weave my pieces upside down on the loom. Also, good posture helps a bit, but it does hurt your back! 


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

1. Cold brew coffee! My studio assistant roasts coffee beans at home with her dad — Robert calls her our official coffee broker. 
2. Swim practice every day helps my anxiety. 
3. Blue…everything 
4. Weaving on my new Saori loom: I don’t get much time to use it..but is is really relaxing and fun to use. 
5. Camping and California trips with Robert. 


Complete the thought: 
I like it when…The weather is cool and it rains (rare here in LA)
I never want to be asked…to copy someone else’s work 
Success is…having your own hot tub! We hope to have one some day.
My biggest fear is…going back to work in an office 
I’d like to be…doing my work full-time for a long time!
I’m secretly obsessed with…none of my obsessions are a secret
The most fun I ever had…driving across the country when we moved to LA a couple years ago was both fun and boring! But a really great experience.
I am looking for…the perfect coffee table, and also some cool hanging Brutalist lamps for the living room 
I dislike…bees. I am so scared of them 
My style icon is…Japanese-denim-linen-indigo style 
I dread…crowded social situations 
I am good at…connecting with people 
I am bad at…math skills and small talk 
I recommend…making your own cold brew every night 
I couldn’t live without…caffeine: green tea or coffee


Click here to watch our first Dreamers + Doers video with woodworker Shaun Wallace


Friday Download: August 8, 2014

As summer keeps rollin' on, so does the internet. Another week means another pile of tunes, good reads, and movie trailers. See a handful of our favorites from this past week below!



Merchandise "Green Lady"
This song is so good. Merchandise kicked it up a notch with the synth in this one, and man, is it working. Makes me feel like I'm starring in my very own melodramatic '80s movie. (via Stereogum)



"Everything Happens So Much"
This piece over on Pitchfork (yes, the title is a Horse ebooks reference) by Lindsay Zoladz about music being available all over the place, forever, because of the internet, was an interesting read, as well as The Atlantic piece she linked within it which talks about internet streaming and why it's so bananas. I felt very internet overwhelmed after reading these, so read at caution if you don't want to feel guilty for sitting on Buzzfeed three hours a day, endlessly refreshing.



Banks "Beggin For Thread"
We chatted with Banks earlier this week (interview coming soon!), right before she was set to perform on Fallon for her first television debut. She did absolutely amazing and was also wearing a cape, so if you don't love Banks even more now, then yikes.



Cayetana "Scott Get The Van, I'm Moving"
We've been loving everything we've heard from Cayetana and this newest one is no exception. Very, very excited for their LP Nervous Like Me. (via AV Club)



Saved By The Bell: The Unauthorized Story
Oh my god, what are you even doing, Lifetime? (via Vulture)

Dreamers and Doers: Shaun Wallace


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. 

To kick off the Dreamers + Doers series, we are highlighting the work of Shaun Wallace, the Santa Barbara-based woodworker and builder behind Gopherwood Design/Build. Shaun got his start as a UO Display Artist in 2009, and has since gone on to develop his own brand, where he conceives and constructs projects ranging from intricately hand-turned wooden bowls to large-scale installations. Talented, humble, and hard-working, we keep collaborating with Shaun as much as we can — most recently, he was part of a team that constructed an complex three-part display build-out inside the new location of our Westwood store, relocating down the street into an expanded space later this month. 

We asked Shaun to let us follow him around for the day and learn more about how he works, what influences him, and how taking on challenges produces the biggest rewards. 

Above: Shaun at Westwood — all in a day's work

How did this all start? 
I grew up in Huntington Beach in the '80s. It was a time of expansion for most the communities in Southern California and my father worked as a framer all over the Southland. As early as age 15 I was working summers on jobs in LA, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. I was a laborer at first, but as I got older and more skilled I was introduced to all the general tools of woodworking. I fell away from construction during college and worked as a butcher for a number of years. 

During this time I began painting ply panels as gifts for friends, a creative outlet that eventually landed me a job as a visual merchandiser for Nordstrom. [Then in 2009] I found a great fit for my passion at Urban Outfitters as a Display Artist in Santa Barbara, an area where I still live and work. While working with UO I was fortunate enough to travel all over the US and Canada and meet dozens of other craftsmen and artists. This period is where I really got serious about what I do: I rented a small shop and started working nights and weekends for friends and clients who found me by way of UO. I was also making small goods in the shop when work was light. I made a set of wooden brass knuckles for some friends at the UO home office and a live edge ray gun for a charity auction…[and also] started making them for sale at [UO stores]. I left Urban Outfitters two months ago to go full-time with my company, Gopherwood Design/Build


Above: The register build-out and details within Shaun's recent project at the new UO Westwood location.

Can you share details about the recent Westwood store project you worked on?
This Westwood project consisted of three separate areas of the men's store sharing a consistent build: a 16x18 foot wall, a 12x12 foot stand display, and a cash-wrap station. From the get-go I saw an opportunity to hone my router skills by incorporating a quarter-inch dado [a groove cut into one piece of wood so that another piece of wood will fit tightly] in all of our horizontal boards and joints. We agreed it would elevate the detail and strength of the build, as well as speed up installation.

We milled and ripped for a couple days, installed framework and built interior frames for about three more, and finally installed everything pictured in about a day and a half with the aid of a couple scissor lifts.  



Can you share some sources of inspiration? 
I like drives on the 101 to the north: the ranch lands of the central coast are awe-striking. 
Talking shop with my dad for hours. 
Walking my friend Don’s sawmill up in San Luis Obisbo. 
The work that other dudes put on Instagram (check out @Etrine, that guy’s next level). 

How would a good friend describe your aesthetic? 
Heavy! Everything I make weighs too much. Or maybe something like: raw, contradictory, and fun. 

Above: Various projects at different stages of progress, via Instagram

Offer two pieces of advice to your 20-year-old self. 
1. When given the choice between the easy thing and the hard thing, do the hard thing. It’s never a waste of time or talent. When you have the strength and patience to strive through adversity the rest of life is easy. 

2. Give of yourself. Whether you donate talent, money, or time. Giving is a key source of happiness. It’ll keep you humble. 



What one thing you’ve made are you most proud of? Alternatively, tell us a story about something you made that was a huge flop. 
Most proud of: A month ago I built a mid-century dry bar for a client here in town. It was my first attempt at fine cabinetry. It had inset lighting, custom glass doors and mirrors, push touch drawer sliders, and drop-leaf bar surface. The whole thing was very clean and worked beautifully. 

Flop: I made a simple bench a couple years ago. It was made using some pine that we salvaged from a sawmill's trash pile. It was big, beautiful, and looked bulletproof. And it was, until the summer sun hit 90 degrees. The thing started oozing pitch like a stuck pig. Now every summer I have to go back to the restaurant where the bench is and refinish it. It’s still barely usable on one end. Now I pay for the kilning no matter what. 



Walk us through a typical day-in-the-life. 
7am. Instagram. Coffee. Emails. Design time if needed. Shopping if needed, this involves the very important BS session with the local vendors. Back to the shop and turn on the dust collector, get dirty for a few hours. Lunch in my courtyard. Emails again. Back to the machines. Make dinner plans with the lady. Glue and clamp for tomorrow or sand and lay down a primer coat. Sweep the shop and game plan for tomorrow. Wednesday and Thursday evenings my apprentice comes and we’ll work until 8pm. I also keep the grounds for my church so there’s a lot of small tasks that I'll throw in to the mix to keep it interesting. 


Above: More Urban Outfitters build-out projects

Can you share some items on a recent to-do list? 
For my last project I did 44 side tables for the Alamo Motel. That project looked something like this:

Glue up 6x6 fur beam to 18x18x24 block for sample table. 
Chain saw to geometric footprint, add leather and tack. 
Sample approval and materials deposit. 
Send sample to mill for duplication. (Request kiln dry!!!) 
Shop for leather (4 full sides, one double shoulder).
Order tacks and fabric guard online.
Home Depot for polyurethane, sandpaper, tack hammer, etc. 
Receive delivery of table blanks, pay mill. 
Sand and polyurethane 44 of these 65-pound chunks of pine. 
Rough and finish cut leather tops. 
Adhere leather to wood, bevel finish, and saddle soap. 
Wipe down and fabric guard. 
Hand-nail 100 antique finish brass round top tacks to each table. 
Stack in the corner and order the U-Haul. 
Load Drive up to Los Alamo and unload. 
Try and talk Chris into making the beds too. 
Cross fingers and make bed sample. 

Above: A table for the Ojai Rancho Motel in Ojai, CA.


Complete the sentence: 

I like it when…it rains 
I never want to be asked...for a refund 
Success is…just being happy 
My biggest fear is...going blind 
I’d like to be…in Thailand
I’m secretly obsessed with…awful romantic comedies
I am looking for…a foot massage 
I dislike…forgetting my sunglasses 
My style icon is…Chris Woodhead 
I dread…lock 
I am good at…making pancakes 
I am bad at…keeping a diet 
I recommend…Tom Waits 
I couldn’t live without…salsa


All images courtesy of Shaun Wallace

About A Band: Jenny Lewis


Jenny Lewis is no stranger to collaboration. She began her musical career with Rilo Kiley and has worked with more musicians than we can count, including The Postal Service, Bright Eyes, The Watson Twins, Johnathan Rice, and most recently, Ryan Adams and Beck for her newest album, The Voyager, out now. Celebrating the release of The Voyager and gearing up for a few For The Record vinyl signings, she chatted with us about her many collaborations, her fashion sense, and growing up in the desert. Photography by Autumn de Wilde



Hi Jenny! Thanks so much for chatting with us. How are ya?
Doing well, thank you!

We’ve been big fans for years and years!
Well, thank you!

So, how excited are you about The Voyager finally coming out?
I’m pretty excited considering it took quite a while to complete. I feel like I can relax a little bit now that it’s done.

You worked with Ryan Adams on the album. What was that like?
It was wild! I reached out to him directly, via Twitter. I think I DM-ed him! I was on tour with The Postal Service and we were wrapping it up after Lollapalooza last year. And so I reached out to him because I had a new song that I wanted to record. And he said, “Yeah, come on down to Pax-Am, come check it out, and we’ll record your song.” And by the end of the day, we recorded two songs, and then he asked if I wanted to come make my whole record at Pax.

That’s amazing!
Yeah, it was exactly what I needed to get over the hump of this record. I didn’t want to be the captain of the ship anymore. I was happy to be the skipper.

That was the 10 year reunion tour with The Postal Service, right?
It was. It was really exciting, so fun! It’s like a rock and roll dream come true, where you disappear for a decade and come back and play two sold out shows at Barclays Center. That shit never happens!

Are there any songs that will always feel extra special to you?
My songs are like my kids in a way, so it is hard to choose. But I think I’m drawn to a song over time when it can exist in different ways. If you can strip a song back and play it on an acoustic guitar in a room with your friends, then it’s something that sticks around for a little while. Some songs are tricky and I can’t play them outside of Rilo Kiley, they just don’t make sense. I feel like "Silver Lining" is a song that’s really flexible in that way.

I feel like I’ve witnessed something very rare in your musical history. I’ve seen The Frug live.
Oh my gosh! Oh wow, that is a really rare thing. Did I do the dance?

You did! It was incredible!
[laughs] How embarrassing! It’s funny, because I didn’t even realize when we were writing that song that I was referencing Troop Beverly Hills. It didn’t occur to me, and then someone was like, “Yeah, don’t you remember? You did The Frug in Troop Beverly Hills with Shelley Long?” And I was like, “Ohhh, that’s where I got that from!”

If they did a remake of Troop Beverly Hills, would you do it?
Would I play like the older, wiser one?

Yeah, like they get the old gang back together.
You know, I would seriously consider it.



In addition to your acting history and musical prowess, you’ve also become quite a fashion icon. Is that something you identify with?
Oh, well that’s so nice to say! I certainly have never set out to be an example or a trend, I just wear what feels appropriate at the time. But I have noticed over the years when I look out into the crowd, that the fashions are always just a little bit behind what I’m doing. You know, when I was touring Acid Tongue, for example, the kids were dressed like I was for Under The Blacklight, like hot pants and glitter and gold lamè! And by the time Acid Tongue was finished and we were doing Jenny and Johnny, I had moved on to like a ‘50s greaser kind of thing, and the kids were dressed like I was on the cover of Acid Tongue, in bellbottoms and a hat, out there flashing peace signs!

Will you ever put out another one under Jenny and Johnny?
I’d like to! We shall see. Johnathan [Rice] and I continue to write together for my records, his records, and we wrote a bunch of songs for an Anne Hathaway movie. We’re always collaborating on stuff, and I’m sure that when we write something that feels really ‘us’ it will inspire another J & J record.

That’s the second movie you’ve worked on a score for, that’s very cool.
Yeah, that is the second one. The first one I did by myself, and then exactly a year later we were asked for Song One and I was so relieved to have Johnathan and Nate Walcott from Bright Eyes. It’s a big responsibility, it’s a lot of hard work and homework. There are a lot of revisions when you’re working on a film because it’s so collaborative.

How does that differ than making songs for your own album?
Well, you’re not writing for yourself, which is a really fun exercise. You’re writing for a character, and in the case of Song One, we were writing for a male singer/songwriter. To flip the gender roles like that was really exciting for me. Although I think we created a very sensitive man [laughs]. The sweetest, most thoughtful guy ever.

You seem to really collaborate a lot on your solo work.
Yes, I need a lot of help [laughs]! I come from a band, so I’m used to sharing the responsibility and I’m used to collaborating with people. I love it. When I first got into music, I knew nothing about music. I just knew how to write words and put them to simple chord progression. I learned everything being in a band. Standing alone and being a solitary solo artist isn’t as comfortable for me, so I try to be as inclusive as possible.

You were actually born in Las Vegas, but do you identify with that at all?
I’m pretty much a Valley girl, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. But I do go back to Vegas on occasion. I mean, none of my family stayed in Vegas. But when I do go back, I feel a certain kinship with Las Vegas. I feel very comfortable in a desert mini mall out in the middle of nowhere. For whatever reason, that’s like when I’m in my element.



Vegas is a kind of weird place.
Kind of weird?! It’s the weirdest place on Earth! It’s so strange. You can stay indoors for three days in the AC and never see the real Vegas, but the way I grew up when I was a kid–we lived in an apartment complex and my parents worked in the casinos–our life was very separate from that.

Back to fashion a little bit, tell us about your amazing rainbow airbrushed suit!
Oh, man! Well, for every record since Rabbit Fur Coat, I’ve collaborated with Autumn De Wilde and her amazing team in Los Angeles. So we always get together and pow-wow about what the look is gonna be of the record I’m about to put out. So for The Voyager, we wanted something slightly cosmic. I was referencing Gram Parsons and those famed nudie suits he wore. They’re beautiful! It’s kind of a nod to country western music, but I also wanted it to be more modern and reflect when I grew up, which was in the ’90s in Los Angeles. So it has kind of a graffiti element to it.

Are you wearing it on tour?
Yes, I’m going to wear it as much as I can! But I’m playing a lot of summer festivals so I may have to rethink the three-piece polyester suit. You know, if you wear a suit like that, it does like half of the work for you. You’re like, “here I am! I’m in this rainbow suit!” and everyone’s like “Hey! Who cares about the music!”

I’ve heard you also love wearing tracksuits!
[laughs] It makes me happy, it keeps me very comfortable when I travel. I used to wear oversized tracksuits when I was a kid and so lately I’ve opted for a kids medium, that’s the size that fits me! I’m a total shrimp. They’re a little high-water, which I like. I’m dying to do a collaboration with adidas where we cop my rainbow airbrushed suit and make that design on a tracksuit. It would look really cool.

I would totally buy that!
Exactly!

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For The Record Upcoming Schedule

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.) 4pm-5pm
9/10 Banks: UO Brooklyn (98 N. 6th St.) 6pm-7pm

Come out and get vinyl signed by your favorite artists!

Shop The Voyager

UO Live: Jungle


The next up in our newly-premiered UO Live series, Jungle takes a break from their first US tour to perform "Busy Earnin’" to an intimate audience. On the heels of a breakout TV appearance and releasing the much-anticipated self-titled album, Jungle’s T talks to us about the secrets behind the mysterious group’s process, working and touring with his best friends, and never taking any of it for granted.



Hi T, can you tell us about yourself?
I’m T, from Jungle. I guess there’s not much else to say, really (laughs).

You guys have known each other for a long time, right?
Yeah, I’ve known J since I was 10 years old.

What’s that like, to now be traveling the world and working and making music together?
It’s really good, it’s our relationship that keeps us grounded. It helps in the studio as well, because when we’re creating together I’m not afraid to tell him an idea is bad. We’ve known each other so long and we know each other so well that I’m not afraid of hurting his feelings and we’re always honest with each other like that, rather than spending three weeks working on an idea that isn’t good. We can immediately nip it in the bud.

Do you ever fight?
Yeah, of course! I think it’s actually a good thing that we do that, because then we can take our frustrations and our fears out on each other. We know that we don’t mean it and we know we can be there for each other and kind of be an emotional punching bag.

Your recent performance on Jimmy Kimmel was incredible. What was that experience like?
That was a really cool experience, it was a completely new experience. I think with the project, the great thing about it is that we take each day as it comes and I don’t think we’re scared of anything because we’re all in it together. There’s such a great team of people behind it. We’re so lucky to have been able to come to the United States in the first place that I think we’re not taking it for granted. We’re really focused and energized.

Had you been to the US before this tour?
I’ve been to New York once. Yeah, it’s a bit of a dream! When you get to LA and you see all those palm trees.. there are too many palm trees! And we’re touring with Beat Connection, which has been great. It’s been really special.

So now you’re traveling all over the States, seeing everything.
Yeah, that’s the beauty of it!

Are there any cities or shows on this tour that stand out to you?
The El Ray in LA was the first show, and that was pretty special because it was an amazing theatre. It was really full and everyone was really happy. I got all the nervous energy out of my system and I think that was a really great place to do it. Everyone has been really amazing, and the response in all the cities has been overwhelming and surprising.

Tell us about the new album.
I’m really excited about it. I think it’s been inside our heads for so long, it’s a really special thing to be able to release it and give it to people to make judgment on, to form their own opinions. It’s kind of beautiful; we have the control on the stage or in the studio, and it’s nice to now put it out there and not have any control whatsoever. You free yourself of that worry.

How long did you work on it?
It took about 12 months in total. A lot of that was interrupted by the early days of forming the live band. That took a lot of time. So maybe 3 months, solid focus, day in and day out.

When you first went into the studio to make the new album, did you go in with a clear idea of what you wanted it to sound like, or do you feel it out as you go?
I think with me and J, we literally just sat down, and our mantra was that whatever feels good, we go with. Whatever sounds cool and whatever sounds unique is where we start from, and then our influences and subconscious takes over a little bit. When you’re being so conscious about creating–being very focused on the task at hand and trying to create something new–you completely free your subconscious of negative thoughts. The what if, or why, when, how. That’s the really interesting thing about it, the whole record has kind of been a battle between our conscious and subconscious.

Jungle has been shrouded in mystery until recently–was this intentional?
Being mysterious was never the intention. I think the intention was to remove our egos from the process of creativity and the idea of a front man, someone who has to be the alpha. It’s quite a negative thing in my eyes. A shared experience that is more focused on a group mentality and a set of ideals rather than a set of individuals, that’s much more important to us. In a way, it’s sort of the old way of going about things. We’re not after Instagram or Facebook likes. People used to not know anything about musicians. We’ve chosen to communicate with the world through our music.

You’ve still cultivated a generous following, which is really refreshing in this technology age.
Yeah, I guess you don’t see it as a bigger picture. We don’t have that same sense of scale. Every night is a surprise, selling so many tickets. We don’t expect it, how popular we are, because we don’t tend to focus on that aspect of it.

You worked so hard to make the album, do you feel like you’re celebrating it over and over each night when you perform?
Yeah, I think what we really love is making the connection with audiences. Sharing that energy and experience with as many people as possible.

What’s it like to travel the world, live your dream, and experience so many things with a crew of your best friends?
It’s amazing! It’s a real privilege, I don’t think we’ll ever take it for granted. Each day is different; we’re in a different place, or on a different road, in different circumstances. It’s very exciting.

Shop Jungle

Friday Download: August 1, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! There's so much beautiful garbage on the internet every week that I want nothing more than to share every special moment in this one post, but I've (somehow) managed to narrow it down to five favorites this week. Read on to see my favorite internet gems of the week. Katie



Janelle Monae "Electric Lady"
Janelle Monae is literally the only person in the world who can make those little Samsung watch phones look cool (re: the first 30 seconds of this video), and I now want one to take pics of all my cute friends. ("I saw Janelle wearing a bulky Samsung phone watch so I bought a bulky Samsung phone watch.") But forreal, this video rules.



Sophie "Lemonade"
A new little boppy song from Sophie! I was curious to see what would be the next big internet tune after "Bipp," and I think I still like "Bipp" more, but for weird electronic jams, this one is pretty catchy.



Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Somehow I had no idea that this "Running Wild" show was happening this week, which seems like a real shame because Zac Efron is probably, like, #4 on the list of things I love. In this episode with Zac Efron, Bear and Zefron repel shirtless down a mountain together and Zac even kisses Bear on his sweet face after Bear farts in his sleep. (Zefron also has a long laugh by himself over the whole thing, because he is an angel and gets humor.) If that's not true friendship, then I don't know what is. Watch the whole episode here.
(Photo via NYDN)


Stuff Drake Does Twitter
Boy, this Twitter account Stuff Drake Does only has 22 tweets so far, but they're all gold. I just reread them for a second time and laughed aloud, again, and that's truly something special. IDK what we all did to deserve Drake, but thank you, universe.



Twin Shadow "Locked and Loaded"
A new Twin Shadow song was premiered in the most recent episode of Comedy Bang Bang and it's totally buried close to the end (start playing around the 1:02:00 mark), but it's so good and so beautiful. Emotions. :(
(via Pitchfork)

UO Beauty: Contouring


What is contouring, you ask? It's that magic beauty trick that makes everyone look like a goddess. Even though contouring is a little bit more involved than just slapping on some blush and heading out the door, it's a great way to amp up your regular makeup look for a night on the town. And since there are now a million YouTube videos for just about every beauty technique out there, the whole process is even easier. Read on for some of our favorite tips and products.



Okay, so you're ready to contour. Great! We're here to hold your hand and pet your hair as you head out on this daunting journey. First of all, make sure you start out with a good brush. At UO, we like to use this angled one from Japonesque, because the angled handle makes it easier to control. (We're not sure why, but we're guessing science.)

Now, when you're contouring, you want to make sure the look you're creating is natural looking. What you're trying to achieve is a slightly more sculpted face. To start off, you want to use a darker product than normal in the hollows of your cheeks, because you want to create a fake shadow (that's what makes the cheekbones pop). Don't get in there with bronzer if you're very fair, because you'll just end up looking like you smeared some dirt on your face. We like this bh Cosmetics palette because of the variety of colors, but there are plenty of options out there for a variety of skin tones. For creating the "shadow" in the hollows of your cheeks, you'll want to stick to a color that has beige or even gray undertones - that'll help it look most like a natural shadow, and not just makeup that's been plopped randomly on your face. The illustration above is a great, quick reference for where to put this color.



While doing this, remember you absolutely don't need to use a lot of product for the contouring, and when you do apply it to your face, make sure it's blended well into the skin. And try to do your makeup in direct sunlight, because contouring can go horribly wrong if you're sitting in a dark bedroom - you'll end up looking very makeup-y the second you step outside. After you have the color applied, you want to make sure all the lines are blended away (we like to use this Stila brush, specifically made for contouring). It definitely takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's like second nature.

After that, top off the apples of your cheeks with some blush. Whatever blush you normally use is fine. Then, top that off with some highlighter to really accentuate the cheekbones. It's a lot to get the hang of at first, especially if you aren't a beauty guru, but it's super fun to play around with and to see how close you can get yourself to looking your absolute best.

So, there you go! Obviously everything is always trial and error, but these tips and resources should send you all on your way to becoming the most beautiful and talented makeup geniuses. Good luck!



Shop Beauty

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

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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!

Friday Download: July 25, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! We rounded up some delightful internet tidbits for you, but read fast and then head outside - it's beautiful out there, and you aren't going to wanna miss this sunshine. #SUMMERFRIDAZE



Banks "Beggin For Thread"
This newest song uploaded by Banks from her upcoming Goddess LP is sooo good. It's a little more upbeat than what we're used to hearing from Banks, and I'm a big fan. (via Idolator)



Ryan Adams "Stay With Me"
This past week, Ryan Adams started touring with a full band again, and he debuted a few new songs from his upcoming self-titled album. Here he is playing his new song "Stay With Me" at the first show of his tour (his banter!!). And if you feel like weeping at your desk this Friday, here he is closing with "Come Pick Me Up." (via Stereogum)



If I Stay
Listen, I know this looks corny. I know they are using that horrible, cheesy "SAY SOMETHING I'M GIVING UP ON YOU" song. I know of all this. But there's also a sad grandpa. And a boyfriend playing guitar romantically. And tragic, loving parents. So, yes, I will weep at this in theaters. Let's all weep at this, together.



Fifty Shades of Gray
Yeah, I know. We've all seen this trailer already. But I needed to post it again because I need to talk about how surprised I am that Focus is involved in this. And the fact that this definitely, absolutely looks like it's going to be a horror movie for the first 1.5 minutes. And the fact that all I can think of with the whole, "There's not much to know about me. I mean, look at me," line is the "She's got glasses and a ponytail! And paint on her overalls!" line from NATM. And Beyonce is involved, which is surprising? (Even though we all know Bey has terrible taste in movies.) Wow, anyway. Can't wait for February.

UO Video Series: Spoon


Playtime for one group of beings can be angst-riddled Armageddon for another. If that sounds way too close to some kind of intense Bruce Willis film, just think about the difference in perspective between ants and humans at a picnic, and you’ll get the gist of music video director Hiro Murai’s not-that-serious thought process when creating the video for “Do You” by Spoon, off their forthcoming They Want My Soul on Loma Vista.







We’re hanging out beneath a windswept tent in the abandoned parking lot of a shop long out of business that, in its heyday, was amazingly named “Travel Around the World with Bertrand Smith’s Acres of Books.” (Yes, that was the whole name of one single business.) A pyro crew’s on deck, prepping a trashed-out Mercedes and some rubber tires with industry secret sauce to sustain some serious flames. The art department is littering all kinds of detritus on the grounds, right in front of the police. Hey, it wouldn’t be the end of existence without at least a little rubble.

“Not to get super heady about a music video concept,” Hiro says, “but I’m really interested in a pocket moment that takes place in a doomsday world.” In the case of this video, that means Britt Daniel, the lead singer of Spoon, is cruising in a vintage Plymouth wagon through a very lackadaisical Sunset Drive kind of vibe, and it just so happens that the buildings are on fire behind him. Which is actually kind of what Los Angeles feels like sometimes anyway, metaphorically, Hiro concedes. “Hey, once you own the chaos of the apocalypse,” he says, “there’s a certain kind of calmness to it.”

Just then Britt walks up, head to toe in black, before he hits makeup for some bandages and bruises. “We’ve never really made a video where I totally understood the concept,” he says. “But this one, I get it.”







Though they’d had several conversations over the phone about the video, Hiro and Britt are meeting for the first time on set. (The rest of the band was back home in Austin, enjoying the day off.) “This is one of those videos we have to rehearse 800 times and then do it once correctly,” says Hiro, explaining why we’ve been watching them do laps around the parking lot for hours. The video is to be shot almost entirely in one take.

“I like really deliberate filmmaking,” Hiro says. “I like things that are very in control—the pace of the storytelling, what you show the audience, and when. Although I don’t know why I haven’t learned my lesson from the one-shot thing, because every time I do it, it’s such a pain in the ass.”







Britt isn’t worried in the slightest. “I looked at Hiro’s videos and it seemed like he really knew what he was doing. Like he had a flair for the bizarre and the unique.” It’s part of an aesthetic his band’s been mining for two decades and eight full-length albums.

Sometimes music videos “can be one of those things that you ‘have’ to do for a record,” says Britt, “but I’m enjoying this one because I have a good feeling about it.” The way he sees it, he explains, “is that we’re seeing the last scene of a movie, right? And you as the viewer is dropped into this last scene without understanding the full context. I’ve been battered around, and I’m driving down the street and you don’t really understand what’s going on. You see a few reveals of who I’ve got in the car, you see there’s all this destruction going on. The car’s on fire, people are running, you don’t really understand why. And the last bit of video…”

Well, if we continued with the explanation, what would be the point in watching? No spoiler alerts here: check it out and find out how it ends yourself. Photography by Mike Selsky

Pre-order They Want My Soul on vinyl

Friday Download: July 18, 2014


Summer is hurtling by, and that means Jenny Lewis' newest album The Voyager is coming out so soon (only a little more than a week, now). This is so exciting. My teenage self from 2003 is screaming in excitement. Her video for "Just One Of The Guys" came out this past week, along with some other awesome vids. Let's check them out below. Katie



Jenny Lewis "Just One Of The Guys"
Jenny can do no wrong and Kristen Stewart is incredibly charming in this, HATERS BE DAMNED. Always here for the "kinda totally random" actor cameos in music videos.



SZA "Julia/(Tender)"
Here's the newest video from SZA, another perfect jam for the summer. There's also this clip of SZA and tiny little Willow Smith performing their song "Domino" together earlier this week, which was fun to watch. (via Vibe)



Made In Minnesota
I was recently re-reading an article on The Replacements in a Sassy mag from, like, 1991, so when I saw that Noisey went out and did this mini-doc on the Minnesota music scene, I was pretty pumped to watch it. It's good, and made me finally realize that Craig Finn's speaking voice sounds literally exactly the same as his singing voice. I have no idea how I'm just finding this out now.



Lapsley "Painter (Valentine)"
This song is sooo pretty and Låpsley is apparently 17 years old, so have fun feeling like an untalented garbage can after you listen to this one. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)



"My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers"
Caity Weaver is my favorite person to read over on Gawker and her most recent post over there may be her best yet. Basically, she sat in a TGI Friday's for 14 hours to test out their new unlimited apps deal, and boy oh boy, the laughs you'll have along the way are endless.

Friday Download: July 11, 2014


Can you even believe that it's already mid-July? Because I sure can't. Luckily there will always be songs coming out that help us hang onto that "endless summer" feeling. Here are some of my recent favorites. Katie



Yumi Zouma "It Feels Good To Be Around You"
I'm really into this one from Yumi Zouma for the aforementioned summery vibes. Makes me want to sit on the beach in a sparkly leotard while drinking a Raz-Ber-Rita. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)



Christopher Owens "Nothing More Than Everything"
Listen, if you know anything about me, you know that nostalgia is everything to me, which means that I am so into the vibe of this video and song. Great job, Chris Owens. You're really doin' it.



Little Dragon "Pretty Girls"
Realllly into this new video from Little Dragon because it involves a beauty pageant, pageant queens and ZOMBIES! It's a real delight. Very girl power, TBH.



Dev Hynes "Chandelier" Remix
"Chandelier" on its own is a very special song so I was a little unsure about any remixes, but Dev Hynes did a-ok with this one. Gonna make a playlist with just this and the original "Chandelier" looped over and over again for 40 straight hours. (via Pitchfork)



Interpol "All The Rage Back Home"
Interpol are coming back with a brand new album, El Pintor, this September and the first single is here with an accompanying video shot in a moody black and white. INTO IT.

Happenings: Afterfest Making Time Chicago


Chicago, listen up! We're excited to announce that for this year's Afterfest our friends Liars and Vatican Shadow will be performing at The Mid (306 N. Halsted St.) on Friday, July 18, from 10pm-4am. As always, Making Time's resident DJs Dave P. and Sammy Slice will be continuously DJing throughout the night. Admittance is free with RSVP, but make sure to arrive early to guarantee entrance. We hit capacity last year (thanks, everyone!) and expect the same to happen this year. Read our recent feature with Liars here and watch their video for "Mess on a Mission" below. See you in Chicago!



Click here to RSVP for #AFTERFEST

Brands We Love: adidas

After a few seasons out of production, the adidas Stan Smith Sneaker is back. In classic white leather, it’s our summer sneaker of choice. Even if you’re unfamiliar with sneakers and the overarching culture of adidas as a brand (you know, aside from knowing that those adidas Superstar sneaks were the shoe to have in middle school), chances are you’ve heard of the Stan Smith adidas tennis sneaker.





While the shoe was created in the late ‘60s under the name "Haillot," attaching tennis pro Stan Smith’s image to the simple shoe is what turned the design into a fashion mainstay. When Smith was brought on to promote the shoe in the early '70s, the shoe was still being touted as an athletic sneaker. Now, nearly fifty years later, the shoe is no longer seen as athletic attire but rather as a fashion statement. After halting production on the shoe in 2012, adidas is relaunching the iconic sneaker this year, much to the joy of sneakerheads everywhere, and we're excited to get our hands on some of these for summer. #STANSMITH!



Shop adidas Stan Smith

Friday Download: June 27, 2014


A lot of new, good tunes were released this week, but my actual current favorite "album" is this delightful mash-up album called Mouth Sounds. It has a lot of Smashmouth. It's pretty special. Oh, and if you want to feel really old, Wilco's A Ghost Is Born turned ten years old this week. TEN! Ten years of people yelling out "PLAY 'SPIDERS'!" at Wilco shows. God bless. Anyway, here are the tracks released this week that really spoke to me. Katie



The Weeknd "Often"
You know, sometimes I forget to listen to The Weeknd's lyrics and then when I do I feel like a scandalized mom because dang, he gets dirty. This new one from him is great, though, pearl-clutchin' lyrics and all.



Grimes "Go"
Okay, here it is. The new Grimes song. The one that Rihanna rejected. It does seem a little more Top 40/made for Rihanna and a little less "classic Grimes," but I am not one to turn up my nose at a catchy tune. YOU DO YOU, GRIMES.



Ryn Weaver "OctaHate"
Ryn Weaver kinda came out of nowhere, but this song is amazing. Charli XCX wrote it so you know it's good. (BTW, here's a very fun interview with Charli where she talks about writing the song.) This is going to be another one I'm obsessed with this summer.
(via ONTD)



FKA twigs "Two Weeks"
A NEW VIDEO FROM FKA TWIGS! She looks perfect and the song is perfect and I feel perfect listening to it. Her debut album LP1 comes out in August, so luckily we can expect to be hearing even more new songs from her soon.



Sia "Big Girls Cry"
Sia deserves all the millions of dollars that she gets for songwriting because she is so darn good at it. This newest one from her is as good as the rest and I will absolutely be listening to it as I cry off my makeup.

UO Live: Connan Mockasin


The inaugural video in our UO Live series, Connan Mockasin performs a live and unplugged version of “I Wanna Roll With You,” off Caramel, his second full-length album. We caught up with him and his band behind the scenes.



You can thank Connan Mockasin’s mom for bringing his music into the world. The New Zealand-born artist was living with his parents when he recorded his first solo record, Forever Dolphin Love, at home.

“I’ve done two records on my own,” he says. “The first record, I was pretty disheartened by the industry—still am in some ways—but the point is, I went back home to stay with my parents and I wasn’t really doing anything. And then my mum was telling me that I should make a record. And I was like, ‘No, no.’ Because I was kind of brainwashed into thinking you needed a producer, an engineer, a proper studio—da, da, da. And then mum was going, ‘No you don’t, you’ve got some equipment back home.’ So I just made a record on my own there, not thinking that it would ever be heard. And then it somehow got released and I started having to play shows all of a sudden and it just happened like that.”

The record “somehow got released” via influential British DJ and producer Erol Alkan, and brought Mockasin’s soulful, experimental grooves to the attention of Charlotte Gainsbourg, with whom he has collaborated and played backup band for, and Radiohead, who he supported on tour in 2012. 

Caramel, released in November last year is, as its name suggests, Mockasin’s most deliciously slow-dance-ready yet, and sees him touring with a new line-up—a motley crew of musicians he picked-up from New York to London: Drummer Matt Eccles, bassist Nick Harsant, guitarist (and occasional bongo player) Rory McCarthy and keyboardist Sofia Karchi. (Fun fact: Mockasin met keyboardist-cum-manager Sofia on the Eurostar from Paris.)



Hi everyone! Connan, can you tell us about the song you chose to perform for the first in our UO Live video series?
Connan: I recorded it in Tokyo in a hotel room. It was the one song that I’d written before I made the record and it had a caramel feel for me.

How would you describe your outfit today? [Mockasin is wearing pale silk Chinese pajamas, an embroidered vest and black nurse’s clogs accessorized with a fencing sword he found on-set].
Connan: Peter Pan!

Where are you all based? 
Connan: I’m not based anywhere at the moment, myself. 
Nick: I’m in London, always in London. 
Matt: New York
Sofia: I don’t have a place anywhere. 
Rory: Paris  

How did you all get together? 
Nick: That’s a long one… 
Connan: Matt and I met in London. Then I met Nick the day we played together. We met Sofia on a train and I helped with her luggage. I thought she was rude. 
Sofia: I was just thinking, this poor man seems very tired, and he was already carrying so much, I didn’t think it was fair to ask for his help. 
Connan: So we sit down and Sofia was one up from me but across the aisle and we sat chatting. 
Rory: I met all of the other guys in Manchester at The Deaf Institute. I came to see Connan; I had seen him a few times and he was a friend of a friend. He asked me to play bongos, which as a guitar player was a funny thing to be asked, but I ended up playing more bongos than guitar! 
Matt: Rory just got up for an encore and never left!

What did you do for a living before you started playing music? 
Connan: My last proper job was a gardener. 
Rory: I as making fake teeth, which is ironic because I’m missing a tooth and I don’t have the tool here to make a replacement. 
Band: How do you make a fake tooth? 
Rory: I can go into it right now! It takes a lot of casts and semi-precious metals and all kinds of stuff...

So, how do you describe your sound? 
Rory: “Sensitive rock”
Matt: "Café Soliel"
Nick: "Sleaze Rock"
Connan: "Wonka Dust"

You get pretty creative describing your sound. What about other people's descriptions? What do you make of it?
Rory: The weirdest one for me when you got called Auzzie-psych. 
Sofia: Yeah, that was just wrong! 
Rory: It’s fine but it’s wrong. 
Nick: "Weirdo" always creeps up, which is strange. Aussie-weird. Psych-weirdo.
Connan: Or “Wellington Jazz Pianist”—that’s another funny one. I can’t play piano and I’m not from Wellington, either. I think it was on Wikipedia for a while, that’s why. It’s really hard to get things off Wikipedia. A lot of people run their interviews off Wikipedia and a lot of it’s wrong. So I wrote to them and said, “This is actually me and this is not true, can I take it off?” And then I got kicked off for trying to change it.

Your performances are very special: They’re atmospheric, wonderful and such an experience. How do you approach it as a band? 
Matt: We try to make it different as much as we can.
Connan: It would be pretty maddeningly boring to do the same thing every night. Last night at the Bowery Ballroom we had a huge band. We had probably 20 people on stage!



Within your music, do you feel like there is a commonality in your friendship? 
Sofia: Fashion. I think that’s our common thing. 
Connan: We enjoy hanging out together. I don’t know if it’s necessarily about music or enjoying the same music, but we do. Because you are doing the same thing a lot of the time: Going to the venue, setting up, playing, and going away. I think a lot of bands get disheartened and it starts affecting them. 
Sofia: I think we just love each other so much and we genuinely really care about each other so much in our lives, and we are friends. It’s true. These guys are the most important guys in my life and every show is just about us having fun with the crowd and enjoying our job. It changes every time depending on our mood, but I think it’s love. 

It must to be great to be so close and tour together. Are there any special moments on tour that you can share? 
Matt: Tunisia was pretty cool. 
Connan: [Laughs] 
Matt: Connan rode a camel to the stage. 
Nick: With a Go-Pro 
Connan: Which I had to hold! The camel would go down and up really quick and I was trying to hold on tight. 
Matt: It took a long time to get to the stage as well. [Laughs]
Connan: Am I allowed to swear on this?

Yes!
Connan: When we were in Tunisia, I had this moment—we were in a really nice hotel. That’s the thing, usually when you’re on tour you don’t get time to hang out on your own very often, but it was nice to have a day off and just spend it by myself in the hotel. I ordered a coffee and I rolled myself a cigarette and the sun was going down and I was standing on the balcony and there were camels walking along the beach. And I [dramatically mimics smoking a cigarette], I had my coffee and I was just like, 'Fuck yeah!' I spoke out loud to myself—‘Fuck yeah!’ I scared myself! [Laughs]. You know when you talk to yourself when you’ve been on your own all day? It was aggressive!

In general, what has touring been like? 
Matt: It’s nice to play shows in America now. It’s always nice to go to new places and see how it goes. 
Nick: People know the lyrics to songs. They’ve started to sing along, which didn’t happen before—our lyrics are pretty obscure. It’s pretty funny to see people sing what they think they’re hearing. 
Sofia: I don’t know the lyrics! 
Matt: Even we don’t and we’re all singing as well. 
Connan: Even I don’t. [Band laughs]

What do you like to do when you’re not making music? What can you do when you're not touring that you can't on the road?
Connan: I watch a lot of surfing on the Internet and I love pasta.
Sofia: [Go on] dates. I feel like I've gone on more dates since I’m I the band so I’m happy about that. I think it’s a good thing, no? 
Matt: Depends on the date really! 
Sofia: Yep, it depends on the date. I had two dates in New York since I’ve been here! One good, one just okay. 
Connan: They’re going to know who they are now. 
Matt: Keep ‘em guessing!

Check out Connan’s full-length album, Caramel, out now on Mexican Summer Records.

Friday Download: June 20, 2014


Before we get into everything from this week, we'd just like to point out that O-Town released a brand new music video yesterday and the song is called "Skydive" and the lyrics are "I just want to skydive into your life." So, don't say that 2014 never gave you anything. Now, onto the rest of the best from this week. Katie



Arctic Monkeys "Snap Out Of It"
The sad girl in this video is us when we realized that Alex Turner won't be marrying us anytime soon. Sigh.



Little Daylight "Hello Memory
We stumbled across Little Daylight on Soundcloud this week and were racking our brains trying to figure out where we'd heard them before, and then we realized they played Governor's Ball earlier this month. Anyway, we're happy we randomly ran across them again thanks to the internet because every song is amazing, especially this remix of "Love Stories."



Jungle on Kimmel
This week, Jungle made their US TV debut on Kimmel and did prett-ay, prett-ay good. We're excited to hear their self-titled full-length album when it's released July 15.



How To Dress Well What Is This Heart?
How To Dress Well's new album is out June 24 and the whole thing is available to stream over on whatisthisheart.com. It's a good album to listen to if you're feelin' like you need some sad summer music to wallow outside to. Right now we're listening to "See You Fall" and feeling like we should be in a dramatic indie comedy. It's very pleasant to weep to contemplatively. (via Consequence of Sound)
"Rock Band Recital Fail"
This is incredible. They are trying so hard and then everything just falls apart and they don't even react. It's basically your entire career as a middle schooler condensed into a 59 second metaphor. KEEP YOUR HEADS UP, FELLAS. (via PAPERMAG)