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As you’re well aware from our post last year, Record Store Day is a huge deal. And while a solid 33% of the joy that is vinyl lies in listening to your old favorites and latest finds (get a record player, guys), another crucial third of the experience lies in owning a tangible artifact that you can see, smell and touch. We can’t offer smell-o-vision (yet), but keep reading to see the eye-catching artwork that fronts 25 of our top picks available in very limited quantities tomorrow, Saturday, April 19, aka Record Store Day 2014.

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Above, in fleeting sounds and moving pictures, is a glimpse of what went down last week—when news crews and looky-loos converged on the corner of 6th and Pine outside Nordstrom’s flagship store, the band Helio Sequence blasted sonic ambrosia from inside our window display to the sidewalk beyond, and the founders of Sub Pop Records joined the ranks of local heroes from Jimi Hendrix to Bill Gates on our ‘Seattle Walk of Fame.’

—  —  —

…And while we’re on the subject:


Here’s a clip we dug up from Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary music festival last summer—at which we teamed up with Topman and Topshop to street-style passersby. (Watch for cameos from Sub Pop artists King Tuff and Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls.)


And, just because we want to improve your Monday afternoon—and because we really like Soundgarden, one of the first acts Sub Pop ever signed—here’s a loud yet subtly satirical clip, wherein the dry-humored record label presents dubious commentary on the nature of fame, set to the plodding tempo and soothing distortion of SG’s 1987 B-side “Nothing To Say.”


Speaking of nothing to say (kidding—quite the opposite, actually), be sure to READ OUR FULL Q&A with Sub Pop founders Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt.
[Photo of Helio Sequence's performance by videographer Patrick Richardson Wright.]

Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman—founders of Sub Pop, the Seattle record label responsible for bringing bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden to the masses 25 years ago and still setting sonic trends today—joined the ranks of local legends like Jimi Hendrix, Ken Griffey Jr., Bill Gates and many more yesterday, when Pete Nordstrom led a ceremony inducting them into the ‘Seattle Walk of Fame’ that circles our flagship store at 6th and Pine in the Emerald City.

The brief ceremony, which concluded with the unveiling of Pavitt’s and Poneman’s bronze footprints newly embedded in the sidewalk, was followed by Sub Pop-signed power duo Helio Sequence performing live inside our window. Keep reading for an exclusive Q&A with Sub Pop’s founders, and photos from the event.

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For Episode One of THE SNEAKER PROJECT: SNEAKERS IN YOUR CITY, we asked Seattle hip-hop legends Thig Nat and Prometheus Brown (aka Geo Quibuyen) to show us the best that their hometown (which happens to be Nordstrom’s hometown, too) has to offer.

Get a ground-level glimpse of the Emerald City in the short video above, and keep reading for a Q&A with Thig and Geo, behind-the-scenes photos, and a closer look at their favorite spots around town (as well as those sneakers they’re sporting).

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While we can’t condone this gentleman’s banana suit, we fully endorse his spirit of revelry—and what can bolster one’s holiday morale more than a spot-on soundtrack? (Well, maybe a stiff drink and sharp attire, but the power of song is definitely up there.) If the New Year’s Eve party is at your place tonight—or you simply intend to hijack your inept friend’s stereo with your own well-equipped iPod—we hope the following 21 artists help fill any gaps in your existing library. Take a listen, nab your favorites on iTunes, and let the good times roll.

(To compile this list, we cross-referenced the Top Albums of 2013 from Seattle station KEXP, as voted by fans not only here in music-savvy Seattle, but worldwide—as the meticulously curated DJ sets can be streamed globally at KEXP.org. We especially recommend the station’s Saturday-morning reggae show, Sunday evening hip-hop, and midnight metal on Saturdays.)


1. The Walkmen. The first entrants on our NYE playlist had a new album out in 2013—but the older song above, entitled “In The New Year” and delivered with anthemic grandeur in this live performance—seemed to best fit tonight’s occasion.

Keep reading to hear the rest of our New Year’s Eve playlist.

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We already knew that menswear designer John Varvatos is way into Led Zeppelin. (Really, who isn’t?)

He also resurrected legendary NYC punk-rock club CBGB, casts grizzled rock gods in his ad campaigns, and designs sneaker collabs with Converse (arguably the most rock-and-roll shoe to ever walk the earth). The Detroit-born designer’s latest homage to loud sounds is a volume of iconic photos, entitled John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion. The book explores the reciprocal relationship between audio and visual, underscoring how acts ranging from Pink Floyd to The Clash and Axl Rose to Alice Cooper have influenced the world with their style and mannerisms as much as with their music.

Keep reading for a glimpse at some of our favorite photos from the book—plus a Q&A with John Varvatos himself.

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Last night, artistic visionaries, musical geniuses, and our favorite concert photographer descended upon New York City’s Highline Ballroom—all for a good cause.

The Other Ball (presented by Topman/Topshop and benefiting Arms Around the Child) honored “quiet revolutionaries changing the world,” like photographer Mark Seliger, and featured performances by a brilliantly eclectic musical lineup—including Swedish songstress Lykke Li, Rihanna collaborator Mikky Ekko, Ohio blues masters The Black Keys, and Harlem’s most fashion-wise rapper A$AP Rocky (pictured above, wearing Topman of course).

With a knack for being in the right place at the right time, photographer Faith Silva was there snapping portraits of performers and guests. Continue reading to see a few more of our favorite photos, and listen to songs by the artists who chose to support a noble charity last night.

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With the inaugural night of Hanukkah in the bag, it’s likely your sharp-witted whippersnapper has already ferreted out the box that contained the new Xbox One or PS4. (Or, if you’re a savvy dad who enjoys instilling a sense of delayed gratification—you’ve wisely hidden it in the dark recesses of your home’s most unsuspecting closet until the eighth crazy night.)

Either way, you’ll need some smaller surprises to offset the gaming console (or other mother-lode, holy-grail gift they’ve been asking for since summer). Look no further than our Brite Lites_Gift City Pop-In Shop, online and in selected stores. It’s stacked to the rafters with awesomely odd items that your oddly awesome offspring will love. Read on for eight of our favorites—most under $30. (After all, Hanukkah is the Festival of ‘Lites.’)

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November 26, 2013

Kanye West by Tommy Ton

Nine out of ten menswear bloggers agree: Tommy Ton is the reigning king of street-style photography. Whether he’s snapping Nick Wooster or our friend Bruce Pask (or the world’s most fetching female models, for that matter), the soft-spoken sharpshooter has a knack for bringing out each subject’s most supremely photogenic potential—in a candid fraction of a second.

The same holds true when Mr. Ton sits front-row at a theatrical Kanye West concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. (If you enjoyed Ton’s photos from West’s previous tour, you’re in for a treat.) Read on for more of our favorite shots.

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Our third and final installment of Polaroid people-watching at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas, as seen through the analog lens of acclaimed music blog Gorilla vs. Bear—presented by Topman and Nordstrom Men’s Shop.

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