Music

asaprocky2  Images courtesy Shomi Patwary

Music video director and friend of the Nordstrom blogs Shomi Patwary previously brought us behind the scenes with Ty Dolla $ign and Mark Ronson. Now he’s giving us rare glimpses at the creative process of the fashion killa himself, A$AP Rocky.

Patwary directed the video for Rocky’s song “Jukebox Joints” with Joe Fox and Kanye West, a highlight off Rocky’s album At.Long.Last.ASAP. West produced the track, which floats on a sample from an old Smokey Robinson jukebox joint.

Patwary’s video is purplish, smoky and the video and language in the song are perhaps NSFW. Know that and consider turning young kids away from the screen as you watch it.

See exclusive photos from the shoot below, and learn which Spike Lee movie inspired the video’s vertically stretched-out look.

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Ready for a shot of ’90s hip-hop culture–aka one of the key retro influences in today’s menswear? Check the early rap journalism of Dao-Yi Chow, now half of the design team with Maxwell Osborne of the CFDA award-winning brand Public School.

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Image by Ameris Photography

Niña Mendoza’s suit by Manuel Mendoza

We’ve been rocking with 100% Vancouver deejays lately, with our new store opening September 18 in that majestic Pacific Northwest metropolis.

One recent set by Vancouver’s Niña Mendoza gave us life (shout out DayShiftSEA, one mile from Nordstrom HQ in Seattle) and we highly recommend her funky, right-now-meets-1983 mix “Love For Free,” promoting her September 10 show with Dâm-Funk. It’s been sustaining us throughout the week.

Stream the mix below and download it here so you don’t kill your data while you’re in the gym. Hit READ MORE for the track list and Vancouver-focused Q&A.

And if you’re in Vancouver, catch Niña Mendoza Fridays starting in September at the Projection Room inside the Fox Cabaret.

Love For Free Mix • Niña Mendoza by Blueprintlive on Mixcloud

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flavorcoverblacksheep

It’s time for another scan from the vaults.

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sango1Not that we advise throwing around slang you don’t understand or which is nonnative to you, but it’s cool to know what’s out there. To that end, check out Our Slang, a digital handbook put together by designer Kai Wright which breaks down current terminology from Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Toronto and the Bay Area.

We came to know Wright through his music as the producer Sango, which we recommend perusing. Check out Our Slang below, which will help you decipher the slang you see above–language you may have already encountered through that one Drake and Jhené Aiko song.

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project-pabloAlbum art for Project Pablo’s I Want to Believe by Devon White

Vancouver is still ruling our lives as we anticipate our new store opening September 18 in that gorgeous Canadian city.

To get properly psyched up, we’ve been bumping beats from 1080p Collection nonstop, 1080p being the label run in Vancouver by one of our heroes Richard MacFarlane–who maintains a frequency of albums and quality of music which makes other labels look lazy in comparison.

We asked MacFarlane which 1080p music would be best for three situations: a party, feeling sad and listening while at work.

For partying, MacFarlane suggested Vancouver’s own Project Pablo–whose hazy house music soundtracks some excellent Tech Decking in the video below for “Movin’ Out”:

Read on for MacFarlane’s commentary. Now please excuse us while we turn up the volume and think Vancouver thoughts about skateboarding, wildlife and islands.

–Andrew Matson

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daoyichowwhitebackground1Did you know Dao-Yi Chow, who co-runs the CFDA-winning brand Public School with Maxwell Osborne, is a writer and onetime rap journalist? It’s true. He confirmed it when we asked him recently at the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

Chow used to contribute to The Flavor back in the day, a “real hip-hop magazine” based in Seattle in the mid-1990s. Chow went by Durwin Chow GNS, “graffiti non-stop,” and lived in New York. Most Flavor writers back then contributed their stories by fax machine.

Here’s Chow’s July 1994 cover story, an interview with the brain-twisting duo Organized Konfusion.

Fun fact: Organized Konfusion’s Pharoahe Monch would one day ghostwrite for Diddy, who would eventually employ Chow and Osborne as designers at his clothing brand Sean John–before Public School became one of the hottest brands in menswear.

–Andrew Matson

Shop: Public School | men’s designer collections

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friendlychemistFriendly Chemist Touch of Jupiter album artwork by Sharona Franklin

We’re locked into a Vancouver, B.C., groove right now, anticipating our new store in that beautiful Canadian harbor city on September 18.

One of our favorite things to do while in Vancouver is jog around Stanley Park. Smack dab in the city, it’s also a place to see orcas in the water. As we struggle to stay on our fitness regimen this summer/fall, we’re bumping Vancouver music in our headphones and visualizing Stanley Park, aiming to move as swiftly as an orca or perhaps soar like one of the local bald eagles.

Our running soundtrack comes courtesy of Vancouver resident Richard MacFarlane, who operates one of our favorite independent music labels, 1080p. Read our Q&A with MacFarlane here. For jogging he recommends the steady beat of Friendly Chemist, aka Van-city’s Jean Brazeau.

Read his comments and listen below to the sounds of the True North, strong and free.

–Andrew Matson

“If you’re running in Vancouver, or anywhere, you should be listening to Friendly Chemist–he’s from here. His music is this kind of spacey techno. Not super high-energy, but enough to keep you coasting for sure.”

–Richard MacFarlane

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richardmacfarlaneipadImages by Andrew Volk

Since we’re opening our third Canadian store on September 18th in Vancouver, B.C., we’ve been renewing our love affair with the city, draping ourselves in wings + horns gear (it’s designed there) and cruising around with 1080p Collection music bumping in our headphones.

That would be the internationally respected dance music label run out of Vancouver by Richard MacFarlane, who releases cassette tapes and floods the Internet with chill vibes. (Sorry we just said “chill vibes” but it had to be done.)

We spoke to MacFarlane about the natural beauty and the music scene in his adopted hometown–he left New Zealand because he felt the country wasn’t cool enough, musically–and which 1080p releases convey the most Vancouverishness.

Check the interview and see images from 1080p headquarters below.

–Andrew Matson

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chastity-belt-team-shotPhoto by Jesse Codling

It’s been a breakout year for Chastity Belt, the Seattle band which has grown into its voice in the past few years and was recently written up in the New Yorker on the strength of its album Time To Go Home.

Musically, that voice is droning and jangly. Ideologically, Chastity Belt is feminist, with a viewpoint that is often funny but with songs that can also be serious and direct about everyday existential crises.

We took pictures at Capitol Hill Block Party and later phoned guitarist and sometime singer Lydia Lund (far right in the photo) to talk about “Lydia,” a what-does-it-all-mean song which lands someplace…indistinct.

Other topics of conversation included avoiding seasonal affective disorder by gardening, feeling the ocean’s power while surfing–and we learned about the taste of the Peperomia plant.

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