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theesatisfaction

L-R: DJ Mursi Layne, Catherine Harris-White, Stasia Irons

Image by Elizabeth Rudge

The ever-stylish neo-soul/hip-hop group THEESastisfaction is back and baring it all on second album EarthEE (Sub Pop), a great spring record that principal members Stas and Cat (Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White, based in Brooklyn and Seattle) are calling their breakup album. It’s not a depressing listen, though. Instead it carries hopeful messages of renewal and lyrics about finding new ways to continue on.

Stas and Cat may have broken up as real-life romantic partners, but they are recommitted to their THEESatisfaction project together–now including the smooth DJ Mursi Layne and a community-building series of Black Weirdo dance parties–and the overarching goals of honoring blackness and a queer-positive viewpoint through free-form art. 

We think THEESat is rad, and luminaries agree: Grammy winners/nominees Ishmael Butler and Meshell Ndegeocello guest on EarthEE; feminist indie rock icons Sleater-Kinney are taking THEESatisfaction on their spring reunion tour; and Martin Scorsese said Cat was dope as hell. Basically. 

Here are Stas and Cat on music, Macklemore, Black History Month and working with Scorsese.

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britpop

converse andy warhol

Britpop lives forever! Or at least it lives again, as the inspiration for our current Pop-In@Nordstrom, the recurring shop curated by Nordstrom Director of Creative Projects Olivia Kim. Topshop and Topman are the focus. Britpop is the official soundtrack.

While there’s a fine line between classic and played-out, some Britpop gems from the ’90s hold up exceptionally well, and even massively overplayed hits can be made new again if you switch up your context. To that end, we spoke with Topman Design Director Gordon Richardson while simultaneously watching the two most crucial music videos of Britpop: Pulp’s “Common People” and Blur’s “Parklife”–that’s Blur, the band currently reuniting after a 12-year hiatus.

This is the “Parklife” blog post.

Here is the “Common People” blog post.

Click play on the video and then follow along below. It’s like directors’ commentary.

Sort of. 

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converse andy warhol

converse andy warhol

Britpop lives forever! Or at least it lives again, as the inspiration for our current Pop-In@Nordstrom, the recurring shop curated by Nordstrom Director of Creative Projects Olivia Kim. Topshop and Topman are the focus. Britpop is the official soundtrack.

While there’s a fine line between classic and played-out, some Britpop gems from the ’90s hold up exceptionally well, and even massively overplayed hits can be made new again if you switch up your context. To that end, we spoke with Topman Design Director Gordon Richardson while simultaneously watching the two most crucial music videos of Britpop: Pulp’s “Common People” and Blur’s “Parklife.”

This is the “Common People” blog post.

Click play on the video and then follow along below. It’s like directors’ commentary.

Sort of. 

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denim_slim_straight_how_to_rock_slim_straight_jeans

If you haven’t swooned today but are open to the possibility, try listening to “Windows” by Shortcircles X Parks Burton. These West Coast knob-twisters are kicked back, laid back and strummin’ on heartstrings. File next to How to Dress Well and the “Portlandia” theme.

Producer and multi-instrumentalist Shortcircles–also a professional video game scorer and recording engineer–spoke to us about how he teamed up with singer Parks Burton by accident in Los Angeles and where to chill on a Sunday in Oakland.

Images are courtesy of Shortcircles and Kristina Kassem.

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still_rihanna_kanye_mccartney_fourfive

The star of all-star jam “FourFiveSeconds” is definitely Rihanna, singing hard and being a badass and crying, performing with Sir Paul McCartney and the current King of Pop, Kanye West. Not the first time McCartney has collaborated with the K.o.P., BTW.

But from a style POV? The star is Rihanna’s jean jacket and leather-belt-tied-like-a-tie combo. Kanye West did the styling, selecting vintage Sean Jean denim. Which means for all you retro trend watchers out there, it’s time dig up your late-’90s/turn-of-the-millennium hip-hop gear like Fubu and Karl Kani.

That’s the fashion tip.

Shop: Men’s Denim Jackets

–Andrew Matson

January 30, 2015

Listen Up! DJ Sliink

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ’tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Jersey club is like a funny friend who is always doing the most at the venue–but that’s why you love them. With its anything-goes aesthetic of drums, bass and ridiculous vocal splicing, the musical genre is also perfect to propel you through those last ten minutes on the treadmill.

We spoke with Jersey club king and worldwide ambassador DJ Sliink–he of the Brick Bandits and Cartel Music crews–about his musical philosophy, dancing in New Jersey versus anywhere else in the world and the happy accident of recording a vibrating BlackBerry.

And he fully endorses the Thump documentary embedded below, so go ‘head and get your learn on.


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January 23, 2015

Listen Up! Dainjazone

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or, at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.


OK, let’s briefly remember LMFAO from a few years ago, the most annoying band in the world that also seemed to be having the most fun. Dainjazone was their deejay. Turns out his club/EDM mixes are superb for working out. Especially if you enjoy the ego-canceling fury of, say, a good spin class.

Not that the nephew of Motown founder Berry Gordy doesn’t have taste or range. He just understands that music is kinetic. Dainjazone (real name Joseph Hampel) spoke with us on the phone between club gigs from Los Angeles. Topics included health, travel and the baffling power of horns.


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January 16, 2015

Listen Up! DJ Diamond Kuts

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

Don’t take our word for it, go ahead and ask Nicki Minaj or President Barack Obama–they’ll tell you DJ Diamond Kuts rules. Philly native Tina Dunham has rocked huge crowds on the Obama campaign trail and helped break Minaj in her early mixtape days, eventually producing original music for the superstar rapper.

More impressive to us, though, are Diamond’s regular radio mixes on hip-hop and R&B station Power 99 FM, each one a furious dispatch with flawless between-song cutting (hence the name). While her mixes come in many modes–hip-hop, reggae, R&B–her dance mixes are arguably her most exciting work and perfect workout soundtracks.

We caught up with Ms. Kuts on the phone and talked about exercise, the art of deejaying and things to eat in Philly which are not cheesesteaks (no disrespect to cheesesteaks).

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L-R: “Lance’s mom” (Gretchen Corbett), “Lance’s mom’s boyfriend” (Justin Long), “Lance” (Carrie Brownstein) and “Nina” (Fred Armisen); image courtesy Portlandia from “The Fiancée” episode 

As a business which started in the #upperleft corner of these United States, we at Nordstrom have a special appreciation for IFC’s Portlandia. That would be the sketch comedy TV show where stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein basically teach a master class in how to mock life in Portland, OR. It’s all there: the passive-aggressiveness, the self-righteous savior complex, the questionable style choices. And yet the show, currently in its fifth season, is a love letter.

“The Fiancée” episode aired Thursday, Jan. 15, and was partially filmed at the Lloyd Center Nordstrom. (That location is now closed, with every employee who wished to be relocated given a new home at a nearby Nordstrom.) Key scenes in the episode occur at Nordstrom and feature Armisen’s character Nina, with makeup done by Jessica Needham and overall style created by her sister, two-time Emmy winner Amanda Needham.

We spoke with the sisters while the two native Portlanders sat in their car in deadlocked traffic. Topics discussed: Nina, Portlandia and good versus bad style.

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January 9, 2015

Listen Up! Vice

‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but now ‘tis the season to atone. Throughout the month of January, we’ll be bringing you all sorts of Wellness Realness—information and inspiration you can use to get out of lax mode and into good-for-you mode. Or at least stop eating cookies for lunch and skipping your morning run.

A lot of professional, up-all-night deejays consider walking to the mini-mart for Red Bull “exercise.” But just days prior to talking with us on the phone from his home in Los Angeles, jet-setting Vice (Eric Aguirre) was in Tanzania climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. So…yeah. To put it lightly, let’s say this big-room deejay, producer and entrepreneur is up for a challenge and dedicated to staying healthy.

An avid runner whose fans RSVP and join him while he trains for long races, Vice makes continuous mixes that reflect his lifestyle and can be ideal exercise accompaniment: hip-hop, dance and pop music melded into a zooming combination. He created the one below for “my running following” to aid them in finishing the recent Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon. He ran the race too, but as he does when he runs, listened only to his heartbeat.

More about how Vice rolls:

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