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Behind the Scenes of the Mark Ronson and Keyone Starr Video with Director Shomi Patwary | Listen Up!

MARK_RONSON_PICS_0012_Layer 1Mark Ronson and Shomi Patwary on the set

The best party nobody went to might’ve been 12 years ago in Norfolk, Virginia, when producers who would change the sound of hip-hop and R&B deejayed to basically nobody.

We’ll let our music video director friend Shomi Patwary tell you about that one.

Long story short, Patwary and British star Mark Ronson go way back, and we now have the video for “I Can’t Lose.” It’s more zesty funk from Ronson–whom we shall never fail to mention without hyperlinking to his and Aaliyah’s classic Hilfiger ad–and bigger-budget moves from Patwary, best known for A$AP Rocky’s “Multiply.”

Check out behind-the-scenes images below from “I Can’t Lose” and an edited transcript of our phone call with Patwary.

We talked about Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” Dick Tracy, Blade Runner, the cameo from Waris Ahluwalia–and what happens when the zeitgeist moves post- ‘90s retromania.

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ALL POSTS Music

Tevas, Tinnitus and Timing with No Joy | Listen Up!

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L-R: Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz

Images by Kyle Johnson

Listening to Montreal rock band No Joy gives us visions of a professional snowboarder on a sunny day, flying off a jump, doing something complex and elegant midair.

Not something we necessarily understand. But we’re into it.

We do know that No Joy leaders Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz derive their looped and soaring music from guitars and effects pedals. The rest of new album More Faithful is a mystery to us. We’re cool with that–and highly recommend it as a soundtrack to summer road-tripping, camping, head-banging and zoning out.

We spoke to guitarist Laura Lloyd after a recent concert in Seattle about Tevas, tinnitus, complicated time signatures and chia seeds.

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ALL POSTS Interviews Music

Summer Bummer Music with Vaadat Charigim | Listen Up!

Vaadat Charigim: Dan Bloch (denim jacket), Juval Haring (hoodie), Juval Guttmann (black tee); images by Manuela Insixiengmay

In case of the summer bummer, we’ve been known to turn to shoegaze rock–the subgenre made from loops and layers of guitar noise–and travel to a place where pain is beauty.

It usually works.

When we caught up with Juval Haring, who fronts Israeli shoegaze band Vaadat Charigim, he described himself as “pessimistic” and “cynical.” He also deadpanned about his first name, which he shares with his drummer:

“Juval is a common Israeli name. I’m kind of like the Israeli Craig.”

Haring is funny. His band’s new album, Sinking As a Stone, generally, is not.

With little to no musical support system back home and yet over 1,000 concerts played so far, Haring explained what Berlin, Germany, and Portland, OR, have to do with each other, some of his more existential lyrics–and why he keeps on rocking in the free world.

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ALL POSTS Interviews Music POP-IN@Nordstrom

Mexican Summer’s Pop-In@Nordstrom Poolside Mix | Listen Up!

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Looking for dreamy tunes to soundtrack summer hangouts? We thought you might be!

Check this exclusive mix from independent Brooklyn-based music label Mexican Summer–the brain trust which popularized Best Coast and Washed Out a few years back–compiled by the man in charge, Keith Abrahamsson. The music is a blend of the beautiful and the strange. You will find rock, pop and electronic music. Old styles and new ones.

And it all goes together fluidly.

If you like what you hear, we recommend spending more time with Mexican Summer and its sister labels Anthology and Software. In our opinion, Abrahamsson and his crew are 100% trustable.

Relatedly: Abrahamsson’s wife, Kate Young, is a fashion stylist we greatly admire and the designer of several Tura sunglasses featured in our current Pop-In Shop.

We spoke to Abrahamsson on the phone about getting style advice from his wife, the future of the music biz and the best swimming hole in New York.

And we had him take a few photos of his desk, so you know what it looks like to steer the good ship Mexican Summer.

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ALL POSTS Music

Kendrick Lamar + Sasquatch Stars | Listen Up!

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Photos by Brooklyn Benjestorf

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Headliner Kendrick Lamar basically body-slammed the Sasquatch Music Festival this past Memorial Day weekend, in the best possible way, rapping hard in eastern Washington’s beautiful Columbia River Gorge. He looked great in a Canadian tuxedo and rocked a crowd the size of a small city.

The setlist was hit after heavy hit from the Compton, CA, emcee extraordinaire. But we’re beefing over here because he didn’t perform “Complexion,” our favorite track off his 2015 opus To Pimp a Butterfly.

Read more about “Complexion,” which features the rapper Rapsody and pianist Robert Glasper, in our interview with Glasper.

See more images from Sasquatch below.

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ALL POSTS Interviews Music

Sheila E. on Latin Jazz, Krush Groove and Not Needing Outside Validation | Listen Up!

Video portrait by Elizabeth Rudge | makeup by Jenny Verador | hair by Eric Wennberg

Legendary drummer, bandleader and fiercely proud Bay Area native Sheila E. was the hardest of hardcore divas in the 1980s. It broke her down. Now she uses music to build people up.

Back when she ran with Prince and his crew, the timbale expert enforced 12-hour rehearsals for her band and gave commands, not suggestions. She had hits (“The Glamorous Life,” “A Love Bizarre”) and built a lasting work ethic into countless musicians, like Raphael Saadiq who joined her cohort when he was 14. She also became a cold, unfeeling person. She details the transformation in her book The Beat of My Own Drum.

Now that’s all behind her and she’s found the love of music again. You can hear it in her album Icon from 2014 and see it in her music-therapy foundation Elevate Hope. We caught up with her while she was coaching a bunch of young players in Seattle for More Music at the Moore Theatre, teaching them to find their own voices.

We did not talk to her about Prince. We did talk about her dad, Latin jazz heavyweight Pete Escovedo; her godfather, Tito Puente; Krush Groove, the classic hip-hop movie she co-starred in with Run-DMC; and the fact that it took her leaving her family cocoon of supportive musicians to learn about the sexist notion that women shouldn’t play the drums.

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ALL POSTS Music Street Style

Q&A with Ty Dolla $ign, Charli XCX and Tinashe Music Video Director Shomi Patwary | Listen Up!

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Ty Dolla $ign with 1970 Buick Gran Sport

Images courtesy Shomi Patwary and Atlantic Records

Music video director Shomi Patwary has been on our radar since his video for A$AP Rocky’s “Multiply,” with its awesome dance cameo from Yung Gleesh. Now Patwary’s caught our attention again with Ty Dolla $ign’s “Drop That Kitty,” a crossover hip-hop/pop jam with rising stars Tinashe and Charli XCX.

We caught up with Patwary on the phone while he was in New York filming another A$AP video and planning a project with Diddy’s son Christian Combs. He told us about rolling with the punches on “Drop That Kitty” and casting a surprise guest star who reminded him of his dad.

READ THE INTERVIEW

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ALL POSTS POP-IN@Nordstrom

Pop-In Power Girls: Olivia Kim Will Run Your Town

Yeah, Girl. The Nike Women Pop-In@Nordstrom is all about beholding the ultimate awesomeness of the female species. In this series we’re talking to a posse of women who do their best every day to exude power—whether that means stealthily scoring a soccer goal, cracking some killer code, evoking new ideas in art or just being there for someone who really needs them. And maybe all of the above.

Why not just start with Olivia? Would it surprise you to know that our director of special projects steps out of platform oxfords and into trainers on the regular? When I chatted with her she was just home from a trip that included Milan and other European stops, and about to jump off to Asia. Our girl pretty much defines “on the go,” but regardless of her crazy schedule, she makes fun, fitness and friendship happen.

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ALL POSTS Interviews Music

Listen Up! Don Was on Blue Note Records, the Meaning of Music and Which Basketball Positions the Rolling Stones Would Play (Metaphorically)

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Image by Gabi Porter

Don Was is one of our heroes, a triple O.G. in the music biz who doesn’t believe his own hype and never stopped being a fan. He’s still blown away by all the new styles in the world, and despite making classics has steered admirably clear of the mindset that “it was all so much better when…”

Now president of Blue Note Recordsthe American jazz label with the musically revolutionary back catalog (think Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk) not to mention peerless and influential graphic design by Reid Miles, whose name is one of the freshest Google image searches you’ll ever do–Don Was is basically the keeper of the cool

A fan’s dream.

Keep reading to learn which Blue Note albums he considers unheralded classics and which basketball positions each Rolling Stones member would play. 

Check this audio clip about Blue Note in the big picture:

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ALL POSTS Music Video

Listen Up! Robert Glasper on Kendrick Lamar and the (Non) Definition of Jazz

Images by Manuela Insixiengmay

We’re big Robert Glasper fans here at Nordstrom, Glasper being the Grammy-winning musician doing the most–the most, we tell you–to keep jazz piano fresh, relevant and connected to the youth.

He’s all over the rap album of the year, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. And Glasper’s upcoming album on Blue Note Records, Covered, consists of live versions of songs by wide-ranging acts he loves: Miles Davis, Jhené Aiko and Radiohead, among others.

Keep scrolling to read Glasper’s thoughts on where an uninitiated person should start with Miles’ albums, the courageousness of Kendrick Lamar, his top five emcees–and listen to him extemporaneously rap Tupac’s verse from Digital Underground’s “All Around the World.”

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