Andrew Matson

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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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denim_slim_straight_how_to_rock_slim_straight_jeans

What’s the best thing about this image from the 1986 Nordstrom catalog? Well, all that denim is certainly not to be undervalued.

But check out what homegirl all the way on the left is doing with her shirt tails through her belt loops. Tying a knot in the front is an established style move. But going through the loops and knotting to create a smallish exposed triangle–that’s next-level.

Shop: Men’s jeans | Women’s jeans | Men’s denim jackets | Women’s denim jackets

—Andrew Matson

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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

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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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Follow Up: @SolesBySir

The series in which we hook you up with the feeds you need.

The outcome of Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots will certainly be measured in points–though in the larger game of life, you could argue that the true winner will be the team with the fewest concussions. But there is another competition afoot: Which player will have the illest shoes?

We spoke about what to expect on Super Bowl Sunday with Marcus Rivero, aka Soles by Sir, the custom-footwear king of the NFL. The Miami-based painter and designer says his shoes will be worn by players on both teams on February 1. Sales have been good since his status spiked this month after Instagramming a pair of gold-flake cleats commissioned by the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch, which were instantly banned by the NFL. 

Apparently there’s some league rule we don’t understand about shoes needing to match the color of uniforms. But we do understand banning a shoe is a sure-fire way to make it legendary and Rivero says business is better than ever.

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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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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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‘Twas the season to indulge, friends, but henceforth ‘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.


Image by Chris Cantino

We go hard on the elliptical machine to their DJ mixes and feel all emotional while playing their pop/hip-hop/dance album “Push Thru.” But at this moment, we mostly respect the hell out of the guys in the duo Magic Fades–Portland, Oregon, musician-athletes Mike Grabarek and Jeremy Scott–for their success as curators of Health Goth, the influential Facebook page that in 2014 propelled them to recent meetings as consultants with Adidas.

They’ve done it all with some in-house digital design (in partnership with Chris Cantino and Jan-Peter Gieseking) but mostly just their own taste and the belief that they know what’s dope, and a lot of passion for sneakers like the Nic Galway-designed Adidas Tubulars and these wet-looking Air Maxes. On the phone, Grabarek and Scott talked to us about their partnership with Adidas, fit-for-life attitudes and how Health Goth represents an attack on Portland’s dream of the 1890s.

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Gifted Giver: Lord Quas

We’ve been counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, but in this, the final chapter, we’ve gone a little rogue…

Through a spiritual medium in Los Angeles, we reached out to Quasimoto, a dirtbag, deadbeat, bad-guy rapper from the fictional city of Lost Gates, CA. The city is fictional but trust us, the rapper himself is real enough that there’s an NPR story on him. We wouldn’t normally seek the advice of such a low-down character, except for the fact that there’s some real genius and an utterly unique style to his music—the kind that makes Erykah Badu and Kanye West collaborators and fans.

Turns out Lord Quas was in a gift-giving mood for the holiday season, albeit mostly giving to himself. (And yeah, not quite giving enough that he could follow our customary Gifted Giver format.)

Seen here at his most festive, he cheers the world while drinking from the Das Horn Drinking Horn he gave himself and wearing a couple new Lego Brick Watches. They don’t really come in purple, but he wishes they did. Generously, he bought his homeboys Freddie Gibbs and Madlib each an oversized stuffed zebra from Melissa & Doug to celebrate their album Piñata. Quas also picked out Power Mama Maternity Panties and a Chiffon Short Robe by Naked Princess for his girlfriends. Things got real.

Illustration by Jeff Jank

SHOP: Holiday Gifts for Guys

–Andrew Matson

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Gifted Giver: Chef Sean Brock

We’re counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, in which friends old and new share their thoughts on stylishly spirited giving and receiving.

Sean Brock, badass of traditional low-country cuisine of the American South, is currently enlightening the world that Southern food can be healthy as well as indulgent. You might know him from the TV show Mind of a Chef or as chef/partner at the restaurants McCrady’s, Husk, Husk Nashville and Minero–or from his new cookbook, Heritage. Now you will know him from the Gifted Giver series on the Nordstrom blogs.

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