Yesterday marked the grand opening of our French Fling Pop-In Shop—a curated selection of eclectic and often exclusive French-themed goods from Rodarte, Kitsuné, A.P.C. and many more. We celebrated here in Seattle by throwing a packed soirée with free PBR, a crêpe truck, and vintage-surf-tinged tunes by amazing pop-punk band La Sera.
At both the in-store shop and the after-party, our friends documented the stylish debauchery via le Instagram. The photos below are our favorites collected from hashtag #NordstromPOP.
Back in 2007, Seattle’s Sub Pop Records started Hardly Art Records, a label within itself, with lower financial stakes and a pop-rock fixation. The two labels reside in the same building in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood on 4th Avenue. Rock duo Deep Time is a fairly recent addition to the Hardly Art roster—an outlier from Austin, Texas, whereas most other Hardly Art bands are from Seattle, the Bay Area, or New York City. Their oddly-shaped songs are worth a listen. They charm, puzzle, and then are gone.
Deep Time played the Hardly Art showcase at the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee. Band leader Jennifer Moore was kind enough to grant us a quick interview.
MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Being from Austin, how do you feel about SXSW? Does it feel musically important to you, or is it one big Doritos ad? DEEP TIME’S JENNIFER MOORE: “Big ol’ Doritos ad, with close-ups of the chips, and canned music playing very quietly in background.”
MSD: Austin seems to have a lot of ‘meat-and-potatoes’ rock bands. Does it feel like you are way out on a limb down there, with your left-field approach? JENNIFER MOORE: “Austin is pretty rock-heavy, especially the garage variety. But there are tons of little scenes in Austin, and they do mix a bit. There’s a group of ten or so local bands we play with regularly. So we get a lot of support from that group, even if it’s tiny.”
MSD:How much pressure does Hardly Art put on you to make money? JENNIFER MOORE: “Zero. It’s been really nice working with Hardly Art. They mostly just seem excited about putting out music they like.”
[Deep time drummer Adam Jones]
MSD:What was your favorite thing you experienced at the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee? JENNIFER MOORE: “People watching was pretty satisfying! The concertgoers were all over the place, age-wise, with lots of weirdos, and parents, and teens that looked like maybe they were at their first concert. But everyone seemed especially pumped to be there.”
MSD:Please recommend some restaurants in Austin. Have you been to Paul Qui’s place, qui? What about tacos and Tex-Mex? JENNIFER MOORE: “We have not been yet. We are saving our pennies, but we have been to Uchi, which is kind of an epic eating experience. Chapala off Cesar Chavez Street is our favorite taco/Tex-Mex place. It’s also very affordable. One meal at qui equals 70 at Chapala.”
You know that ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ theory, wherein everyone knows someone who knows someone (and so on) who’s famous? Well, here at Nordstrom HQ, we’re lucky enough to be one degree from some quasi-famous and ridiculously talented people. (Not Kevin Bacon—but pretty close.)
One of them is Sonya Westcott, a key member of our Web Development team and also an amazing musician (that’s the back of her head on the right). After playing bass in Rogue Wave (yes, thatRogue Wave) for a while early on, she co-founded ‘psychedelic folk-rock’ duo Arthur & Yu (picked up by Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman’s then-new label Hardly Art). Sonya’s latest music project, We Are Loud Whispers, came together seemingly miraculously—across the Pacific Ocean, via e-mail, with Japan-based collaborator Ayumu Haitani.
To say we’re impressed with the duo’s new record is an understatement—especially considering it was written, arranged, and put on wax without the two setting foot in the same room (let alone on the same continent). We’re equally impressed with Sonya’s wide-ranging, sometimes abrasive (in the best possible way) taste in music. She was kind enough to share 5 of her recent favorite albums with us below.
Metz – Metz
“Anyone who is a fan of punk, post-hardcore, whatever you want to call it, will love this band. It’s loud, it’s heavy—definitely turned up to 11. They put on a great show. I saw them at Barboza here in Seattle.”
Room 237 – [Soundtrack]
“This is the musical score to a really great documentary about one of my favorite films of all time, The Shining—so as you might imagine, it’s eerie and dark, yet campy at times. Amazing use of synth sounds reminiscent of what you would hear watching zombie films from the late ’70s and early ’80s.”
Matthew E. White – Big Inner
“Honestly, you just need to listen to it in its entirety. It’s that good. If you’re a fan of the soulful, funky bands of the ’70s—horns, strings, smooth-as-velvet vocals—you won’t be disappointed.”