Listen Up!

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This is a good outfit with styling moves you should copy this fall: the long t-shirt layered underneath the shorter sweatshirt and jacket; the apparent socklessness; the rolled cuff, high enough to show a full commitment to rolled cuffs and not some lame half-measure.

But enough about the outfit. Let’s focus on the sweatshirt.

Designed by Japanese streetwear legend and DJ Nigo, this is a sweatshirt to listen to. Yes, listen. Because it’s printed with graphics ripped off from ’80s rap, made into adidas logos.

Which ’80s rap logos? Step into the old-school, below.

Shop: adidas/Nigo sweatshirt |  bomber jackets | Varvatos jeans | adidas Tubular Primeknit

This way for body rocking, electro-shocking beats and raps…

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Nicole-Willis-photo-balconyPhoto by Jimi Tenor

Nicole Willis hails from New York City, where she grew up singing Burt Bacharach songs and listening to Malcolm X speeches on WWRL AM. Now she pumps throwback soul music out of her longtime home base in Finland with her band The Soul Investigators, peaking in her third decade of recording and performing.

Her new album, Happiness in Every Style, is perfect for fall, something like an audio sweater. The New York Times praises its “even-keeled, simmering grooves.” We concur. The whole album sounds comfortable, perfectly played, completely in the pocket–and enduringly warm from Willis’ alto voice to the analog tape on which it was recorded. For best results, buy the vinyl.

Listen to the uplifting single “One in a Million” below. And below that, check out our interview with Willis about crusty styles, Carole King–and disabusing oneself of the notion of originality.

Click here for the Q&A

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thuggertwirlLet us officially end the season with a ceremonial last blast of “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” And while it plays, let’s fondly remember how its steel drums and soulful vocals soundtracked all our parties and BBQs.

It’s fall, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have one last go-round with the song of the summer, right?

Ready for Bella Hadid, Imaan Hamman and mad leapgrogging?

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twinshadowIt’s not a Public School runway show without a soundtrack by Twin Shadow, aka George Lewis Jr. He’s done them all going back to 2012, becoming an essential piece of the New York City brand along the way.

For the show that just occurred at New York Fashion Week—and which our Senior Writer Laura Cassidy attended and covered excellently—that music takes the form of an original 9-minute dance mix.

Most Twin Shadow music is pop rock. This is a bunch of drums and squeezes of chipmunk soul. It’s a change of pace and it’s great. ’Nuff said.

Shop: Public School

–Andrew Matson

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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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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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tuxedo700
Photo by Kyle Johnson

Parties crack and moods lift to the sounds of Tuxedo, the west coast duo whose 1980s funk is inspired by the past and crystalized in the present by Mayer Hawthorne (Andrew Cohen) and Jake One (Jake Dutton). If the group’s eponymous album is not in your summer music rotation already, we recommend it.

The singer and producer are old friends and hip-hop collaborators. They’re both deejays, too, and initially bonded over mixtapes each had made focusing on artists like Bernard Wright and David Grusin. The shared affinity is central to Tuxedo.

We spoke to them on tour about how Tuxedo fits into this current retro moment in pop (Mark Ronson, Daft Punk) and which piece from their custom Klein Epstein Parker tuxedos Jake One accidentally left at home with 30 minutes to showtime.

Shop: tuxedos

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eskimeauxImages by Manuela Insixiengmay

In a contemplative mood this summer, we’ve been reaching for OK by the New York City band Eskimeaux, an album that makes us believe again in the power of turn-of-the-millennium indie rock. We listen while we read Rookie Magazine and The Le Sigh, and think maybe it’s not a dead genre. Maybe instead it’s a not-broken, doesn’t-need-fixing staple.

We met with bandleader and sometimes solo performer Gabby Smith in an undisclosed greenhouse to talk about the weird ambient music she used to make, her upcoming video session for NPR and the value of tenacity in one’s artistic process.

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