These visually striking and subliminally comedic portraits (seriously, when’s the last time you saw Jerry Seinfeld mug this meanly?), commissioned by New York brand rag & bone, came across our desk a few weeks ago. But today—with the launch of our latest limited-time, Olivia Kim-curated shop, Pop-In@Nordstrom x rag & bone—seemed like an ideal time to call them to your attention.
Keep reading to see more of this series by talented English photographer Andreas Laszlo Konrath (a former avid skateboarder and punk band bass player who has since shot for high-profile publications like Vogue, Wired and Rolling Stone). The impressive body of work includes GQ’s deftly sardonic “Style Guy” Glenn O’Brien, NBA badass Carmelo Anthony, and many more men and women of all ages—a testament to the universal appeal of rag & bone’s modern-meets-heritage menswear.
Thank you, Spin magazine, for never failing to broach every musical topic from multiple angles. In addition to their ’50 Best Things We Saw at Lollapalooza’ list (which, perhaps inevitably, is a mix of cringe-inducing crowd behavior, as well as killer performances), the seminal music magazine captured impromptu portraits of up-and-coming acts (above), and posted the full performance by Queens of the Stone Age, who, even without Dave Grohl on drums, are sauntering closer to rock-royalty status with each new record. Seeing that led us to stumble upon full performances by Phoenix. And Vampire Weekend. (There’s a video of Nine Inch Nails’ headlining set too, but it contains bad words. Click here if you’re into it.)
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.”
Arguably the best-dressed band signed to Seattle record label Sub Pop, California rock group Dum Dum Girls plays a particular style of music that could be described as bubblegum deadpan. Their music follows the example set by The Ramones and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and perhaps above all, Richard Gottehrer—their producer, and the songwriter responsible for retro-rebellious classics like “My Boyfriend’s Back.” Below, the all-girl quartet’s frontwoman, Dee Dee, test-drives some Topshop and answers a few questions:
MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Is it true that Dum Dum Girls were partly named after the Vaselines song “Dum Dum”? Is that your favorite act signed to Sub Pop (besides your own)?
DEE DEE: “Yes, indeed true on both accounts—although Nirvana, Dead Moon, Beach House, Male Bonding, and David Cross are also favorites.”
MSD: What attracted you to working with producer Richard Gottehrer? Can you give an example of something he did in the studio that you felt changed your sound for the better?
DEE DEE: “I recorded the entire first album (I Will Be) myself, and it would’ve sounded like my first EPs and 7-inches without his initial ‘intervention.’ Aside from all the obvious reasons he’s a good match for me, I most value his lifelong enthusiasm. I don’t believe there’s a jaded bone in his body, which is saying a lot, considering how long and varied his career in the music business has been.”
MSD: How strict is the wearing-all-black part of being a member of the Dum Dum Girls? If someone wears blue jeans, do you kick them out?
DEE DEE: “It’s a non-issue at this point. And for my band, it doesn’t have to be anything more than an on-stage aesthetic. One hour of darkness.”
Effectively A&R’d to the label by indie rock guitar god J Mascis, Vermont native King Tuff is so talented that Sub Pop is letting him do whatever he wants—and right now, that’s putting out zippy albums like King Tuff and performing as a power trio. He sings in a high-pitched voice with a perfect falsetto, and plays lead guitar like a beast. He didn’t come here to bore you. It’s always straight to the groove, the hook, and then the next song.
MEN’S SHOP DAILY: When did you feel like you ‘got’ what Sub Pop was about?
KING TUFF: “They were the first label that talked to me, and I didn’t even really think about it, it was no question. They had such a good vibe, everyone I talked to. They seemed really genuine, like they weren’t trying to make money off me. They just seemed like fans. Like people I would actually hang out with, as opposed to some weird record executive or something.”
MSD: Word has it that your writing process consists of months of anguished unproductivity, then a flurry of songs. Which phase are you in now? KING TUFF: “I’m definitely in anguish right now. I’ve been on tour for the past couple years. At this point, I have to learn how to do it again. I’ve totally forgotten what it’s like to even have time to create. So I have to learn how to do it again. Or learn a new way. But I’m excited to do it again. That’s where the real passion is, writing songs and making recordings. It’s funny, though, it is anguish. But I know I can do it again.”
MSD: Your songs are so catchy, you could ghostwrite for a mainstream pop band. Have you ever written a song someone else has performed?
KING TUFF: “I haven’t done that yet, but it’s definitely something I want to try to do. Because I write a lot of songs where I’m like, well, this doesn’t sound like me—but it does sound like Taylor Swift. And I think that would be awesome if I could write a song for someone like that, or to hear someone else’s interpretation of a song that I wrote for that purpose. Because I sometimes write songs that I don’t think I can pull off. They’re not in my kind of singing style, or something. I think when I’m too fat to move, I’ll start doing that.”
MSD: Are your parents musical? KING TUFF: “My dad plays guitar very privately. He’s the reason I play guitar. He’s a huge music fan and he’s into the same stuff I’m into. I grew up with his music collection of old psych records and stuff. They are way cool.”
MSD: Everybody says that Sub Pop is so artist-friendly. What does that mean, that they don’t tell you what to do…ever?
KING TUFF: “They’ve never been like, you have to put out an album in a month. They’ve never given me a deadline. And sometimes I need a deadline, because I’m a major procrastinator since high school. But the fact that I can be in control of the album artwork, down to the finish of the paper, that’s pretty artist-friendly. Like No Age, their new record, they’re manufacturing the first press by themselves. [Ed. note: That means No Age requested they be allowed to hand-assemble their record in order to stay true to their DIY ethic.] There’s not many labels that would do that. I feel like I could ask them for advice—ask them anything.”
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: On a world-wide web with so much capacity for good (exhibit A | B | C), the amount of cyberspace devoted to cute cats, baby sloths, bunnies riding goats, and hamsters on pianos is appalling. When co-workers forward us links to baby animals, we’re not LOL’ing, we’re WTF’ing. All that jaded cyber-skepticism goes out the window, though, when you take one of the dashing-est dog breeds out there, the noble Shiba Inu, and deck him out in timeless human wardrobe essentials from tweed blazers and denim jackets down to a perfectly tidy tie clip.
That’s the brilliantly simple concept behind Menswear Dog, an NYC-based Tumblr page that won over pretty much the entire Internet last week. We’re not sure if we want to scratch his head or bite his steez. Probably both. While he doesn’t shop exclusively at Nordstrom, you can re-create each of his outfits with the links below.
For our new Gifts with Personality gift guide, we invited The Selby to photograph some of our most inspiring fellow Seattleites. Our fourth and final male personality builds connections by defying convention—a true ‘Maverick.’
“We’ve created a community here. This is a place where people can take themselves a little less seriously, and inject some wonder and curiosity back into their lives.”
—Gabe Johnson, curator at Horses Cut Shop Event Space, Seattle, Washington.
We see Gabe as a cultural instigator who embodies the write-your-own-rules, frontier attitude that still exists in the west. He has a knack for bringing people together for offbeat exploration and unconventional fun. Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood (nicknamed ‘The Center of the Universe’ by its residents) makes a fittingly quirky home for Gabe’s gathering place, Horses Cut Shop.
[Update: Horses Cut Shop is on the move. Check back with their official website to find out what’s next for the home of ‘Genuine American Riffraff.’]
“I feel blessed to have a career as an artist. All of my work is based on my Alaskan Native ancestry. The art that I do today gives me a sense of purpose because it’s all part of a continuum.”
—Preston Singletary, Artist, Seattle, Washington
Preston is literally able to bend the elements to his will, forging delicately powerful art from glass and fire. Yet, as fascinating as his work is to look at, it’s the centuries-old stories the pieces tell that make them truly one-of-a-kind.
“I’ve been a librarian for quite a few years now…We have a city of readers, and that’s a good thing in my profession.”
—Marcellus Turner, City Librarian at the Seattle Central Library
Seattle is consistently ranked one of the most well-read cities in the US, and we’d like to think Mr. Turner plays some small role in that statistic. An intellectually balanced individual, his passion for classic texts is matched by his appreciation for modern architecture—like the Rem Koolhaas-designed building in which he’s lucky enough to work.
“I grew up at a big table. For me, dinner is all about sharing. When someone passes you food, something special happens. I believe in magic—and that those little things go a long way.” —Cormac Mahoney, Chef/Co-owner of Madison Park Conservatory, Seattle, Washington
Cormac is the perfect ambassador for Seattle’s vibrant food scene. Every dish he serves is a testament to his inventive pairings and passion for fresh ingredients. This award winning chef’s mission is to make people feel at home in his warm, welcoming restaurant, nestled a stone’s throw away from Seattle’s Madison Park Beach.