Category Archives: Music

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Tuneage Tuesday : Ryan Adams

d1a78a34319c36f97a75f751c1474f47So I have a long appreciation for Ryan Adams. I first discovered his music when I was in college and going through one of “those” moments. You know the deep introspective  times when you’re just trying make it through the rainy day laying on your dorm bed.

Over the years he’s put out14 studio albums, with each one being just as beautiful and diverse as the next.  From alt-country, folk, and even a punk and metal concept record, his imprint remains on each genre.  Just last month he released his new self titled album to good reviews yet again.

In the 2000s he was known as a bit of a rebellious personality, often being unpredictable when it comes to live shows and other events. Through that he’s more known now for being married to Mandy Moore, but to me he’s another one of my favorite and truly honest singer-songwriters.

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images via tumblr

 

 

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The New Class: Swim Deep

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This post is a little bit of a departure from the usual, but what would it be without a little change. Swim Deep is a group from Birmingham, UK formed in 2010 with an indie pop sound and a nod to early 90s style. While their music is not typically what one would identify as the “grunge” sound, it’s clear that they were influenced by the style. I have their song “King City” on one of my Spotify playlists for late night dreaming. So, this post I thought would be good to appreciate the grunge style of the past that really transcends many musical genres even today.

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images via pinterest | tumblr 

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Fallen Icon : Kristen Pfaff

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In going through the icons of 90s past I was surprised that I hadn’t mentioned Hole bassist, Kristen Pfaff. While she was only in the band for a short time, she played and sung backup on their most critically acclaimed album, Live Through This.  She was a friend of Kurt Cobain and much of the grunge scene.

When she attended college in Minnesota she learned the bass and formed the band Janitor Joe with some friends. The band begun to take off in the early 90s and while on tour in California she caught the attention of Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson of Hole. After much persistence, she became the new bass player for Hole in ’93. She moved to Seattle to work with the band on the most iconic album of their career, Live Through This. During this time in Pacific Northwest it was such a creatively energetic time, enter friendships with Cobain and Erlandson.

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The negative side to living in Seattle during this time was the noted heroin problem the city was facing. on June 16th 1994 ( just months after Kurt’s death) she was found in her apartment by a friend. She died of a heroin overdose. There are so many notable figures who we have lost during this musically rich time, but we can never forget them. Kristen Pfaff still holds a place in rock history, and is one of my favorite fallen stars from the grunge era.

 

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images via pinterest

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Downtown w/ Cre•scen•do

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Deep in the heart of the warehouse district in Downtown LA, I had a chat with Gregory (vocals, guitar), Jade (synth), and Crystal (bass) also known as Los Angeles based dream pop outfit, Crescendo. Their debut album, “Lost Thoughts” (produced by John Kunkel of The New Division) is out today and Jade describes their sound as “delicious and buttery”. A truly original take that only someone on the inside could have. Which translates as an intriguing must listen of the fall season. In between the classic rock blaring on the speakers of the coffee shop, I got to the core of Crescendo; not only as a band but as people outside of their laid-back California sun soaked music.

While the band hails from Southern California, you really can’t help hearing the post punk sound of Northern England in their music. Maybe it’s because of singer Gregory’s influences; as he mentions that The Radio Dept. and The Smiths are some of his favorite musical artists. The rest of the band however has a more eclectic taste, ranging from Billie Holiday to black metal. All of this comes together while still blending the West Coast sound. “Let’s face it”, Jade says “California is in your DNA.” It’s hard to escape.

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Their single “Gatsby” has been on heavy rotation this summer, as is their music video to accompany the track. The band gave director Sal Chavez complete creative control with his vision, and it turned out great much to the bands delight. The video creates a clean environment of the music with the mysterious identities of the bands never revealed and carrying a romantic subtext throughout.

Whether they are planning dream tours like playing alongside The Beatles, Blood Orange, or Dead Man’s Bones they are also waxing poetic on the impact the internet is making on music today. It’s a different world than 20 years ago, there is more of an opportunity to reach your music to a wider audience, Gregory says. An exciting time is definitely on the horizon.

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When it comes to fashion Crescendo likes to play it cool. In unconscious dressing and it’s opposite; Gregory is currently trying to resurrect his favorite shoe gaze bands by wearing their shirts to each interview or photo shoot going forward. Jade takes her influences from Kelly Bundy and Queen Elizabeth, while Crystal prefers to let the colors speak to her.

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Their new album aptly titled “Lost Thoughts”, is out today through all forms of digital distribution as well as on vinyl. It is described by the band as 11 tracks centered around romanticism, nights of long dancing, relationships, and daring to dream.

Download their new album today on iTunes and get the vinyl on their website 

 Cre• scen•do on Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

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Tuneage : Mudhoney

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During my discovery of grunge music when I was just a kid, I found all sorts of treasures when looking outside of the Nirvana bubble. I then expanded to the Sub Pop oeuvre which lead me to Seattle based band, Mudhoney. The distortion and grimey sounds that they are known for was just a little less melodic and poppy than Nirvana which was a great way to expand myself beyond the popular “grunge” genre. They also played shows with Nirvana in the early days and their early music has been noted as an influence so many Seattle bands in the late 80s/early 90s underground scene. Lead by Mark Arm who is still playing with the band today, is a definite reminder that the spirit is not dead.

See also: Green River

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Muse Study : Wyatt & Fletcher Shears

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The concept of a ‘muse’ I’ve always found to be so intriguing. Last year Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent stumbled upon androgynous twins, Wyatt and Fletcher Shears of the lo-fi, noise rock band, The Garden.

The guys were discovered by a scout while playing a gig in L.A. and the rest is history as they say. Slimane flew them to Paris to open and close the Fall 14 menswear show and to star in the music series of the Saint Laurent campaign. In an interview on Vice, they said they weren’t even sure that it was really the famous French fashion house at all and weren’t going to call them back. When they found it was the real deal they became muses to one of my inspirations both in fashion and in photography.

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images via vice | google

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Fashion Grunge Mixtape #44: Freedom to Create

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ph: Nima Elm

It was time for a mixtape after everything that has happened in the last few weeks. So lose yourself in some new tunes for the next few weeks.

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Rebel Girls : Bikini Kill

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As far as role models go, I don’t really remember who I admired when I was in high school. However, there is one band that really stands out, Bikini Kill. It was the first time that I really saw and heard these fearless girls who were apart of the riot grrrl movement and really showed that the girls could do it just like the guys in punk rock. I was introduced to BK  with the album “Pussy Whipped”, when I was 14 through my love for Nirvana. Kathleen Hanna was the famous one who coined the term “smells like teen spirit” while writing graffiti on a wall one night. The rest is musical history. I can’t wait until girls start a punk riot and get inspiring in the mainstream yet again.

 

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images via pinterest

 

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Fashion Grunge Mixtape #43 : In Perfect Time

 

It was just time for another mixtape to come around. Lately I’ve been into so many different music types. From 70s punk to 80s new wave and of course the ever present 90s alternative and grunge rock that always rules my bloodstream. Take a listen.

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Band Crush : The 1975

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Every now and again a band comes along that throws you for a loop. It’s not always the usual genre you’re used to, but somehow you are drawn into this world of listening to all of their albums and watching all of their videos.  This brings me to Manchester based band, The 1975. While they are more of a”current alternative” indie rock band than a 90s grunge redux, I still happen to absolutely love the style and imagery of the group itself.  In particular their video for the track “Robbers” has enthralled me like no other video has in quite a while.

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