In early February I decided to stretch my wings a bit and travel northwest. I’d never been that far up the coast and I had a hankering for some vegan treats and beautiful scenery. One of my jam buddies had just moved back to Portland and my wanderlust was in full effect, so I booked a flight and set off a couple weeks later.
The next few posts will give you a bit of insight into my experiences and of course I’ll post some tunes to go along with them. I spent five days there but it was love at first sight. Portland is definitely my favorite US city, and I hope my words and music do it justice. Without further adieu…
I arrived around 10 at night and the sky had just cracked open when my friend parked his Subaru. The frigid air made me glad that I brought my heavier, hooded jacket. We were in St. Johns, a laid-back, friendly North Portland suburb and The Baowry was our first stop.
The music was turned down to the perfect volume and the decor was tastefully Asian. Our waitress had Siamese blue eyes and a dress that rose just high enough to make it interesting. It was the calm before the storm and I couldn’t wait to begin.
Warpaint: Keep It Healthy
Temples: Colours to Life
Boy Friend: Rogue Waves I
Diiv: Air Conditioning
Marissa Nadler: Dead City Emily
Angel Olsen: Stars
I Break Horses: You Burn
Friends: Ideas On Ghosts
“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.”
― Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
If there is one thing I am familiar with, it is the mindset of the hopeless romantic; therefore it was inevitable that I would construct a playlist of modern themes for the victims of constant pining. This is not your typical compilation– I’ve peppered the mix with songs you’ll hear for the first time and maybe have heard in passing, but didn’t quite catch the title of. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Threads of “dark” chords and folksy break-aways
1. Angel Olsen “The Waiting
2. Anna Calvi “Suzanne And I”
3. Chelsea Wolfe “The Warden”
4. David Lynch & Lykke Li “I’m Waiting Here”
5. Avi Buffalo “Jessica”
6. Nurses “Technicolor”
7. Saint Saviour “Tightrope”
8. Soley “Pretty Face”
9. Cocteau Age “Know Who You Are At Every Age”
10. Son Lux “Pyre”
11. Nurses “You Lookin’ Twice”
12. Tu Fawning “Wager”
13. Polica “Vegas”
14. Tricky “If Only I Knew”
15. Son Lux “Leave the Riches”
LF Stores are a staple for fashion-loving girls in Los Angeles, New York, and Florida. Now, New Orleans residents can find West and East Coast fashion at their doorstep. LF features Europeans brands with many items exclusive to the store. You can also find denim brought in from Los Angeles and Jeffrey Campbell brand shoes.
It took me a long time to finally force myself to exit the store. Their leather jackets are to die for, and their Italian shoes made my ol’ combat boots quite green with envy. On top of leather goods, LF has a variety of jewelry (such as Native American and religious-inspired pieces), as well as knitted scarves, large-brimmed hats, and tastefully-studded belts.
With such killer clothes, you’ll need a killer mix of dark wave and other chilly electronic beats with sexy vocals to accompany your sexy threads. While shopping, you can play this mix that will make it damn hard to leave (see previous paragraph). If you’re not trend-savvy, the expertly-dressed associates are there to help you sort out a stunning ensemble, whether for the street or the stage. Grab a latte from CC’s across the street, and spend a few hours there. You’ll thank me later!
1. Austra- Believe Me
2. Zola Jesus- Vessel
3. Neon Indian- Polish Girl
4. Grimes- Vanessa
5. Blondes- Spanish Fly
6. Glasser- Home
7. Craft Spells- Given The Time
8. Cults- Abducted
9. Class Actress- Journal Of Ardency
5408 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
A good gypsy always looks for a bargain, and what better way to save money and the environment than gypsy-switching clothing and accessories! Buffalo Exchange had the ground-breaking idea of hosting trades between locals in their stores, which can be found in a wide variety of different states.
With items often averaging about 15 bucks a pop, you can pick out a whole outfit for what might cost much more somewhere else. A little revelation came to me while I was trying on a gently-used top in the Magazine St. store: I’m sharing a bit of someone else’s life while wearing this shirt! Just think! By purchasing a tee, you will be taking a piece of someone’s history home with you. Who knows if what you’re wearing could’ve belonged to some local rockstar or an old friend you haven’t spoken to in ages.
Mother Nature’s best friends have an damn-the-man, eclectic, but tastefully trendy musical taste just like their fashion sense. They don’t like over-glamorous music unless it’s done right. I’ve made a mix that’ll get your indie bones shaking and ready to thrift.
1. Broken Bells- The Ghost Inside
2. Blue Hawaii- Blue Gowns
3. Starfucker- Medicine
4. Future Islands- Balance
5. Active Child, How To Dress Well- Playing House
6. Beach House- Zebra
7. Sea of Bees- Wizbot
8. Chairlift- Take It Out On Me
9. Midlake- Young Bride
3312 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
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If Houston (the Bayou City) has anything to offer fashion-wise it will be found in the Montrose area. Home to hipsters and artsy fartsy folks alike, Montrose is the place to go for thrift stores and kitsch collectibles.
To make Taxi Taxi the ultimate hipster paradise, I’ve created a mix that includes some of the best current synth wave and indie pop there is to offer. Don’t be ashamed to admit it. I’m a bit of a sceney weenie too. So we look awesome in skinny washed out black jeans and spend a little too much time on our makeup and hair (boy and girls equally). Who the hell cares! The 10-song compilation is guaranteed to make wannabe and true scenesters alike as happy as Robert Smith is fashionably sad.
1. Empire of the Sun- Standing On The Shore
2. Twin Shadow- At My Heels
3. Angus & Julia Stone- Big Jet Plane
4. Wild Beasts- Bed Of Nails
5. Interpol- Pioneer To The Falls
6. The Asteroids Galaxy- Lady Jesus
7. Cant- Believe
8. Wild Nothing- Promise
9. Craft Spells- After The Moment
10. Cults- Go Outside
1653 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77006
If you’re the kind of person that gets butterflies when you see an outfit is finely tailored paired with laid-back style, G-Star is the place for you. The Dutch company was founded in 1989 and marries a polished clothes with casual chic to make a killer combo.
For this playlist, I’ve compiled a mix of chilled out songs with driving beats and a few chart toppers that match the must-have feeling of the company itself.
1. CFCF- Before & After Light
2. Small Black-Photojournalist
3. Crystal Stilts- Shake The Shackles
4. Röyksopp- The Girl & The Robot
5. SBTRKT- Sanctuary (feat. Jessie Ware & Sampha)
6. The Kills- Future Starts Slow
7. Glasser- Mirrorage
8. Phantogram- When I’m Small
9. Little Dragon- Shuffle A Dream
10. The Morning Benders- Excuses
Established in London in the mid-to-late 1990s, AllSaints offers a Gothic look to mainstream 20-somethings and exceptionally well-dressed children (yes, children). Intricately woven goods channel the Victorian era with color schemes strictly confined to greys, blacks, and other muted colors. The neutral hues focus the viewer’s eyes on the quality of the cloth as well as its design. In doing so, AllSaints successfully built a devoted customer base that excite (though you might not know it from their withheld facial expressions) over quiet triumphs rather than bold statement pieces.
Recently, the company began a Basement Sessions project, which features artists/musicians that fit the AllSaints mold. Online shoppers don’t miss out on the great in-store music, because their site comes complete with a radio player (and free shipping!).
To suit the AllSaints enthusiast, we’ve compiled a playlist to accompany dress-up time at home or in shop via iPod 🙂
- Twin Shadow “Slow”
- Wild Beasts “Bed of Nails”
- When Saints Go Machine “You Or The Gang”
- Crystal Fighters “Xtatic Truth”
- Warpaint “Lissie’s Hear Murmur”
- The Veils “Calliope!”
- Telekinesis “Please Ask For Help”
- Austra “Lost It”
- The Duke Spirit “Lion Rip”
- Lykki Li “Youth Knows No Pain”
- The Antlers “Parentheses”
- St. Vincent “Year of the Tiger”
- James Blake “The Wilhelm Scream”
Gypsy Switch is switching gears: we’ll be doing music branding for stores. No idea what music branding is? Have you ever gone into a retail store and wondered where it got the rad music that’s pounding in your head hours after you’ve gone? Music branding is the sonic form of a brand’s identity. We’ll be starting in Covent Garden in London on and around Neal St. Covent Garden is home to some of the trendiest stores. Stay tuned for the 1st playlist for one of my absolute favorite stores: All Saints Spitalfields.
The true gypsy has a deep-seeded hunger for good music and the open road. I recently discovered a band that encases all the beauty of the free spirit: Warpaint. The band could without a doubt be called a supernatural force hell-bent on ridding Tinseltown of its association with “superficiality.” (if you’ll pardon the vibrato).
In “Stars,” Warpaint weaves a gentle lullaby in a forest of waking dreams. With ghost-like vocals and cavernous guitar riffs, “Stars” evokes the raw emotion of lost love. The haunting melodies linger long after the song is done and you’ll find yourself humming the bittersweet melody as you’re falling to sleep tonight. Enjoy!