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LOVE 11

Thursday, June 12, 2014 Studio Soundtracks: Angel Haze

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photo by Nick Haymes

Angel Haze sounds like a rapper, but she feels like a one-woman punk band. Towards the end of her recent frenetic performance opening for MIA at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Haze jumped into the audience. She was invisible except for the strobe of cell phones and camera flashes that followed her from one side of the crowd to the other, her powerful staccato booming through the waves of fans rocking out to her words. Haze may be young and relatively new to the game, but she has an insanely smart literary mind and name drops both queer theorists and rappers in the same breath. I spoke with the talented Detroit-bred rapper about  poetry, fashion, and finding her voice in the industry.

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LOVE 7

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Studio Soundtracks: Valerie Yum

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The first time I laid eyes on Valerie Yum was in the sweaty back room of an infamous, now sorely missed Sydney party called Gay Bash. If memory serves me correctly she was being photographed climbing across a black leather couch on all fours, throwing her long hair back over her head, wearing an American flag leotard and no pants. There is a photo of this somewhere on the internet, but in the interest of preserving our friendship I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Not much has changed since then, although both of us have sensible bobs and Val’s gone from occasional DJ sets at underground gay parties to being the first person you call when you’re putting on a fashion event in Sydney. Here’s how she did it:

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LOVE 12

Friday, May 16, 2014 Studio Soundtracks: The Prettiots

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It’s hard not to fall in love with The Prettiots, and it’s not just because they have a killer band name. The New York-based trio (comprised of Kay Kasparhauser, Rachel Trachtenburg, and Lulu Prat) self-described “indie-girl-pop-but-not-shitty” sound all started with just a ukulele and a loop pedal. “I opened at the Bowery Electric for Rachel, and we shared some interests and ideas about music,” said Kay. “Rachel agreed to drum for me while I did my thing, which made it a lot more listenable. Lulu played bass on tour with Supercute! (Rachel’s former band), and when Rachel and I decided we needed a bass player, Lulu was the obvious choice.” After just one listen to their single “Dreamboy,” we were totally addicted to their “Tokyo pop band meets cat cafe meets Clueless” vibe, as we dug a little deeper, we found out that Kay is a mega fan of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit‘s fictional NYPD detective Elliot Stabler. So much, in fact, that she even wrote a song about him. “I’m obsessed with L&O:SVU for a lot of reasons. I think it’s morbidly fascinating, and the fact that it is so popular really speaks to the darkness of popular opinion. I like that every episode is this perfectly compartmentalized moral tale of good and bad, but more specifically, I love Stabler because he is the ultimate dream boy—like a short-tempered badass with strong convictions and a fierce determination to right the wrongs of this cruel world.”  So, while we very patiently wait for The Prettiots debut EP to drop this summer, Kay explains what exactly what makes Elliot Stabler so dang dreamy and premieres her “Stabler” track right here on the blog. —Chrissy Mahlmeister

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Culture Shock > Studio Soundtracks > The Prettiots
LOVE 13

Monday, May 12, 2014 Studio Soundtracks: Lady DJ: Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor

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This summer we’re definitely hittin’ the highway in denim cutoffs, crochet dresses and fringe tops, but to make our Southwestern road trip totally complete, we’re going need some killer tunes as we cruise along the coast. Enter: DJ/model/It girl Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor. The 21-year-old daughter of John Taylor (bassist for Duran Duran) and Amanda de Cadenet (actress/photographer) put together a playlist influenced her NYC/California-via-London lifestyle and chatted with us about her road trip essentials. Check it out below!

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Culture Shock > Studio Soundtracks > Lady DJ: Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor
LOVE 9

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Studio Soundtracks: TEEN

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New York-based foursome TEEN are everything pop music is missing today. Their latest LP The Way And The Color (on Carpark Records) is a catchy, experimental-yet-modern take on classic R&B and harmonized pop. Leader Teeny Liberstein (formerly of Here We Go Magic) along with her two sisters (Lizzie and Katherine) and Boshra AlSaadi have this way of creating songs that build, swirl up like a flower on a vine and then explode into something totally beautiful. TEEN are intelligent, fun women who utilize their musical skills as much as their fashion sense to create a full package on stage. We took the ladies hostage to talk about the beginnings of the band, their current American tour with Phantogram, onstage fashion and the battle with high heels.

(Photos by Amber Asaly; hair and makeup by April Bautista)

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