Concert Uniform #5: Phish Show- Rain Edition

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After the monsoons of Chicago, I had a few people ask me to write up a “What to Wear to a Rainy Phish Show” article for the upcoming three night Phish run on Labor Day Weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Please note that while I like to dress like some Punky Brewster/army brat reject, the rules apply to even the most basic of colors and pieces. When dressing for Phish, you prepare for war, blood, bile and all, especially Phish shows in late summer in Colorado. It rains here in the early evenings all the time, enough that most locals have complete rain outfits to wear to Red Rocks. Rain doesn’t stop the show, and it shouldn’t stop you. Bring a raincoat. A cheap poncho will do in a pinch, but the wind often makes them fly around. I have a great North Face rain coat that kept me dancing during “Boogie On” in Chicago this year. Things would have been rough without it. I also have a sequined lined jacket that works great in light rain, sequins = water rolling off a duck’s back.

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You can get the North Face jacket in almost any color here: best lightweight raincoat

The jacket I got from The Gap years ago in NYC, it was some limited edition holiday jacket. It can be turned inside out for when you want to be incognito, and if you ever see something like it, grab it. I’ve hunted eBay for a back-up to no avail ever since.

Besides rain, it can get chilly at night here, so bring a hoodie or light denim jacket. I usually buy hoodies from the merch table once I’m at the show if I like the design. I also have many ugly hoodies that I had to buy, so check out the merch beforehand, you might want to save fifty bucks and bring your own. I never need my jacket during the show, but it can be straight cold afterwards, so plan ahead and don’t be that complaining shivering person at the end of the night, people like to hang out for awhile.

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I often bring an army jacket instead of a raincoat if the temp is supposed to really drop, but you are usually fine with something more lightweight. Ziploc bags are a must, bring extras for everyone’s cellphones. In fact, bring a tarp! I don’t want to bring up CO tarping issues, but it makes a great roof for a group on the floor during a downpour.

Skirts and dresses used to be my go-to bottoms, but in an effort to carry smaller purses, I have embraced pockets and tend to wear primarily denim cutoffs, gotta love that fifth pocket. I bought the ones in the top pic from Venice Beach after the Hollywood Bowl show, they are pretty ridiculous, plain ones work just as well. I don’t like having pants on in the rain, so I’d do my best to have bare legs at potentially wet shows. You know when you use the bathroom and pull your wet bathing suit bottoms up and they don’t fit right? Forget getting sopping wet skinny jeans back on, it’s like that x1,000.

As for shoes, I have an in-depth blog linked below, but in a nutshell, I’m a closed toed shoe person. Many like flip-flops, then tossing them and going barefoot in the rain. I prefer either a thin canvas shoe that won’t get sucked off your foot, like slip on Vans, or my trusty Nike Air Max just because they have some decent stats and are so comfy (they get heavy when water logged, though). My other favorite option is boots, either durable leather ones that can have mud scrubbed off them, or rain boots. Rain boots get cumbersome though, throw some little flats in your bag for when it doesn’t rain at all so you aren’t stuck in them all night.

Also, don’t forget a hat with a brim. Whether it’s a straw hat or baseball cap, you need something to stop rain from splattering in your face. An extra trash bag to put your whole bag in is a great idea if it’s pouring, as well.

Lastly, Phish shows are T-Shirt Fashion Week. Wear your favorite, mine is this Bob Dylan/Misfits tank I found in San Diego:

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I almost forgot! My latest must-have rain gear! The dear friend who forced Phish on me until I liked em guessed correctly that I wasn’t able to keep a setlist journal during Chicago due to the rain. He pops up in Tahoe and gives me a new notebook with paper made of waterproof stone. The most thoughtful gift, and I got to give Tweezer not one, but two stars in it (as well as a too hasty Piper call):

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See past blog on shoes to wear to shows (as you can see, my VIP’s still reign supreme): Shoes for Shows

And past blog on Showpurses to finish the job: Showpurses

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Princess Music tonight at Bluebird, check out the new merch!

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Fantastic Colorado locals Princess Music are headlining tonight at Bluebird, as well as selling their unreleased studio album and this amazing four color, locally printed shirt. Want. Saw them open for Akron/Family a few months ago and was very impressed. This band has good momentum going, check them out tonight!

Show details here: Princess Music tonight at Bluebird

Overalls – Back With a Vengeance

These Free People overalls are on the way:

20130613-112650.jpg I’ll take the dark and the acid wash

Now that it’s super hot, I inexplicably want jeans that have a heavy denim top connected to them. Overalls are looking great these days, all slim and chic, no more farmer’s daughter here! I think they look best with minimal tops (now is your chance to wear those crop tops you are too shy to wear on your own), cute chain jewelry, and wedges or flat strappy sandals with the legs rolled up. Here are a few styles that are on my wishlist:

Ok, these aren’t actually on my wishlist, I already ordered them. You can make your own with some large overalls and basic sewing skills:

20130613-113043.jpg cute dress overalls from Urban Outfitters

I’d wear a neon tube top and some Jordans with these and go breakdancing downtown, check those sweet zips!

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For when you want to look like the most stylin’ 6 year old on the playground:

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Church overalls:

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For more formal overall occasions:

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However, not all overalls are ok. Just say no to hooded, distressed, elastic waistband shortalls:

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As a bonus, here’s a blog of photos of women wearing overalls. Almost seems fetishy. Actually, after reading it for awhile it’s totally a fetish site run by an older guy. It takes all kinds!: women in overalls

Eleven Songs I Like Today and the Best Tank Top Ever

20130505-172709.jpg photo by Russ Simon

My neighbor is a prize-winning tulip gardener, and the second the snow melted, the ladies came out! You should see her backyard. I’m allowed to take as many flowers as I want, as well as walk around in them, in exchange for occasionally shoveling her sidewalk. Community! Needless to say, I feel very fortunate to have such a nice neighbor. The tank top is Brandy Melville, it’s Dylan mixed with The Misfits. It is my favorite tank ever, and I wish I could find another. Literally went to the store in San Diego twice before the sales chick found one in a pile of other black tank tops. The skirt was a disaster, windy day, better with a bathing suit.

Here’s some songs I’m loving today (all song titles are links to the song):

1. Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” : first time played live, Jagger swaggering and pointing with splendour, every note perfect. To Vegas or not to Vegas….

2. Deodato “Also Sprach Zarathustra(2001)” : my husband heard a version of 2001 that he thought was Phish with horns, did some searching, found it. This is the best rendition of a song ever. Timeless. It’s been played about a hundred times blaring through our speakers through the house. My life has felt very funky but dramatic.

3. The Bamboos “Happy” : continue the funk with this New Zealand band that really needs to tour the USA.

4. TEEN “Circus (Live at Union Pool)” : great, loud, pretty stuff, their name is around a lot right now, I like the flashlight video.

5. Metz “Wet Blanket” : if you have some patience and let the music inside you, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. They are playing in Denver at Hi Dive on Tuesday. It’s going to be so forceful.

6. Lorde “Royals” : New Zealand is really cranking out unbelievable music! This song is slithery, minimal beat, nice vocals, I have a song of the day!

7. Faces on Film “Knot in the Vine” : this band has a slick, dreamy sound. Sounds like a movie where everyone is sweaty in a small town and most of them have slept with each other and drama sweaty drama.

8. No Joy “Negaverse” : opening for Metz this Tuesday, beautiful noise.

9. Chain in the Gang “Living in the Panther Cage” : love some quirky minimal stuff with male and female vocals and loud snare.

10. Goat “Goatman” : heard this year’s Austin Psych Fest was the best year yet, I’m in for sure next year at this new location. Kicking myself that I skipped it and missed these guys. So much to do, so little time…..

Update- song 11 came in last night and it’s just a perfect simple piece of beauty : “Big Talking” by White Woods

Seapunk – It’s This Thing

Seapunk is this fashion style/trend/lifestyle/I don’t know, it’s cute. Supposedly it started from a girl who dreamed of a leather jacket with barnacles instead of studs (@lilinternet). It also is influenced by Hipster Ariel, a meme that simply involved someone putting thick frame glasses on The Little Mermaid. So simple, so brilliant:

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So brilliant and cute, that people dressed like her for Halloween:

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Then it evolved into every day wear for the more outlandish:

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You’ve got to have lots of turquoise. Which is the hardest color to keep in your hair, of course. Charlotte Free busted on the modeling scene years ago because of her hot pink hair, this is a great Seapunk look:

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You don’t have to go completely counterculture to wear this trend, though. This is a great dress for more fancy occasions, I’d wear lots of pearls with it: wedding seapunk

Some pretty heels in acceptable Seapunk colors, beige for sand, you know: lovely heels

Hologram is also a MUST. Blumarine had a hologram theme for their Fall 2012 line:

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Or my backpack, it’s available at Urban Outfitters: holographic backpack

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Of course, if you want to go all out, just model yourself after this queen of the seastreets that Humans of New York caught today (inspiring me to write this):

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Have fun with it! I’m going pretty turquoise and light pink soon. It will probably last two weeks, but those will be a great two weeks. For an extensive history of the OG seapunks, check out this Vice article

Shoes for Shows

I’ve been asked about the best shoes to wear at concerts by a few people, so I thought I’d show the ones I wear. There are quite a few schools of thought. Some go barefoot, flip-flops, sporty offroad style sandals, and then the closed toe shoes and socks people. I’m the third one, as I tend to get my feet stepped on a lot, and my bones get tired so I need some support. I LOVE flip-flops, lived in them year round in Texas, but they just don’t cut it when you need to jump over a barrier, one always falls off. Anyway, I don’t like wearing the same shoes day after day, so I’ve found lots of options. Below is an extremely long catalog of shoes I’ve worn to concerts that worked.

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Nike Air Max Sunrise – these are my VIP’s. They’ve seen 50+ shows, great support, good quality, and cute. In Charlotte this standard dirty hippie guy came up to me and said “excuse me, but are those the Air Max Sunrise? Well done!” and in Ohio a venue worker found them on her phone, she wanted them for work. That’s all the approval I need!

sold out, here are a bunch of other color combos though

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I’ve had a pair of checkered Vans in my arsenal off and on since I was a kid. Once you break in the back, these are the best. Cheap, you can toss them in the washer and dryer, and they match everything. These even stood up to the high tide coming up to our ankles at Jones Beach for Phish. Journey’s. I worked there when I was 16 and they were great to work for, thus I buy vans and tube socks there, they have a quota on socks that is tough to make.

checkered Vans

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The lace-up Vans are just as good. Since these come in men’s sizes, you will often meet a dude in the same shoes. This requires you to put your shoes next to each other, then do the Kid’n Play and high five. You will probably see this guy in two more cities and Kid’n Play each time. Journey’s as well.

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Jordans. This is when you want to make a statement. These are pricey shoes to be wearing in sticky arenas, by wearing white ones you are showing you are stupid and frivolous and do not care. When I wore them at SXSW, I got stopped multiple times to get my picture taken for streetstyle blogs. This did not happen in any other shoe. Sold out, eBay with inflated price

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These are for classier shows, where you will be dancing, but people will be older and in control of themselves, like a Medeski, Martin and Wood show or Spiritualized. These all live in their shoeboxes, and it’s taken years to collect. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes.

gold high tops

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Speaking of Red Rocks, it’s slanted, so I like to have a cowboy heel when I’m there. I’m obsessed with ankle boots that don’t make your legs stumpy. I liked these MIA boots so much, I bought both colors. If you like something, buy all the colors, you never regret those purchases. This style is no longer for sale, but these are similar and even better. That’s also a really good price!

MIA ankle boots

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If only they came in more colors.

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Since they don’t come in black, I wear these Vince Camuto Marcin boots. Softest leather I’ve ever felt, they are like wearing a slipper with spurs. They look really funny in the airport x-ray machine.

starting to get low on sizes

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Oh hey! The same boot in a Chelsea style in cheetah print! I had to wear thick ski socks for awhile breaking them in, they are great for running around on steps in the dark.

these were $60 when I bought them, keep your eyes open

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Speaking of running around in the dark, these are great for sneaking around quietly and quickly. However, they get demoted a point because they stain when someone spills their drink on you.

I like all of their stuff

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Here are their fancier cousins, these are so freaking fun for dancing. I thought they were stupid looking, but after I kicked around in them it was on. I can’t recommend these enough, they come in a ton of colors.

that color is no longer available, but these are pretty

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As we get further into taller boots, these get worn to metal shows and anything that’s going to get crazy. Buy Frye boots on eBay for much less, and you get the added bonus of someone else breaking them in.

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Final concert shoe. These are the best boots I’ve ever owned. Frye leather is awesome, if it already looks like they came from the Gold Rush, then they look good forever. Comfortable, cute, and warm, these are my go to for winter concerts.

I hope this helps at least one person, and keeps them from breaking a pinkie toe (happened in flip-flops), stepping on broken glass and bleeding everywhere (happened barefoot at a small outdoor venue), or getting tetanus (hasn’t happened). At a concert, you want to have fun and dance to great music, not complain that your feet hurt. Have fun out there!!

Things I Learned Watching the Coachella Stream

20130415-095735.jpg photo by Bryan Van Der Brug

Besides The Postal Service reunion, I had no strong desire to be at Coachella, so I chose to watch the Youtube stream from my own home all weekend. In case anyone can’t tell, I LOVE streaming things. Technology is fantastic, and while the stream was much choppier than last year’s Bonnaroo stream, it got the point across. Things I learned from watching all weekend:

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– I really need a new stool for the computer. This one is rickety and fake leather and all the buttons on top popped off so you sit on little metal circles. I can’t work like this.

Cloud Nothings rule. I’ve only seen them in little dark places, so was very curious how they would do in the day on a huge stage. They killed it.

– thank goodness for 3 Channels of music, because a lot of it was stuff I have seen in the past year and not been impressed with

Jenny Lewis makes me cry even if she is wearing a slutty Wicked Witch of the East circus conductor outfit

Jake Bugg continues to be awesome as can be

– I do not get why everyone likes the xx or James Blake, I try and try but they both make me bored instantly

– if there is one thing people like to do at Coachella, it’s putting their hands in the air

– people LOVE The Lumineers, they played for their biggest audience ever

– a friend worked on the Daft Punk teaser video

R. Kelly can do no wrong in my book apparently. Dude pees on a minor, and I’m still freaking and loving him onstage with Phoenix doing a “1901” and “Ignition” mash-up, and it worked!

– they apparently had great drugs. The clips of the electronic acts were mesmerizing and repulsive, saw a lot of eyes rolled in the back of heads. YEAH! BASS IN YO FACE

– best festival fashion ever since many can afford to trash designer stuff in Southern California. Absurd amount of flower crowns but at least I like them. High waisted denim shorts are now called Coachella shorts, which is BS, Austin’s been running that fashion game for years!

Tame Impala should tour with a wind machine always

– Danny DeVito is a good twitterer: Danny Devito at Coachella

Social Distortion never lost it

Ty Segall jumped onstage with Thee Oh Sees but they weren’t shown on the stream. Coachella Director!! Please show them next weekend!

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– crowd surfing is still strong in California, and there are more tanned, muscled, tank top wearing, gang sign throwing yo-bro dudes than I ever imagined….