Finally got to see Said the Whale last night, and they surpassed my pretty high expectations. The success of their single “I Love You” brought quite a few teenagers and every pretty young lawyer that lived in the area. While their latest album has a very polished sound, their live show is much more raw, intricate and careful sounds coming from everyone, often leading up to moments of distortion and reverb that I didn’t expect from them. I don’t get a chance to shoot females often, but when I do, I shoot their shoes. They are currently on tour with Kopecky Family Band, go see them if you like sweet pop rock that gets a little chaotic.
In the latest of their rockstar collaborations, KEEP Shoes had amp rock genius J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. design a shoe with the detail of his guitar strap down the back. The shoes came with a single that has a cover of Mazzy Star‘s “Fade Into You”. It keeps the same melancholy mood, but J brings more dusty, country wisdom and pain to the song, similar to when Johnny Cash covered Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” (except not near as heartbreakingly painful to listen to). Check out the cover over at Pitchfork today, it’s beautiful: J Mascis “Fade Into You”
Buy the limited edition vegan sneakers here: Dinosaur Jr. Shoes
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:
So brilliant and cute, that people dressed like her for Halloween:
Then it evolved into every day wear for the more outlandish:
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:
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:
Or my backpack, it’s available at Urban Outfitters: holographic backpack
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):
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
If only they came in more colors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
Want to find me at a concert when I’m not working? I will be in some form of this outfit, maybe even this exact outfit itself! Concert clothes get grossed up,and I see no point in spending lots of money on concert clothes. This skirt is from Wet Seal, and most likely was no more than 7 bucks. It’s scratchy, it’s cheap, it’s stretchy, it’s perfect. Found out the hard way that you need to wear tights under it, but that’s ok because not only do they save you from thousands of tiny scratches, they keep the skirt in place! I always feel bad watching younger chicks pulling and pulling their little cotton miniskirt ever since they came back in style. Take a walk around the block, always test your stuff out before embarking on five hour dancing excursions! And size up, if it keeps pulling up, it’s too small. No shame in wearing the size that fits and looks good.
The shirt is a really thin linen one from The Gap, and I could kick myself for not buying every color. You get the look of the mismatched plaid without the heat of a flannel. Amazing. It’s not on sale but The Gap, bring this Slim Boyfriend Shirt back. You had it in red/white and blue/orange, too.
I lean towards ankle boots lately just because I’m a little moto and cowboy booted out, and spring is coming! These are awesome and I actually have them in three colors. The leather is soft like a slipper, be careful when taking them off at the end of the night (don’t grab by the heel),
This outfit is so clutch that sometimes, it can even be used as workwear as long as I bring my camera bag (only one pocket with this outfit, must have showpurse ). I love my camera bag from Cheeky Lime, durable, simple, and people know there is camera stuff in there so it parts the sea like Moses.
Coffeeshop venues are so easy to dress for. Basically, you can wear what you want, your work clothes, date night clothes, or something like this. Obviously a plaid shirt is always a fall back, but this one is more fitted and buttoned all the way to the top, because the fashion blogs say that’s how we wear them now. almost cholo style, but buttoned to the very bottom. Great for showing off chunky shorter necklaces or a bowtie if you are daring.
I always wear jeans to singer/songwriter type venues. First off, it’s usually a bunch of high tables and stools, so you sit cross legged like a lady ( great time to wear heels, hook it on that lower rung for stability) or you have to sit kind of open legged like a man. I do the latter, so jeans it is.
As for shoes, rock those heels, wear your nice ones, even! These crowds are chill, there isn’t beer spilled everywhere. Only venue I will dare wear a pair of Jordans is of the coffeeshop venue variety, why not? It’s clean! Also, go ahead and bring your nicest purse, you’ve got that high table to flop it on (bonus if they have hooks under the table) and it never leaves your sight!
Doll up, go see some folk and Americana, come home and say “Hey ! My super high heeled boots didn’t hurt tonight!”
Just like any other job, being a concert goer and/or concert photographer requires a uniform. Luckily, the code is blue collar rock casual, so you get to look all cute and don’t have to wear stupid 3/4 sleeve button up dress shirts from Express (business casual, you are the worst). When shooting shows, I almost always wear a variation of the above outfit:
Black Shirt – because when you are in the photo pit, you are in front of EVERYONE and they didn’t pay to see you. Blend in, dress like the theatre techies from high school. Wow. I take fashion cues from Techies. Anyway, bonus point if it’s a black band tee. The older dudes love shirts from past jobs that say CREW, knock yourself out.
Denim Cutoffs – POCKETS oh pockets, how I love thee. Necessary for your camera lens, ID, and some cash because I don’t bring a showpurse when I have my camera bag. Fifth pocket for little important things. Also, I find myself climbing on stages, crawling over rows of seats, things that skirts just can’t handle.
Black Tights – I live in Colorado. And love Edie Sedgwick
Denim or Flannel Shirt – more pockets! Plus, it’s colder by the time shows let out, and I don’t want to be burdened with a coat if there is no coat check. And I’m a sucker for grunge fashion.
Hair Ties – discussed in showpurse article linked above
Boots or Other Sturdy Closed Toe Shoes – the blatant disregard for feet care at concerts is appalling. Unless you are at a big outdoor with a lawn or a small polite show, wear some closed toe shoes, ladies! You get stepped on, drinks are spilled, floors are disgusting, and at the end of the night, many of you complain about your feet hurting. Boots, sneakers, heck a pair of flats! Wear comfy shoes good for dancing and standing. If you wear heels and don’t complain though, you rock it girl, respect.
Wear a combination of this and you will be comfy and protected even in the most thrashing of metal shows.
An old high school friend Reed Wotiz created these awesome earbuds that look like braided guitar cables called Tweedz. They come with a few different rubber parts depending on what size you need (a big plus for me because regular iBuds always fall out of my weird small ears). I got a pair for the mass amount of walking I would be doing in Austin for SXSW this year, and they couldn’t have been better for blasting The Kinks and Foxygen. They don’t tangle up, so i just toss them in my pocket or purse and they look way cuter than those dingy white iPod ones. They sound great for such a affordable price, and can be purchased at the Tweedz website in a variety of colors:
Jeans: Old Navy Rockstars
Shoes: Jordan 3 Retro 88’s