If you’re not signed up with any of the daily-deal-flash-sale-sites by now then I don’t know what planet you’re paying full price on. One of the awesome things about the Interweb these days is that everyone wants to seek out the best stuff for us. Be it clothing, vacations, furniture, local food - you name it and there’s something spectacular waiting to be redeemed within less than 24 hours. I can only imagine that soon there will be sites devoted to curating the best deal sites. Mark my words.
It is Rockerista’s duty to draw your attention to the good ones. The cool ones. The first one I’ve been wanting to cover is music and fashion site 1Band1Brand.
I first heard about 1Band1Brand from this past year’s SXSW conference in Austin and immediately thought it was such a cool concept. Each week members are presented with one new up and coming band alongside one emerging fashion label. One band, one brand every week. The site does a good job introducing you to the stories behind each music and fashion artist. You can listen to tracks on their new EP, watch music videos and learn about the uniqueness factor of their creations. If you like what you see and hear, you get an exclusive offer to purchase the fashion products at a discount. And for the music, you name your own price. No joke - you call the shots on pricing music.
What I like about the site is the blend of presenting emerging artists in music and fashion together. And I do like that you have a week to get to know the artists and their work. You can tell the team loves what they do because of the great job selecting unique products to hone in on. Our usual experience of shopping can be bombarded with hundreds of items that it’s nice, every once in a while, to focus on quality and craft. Even after the week is up, they keep the bands and brands up so you can review their full curation. The only thing I can’t get used to is the sideways scroll. But that’s just me!
Out of hobby and habit, I’ll continue to post about flash sites on music and fashion so check back. Until then, don't let the Deal Gods down today and go grab that Hawaii offer already!
You may also be interested in Paul Trapani: Behind the Lens of Nasty Gal
August 9, 2011
Tags: fashion / music
It is definitely a good time to be a music fan with the surge of innovative music apps released this year. Four years ago we were getting serious about our Last.FM profiles and our Pandora playlists, but now things are getting even more social. Gone are the days of listening to music solo or even writing music alone. Today the playlists you curate can now have a live following. And you can finally listen to your favorite tracks -- that were once stuck on your home computer -- from anywhere that has a wifi connection. Digital music has never been more accessible and the experience as much fun as it is right now.
Here are four digital products that I’ve been playing with (web and mobile) that are definitely changing the digital music game.
Spotify - Your Music Collection + Spotify Catalogue = Tunes 'til Infinity!
Finally making it’s debut in the U.S. last Thursday after having much success in Europe, Spotify is the holy moly grail of digital music. Well, for now at least. Basically you can listen to your entire music collection wherever, whenever, and with whoever. All your digital music is made available on Spotify and you can access it wherever you’re camped out (not machine specific) or even on-the-go via the mobile app. And if you’re away from a wireless connection, it’s offline feature keeps the tunes coming.
Even more awesome, is gaining access to Spotify’s catalogue of millions of songs (they tout 15 million). Seriously. All these tracks are there for your listening and curating pleasure.
I’m finding it pretty easy to use although I’m still getting used to the playlists -- which is the secret social sauce of the app. You can create and share your own playlists (Facebook, Twitter and email), as well as subscribe to your friend’s playlists. And you can also curate playlists together with others.
Spotify comes out in the U.S. after the launch of Amazon and Google’s digital music products and just before the next anticipated music shake up from Apple’s iCloud this September.
I think the membership pricing is pretty reasonable: Free, Unlimited for $4.99 and Premium for $9.99. I think it’s worth the premium subscription which hooks you up with full streaming of their library and access to all your own songs on mobile.
Anyhow, Spotify is the future. You gotta try it.
Turntable.fm - You DJ, now I DJ.
I’ve been sneaking in and out of various indie rock and mash-up rooms on Turntable.fm and I don’t think I’ve had so much fun virtually on the web. The smart folks at Turntable.fm have created a virtual club or lounge for us to listen to live tunes spun by you and me. There are a number of genre rooms to choose from. You can hang out and listen, vote a DJ’s track up or down, chat with other listeners, and even throw on a few tunes up yourself before you leave for the next room. Turntable.fm rewards DJ's positive feedback with points which you can use to change up your avatar.
Another cool thing is being able to create your own room -- public or private. So you could have your own little private Turntable party with select guests. How fun would that be to have a Rockerista room?!
All in all, Turntable.fm is definitely on to something here. They’re bringing that feeling of togetherness you get at a live show or lounge virtually to us on the web. That’s pretty cool.
SoundTracking - It’s like Instagram but with music.
I always thought it’d be awesome if we could score the soundtrack of our own lives. Like, why couldn’t life’s dramatic moments be emphasized with the first 30 seconds of Stairway to Heaven? SoundTracking is a free mobile app that made it’s debut back in March this year and it adds a music accent to your everyday happenings. I love it. I usually describe it to people as a blend of Instagram and Twitter, but with music. Basically, you’re posting whatever song you want for the moment, adding your location and a photo. Your buddies can take a listen to the song snippet, see where you are on the grid and heart your photo. Just like the other microblogging apps, it’s fun to see how creative people get with their curation. It seriously makes regular status messaging seem vanilla.
SoundCloud - Eye candy and ear candy.
SoundCloud started back in 2007 in Sweden but has been picking up traction over the past couple years like crazy. It is an elegant open platform for audio sharing and collaboration giving you the ability to upload your own tracks, get community feedback and also distribute tracks. I have to admit that my use has been limited to sharing tracks on my blog and commenting so far. But I do love the clean easy breezy experience of it and the user interface is unmatched in the realm of audio players. The cool SoundCloud waveform allows you to visualize the audio, and the timed comments makes it so people can share feedback at a certain time within the track.
They do have a mobile app for those who want to record and upload on-the-go. And they’ve made it easy for you to flip it out to audiophiles in your Tumblr community.
SoundCloud has five levels of membership from Free which includes 120 minutes of upload time and secret sharing, all the way up to Pro which give you unlimited access, storage and groups.
This list obviously doesn't cover all the cool digital products out there, but it's definitely inclusive of some of the game changers. Have fun trying them out -- they're definitely worth some geek time!
You may also be interested in Five Ways to Find Live Music.
July 19, 2011
Tags: music / technology
Happy 4th of July Weekend all you firecrackers! Summer is in full force and we are loving every color of it - especially the chance to sport the reds, whites and blues. This patriotic palette is totally fun to style, giving you that pop of color out on the streets, at work, or perhaps this weekend at a BBQ celebration.
Here are five looks inspired by your independence.
Hope this July 4th weekend kicks off a burst of red, white and you!
And of course, I had to throw in the epic Jimi Hendrix Star Spangled Banner to get your Independence Day celebration going. Have a great weekend!
Photo: Paul Trapani / Nasty Gal
You may also be interested in Alison Mosshart Rockerista Looks.
July 1, 2011
Tags: style / color block / red white blue
This week officially welcomes the summer season. And that means sun and lots of outdoor tunes! Whether you're hopping around the country to catch the best of music or just checking out your local scene - we've got six fun looks that will take you from Stern Grove to Lollapalooza and through to Austin City Limits.
Six Music Festival Looks
An urban cowboy look for some of the folk and country music fests.
A couple of seaside nautical inspired looks.
And how about a little romper comfort?!
And finally, a fun maxi look.
Whatever your music flavor is, just have fun with your outdoor style! And don't forget the hat, shades and sunscreen. Enjoy the sunshine and music!
Find upcoming summer festivals near you!
(Cowboy and Nautical looks styled by Kristine Sale. Rompers by yours truly. Maxi look styled by Nicole Weiss.)
You may also be interested in Top Heels for Lady Drummers.
June 23, 2011
Tags: style / music festivals
With humble beginnings in San Francisco as an eBay Vintage Boutique, Nasty Gal is now the stylish girlfriend on the online shopping block for many fashionistas. They’re one of my favorite e-boutiques that I frequent for that cool mix of 70’s vintage with a modern twist. And definitely no stranger to leopard print and Jeffrey Campbell platforms.
I was lured into their online shop last week with gorgeous imagery from their summer lookbook. Such beautiful photos that reveal yet another chapter of the Nasty Gal story. Today it's that Route 66 summer road trip that every American gal wants to take. Stylish, free-spirited, and with the right amount of edge.
Being the small community that San Francisco is, I was stoked to learn that I was only two degrees apart from Paul Trapani, brilliant fashion photographer behind Nasty Gal. He’s the talented fellow behind the gorgeous airy snaps -- capturing the very essence of the modern vintage princess.
Paul chatted with Rockerista about his artistic upbringing, his NYC start in fashion photography, and his bold move to the left coast to ultimately set up shop for himself. His sharing of his craft inspires me to stick with anything I love doing and also makes me more curious about how the Nasty Gal story will evolve.
An east coast transplant, Paul grew up in Detroit, Michigan within a family of artists. “My parents were photographers. They were teachers and serious hobbyists. Ever since I was a little kid there were cameras around and I spent a lot of time with my dad taking pictures and in the dark room.”
Exposed early on to his parents creative outlets (his mother was a painter, sculptor and photographer), it’s no surprise that he’d eventually end up supplementing his major in Business at Albion College with art classes.
Paul moved to New York after college and quickly learned the ropes as an assistant photographer working alongside contemporary genius David LaChapelle, fashion and celebrity photographer known for his distinctive surrealist imagery. He bounced around the industry and back to Detroit, continuing to assist photographers in the field.
As with most talented and driven twenty-somethings, Paul wanted to do more than assist and left the east coast determined to make a name for himself in San Francisco. “I was fearful of being a lifer as an assistant even though, at that time, I was in my early twenties. I told myself I just have to keep shooting and shooting. I nixed the idea of assisting.”
And that he did. Paul made the schlep out to California and hustled for gigs which included snapping for the SF Weekly and shooting catalogs and lookbooks for small clothing companies. His diligence paid off and Paul became a trusted freelance photographer for a number of San Francisco agencies, being the go-to talent for fashion advertising campaigns. True to his 23 year-old vision, he opened up his own studio in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood where he worked for 10 years. Assisting was a thing of the past.
“What attracted me to fashion in the beginning was that you can be really creative and do some really crazy things, evoke a lot of different things. Out of all the different type of commercial photography, this was one where you can really take ownership and express yourself.” Initially drawn to the fast-paced world of fashion photography, Paul first thought this channel allowed for the most creative freedom out of all the commercial photography. But ask him now and he realizes that was a naive point of view, that there are many amazing opportunities with the craft that are not fashion related. “Portraiture, editorial portraiture or food photography -- a lot goes into that.”
Paul enjoys being part of bringing the Nasty Gal brand to life. He started collaborating with owner Sophia Amoruso since the eBay boutique and has always been impressed with her vision as a stylist. Although still a young company, Nasty Gal is becoming a must-visit for more and more stylephiles. "It evolved from an eBay vintage store to what I think is a very successful company at this point. And it’s constantly evolving.”
“I’ve recently become interested in telling the visual stories that really anchor themselves around this very specific brand. I like trying to flush out what I think it is, along with the creative department. How we can be provoking something interesting within the confines of this one specific brand.”
Paul continues to shape his craft personally by using his off-time to shoot landscapes, nature, urban environments -- settings without people in it. Devoting time to his personal interests keeps his commercial work alive and inspired. He enjoys the wet plate process, the original photographic process that started in the Americas in the 1800’s. “I think it’s a reaction to being so digital and wanting to get back to the most basic aspects of photography. I went back to even before film.“
So then of course, I had to ask him what he thought about the rise of all the cool photo apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic. You know, the boom of the instant artsy photos.
“All those programs are based on the kind of work my mom was doing in the 70’s and 80’s. I saw her painstakingly work on this kind of stuff, and then all of a sudden this little app comes along that makes it look like her work. But I can tell it doesn’t look as good as her stuff.”
That said, Paul's still a total techy that appreciates the innovation of these photo apps allowing those of us without his mom's talent to lean toward the softer feel of images. “But on the flip side I really like that people are into that filmic feel. I think there are some real interesting things that people are doing with it.”
And it's true -- the fashion community has taken the photo sharing apps and platforms by storm. From what I call the "snap apps" to the buzzing community on Tumblr and the likes, there are more outlets for the budding stylist to curate online than ever before. “I find a tremendous amount of inspiration from Tumblrs and blogs. There’s a whole culture of fashion conscience youth that are super image savvy. And photographically savvy. You can take any of these young bloggers and drop ‘em into any art direction position and I think they would survive.”
After 10 years, Paul closed up his San Francisco studio in January to join the Nasty Gal team in Los Angeles. No doubt he'll continue to inspire us with his imagery -- artfully tying vintage to the modern girl, leaving us to curate our own style and story with Nasty Gal pieces.
To see more of Paul's gorgeous work, visit his Trapani Photo.
Photos courtesy of Paul Trapani.
You may also be interested in Richard Evans: Behind the Album Covers You Love.
June 9, 2011
Tags: style / interview
My Doc Martens.
Cold Cave and Former Ghosts.