tunesday

time for another edition of “what are you listening to?”! this is my favorite way to get ideas on new music and good albums :)

vintage buyer
listening to: phish, getting ready for the show in bethel this weekend!
&
admiring the village people’s “macho man” album cover :)
last purchase: godspell, at the punk rock flea market!

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(i had to include a photo of her awesome jacket)

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assistant merchandiser
listening to: mumford and sons pandora station
(and rocking the nightcap lace bellbottoms!)

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vintage intern
listening to: anything from “glee”!
last purchase: adele

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senior web merchandiser
listening to: “i can’t stop listening to bob seger’s ‘night moves’! it’s the perfect summer song- and CSNY.”
last purchase: a van morrison live double album on vinyl

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campaign specialist
listening to: wiz khalifa, “black and yellow”

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store ops intern
last purchase: mumford and sons, “sigh no more”

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left: visual merchandising coordinator
listening to/last purchase: thao & mirah, they just released an album and are playing in philly soon!

right: visual merchandising assistant
listening to: foster the people and langhorne slim

your turn readers! what are you listening to?? i need some new music :)

tunesday

inspired by an idea from our office coordinator, for today’s tunesday i decided to ask some people around the office what they’re listening to right now and what the last album they purchased was. it was so fun to see what different tastes in music everyone has!

office coordinator (left)
listening to: foster the people
last purchase: tv on the radio’s new album

senior graphic designer (right)
listening to: crosby, stills, nash and young
last purchase: kurt vile, “smoke ring for my halo”

interactive web director
listening to: dan black’s “symphonies”
last purchase: the “yes man” soundtrack, because of zoey deschanel!

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graphic designer
listening to: kate bush
last purchase: jonny corndawg, “down on the bikini line”

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senior designer, knits & beach (left)
listening to: guns n’ roses
last purchase: michael jackson’s greatest hits

knits designer (right)
listening to: girl talk
last purchase: “a whole new world” and other various songs from disney movies!

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graphic design assistant
listening to/last purchase: thao & mirah

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martha, model (left)
current favorite: my friend’s band “zambri”!

stylist (center)
last purchase: lcd soundsystem, “sound of silver”

stylist (right)
last purchase: the love language, “libraries”

all three listening to: yeasayer (what was on in the photo studio!)

tunesday

one of the things that i admire and respect most about musicians, is the fact that they are able to not only write music that is often intensely personal, but they perform it, on stage, in front of crowds – sometimes alone.  that thought terrifies me… but it’s also incredibly inspiring.  geron hoy, today’s featured artist, is not only a talented singer/songwriter but i happen to know him personally and he’s one of the most humble, thoughtful and hilarious people i’ve ever met.   he inspires me because he is accomplishing his dream of putting out an album and because of the passion he shows for his music both on and off the stage.  it definitely comes across when he performs, leaving you with the feeling that you just witnessed something very special.  his debut album came out today on itunes and i have been listening to it all morning – his thoughtful lyrics and skillful guitar playing seem to have a wisdom beyond his years. oh and he also plays the harmonica – my weakness!

read on for an interview with geron to get a better idea of what he’s all about, and as you read, listen to the first single from his album, “lady crow.” it’s addicting!

Lady Crow by GeronHoy

when did you write your first song, and what was it called?

oh man… a pretty wretched little ditty called ‘near to you.’ god, it was awful. i knew three chords and i took a complete shot in the dark just to see what would happen. but some of the friends i had back then would sing along to it and ask me to play it. that was enough to get me to write another.

if your music was a place, where would it be?

there’s an image on the back of a record i have. i think it’s james taylor but i can’t be sure.  i’d go look, but all my records are in a storage unit in texas. but it’s of these musicians jamming in a dingy room with a wooden floor, an old beat-up piano with a glass of whiskey on it, speakers hanging from the ceiling, the sunlight battling through the cigarette smoke. it just looks like the perfect environment. where i’d want to spend every day. and i remember pointing the photo out to friends and saying, ‘why cant we be there, right now?’

why did you decide to name your album “soldier”?

there’s a track on the album called ‘soldier.’ i recorded that song with my friends about four years ago in new york before i had a label, and it’s the song that got me signed because one of the owners of the label fell in love with it.  the song itself is about fighting with everything you’ve got for something when you have no control over the end result.

is there a certain song you’re most proud of?

they’re all my babies and i constantly tell them to keep cool…

you’ve lived in a bunch of different places, is there one that has had the most influence on you personally and/or musically?

i went to new york when i was eighteen. that was my songwriting school. i probably wrote at least a hundred songs in the five years i was there. and kept fifteen of them. there was so much inspiration… living in the city was like being on cruise control at 300 mph.

what’s your favorite venue you’ve ever played in? and is there a particular venue you dream of playing in one day?

if i played at the beacon theater in new york i’d die a happy man. and my favorite place so far i think would be this small bar in the upper west side in new york where i used to play every thursday with some of my closest friends. it was in a basement surrounded by stone walls. we’d drink and play all night and the audience always asked for more. it was a great time.

if you could jam with any musician, dead or alive, who would you pick?

well, i automatically start sifting through all my heroes and i’m incredibly intimidated and awestruck by all of them. so i’m not quite sure who i would pick. townes van zandt? but what about neil young?? but what about mozart??!!! would i have to wear a puffy shirt?? i’d be down…

if your life was a movie what would the theme song be?

“changes” or “ziggy stardust”?, “space oddity”? pretty much anything by david bowie.

if you had a time machine where would you go?

2015 so i could ride a hover board with michael j. only four more years! i can’t wait for the self-drying jacket!!!

if you were deserted on an island what three things would you want with you?

a fire-breathing dragon, a saddle, and wilson.

tell me something most people don’t know about you.

i own a fire-breathing dragon named wilson.

mee

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the album, soldier, is available now on itunes – get it here!

and check him out on facebook or his website!

thank you so much geron!

tunesday: stevie nicks

i feel like i’ve been hearing a lot about stevie nicks lately… maybe its because she’s touring right now so she’s at the forefront of people’s minds.   even my boyfriend has a crush on her- which is totally fine, she’s amazing (the first concert he ever went to was fleetwood mac, isn’t that cute?). one of my friends posted this video on facebook today and watching it, i’ve got a bit of a crush on her too.  so, since we could all use a little stevie every once in a while, here’s that video and some of my fave quotes and pics of her. she will always be one of those inspirations that never, ever goes out of style.

“She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness”

“Like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering
What you had
And what you lost…”

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“And it all comes down to you
Well you know that it does, well…
Lightning strikes…maybe once…maybe twice…
Oh and it lights up the night
And you see your gypsy”

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“She broke down and let me in
Made me see where I’ve been
Been down one time
Been down two times
I’m never going back again”

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“rock on, gold dust woman”

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tunesday

when it comes to videos, having the right song can make all the difference in the world.  for me, that’s what really grabs my attention and sucks me in so that i can’t stop watching.  one of the reasons i love our videographer’s work so much is that she always picks the perfect song – i don’t know how she does it. the song in our february catalog video is no exception…”throwing hail marys” by gypsy death star.  i had never heard of them before and wanted to learn a little bit more about them…

based in ventura, california, gypsy death star is a collaboration between producer cesar augusto and singer/song writer wyatt hull.  they combine trance-like electronic beats and haunting lyrics to create a sound that will transport you to a different place in your mind. read on for a brief interview with the band and check out a video of them performing “throwing hail marys” below!

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when and how did gypsy death star come about?

i put an add out on craigslist for a beat maker and cesar responded, we started making tracks together through emails, & the rest is history..

how do you guys describe your music?

a cross between dark ambient techno & electronic indie rock

if your music was a color, what color would it be?

blood red

is there a certain song you’re most proud of?

some may be slower, some may be more full of wisdom, but were equally proud of all our children.

what’s your favorite venue you’ve played in, and what venue do you dream of someday performing in?

we recently played at the deer lodge in ojai, california & that had a magical ambiance. we both dream of someday playing the conan o’brien show, we’re big fans of his, or perhaps one of those sesame street episodes where they bring musicians on.

what’s your pre-show ritual?

cold high-quality brew.

who are some of your biggest musical influences?

cocorosie, t-rex, q lazzarus, tv on the radio, portishead, syd barrett, the pixies, and david bowie.

if you could see any band, past or present, perform live, who would it be?

kraftwerk’s performances when they used robots and any of the first ziggy stardust shows would have been rad to see.

all-time favorite record?

pink floyd’s “pipers at the gates of dawn” for wyatt. queen’s “game” for cesar.

what’s coming up for gypsy death star? any exciting plans in the works?

we’re looking at doing a small tour in mexico, we have a music video we just finished shooting in which we do some tag team wrestling, and are currently mixing a new full length record do for release soon this year.

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Gypsy Death Star – Throwing Hail Marys from Earth Delivery on Vimeo.

you can listen to more of their songs on their website here, and find them on facebook here.
thanks guys!

tunesday: kings of leon

the kings of leon released a new album last week called come around sundown.  i have to be honest, i didn’t love their last album – as someone who really appreciated their older music, i felt like they were changing their sound just to appeal to a wider audience.  i have no problem with bands changing up their sound, i’m just not a fan of the new music. that being said, there are a couple of songs on the new album that give me hope that the old kings of leon are still in there somewhere. for example, the song “mary,” which they played at bonnaroo this year, is pretty good. unfortunately the playlist function i usually use isn’t working today so here is a video of them playing the song live.

tunesday

we had a little surprise show over in building 543 today! the swedish indie-folk band first aid kit stopped by our headquarters for a free set at noon today, giving us a nice little treat for the ears during our lunch break. i wasn’t too familiar with this band before but they sounded great – both girls have really lovely voices.  here are some photos from the show that just took place – they’re also playing at johnny brenda’s tonight if you’re in philly :)

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i really like this song “hard believer” off the album the big black & the blue, out now.


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sing joyfully, even if it’s off-key

the other day another fp girl told me about the LA Ladies Choir, her current obsession.  i had never heard of them before but i was immediately intrigued.  they are a group of 30 women with careers ranging from music, fashion, art, literature and theater, and they sing covers of old folk songs and wear beautiful vintage dresses. how can you not love that? founding member becky stark (front woman of groups kavender diamond and the trio the living sisters) says the one rule of the choir is to sing joyfully, and she doesn’t care if you sing off-key. the ladies perform at venues around L.A., sometimes joined by flea of the red hot chili peppers, whose wife, model frankie raydar, is a member of the group (and her sister missy modeled in our march catalog!).

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check out this video of them performing john lennon’s “happy xmas (war is over)” at space 15 twenty:

LA Ladies Choir perform “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” from Space 15 Twenty on Vimeo.

images from their myspace page.

quick questions – karlee bloomfield

karlee bloomfield is a talented gal- she plays keyboard and sings backup for the quincy mumford band, who make music they describe as “earnest pop with a touch of funk and a saltwater twang.” in addition to being the house band at jersey’s historic stone pony they’re on the lineup for a couple of big festivals this year, including gathering of the vibes (in connecticut) and musikfest (in bethlehem, PA). karlee happens to be a big fan of free people and in interviewing her for the blog i learned she’s also pretty rad :)

hey karlee!!

how long have you been playing keyboards?
i have been playing keyboards since i was old enough to sit on a piano bench all by myself. my parents bought a digital grand piano, about a year before i was born – my mom said she had a feeling that she should put a piano in the house. the fact that she thought that is still kind of wild to me.  as a toddler, i was fascinated by all the controls on the piano, and eventually i knew just how to work it so that i would get the sounds i wanted. it was pretty much my favorite toy growing up. i started taking formal lessons at the age of 5, and have been playing and taking lessons ever since, so that makes it about twelve years now.

when i was seven years old, i met andy letke, who became my piano teacher and later my most important mentor…he is still my teacher today.  i study classical Piano, and attend an after school program where i study bass guitar, drums and vocals.

my true love is playing and jamming with my band.  i absolutely love the music we play.  we like to call it, “FEEL GOOD MUSIC”.  it is the kind of music that makes you feel happy when you listen to it. it is like a really great beach day!

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who are some of your personal musical influences?
page mcconnell from phish, john paul jones from led zeppelin, herbie hancock, jeff paris from keb mo’s band, and a local artist named matt wade. oh, and grace potter from grace potter and the nocturals, that girl can rock the hammond organ like no other female musician i know!  i actually played a show with her last year, which was a really cool experience.  VH1 filmed the show for a documentary about the influence of woodstock on today’s up and coming musicians – definitely an experience for the memory book!

if you could see any band (past or present) live in concert, who would it be?
i’d definitely have to say led zeppelin. their musicianship was amazing, plus robert plant was a hunk back in the day.

(i am totally with you on that one karlee!!)

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what is your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
there are so many places, but i would have to say florida, because we traveled there as a band.  we’re like one big family on the road, we have so much fun together.  we have played down there a couple of times now, and the weather has always been perfect!  it is so nice to leave NJ when it is chilly, and in 20 hours be back in t-shirts and flip flops.  and i can honestly say that every time we play in florida or anywhere on the coast, i am always wearing my free people dresses :)

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if you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you?
first and foremost my keyboard, second, an endless supply of fruit, and third would definitely be my diary!  i am a girl who loves to write, draw, eat fruit and play music – keeping it simple!

how would you describe your personal style? what are some of your favorite free people items?
i am a hippie chick through and through. i love wearing little dresses, and as a matter of fact one of my favorite dresses is a floral free people dress with gold trim on it (the ends in sequins dress). it’s so cute, and looks great on stage! in fact, i just wore it to a show we played at.

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winter, spring, summer or fall?
i really don’t enjoy the cold weather too much. i love playing out on a warm, breezy summer night – that  is the best feeling in the entire world to me.

what is your motto?
whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.

what inspires you on a daily basis?
the desire to improve my art, to bring as many people into my life as possible, and to be happy and to make others happy!

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what’s coming up for the quincy mumford band?
this summer, the quincy mumford band is up to some great things.  we are looking forward to playing the main stage at the gathering of the vibes festival in connecticut july 29th -aug 1st. at the festival we will be playing with some of the biggest names such as: furthur, robert randolph, damian marley and so many others. we are counting down the days to this festival! i am sure there will be lots of people in free people clothing there. in addition, we are already scheduled to play the summer stage in asbury park opening for umphrey’s mcgee and donavon frankenreiter. we are also the house band for the legendary stone pony in asbury park (home of bruce springsteen), where we host “feel good thursday”, every other thursday -we’re creating a little mini-festival vibe there.

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check out our facebook page, myspace, and website for more news and shows!

thanks again, it has been great to chat with the free people community. keep it free!

and now check out the video for their song “lifted”!

tunesday: marit larsen

good morning! today we have a very special interview with marit larsen, the lovely norwegian singer/songwriter who will be stopping by our brooklyn store for a show this friday! marit rose to fame as half of the pop duo M2M, formed during her teen years with her childhood friend.  since then she has been pursuing a solo career and released her second album the chase in october 2008, featuring the single “if a song could get me you” – which you can check out below!

when did you know you wanted to be a singer/songwriter?
when i had written my first song, at age 13.

who are some of the musicians that have inspired you?
to name a few: joni mitchell, fleetwood mac, CSN&Y, rufus wainwright, feist, dixie chicks, rilo kiley.

what is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?
an impossible tie between paris and new york city.

if you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you?
a box of chocolate truffles, a piano and an iPad.

how would you describe your personal style?
i’m very inspired by the 50’s and always on the lookout for the perfect high-waisted, puffy-sleeved, kneelength dress!

what is your motto?

love like there’s no tomorrow.

if you could spend a day with anyone – dead or alive – who would it be?
my best friend in oslo, who i haven’t seen in a long time.

if you weren’t a musician, what would you do?

study literature.

what inspires you on a daily basis?
good books, love, coffee, chocolate and yoga!

what does “free” mean to you?
choosing the life you want to live every day.

now check out the video for “if a song could get me you”…

if you’re in new york, don’t miss her show at our brooklyn store on friday night at 6pm!

what song was #1 when you were born?

another fp girl asked this the other day and a bunch of us looked it up – the results were pretty funny.  some of our songs were pink floyd’s “another brick in the wall,” “up where we belong” by joe cocker & jennifer warner and “careless whisper” by wham :)

so tell me… what was the number one song when you were born?

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