Raiders’ embarrassing effort sets them up for the No. 1 pick

It might only be midseason, but the Raiders look primed to pick first in the 2019 NFL draft after Thursday’s loss to the previously 1-7 49ers.
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Louis Vuitton Sets New York Pop-Up for Grace Coddington Collaboration

CAT’S MEOW: Louis Vuitton will launch the collaboration between its women’s artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière and fashion editor Grace Coddington at an exclusive pop-up store in New York’s Meatpacking district opening on Friday.
The capsule collection, dubbed Catogram, was first unveiled at Ghesquière’s cruise show in May in the southern French hilltop village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
Sporting silk pajamas blending the LV monogram with her signature drawings of felines, Coddington told WWD at the time that the project was born out of her “Catwalk Cats” tome, originally published in 2006, though she updated the characters for the occasion.
“I know they all look the same, but actually, they’re kind of new. I tend to draw them all doing the same thing, because they’re all my cats, and then they’re his dogs as well,” she explained, referring to Ghesquière’s pets Léon and Achilles. “I hopes it makes you smile.”
The designer said he was drawn to Coddington’s quirky persona. “This cruise show is about eccentricity for me. It’s about how an individual can have his own proper style and can start a movement. I love this idea of someone eccentric that mixes things in her own way,” he said.

A bag from Louis Vuitton’s Catogram capsule collection. 
Courtesy

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Walton sets tone as LeBron, Lakers hit the court

LeBron James had “a great first practice” under coach Luke Walton and the Lakers, using the session to focus entirely on the defensive side of the ball.
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Bachelor in Paradise’s Jordan Kimball Sets the Record Straight on Jenna Cooper Cheating Allegations

Jordan Kimball, Bachelor in Paradise, Season 5Jordan Kimball isn’t one to mince words.
Just last night, the male model and his then-fiancée (we’ll get to that) Jenna Cooper looked like two perfect lovebirds at the…


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Orion Wholesale Now Offering You2Toys ‘Appetizer’ Sets

Two new sets from You2Toys, Purple Appetizer and Blue Appetizer, are now available from ORION Wholesale.
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Tumi Sets Date for Annual Retail Campaign

Charity, Anyone?: Tumi’s annual retail promotion that supports All Hands & Hearts is slated to run this year from Sept. 13 to Sept. 23. Shoppers enjoy 20 percent off full-price retail items at Tumi stores and at Tumi.com, with 5 percent of total sales earmarked for donation to the charity.
All Hands & Hearts is a nonprofit organization founded by model Petra Nemcova to help rebuild safe and resilient schools in areas hit by natural disasters.
Last year’s event saw Tumi donate $ 400,000 from the customer-sales campaign to the organization, which used the funds to rebuild The Rhodes School of Performing Arts in Houston. The Rhodes School, damaged last year by Hurricane Harvey, is a tuition-free campus that caters primarily to low-income, minority communities.
In addition to the donation, the travel brand helped All Hands & Hearts gather volunteers to work on reconstruction efforts. Tumi also partners with St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Waves for Water.
Nemcova, part of the relief efforts in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, said she heard of the school’s plight from local partners.
“Once we saw firsthand the damage and destruction, we knew we had to find a way to help rebuild the school and were fortunate that our

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Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) [feat. Steve Coleman, Jonathan Finlayson, Miles Okazaki, Anthony Tidd & Sean Rickman] – Steve Coleman

Steve Coleman - Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) [feat. Steve Coleman, Jonathan Finlayson, Miles Okazaki, Anthony Tidd & Sean Rickman]  artwork

Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) [feat. Steve Coleman, Jonathan Finlayson, Miles Okazaki, Anthony Tidd & Sean Rickman]

Steve Coleman

Genre: Jazz

Price: $ 19.99

Release Date: August 10, 2018

© ℗ 2018 Pi Recordings

iTunes Store: Top Albums in Jazz

Dior Sets Pop-up at Harrods

GREEN SCENE: Dior is celebrating creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s fall women’s ready-to-wear collection with a pop-up store at Harrods, set to run from Aug. 4 to 31, that will include a window display dedicated to its Dior Oblique logo canvas.
The motif has been rendered in green — a nod to the London department store’s signature color — for an exclusive and limited-edition range of Saddle, Miss Dior and CD Hobo bags. It will also appear on accessories that will make their debut at the store, including Diorquake pouches, clogs and several styles of Mitzah silk scarves.
For the first time, Dior will offer customers the opportunity to personalize its embroidered Dior Book Tote with the word, first name or initials of their choice.
The Harrods pop-up is part of a global campaign to promote the collection, which was inspired by Sixties youth culture. Dior’s Paris headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne have been wrapped with the colorful collage of images culled from the protest and feminist posters of the May 1968 student uprising in France.
A sweater available in the pop-up store bears the words “C’est non, non, non et non!” — a slogan that appeared originally on a Miss Dior scarf designed

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Feelmore Owner Sets Sights on Opening 1st Airport Sex Shop

Nenna Joiner, founder of Oakland, Calif.-based Feelmore boutique, is lobbying for the San Francisco International Airport to make its Terminal 3 Pop-Up Shop Retail Program more accessible to “true mom-and-pop shops,” including Feelmore.
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Tea sets and Ascot inspire Mulberry’s instant-fashion launch

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Britain’s Mulberry looked to the garden parties of old to inspire its most modern fashion collection to date, as the brand on Friday launched a new format allowing


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Snooki’s Husband Jionni LaValle Sets the Record Straight on Divorce Rumors

Nicole Polizzi, Jionni LaValle, WeddingDon’t worry pop culture fans! This couple is staying Jersey Strong.
Despite a few tabloid headlines claiming Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jionni LaValle’s marriage is on…


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‘Walking Dead’ sets stage for key death

The following contains spoilers about the “The Walking Dead” midseason finale.


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GamersGate: The World's Largest Online Game Store

KD sets tone as Warriors win without Curry, Green

With Steph Curry and Draymond Green sidelined, Kevin Durant led an early charge as the Warriors blitzed the Hornets and hung on for a win.
www.espn.com – NBA

Glam Gift Sets From Soap & Glory

Alison Deyette, Style & Beauty Expert and Soap & Glory Paid Spokesperson, stops by to share how to get the best bang for our beauty buck this holiday season with fun and fabulous gift sets available at Target, ULTA, and Walgreens.


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Bryant sets Cowboys mark for most TD catches

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant set the franchise record for touchdown catches on Thursday, catching a 13-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter against the Redskins to give him 72 for his career.
www.espn.com – NFL

EXCLUSIVE: Giambattista Valli Moves Into Activewear, Sets Retail Expansion

PARIS — Giambattista Valli is launching an activewear capsule collection and gearing up for a retail push, marking the first steps of his label’s planned expansion under its new partnership with the billionaire Pinault family.
Known for his flirty cocktail dresses and sculptural evening gowns, the designer has steered his brand in a more casual direction in recent seasons, showing taffeta jackets with Nike running tights for fall and introducing logo-printed denim for spring 2018.

Backstage at Giambattista Valli Couture Fall 2017 
Delphine Achard/WWD

Now Valli is joining the ranks of luxury brands vying for a portion of the thriving athleisure market. According to Euromonitor, sports-inspired footwear and apparel is growing at a rapid pace, registering 10 percent and 6 percent increases in 2016, respectively.
Following the end of his decade-long partnership with Italian luxury outerwear firm Moncler as creative director of its Gamme Rouge line, he will unveil his namesake activewear collection of 50 to 60 pieces — including coats, puffer jackets, sweatshirts and track suits — to buyers in January.
“It’s a capsule collection where we will express a more functional side of the brand, while remaining faithful to the atmosphere of contemporary chic that is part of its DNA,” Valli told WWD in an exclusive

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Kheper Games Releases New Bath Bomb Sets

Kheper Games has announced the release of two new bath bomb sets: Wine Scented Bath Bombs and Fizzing Bath Tints.
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Katharine McPhee Sets The Record Straight On Her Love Life & Relationship With David Foster

Katharine McPhee isn’t giving away all of her secrets, but
she is definitely giving away some. 


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EXCLUSIVE: Chanel Sets Pharrell Williams Sneaker Collaboration for Colette Pop-up

PARIS — Karl Lagerfeld’s parting gift to Colette, the store that has counted him as its number-one customer for two decades, couldn’t be more fitting: a red-hot sneaker collaboration.
As part of its monthlong takeover of the concept store’s first floor, Chanel will launch an Adidas Hu NMD shoe specially customized by Pharrell Williams for the house. Further stoking anticipation, it has yet to release an image of the design, though unofficial photos have been circulating on streetwear feeds.
The music star is featured in the advertising campaign for Chanel’s Gabrielle bag, has walked the runway for the brand and once composed a song for a Lagerfeld-directed Chanel film, but this marks the first time Williams has designed a product for the label.
Other exclusives include limited-edition T-shirts designed by Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel since 1983, and a music compilation by Michel Gaubert, who designs the soundtracks for its runway shows.
Chanel will take up residency at Colette from Oct. 30 to Nov. 25, and the store will close its doors for good on Dec. 20.
Inspired by Lagerfeld’s Antiquity-themed cruise collection, the decor of its pop-up will consist of a backdrop of draped ecru canvas punctuated by Plexiglas niches showcasing ready-to-wear and accessories.
Items from

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Phi Phi O’Hara Sets Superstar Drag Benefit Show For Puerto Rico

RuPaul’s Drag Race star Phi Phi O’Hara has announced a drag benefit show to raise funds for Puerto Rico. The show, titled Queens United/…
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Milly Sets Strategy With In-House Sales, Fashion Presentation

NEW YORK — Now in its 17th year, Milly is making moves to strengthen its brand.
The privately owned advanced contemporary sportswear company based here absorbed its sales agency, L’Atelier Group, which has been handling Milly’s ready-to-wear sales from the get-go and brought it in-house. Keith Nuss, owner of L’Atelier, has joined Milly as vice president of sales and has brought along one associate director, two account executives and one assistant account executive to join the firm’s existing sales staff of four people.
Over the years, L’Atelier has cultivated strong relationships with specialty stores and has handled sales for such brands as Ramy Brook, James Perse, Earl Jeans, Splendid and Chip & Pepper.
“We convinced Keith to close his business and join our business. He has rich relationships with retailers,” said Andrew Oshrin, cofounder, chief executive officer and president of Milly. Oshrin said he would usually go to every large market appointment that L’Atelier, which was based in the same neighborhood, would have.
To accommodate the rtw sales team, Milly has taken over more space at its headquarters at 265 West 37th Street. The company, which has 16,000 square feet on the 19th and 20th floors, has leased an additional 4,000 square feet on the 19th floor. Milly

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Julianne Hough Jet Sets to Ketchikan for Alaskan Cruise

Julianne Hough’s frequent-flier status must be through the roof … she just surfaced in Alaska a couple weeks after her African honeymoon. Hough ditched her new hubby, Brooks Laich, for this vacay, instead hopping aboard a Celebrity Cruise with a…

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Tame Impala, Vince Staples & More Stellar Sets From Panorama Festival Day Two

Without the star power (and rarity) of back-to-back performances from Solange and Frank Ocean, day two of Panorama Music Festival proved to be a bit…
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Former PPQ Designer Amy Molyneaux Sets New Venture

NEW BEGINNINGS: Amy Molyneaux, former designer of the British clothing label PPQ, is preparing to launch a collection of her own: a resort and swimwear brand called Lelloue.
Molyneaux has launched Lelloue with her business partner Helen Johnson, and the partners are taking a bold, unapologetically glamorous approach in order to stand out in an increasingly saturated resortwear market.
“With the new brand, I’m focusing on what I think is needed, where I see the gap in the market. There is a huge amount of resortwear that’s bohemian and hippie, but none that embraces this Nineties power glamour,” said Molyneaux of her debut range which includes bold maxi mesh cover-ups, leopard-print or polka dot bikinis and high-waisted pants and jumpsuits made from luxurious printed silks.

A visual from the first Lelloue campaign. 
Courtesy Photo

“I wanted to add gold foil printing, silk satins and pieces that have structure yet can stretch easily,” added the designer, who has previously designed lingerie or swimwear for various brands as a consultant. “I’m homing in on the skills I’ve developed in the past 20 years.”
The decision to launch resortwear was also a personal one for Molyneaux, who said she always enjoyed seeing PPQ’s young clientele wear her flowy, chiffon

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Tod’s Sets Customization Pop-up on Madison Ave

PERSONAL TOUCH: Tod’s New York flagship is getting crafty. The store at 650 Madison Avenue has installed a pop-up My Gommino shop — where shoppers can customize best-selling editions of Tod’s driving loafers. The pop-up opens today and will remain through October. Prices begin upward of $ 550.
Shoppers are directed to a touchscreen where they can toggle with various color combinations. Over 2,000 combinations are available.
Tod’s had already enacted the program in Italy before bringing it to the U.S.
Said Tod’s chief executive officer Diego Della Valle: “I wanted to launch a project that empowers our customers to create their own Gommino whilst focusing on the detail of our handmade product and craftsmanship. ‘My Gommino’ allows Tod’s to bridge creativity, technology and the knowledge of our artisans with the outcome resulting in a customized classic driving shoe, the epitome of Italian style.”

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18 Holiday Gift Sets That Are Perfect for the Beauty-Obsessed

There’s a lot to look forward to during the holidays—time off with family, endless parties, the Mariah Carey Pandora channel, and for beauty nuts, a bevy of limited-edition gift sets all dressed up for the festivities. To make your holiday shopping experience a little bit easier, we’ve narrowed down the best deals of the bunch.
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Creator of Peeple, App That Lets You Rate Other People, Sets Record Straight About Product

Do you want to know what strangers, neighbors and friends really think of you? Or what if you could rate people you like or dislike for the rest of the world to see? A new app called Peeple, slated to launch later this year, will let you do just that. Originally designed to let others rate you in the areas of personal, professional and romance — similar to the way other apps rate businesses — Peeple is making headlines and causing controversy for what some say is its potential to lead to online harassment and bullying — or even ruin lives.

Peeple’s co-creator, Julia Cordray, says, in part, that the media has overreacted to what the app actually will do, and sits down to set the record straight on Dr. Phil.

“What is it that people misunderstand about this?” Dr. Phil asks.

“With the feedback, we’ve made some really great movements toward more positivity for our app,” Cordray says. “You are not anonymous on our app, you cannot have your profile started by anybody else. You have 100 percent opt-in ability. We really want to make sure that you have full control over what goes live on our app.”

Watch the video above as Dr. Phil asks Cordray how it could have never occurred to her or her investors that this app could ruin lives. “Seriously, you went to your VCs to raise money, and nobody around the conference table said, ‘What about cyberbullying?’” he asks.

“No, that was never anybody’s concern. So you have to imagine how surprised all of us were,” she replies. “We never would intend harm with a product or app. That’s just not who we are. I didn’t really anticipate this negative attention.”

Cordray’s entire interview airs on Friday’s episode of Dr. Phil.

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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Sets World Premiere Date and City


J.J. Abrams’ film, starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac, also will have star-studded premieres around the world.

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Sybilla Sets New York Pop-up Store

POP APPEAL: Spanish designer Sybilla, who rose to fame in the Eighties, sure knows how to create buzz around her return to fashion. After unveiling her first collection since 1991 in Paris this March, the artisan of minimal, organic looks has already hosted temporary stores in Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. In New York, Sybilla is set to open a pop-up outpost at 25 Mercer Street from Oct. 14 to 25.
The designer’s comeback collection for fall was picked up by a total of seven U.S. stores, including Blake in Chicago, If in New York and Mameg in Los Angeles, and a spokesman for the label said department stores could also be on the agenda for the colorful spring collection, which is showing in Paris until Oct. 5.

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Willy Rizzo Sets Book of Chanel Photos

PICTURE-PERFECT CHANEL: The latest tome on Coco Chanel to hit shelves is chockablock with photographs of the designer lensed by her great friend Willy Rizzo.
Coming out on Oct. 15, “Chanel par Willy Rizzo” (or “Chanel by Willy Rizzo”) is a 200-page compendium including 181 original and never-before-published snaps. These were taken between 1954 and 1967 in the designer’s Paris haunts — on Rue Cambon, Place du Palais Bourbon and Rue François Ier.
The images are divided into four parts: 1954, Chanel’s return to fashion; 1955 to 1958, her ascension; 1959, the designer’s zenith, and 1960 to 1967, the swinging Sixties that marked the final chapter of Chanel’s friendship with Rizzo.
Each section in the book is accompanied by text, with contributors including Edmonde Charles-Roux, head of the Goncourt Academy; Olivier Saillard, director of the Palais Galliera; Arnaud de Contades, former director of the Jean Prouvost group; Daniel Rangel, a curator and journalist for Vogue Brazil, and Fabrice Gaignault, editor in chief of Marie-Claire France’s section on culture.
The book, published by Editions Minerve, comes in French and English. It is priced at 75 euros, or $ 84.80 at current exchange.
An exhibition of the photographs of Chanel taken by Rizzo will globetrot, starting in São Paulo

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Sundance London Sets 2016 Dates


The British edition of Robert Redford’s Utah festival lines up a summer return after a year away.

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Thom Browne Sets Arty Pop-up at Le Bon Marché

PARIS – Thom Browne has brought his theatrical flair to Paris with a striking and arty installation for his new, temporary sales space at French department store Le Bon Marché.
“I wanted this [pop-up] to be more like a representation of what shows are nowadays: half installations, half collections,” the New York-based designer explained during a preview. “And I wanted it to be representative of what I do [vis-à-vis] those people who don’t know who I am.”
Visitors enter through a dramatically mirrored office space, featuring a silver-plated, mid-century desk (Browne’s favorite period), an old-fashioned typewriter, a pencil, a ruler, a stapler and a pair of scissors neatly arranged on its top, and surrounded by a sea of matching brogues replicated ad infinitum by the mirrored walls, feeding into Browne’s penchant for uniform, repetitive design.
The installation is an amalgam of Browne’s work over the last decade, including his movielike 2009 show as Pitti Uomo’s guest designer, which brought to mind the tyranny of modernist work ethics, as well as last July’s “runway” show aptly labeled “The Office Man.”
“Unofficially, we call this ‘The Office Man II,’” smiled Browne, clad in one of his signature shrunken Bermuda suits boasting white and blue seersucker stripes.

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Amber Rose Sets Off #HoeIsLife Hashtag [Photos]

Amber Rose is truly baffling. Wiz Khalifa’s baby mama basically tried to set off the hashtag #hoeislife—it didn’t go so well, for her.

It was a pic of her and Lira Galore sticking out their tongues that got the fateful caption.

Needless to say, the slander is real. Peep it on the following pages. What was she thinking?

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[H/T Bossip]

Photo:

The post Amber Rose Sets Off #HoeIsLife Hashtag [Photos] appeared first on Hip-Hop Wired.

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Roman Polanski: Polish Court Sets Extradition Hearing Date


U.S. legal documents requested by the court last May finally arrived after the extension of a deadline for receipt of the paperwork.

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Roman Polanski: Polish Court Sets Extradition Hearing Date


U.S. legal documents requested by the court last May finally arrived after the extension of a deadline for receipt of the paperwork.

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International

BBC Sets Elizabeth II Doc as Queen Is Set to Become Longest-Reigning British Monarch


She will break the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria who ruled for 63 years and seven months.

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NBC Sets an Incredible Female Cast for The Wiz Live and More Major Moments for Women in Hollywood This Week

It's true—this will always be the week Jennifer Aniston got married. But she wasn't the only famous lady making moves. Here's what went down: NBC sets a sick lineup for The Wiz Live! All of…


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News in Brief: Informal Tone Of Cover Letter Sets Job Applicant Apart From Seriously Considered Candidates

MILPITAS, CA—Saying his casual writing style made him “stand out immediately,” sources at Redding Media reported Monday that the informal tone of Michael Yanover’s job application had set him apart from the candidates under serious consideration. “As soon as I read his cover letter greeting of ‘Hey there,’ I could tell Michael was much different from the applicants we’ve brought in for interviews so far,” said head recruiter Anne Peabody, adding that Yanover had quickly captured her attention with the line “This job and me are meant for each other.” “I didn’t even have to get all the way to the end—after he called himself a ‘social media maven’ and a ‘certified data junkie,’ I fast-tracked his résumé to a separate pile reserved for people we won’t be getting back to.” At press time, Peabody had reportedly given Yanover’s application a second look …



The Onion

U.S. World Cup Sets Ratings Record

The United States’ win over Japan in the Women’s World Cup final was the most viewed soccer game in the history of American television.


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Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well Sets Attendance Record at Chicago’s Soldier Field


“The response has been one of police, the city, and fans working harmoniously,” co-promoter Peter Shapiro tells Billboard the morning after night one.

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H&M Sets Summer Pop-up Shop in East London

DIVIDED WE STAND: Swedish retailer H&M’s Divided collection will launch a six-week pop-up shop in East London’s Old Truman Brewery to celebrate its Nineties grunge-inspired Divided Loves Music summer collection.
Starting on July 23, the Divided Loves Music pop-up will host a range of activities, including DJ sets, musical performances, late night “lock-ins,” jewelry design workshops, and nail and body art on Dray Walk. The British singer-songwriter and Grammy Award winner Foxes is the face of the campaign and an inspiration behind the collection.
“For us it feels important to continue with the campaign theme — ‘H&M Loves Music’ — where we want to introduce new talents and their music to a wider audience,” said a spokesman for the brand.
Prices range from 7.99 pounds, or $ 12.59, for a Foxes cropped T-shirt to 39.99 pounds, or $ 62.84, for a long-fringed waistcoat. The line also includes denim and printed separates. “By launching a pop-up in East London we have the opportunity to offer H&M’s Divided collection to such a diverse range of shoppers and fashion lovers in an innovative and fun way,” says Carlos Duarte, country manager H&M U.K. and Ireland.
At 1,100 square feet, the pop-up’s interior design will consist of raw, concrete scaffolding features,

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Billy Joel Bests Elton John, Sets New Record At MSG

Billy Joel set a record for most performances by a single artist at Madison Square Garden with his 65th show Wednesday night, besting Elton John.
The…
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One Quality That Sets Successful Parents Apart

In his “Tip of the Day” video above, Dr. Phil talks about what makes a successful parent. “When you look at children as a project, you have to think about them in three phases. They start out being totally dependent on you, then they move into a phase of preparation. This is where they’re learning, going to school, developing social skills, a sense of self, self-esteem, self-worth. And then they move into the phase of performance. It’s really hard sometimes to let them go to the next level, because it’s an unknown. It’s scary for you; it’s scary for them. But when children go to the next level, you want them to do it with a sense of confidence, a sense of knowing that they can meet the responsibilities.”

In other words, your roles are going to change as your children’s stages of life change. Dr. Phil sums it up: “Don’t resist the change; embrace the change.”

Have a question for Dr. Phil? Ask it here!

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The First ‘Leftovers’ Season 2 Teaser Sets Up A Whole New Mystery

As if there weren’t already enough unanswered questions in HBO’s “The Leftovers,” the new season will bring even more.

HBO released the first teaser trailer for Season 2 of Damon Lindelof’s series on Friday, hinting at the direction the eerie drama will take. The teaser shows a traffic-jam of cars lined up on a highway while various people wait to enter Jarden, Texas. What is so special about this town? No Jarden residents have seemingly disappeared during the Departure.

The first season of “The Leftovers,” based on Tom Perrotta’s book of the same name, was set in Mapleton, New York three years after the Departure, a Rapture-like event in which two percent of the world’s population suddenly disappeared. All that is known about Season 2 so far is that it will take place in another town (clearly Jarden) and only feature some of the lead cast from the first season, including Justin Theroux and Amy Brenneman.

Lindelof recently talked to The Huffington Post about the series, which has been called one of the most depressing shows on television. The “Lost” co-creator said that he was working on “The Leftovers” Season 2 while editing his latest film “Tomorrowland,” revealing how difficult it was to jump between the optimism of the Disney movie and darkness of the series. “I was probably not the most pleasant person to live with,” Lindelof said of his time working on the new season.

“The Leftovers” Season 2 premieres this fall on HBO.

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One Quality That Sets Successful Parents Apart

In his “Tip of the Day” video above, Dr. Phil talks about what makes a successful parent. “When you look at children as a project, you have to think about them in three phases. They start out being totally dependent on you, then they move into a phase of preparation. This is where they’re learning, going to school, developing social skills, a sense of self, self-esteem, self-worth. And then they move into the phase of performance. It’s really hard sometimes to let them go to the next level, because it’s an unknown. It’s scary for you; it’s scary for them. But when children go to the next level, you want them to do it with a sense of confidence, a sense of knowing that they can meet the responsibilities.”

In other words, your roles are going to change as your children’s stages of life change. Dr. Phil sums it up: “Don’t resist the change; embrace the change.”

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Chats with Camper Van Beethoven’s Victor Krummenacher, The Ready Set’s Jordan Witzigreuter, Alex Orbison and More

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A Conversation with Victor Krummenacher

Mike Ragogna: El Camino Real, is the companion album and follow-up to La Costa Perdida, but what exactly was the link to that project? Was it recordings that occurred around the same time?

Victor Krummenacher: We had a bunch of recordings left over. When we made La Costa there were a lot of good things that got left off, they just didn’t end up having a home, and we thought, “We should do something about this.” It seemed like the logical continuation would be to go write a few more songs and see what we could do. We had such a distinctive theme and it was so Northern California-based, we really worked those metaphors quite a bit, but David [Lowery] and I are from Southern California and we hadn’t really worked the Southern California thing, so we thought, “Let’s just try it and see if we can adapt the songs in progress and write some new songs and just do something…” In a sense, La Costa… was fairly pastoral, there was a lot of Beach Boys influences and others that were really Northern California-centric, but David and I are from Southern California, and we definitely grew up on pretty aggressive punk rock music, there were a couple of things that were really, really punk rock that we had left off and we said, “Let’s just see if we can integrate it, because we already have these California themes, let’s just see if we can push this.” So it was a pretty simple decision, really.

MR: Is that at the heart of Camper Van Beethoven, the shared experiences of growing up in the same world as David?

VK: Yeah, I think so. That’s really how we relate. Camper Van Beethoven is like a diaspora. David lives in Athens, Georgia and Richmond, Virginia, Greg and I are like the last two California holdouts. Our drummer lives in Australia. We’re all over the place, but the thing that we really have in common is that we grew up in the same place. It’s been a lot of time, thirty one years.

MR: Your group is so geographically disparate, so what’s the recording process like?

VK: Well, we try and maximize when we’re around. Last year, I had a full time job and played seventy shows, and I’m not quite sure how I did that. It kind of seems like a dream now. But at the end of the touring cycle as we were going into the festival we had a show at Outside Lands and because Jonathan was out from Sweden and everybody was in the area we convened in Berkeley. Everyone had a couple of ideas and we wrote companion pieces–a lot of the work actually ocurred during the composition of La Costa…; we wrote those in August. Literally it was like, “Okay, we have an hour, I have a chord progression that goes like this, do you have an idea for a riff? Okay. The clock starts now, it’s one o’clock. At two o’clock we have to have a take, go.” It may sound strange, but I’m pretty trustful of our ability to write. A lot of people would do this, Richard Thompson sits in his living room, the kid sits in his basement, sometimes you just have to say, “It’s time to write!” I work in journalism, you know what a deadline is.

MR: Who do you work for?

VK: I work for Wired magazine, I manage their art department.

MR: So cool! Victor, let me ask you, when you guys listened back to the finished album, how did it strike you as a unique project, despite its association with La Costa Perdida?

VK: The record strikes me as more aggressive and more chaotic, which I think is more reflective of Los Angeles and its environment. Like I said, there’s a little darkness in La Costa Perdida but it’s kind of more rural darkness. In keeping its more pastoral feeling I think a lot of the places we were kind of psychologically living in the songs were coastal, because we spent a lot of time on the coast, and that can be a little quieter. David grew up in Redlands, I grew up in Riverside, those were hardly pastoral, it’s hotter, it’s drier, it’s meaner, it’s grittier. We both spent a lot of time living in Hollywood, so there’s a touch of–are you familiar with the Mike Davis book City Of Quartz?

MR: Yes.

VK: Yeah, so it’s more psychologically related to City Of Quartz than it is, say, Crying Of Lot 49.

MR: [laughs] That’s really cool, I love the references. When you get together for your creative sessions, does it just lead to more Camper Van Beethoven, or does it also inspire David for more work with Cracker? How extensive is your partnership with him these days?

VK: Here’s a really good example: When we were writing La Costa… and we hadn’t sat and done the really fertile four or five days of sitting and writing together but we were leading into it and we had a few pieces and were starting to get a shape for the record, David emailed me and said, “Have you got anything sitting around that’s kind of darker?” I had some things sitting around, and I sent it to him and then didn’t hear back for a long time and I was like, “Well, hell, it was a good piece of music, I’m just going to go work on something based on that,” because I do a lot of solo work. So I went and basically finished the same song, and he comes back to me maybe six months later and says, “Hey, I did this,” and I was like, “Oh.” So now we have two completely different versions of this song. That’s just the kind of things that happens. Certainly because there’s so much overflow with the bands, you never know. There are definitely things that Cracker has done that influence Camper, and there are things that Camper has done that influence Cracker. There are definitely things that both those bands have done that have influenced everybody in the band in their solo work.

One of hte things that we always do, we had this longstanding side project with the lead guitar player of Counting Crows called Monks Of Doom which is kind of the prog rock alter ego of Camper Van Beethoven where the King Crimson influences came out and time changes and really aggressive, strange music. Sometimes David is with me and he says, “We have to bring some Monks into this.” I think the older we’ve gotten we’ve started to realize at a certain point, “I’m not going to be here forever.” We’re extraordinarily lucky to be fifty and still be doing this. most people I know my age don’t do it anymore and don’t have an audience, because the music business is so screwed up. I think the biggest problem with Camper is that we have too many ideas and want to do too many things. At a certain point you have to make peace with it and find the strengths from it.

MR: Well how do you feel about the future? This is a comfortable fit and when you guys get together?

VK: Yeah, I think that’s kind of how it has to be. If I got into predicting the future I don’t think it would work anymore, it’s not a predictable business model, right? I know people who are more famous than me and have trouble getting their records out. A friend of mine took me to meet David Crosby a few weeks ago and he was basically saying the same things that we say. “I’m not making any money and this is really difficult and it’s hard to get a record out.” I look at that and go, “Wow, that’s David Crosby.” I think Camper did its part, we made some great influential music, I think we really did change how people perceived and listened to music when we were first a band and everything we’ve done since is kind of icing on the cake. My one condition with the band when we started playing together was that I don’t want to be a nostalgia act. When we get to the point where we’re a nostalgia act I’ll just not do it, you can get another bass player. We have to have new music and it has to be active. That’s my situation. It’s just kind of what works. “Where can we make some money and how can we do it?” Otherwise I just consider myself lucky. Let’s not forget the future ’cause we can’t.

MR: You guys are very proud of the work you do with Camper Van Beethoven, aren’t you?

VK: I’m very proud of the band. I’m really proud of the fact that we made good music that people still like. One of the things I’m most proud of is how much it means to people. It’s almost a weird burden on some level because every set we have to play “Take The Skinheads Bowling,” but we have people come and they bring their children and the children are adults now and they sing along and say, “I grew up on this music.” To have it still be relevant to people and play “All Her Favorite Fruit” and someone starts crying, it’s pretty touching to have been part of it and that it means so much to–it’s not a big group of people but we have a small but dedicated group of people. I put out a solo record and five hundred people will buy it. That’s not a lot, but it keeps it going. A lot of people just can’t do that anymore. There are a lot of things I wish were different, I wish the music business still existed, I wish that people weren’t completely pressurized into being on the road, I wish people cared about albums and content and didn’t look at their phones so much and spent more time reading books, but you can’t change that stuff. You just can’t do it.

MR: Victor, what advice do you have for new artists?

VK: My advice is to do whatever you want to, because that’s what I did. Put your heart and soul into it and mean it and don’t compromise. Just don’t do it. When I make a record, it doesn’t matter who I’m making a record with, these conversations come up where we’re talking about compromising for the record company or other people’s tastes and I’ll disengage. I’m not interested. Your art has to have your complete integrity and if it doesn’t there’s just no point.

MR: Do you have any favorites?

VK: You know, I have my favorites. The Virgin that Camper did were re-released by Omnivore earlier this year and as a result I went and relistened to them and I feel really, really strongly proud of those records, I think they were really well xecuted, they were very hard to make and it was a very hard time to be in the band but I think they really stand up and they should last and serve as influential records. The first Camper record we had no idea what we were doing. It’s like The Modern Lovers’ first records, they didn’t know what they were doing, they hadn’t got a clue, it was still completely unique. I think there’s some great Cracker records, I think Kerosene Hat is pretty marvelous still and I think that Golden Age is really quite amazing. I think La Costa… just kind of proved that were still totally violent and creative, maybe long after the fact that people had said, “Are they going to be like ‘X’ and not play anything but the first few records?” It’d been eight years since we put out a record and I think if you want to dig deep there’s a lot of cool stuff in the solo realm from pretty much everybody. If you want to get deep with Camper stuff there’s a lot of places to go and I think there’s a lot more good music in there than just the high points that people know.

MR: One of the interesting things about Camper Van Beethoven is that it’s always cited as having been influential. Do you think that’s true?

VK: Oh yeah, I think so. I think you see it in Pavement, I think you see it in Cake, that kind of absurdist sense of humor that seems to percolate through culture, people were very earnest when we came along. The whimsical bands were either like the B-52s which was pretty camp or things like The Fibonaccis who were this Los Angeles new wave art rock band. It was all either very campy or very esoteric and high brow and we were just kind of a circus which harkened back maybe more to things like Country Joe & The Fish or some other sixties bands where there was a little bit more of an educated mindset but not elitist, you know? We’re from the suburbs. One of the first reviews that I remeber that really rubbed me the wrong way was Spin magazine saying of Telephone Free Landslide Victory, “Don’t these guys realize there’s no culture in the suburbs?” [laughs] It still pisses me off. What a really, really horribly arrogant thing to say. There’s a lot of culture. Culture is where humans are. Just because it’s suburban… I think what we did is that we opened up the door to not being from “the right place.” We’re from Santa Cruz, we’re from Redlands, we’re from Riverside, we weren’t from San Francisco, we weren’t from New York, we weren’t from LA. In the way that R.E.M. was from Athens we were able to do a California analogue. There was a lot of affinity for bands at the time like The Minutemen and the Meat Puppets and things like that, like all good revolutionary groups we didn’t sit and talk about it, we just kind of did it. But we understood the kindship, I think we all instinctively understood where we were coming from and what we were doing.

MR: You also played with Cracker. What do you think about Cracker?

VK: They’re recording some stuff right now and I really want to hear it but he hasn’t played it for me. I mean, I’ve been busy and he’s been busy too, it’s a nudge, but I’m not really pissed about it. When the band broke up it was a bitter breakup and I was very much off in a different world, I didn’t much care for what they were doing because I wasn’t listening to it. When David and I reconciled I had to go listen to it and learn how to play it and my respect for it went way up. There’s a lot of subtlety and a lot of nuance to what they’re doing. When Cracker’s at its very best it’s got a lot more going on than I think first meets the eye, I think people always see it dumbed down compared to Camper but it’s not, it’s actually slyer than that, it’s smarter than that and musicall, especially, there are certain people who rplayed in that band who did remarkable work. It’s pretty deep. It’s a longstanding relationship. I still don’t always get along with or agree with David, that’s just how that works, but if you don’t have a tension then nothing goes on. If we all agreed… The last thing I want to do as a creative person is go into a situation where everybody agrees. It never works.

MR: And what two brothers haven’t fought with each other?

VK: Exactly.

MR: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

VK: No, just that in regards to El Camino Real, we didn’t really plan on having a record out so quickly and we’re all kind of happy that we did. It’s nice that it’s working.

Transcribed By Galen Hawthorne

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A Conversation with Alex Orbison

Mike Ragogna: There are so many releases oriented around your dad’s work and his catalog right now, and one of the major releases is the deluxe edition of Mystery Girl. What was your participation in that and how do you like the end result?

Alex Orbison: Well, Mystery Girl Deluxe happens to fall on the twenty fifth anniversary of the annual release. My brothers and I put this together, we all had our parts. I directed the documentary Mystery Girl Unraveled, which is the camera part to this. We started with archive footage that was very strong. A bunch of it we did not know that we actually had, there were recordings that we’d found in the last two years that really made the documentary appealing for us. We have behind the scenes footage of the guys recording all through Mike Hammel’s Garage and then in Rumbo studios with archive interviews from and Tom Petty and Mike Campbell and Steve Cropper among others. We’re really, really proud of that. On the audio side, we have nine bonus tracks which are studio demos and in studio jams more or less. Some of them are just the band and my dad running through the songs before they were doing the takes, and then we actually have very intimate demos that are blue box recordings from my dad. Out of those, one of them has never been heard before. One of those songs had such a beautiful sound, but the tape was unlistenable, so we used new technology to go and scoop out just the vocal and be able to turn that up and put new instrumentation on it.

My brothers and I are all musicians, so my brothers and John Carter Cash and I played on it and then my brothers and I sang backup and John Carter coproduced it with us at the Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, Tennessee. There’s so much to this deluxe package and the forty page booklet that has a five thousand word essay and never before seen photos and all the original artwork. We tried to only add and not take away, keep things in that original format from the late eighties. It’s been very exciting. We’re really, really pleased with what we came back with. The expression is, “Everything but the kitchen sink,” we’ve been calling this “The kitchen sink.” We just wanted to see how much we could put on a CD and with the documentary we just started where we started and did it primarily for the fans. It’s a real nice little piece.

MR: Can you tell me the story of Mystery Girl? Were there any surprises about your father when you went through the archives?

AO: The footage is very, very candid at the Mike Campbell studio. It was just a camera that they set up because the control room was in a guest bedroom and my dad was recording in the garage. The footage is very candid and the personal details we all remember very, very clearly but the actual technique that they used to record Mystery Girl and specifically “You Got It” and the Mike Campbell songs, this stuff came out sounding so amazing and they were literally in the garage and they liked the sound underneath the light that goes on the motor that pulls the garage door up. So they would literally pull the cars out and set up everything from my dad’s vocal to the drums and they would just go for it right there in that garage. I knew that they did some stuff there but I didn’t know that they did everything there, and that was very, very surprising to me. Also “She’s A Mystery To Me” with Bono and the Edge, we remember Bono coming by the house and seeing him and discussion was a big deal, but I did not know that Bono had gotten my dad into the big drum room at Rumbo studios. He had his guitar amp in that big room with the drums going and my dad singing the vocal and I had no idea that they had such an unorthodox approach. They had the chance to go to the big studio that was all polished and they huddled in one room like it was the garage.

So the intimacy and the actual technique they used was so much different than anything that I’d imagined while listening to the end results of “You Got It” and “She’s A Mystery” and the actual polish on the record. There’s also TV footage from the Netherlands, a guy who came and interviewed my dad and there’s footage of the song “In The Real World,” it had aired in the Netherlands but I had never seen it. I ended up seeing it on YouTube some time in the last year and contacted them and got that footage. To have a live performance of my dad singing one of these special songs was really incredible. I’ll go on about the record: Mystery Girl was started in 1985, in late ’84 Jeff Lynne came to Hendersonville, Tennessee, where we lived at the time, where Johnny Cash fell in the lake. He wanted to get together with my dad and talk about doing some recording and writing some songs and putting a record together. We had moved to Malibu, California within a year and when we got to Malibu my dad started to put together a team with a publicist and start recording other stuff that was not the new record. He did Class Of ’55 with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis and then he went and re-recorded his greatest hits because Monument, the label that put them out originally went bankrupt and the fans were unable to get those recordings of the classics.

He was doing that and David Lynch had put “In Dreams” into Blue Velvet. He went and recorded “In Dreams” with T-Bone Burnett and T-Bone was introduced and my dad signed with Virgin records at the same time. Then they recorded the first song from Mystery Girl sometime in 1987, I want to say. Right around then they had the “The Comedians” and the black and white special, and that was a good glimpse at what Mystery Girl would look like live as well. The first songs were done with T Bone Burnett and then at that point I think T Bone had another project and my dad sent out for Jeff Lynne again and Jeff did a little part on “You Got It” and “California Blue.” Then The Travelling Wilburys happened and that footage ended up in the documentary. In “California Blue,” George Harrison shows up…then The Travelling Wilburys happened right in the middle of my dad’s record. Jeff also did a song that they wrote together called “A Love So Beautiful,” they did that during the Travelling Willburys while normal people were sleeping Jeff had constructed that song and my dad sang it in one take, there’s a beautiful piece on that in the documentary. After the Travelling Wilburys my dad came back and grabbed Mike Campbell and they went into Rumbo studios and cut the song “Windsurfer” that my dad wrote with Bill [Dees], a song calleed “In The Real World,” the last song on the album “Careless Heart” was done there as well and then after that Bono had come up with his song and they went back to Rumbo and they had a magical tracking session there, Bono and my dad and Jim Keltner as the drummer, you can hear it on that tape, it’s magical. My brother Wesley actually wrote the last recorded song on the album, it’s called “The Only One.”

My dad had talked to Wes, who had started writing songs, and he submitted three songs and my dad picked “The Only One.” My dad had closed out that record with my brother’s recording, basically it was Roy Orbison and the Heartbreakers, he used Tom Petty’s band for a lot of this stuff but that one was from Memphis Hall so it ended up being a really special track for us. That was late in 1988, sometime around November, so my dad spent a couple weeks out mixing and mastering all of the songs with the different producers. My mom and dad actually produced “In The Real World” and Mike Campbell did all the other songs and Jeff lynne and T-Bone worked on it and even all the different engineers were different for that. To get everything into one sound my dad spent a long time doing the mixing and mastering himself. It’s interesting because over time people have imagined that my dad cut the record and went back to the Wilburys because they had become so successful and that he passed the record off to someone else, but my dad actually had the test pressings from Mystery Girl and played it for everyone that he saw by the end of November there. That was a really great page from the documentary, I wanted to show how much fun everyone was having and what a great experience it was in the making of the actual record. It really ended up being a nice timeline and I was surprised by how much footage we had of my dad through this time.

MR: At that point in time, Roy Orbison had almost never been more famous.

AO: It was wonderful that he had made a point to be more publically visible. As contemporary as he tried to be, he ended up making a record that sounded totally classic. If you listen to this next to the other albums of the time there’s not a lot of that eighties funky electronic heavy synth keyboards and stuff. It really was magical, the genesis of it was very organic and I think the timing was just right. I think everyone knew it was going to be a big deal and they felt it was going to do well. It was amazing. Personally, I attribute a lot of this to the move to Malibu, California. There were always people who came by Hendersonville because Hendersonville was a little beacon of safety when you’re touring. Nashville is centrally located so if you end up in Kentucky or somewhere then why not drive the extra three or four hours on the bus? For someone like Bob Dylan to come to Hendersonville in the middle of a tour happened a lot, but when we lived in Malibu people started to realize, “Hey, Roy Orbison’s in town, why don’t we just call him and get him over here?” Everything from hearing Bruce Springsteen sing Happy Birthday to my dad and my dad during the national anthem and going to the Hard Rock for just random parties and stuff. He was getting out and being a public figure which hadn’t really happened for quite some time. It was part of his diligence to get out there and be seen and also put together the right team to get there.

MR: Was Roy aware of his contribution to culture? And how did you view your dad’s place in music history?

AO: You know, when I was very, very young I could tell that were just a different type of family, and we were, even outside of my dad. It just seemed like we were all different from other people. Then I started to realize around age four or five that my dad was really special and the nature of his performances were so increidble that I was a fan from that point on, I went to all of those shows from that point on just to go see him do his thing and hit those high notes. It was such a spectacle and an event, every time he would start off on “Running Scared” and get to those high notes, it was like watching a stunt. It almost seemed like it couldn’t be real. With the writing at home and the people coming by and the work that was being done, that was so steady through my life that all seemed very normal. It’s funny that you mentioned Chris Isaac, I remember Chris coming by the house and he was with us for a couple of days, literally he would come by mid morning and we would have lunch together and he would sit around the table with us at dinner time and he and my dad would walk across the street to the beach and talk and have guitars and they would go over stuff. There was definitely time spent with so many people in that manner that it all just seemed really normal. It’s amazing, the amount of people tha tmy dad touched throughout his life all the way from Nashville, Tennessee, producing people through the sixties, I went through his schedule, he would be touring and then I’d see these albums that my dad produced and I would look back and say, “Wait a minute, that was when ‘Pretty Woman’ was out on the charts for four weeks,” because it hit the number one slot twice, once at the end of summer and then again in fall. In the interim my dad went back to Nasvhille and produced another band’s album and went back when “Pretty Woman” hit number one again. So seeing the scope of the work and the extent of it is really incredible. My dad’s opinion on it, he was a humble, gentle soul, and in the documentary we made I think we relayed that more than probably had ever been seen before.

His expressions about people’s admiration, he’d say a lot of these things, but I know he was deeply touched by all that. It is really amazing because these people that my dad touched ended up resurfacing and joining around him and being the creative base that my dad was able to use to have his resurgence and really creatively have the most freedom that he had ever had and be the most effective with that absolute freedom of creativity. He was in admiration of them and the thing that I find interesting is that everyone was on equal footing and my dad just saw eye to eye. It’s Jeff Lynne, my dad and Mike Campbell and everyone had an equal vote and it was just really democratic and easygoing. I saw Bono and my dad writing together and they were just like two guys. There was no before or after, everyone was just right in that moment and working as a team. It’s a great thing to be able to see a little bit of that.

MR: You talked abour Chris Isaac, I wish we had gotten to see a duet between them.

AO: Yeah, yeah. And when my dad and Chris actually toured together with Dizzy Gilespie, Chris opened up in Saratoga, California. I’d say that was 1987, so things were really cracking. My dad had started recording and the k.d. lang duet was the last thing of that nature before my dad was a hundred percent concentrated on making the new stuff. The duet with Chris would not have come until probably the end of ’90 or even ’91, it would have taken another year for my dad to slow down from putting together Mystery Girl and the next new album that he was really excited about. So yeah, it does seem like a missed opportunity, but when you look back through the career–I saw a picture of my dad and Otis Redding on the same plane and they were talking about doing “The Big O’s” because that was both of their nicknames. They laughed about that, they became friends so fast on that plane ride that they had planned to do a “Big O’s” record. If you start following that “lost opportunity” thing you can really go down a wormhole. [laughs]

MR: I just mean to say that it’s like the James Taylor and Carly Simon album that never happened, moments in history that would have been terrific.

AO: Oh of course. I completely understand. There’s several of his friends that I wonder, “Why didn’t that happen?” but we do have more of those things that are relatively unknown, Roy Orbison penned songs that Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly cut, and the connection with the Johnny Cash songs and stuff that’s not far back, when it comes to light it’s really cool to piece together these pictures. Part of what we’ve done with the Mystery Girl Unraveled is get a good visual representation of what was going on and chronicle it in the liner notes. It’s really the first time that this part of the career has ever been in order from 1985 until my dad passed away, because everything did happen so fast. It’s really cool to see the way everything unfolded.

MR: Alex, what advice do you have for new artists? And what do you think your dad might have had as advice for new artists?

AO: I think being a new artist is almost tougher now than it was before. I would say that being able to change with the game is very important, but you have to maintain integrity through that, so that’s a real fine line to be able to do. I know my dad started as a lead guitar player in the middle of the fifties and did that exclusively and then was singing a little bit and then quit and became a songwriter and not a performer until he pitched a song to Elvis Presley and that song was called “Only The Lonely.” Elvis asked my dad if he could come by the next day. It was very late at night so my dad drove all the way to Nasville and cut “Only The Lonely” himself and ended up having the smash hit wigtht hat that changed his career forever. That kind of thing is good, to stay malleable but also have integrity and know if your position changes or whatever your creative outlet is or even your instrument or anything, I was a drummer for years and years and I had tried to learn as much as I could about the music industry and it’s really paying off now that I’m taking care of my dad’s stuff. It’s very helpful to know both sides of the coin. My dad’s thing was “Practice, practice, practice.” He told it to me, he told it to Roy Junior and he told it to Wesley. I said, “I’m practicing three or four hours a day,” I was practicing much more than that usually but he would say, “I would do eight hours a day of singing and we would have rehearsals before that,” so my dad was singing as much as twelve hours a day through the fifties and early sixties.

Practice does make perfect and for us that was the only way to get there. So I know that’s what my dad would say because that’s what he told me. I got to the point where I played the drums so much it affected my school performance. So that’s the clear cut path to doing it: Start with that and get that strong base of really going over stuff. But it’s almost like the stock market; you need to diversify your practice, there’s practice at home where you’re practicing your instrument and your craft and then there’s practice with a band which is rehearsal and preproduction for a record is super, super important. I could hear that through my dad’s stuff, we would work on it before he would record it and really try to figure it out and then practicing the final product and going on the road with it. There’s a lot of practice involved, I think.

MR: Van Halen had a hit with “Pretty Woman” and others have covered your dad’s material. What did Roy and your family think of some of the covers that have been recorded over the years? What were his thoughts on the finished results?

AO: We had the Van Halen “Pretty Woman” single. My dad listened to that a lot because the big stereo was in the living room. When he came home I don’t even know if he was aware of it yet because we had caught onto it very quickly. He thought it was great. He was always quoted as saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” so when people would recreate his music it was a way that the music was living on and having younger fans hear it and it was just the highest form of compliment. With all the people have cut his songs, it’s a pretty wide swath from Ronstadt and MacLean in the seventies all the way to newer bands and people you would never imagine to cut Roy Orbison songs. I think the number of covers is in the thousands, twenty five hundred or thirty five hundred different versions of different songs in different languages that we’ve collected over the years. It’s really amazing. He was very, very flattered by that and I think that’s another nice part of his nature as a person.

MR: What do you think might have been or was his favorite song that he’d ever written or recorded? And what did your family like the most?

AO: We were all so goo goo over Mystery Girl, probably because I know that he enjoyed all of the songs immensely. The fun thing to me was the actual parts of the songs. There’s a song called “California Blue” and Jeff Lynne has this light effect in the back, the name of it is actually “Bubbles” but it doesn’t sound like bubles. My dad was singing the vocal part and then when they finished the song it wasn’t really in there. You can actually hear him humming it in the documentary. When Jeff mixed the albums he put this little ascending keyboard part that goes up and my dad was just tickled pink with the bubbles, that was all he talked about for days. He would play it and just listen to it. I think he was missing the forest for the trees, he focused on the little things that were making these songs that he was comfortable with and enjoyed. The little things made it for him. I think that’s a little different than looking back in retrospect and saying, “This song was my favorite.” I know that the earlier works were such masterpieces, my dad wasn’t really like that, though, he didn’t really look back. He wasn’t ever thinking about “The glory days,” he was always focused on moving forward, especially with recording. It’s great that the newer songs had such similarities, the essence of “California Blue” is somewhat “Blue Bayou”-ish, and that kind of matches with the up tempo-ness of “Pretty Woman” and “In The Real World” is what happens in the real world and “In Dreams” is the other side of that. There is a kinship to the earlier stuff. They’re little tips of the hat to each other, but now that twenty five years has gone by, looking back in retrospect and seeing how this mystery girl album has stood up over time, I was just in Europe last week and I met several people that knew “You Got It” but didn’t know the name Roy Orbison or the song “Pretty Woman,” but I said, “You Got It,” and they said, “Oh, yeah, yeah!” and I said, “That’s Roy Orbison.” That’s really amazing to me.

MR: What do you think is the Roy Orbison legacy?

AO: The Roy Orbison legacy moving on from here?

MR: Yeah, how do you think he will be remembered decades from now?

AO: I hope that in a decade from now more people know who Roy Orbison is than ever before. I believe it’s possible, and all joking aside it’s pretty remarkable, he’s got very good days ahead, and we three brothers have been having good days. It’s very important to us.

MR: Is there anything else that we should know about Roy Orbison? Something that didn’t even go in your documentary?

AO: He was absolutely the funniest guys in my entire life. Having the dark glasses and the dark hair, that wouldn’t be the first thing that you thought, but it’s true. Aside from being one of the most special and overall really nice across the board people, you never find someone of that stature, where one hundred percent of the stories we got back were about how nice he was, even people who had casual encounters with him in airport halls all the way up to Jeff Lynne it was consistent and that is really amazing. That’s something that normal people wouldn’t know because these are all stories that have come back to me one by one, but it’s amazing to go through everything he went through and do the things he did and still be a good guy.

Transcribed By Galen Hawthorne

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A Conversation with The Ready Set’s Jordan Witzigreuter

Mike Ragogna: Jordan, your latest album The Bad And The Better was produced by Ian Kirkpatrick. What’s the band’s process in the studio like with him?

Jordan Witzigreuter: My process with Ian is very laid back. I had already finished a lot of the songs before going into the studio with him, so it was a lot of editing and double checking to make sure we agreed that everything was written as cohesively as possible, and honing in on small production things. We wrote and produced couple of songs from scratch as well, so the process really varied on a song-by-song basis. Ian is great at making sure that I don’t get too carried away on one idea, and explore every other possible way of phrasing or delivering something before I commit.

MR: Can you take us on a tour of the album’s material, like what was it like writing the material and do any songs have an unusual or particularly unique origin?

JW: I wrote a bunch of songs–70 or so–over the past 2 years, and only a few of those 70 were even considered for this album. I tend to like a song when I finish it, give it a week, and then I’m over it, so the ones that made the cut were the ones I still felt passionately about. The album is about 40% of those songs, and 60% songs I wrote in the studio while recording. As far as origin goes, I actually finished the song “Fangz” quite a while after the album was finished, and I didn’t know if I planned on using it as a TRS song or as something to pitch to someone else. When I switched labels, from Warner Brothers to Razor & Tie, I had to chance to change things, add songs, and go back through the music to make sure the album was what I wanted it to be. I remembered Fangz and thought “this song is kind of weird for me, and I know there would be no way it would have been approved before, but I don’t have to worry about that now”. I recorded and produced it myself at my place in LA instead of at a studio. It was strangely liberating to just make a decision like that without having to get approval from 100 different people. At the end of the day, I think my fans will like it, so it makes sense to me.

MR: Do you have a favorite cut among the tracks, which is it and why does it resonate with you?

JW: My favorite song is “Are We Happy Now?” It’s about me chasing these external forms of validation for happiness–crowd sizes, song sales, chart position, radio play, etc etc. Those are all really important things of course, but when you’re someone who has always been very goal-oriented, those things can become huge weights, especially if they don’t live up to your hopes and expectations. It reached a point where even if something amazing happened, I would be too caught up in worrying about next step toward reaching an “ultimate goal” to even appreciate it. The craziest part is that chances are, that goal would shift to something else as soon as it was obtained. In the simplest sense, it’s about stopping to smell the flowers. The present moment is where you find happiness, because that’s all we actually have, and it is amazing. The future is always going to be the future.

MR: What is it about the themes within The Bad And The Better that you can relate to the most?

JW: The best way for me to describe the overall theme within The Bad And The Better is to explain why I named the album that. The Bad And The Better symbolizes perspective. There is an inherent element of bad in every good, and of good in every bad. It’s all in the way you choose to see it. The idea of that comes through in some of the songs, like “Higher,” “Are We Happy Now,” “Bleeding,” etc.. When I was writing the album, perspective and my decision of how to interpret things shaped a huge turning point for me as a person.

MR: When you look back at the guy whose band had a hit with I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming five years ago, what are some of the biggest challenges and biggest evolution you’ve had since then?

JW: I feel like I learned how to write songs again. I had a loose grasp of how to write a song 5 years ago. Now I am more confident, but I’m still learning. I got to write with incredible people, like JR Rotem, RedOne, some of RX Songs camp, and a ton of others. Every session i would go into would feel like class for me. I started touring straight out of high school and didn’t go to college, but after spending all that time working with incredible people, I feel like I attended some kind of “real-world-experience-songwriting-college”. I’m really lucky I was able to do that- it taught me how to trim the fat on songs, how to make the best parts stand out, and really edit myself while I write and work on tracks.

MR: What are a couple of your favorite moments of The Ready Set journey so far?

JW: My favorite moment of all was probably the first time playing at an arena. it was a radio festival in Minneapolis, it was sold out at 14,000. We opened the show, but had never played to more than 2,000 people up until that point. The funny thing is that I had no idea it was even that big of a show, like I didn’t put it in perspective until I walked out on stage. 2 years prior I was playing to 50 people. I felt really lucky. Another awesome moment was getting to play in Manila–I had no idea I had fans overseas, let alone ones as passionate as them. You really feel a lot of love in other countries.

MR: You went on tour with Maroon 5 and other major acts which initially got you big visibility. Do you return the favor and try to help out bands or acts that are just starting out?

JW: I love bringing smaller bands on tour. The first time I got to be a part of a real tour was with Boys Like Girls headlining. They treated us so incredibly well–their crew helped us with gear, their sound guy ran sound for us, and they definitely didn’t have to do those things. I always hope that after a band tours with us they feel that we treated them well. It’s not as common as you might think, but it really does go a long way to be as nice to everyone on the road as possible. When you treat people poorly, word spreads like wildfire.

MR: Jordan, what advice do you have for new artists?

JW: Put 100% of your energy into making it happen for you. Ignore all naysayers, spend all your time on your art, and fully devote yourself to it. Have a plan and a goal in sight, and do everything you can to convince yourself of it’s reality. Don’t worry about how you will make it out of your current circumstance to succeed, just do everything you can where you are at that time to get yourself closer to where you want to be. It’s always a step-by-step process. Don’t get caught up in let downs or failures, everything is part of the journey. The seemingly worst situations make the best stories down the road, usually!

MR: What musical or creative goals do you have for The Ready Set?

JW: I actually have just started getting really excited about the idea of starting the writing process for the next album. I have a lot of things I want to do, and I think the door is really open for me right now. I have an amazing team with my management and new label Razor & Tie, and I think creatively, everybody is truly on the same page in a big way. My goal has always been pretty simple–put out music I love, play that music for as many people as I can, and maintain the same excitement and passion I felt when I started this. Right now I am pretty excited.

LOVES IT’S “DANCIN'” EXCLUSIVE

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photo credit: Laura Partain

According to Loves It’s Jenny Parrot…

“‘Dancin” is about the journey of a young emotionally vulnerable woman who goes out to find love and to try and fufill her potential. More specifically, it’s an autobiographical song about my first love, my music, my dreams and the loss, crisis and ultimate resolution that followed.

“My first love was a wonderful musician who invited me to move away to Nebraska and front my first band. It felt like someone had given me the helm of an awesome fireworks show. The problem was that everyone seemed to notice that he was an alcoholic but me. I was 19-years-old, and had been raised by an alcoholic mom with similar behavior.

“My dad didn’t want me to go, but my boyfriend was the first to see the singer and songwriter in me that I wanted to see in myself. But, when he wasn’t sober, he did the things that we know addicts do and I didn’t manage to face it until the end. My dad saw this from the beginning, but I was so caught up with being in love.

“I was blind at the time, but in the end there was resolution: the song concludes on a compromise between father and daughter where he shows his love and approval by buying her dancing shoes. I dreamed my dad took me shopping, and it meant that everything was okay and he could rest somewhat assured that I wouldn’t make any more horrible romantic decisions. In the actual dream the shoes my Dad bought me were bright orange platforms!”


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