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Travels: #Downsouthtour Recap Pt. 1

Clayton's Home Decor

Travels: Sweet Southern Hospitality #Downsouthtour Recap Pt. 1 Kicking off our summer music fashion tour, Tiffany Thompson and I packed our bags for a 5-day roadtrip down south from Aug 8-13th. Combining house and venue music shows with Kicheko and local shopping, we traveled through Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Covering 1800 miles, the #downsouthtourwas indelibly encouraging, fun, and life-giving as we connected with a diverse set of communities.

Our first stop was Chattanooga, Tennessee to connect with friends who moved away from DC one year ago. They showed us warm hospitality preparing the guest bedroom, goodie baskets, a full coffee pot the next morning, and time to do some work in their light-filled living room before we hit the road the next morning.

We then made our way to Florence, Alabama to play a house show as well as visit a childhood friend of mine and her husband in their home, which is about 5 minutes drive from John Paul White of the Civil Wars. The house show turned "We are One" festival drew an energetic crowd of many ages as well as food and jewelry vendors. Chairs and pillows set up, displays smoothed out, and guitar tuned, Tiffany belted out a beautiful and engaging performance. Folks enjoyed the performance so much that at the end of the show we did a soul train followed by more merchandise sales. The support and encouragement we received was a perfect start to the tour. The next day, we visited the Billy Reid flagship store. Read it here.

The next stop was Atlanta, Georgia for a picturesque house show, originally slated for an outdoor performance on the terraced lawn. With a setup staged just so, we went inside to change and then...the downpour. Scrambling to save the keyboard, guitar, PA equipment, and merchandise from the rain; we made a series of barefoot runs with the help of our hosts and managed to do a quick re-setup indoors.

The show must go on of course. Our hosts drew in a vibrant and young audience that night. As much there for the music as for tasty wine, light fare, and each other's company, the audience was a tight knit community that whole-heartedly threw its support and good nature behind us. Kicheko was a hit and the audience asked Tiffany to perform well past midnight as we transitioned to the outdoor court where the show was originally envisioned.

Staying up late into the night chatting with our hosts, we shared many a cheers reflecting on the wins of the tour halfway through and thoughts on friendship and the complexities of love. Probably, the best part of our Atlanta night was the impromptu singalong where Jeremy got on keys, Jebb on the guitar, and Tiffany on mic. We sang Billy Joel, Beatles, Rolling Stones - it was joyous and reminded me of my adolescence at summer camps in Scotland where the whole camp would gather round for a hearty and boisterous singalong in the main marquee.

While in Atlanta, we visited Sid Mashburn and Ann Mashburn. Husband and wife as well as business collaborators, their stores are connected to one another in the Warehouse District. Sid displaying a well-polished, well-traveled, and playful store contrasts nicely with Ann's, which presents a brightly-lit space, classic lines, and splashes of sophisticated elements from African beads, coffee table books, and an inspiration wall. Our time in Atlanta was both fun-filled and restful, giving us an extra kick to tackle the rest of the miles and the cities left on the bill. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the recap where I will share about Chattanooga, Nashville, and the rest of the tour.

Jams: Press Panda on this Summer Cruisin' Mix!

Jams: Sit Back, Press Panda - Summer Cruisin' Mix GotchuNothing says summer like white jean cutoffs, ice cream cones, itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikinis, sunburn, roadtrips, and of course, the quintessential playlist for all your summer galavants and needs. Quite appropriately, on my 28th birthday, I would like to debut the first music/fashion collaboration between Fashion & Philosophers and my friend, DJ Twisted Panda. Summer Cruisin Mix art

Summer Cruisin' Mix by Dj Twisted Panda on Mixcloud

This is the gift that keeps on groovin'. A two-month project in the making, we wanted to incorporate many of our influences from Bill Withers and Notorious B.I.G. to Florence & the Machine and Kimbra. Now, is he not a talented DJ? Get by that pool or behind the wheel, set your mode to cruisin', and click on that furry panda. Cheers friends.

Posted on August 15, 2013 and filed under Jams, Projects.

Live & Glam Jams: Beyonce

Sparks Fly

Beyonce. Queen Bey. BaddieBey. Beyhive. Mrs. Carter. So many names! Alls (yes, I just said "alls) that matters is that on Saturday, a big kahuna concert got crossed off the live jams bucket list.August 3rd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY; J & I joined thousands of giddy fans for the Mrs. Carter World Tour.

Big Kahuna Live Concert...check

As an early birthday gift, J purchased tickets several months back when the Mrs. Carter World Tour was announced. Within 3 minutes, a pair of tickets in a decent section of the venue were hard to come by. While Beyonce probably has a long career ahead of her; however long it takes until the next album drops or the next concert tour is an unknown. We were keen on seeing her on this circuit so to the VIP packages we went. Yeah, we'll drop some Washingtons for two tickets (in actuality, we needed some other presidents and non-presidents to join the party). Plus, we heard her show has the most strobes out of any show. Of course, we want to see that. Maybe seize in the process? Who knows? We're crazy kids!

Show Opener

The VIP package that J purchased included a credit for tour merchandise. Yes, I got the visually stimulating program and a Beyonce cutoff shirt. It came with two mini pepsis with Beyonce's likeness on the cans. I'm a coke girl so I'll just look at the cans. (no pun intended). And it also included a credit for Rent the Runway - an e-tailer that rents out designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the price to purchase.

Say Yes to the Dress

I decided on the Nanette Lepore Joan of Arc Mini. Retail value $398. Rental $90 (included in our ticket package). Honestly, I was intrigued - this being my first time to use the service. The site was user friendly and allowed you to plan out your rental weeks in advance. I was impressed at the level of intuitiveness and customer service the site provided. With each rental, they'll send you a size up or down free of charge just in case the dress doesn't fit right. It comes with a pre-packaged UPS envelope so once you're done with your event, pop the dress in the mailer and send it off. They take care of dry cleaning, mends, and everything else! You keep the photos, garment bag, and a great experience. I felt sexy, special and empowered. Watching "Run the World" performed in a booming arena feeling like a kajillion bucks will probably do that to any woman.

Wedding Favorite - Single Ladies

The show was impressive to say the least. The production quality top notch. Her band and dancers - great musicians and performers. The fans - everyone we encountered was in great spirits. Pretty awesome for a crowded event of that size...in Brooklyn. The videos in between costume and set changes were enthralling and impeccably done from concept to execution. And her voice? Beyonce can saaaang. Whether she's being flown across the arena, lying on her back on top of a piano, or throwing her booty/body around doing choreography, her voice sounds flawless. Girl is blessed with some pipes and a performance quality that is strongly her own. Her stage presence is like her holding court and she made sure she let everyone know that she is Queen. Thanks for the amazing night Bey! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWCLnFWymKQ&w=1280&h=720]

Jams: #heavyrotationtuesday

#HeavyRotationTuesday_060413

Clockwise: Mike Ness/Under the Influence, The Dig/Midnight Flowers, Eddie Cochran/Best Of, How to Dress Well/Total Loss

BradMWolf

Every Tuesday, I'll be featuring my friend and kickass motion graphics designer, Brad Wolf's, music picks. Call it #heavyrotationtuesday. Good. Glad you agree because that's what Brad's decided to call it. Hailing from the United States of Indiana, Brad's talent can be found on display at Plano, TX-based design studio, Already Been Chewed. He dons a fierce mustache, harem pants, and kicks that can buy you a top-grade steak dinner, easy. He also dons good music taste, which is why we're collaborating and sharing these jams with you. Enjoy.

Posted on June 4, 2013 and filed under Jams.

Jams: Solange

Solange performed to a sold out crowd at 9:30 Club last night. This vid is of "Losing You," one of my favorites on her album, True, written and produced by Solange and Dev Hynes. Things I love about her style - 1. Hair. Big fro. Petite fro. Unruly and wild. Her hair is fantastic. 2. Moves. Girl has some groove and loves to get down with her jams. She looks like she's having a great time dancing onstage.  3. Taste. From retro dresses to suits - she has an indie and beauteous way of combining colors and styles to express her independent persona. 4. She is raw, free, and portrays an accessibility. Almost a vulnerability that everything may not be absolutely perfect and executed but what she's going to give is going to be fun and real and true.

Dabbling in photography, check out Solange's tumblr. For extracurricular reading, see Solange: Rise and Shine from Fader's March issue. 

Solange
Posted on April 24, 2013 and filed under Jams.