MusicArtist to Watch: Warm Weather

Warm Weather is a band whose name really captures its essence; from the vocals, to imagining yourself lounging on an empty beach, it just makes you feel so warm. The music is a blend of kaleidoscopic indie rock and a beachy, harmonious quartet. Think if Beach Boys met Grizzly Bear. Or Vampire Weekend, just less… uptight. Hailing from the east, these guys are now located in sunny LA, where they are working on their next EP. We caught up with Justin Lerman for an interview.

How did your band come to exist on the mean (warm?) streets of LA?
Warm Weather actually came into existence all across the country. On our road trip from Philadelphia to LA the band was formed. Ryan and I are originally from Philly and Brendan was a buddy of mine from Dartmouth College, who we picked up at his home in Minnesota. I had collaborated with both Ryan and Brendan separately, but the three of us had never all been in the same room until we met on our trip across the country. To pass the hours on the road, we plugged a portable keyboard into the car speakers and wrote and sang songs on the way. Those songs were the basis for our first EP, “Dances”it wasn’t until we arrived in L.A. that we started playing shows and recording.
How do you hope to inspire your fans? What do you want fans to get out of your music, especially “Older.”
Our music is meant to convey emotions and feelings. We want the listener to be taken somewhere when they listen to a track. Our first EP, “Dances,” has a very summery feel – it’s happy, it’s lethargic, it’s bittersweet. At least that’s how I feel about it, but the nice thing about music is that the experience can mean something different for every listener. We just hope to evoke a meaningful experience in our audience. “Older” is a song about growing up – or maybe not wanting to. Sometimes we just want to let life take us where it will and forget our worries — but you can’t do that forever; we all grow up and we have our responsibilities. Realizing that is bittersweet. The ending of our EP, which is “Older” is almost nostalgic for childhood. 
What would you be doing if you weren’t (or when you’re not) making music?
Personally, when I’m not writing music, I’m writing words. I’m interested in screenwriting and one of the reasons I originally moved out to L.A. was to explore that career. I’m still doing that, but things are just little more complicated with Warm Weather. I can’t really speak for the other guys in the group, but I get the feeling from Ryan that it’s always been music or bust and Brendan is such a talented guy and brilliant musician, he could do anything he wanted in or out of music. 
Fill in the blank: Warm Weather is forever grateful for …
Warm Weather is forever grateful for the support of our friends and family. Without them, we’d never be able to explore our creativity so fully. We’ve had individuals like Nick Breton of Truth Studios just giving us their time and resources to help us make our music – it’s that kind of kindness and generosity that makes it possible for artists to create. 
Your harmonies are quite something … Did you always sing so pretty or was it something practiced?
Haha, thanks. Ryan and I sang together all throughout high school. We were in another band then called Cereal Heroes and we were also in our high school a cappella group. From the beginning of our career writing music, vocal harmony has been at the center of our creative interests. We just love singing together and the sounds of the human voice. Brendan and I sang together in our college a cappella group The Dartmouth Aires, and actually Brendan and I just finished filming the NBC show “The Sing Off” with the Dartmouth Aires, so turn on the TV Monday nights at 8 and you can actually see Brendan and I harmonizing quite regularly.

Warm Weather’s Coney Island off of The Dance II

Any good touring stories?
Well the band just formed earlier this year and since Brendan and I have been busy with “The Sing Off” we actually haven’t had the opportunity to do a full tour yet. We’re currently looking into dates for a 2011-2012 tour.  
Do you have pre- or post-show rituals?

Well, before a show we like to sing through our songs. It’s just fun and locking in the harmonies in a small circle can really bring you back to the roots of the music. Post-show rituals usually involve beer and friends.

Best show?
Honestly, I think our best show was our first – at the Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood. It was awesome to play a stage frequented by the Doors, the Who, and other legendary performers. We got the chance to perform “Dances” in its entirety and it was just a blast.
Of course, that begs the question … any disaster shows?
No “disasters” quite yet – but we did book a show at the Hollywood House of Blues, which sounded like it was going to be awesome…and ended up just being a tiny side stage near the bar and removed from the main ballroom. We essentially rocked out for three people sipping on cocktails. It was still fun, but decidedly less cool than playing the House of Blues sounds like it should be.
How does fashion inspire you?
You know, I’m not sure if I’m the most fashionable guy in the world, but I will say that when I put on a “fashionable” outfit that I feel fits my personality, it makes me feel more comfortable in myself and my creativity – it’s amazing how little things like that can change your entire mindset. If I ever get in a funk, I just take a shower a put on my favorite clothes and all of a sudden – I’m back.
What else inspires you? Other artists?
Plenty of other musical artists inspire me. I’m personally really into groups like Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and classic groups like The Who, The Kinks, Queen, Beatles, Beach Boys – all those classic big vocal groups.  I’m also a huge fan of movies and books, but who isn’t? 
Favorite movie?
“Back to the Future” – it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s sci-fi/action adventure, it’s well written, well acted. It sounds like a hilarious choice for someone who loves movies, but I can’t help it. That movie is classic and always entertaining.  

Favorite musician/band?
I find it difficult to pick a favorite here. It fluctuates between The Who, the Beatles and The Beach Boys for me. I go through phases of obsessions with these three groups. It could be nothing but “Tommy” for a month or maybe “Sgt. Peppers,” who knows. That’s how I tend to consume music: one artist, one album, over and over until I’ve got my fix for awhile.
What’s next for Warm Weather?  
We’re about to put out a second EP before we start working on our first full length album. In the meantime, we’ll be playing LA local shows and writing and recording the new tracks
Warm Weather is the second band to be featured off our digital album (free with every order, hell yeah!). Heard the digital album? Then we want to hear from you! Let us know what you think about Warm Weather and the Lulu*s Digital Album. Check out more of Warm Weather with their facebook, tumblr, and bandcamp.

MusicArtist to Watch: Saskatchewan

It’s a rare thing when you listen to a song from an obscure band that you’ve never heard of and get blown away, but that’s exactly what Saskatchewan did for me. I discovered them on my tumblr feed and instantly fell in love.
Saskatchewan (pronounced sa-skach-uh-won) hails from Orlando, FL, the city of boy bands. Their melodic and effervescence pop will keep you in a dream world you might never want to get out of.

We caught up with singer Chandler Strang for a little chat.

I’ve seen Saskatchewan classified as “dream pop.” Explain to us what that means to you.

Songs that are ethereal, airy and catchy all at once.
How do you hope to inspire your fans? What do you want fans to get out of your music, especially “Dreamboat”?
I’ve never thought of myself as inspiring to others before. “Dreamboat,” as well as some of our other songs, is about spending time with a person who you care about; connecting with them. If our listeners can make that happen for themselves, then I’m just happy to provide the soundtrack
What would you be doing if you weren’t (or when you’re not) making music?
I’m an accountant, so I’d be doing that. Ha.
Fill in the blank, Saskatchewan is forever grateful for …
… The internet.
You were creating a fund where people could donate for a sweet ride to CMJ … how is that going?
Yes, to get a “SaskatcheVan.” Some people generously donated the first day we set it up, but since then it’s been pretty inactive. We have different incentives that a contributor will get for each price point, the biggest of which is for a $1000 donation we’ll paint a mural of the contributor’s face on the side of the van. I really just want to have a huge face on the side of the van.
Do you have pre- or post-show rituals?
I have a two-beer minimum before playing.
Best show?
Our best show so far was probably our last hometown show opening for our friends Great Deceivers. It was their album release show and the place was packed with good friends. Really good vibes that night.
Of course, then I have to ask … worst show?
We played with a band called Young Empires once. I got there late coming from a funeral which is never a good way to get things started. Everyone was forgetting parts, we couldn’t hear anything on stage – the whole thing was a disaster. I’m just glad there were only a handful of people there to witness it. Ha 
How does fashion inspire you?
Oh man, that’s a tough one. I don’t really consider myself to be very fashionable. I pretty much just wear jeans, boots and animal t-shirts that I got from thrift stores all the time. Gery our drummer is the fashionable one of the group.
What else inspires you? Other artists?
It’s kind of morbid, but my fear of death and the inevitability of dying have been fueling the inspiration for our new material. Michael McDonald is my hero. Everything he does is inspiring to me.
Favorite movie?
“Lord of War,” maybe? I think my favorite movie changes a lot.
Favorite artist?
Not going to lie, I have no certain preference.
Favorite musician/band?
Michael McDonald and The Beach Boys
What’s next for Saskatchewan?
After CMJ [College Music Journal’s Music Marathon] next month we’ll mostly be spending time working on our first full length, set to be released at the beginning of next year.
Want more? Saskatchewan is one of the featured artists on our digital album, which comes free with every order you make at Lulu*s! Already downloaded their song? Let us know if you love them just as much as we do!


FashionHow To: Mini Skirts In Winter

Winter is here, which means colder weather and tons of layers. But just because it gets a bit chilly doesn’t mean that you can’t still wear some of your summer and fall favorites. Wearing tights with shorts has been a big trend for a couple years now (gotta love the 90s revival!), but what about wearing your mini skirt in the winter?

Well don’t fret ladies, we got you covered. Below are three amazing looks styled to perfection just for you. So sit back, relax, and let us walk you through these simple and easy styling tips!




Double Up

For a wonderful layered day look, pair a printed skirt with what I like to call the “double up.” This is when you wear a pair of opaque tights with matching thick thigh-highs for extra warmth and a subtle texture!

We put black booties with the double up to help elongate the leg and keep the focus on the mix of the warm knit and printed skirt. Add a bit of sophistication by wearing a button-up under a loose knit crop top!





Comfy Collegiate

This is the perfect combination of comfy chic that is perfect for the college scene. Pairing an oversized shirt over a monochromatic mini is a basic outfit that I still use to this day.  

Pair the mini with a pair of patterned sheer tights to give it a bit of edge. Add a pair of bright contrast thigh-highs, but slouch them over the knees to represent  that “devil may care” attitude that college is all about.   

Match your mini with a pair of simple oxfords wedges to complete the look. All you need is a oversized anorak and you’re ready for the door!






California Dreamin’

Here on the west coast it doesn’t get as cold as other places, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have our winter fashion fun. By matching a pair of chunky knit thigh-highs to the perfect banded mini you can keep yourself looking hot without breaking too much of a winter sweat.  

Paired with a high-low graphic tee and a loose knit cardi, you’ll fit in to Cali’s laid back style in no time.   

Add some kick to the ensemble by adding in some platform lace-up booties with a military twist.  










MusicLuLu*s Presents: The Digital Album!

Here at LuLu*s we have three major loves: fashion, our customers, and music. Because we love you guys so very, very much, we decided to mix all three of those things together to make one amazing deal. May we present our first Digital Album!
Here’s the scoop: we compiled eight ah-mazing up-and-coming bands for you to download and to complement your badass fashion self in your new LuLu*s duds. So when you order from us you get this Digital Album sampler card FREE! We hand picked all the artists on the album to complement our wardrobe and yours. Check out each artist on the sampler below. 
There’s more: each week on the blog, we will be featuring interviews and more from each artist on the album so you can learn more about these amazing musicians and songs. And just remember ladies, in the end this is all for you guys. Without you, we would be nothing, and we just want to say we’ll love you until infinity. Hope you enjoy our gift to you!

FashionLookbook Love: Desert Fox Video!

I’m sure you’ve all been enamored with the photos from our latest fall lookbook Desert Fox, and now I have the pleasure of introducing the Desert Fox video! Filled with breathtaking nature, a gorgeous model, and, of course, stunning clothes. Take a look below!

Desert Fox Fall 2011 Lookbook from Lulus on Vimeo.