Tag Archives: Music

  • Saturday, April 18, 2015

    We all know this scene: you’re at your local thrift store or flea market and you spot a bin of vinyl records. You carefully thumb through them, admiring intricate artwork and the faces of artists both familiar and foreign. Whether you're on the hunt for a rare vintage record or looking to add to your vintage vinyl collection, hunting is half the fun! Suddenly, you land on an album that speaks to your heart- but what next? Whether you’re a casual listener or thinking of beginning a collection, buying vintage vinyl can be tricky, so here are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing!

    Image via A Beautiful Mess

    When buying vintage vinyl, you first should inspect the sleeve. Are the edges or spine torn, worn, or frayed? The sleeve of an LP, which is short for long-playing record because of their 10-12 inch diameter, is generally an indicator of the shape a record is in. But don’t fret- if the record's album art is what you’re truly in love with, it may be worth investing in as a piece of artwork.

    After inspecting the sleeve, carefully remove the record from the jacket and hold it up to the nearest light source. It may have a layer of dirt or dust, which can is an easy fix with a dry brush or special vinyl-safe liquid cleaner. Things like fingerprints can be easily removed, and small, hairline scratches in the vinyl, as long as sparse, usually won’t drastically affect the quality of the sound, so don’t let those put you off. When buying vintage records, you should always check for things like deep scratches, marks, and, most importantly, warp in the vinyl- these can cause the sound to distort or record to skip.

    There is also a huge market for vintage records online. From auction sites to specialized websites, if your dream record doesn't make the cut in person, you can always try to find another copy on the internet. When browsing vintage records online, you can determine the quality of the record by the grade given by the seller. There is a grading system used for vinyl that is as follows:

    Mint or (M): Mint means that the record is flawless and appears to have never been handled or taken out of the sleeve, which will also be in perfect condition. This is very rare when it comes to vintage records and can usually mean a much higher sticker price!

    Near Mint or (NM) or (M-): Near Mint means the record is in excellent condition and is relatively flawless. There might a scuff on the vintage record that does not affect the play or very minor wear to the cover, but it is almost perfect.

    Excellent or (E) or (VG++): Excellent indicated that the record has a few minor scuffs that do not affect the sound of the record at all and there is only slight wear to the album cover.

    Very Good Plus or (VG+): Very Good Plus records typically show their wear. They still play well, but their flaws are visible to the naked eye. There will also be some aging to the jacket in the form of yellowing, tears, or marks.

    Very Good or (VG): Very Good records may show their wear, but they still play well. This grade of vintage record usually plays with surface noise (some crackling and popping) and the cover of the record will be visibly worn.

    Good or (G): A Good record will be easily identifiable. It will have visible wear and damage on the vinyl, but will still play. Unlike Very Good records, the surface noise will be continuous and more audible. The artwork on the cover will be worn and there may be a ring where the record was inside. In addition, there may be writing on the cover or tape where the spine has split.

    Buying vintage records using this system can be tricky because one’s Near Mint may be another’s Excellent. The subjectivity of the grading system can sometimes make buying online more difficult than easy, so keep this in mind when purchasing via the Internet! 

    Image via A Beautiful Mess

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether you’re buying in person or online, get the scoop on the record you’ve set your sights on. Where did it come from? How long have they had it? Inquiries are a great way to get a history lesson and learn more about the care previously given to your record, and you may learn a thing or two about the artist or album in question, or befriend a fellow fan of buying vintage records! 

    Once the vintage record is in your possession, make sure you have a plastic sleeve for the album and paper inner sleeve for your record to protect it from accidentally falling out of the jacket and keeping the dust away. Plastic inner sleeves can stick to the vinyl, so they aren’t necessary, especially for those in warmer climates. Speaking of warmer climates, heat can adversely affect vinyl, so always store your precious records away from vents, fireplaces and direct sunlight. One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to caring for vintage records is that it is imperative to store records standing up to avoid warping!

    When you’re ready to play your vintage record, place the disc between faced-in palms on the very edge of the record to avoid leaving fingerprints. Carefully set it on your record player, move over the record needle, turn up the volume, and enjoy the soothing sounds of your latest purchase (dancing optional).


    This post originally appeared on March 28th, 2014.

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  • Thursday, April 16, 2015


    Whether you adore the classics or can hum along to just a few hits of days past, we're certain you'll be smitten with Retro Radio: our oldies playlist! Featuring hits of the 50s and 60s, we gathered our favorite stars like Roy Orbison, Lesley Gore and girl groups like The Crystals and The Marvelettes for an upbeat playlist that channels cheery nostalgia for the days of drive-in movies, colorful diners, in addition to vintage style in the form of fit and flare dresses, and peter pan collars! Perfect for the drive home or keeping the mood light while doing a little cooking or spring cleaning, we adore the classics! 


    While we may be working towards expanding our vintage vinyl collection, we think this playlist will conquer our oldies craving for now. When it comes to adding a retro touch to your closet, stop by Retro Refined for the cutest vintage-inspired styles to update your wardrobe with retro flair. Love this playlist of classics? You can listen to even more of our playlists here



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  • Sunday, March 29, 2015

    Image Source: Rustic Wedding Chic

    Yeehaw! It's the time of the year where we pull on our rustic cowboy boots and flaunt our best southern style to commemorate Stagecoach! The country music festival is notorious for always delivering an amazing show with diverse acts ranging from honky tonk to bluegrass to contemporary country pop. Whether you're at the front of the stage for line-up favorites like Miranda Lambert or Tim McGraw, or sitting at home practicing your western line-dancing skills, our Stagecoach playlist is filled with our favorite country sounds!

    For more sounds to get your through your day, follow us on Spotify! 



    This post originally appeared on March 8th, 2014. 

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  • Saturday, March 21, 2015

    We have got quite a treat for you! Meet Aileeah Colgan. She's a singer, songwriter, producer, and all-around lovely gal. Aileeah is a musical storyteller - her passion for music and the women that inspire her make her a powerful force for good. In Aileeah's latest music video, she launched her #SheIsMyHero campaign, which is dedicated to celebrating the women who have inspired, empowered, and encouraged others. A true example of living beautifully, we were so lucky to have been a part of Aileeah's video (did you spy our Marvelous Night Dress?), and we got to know her a little better. Read on to learn more about this lovely songbird! Aileeah_01

    We love your message behind #SheIsMyHero. What was your main inspiration when writing your single “Be Like You”?
    Our studio worked on a documentary called Mary: The Wisconsin WAC — about a woman named Mary, who in 1943, enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during WWII— at a time when the roles of women were changing in our country. She was a real trailblazer for proving what women are capable of outside the home. I started thinking about her and the countless other women in history that have paved the way for me. “Be Like You” is about honoring those ladies and inspiring the rest of us to appreciate the rights we have.

    How did you discover your passion for music?
    I don’t exactly remember where my passion for music began. I grew up in a musical family and it was just sort of ingrained from the beginning. I have a lot of memories singing in church, but I also grew up really loving musicals like The Sound of Music and Calamity Jane. I wanted to be just like Doris Day in her performance of “Windy City.” I also have always loved the work of Dolly Parton; her voice, and the fact that she actually wrote many of her hit songs.

    You look so stunning in our Marvelous Night Dress in your video for "Be Like You." How does your personal style influence your music, or the other way around?
    My personal style has a strong vintage vibe. One of my most favorite style icons is Laura Petry (Mary Tyler Moore) in her role on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” I think I have a special appreciation for fashion from many different eras, which is the same as my inspiration for music, I love all sorts of genres from all different decades. Right now, I’m especially into Patsy Cline’s classic country and singer-songwriter Lesley Gore.

    What is your go-to outfit for a casual day at the studio?
    While in the studio writing and recording my most recent song, “Be Like You” and the rest of my upcoming EP; comfort is key. My go-to is hippie-chic— a long flowy skirt paired with a loose fitting blouse and my hair in a top knot. For me, when I’m in the studio, it’s more important to focus on my music than worry too much about my appearance.Aileeah_03

    What can we find you doing when you aren't busy creating or performing music?
    Working out, backpacking, and rock climbing. I also run and do yoga, which help clear my head and give me energy to work creatively.

    If you could collaborate on a record with any performing artist, who would it be and why?
    I would absolutely love to work with The Avett Brothers! There’s so much honesty in their lyrics, and their melodies are so beautiful —  it’s perfection!

    Where can you always find inspiration; whether it's for fashion, music, or a much-needed burst of creativity?
    I can always find inspiration while taking a hike or just enjoying nature, sunshine is always refreshing for me. I also love spending time with my family, I find a lot of encouragement for my music from my dad. He’s always reminding me to be my own person; to consider other people’s feelings but not to take too much to heart — he’s a huge supporter of my music.

    Our motto at Ruche is #LiveBeautifully. How do you live beautifully?
    I believe that living beautifully is something that starts from within. Making sure that you are caring for the people around you while also taking care of yourself. And knowing clothes shouldn't define you, but they certainly can help reflect who you are.

    Press "play" on the video below to hear "Be Like You" and watch the #SheIsMyHero campaign in action!

    Keep up with Aileeah by following her on Instagram or stopping by her Facebook. We can't wait to see more from this stunning songstress!


  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    One of our favorite parts of the month of December is being immersed in the sounds of the holiday season. Few things go better with admiring the twinkling holiday lights during a relaxing walk or wrapping gifts in pretty paper and ribbons than our favorite holiday songs. In our Holiday Sounds playlist, we've included some of the crooning classics and a few new alternative favorites for you to hum along while you're baking an apple pie for your holiday party or spending the night trimming your tree.

    For more soothing sounds during a drizzling afternoon, visit our Rainy Day Playlist or if you're sipping on a mocha at your local cafe, tune into our Coffee Shop Playlist!


    This post originally appeared on December 12th, 2013

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  • Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Our winter lookbook, Away We Go, would not have been the same without the hopelessly romantic soundtrack from Austin Basham. The song "Running" hasn't stopped running in our heads since we first heard it, and it was an easy choice to complement the sweet video that accompanied Away We Go. A story of adventure and romance, we have Austin to thank for helping capture the mood of our winter lookbook. Read on to learn a little bit more about this talented musician!


    What inspired you to write the song "Running"?
    To paint the scenery, I was finishing up my last few months of college studying engineering, and had just decided that upon graduation I was going to purchase a one-way ticket to England and work on music indefinitely. It was a very big and intimidating decision that, in a sense, set the atmosphere under which ‘Running’ was written.

    How would you describe your music?
    It’s always difficult for me to describe my music when people ask, but I would say that my music has a lot of folk characteristics and is typically influenced by other artists that I have had the pleasure of collaborating with or am inspired by. I also really enjoy playing a lot of instruments and incorporating new sounds into my songs, so that plays a big part as well.

    What is the last album you listened to?
    Sam Amidon’s new album, Lily-O.

    Do you have any pre or post show rituals?
    Before shows, I usually run through my set list quickly then grab a beer to calm the nerves and enjoy the other bands playing.


    What has been the most important lesson you've learned when it comes to creating music?
    Make music that you’re passionate about. It makes the process much more fulfilling and generally shines through in the music. Also, nothing happens overnight. I’ve learned that the key to improvement is persistence.

    If you could write, record, and perform a duet with anyone (living or passed) who would it be?
    Johnny Flynn.

    When it comes to your writing process, how do you know when a song is truly complete?
    I don’t think you ever know if a song is truly complete or not. That may be the most challenging part of songwriting. Click "play" below to watch our lookbook video and hear Austin's "Running!"

    We have this handsome crooner on repeat. Stay up to date with the latest shows, songs, and news with Austin on his website and Facebook page. Don't forget to stop by Away We Go for endless winter style inspiration!


  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    While shooting our fall lookbook, Autumn Glow, we wanted to capture the essence of the fall season on the coastal countryside. As soon we first heard the charming sounds of Golden Afternoon, we were enamored and knew that they would provide the perfect soundtrack to our lookbook. From the dreamy and upbeat melodies to the captivating vocals accompanied by a variety of instruments like the ukulele and mandolin, these sweet songs have been on repeat. The members of Golden Afternoon sat down with us for a short interview, and we were so excited to learn more about the band we can't stop listening to!  


     In 5 words or less, describe your style of music.
    James Bond Surf Espionage Rock

    What do you think is your greatest achievement as a band?
    More than anything else, staying together through the years and still creating music. It's amazing to us that what started as a one-off side project with a bunch of people who didn't really know each other became something that would last!

    Do you have any pre or post show rituals?
    Anything to distract us from the pre-show nerves, really. We all enjoy just hanging out with the audience and seeing what other cool bands are playing. It helps you feel more like you are playing to a room of friends rather than a crowd of strangers.


    Where do you find inspiration for creating music?
    We've found that songs can be about something extremely personal, or incredibly silly, so long as you stay honest to what you are writing about.  The audience can always tell.  It's also important to not worry about if your music sounds too much like this or that, and just write the music that you would want to listen too.

    What's next for Golden Afternoon? Any upcoming projects, songs, or albums?
    We are getting ready to record our first full length album, and have been super busy writing new songs for it.  Our sound has changed quite a bit over the years, and we've had to re-invent a lot of our old standards.  We've also been working on a fundraising site, and coming up with cool, unique ways to reward our fans and promote new interest.

    If we tagged along on your next roadtrip, what music can we expect to hear playing through the car stereo?
    Depends on who's driving!  Nick Cave, Nancy Sinatra, The Cramps, Fiona Apple, Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Waits, Radiohead, The Black Keys, Talking Heads all come to mind.

    We're so excited to have the lovely sounds of Golden Afternoon as the soundtrack to Autumn Glow! Listen to the latest songs from this talented band on their page and don't forget to watch our lookbook video featuring the song "Sun Covered Town!" 


    If you are a musician who would love the chance to hear your work featured on Ruche, we would love to hear from you! Send all musical inquiries and submissions to blog@shopruche.com. We can't wait to hear from you!

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  • Thursday, June 12, 2014

    Image Source

    If diversity is on your list of requirements for the music festival you attend this year, Bonnaroo is the one for you! With acts ranging from indie artists like First Aid Kit and Hunter Hunted to big names like Lionel Richie, Kanye West, and Elton John there is so much to see at the Bonnaroo festival for fans of a plethora of genres. Though the list was seemingly endless, we were able to narrow down the acts we are most looking forward to in our Let's Go to Bonnaroo playlist! 

    Now that you've your headphones on and been teleported to your happy place, don't forget to check out our other playlists!


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  • Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Image Source: Style Me Pretty

    We've been dreaming of travel lately, and our next wanderlust-filled stop is found in the heart of France. Paris offers many delightful sounds: the rhythm of feet on the pavement, the clinks of coffee cups and glasses on sidewalk cafes, and the colliding songs of street performers, and many more. The romantic city is a place we often draw inspiration from, but until we can embark on a vacation to the City of Light, we will have to settle for listening to some of our favorite Parisian songs. 

    For more collections of our favorite songs, visit our other playlists. And don't forget to find Parisian style inspiration with out latest feature!


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  • Saturday, May 3, 2014

    Image Via Green Wedding Shoes

    With the New Orleans Jazz Festival right around the corner, we are losing ourselves in our favorite jazz standards. There is something about listening to jazz that makes us dream of traveling, cups of coffee on Sunday mornings, and late nights spent listening to the crackle of vintage vinyl. While we can't enjoy the live performances of the many talented artists headlining NOLA's Jazz Fest, we have the sounds of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Count Basie to fulfill our yearning for wailing saxophones, piano solos, and varying rhythms. Get ready to fall in love with our quintessential jazz tunes- all you have to do is hit the "play" button! 

    Are you attending the NOLA Jazz Festival? Let us know who you are most looking forward to seeing! And don't forget to find the perfect playlist for your mood. 


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