Merch Table or Bust! Handicapping Seattle's Top Band T-Shirts of 2011 (and Beyond)


By Ma'Chell Duma LaVassar

The internet has provided musicians the opportunity to reach a mass market audience, control their image and brand themselves to an international market. With technology in play it is easy to forget the oldest, best, and most effectual way to increase your bands visual appeal: Breasts.

I've never met a musician who couldn't recall the first time he saw his bands logo straining against the cotton confines of a endowed fan. One local rocker once told me it rivaled the time he played in front of ten thousand people in his musical memory bank.

We here at Seattle Weekly thought it would be nice to showcase the year in Seattle noise via t-shirt. But we discovered in our research, there is a right and wrong way to maximize your rack returns.

Do: Make your focal point large and centered. For maximum boobage (including pecks, as not to be sexist) impact, your logo should sit at around four to five inches from the collar bone. This is the best way to make sure your going to get maximum impact on the "girls" of girls of all cup sizes.

The best example is Shabazz Palaces' simple, yet visually striking T. Black Up, indeed gentlemen!

Another eye catcher is Macklemore's biggest seller. Forget that is says we are filthy, this smart T makes Seattle look, really, really, appealing.

And of course, we couldn't talk about 2011 with out talking about Nirvana. We don't know if you heard or not, but those guys used to live here. The well thought out placement of the lettering on this shirt reminds us that Cobain and co. respected more than women's minds.

Don't: Put'em in a box. It doesn't matter how cool your art work is if it fights against your greatest advertising asset. Women's bodies are best showcased when you consider our soft roundness. Again using the collar bone as your visual ruler, you never want to box from the collar bone down.

Fleet Foxes pretty picture left us a little...flat.

As did this cool T by Mad Rad. But let's face it ladies, when it comes to Mad Rad that t-shirt coming off pretty quickly anyway.

The right way to employ a square and can be seen in our own Reverbfest T with it's tit friendly logo local and the top corner of the square starting mid Ta-Ta.

Do: Use art work in your favor.

The Head and the Heart's T is a great example of taking advantage of ladies natural curves. Are we saying the Head and the Hearts shirt is responsible for their huge success this year? No, but it may explain why these sensitive, sweet voiced folkies have achieved an actual fan base of men between the ages of 12-60.

Same goes for the Magic Mountain aka Grant Olsen's Gold Leaves, who not only use soft lettering to draw the eye in, they employee actual Mountain peaks as a visual one way ticket to nipple city capable of setting off a wave of indie nerds searching the record store for a band that doesn't exist.

Monogamy Party make great use of an arc, smart lettering and well placed art to make the chesticles look their besticles.

Do: Consider the quality fabric and cut of the shirt. When choosing the brand of your bands shirt remember this mantra: "The stiffer the T, the less hot it will be". You want a nice soft cotton or cotton/poly blend. American Apparel makes our favorites. You want the shirt to hug not hang.

The boys from Pickwick break the logo rule, but make up for it with the fabric and cut of this sexy T. But be sure to order enough shirts to fit a variety of body types, as referenced here, one size does not fit all.
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