Wednesday, July 06, 2005

On music, magazines, and marriage

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. I left work early Friday and flew down to Los Angeles to spend an amazing weekend with family and friends, and for a very special wedding of a close family friend.

It's funny, before my cousin's recent wedding, I don't think I had been to a wedding in about ten years. And now, friends seem to be getting married left and right. In two weeks I'm going back down to LA for another, and over the weekend, I caught up with a high school friend I hadn't seen in about 6 years who's getting married in October. Does this mark the beginning of a new phase of my life?

Anyhow, the LA weather was amazing, and I had the chance to catch up with family and a few close friends I don't get to see very often. One of them is my friend Joel, who now apparently goes by J.Period in the music world. He gave me a copy of his new Lauryn Hill remix cd.. Wow, the kid's got talent. So when I got back home, I checked out his web site.. the pictures with NAS, Lil John, Kelis, and other hiphop stars are friggin' awesome. So cool.

Let's see.. what else.. I found a new magazine I really like called Cargo - here's a brief review. Apparently the target demographic are "boys who like to shop". Perfect. So, the ingenious publishers decided to include a big page of sexy orange Cargo stickers at the beginning of the magazine that you can peel off and use to tab pages with interesting stuff. I've done this with my own book tabs on other magazines for quite sometime, so the concept of including a page of them in the magazine itself is just awesome. Way to think outside the box!

I've seen 3 more very cool movies recently (all via Netflix): All About My Mother, The Man I Love, and James' Journey to Jerusalem. In case it isn't obvious, I'm sick of American movies.

I'm also sick of American music, especially American radio. I've been enjoying Podcasts and a mix of random Israeli music lately. At the moment, I'm listening to Idan Raichel and drinking Revolution Tea. I've been waking up to Ivri Lider. And if you like hiphop, check out Hadag Nachash. The site I've linked to provides a nice selection of samples for the more popular albums. If you listen to great music from other parts of the world, I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Anyhow, that's about all the random thought I can muster up for tonight ... until next time!


Anonymous said...

Hey Adam,

Nice music selection, but have you tried listenning to egyptian music especially Amr Diab, He is very famous in Israel. I have been watching your blog for a while and you really have a good taste for eastern music. Rock on Microsofty.

markjen said...

Isn't Cargo pretty much the men's version of In Style? Where pretty much they've somehow gotten people to pay them for a monthly issue full of advertisements?

It's pretty sweet... these magazines get paid from both sides. Advertisers pay them to get in the magazine and people pay for the magazines.

Last time I looked at Cargo, I think the products they reviewed weren't that great and reviews were pretty shallow. But they may be better now, is it worth another look?

adamjh said...

Anonymous, thanks for the suggestion. I will check him out!

Mark, while I did pay $3.50 at the news stand, the Cargo subscription is about $1/issue. Subtract postage costs from that, and I'm not sure how much they're making from the consumer side.

Anyhow, yes, it is more or less a monthly issue full of ads. But is that a bad thing, if they're ads for things I happen to be looking to buy? There's also some selection and aggregation going on here.. for example, page 50 has a segment on the comeback of the Nerd Shirt. It shows 8 different brands ranging in price from $14.99 to $350. I'm actually not sure if it's paid advertisement or not, but truthfully, I don't much care, since it's not presented as a review, but rather pictures of a selection of products from which I can draw my own conclusions or just keep in the back of my mind the next time I'm out at the mall and see a shirt on the rack.

Page 60 has another fashion segment called "Our favorites", with a bunch of pretty cool picks. If they are paid, there's no way the money was the only factor in deciding which products were chosen for this page. Otherwise, it'd be difficult to gain the consumer appeal it needs to sell in the first place. On this page, there are a really sweet pair of $39.95 Pony shoes -- Pony's an awesome brand - I've bought two pairs in the past at and might look for this pair later on (I tabbed the page).

People enjoy going to the mall and looking at the clothes in the windows or on the manikins, but isn't that just advertising too?

I've read GQ for a few years now... and it's probably 50% for their reviews/picks, 30% for the ads, and 20% for the writing. Don't get me wrong, some amazing writers contribute to GQ.. but I buy the book for the focus on fashion and style, and the amazing columns are just a bonus.

On a somewhat related note, I find that when I subscribe to magazines for editorial content, I end up not reading them. They sit untouched on the coffee table. There's more than enough content online to satisfy my hunger for the type of content I find in publications like Newsweek and Business Week (including content on their own web sites), and the only time I find myself picking up the actual magazines are off news stands in airports before a flight. Were more airplanes to have power and WiFi, and passengers allowed to use electronic devices during takeoff and landing, I might stop picking them up off news stands altogether.

I haven't found the type of content available in GQ or Cargo online just yet.

Wow, this stream-of-conciousness comment has gotten quite long.

Jon said...

I love Cargo.
I love ads.

Now I can stop reading Cosmo and Lucky.

Jay said...

If you're interested in another non-American music choice, check our M.I.A.'s "Arular". It's fantastic!

Cargo is probably my favorite magalog out there.

adamjh said...

So I've checked out Amr Diab.. I like it quite a bit.. reminds me of driving through the desert along the Jordanian border earlier this past Spring. It's a bit traditional for me though - I read somewhere that his popularity peaked in the late 80s/early 90s? Any other suggestions for modern, young, original Arabic music?

Jay, M.I.A. has an intruiging sound, but I think she's a little over the top for my taste....