Friday, February 25, 2011

Encounter With The Mind-blowing Kind

Sick of yet another round of Justin Bieber? Another radio loop of “I Want To Be A Billionaire” motivating you to erupt into sugar packet-flinging spree on unsuspecting Starbucks clientele?
When and if you’re in the mood for non-manufactured mush we have just the right kind of rediscovery for you:
Our first encounter with the peculiarly/intriguingly-named group happened all the way back when we were doing our Optimism Issue and we met one of the band members under different circumstances. We left having a pretty good impression of the category-defying brand of music of the group and fast-track several months later we encountered the band perform live for the first time and felt we need a thesaurus to describe the experience.
Flourishing under the maverick umbrella of Terno Recordings, EWAY’s recent appearance during a Terno Inferno gig at SaGuijo bar was nothing short of electric. Although we flatter ourselves with a misguided belief that we are a bunch of myopic listeners and have good taste as far as listening preferences are concerned (note the utter lack of ego and complete humility in this sentence) the performance shredded our eardrums into inconvertible admiration.
Great thing that the superfantastic Up Dharma Down was always on their best and could hold their ground with such conviction, competence and confidence otherwise EWAY could have eclipsed them easily. (Yes, we are also acolytes in the musical temple of Up Dharma Down.)
EWAY however was a mind-mending set. It’s unfair to compare their unique brand of sound to anyone though we noted slivers from Hiroshima, Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Deepset, the exotic appeal of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, and the swelling sensation you get from Gabriel Fauré or the epic timbres from the scores of either Vangelis or Ennio Morricone.  
This is not blind worship.
Call it uncontainable enthusiasm and we want more encounters with EWAY.

Monday, February 14, 2011


There has been a sharp decline in positions for traditional media since the mid-2000s. Will editors soon become extinct? Will vanity publishing, bad writing and marketing grammar become as prevalent as emo haircuts?

Or will we resort to stringent peer review measures like the scientists?


"As human beings, editors may be far from self-effacing, but. . .They're the ghosts in the machine, the secret sharers, the anonymous power behind the throne." 

From the UK OBSERVER. 

Black day for the blue pencil

By Blake Morrison 

"Once they were key figures in literary publishing, respected by writers who acknowledged their contribution to shaping books. But, argues Blake Morrison, editors are now an endangered species."

Has editing had its day? A Dutch publisher recently described to me how a British author had sent her the first draft of his new book. Though a great admirer of his work, she felt that this time he hadn't done justice to his material. So they sat down together and mapped out a different perspective and storyline and he went away and rewrote the book. It's not often you hear publishers speak of being so frankly interventionist - and I wondered if that was why the author had sent his book to a Dutch editor, because this kind of intense collaborative process between author and editor no longer exists in Britain. 

A novelist friend, hearing the story, said: "When I hand in a book, I've usually been working on it for several years, so I like to think there'll be little left to do to it. But if I did need editing, I'm not sure, these days, I could get it." 

A graduate student of mine at Goldsmiths College expressed similar nostalgia in an email: "I have a notion of editors in days of yore," he wrote, "being straight-backed and terrifying, all integrity and no bullshit, responding to a vocational calling and above all driven by a love of the word, brave enough not only to champion the best but also to tell their authors whatever might be needed to improve the work. And that now such personalities are as distant a myth in publishing as yer Shanklys and yer Cloughs are to football, that sharp-dressed corporate beasts run the show, reluctant to make decisions of their own, and ill-equipped to challenge those who rule a star-led system, so that everyone from JK Rowling to David Eggers suffers from the lack of scissors that might have been to their benefit." 

Just after getting that email, I read about a literary conference at which both writers and agents were complaining that, because of the pressures they're under, modern-day editors simply don't have the time to edit. A news item about an initiative by Macmillan to encourage first novelists left a similar impression - the authors will receive royalties but no advances; however, if their books needed significant editing, they will have to pay for the services of a freelance editor, since no one can do it in-house. 

If editing is in decline, that's bad for literature. History suggests that while some authors work alone, more or less unaided, the majority benefit from editors - and that a few are utterly dependent on them. Take Thomas Wolfe, not the white-suited New Journalist and author of Bonfire of the Vanities, but the other Tom Wolfe, his outsize predecessor, a man of 6ft 6", who used to stand up while he was writing, using the top of a fridge as his desk. Clearly standing didn't inhibit Wolfe's productivity. The typescript of his first novel, as submitted to Scribner in New York, was more than 300,000 words - what a contemporary publisher would call "fuck-off long". But a young editor at Scribner, Maxwell Perkins, agreed to publish it, if Wolfe agreed to cut 90,000 words, and between them they did the job. . .


Monday, February 7, 2011

Silent Elegance

Nobody listed in Monday’s masthead is capable of sign language so one is forgiven to presume that booking a model who is deaf/mute for a major layout is an act of complete masochism.  
When the idea was mentioned to our editorial group, production head, art team and sittings editor, nervous glances were exchanged. Based on the facial expressions the implicit and collective protest would be worded this way: How in God’s decomposing earth can you art-direct a deaf/mute person?! 
But this magazine’s creative team has the taste for the impossible. The overenthusiastic group saw beyond the limitation and imagined the elegant possibilities in model Christine Balaguer’s profile. Thankfully we ended with neat layouts.
Having survived the photo shoot, the creative department is now plotting something that will make our publisher pull her own hair: photographing a platoon of impossibly gorgeous people in the middle of a volcano’s crater.
 Or are we?

Photography : DIEGO LORENZO JOSE @ Diego Images
Hair + Make up MC PASCUA & RALPH RUIZ @ Hairshaft
Accessories MING ONG @ Katha


Proof that there is only one TV show that can tackle all of life’s labyrinthine complexity with a yellow complexion, relentless optimism and aggressive family values. Pick up a copy of Monday Magazine's 5th issue (Mediavore) and read all about how cartoons can be better than classrooms. 

Check out the piece by contributor ART FUENTES,  "Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from The Simpsons.


I’d Like to Report a Severe Beating
When everyone has a voice and is able to speak to the global village, do traditional media ethics still have a place in an information-saturated environment? How playing catch-up in the ads and ratings game might mean the decline and collapse of journalism as a public trust.  


“I want to kill my magazine,” she said.
I asked her why.
“Because it’s not making money. My team is stressed to make good content and our marketing people are hard pressed to sell the physical subscriptions. Even at points of sale. Everybody’s losing.” 
I held this conversation with an editor of a company that produces product catalogs and occasional business features for industries ranging from clothing to electronics.
Their magazines had been the preferred black book source for industry suppliers on the planet for more than 30 years. If you needed a button for a line of coats you were making you had the run of the list of the big to medium manufacturers of buttons from shiny to matte all between covers on a monthly basis. If you needed a couple of thousand plastic rotors for your cooling fan unit you bought their magazine.   
That is, until they started making these same magazines available for download -- for free -- in PDF files. Sales of the glossies have since plummeted across the board.
Around the world, my friend’s sentiments are being echoed in much the same way: we’re hurting and we don’t know what to do about it. The Big Bang of media change is here. And there’s no denying that it’s affecting print, broadcast and radio adversely. . .