Gig Magazine

Welcome to Gig Magazine. I dig the Hell out of this. One guy, a desire and boom….a magazine. I keep waiting to see more of these efforts so get off your butts and make one. I’ve done two in the past month, but am working on my next “official” version which might be for sale….

From the “about” tab.

“gig MAGAZINE is unique because each issue features only one band at one gig.

The goal of gig MAGAZINE is to bring attention to the band, the venue, as well as the people in the background that work to make the gig happen and connect them with the fans. Our magazine is not filled with ads, each issue is 12 pages, has about 10 photographs and an interview with the band. The issues will also include contact information for the band, venue, and promoters involved to make the gig happen.”
This beast is the brainchild of one Justin Thor Simenson of Nuevo Mexico. I thought it would be a stellar idea to drop him a few questions and pick his brain about life, love and the merger of music and magazine.
1. Who are you? What are you?

My name is Justin Thor Simenson. I am a photographer based in Albuquerque. I photograph long term projects as well as live performances.

2. Why Gig? What is the story behind the music?

After shooting quite a few shows and reviewing my photos I realized that the story of just a single show was well worth telling. gig MAGAZINE is about a single artist at a single show. That brings a certain weight and meaning behind that show and all the effort involved in it. I also do my interviews at the show. That makes them relevant. they are open conversations that I record. I do try to talk about the artists’ creative drive or something relative to the show they played. Their words combined with about 10 to 12 photos make up the magazine.

3. Why Blurb?

I had some experience with MagCloud before gig. I had used them to make a catalog for a friend and some digest sized books for myself. I knew that the magazine size was perfect for gig because it is such a traditional size to hold. MagCloud, now Blurb, also offers an easy to use marketplace for me to sell them in both digitally and in print. Plus the price is amazing.

4. What’s the short term and long term goal?

Short term I plan to cover Albuquerque’s local music scene and New Mexico’s venues. I am still working through tweaks in the layout and different ways to distribute the printed versions locally. Albuquerque has some great talent and I feel gig MAGAZINE can help them with exposure.

Long term I would love to collaborate with other photographers around the country. I know there are other towns and cities that have great musicians and great venues just waiting to be shared with the world. I would also love to collaborate with local venues to create unique issues of the magazine.

5. What would you like to see improved, changed or added?

It would be great to have the option of different paper selections for the cover. gig MAGAZINE is only 12 pages and because of that having a slightly heavier stock on the cover or a matte finish would be awesome.

Also, I look forward to working in Blurb’s Bookwright software. I have been creating my issues in an older version of Apple’s Pages because the new one has some ridiculous limitations for magazine layout. I am not a designer by any means and I want something that is straight forward, I hear Bookwright will be a step in that direction for me. And after further consideration and after downloading Bookwright….Justin added this thought. Actually there is one thing I would like Blurb to add. After I downloaded and installed Bookwright I realized that Blurb magazines doesn’t allow 12 page magazines. MagCloud has a stapled edge option that allows me to do my 12 page magazine and is a bit cheaper than the perfect edge.

I would also like to see a thicker cover or a matte finish cover option added. That would make the magazine stand out a bit more.

6. Influences? Who are the folks turning you on creatively?

My biggest music photography influence has to be Douglas Kent Hall hands down. His photographs from the 60’s and 70’s are amazing. There are quite a few current music photographers I follow, Peter Pabon, Erez Avissar , and Jesse Littlebird Because of the other work I photograph I also pull a lot from the fine art world and Fraction Magazine.

15 responses to “Gig Magazine”

  1. Mike says:

    It’s good to see examples of people producing great books and magazines; particularly when they push the envelope and make something different from the traditional idea of what a photo book should look like.

    I have to finish editing a journal, written by a man in the 1970s about the first 50 years of his parish church. It is hand-written in block capitals and, after 92,000 words, he realised that the chronological order was incorrect, and he began again! When I first saw the journals I knew that I had to copy it and make a book of it: it’s too good to let it slide into history. When I’m done with that I’m making some magazines of my photographs using Bookwright. It’s what I’ve been waiting for.

    • Smogranch says:

      Jesus, no pun intended. THAT is dedication. Both he and you. A lot of us have been waiting for things. Well, I haven’t, but I’m not normal. There are so many options now, but you need the kind of focus the guy who did your book had. So many options, but so many distractions. Good luck and enjoy the process.

  2. That is really, really cool, great idea and magazine. Will have to see if I can catch Justin in Albuquerque later this year.

  3. Mike says:

    Daniel, you are so right about focus. The author begins his journal in 1926 – another world – I contacted the priest of his former parish and asked if I could photograph a single year – and he said yes – just ask; what’s the worst that can happen: no?

    I ‘pitched’ the story as a ‘two thumbs up’ essay i.e. we both must agree that a photograph was worthy of use. This way our subject feels confident about our motives. I will always respect my subject. I have no interest in showing anyone in a bad light.


  4. Mike says:

    Daniel, I’m making a magazine. Is it possible to have a wrap-around cover using Bookwright? If it is I can’t find the option – although it is early days.


  5. Mike says:

    Found it. No, not without InDesign. Sod.

  6. Simone Paoletti says:

    Where to find info and pricing about custom Blurb Books ? It is the proline cover and endsheets or there’s more ? I couldn’t find it in the Blurb website.

  7. chelsea says:

    I wonder if GIG would won’t to come to ABQ Zombie Krawl ?

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