TheHypeFinder

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

SONGWATCH: Yellow

The OC is famous for pulling out some classic closer songs, more often than not a cover of a British rock song (Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova). Ryan Adams virtually recreated Wonderwall, Matt Pond PA might as well have karaoked Champagne Supernova, but fortunately, we're left with a new taste in our mouth, as Petra Haden and Bill Frisell's cover of Coldplay's "Yellow" creates a new favorite out of an old one.

Haden sings while Frisell adds his rock- and jazz-infused guitar backing, creating an airy, mellow feel that fits the song perfectly. The song appeared as the four main OC characters made their college decisions at the end of last week's episode, and don't be surprised if you hear this one cropping up again on TV and the radio. Until then, you can buy it on iTunes or check out a free sample of it at http://www.sovereignartists.com/petraandbill/web/.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

H&M Hits the West Coast

If San Francisco's shopping scene had been missing anything previously, H&M has sufficinetly filled that void with today's opening of its first two West Coast stores on Powell Street and Post Street. After a sneak peak of the Powell Street store Thursday night drew long lines of fashionistas, the doors officially opened this morning to the 35,000-square-foot location. The smaller, 10,000-square-foot Post Street store also opened its doors this morning, and the two will bring to San Francisco the stylish apparel and low prices that have made it a staple in cities around the world. Opening day is sure to be a frenzied experience, but the company says it has enough staff and merchandise on hand to manage the swell of eager customers who come from as far as Las Vegas and Southern California.

H&M, which started in Europe in 1947 and made the jump to the United States in 1998, chose San Francisco as its first West Coast location because of the European feel of the city, according to Sanna Lindberg, U.S. manager for H&M. "There's more of a city center here," she added. Head to Union Square and check it out for yourself. You're sure to find something you like.

The Shadow of the Wind


Although I admit that I am a book whore, reading pretty much anything which I can get my hands on, I haven't enjoyed a book as much as The Shadow of the Wind in a long time. Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon has written a novel that appeals to true book lovers, as it is as much a story about the intertwined life of two generations in Barcelona as it is a story about the power of books to shape us as people. Set in Barcelona following the Spanish Civil War, The Shadow of the Wind follows the life of young Daniel Sempere. Daniel's life is forever altered when his father, a bookseller, takes him to a secret library known as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel chooses a book titled The Shadow of the Wind, and almost immediately thereafter he unlocks a piece of Barcelona's past which most would prefer to be forgotten. If you love romantic thrillers I suggest you read this book, but if you love reading I warn you that The Shadow of the Wind will satisfy and thrill you in a way like you few others. Buy it at www.amazon.com.

BRANDWATCH: Brinco Sneakers

Judi Werthein has made headlines this week by designing a shoe made specifically for Mexican borderhoppers. The high-top sneakers are well made and come along with a compass, a flashlight, and a map of the U.S./Mexico border region. Werthein, an artist/designer from Argentina, has produced her "Brinco" sneakers ("brinco" means jump in Spanish) with the aid of $45,000 from a benefactor and much criticism from people saying she is encouraging illegal immigration. Werthein doesn't mind, though, saying "if people are going to cross anyway, at least this will make it safer."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

SONGWATCH: The Subways

With a come-hither stare like that, who can resist this band? Certainly not The OC, as the Subways will be performing live on tonight's episode, which marks their US television debut. These young guns -- with an average age of 18 -- have already torn up the UK scene and look poised to make a splash stateside. Check out www.thesubways.net to hear clips of their songs (recommended tracks include "No Goodbyes" and "I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say"), or head to the iTunes Music Store to download the free single of the week, "Rock & Roll Queen." Or if you're in the San Francisco area, go check out the band live at Popscene on Thursday, December 1st. This is one train you're definitely going to want to hop on.

BRANDWATCH: Niman Ranch


If you're from San Francisco, you've probably noticed that many dinner options at our beloved local restaraunts are now boasting meat products from Niman Ranch. Niman Ranch is a family run ranch based directly across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. They raise cattle, but have recently expanded to begin selling pork and lamb as well. Through strict animal husbandry and feeding standards, Niman Ranch seeks to offer a high quality organic product. Try some next time you're out to dinner and decide for yourself, but after just a couple tastes of Niman Ranch products I have already become a believer.

www.nimanranch.com

BRANDWATCH: Joseph Abboud Suits


The baseline of Madison Square Garden used to be the last place I'd look to spot the latest designer suit. In October, however, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that a dress-code would be implemented for the first time in the league's history. Joseph Abboud, the fashionable men's designer, responded by positioning his brand in a new market. Abboud signed New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury to an endorsement deal in which Marbury will be supplied with a suit to wear to all 82 Knicks' games this year and appear in the company's ads. The move has already paid off big for Joseph Abboud, as Marbury has offered to outfit each of his Knicks teammates in their own Abboud designed suit.

This isn't the first foray into the sports world that Joseph Abboud has made. Sportscasters Bryant Gumbel and Bob Costas are longtime clients of the designer, and just last year Jeremy Shockey of the New York Giants and Johnny Damon of the Boston Red Sox were also signed to Abboud endorsement deals.

You can buy a Joseph Abboud suit at many places, but I recommend Nordstroms. Check them out online here, www.josephabboud.com/.

Honey, I shrunk the laptop

In what looks to be the perfect hybrid of laptops and smartphones, the OQO model 01+ is leading the charge for ultra personal computers (uPC), and we may be seeing more and more of these little gems in the coming months. Possessing many of the same features as a full-sized laptop, the model 01+ offers extreme portability -- it's just 4.9 inches long, 3.4 inches wide, 0.9 inches thin, and weighs only 14 ounces -- at a price that's not as outrageous as one might guess: $1899 for the Windows XP Home edition, or $1999 for the XP Professional edition. Just recently raising $20 million in financing, OQO plans to greatly increase its sales force in the coming months, so don't be surprised if all of the sudden your ultraportable laptop seems a little less convenient.

Check out the OQO model 01+ at www.oqo.com.