Managed to rouse self from pregnancy-induced writing slumber to scribe two pieces for the latest issue of Plan B magazine. One's a column about, like, MUSIC and PREGNANCY. And one's an interview with my future husband EugeneRobinson about, like, CHOKING and FIGHTING and ROUGH SEX and no music. Hurrah!
I suppose a good thing about living in Stockholm is that you can pop to the indie disco on a whim and see top pop pixie Robyn performing her NUMBER ONE IN BRITAIN (as they kept reminding us) single 'Every Heartbeat' completely unexpectedly. That was kind of cool. She really likes touching her tits! And she looked like a little pixie builder carpenter lesbian, which was cute. I should have videod more than the last 30 seconds, but I was too busy protecting my pregnant stomach from the pointy elbows of the whirling Swedo-dervish girl before me. They're broom-up-bum, these Swedes, but when they dance, they really DANCE.
I don't know if I want to molest her, be her or just get involved in an overly intense girl-friendship with her that ends in us having a huge fight and stopping talking and then thinking / making songs / writing stories about each other for the rest of our lives. Probably all of them.
Yes yes I am. I just can't get enough. I have to spread it around. Et cetera. I am doing a brand spanktastically new blog for Venuszine. It's an mp3 blog so it's ALL ABOUT MUSIC and NOT ABOUT ME. (What can I say - I like a challenge.) It's called Audio Files and it's published on the first Monday of every month. Check it out! [Audio Files on new British Pop]
O you LUCKY LONDON BASTARDS, you're about to get a visit from HEARTSCHALLENGER this April. Do you think you like Crystal Castles? Well, they sound a bit like that, except, instead of having a heartless black-eyed hipster hellhound as a front person, they have an ICE CREAM TRUCK, look!
They are playing the obvious London hipster spots like The Old Blue and Club NME but if I were you or if I were me and not confined to this broom-up-bum city of BORINGNESS where NO ONE EVER DANCES, I would take myself south of the river on the 12 April to the Amersham Arms, a tiny pub in New Cross (near Goldsmiths) to dance myself silly instead. Anyway, you can hear them on their Myspace, or watch them here. Enjoy it if you go. I am not jealous at all.
When you are procrastinating on shit there is nothing better to do than cruise YouTube for gems, and lo! I found one! It is the glorious, the masterful, the inspirational Planningtorock talking about her live performances and the customised hats she wears when she is doing them. Check it out:
If you ever get the chance to go and see her, I fully recommend it. She is so strange and awesome. She swishes around onstage in voluminous white satin clothes, twitching her hands, her voice with a whine like a Hoover, inhabiting persona after persona, from The Bolton Wanderer to a crazy voodootype who wants to eat her lover's body. She transcends gender - there is no prettiness here - just power and magic. Go to Emusic.com and use up those 25 free downloads you get to snap up her album, Have It All. You won't be disappointed. I mean, unless you are a cunt with terrible music taste. But then you are none of my concern.
If you've ever partied at all hard (obviously our Stockholm readers can tune out at this point) you might enjoy this piece from Vice magazine, reminiscing about a New York Bar called Kokies. The only time I ever heard about this place was when I (lame music journalist moment coming up, pls excuse) was interviewing Cat Power and she started going on about a New York coke bar called Kokie's. I remember thinking 'shyeah right Cat Power, because there's really going to be a coke bar called Kokie's, you crazy kook you". But there was!
Repost from Ladyfest London's Myspace. If I wasn't going to be enormously pregnant between 9-11th May, and thus stuck in Stockholm, I would totally go help, because I have decided that, for all its tweeness, Ladyfest is a Good Thing. Frances has been having all these cool interns at Plan B whose lives have been hugely changed by Ladyfest and by retrospectively discovering Riot Grrrl - girls who were into emo or whatever as consumers and then discovered riot grrrl and are now running nights, putting on gigs and being in bands - exactly what we envisaged way back when. So. Ladyfest London. 9-11th May. Get in!
Ladyfest London is on its way!!!
We are a non-profit, volunteer-run feminist music, arts and activism festival that will be held in North London 9th- 11th of May 2008, at The Camden Underworld, the Resource Centre on Holloway Road and the Islington Arts Factory.
Ladyfest celebrates the wealth and diversity of women's talents within the London independent art scenes and beyond, as well as to promote the do-it-yourself ethic and participation in feminist discussion and activism. We aim to provide creative, accessible and friendly spaces where people of all ages and backgrounds feel welcome to take part. It is a predominantly woman-organised festival, but all are welcome to participate.
Ladyfest have been happening in urban centres all over the world since it was first held in Olympia in 2000. The first Ladyfest London was held in London in 2002 at the Garage in North London.
We need you! Currently there are around 20 core members involved in organising the festival and and we really need your help! We come from a variety of different backgrounds and all have different skills and interests. Ladyfests, like other activism, is very much about learning new skills and trying things you wouldn't normally get to do in everyday life.
There is lots to do in the run up to the festival and lots of different ways you can get involved. No experience is necessary!
We currently need creative and organising types to join our publicity, fundrasing, merchandising groups, as well as people to get involved in organising performances, comedy and music.
If you are interested in helping out in any capacity please get in touch.
During the festival Even if you don't have time to get involved in the run-up to the festival, we are also going to need lots of people to help out during the actual weekend. If you can commit to at least one 4-hour shift between 9-11 May (plus ideally one afternoon or evening a couple weeks before the festival for a welcome/rota meeting) to staff information desks, steward, help with equipment etc, we can offer you a free day-pass to the festival for the rest of that day, plus a free lunch and travel expenses costs if required (within London only). If you can commit to helping out 4 hours a day for each of the three days you will have free entry to the whole festival.
Email email@example.com or send us a message on Myspace to get in touch. Or just show up at our next general meeting on Wed 13 Feb at LARC (London Action Resource Centre), 62 Fieldgate Street, E1 at 7pm.
It's snowing here so I have created a snow playlist for your (and my) listening pleasure. I've tried to avoid too many obvious tracks (so no 'Soft as snow but warm inside' by My Bloody Valentine: no 'How to bring a blush to the snow' by Cocteau Twins). Then again, I couldn't resist Frosti / Aurora by Bjork so I guess I wasn't trying *that* hard to be unconventional. You'll also find sparkly classics by The Halo Benders, I am Robot and Proud and They Came From The Stars I Saw Them. Enjoy!
DOWNLOAD IT! The mix is tagged as a compilation, album title 'AMP's SNOW PLAYLIST'.
also, look - plan b are doing a fanzine workshop at rough trade. and a music writing one! so you can learn how to be a music journalist. i can teach you too. just be a 30something male, balding, bitter, boring, paunchy, pale-skinned, slightly sweating, scared of girls. works every time. OOH, AREN'T STEREOTYPES FUN? :D
Well, this is pretty sweet. It's like a trip to the now-iconic Dalston Supersavers but without having to actually go anywhere. It's a blog called Dalston Oxfam Shop and it's great. The guy buys awesome cassette tapes from the 80s (stuff like Frank Chickens or 1993 New York house music compilations), then digitises the best tracks and hosts them for download. He also posts about cool upcoming East End art shows and the African music night he runs in Soho. It makes me miss London loads, but I also know I'm missing an illusion because I'm kind of over chazzing for cassette tapes or going to African music nightclubs and even if I was home I wouldn't be going, I'd be sitting in my Goldfinger apartment reading novels and eating bon-bons. But that is so not the point.
Girly indie site www.thelipster.com launched last week. Edited by Jude Rogers of Smoke and Laura Barton of The Guardian, it has a similar look and feel to Drowned in Sound (it's produced by the same company). There's an interesting thread on it on DiS here, which presents the usual gamut of responses to girl-only stuff ('I feel patronised' / 'Why not just hire the same writers to work for DiS' / 'why are they only writing about women? it seems a bit full-on feminist i.e. anti-male' etc). I'm all for anything that foregrounds women and makes men feel left out, just so that male readers can see what it feels like to be sidelined as a result of a gender bias, so good luck to 'em (though the name grates a bit - what's a lipster? A lipstick wearing hipster?) I do wish such projects would be a bit more subtle with the marketing tactics though. Why describe yourself as 'the world’s best new female editorial-led pop culture website' when it's far more subversive to simply present a website full of editorial pop culture that just happens to be by and about females? After all, DiS doesn't broadly proclaim 'TOTAL BOYS' CLUB - MESSAGE BOARD FULL OF MILDLY SEXIST INANITY - EDITORIAL STAFF ALL MALE - COVERAGE OF MALE TO FEMALE ARTISTS APPROX 70/30'. It just does it, thereby promoting the status quo without advertising itself as doing such. Why can't female-focused projects do the same thing but in reverse? I'd love to see that - to see Reading or ATP with a 99% female line-up, or the NME with all the features by and about women, but nary a word advertising this fact. Now that's subversive. Maybe one day. When the world turns on its axis. Until then: The Lipster.
"With big love for her mama and her signature punk approach to dance music, is she the modern girl next door or the most exciting thing since riot grrrl? We're convinced she's both." The MIA interview I did for Venus magazine is now online at their site - take a peek!
Joanna Newsome in US Elle: "I wear a lot of high-waisted pants when I'm not performing. I like the studs on this Givenchy pair. When I'm onstage, since I play the harp, I go for mobility, mostly knee-length dresses. Right now, I have been wearing this incredible vintage piece that's silk jersey with tea-stained lace and a medallion belt. I wear it with my resin Chloe necklace."
I just had to share. If I was a boy I'd have such a crush on her.
Wow check this video made by Horton and co. It's really excellently Boney M-ish. Good to see he's still doing that Jarvis thing with his hair, too. I also like how it's about eleven thousand million minutes long.
Aw, it's so good to be blogging back here on AMPnet that I think we need a little Gravy Train to celebrate, don't you? This is the sad story of a girl who went on a diet and lost her boobs: hence, 'Ghost Boobs'. It's true! It happened to my sister, folks. (My other sister.) Don't do it!
Look at this early 80s gem, by NYC all girl band Pulsallama, that I unearthed while searching for Ann Magnuson / Bongwater clips. (Ann Magnuson was a former member of this band.) I am *so* crushing on the fashion styles of the lady who lives next door but just because she has 17 cats doesn't mean she's a witch.
Today's missive is brought to you by one Lisa Margreet aka My Sister.
Here is a picture of her doing the LOL face:
And here is her missive:
While AMP has "Manmarie" as her alter-ego, here at chez Payne in our east London apartment, lives Granny Payne. (Of course Manmarie lives with his Granny, what self-respecting slob doesn't?!) Granny Payne loves to moan, and complain, and knit, and make jam. Lots of jam. Anyway, Granny Payne has found something to temporarily distract her from whether she should lodge a complaint about the floodlit sports ground in the sports college opposite her bedroom.
It comes in the form of this website called "The Nag" which is part of the Anti-Apathy um, movement? social experiments? Let me let them explain:
Anti-Apathy* (AA) promotes awareness and action for positive social change and offers refreshing ways to connect you to the politics and economics behind your every day life, from fashion to free trade and everything in between. AA starts with awareness, but equally, it's about experience and action. Through our events and unique social experiments we aim to raise debate and inspire new perspectives.
Don't tell me you can't be bothered to check them out *rollseyesatadvanceapatheticjoke*
Hope you're all good, take care, and stop laughing at my organic jeans please.
PS: Oh yes, and I meant to say that The Nag's tagline is "changing the world one lazy assed mouse-click at a time" so its perfect for internet junkies and lazy asses alike as it won't interfere too much with your usual internet daily "rounds". Mentioning no names of course. xxx
this is a test. i mean, vox has all the functionality, the tag cloud, the lovely 2.0 look and feel.. but... it's hosted not on ampnet. only voxers can post comments. it has that facebook 'walled garden' feel. and a couple of other reasons. basically. i think i want to come home.
What do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Homeless. AHAHAHAH! Right, sorry, now that's out of the way, let me tell you about my fave new band of right now, Tap Tap. (There are sometimes more of them than this, but this is the only picture on their Myspace that features a man with his top off, so what are you gonna do?) Tap Tap produce this wonderfully insistent guitary music that has all the emotional pull of the Arcade Fire, the twiddly menace of Agaskodo Teliverik or Marnie Stern, and the dancability factor of early Franz Ferdinand. You can't lose! You can download their album Lanzafame from Emusic, or see their Myspace. Tap it!
a record i like! the royal we. they're from magical glasgow. i don't believe in magic any more. magic is a boy with glasses pressing his knee against yours. he's wearing a paisley shirt. his hand trembles a bit. he talks about the field mice, the pastels album he's bidding on on ebay. he's reading an old puffin book, orange and cream cover, joyce carey or laurence durrell or something. the pages smell of old paper, they're faded to that tobacco colour of old pubs. he's wearing brogues, you want to stick pins into all the tiny holes. he could be your cowboy. magic is a girl, o a girl just seen out of the corner of your eye, tipping onto her back holding the camera at arm's length in her myspace shot. or with tilted head, gazing into the distance, the nothingness, the big black hole that is the webcam on the computer she's staring at, the person who's making her laugh, the person who isn't you. the girl she has wrinkles in her white stockings, her knees are all angles, her dress is elastic waisted, you want to ping it to make her giggle, you want your hands your fingers burrowing under the elastic, seeing the big spots on the fabric swish around her thighs while you burrow, camera obscura on the stereo, the girl kind of reminds you of traceyann or even clare groghan in gregory's girl, the girl isn't even real, she lives in america, you spoke on skype one time it was magic. she could be your cowgirl. HEY LISTEN, magic doesn't exist okay? glasgow isn't magic. that boy isn't magic. that girl isn't magic. magic is a bell jar. it flies around. it settles on you for a while, that boy, that girl, you move around inside the bell jar for a while, gently kissing, then the bell jar lifts up and what do you know, there isn't any cowboy. THAT SAID. this record opens with... nope, can't be bothered to do any describing. oh, quickly: fiddles. oohooh-ahh. drums. girls in hats and specs. some guitars in a kind of poppy chalets-ish way but better than that sounds. LISTEN UP FOR YOURSELF! especially 'all the rage', it has drums that make me gasp.
ps - they have a song called 'back and forth forever' so how could you not love them if you know what i mean and i think you do. ))<>((
I'll be singing in Shimura Curves for one last bonus night on Thursday 14th June. We're playing at Bardens along with No Bra, Bishi and Ebony Bones. It's put on by the UndGretel collective and with that line-up it promises to be very very good, so I think you should come along. See www.myspace.com/undgretel for more details.
Here's a review I wrote of a book called 'You Don't Love Me Yet', by Jonathan Lethem. The cover illustration was done by a lady called Eline Van Dam, who is a brilliant illustrator who can be found online here at a site called Zeloot. She illustrated the cover of the Club Kids issue of AMP that we did a while back. I love her work. Anyway. I guess you can't judge a book by its cover....
If you're stuck for something to do this Bank Holiday weekend, you might want to go see the wonderful EATS TAPES playing at the Buffalo Bar tonight. Barr is also playing, and Lucky Dragons, and something I've not heard of called Car Clutch. It's put on by the brilliant collective Upset the Rhythm and it's gonna be bleeptastic brilliance.
So the piece I wrote about cute fat chicks has been published in the Sunday Times. I wasn't prepared for all the feedback you get when you go mainstream. *buries head in comforting wing of underground*
Get thee to the Nog Gallery on Brick Lane on Thursday night. Upset the Rhythm are putting on an event which will feature a performance from Barr and a reading from Amy Prior. Frances will be dj-ing. Sounds super fun and is only £3. Be there!
I'm finally starting to understand Youtube. It's like a tiny telly. Which is ace because I don't have a telly. But I do have a pulsing 15 inch Macbook. Here is Youtube discovery brilliance number ten million and one; it's called "Text Message Break-Up":
... in which Kelly gets dumped by text message and goes mental. "I'll be like MACE in your FACE on MYSPACE.... Just you wait till you read the shit on you I'm gonna blog about. I'm gonna PODCAST yr BASTARD ASS from COAST TO COAST!"
There's also Shoes:
The videos are the creation of Liam Sullivan, a comedian. There are more. You can download them from his site in Quicktime, Windows Media and iPod versions. One of my favourite things about them - apart from the way they keep turning from soap-opera esque kitchen sink dramas into booty-shakin' hip-hop videos - is the fact that, even though Kelly is a dude dressed as a chick, there's none of the harsh edge that drag can often have; that worrying sense that the female is being laughed at. You don't really feel that Liam is taking the piss out of Kelly. You empathise with her. She feels a bit like one of your friends. <3
Interesting interview on Venuszine.com with the estimable A.M. Holmes. She's talking about the difference between men's and women's writing; about how there are writers, and women writers; about her refusal to be pigeonholed as a 'woman writer' (a scribe of domestic, family topics); about her admiration for Didion and Sontag and Phillip Roth. It sounds kind of essentialist put like that, but you can see where she's coming from.
Tonight sees my erstwhile band Shimura Curves play a gig at How Does It Feel at the Luminaire. They're on at 8.20 so get there early to catch the new line-up (featuring Kate St Claire on guitar, my sister Lisa on vocals, ex-member Frances on synths and the mandolin-strumming Ed) take Shimura Curves in a whole new spacerock direction.
Archie Bell = swedish electropoppers with four tracks of downloadable bleepy goodness to help yr weekend get started with a wiggle. Check them out on Myspace.
And look, you can play old Nintendo games on the internet, in your browser, with no downloads required. Bless.
There's a certain moment every year, every spring. It is shaped like daffodils and birds twittering more loudly than before. The sound of a lorry reversing; cars dashing down the motorway behind yr block of flats. The window's open and the air is scorch-cold but the sun is warm. It's like a kind of Saint Etienne shaped hole where only something by them or perhaps at a pinch Birdie or Dusty Springfield will do. But here is something to fill that hole for 2007: the new album from Johnny Boy, who brought us the Wall of Sound-esque glory that was 'You are the generation that bought more shoes'. It is so perfect for right now: girls singing, massive overproduction, like Go Team mating with Ronnie Spector and it's so ace that they forget their samples and just, like, lean in. Headphones springtime deliciousness awaits you, my friend. Accept it now.
So I know that punk rock aerobics is a bit of a dead fad now, and it never really made it to these shores anyway, but. I have been investigating it because I'm working on an aerobics fanzine with Raz, and it's so ace. Did you know it was just two totally normal girls who both got sacked in the same week and decided to actually go for it with a rad idea they had, instead of, like most of us, just sitting there going "Yeah... someone should invent mop shoes, yeah? Or rave aerobics where you can take pills but you have a choreographer for yr moves... or...yeah." They went and got aerobics certification, and set up classes in nightclubs,(and you could drink and smoke during the classes if you wanted - after all, people drink and smoke while accidentally exercising while partying, so why not?) and ended up with things like J.Mascis playing guitar along to 'Freakscene' while people worked out to it, and choreographing a routine for Le Tigre, and so on. That's so ace. Someone should make a film about these ladies. Anyway, now I think that PRA is not so much a going concern, and that the ladies are channelling their interests elsewhere - for example, a band called Sheperdess. Check it out! Maybe you can do some leglifts to this, and think about why going to the gym can be so boring, and wipe a little tear from your eye for all the punk rock aerobics classes you never got to try...
Despite the fact that there's something unsettling in the notion that one's online self should accurately reflect whatever activity one is engaged in in the real world - there's something gauche about so wholeheartedly embracing surveillance culture - nonetheless I have signed up to Twitter, so maybe you should like add me and shit.
And here is a message from my sister about where you should be tonight: HOT CHIX N VINYL: VAO
"Vinyl. The very word rolls around your mouth and ends up on your tongue. The spelling is strange, exactly how you'd expect but altogether wrong all the same. Tonight VAO will leave the technical wizardry behind that you've come to expect from their sets. Tonight, for your aural pleasures, VAO have selected a set of pure vinyl. Come. Listen. Enjoy. The George Tavern, Commercial Road, East London."
And for your viewing pleasure, the awesomely rapey 'I Was Robbed By Two Men' video that I forgot to link to a while back. Enjoy!
Via the venerable Jessica Hopper's blog, so excuse me if you've already downloaded this, but if not: check Dan Savage's Savage Love podcast, particularly the episode where he completely loses it at a 'misogynistic faggot'. I was smiling so hard on the bus I thought my face would crack from the effort of keeping my laugh in.
Jungsheft (previously Gluck) is a German publication featuring 'lecker jungs' (jung is German for boy, apparently) in their skinny nekkid hipster glory. As it's all in German I can't judge the quality of the articles, though they seem to be mainly sex-based - a guide to giving the perfect blow job, a feature on slash fiction, etc. I do like these new attempts at porn for chicks (New York's Sweet Action magazine being another example), but I think one of the things that slightly disappoints me about them is that the content is almost always exclusively about sex. One of the things I enjoy about Butt magazine is that the interviews are about politics and culture as much as - or more than - they are about sex. This has the effect of positioning sex somewhere differently, as just a small part of a rich life. If you surround your pictures of naked hipster men with features about sex and porn film reviews, etc, then sex becomes segmented, separate from the everyday - swept into a corner as though it is something distinct, (shameful?), rather than something that underpins and runs through our day-to-day actions. As though sex and intellect are at odds with each other. I think the difference between Butt and these magazines as well is that Butt is able to persuade gay fashion designers, writers, illustrators, filmmakers, artists and so on to pose naked and semiclothed to accompany interviews with them. Vincent Gallo aside, could hetero male artists, musicians, writers etc be persuaded to pose unclad for an audience of women alongside interviews about their work? Because I think that is what's necessary to create a porno* for chicks magazine that really really works.
*Also I don't think the expression 'porno' really works here. I don't know if I could get off to any of these pictures of naked boys. It doesn't mean I don't want to see them.
Owen: Yeah! I think all English girls are, maybe, kind of down-trodden. England seems really misogynist to me—the music scene and the art scene. Girls aren’t allowed to do anything without a man holding her hand. When’s the last time you saw an English band with a really conspicuous female frontwoman?
Ed: The Pipettes!
Owen: They’re new, aren’t they? I haven’t heard them but I like their style.
Ed: They’re totally popular. But I don’t know if they actually write their own songs.
Owen: The Long Blondes are the only band from England I know who are popular and have girls writing their songs. And Lily Allen, I guess, too, but I haven’t listened to her. Other than that, it’s all like, Pussycat Dolls. And I think one of the dudes from OMD writes all their songs. Anyway, they don’t seem to get behind the girls in England in their music or art scenes and I think it fucks the whole English female population up. It makes them non-intellectual or something.
(I'm not non-intellectual, you fuck!) But, does he have a point? Doesn't Dorian Cox write the songs for the Long Blondes? And Monster Bobby writes the songs for the Pipettes. And we've a new wave of female singer-songwriters (Bat for Lashes, Kate Nash et al) but, I don't know, they're all a little pretty, teenage and knock-kneed for my tastes. I keep reading about the right for feminists to be appealing and beautiful etc (see This Is What A Feminist Looks Like on myspace - whoo, feminists are white, pretty girls in their 20s, just like all the other images of women in the media ever!) but what about the right not to be? I would love to see more crazy dykes and fucked-up trannies and old fat fierce fugly women (shame my band broke up lol) in bands. Perhaps it's all the riot grrrl footage I've been watching lately (more on this later) but what I'm not getting is craziness and chaos and a sense of wild-eyed spontenaeity. I'm getting girls in frocks with acousitic guitars playing the pretty and slightly disaffected singer-songwriter role they've been allotted since the 1960s. Where's the British Gravy Train!!!! Isn't there something more? Is Owen right? Do Brit girls suck? I don't want this to be the truth. Please post me some links to prove it's not so!
And oh, the riot grrrrl thing. I have taken it upon myself to make a book documenting the early 90s British riot grrrl scene because, well, I want to. And I was there, guvnor! A little bit! I went to meetings! I had an 'I Love Blood Sausage' sticker on my diary! I saw the Voodoo Queens at the Monarch! I made fanzines! I spray-painted feminist symbols on the porno posters on the Holloway Road! Anyway so what it is. At the moment we're all about collecting as much archive material from the time as possible - we want to create a kind of rich dictionary of what went on, with timelines and bands and interviews and yeah, all the beautiful fanzine shit that inspired me so. Hopefully there will be some kind of CD, but riot grrrrl was about more than the music, it was about a whole slew of things, fanzines and comics and a whole way of living really, and we want the book to reflect that. We'll also be looking at how riot grrrrl impacted across Europe - my co-editor, Corinn of Passenger Books, was heavily involved in riot grrrl in Switzerland, where she was living at the time. So if you were living in the UK or Europe and were influenced by riot grrrl in any way, get in touch! You can sign up at the Riot Project website, check us out on Myspace, or simply drop me a line via the contact form.
I think my fave is actually the latter, not just because we were in band etc etc. What do you think? And are there any other songs about Myspace worth checking out? I still think Figurine wrote the best internet-related songs out there but they've disbanded and James Figurines's solo stuff ain't quite the same...
Check out Marmalade magazine's Myspace page if you've got a minute - I've been writing a bit of content for them. If you have anything you think should be featured on the page, drop me a line and let me know about it. Or go straight to the source and get involved in creating the mag itself - they're throwing their March 07 issue open to anyone who wants to help make it.
Billed as an experiment in web, art, community and economics, OPENSTUDIO combines a vector-based drawing tool with an economy of artists, curators, dealers, collectors and viewers. You can create, modify and 'sell' your drawings - each user gets a 'gallery space' and 25 units of the local economy, Buraks, with which to play. You can also commission and accept jobs from other users. Because the drawing tool is vector-based, it lacks the adorable retardedness of Paint (I love the naive edge Paint gives to everything, even porn), but, if you're clever (note = not clever) like me you'll still be able to create some pretty naive shit. Check my gallery for proof. You can read an interview about some of the more theoretical concepts behind the space over on we-make-money-not-art.com, or just head to OPENSTUDIO itself to sign up.
All I want to do at the moment is get away from the internet. This takes various forms: swapping regular email correspondences for hand-written letters and care packages sent through the post; switching the laptop off last thing at night so that the first thing I do every morning is write in a notebook instead of checking my emails; reminding myself that no new messages or comments on Flickr or Myspace does *not* mean I no longer exist as a human. And yet scientists are working on more and more ways to ensure that the world of the net and this one intertwine. I mean: the Flickr and Youtube UMBRELLA? Don't make me get a Flickr umbrella mummy! Free me of my addiction!
Good to see Lily Allen having a pop at NME editor Conor MacNicholas for his extreme weakness over the NME cool list issue in her Myspace blog. As you've probably heard by now, the list features Beth Ditto in first place, plus Lily Allen, Lovefoxx, Kate Jackson and Karen O in the top ten. Ace. But MacNicholas lamed out of putting Ditto, Jackson and Allen on the cover - the shoot was done, but then he replaced it at the last moment with - yep - another picture of frickin' Muse. Way to show you really mean it, Conor. Also, thanks for the press release congratulating these women for 'showing that you can rock a crowd while wearing stilletoes.' Because ultimately that's all that women bring to music, right? High heeled shoes. Allen calls MacNicholas 'fucking patronising' and finishes thus: "You should take your heads out of your New Rave arses and actually think about your responsibilities to youth culture, and to women in general." Hurrah for Lily. I couldn't agree more.
Ebony Bones sound like Delta 5 crossed the Ronettes, only less facile than that sounds. Stupid journalistic compounds aside Ebony Bones play post-punk with a more than a hint of '60s girl groups. Fronted by the impeccably dressed & incredibly sassy Miss Bones their live show is all about dancing and fun, or perhaps just fun dancing.
Shimura Curves play laptop pop with shoegaze guitar & vocal harmonies. Featuring Miss Amp of Plan B fame (THE PROMOTER WROTE THAT OVER ON DROWNED IN SOUND! NOT ME! I JUST COPIED AND PASTED IT IN!) they've just released their debut single on Brainlove Records.
No Bra is one woman who sings over lo-fi synths & drum machines. Her lyrics vary from the hilarious fashionista bating 'Munchausen' to the vaguely menacing sexual politics of 'Doherfuckher', a song Momus described as 'Throbbing Gristle with a tone-deaf Marlene Dietrich'.
Wet Dog are a shambolic post-punk band from Brighton who are constantly compared with to The Slits, but that's just because they're three good looking girls playing unusually good music.
My sister tells me that I am behind the times. My sister tells me that "nothing happens on the internet any more". My sister tells me that I interact with the internet as though it was 2000 or something and something stunning could happen at any moment - a message board revelation, someone sending you a dirty pic, somebody totally ACE that you just HAVE to speak to signing into Messenger. My sister says that nothing interesting has happened on the internet since about 2003, and even then that was only like one thing. My sister says that social networking gives the illusion of things happening online, but that is all it is - illusion. She says that I hang on the internet, checking in every few seconds, doing my 'rounds' of email and LJ friends page reading and Myspace stalking, as though I might miss something important; but there is nothing important to miss. My sister says there is nothing on the internet that cannot wait until tomorrow. My sister has a point, I fear: but... what then? Are we to return to a pre-internet world of phone calls and hand-written letters and fanzines and book-reading? What would that be like? I can't even imagine.
This video is ace. It reimagines a plane crash as something licentious and lovely, like that Liverpool Poets poem about the world ending and everyone making love on a double decker bus. So much nicer than the awful plane crash visions of Lost or Glamorama. Hey, burying your head in the sand is the new black. Or something.
If you're in the London area tonight - or would like to be - then run, don't walk, to tonight's Shimura Curves show at the Fly Bar on New Oxford Street. Doors are at 8pm and we're on first, so don't be late. Tonight will bring wondrousness: with me playing an actual INSTRUMENT, the ultra-ravey Yamaha CSX1. Wow, what with guitar and synth as well as laptop we're almost like a real band!
And then, because we know how to exploit stereotypes of femininity for our own good, oh yes: we have two delectable blonde ladies singin and shakin it down the front, with NEW DANCES! And a new song about MYSPACE which is better than the CoS one by a country mile (no offence CoS!) And a banging cover version which you will love. Or hate. Because that's what people do with this band, they either love it or hate it, which is ace, because it's an excellent way of weeding the cool from the lame, and makes it that much easier to go round to the houses of the lame and hit them with sticks.
Ah, Comet Gain. Comet Gain are so indie. They are indie's distilled essence. They are formed from a hundred rubbish fanzines mulched down with the spit of a decade of inept indie kisses and tied into shape with the twisted brown innards of ten thousand discarded mixtapes. Watch their video for 'The Fists In The Pocket' - as my internet buddy Extensions Off pointed out, isn't this just the indiest video ever made? It's so Brighton: thirtysomething men in bands throwing stones on the beach during a comedown, thinking about that time their 15-year-old girlfriend kissed her mate Annabel from the youth club, wondering if he can get her to do it again. Ugh. Brighton scares me. Don't get me wrong though - I love Comet Gain. I love their murky, evocative sound. Their last two albums, Realistes (2002) and City Fallen Leaves (2006) form this glorious dyad, infused with all the depression and shite of aging within a culture (indie) and a city (Brighton) which fetishises infantilism, and you should definitely check them out. I know I sound ambivalent about them, but I'm really not. Or maybe I am. See? Ambivalence is exciting, anyway. Plus it's an ambivalence borne of an uncomfortable over-identification with their subject matter. So hurrah for Comet Gain, the indiest band alive!
I seem to have become Marmalade Magazine's online editor, which is nice. First stop is this newsletter, in which I have included so many exclamation marks that reading it back makes me feel slightly sick. I must have been in a good mood or something when I wrote it...
(Click to enlarge - it's a bit massive)
Anyway, if you feel like sending me any links or stories or whatever to feature in the newsletter, or you want to mention an event you're holding or something, then please do! I've also been writing a bit of content for their Myspace, so you might want to have a look at that, if you're so inclined. And! I have a feature in the new issue of the magazine as well - I met some disgusting sweary sweaty roadies (actually they were quite fit, but whatever) and they told me some ace stories, and now it is in the magazine. Check it out!
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Hell, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about:
If a woman is drunk, don't rape her. If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her. If a woman is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her. If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her. If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her. If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her. If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her. If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her. If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her. If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her. If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her. If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her. If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her. If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her. If your step-daughter is watching TV, don't rape her. If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her. If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend. If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police. If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist. Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone. Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape. Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x. Don't imply that it's in any way her fault. Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl. Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.
If you agree, re-post it. It's that important.
Note: This goes for any gendered rape, male on female or female on male or female on female or FTM on MTF or non gendered to dual gendered and so on and so forth.... -author unknown
Hm. Well, as my friend Alice so kindly pointed out, there's no use getting all excited about my new RSS feed (check it out! Over there ----->! In the pink bar! At the bottom! That little button!) if there's no decent content on this blog for you to subscribe to. She has a point. Bitch. So. I hereby promise to stop being unfaithful with Myspace, LiveJournal, and any other publishing service I can run my curious little fingertops all over, and return to the mothership, starting from NOW. To kick things off, may I present, from the current issue of Plan B: CSS LIVE!!!!! WHOOO!!!! TAKE IT AWAY AMPYYYYYYY! CSS DINGWALLS, LONDON
It's a crush it's a scrum it's, oh, it's rammed and it's exciting. It's Beatlemania in reverse. It's a forest of hands - manhands - stretching towards the stage like baby birds squealing for a scrap of food from mamabird. It's testosterone miasma floating in a cloud above our heads, rising to the ceiling like sweat, like mist. They're begging. They're pleading. They're grabbing. It's kind of rapey. I guess it's what rock and roll is all about.
Lovefoxx doesn't mind though. Lovefoxx is eating it up with a spoon. Lovefoxx is, mmmpf, I don't think I even need to tell you how hott and cute and sexxus and lovely she is, with her Shibuya-style babyface, and her long shiny flapping black hair, and her little outfit of black tights under a stripy black shorts-leotard thing layered under several black vests which she yanks on and off throughout the gig - UP over her head, BACK over her shoulders, now it's on her face and she's singing through it - it's hott, it's innocent, it's kind of naughty and she doesn't even realise. She's like a Samurai convict cartoon jazzdancer, and I don't even know what one of them looks like.
Anyway. Start at the beginning. C - S - S - SUXXXXX!!!!!! they are chanting. They are clapping. There's none of this slow build stuff you get at some band's gigs. They are chanting and clapping and I am hit from the back by a phalanx of menfolk. Gosh do the boys ever love this stuff. The girls onstage are the cliff wall and the men behind me are a fucking tidal wave. I am a piece of seaweed tossed too and fro inbetween. I swear a man - not the man I came here with - is grinding his boner against the small of my back. I haven't felt this testosterone surge since early Peaches gigs.
I am tidalwaving towards the front of the stage, pulled inexorably towards the guitarist, Luisa. Her tattoos are the seaweed now, glued to her shoulders, scraped across her wrists. The neck of her guitar extends towards me, past the shoulder of the photographer who ducks his camera away, barrelling towards my eyes till I dodge downwards, flexing my knees like I'm about to dive. She. Is. Immaculate. Her hair snakes in a lazy mullet and her body is knifelike and titless and she keeps half-closing her eyes and scrunching up her mouth into a shape that inscribes just how fucking cool she feels at that precise moment, and that's more than allowed, because she's making these riffs and thumps and noises on the guitar and the electropop of the album is bigger and more swaggery, than it's ever been on my speakers, mutating into bastard dog rock, and she's dangling a cigarette out her mouth and squinting her eyes up and yeah maybe it's a pose, but wouldn't you?
It's undeniable that a faint whiff of disposability hangs over the CSS album. Is that a problem? Spank Rock smell the same, so what? Disposability is the essence of a good party. Who would want a party that lasted forever? Who can handle more than three days without sleep? Could you actually function adequately as a human if the initial rumpetty-pumpetty in love sexmeup high so eloquently expressed by CSS in 'Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above' - 'wine then bed then more then again / wine then bed then more then again' - actually lasted forever and ever? You'd be a wreck; sacked; homeless; spent. Forget it. This is about a flurry, a tsunami, a smack in the face: spinning till you're dizzy, running till you're choking, dancing till you're broken; then you stop. And so we wave our arms left-to-right to 'Alcohol', just like we're urged to, and we laugh and smile as the men's thrusting grabbing manhands lift the crowdsurfing Lovefoxx high into the sky, and we wander home, drenched in sweat, the riff of Alala and the twist of the guitarist's mouth embedded in our heads for the following three days, and then we smile, and then forget. Perfect.
"Feminist Fightback is a one day activist conference, initiated by Education Not for Sale Women, for anyone interested in the struggle for women's liberation. Speakers include Abby Lee, author of the "Girl with a one track mind" blog on feminism and sexual expression; sacked Gate Gourmet workers; NUS Women's Officer Kat Stark; International Union of Sexworkers; Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq; Scottish Socialist women on sexism on the left; health workers on low pay and abortion rights; and many more..."
"I'm an emo kid, non-conforming as can be! You'd be non-conforming too if you looked just like me!" Cute video taking the piss out of emo kids (because nothing gets a laugh like hitting an easy target.) I like how it goes all homo at the end.
Check this charming little site, A Softer World. Photographs and scraps of text tell beautiful short stories in three tiny frames. She takes the snaps, he writes the wordage, and together they create loveliness.
I thought paisley was just a pattern that it was best to avoid for fashion related reasons. I WAS WRONG. It transpires that, in the PAISLEY PRINT PATTERN, you have a connection with:
THE COUNTRY OF INDIA (WITH ALL THEIR GODS)
GOAT HAIR (GOAT IS THE SYMBOL FOR THE DEVIL)
If you want to be delivered from evil and protected by Jesus, DO NOT WEAR PAISLEY! For more fascinating facts on everyday things that are actually quite evil, please see demonbuster.com. Down with Demons! Boo! Rubbish!
So out of practice it’s unbelievable. If this weblog was a lady's area (start as you mean to go on, hit ‘em with the tasty meaty labial metaphors asap, that’s what I always say, so quit scowlin’) it’d be beyond dried up and way into dessicated and cobwebby. Or maybe it would just have closed up and healed over, silent like a papercut.
Anyway, there would definitely be a big OUT OF SERVICE sign slung across it (personally, I just use a profusion of pubic hair to achieve the same aims. Getting it regular? Then the area gets friendly with my hot pink Venus razor on a near daily-basis. Getting it irregular, or worse, not at all? Tis a veritable thicket. Men need machetes to hack through the junglist massive before they can reach the rosy-pink clitoral prize that lurks within). But now it is time to apply that machete, hack through the thicket, smash the OUT OF SERVICE sign with a sombre stomp of my Swear-boot heel. It is time, ladies, FOR AN UPDATE.
Now, being both cheap and of course slightly late on various very important bits of work, I am going to completely chief these links off my friend Sam, because he has been deluging my inbox with them. First of all, Sam (who is a homo and, as we all know, homos are often far more sexually progressive wrt monogamy than us straightlords) sent this link over, entitled “Wow! Now even straight people are mixing it up!”
In this article, Nerve.com’s Em and Lo examine ‘Marriage with benefits – the new monogamy’. From ‘open flirting policies’ (e.g. flirting is ok and healthy and normal) and ‘above-the-waist-rules’(any touching above the waist is ok, but wander below-the-belt and it’s talking time) to polyamory, ethical slutdom and partner-swapping, Em and Lo take a look at all the different ways straight couples are using to attempt ‘managed monogamy’.
Course, us straightlords haven’t being doing ‘managed monogamy’ long enough to know if we’re any better at it than the other kind, so it’s early days yet, but the one thing Em and Lo concluded is that even all this talk about non-monogamy is still really just talk about monogamy – about commitment, and partnership. ‘Over and over, couples told us that their goal is less about sex than it is about wanting a relationship that will bend with pressure, rather than break.’ It’s all about love in the end, baby. Ain’t that the cutest?
You probably know about this by now, but just in cse: excellent literary identity hustle: Is JT Leroy for real?
And finally, while you’re pondering this, why not drink some delicious Liquid Cereal - a delicious blend of fat-free milk and real cereal! Apparently the apple and cinnamon one is green in colour and has a thickish consistency, with a mouth feel of real cereal. Mmm, that’s definitely what I’ll be reaching for next time I have one of those killer waves-of-nausea-style hangovers.
I'm off to Berlin for the weekend, so the shocking neglect of this site is due to continue for a little longer, I'm afraid. Next week though. Things will happen. I promise. In the meantime, the new Plan B magazine is out, so pop down the nearest Borders for your alterna-music and culture fix. Also due out next Monday is Good for Nothing magazine, with reviews, a Sugababes feature, and a column (on the horrors of mySpace) by your humble correspondent. Good for Nothing is available in various hipster bars and cafes around London town. It's free, so it disappears pretty fast - keep your eyes peeled!
Who says gamers are all boring boys growing little hip-hop bellies quietly beneath their controllers as they fight mindless, pointless battles which provide an entirely false sense of satisfaction and achievment while preventing them from actually getting on with anything at all? No one! Because it's not TRUE! Because here is Old Grandma Hardcore, who will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube or other console game put in front of her. God, I can't fucking wait till I retire, and will finally be able to reach the end of SX3 and will never ever ever have to feel guilty for just lying around and playing games with stupid boys and never ever ever doing any writing. It's gonna rule!
PS - this link's probably been halfway round the internet and back, hasn't it? Sorry. Been out of the loop. Computer died. Please to be sending witty, urbane, AMPtastic links to ensure this weblog stays as menthol-fresh as a deoderised pantyshield. Thanks!
Just to let y'all know that our recent computer problems have led to the complete destruction of the entire (unbacked-up) hard drive. Need to reinstall software, download the files for this site, etc etc. So it may be a while before more updates start appearing on AMPnet. Also contributors with articles waiting to appear may need to resend the text and artwork. We'll be in touch about this. Sorry everyone!
"At the heart of Mac OS X one finds Darwin, an open source core that integrates a diverse collection of powerful technologies in a robust, flexible architecture. Darwin is like Linux with a day job: By day, it stays discreetly in the background, running Mac OS X. By night, Darwin shows its open source roots: hackable, extensible, and the product of the same community, culture, and traditions that created Apache, sendmail, GNU/Linux, Mozilla, and UNIX itself..."
That's nice. That's really fucking brilliant. I'm so glad that OSX runs a Darwin core. I just don't actually want to SEE IT. I don't want to be prompted with a black screen saying 'Darwin / BSD (AMP.local) (console)' when what I'm used to seeing is Apple's cuddly graphical login screen.
My iBook has died. It is at the Apple Store, hopefully being massaged back to life by the fingers of the Hott Genius, but I'm not so sure. Even before it kept rebooting into Terminal mode, instead of the GUI, there was a problem with the screen going black the whole time. I think its day has come. Of course, this means no AMPnet updates, if you're wondering why the long silence. Sorry everybody, espeically Maiko and Elizabeth, whose lovely article on hipster monks in Tokyo was just about to go live.
In brighter news, the new Plan B is due out, and I think it's going to be a corker. I interviewed the lovely Kevin Blechdom for it, and my wife wrote a stunning review of Delia Gonzales and Gavin Russom at Kosmiche... I think it's one of the best things she's ever written. Check the cover (above left) - it's out at the beginning of August.
Wow. I wish someone had made a modern-day chastity belt complete with GPRS positioning and temperature sensors. That would be hott! But, er, we don't actually live in the Middle Ages, so in fact Forgetmenotpanties.com is an entry for the Contagious Media competition. Ladies and gents, I think we have a winner!
Consumating.com uses social software - y'know, like Flickr tags - to hook up 'hipsters, bloggers, freaks and geeks'. You can specify whether you're after 'lingering online flirtations which never go anywhere' (internet friends), 'starter marriage' (serious relationship) or 'xxxx bootAY action' (naughtiness), describe yourself with a bunch of tags, upload a load of photographs and then sit back and wait for people who clicked 'ghost world one-stars glasses nerdy riot geek punk feminist slut' or whatever to start drooling over your profile. It's kind of cute, though I wonder how British levels of self-deprecation / self-esteem will handle the feature which displays, beneath your photograph, how many people have voted that they would 'do' you, and how many wouldn't. But at least it makes explicit just how harsh / two-dimensional the whole netdating thing can be. Welcome to the noughties, fuckers!
Good for Nothing is a lovely London style magazine and guess who wrote this month's cover story, all about Londoners' skanky molars and how hott and sexxy they are... ME!!!! So please pick one up from your local hipster emporium immediately, and read it and then send me a nice email if it entertained you (or nothing if you think it's shit, thanks). Yay!
Hey ladies. Fasten up the pretty buckles on those ankle-mangling taxi shoes - an Andrex advertising promotion is offering free cabs for a week! Ok, you’ll have to suffer the indignity of riding in a vehicle which is lilac and white, looks like it's wrapped in a large quilt, and is bedecked with a giant puppy, but hey, I know you're tenacious and stylish enough to deal. Boys are allowed too, but only when accompanied by a female companion. Vrooom!
It’s always good to have a eye-wateringly cute party trick to woo potential or recent lovers with, don’t you think? One boy I know broke hearts a-plenty with his origami roses, swans and, er, Viking war helmets. Another would make deer and small doggies from twisted paperclips, then hang them from the edges of drinks glasses, in order to woo the object of his affections. But if you personally lack such skills, do not fret! Learn how to draw hearts, hibiscus flowers, sunrises and clover leaves in the foam of your lover’s latte with this simple guide! People will be ripping their shirt-buttons off to reveal their enormous love-boners for you in next to no time.
Incidentally: I have a darling little anecdote published in The Guardian newspaper today. It's all about a haunted office chair - a chair which, I feel, was at least partially responsible for my broken leg. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Ejector Seat!
My iBook appears to have succumbed to the apparently infamous Logic Board Death problem. Which means that AMPnet, barring this Blogger-powered page, is going to be rather static for the next three weeks. Bah. Broken legs, lost cameras, and dead computers - 2005 isn't turning out to be quite the fun-fest I had anticipated.
DIY Writing: Online Journal Readings at The Horse Hospital, programmed by Amy Prior
Here's a thing for all those at a loose end tonight (Wednesday): A night dedicated to 'DIY Writing', and I'm not talking nuts and pulleys and u-bends, o no. It's a night of readings from online journals at the Horse Hospital, featuring my wife and Amy and some blond dude...
- Dickon Edwards, one of the first online journal writers in the U.K., reads excerpts from his cult diaries. - Frances May Morgan, editor of music magazine Plan B, reads from her music weblog. - Amy Prior reads her new fictional story based on texts by a Livejournal community.
Part of the launch for the book 'DIY: The Rise of Lo-fi Culture' by Amy Spencer (Marion Boyars).
Night with music, writers, DJs.
Wed 11 May The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, London WC1 (nearest underground: Russell Square) Doors open 7pm, readings at 8pm.
In today's Hilarious Dramatic Irony News, the world's least sexual band, BSP, have had their video banned by American MTV because the song includes the words 'wetter and wetter'. Violent / sexist / misogynistic rap videos? No problem. Five deerstalker-wearing milksops singing about the countryside? Waaaay too arousing for American youth. Wtf?
"Ladyfest Brighton is a non-profit D.I.Y. festival taking place in various venues around Brighton on the 20th-23rd October 2005. Organised primarily by women for the benefit of the wider community, Ladyfest Brighton will showcase performances by bands, visual artists, fashion designers, writers, film-makers, dancers, zine kids, teachers, students and activists. With the first Ladyfest taking place in Olympia, Washington in 2000, and since speading to over 50 cities world-wide, Ladyfest Brighton joins a global movement of young women promoting women and queer based projects, arts and activism in their communities."
I'm always politically sceptical about festivals and exhibitions of diverse artforms and interests grouped solely on the protaganists' gender. I am Londoner, middle-class, curly-haired, ginger, and so on, just as much as I am woman, etc - you know the drill. However, as long as the line-up for major festivals still displays such a mega-bias towards the boys (check Glasto: the few femmes [Kylie, M.I.A., Martha Wainwright] stick out like neon beacons on a sea of generic grey), Ladyfest will remain essential.
It's not just about showcasing female artists and female culture: it's about encouraging girls to realise certain things are possible. What's a teenage girl at Glasto going to think? 'Hm, well, if I wanna be a musician I'd either better be a mussy-haired indie boy like one of the Cooper Temple Clause - oh dear, no good, I'm a chick, I'd better be a sexy Tamil Tiger or a pert-bottomed sex midget then - oh dear, no good, I'm a fat self-harming goth girl with a dodgy eye! Meh. I'm going to go to my tent and cry.' This may be (is) reductive, patronising, Riot Grrrl 101 - but it's not, it appears, without truth. Change is happening, but not fast enough. Check the cover of the NME. Check the line-ups of the major festivals. Check the record company rosters. Boy-tastic. Hence: Ladyfest.
I understand that Ladyfest Brighton is going to include a workshop or talk around women in journalism, but I'd be interested in seeing an event devoted to UK women in blogging - a mini-version of the forthcoming US BlogHercon. BlogHer will feature talks and discussions around female identity and blogging, link-based power structures, flaming, op-ed pieces by women, and 'getting naked in public' - 'What happens when you blog your true self and the whole world shows up?' A similar event exploring women and weblogging here in England is long overdue...
...At which point, in true DIY spirit, I have to say that I'd be interested in organising such a thing if I thought others would be up for it. Anyone? Drop us an email, let's see what we can do.
This summer, why not endeavour to make your Flickr more exciting by getting involved in the FakeFunk Jump Project? Nothing enlivens a boring old landmark like someone leaping, legs aloft like Dave Lee Roth, their face a gurning rictus of joy.
On the 22nd of December 2004, Kyle Van Horn [best name ever!!!!] taped a disposable camera to a piece of black foamcore and inscribed upon it the following message: "ATTENTION POSTAL WORKERS! Please help us with our project. As this camera travels across the country we want photos of all whom it encounters. Please take a photo before you pass it along. Thank you!" And they did! I'd like to try that with the folks at the E9 Hackney Sorting Office, but there would probably be just lots of pictures of them, like, laughing at the post, stabbing the post, holding the post quizzically saying 'Doh, what is this? What do I do with it?' before someone teaches them that Hackney Sorting Office's official policy is to throw it in the canal. Maybe I should try it, and post the results here. Watch this space...
Also (this will never happen) if anyone happened to find a blue Canon Ixus i5 at All Tomorrow's Parties - maybe among the sand dunes, or in the bar - they can take all the pictures they want with it, but can they then send it back to me? Please. Please. Please. You will know it's mine because there will be a video of Simon Bookish talking about snails, and then some pictures of a big blond boy and a fat goth girl, right at the beginning of the film. SEND IT BACK. Please. The heavens will reward you.
Ok, I do hope I'm not going all schmindie and gey after ATP (i-is there something wrong with knowing every single word to 'Ask' by The Smiths, and all the harmonies?) but l@@k! at this beautiful, creepy, abandanoned fairground in Japan. Wouldn't that be a great place for a first date? (I'm collecting great first date places for my '2005 - the year of being tOtALLy cRuShEd oUt!!!' chapbook I am making. Email your great first date ideas for inclusion!)
And finally - don't throw shit away when it breaks - mend it! Make like the Castoff chicks and go darn your socks while listening to tunes. First Saturday of every month at the Heavenly Social in Islington.
RICH KIDS! DOLE SCUM! WANT TO WORK IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
The Outpost is looking for dynamic individuals wanting to gain work experience in the music industry. The Outpost is a Music PR company based in West London, UK.
This is a unique opportunity for an individual to get hands on PR experience, while at the same time gaining valuable insight into the workings of a record label.
The Outpost roster currently includes Definitive Jux, Scenario Records, Out Hud, Swayzak, !K7, Dented Records and All City Music + more
The Outpost are offering entry-level internships within the company and are looking for people available full-time (10am-6.00pm) for a minimum of one month, who are living in London or able to commute on a daily basis. The placements are unpaid, though travel costs will be re-imbursed.
WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT TO START MAY 3RD
These positions are ongoing and so applications from people available for a longer term would be welcomed. This is a genuine and unique opportunity for someone to get that first break in the music iundustry.
The role will include taking cuts from national press, answering phones, doing general administrative work and mailouts as well as the opportunity to contribute to national publicity campaigns. The internships will also involve assisting All City Music and Scenario Records.
Corn Mo, the accordion superstar, is playing in the UK on Thursday and Friday nights! I have never seen Corn Mo or even heard any of his songs, but I do not think that that should be a barrier to appreciation of a musician's aesthetic, so I hope to see you there. Here's Corn Mo's site, and here's a rather surreal interview we did in which he makes up stories out of email subject headings. Yay Corn Mo!
Could you ever love anyone this much? "I put my ring finger in Clive’s mouth and he put his ring finger in my mouth with our teeth resting right on the last joint. We looked in each other’s eyes, nodded, and bit down as hard as we could. It was a little disappointing because we couldn’t actually get all the way through, but we did pop the joint open and tear it a little. We cut the rest, just some skin and the tendon, the normal way."
Got my keys, money and fags. But ladies - have you determined whether your outfit is modest or not? We wouldn't want boys catching a glimpse of bra-strap, the outline of a nipple, or, God forbid, ass-cleavage. Try these simple "Truth or Bare?" tests and let your heart be moulded into modesty!
Clearly influenced by my sister's My Belated Valentine project (which involved sending a Valentine's card to a local cutie - which directed him to a website - which showed intriguing photos and an email address - which sadly had no effect whatsoever) - this Stateside computer geek has gone one better by hiring a billboard designed to advertise himself and get himself a date. Aww! Maybe my sister and the geek will get it together! That would be so sweet.
Here's a neat little idea. It's a banner swap website that exists in order to promote DIY craftpersons and the underground press. For everyone who clicks through to their site, you 'earn' an exposure of your banner. Access to all the punk rock sock moneys and crocheted skulls your heart could desire!
The dudes at dilf.com may know all about tops and bottoms, but they don't seem to know very much about subs. Otherwise they'd have hired a decent one before going live with a grammatical error of this magnitude. Porn these days. I ask you.
How ace does Bruce LaBruce's new film, Raspberry Reich, sound? "The leader of the Raspberry Reich, Gudrun, who has patterned herself after Gudrun Ensslin, one of the main members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang (the Red Army Faction), spends her time indoctrinating vital, athletic young men to her cause.
"A strict devotee of Wilhelm Reich, she believes that heterosexual monogamy is a bourgeois construct that must be smashed in order to achieve true revolution. To that end, she forces her straight male followers to have sex with each other to prove their mettle as authentic revolutionaries. A porno-political-palooza!"
Our man Cocoa Beware loved the film, describing it as an "interesting intersection of hardcore porn and real propaganda, and also a cool commentary on the commodification of 'radical chic' that references both Godard's La Chinoise and Fassbinder's Die Dritte Generation." Gosh! Read an interesting interview with Bruce LaBruce, by the guy who is largely credited with making younger Germans interested in the RAF again via his own informative, cool site, to find out more. (thanks Sam!)
And now, I'm not sure if Bruce LaBruce approves of gay weddings or whether he'd spit 'assimilation!' just like the Hidden Cameras and Butt magazine would, but here:
With the civil partnerships act coming into force on 5th December 2005, Tartan Films is celebrating the premier of the upcoming documentary Andrew and Jeremy Get Married by hosting a group commitment ceremony on Thurs 7 April 2005. If you and your partner would like to take part, log on to http://www.andrewandjeremy.com to fill out an invitation. Every couple who participates will be entered into a draw to win an all-expenses paid Civil Commitment ceremony and the honeymoon of a lifetime!
This image is from a collaborative art project, Post Secret. Like a more involved version of Grouphug.us, users paint or otherwise illustrate postcards telling a secret, then send them through the post to a central address. New images are uploaded every Sunday. Peep at other people's vulnerabilities, or confess your own.
My poor broken leg gets a mention in today's Independent: "Eamon winces at the suggestion. A recent jaunt on to the South Downs resulted in a broken leg and a helicopter rescue for his mate, and a pitch-black ramble home for him." Lucky old leg. Fame at last. *strokes leg*. Hey, added bonus of leg-break: magazines are sending cars to take me to and from interviews! Woot! Check me out. With my limp and crutches. Ooh yeah.
It's always fun to meet someone and watch their face do a confused as they realise that you in the flesh is a huge disappointment compared to your online persona: but at least I've never been dumped in favour of my online alter ego. Ouch!
There's a great film to be made about the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, USA. The Rock and Roll Camp for Girls started off as a one-off camp in the summer of 2000, but demand was such that not only did the camp return the following year, but also developed into a Girls Rock Institute offering block lessons, practice space (boys allowed if the majority of band members are female), private lessons, and worshops (such as making experimental music videos, or self-defence for females aged 10-18.) How rad is that? Perhaps I can force my friend Jule to make a documentary about it. Hormonally-charged adolescent girls, feminism, drumsticks, sparkly eye-shadow, catfights, underage skate boys... it'd be like a cross between Thirteen (because you'd have to get their totally hip riot grrl mamas in there too), Josie and the Pussycats, and School of Rock. Wow!
Now course everybody knows that the greatest insult you can give a lady who isn't, like, a size 8, is to accidentally call her pregnant. (I mean, the greatest insult while you're still trying to be nice to her - we're not talking calling her a grotacious piggy while throatraping her mother or anything.) Seems the commuters of London town agree, and are so keen to avoid the 'accidentally calling a fat woman pregnant' scenario that they've stopped offering their seats to ladies who might be pregnant altogether. So London Transport are pioneering a Baby on Board badge scheme. Now someone just needs to create a 'not pregnant, just fat' badge to avoid any further confusion, along with, ooh, 'I am drunk please wake me up before Manor House' and 'Dude, there's just no way you're going to convert us to Christianity, no matter how presentable you are, so just give it up', and we're laughing.
Hello. I'd like to introduce you to my broken leg. It's all swollen and has the most incredible purple-grey yellow and black patterning I have ever seen. Inside it is an 'intermedullary nail' and some little screws. I'd also like to introduce you to my new favourite site, MyBrokenLeg.com, packed with lots of fun 'cripple blogs' by other people with broken legs, and hints on how to cope with crutches and boredom and how to avoid passing out in awkward places when your industrial-strength codeine kicks in sooner than anticipated. It's where I'm going to be spending a lot of time from now on, hanging with people who 'get' me. People who understand. People who know what I'm going through. People who also face six weeks in sweat pants. It's going to be a whole bunch of fun. See ya!
This is just to let you know that the very nice man Julian Fox has a short piece on Radio 4 tonight (Wednesday, Feb 16) at 11pm. Julian is obsessed with Gatwick Airport - he says it's his first love - Duran Duran, and accepting his crappy job. He works on the stage door of the Barbican, and the Radio 4 thing features the sound of the doorbell at his work going off and other such distractions. I expect you would particularly enjoy this piece if you are, or have ever been, a receptionist of any kind. RECEPTION POWER.
Sure, we tried the Faces of Addiction - where a blonde lady slowly but frighteningly morphs into first Pauline Fowler and then a deathrock skull. But trust the Yanks to go one better. Their Faces of Meth are way better than any stupid skull. We’re talking pungent reddened facial sores. We’re talking skin cracks. We’re talking total facial destruction. ROCK ON.
Anyway. Sorry for lack of updates. My charming wife and myself have moved from London’s newly fashionable Dalston – it’s the new Stoke Newington, y’know (*does sick*) to the fabulously scuzzy Homerton. Homotown. Hurrah! As such internet access is severely limited, and updates to the main part of this site impossible: in fact, presumably nobody is even reading this, so *takes off clothes, does a little dance* - anyway, I scribbled a review of last week's Go! Team gig for our buddies at Playlouder, so check it out!