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2011
Gigs of special: Pulp (lots), Wild Beasts, Slow Club, Summer Camp, Neneh Cherry, Bellowhead, Jon Boden, She Keeps Bees, Aidan Moffat, John Cooper Clarke (15 surprise minutes), Belle and Sebastian, Tuung, Eddi Reader, Suzanne Vega.

Gogglebox addictions (some fleeting.  Honest)  Doctor Who, Greek, Spiral, Being Erica, The Good Wife, Archer, Castle, Fresh Meat, Campus, Nurse Jackie.

Author, author: Sarah Dunant, Margaret Mahy, Margo Lanagan, Stella Duffy.  And always and forever, Pterry.

Theatre dahling: Much Ado about Nothing, Private Lives, Oddsocks.  Hmm, bit rubbish this year. 

Festies: Locals plus, Green Man, Wireless Pulp, Glastonbury, Primavera.  Constellations

Obsession of the year thus far: Abbeydale

Film: bobbins year

 2012

Gigs of special: Pulp - Royal Albert,  Slow Club - Sheffield Homecoming in a social club with Francois and the Atlas - love, Magnetic Fields (at last!), Blood Red Shoes

Gogglebox addictions (ahem)  Justified, The Good Wife, Scott & Bailey, Archer and TVD.  Buffy rewatch seasons 5(of Death) and 6 (of sex, drugs  addiction and rock'n'roll), Treme

Author, author: Accountancy test books :( and Elmore Leonard. And Margo Lanagan - she stops my breath.

Theatre dahling: Even more rubbish this year.  Comedy of Errors, 13.  Oddsocks will obv happen eta - glorious tagline: Rome's creaking coalition is under strain as the nation's sporting games is held to honour Emperor Caesar Will the games be an expensive disaster? Will the liberal Senators succeed with their infamous assassination?  Will Caesar's stinking plebs be revolting?   Find out this summer with Oddsocks "Julius Caesar".

Festies: Truncated summer will see No Direction Home, Tramlines and Green Man.

Obsession of the year thus far: Many and various procrastination-bait.  Exams, please may I pass you so I never see again KThanxBye

Film: better year.  Yay - The Artist, Hunger, the 4 M girls, the April of Joss: Cabin in the Woods & Avengers, Two Days in New York
OK - Hunger Games, Mirror Mirror, One for the Money, Fast Girls


2016
Books: Among Us Jo Walton, more Margo Lanagan, everything by Kate Elliott

TV: The Out-laws, Crashing, Happy Valley

Theatre:

Festivals: Bearded Theory, Glastonbury, Tramlines, Green Man

2017

Jan. 7th, 2017 08:46 am
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Thank god the Devil's Pinnumber is over. To celebrate I have belatedly joined the LJ exodus to Dreamwidth. And also writing my first post in 3 years. There may even be some political ranting in future, but for now I'll start with the review of last year's music, theatre, books and telly. In the next post that is.
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I interrupt this summer of exam hiatus and TVD-centred procrastination to actually make a post.

Wow - isn't LJ a self-sabotaged shadow of its former self.  I'm obviously out of the loop.  Is Dreamwidth now the lively heart of fandom, or was that one fracture too many?

As for me, my trend of micro-obsessions continues, straddled as ever between stuff that more people MUST know about NOW and Guilty (Self-Loathing?) Pleasures.

In the former camp - No Direction Home was a perfectly formed baby of a new fest, even more pleasing for being on my doorstep.  Richard Hawley, Euros Childs and Django Django all sparkled.  Cold Specks, Wave Pictures and The Pyramids were smashing new discoveries. And I met the Lost Picture Show for my second time and fell even further in love with in its crimson plushness and mind-boggling programme.  Seriously, I don't know how festies existed without it. 

Two Day in New York is the first film that's made me hurt with laughter since Four Lions.  Joss Whedon storming into the mainstream also made me happy.  I just wanna squidge his chubby cheeks with joyous pleasedness, which is a very specific form of pleasure.

Treme reminded me that I need to go back to NOLA, and birthday plans flowered organically from there.  Gobbled up all three seasons of Justified, which when it was good was all of the time and when it was season 2 it was searing.  Talking of excellent season 2s, Episodes has been brilliant.  And I couldn't get past 2 episodes in the first season.  And The Good Wife sustained great characterisation over another 22 episodes.

But what has been sucking up my waking hours and diverting my processing power away from qualifications?  Bloody Vampire Diaries.  Argh.  I have so much rubbish to spew about this programme, just in an effort to force it out of my head.  I'll try for the short version.  It's my latest Sunset Beach.  I've been enticed by the pretty wise-cracking anti-hero and the frankly tumultuous fandom into a little bit of crazy.  Despite the absolute rational awareness that this is a show that celebrates a messed up teenage girl falling for two paedophile serial-killing cannibals in a town that's convinced the Confederates won. And the writing is so on the nose it pretty much shrieks that nuance is nuisance and we won't be having any of that round here.  So why am I formulating multiple season 4 scenarios and sucking up episode reactions and fanfic like there's no tomorrow?

My terribly weak thesis is that it's The X-Files all over again.  The performances and scenarios are so vivid that rather than abandon it, its fans are driven into a creative frenzy to build webs over the holes and cracks with meta debate and fanfic.  And they run the gamut from batshit crazies to academic theory application, from defensiveness to insight.  It's just such a carnival.





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I enjoyed re-reading The Changeover so much this morning that I am racking my brains for friends with teenage children to buy a copy for.  Cos they're not getting my ex-library first edition.  Isn't it lovely when books that made an impact on you way back when still hold up.

So much so, that  decided to find out if Margaret Mahy ever travels abroad to sign stuff and receive adulation.  But the answer is no.  Mind you, she did nip off to Japan when she beat Philip Pullman to the Han Christian Anderson award in 2006.  Which rocks in every way.
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Unbelievably, that was my first ever protest since I reached voting age.  And what a way for start.  Babes in arms and children with whistles, firemenandwomen and barristers, librarians and nurses, accountants and drummers marching, wheelchairing and in one case, even tanking for 4, 5 hours through the corridors of power of the capital.  Many first-timers, not really knowing how to chant, but knowing they had something to chant for. 

When you look around at any time, and find at least one banner to disagree with, then you realise that a true cross-section of the population is here, to be heard, adversaries allied against a government who has declared war on communities, while having the audacity to try to co-opt the phrase "Big Society" to mean Victorian values:- namely wealth is equated to virtue, and everyone else is irrelevant fodder.

It gave me a bubble of hope, to balance feeling of impotent terror that has built from the moment Condomhead first stepped into office.  I want to be wrong about my pessimism, and I've found a shard of resolve that I will try my hardest personally, because every person can, and does make a difference.  The business adage that no-one is irreplacable, is exactly, 100% wrong.  Everyone is irreplacable.  And communal assets that make us the country we are,  such as libraries, drama, Citizens Advice and the NHS took decades to build, but will only take a few months to destroy.
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Was absolutely gorgeous this morning.  Stood in a hoar-frosted garden looking at the twinkle in a crystal clear sky as the the sun rose like a fire on the horizon.
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In the sort-of style of some of Josie's characters but not Josie herself cos I don't really know her. Right? Fanks.

So I glanced at Fence last night and Pictish was supporting Josie Long in Nottingham the next night (tonight.  Now last night).  Got it? Right!

So It had to be done so after waking up at 6 (damn cat) and reading til 1 (good book) and then watching Before Sunrise AND Sunset (cos that.  Right there.  Best romance flick/s evah. I said EVAH.  Oy you.  Wanna have it?  Wanna 'ave it?  Cos I can take you.  Down.

So laziest sunday ever as the snow melts then onto a bus and they have ten tickets left.  Get in! Fanks.  And Josie is not just drawing picshurs ( altho she had some and they were good and that.  Fanks)  but proper ranty angry.  And feminist and socialist and everfing.  It was brilliant and still silly funny which is the best type of funny.  Right?  Fanks.

And little Johnny Pictish, with fuzzy new beard and full-on Highland and Isles jumper unsuccessfully disguising what a genius polymath he is.  He is.  Organised Away Game 2010 - best festival there will ever be!  Evah!  Plus playing every summer festival as Silver Columns and 41 - count 'em folks -dates on Josie's tour as Pictish Trail.  Absolutely shagged out genius, I'll give you, but aren't they the best kind.  Fanks.  And this is the last one.  But I didn't stay for the aftershow because it's a Sunday night right, and school tomorrow and only just caught the last bus home.  But they would totally have wanted a random stranger/stalker to have a totally banging party wiv.  Alright?  ALRIGHT?  Fanks.
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Hello.  Still alive.  well, at least about to resume life after exams finish nxt Thursday.  Will celebrate with wine-tasting that evening, Bellowhead the next day and a surprise birthday party (not mine) the next night.  Am considering sidling into London=town for Marc Almond on the 2nd.  If I can wangle work.

And bouncing like a boing Sproing thing about Pulp.  Much much Pulp.  2011 - shaping up to also be awesome.  Except for the exams, o course
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Spent 6 straight hours sat in a pub doing accounting coursework with the aid of a single half pint.  After a reward of a stronger half pint,  came home, uprooting the somewhat blighted tomato plant and now have my first attempt at green tomato soup bubbling on the hearth. As quiet yet bizarre Sundays go...
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Eigg.  Eigg.  Glorious Eigg.  Marvellous Fence.   Pirate ships and sunshine for my first ever trip to the Hebrides, to dance, and sing and drink and talk nonsense round bonfires of wagon wheels and stages under evergreens and on the singing sands.  A festival deserving of run-on sentences and lifelong love for the DIY scene in general and Fence in particular.  Is it possible to be in love with 300 people at the same time? And Sweet Baboon and Slow Club and BSP and Malcolm and Johnny and Kenny and Daimh and Kid Canaveral and Meursault and Rozi and Withered Hand and Found and and and
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In London on Friday?  I'm not :(

But if you are - free mini-festival.  In a mobile library:
http://www.fencerecords.com/news/roam-london-presents-a-fence-friday-picnic/

How awesome?  None more awesome.  If you can go, go, go and make me jealous
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Mmmm Glastonbury.  Yay, 6Music.  Now for a Year 11 Disco in Brighton.

Mwah ha ha
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The forecast is shiny, the bands alluring tinyurl.com/36d5z9u , the golden syrup for flapjacks is straining at the bag to get out.

One more sleep, but I don't know how I'll manage to.  Maybe I should pack.  Can I just be there already. Why am I going to work tomorrow?  Idiot.

Stone Circle (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
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Oh gosh jolly foxy moxy.  I am actually going to this: www.fencerecords.com/news/fence-records-presents-the-away-game/

Oh oh oh.  I really am trembling as I write this.  Can't believe it.  Discovered the Fence Collective at Green Man last year but have always loved the Glasgow Scene.  Missed out on the Home Game this year because I didn't find out about it until Feb, but some intangible thing (guardian angel) inspired me yesterday to find out some details so I didn't miss the next one.  And curled up waiting for me was the news that tickets for this even more amazing event would sell tickets today.  One call to my most trusted internet wiz later, and at the magic hour of noon, while I was squirming in first aid training, he scored me tickets in the 7 minutes they took to sell out.

No idea who I'm going with or how I'm getting there.  I've never been to The Highlands.  What an awesome adventure.

Now I'm going to go and pinch myself.  Lots.  Hard.  And squeee like I've never squeed before.
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The best kept secret of English graduates is that Jacobean plays are cracktastic. Never knowingly passing up an opportunity for incest, adultery and corruption, the playwriters take lascivious delight in whipping it all up with rapier wit from its cast of unremitting bastards of both genders to a murderous and often gory crescendo. 

Marianne Elliot's whirling production at the National is a tenner if you pre-book.  Run.. it's stone cold brilliance.

Must turn off interweb and revise.
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When I saw this Guardian article I was delighted.  www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/03/racist-question-brown-answer-curious  It wasn't just me!  In fact Ariane was much kinder than me, for stating she didn't believe it was racist.  But the 1400+ comment debate that followed largely featured defensive derailing, belittling and accusations of oversensitivity.  And to a person, these defensive harangers chose to distract from the fact that she was not  complaining about the first question, only the follow-up question(s).  Featuring the word "really. "

In a nutshell, when a complete stranger asks  "where are you from?" - this is not an insult of any sort.  And I cheerfully offer up my home town.

If they follow it up with - "but where are you really from" - that person is both insulting me and outing themselves as ignorant.  And I do not tolerate ignorance but I won't rise to the bait of insults.

Because the key word is "really", although "no" and "but" can be added as fun intensifiers.  It  means a complete stranger is accusing you of lying, and denying you the right to self-identify, and asserting their entitlement to extra information to reinforce their prejudices. 

My evolved response is to tell them my birthtown, and to end on a question "how about you?".  I nod and smile at their answer and then turn away, walk off, or never return to their place of business.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that overt racism is no longer socially tolerated, so that bigotry has to invest in the joys of plausible deniability.  But it's still alienating and distressing.

Slow Club

Feb. 6th, 2010 08:36 am
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What to say about Slow Club. Amazingly it's 3 years when I saw them for the first time in the Rescue Rooms blowing The Hours off the stage with their fun and mesmerising slot. They had also scattered the club with hand-made adverts for their own gig a week later at the Social, so I went straight out and got tickets. Since then, they have gone from an amazing tiny band to an act that get played on Scrubs. They fizz with joyful, not-quite-twee sounding melodies with razorblade lyrics nestling inside. Sherbert and arsenic, my favourite cocktail.

And now they've got a single UK gig this side of summer being hailed as HMV's Next Big Thing. Corporate-tagging aside, this Garage gig is going to be amazing. I just found out about it yesterday, as a speshul birthday surprise. And it's a tenner. Come see, with me. Before it sells out! P.S. I have one spare ticket, bought on a just in case basis.

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/user/?query=search&INTERFACE=ticketweb&category=misc®ion=gb_london&search=slow+club&beginmonth=02&beginday=9&beginyear=2010
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at the Pembury, playing board games.
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Young man, there's no need to feel circelily.

Which song was this lyric from?

Get your own lyrics:
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