A notebook impression of Berlin:
“… a place where construction, demolition and renovation are constants. Apparently this is less the case now than it was, say, a decade ago. But still, almost everywhere you go, something old is being knocked down or scrubbed up, or something new is being built.
I kind of enjoy seeing buildings in these transitional states; there’s a peculiar vulnerability and nakedness to them that makes you look anew at their finished neighbours, trying to X-ray them with the mind’s eye to discern their articulation, the way their skeletons support the skin… ”
Writing about music
Busy busy busy. For an assortment of reasons it’s just been me on scribbler duties this week, so I’ve been knocking out one review per day in between loads of other gubbins. Business as usual at The Dreaded Press, wot?
Album of the week
A last-minute bid for the crown from a band I’d never heard of before takes the prize this week; the last taboo of america by drill is a grimly political wrestling match between industrial and post-metal, and I like it very much indeed.
Writing about books
Little critical work other than notetaking this week (for all the usual reasons), though I have enjoyed reading the bulk of the latest issue of Interzone, which has some fine stories in it. And hey – now I’m no longer staff I can write reviews of it again if I want to. Hmmm…
Finally finished reading the most recent script, and am currently writing the report on it. The report already threatens to equal the script in length; maybe I’m pulling the punches a bit too much? Or not enough?
Hectic week for the old administrivia, what with reaching the end of my second quarter as a freelance with a client list. It’s still very satisfying to send out invoices… though I’d like to be able to put bigger numbers on a lot of them, naturally. Other business rolls on with nothing major or exciting to share as of the moment. We’ll keep you posted…
As mentioned before, we had a super new story at Futurismic this week and we got BoingBoing’d for it too, which is great news both in terms of temporary traffic spiking and general visibility beyond the sf blogosphere. Now I just need to work out how to pull that off every month!
Books and magazines seen
It never ceases to depress me that Orbit can sometimes mail me close to ten books in a week without sending one I’m even remotely interested in. Which isn’t a dig at their output so much as at what seems to be a very wasteful procedure. When they put me on the list I suggested adding me to the ‘science fiction only’ list… turns out there isn’t one. Selah.
So, that means the only title to plug this week is the latest edition of South poetry magazine:
Last night was the grand final of the local BOTB analogue, Showcase 2008. I’ve been judging and attending these for seven years now, and I can’t remember another final as having such a diverse line-up or good crowd vibe; no fights or hissy-fits, and all the bands were super cool to each other… Aeroplane Attack’s drummer’s other band didn’t win, but you can’t have everything. Still, nothing marks the end of summer in Velcro City for me quite so strongly; as far as my brain is concerned, we’re now battening down the mental hatches for the long cold ride through winter.
On the subject of Aeroplane Attack, it’s our first proper rehearsal on Sunday, and I’m really looking forward to it. Despite having buggered about with guitars since 1991, this will be the first time I’ve gone to a studio to practice actual original songs at full volume. How exactly we’re going to tote our arsenal of amps, drums and obscure stomp boxes uptown remains to be confirmed, but we’ll find a way. The power of rock compels us.
It’s also the first time in ages that there’s no major gig on the horizon for the next week, though I expect some local shindig will crop up and demand attendance. Last weekend’s This Ain’t No Picnic festival was a great laugh, though, and comes highly recommended. We have a nebulous plan to blag our way onto the bill next year… 🙂
And here’s a shocking bit of news for you all – this will be the first Friday night at home in hell knows how long that I won’t be partaking in The Friday Curry. So if the Earth spins off its axis as Sarah Palin ushers in the second coming of Jeebus later this evening, we’ll know that I was doing something important… but this month is all about seeing where I can save money.
But hey, the weekend is the weekend, and while there’s work to do there’s also people to hang out with and fun to be had. So I’d best get the task list polished off, hadn’t I? Have a good weekend yourselves – auf weidersehn!
[ 1 – I know, I know, it’s flown by. It’s quite scary actually. ]
[ 2 – After all, it’s my taste that causes the problem. A hundred thousand Laurell k Hamilton fans can’t be wrong, right? ]
[ 3 – You owe it to yourself to check out Polysics, a band from Tokyo who come across like some high-energy acid-drenched hard-rock version of Devo. Their cover of “My Sharona” has to be heard to be believed. ]
[ 4 – Not to mention hopefully slow (if not halt) my alarming rush into the territory of Porky-bastardville; I really have to accept I can’t just eat crap every week and expect to still shoehorn myself into 32″ jeans without restricting my breathing. ]