In which I display yet another piece of recently-acquired musical kit that I canâ€™t realistically afford and yet which I could not let pass me by. Because what aspiring rock guitarist â€” even one who knows he isnâ€™t very good and never will be â€” hasnâ€™t always wanted a valve-powered amp stack?
And yes, it is very loud. Which means that now the whole street can hear how much I suck, as opposed to just the houses to either side.
Who knows â€” maybe next week weâ€™ll have a picture of something from (gasp!) outside my flat.*
Writing about music
Itâ€™s been a hectic week in music, because the pre-festival season sees the industry knocking out lots of new material. Next week promises to be even busier â€” I have ten albums to review for 2nd June, which means my usual one-per-weekday regime would be insufficient even were I completely clear of albums released on 25th May (which Iâ€™m not, yet).
Still, in the grand scheme of things it doesnâ€™t matter too much if I review stuff in its week of release rather than before. Better that than punishing my eyes and ears by trying to do two or three reviews a day to the detriment of other stuff, AMIRITE?
Album of the week
Hail Destroyer by Cancer Bats, no contest.
Good enough, in fact, to somewhat cool my disappointment that I had my guestlist for the gig revoked at the eleventh hour last weekend (literally about an hour after I posted FPB). 🙁
Writing about books
No solid writing, but Iâ€™m reading and taking notes on David Levyâ€™s Love and Sex With Robots for a Vector review. I think Iâ€™m safe in saying that anyone widely read in sf isnâ€™t going to find his core idea as shocking as the average person might. However, itâ€™s still an interesting read (though I think I can see exactly where he’s going, and something about his writing style really bugs me beyond his heavy reliance on stats and psychology studies, both of which can be made to sing like canaries).
Fellow Fictioneer Justin Pickard has started blogging over at Futurismic this week (and how!), and the call for volunteers still stands until Sunday â€” so if you or someone you know fancies a crack at contributing to one of the genre sceneâ€™s most vibrant and cutting-edge webzines, jump to it!
Also finalised my first story contract and payment as Ed-in-Chief, which feels both weird and cool at once. Now, if I can just put some of Jeremyâ€™s ideas into action â€¦ 🙂
So, masses of work for PS Publishing. I think Iâ€™m going to be able to do it quicker in future once I know the routines, but the learning curve is significant â€” though itâ€™s not so much steep as it is long. Still, my legs could do with the exercise, to overextend the analogy.
And hey, I get to invoice Pete for it at the end of the month â€” and thatâ€™s a damn good feeling, let me tell you.
Books and magazines seen
Speaking of PS Publishing as we were, my only incomings this week have been a lovely box of titles from that esteemed establishment. And not wishing to lay it on too thick (lest I stand accused of grandstanding), anyone who has bought a PS title will back me up in saying that, as examples of books-as-desire-objects, they are very lovely indeed**.
Coda â€” the four-day weekend
Those of you who have been following closely may remember a false alert a little while ago when I thought I was getting a four-day weekend (thanks to the Dockyard being the nominal property of some old bird called Liz who lives up in London).
It turns out thatâ€™s this weekend â€” so yours truly isnâ€™t back at the day-job until midday next Wednesday. A survey of those currently present seems to suggest that this is widely considered to be a Good Thing***.
All the more so when you consider Iâ€™ve spent most of the week with my nose to the grindstone, as it were. And thatâ€™s not a complaint – itâ€™s great to have productive (and lucrative) things to do. But itâ€™ll be nice to have a little breathing room in which to play catch-up (and sit-down).
And so – as is often the way – a busy week makes for a skinny FPB Coda. What can I say here?
Oh, yes â€” the new Red Bull cola is frighteningly addictive, allegedly contains genuine coca leaf (though only as a flavouring) and makes you feel like Henry Case after he scores the engineered amphetamine analogue on Straylight. It also appears to wreck my sleep, even when consumed around lunchtime; for this reason I may have to forbid myself from drinking it any more****.
And on the tail of that earth-shattering revelation, I guess itâ€™s time to bring this to a close â€¦ after all, itâ€™s time to fulfil that most sacred of rituals and genuflect with cutlery toward the Most Venerable And Esteemed Friday Curry For Great Justice And Virtuosity. And so, I bid you farewell for now.
Have a great weekend, folks â€” however long it may turn out to be. 🙂
[ * That sound I just heard was you all collectively holding your breath, right? No, didnâ€™t think so. ]
[ ** Which, of course, will mean nothing to you freaks who don’t obsess about book-as-artefact. Selah; your blessing is also your curse. 😉 ]
[ *** Though given the acquisition of the amplifier, my neighbours may not be in complete concordance on this matter. ]
[**** This public service announcement has been brought to you by the British Dentistry Association â€” because, contrary to popular and justifiable belief, we are not sadists, and we donâ€™t enjoy fixing molars that have been ground down to bloody stumps any more than you enjoy bringing them to us. ]