Suffice to say they’re far better musicians than I am a photographer. The demands of shooting live music are many, and I’m still fumbling around at the bottom of the learning curve. I have, at least, discovered that an excess of red stage lighting is best dealt with by taking shots in black and white … which is quite apropos for iLiKETRAiNS, although given their propensity for writing songs about historical characters and events, sepia-tint would probably be even better.
Added bonus plant blogging! – after waking up grumpy on Monday morning, I decided some retail therapy was in order. When I do retail therapy, I don’t go and buy shoes or clothes (two activities which, far from cheering me up, tend to stress me out even more). Oh, no. I buy plants. So here are the new additions to my extensive cactus orchard:
I love cacti (Freudian analysts, don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out, please). They come in so many different forms, and they’re such an elegant solution to the environment in which they evolved. The hairy one is just brilliant. I mean, what the hell is it hairy for? Some sort of moisture retention, I assume. Research is required …
Stuff I’ve been doing – mostly music related
Well, you already know what I was doing last night, namely interviewing and reviewing iLiKETRAiNS (lovely bunch of well-spoken young blokes, and they make astonishingly good music). Go check them out on MySpace. It was a great night out; the Joiners is a superb venue if you’re a fan of the more obscure bands, because it’s just the right size to give a really intimate feel to the shows.
That said, it’s a bit too intimate when the shows are sell-outs, but last night there was a merciful abundance of elbow-rooom – probably not such good news for the bands themselves, but much easier on the audience.
The support act, Lisa Lindley-Jones (beware: Flash-based website), was quite something as well, a sort of post-folk singer-songstress, delicate voice and clever songs. I’ll link to the review and interview in a daily link-dump once they go live (should be within a few weeks).
This was a two-gig week; Wednesday saw me down at The Wedgewood Rooms for the long-awaited return of local heroes Little London, back with a new line-up and some new songs. If you like your rock and roll fast, sweaty and drenched in whisky, you should give them a listen – though in the spirit of transparency that I maintain here at VCTB, I should make the point that I know the band members quite well, and Dev the frontman has been a friend for a number of years.
But hey, I know enough about music to see past my personal biases. I’d like Little London even if they weren’t my friends. Maybe you will too – why not give them a listen? Friday night music at its best, I assure you. Play it loud.
Apart from some snarky product blurbs for the website of Dress Code, a local alternative clothing store, this week’s writing has been almost entirely music related. The highlight was delivering my review of the forthcoming Oceansize album, Frames … though it was tricky to write. I find the same applies to book reviews – the ones you like best are the hardest to review, because the burden of justifying your subjective enthusiasm is that much heavier. Still, I can think of worse chores!
And just to cap off with the most rock and roll thing of all – I filed my first ever tax return! Go me! (Though this would be significantly more impressive had I actually had any freelance business figures to put in it … next year promises to be far more, er, entertaining.)
Books and magazines seen
It turns out my last copy of Locus wasn’t my last copy of Locus after all, but I’m assuming the one that arrived this week (September 2007) definitely is.
A bunch of stuff turned up from Orbit, most of which looks to be not my cup of tea (Laurell K Hamilton, NO-thank-you-very-much), but Jeff Somers’ Electric Church has been getting some good reviews, and has an interesting sounding premise, so that’s been added to the “provisionally-to-be-read-when-some-time-appears-out-of-nowhere-maybe” pile. Good bold cover art, also; reminds me of the Sin City graphic novel covers:
Another week drives through Velcro City at a breakneck pace – I can say with certainty that I rarely have the time to be bored these days, and that can only be a good thing. And here comes the weekend – which, having been making the effort to work hard during the week, shouldn’t demand too much writing time from me.
Of course, that said, the reviews for the next issue of Interzone are starting to trickle in, and I have a few applications from would-be bloggers for Futurismic to read through … ah, well, it’s all good. Keeps me off the streets and out of trouble!
So, time for The Friday Curry Of Legendary Justice. I hope you all have a good weekend; adios!