If you think London’s graffiti is ubiquitous, then you’ve probably never been to Berlin – or indeed Germany in general.
In addition to the visual noise of tags and scribblings, punctuated by everything from swift throw-ups to full-blown burner pieces, there’s a strong current of stencil and poster graffiti, all resonating with Berlin’s understandably unique take on politics and ideology:
“No revolution today”… There was a lengthy spraycan scrawl elsewhere (that I forgot to take a picture of) which read “run – the old world is right behind you”. *sigh*
Writing about music
The Dreaded Press rolls on neatly, with Duncan well settled and a few new writers in the pipeline. Unfortunately I have eleven CDs with a release date of 6th October waiting in the pile; with the best will in the world, they’re not all going to be reviewed before release date. I do wish the labels wouldn’t cluster releases like that. Bloody inconsiderate of them.
Album of the week
With absolutely no hesitation at all, the thirteen-minute seven-track fun-splurge of Think by Lovvers gets the crown this week. A joyous crazy racket; this is what the word pop should really refer to. They’re playing with a friend’s band in a local pub next week…
Writing about books
Last week’s head-cold (now mostly shifted, thankfully) put me on the back foot schedule-wise, so little concrete book reviewing work was accomplished. Plus I’ve been trying my best to rattle my way though my current script-review assignment… which is, to be diplomatic, a tough and slow read.
Mostly administrivia and final bits of catch-up this week, although Tuesday evening was totally consumed by the server migration of a couple of client sites. Or, more accurately, one of them…
A bit of advice for you, if you ever have to migrate a MySQL database for a PHPbb installation, be sure to backup the data *without* including the search result tables, and to install a search table re-builder plugin as soon as you get the files moved. That little tip should save you about three hours of trial and error (and panic)… I’d provide links, but the software version in question is quite dated; just search the PHPbb community docs, they’re pretty comprehensive.
All seems pretty well over at Futurismic, though it’s getting very close to the next new fiction date and we still don’t have a definite story to run with next month. Chris (F’mic Fiction Ed) is being more picky these days – by his own admission, and rightly so – but that means we don’t have a pile of pre-bought material ready to roll out at the moment. It’ll all work out, I’m sure… but I can’t help getting a little nervous.
Some of you may remember me joining a band a while back; those of you who remember and are curious about what’s happening in that department may be intrigued to hear we’ve booked our first session in a proper rehearsal space, which we’re considering a first landmark on the route to gigworthiness. Really looking forward to being able to crank out the songs at high decibel levels… because that’s how they’re supposed to be played. 🙂
Books and magazines seen
No books of note this week; however, one of the Little Brown subsidiaries sent out a huge showy package for what, to judge by the blurb, is the opener to yet another YA horror series. Talk about an anticlimax…
However, the latest Interzone turned up, with what is probably my favourite cover art of recent times:
Plus it’s a Chris Beckett special. If you don’t know why that’s a good thing, I recommend you buy this copy of Interzone and find out. Beckett is one of my favourite British short sf writers, and I’m not alone in that assessment; his work deserves your attention.
So, yeah, remember how I said last week that I’d be going to gigs less in future? Well, changing my life is like pulling a U-turn in an oil tanker – there’s a lot of planning involved, current momentum has to be taken into account, and the changes take a long time to express themselves in a tangible manner.
Which is why tonight I’ll be reviewing Swedish punk stalwarts Millencolin at The Wedgewood Rooms, and why I’ll be hopping on a on train Saturday morning to King’s College, London to attend this weekend’s This Ain’t No Picnic mini-festival… because they’ve both been booked for ages, basically.
And looking ahead at the next few months, there’s a fair few more such advanced bookings in the pipeline, too. So maybe I’d best stop saying “yes” every time news of a tempting show passes through, hmmm?
Anyway, a weekend away means I have stuff that needs to be done before I depart, so I’d best get my arse in gear and go fetch The Friday Curry, hadn’t I? Have yourselves the best weekend mathematically possible, and try not to watch the news – no point in getting depressed about stuff we can’t do anything to change, after all. Take care, folks – auf weidersehn!
[ 1 – On the Deutsche Bahn train network, the approach seems to be “leave it there, it’ll just come back if you paint it over, so why waste time and money?”, a stark contrast to the UK attitude of fastidiously covering over these terrible social blasphemies on a monthly basis. Funnily enough, the trains in Germany are affordable, comfortable and run on time. I can’t help but feel there’s a connection between these things. ]
[ 2 – Seriously. It makes you wonder whether these people have actually read any books at all. The upside being that it makes one a lot more confident about one’s own fictional chops, so to speak. ]
[ 3 – The search tables will have lots of non UTF-8 characters in them, which a MySQL import will hang up on. Added bonus – removing them will probably reduce the overall database size to 25% of what it was with them included. ]
[ 4 – Playing loud isn’t very practical when you practice in the front room of a small terraced house in Fratton. Plus we couldn’t fit all of our amps in there and have room to switch them on. ]
[ 5 – Added bonus – Good buddy Shaun C Green is going too! w00t! ]
[ 6 – Like that’s gonna happen. ]