Friday Photo Blogging: psychedelic percussion

The lighting at the super little Brighton venue The Freebutt isn’t very conducive to photography of bands in action.

Well, it would be more truthful to say that the combination of my low-end equipment and beginner shutterbug skills weren’t up to the task of capturing Dead Meadow performing without using the Auto Mode.

Oil-wheel kick drum

But unmoving objects are easier to deal with, and Dead Meadow’s silver-finished Ludwig drumkit (with psychedelic oilwheel projections on the kick skin) made a rather charming subject, if I do say so myself. I really must get around to buying a faster lens, though.

Writing about music

As seen above, I had the Dead Meadow show to write about, which also featured local psych-out heroes (and lovely chaps) You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons.

All in all, a great gig and night out with friends, and The Freebutt is now on my list of fantastically non-corporate venues that I wish were on the end of my street.

Writing about books

I’m still wrestling with the Wolfe; I got to a stage where it felt like I was reading fifty pages and fining myself closer to the front than I had been before, but I’m now into the last quarter.

It’s not that it’s bad, it’s that it’s colossal – and I’ve not had many chances to just sit down and blitz the bugger. I will defeat it this weekend, one way or the other**.


Everything seems to be ticking over fairly well at Futurismic at the moment; last time I checked we’d had 2000 click-throughs on “Uxo, Bomb Dog”, and I expect there’ll be more in a long tail (arf!) to come.

Next Monday sees the return of our non-fiction columns, or at least the first of them; I’ll keep you posted.


Well, the cat’s out of the bag now, isn’t it? 😀

Editing ILLUMINATIONS in a tiny timeframe was one hell of a task, but strangely exhilarating – not to mention further proof that I tend to perform at my best (or at least at my most focused) when under pressure.

There was very little corrective editing to be done – except a few massages and tweaks of punctuation – as we decided to leave the stories essentially the same as they had been when first published on our respective sites.

However, getting everything into the same format and typographical layout was quite a mission for someone who’d never had to do such a thing before. And then there was the real challenge – deciding on the order for the stories.

We decided to go with a sort-of thematic ordering rather than the obvious chronological alternative (or the clunky grouped-by-author option), which mean yours truly had to read them all through, tag them with themes and tropes, and attempt to assemble them into a sequence that made sense.

I can now reveal to the world the incredibly high-tech manner in which I handled this process:


Yup. Whole lotta index cards.

Anyway, as this didn’t happen this week, I shouldn’t be talking about it in FPB, should I? I’ve just been itching to waffle on about it, though, and it’s hard to stop now that I actually can. Eastercon attendees, beware! 🙂

Books and magazines seen

Thanks to the charming and erudite John Joseph Adams, I’m now receiving books from Night Shade Books – these made up part of my bumper post day from earlier in the week.

There are two of Liz Williams’ “Inspector Chen” novels, which I sincerely hope to make time for; Liz Williams being one of those authors who I was utterly uninterested in until I heard her talk about her work, and in whom I become more interested with each successive encounter***.

The other Night Shade title is the lushly-jacketed Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams:

Walter Jon Williams' Implied Spaces cover

“A novel of the singularity”, according to the front cover. So many intriguing books, so little time – I demand my Modafinil, damn you!

Also in the postbox this very morning was Interzone #215, featuring my reviewing team’s round-up of 2007 (ooooh, the controversy), as well as fiction from Greg Egan and personal favourite Rudy Rucker. Not to mention the big bug-critter on the front:

Interzone 215 cover


Bloody hell, this year’s flying past. This time next week, I’ll be at Heathrow for Eastercon … in fact, only two more days of work and a career development course in London to go before my long weekend starts. Just goes to show that keeping busy seems to be the best cure for mopiness and general winter blues, at least in my case.

Easter is turning into one of those nexus points in life, actually; the con makes it a landmark point in my fandom social calendar, of course, but this year there’s been the additional crescendo of putting together ILLUMINATIONS with the same target date, and this week my boss at the day job departs for maternity leave.

I’m slightly amazed I’ve survived, to be honest; there was a point about a month back that I seriously thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew and would end up paying the price. But here I am, still sane and still working. That said, I think I now know where my limits lie.

And speaking of limits, this seems like a good place to define one for this week’s FPB. It’s high time for a cold refreshing pint of lager while I wait for The Friday Curry Of Reward … which will be all the more solemn an occasion due to having to suspend the tradition for Eastercon next week …

… unless anyone can recommend a good curry house in Heathrow and has no other plans for the Friday evening, that is? 🙂

Anyway, enough blather. Have a good weekend, folks. Hasta luego.

[ * Auto Mode gets the job done, but results in photographs which [unsurprisingly] look as if their subject has just had a very bright light go off in front of them, which isn’t ideal. It annoys the performers too, natch. ]

[ ** I’m serious this time; I’m gonna nail that sucker. ]

[ *** In other words, I suspect she may be able to write fantasy that doesn’t make me want to break things, and I really should give her the opportunity to prove me right. She was interesting at Eastercon last year, and at Picocon the other week. ]

5 thoughts on “Friday Photo Blogging: psychedelic percussion”

  1. Good curry house in Heathrow? Well when I was a student in West Drayton, the Palace Tandoori was as fine a curry house as could be found in West London – I was thinking of checking out the old stomping ground at some point over the weekend.

  2. The Inspector Chen novels are great fun! Most of her other stuff is definitely sf not fantasy – and I recommend it highly.

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