Friday Photo Blogging: springtime in Velcro City

I’m told that today is the first ‘official’ day of Spring; the weather here in Velcro City decided to jump the gun by a few days, because from Monday through to now, it’s been clear blue skies and fresh air – and all the more blissful for that. The sort of weather, in fact, that makes me remember that this town isn’t all bad…

Beach huts at Eastney

After all, not all city folk can cycle down to the beach in a matter of minutes. That said, I wouldn’t want to be out sunbathing like some people are at the moment. It’s not quite warm enough yet.

Stuff

Well, it’s been a few weeks since we last had an instalment of FPB, and this is going to be another truncated one. My schedule has become a lot more randomised since I went full-time freelance, partly by necessity and partly by opportunity; what this means in real terms is that I’m not always here to knock out a full post on Friday afternoon, and when I am I may not have the amount of time I’d like.

Which means that I may have to reassess my approach to posting on VCTB, and start scattering stuff out in smaller pieces instead of dumping a week of my life at a time; as much as I’d hate to see it go, I don’t know if Friday Photo Blogging can survive the transition as a regular weekly occurrence.

But that’s not too bad; I console myself with the fact that I can’t post because I’m too damned busy, which is good for me and good for you, the reader (who, one assumes, would be even more bored than usual were I to make daily posts on how I wasn’t doing anything much at all). Work to do, people and bands to see… like Japanese post-rock stalwarts Mono, for example, who are the reason I’ll be heading out of town by the time this post goes live. There’ll be a review at TDP, of course, where we’re back to daily review output once again thanks to my growing little clade of reviewers.

(Oh, and if you’ve been pining for some Album of the Week advice, then I suggest you try Pure Reason Revolution’s Amor Vincit Omnia. I can’t be sure you’ll like it (in fact, I’m not entirely sure I like it), but it’s an impressive and ambitious piece of work that updates ELP/Yes-era prog for a modern audience. Trite lyrics, but staggering vocal melodies. Go listen to Pure Reason Revolution on Last FM, because MySpace blows.)

Books and magazines seen

High time I caught up on incoming materials, as there’s quite a stack developing. Magazine-wise, we have Foundation #103 and Interzone #221, the latter coming with yet another knock-out piece of cover art:

cover art for Interzone #221

Then there’s the books. I don’t think the Pyr edition of Ian McDonald’s Cyberabad Days collection has been mentioned here yet (though mentioning it on Twitter aroused a fair amount of jealousy); I’ve already read it, and need to bash out a review some time fairly soon. But in summary: excellent, well worth your money.

Cyberabad Days - Ian McDonald

Then there’s the second novel from Chris Beckett, Marcher, which I’m greatly looking forward to reading, and there’s Bruce Sterling‘s latest, The Caryatids, which I splashed out on in hardcover and am about a third of the way through at the moment.

Marcher by Chris Beckett The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling

The added bonus was a copy of Gonzo, the oral history of Hunter S Thompson assembled by Jann Wenner and Corey Seymour.

Gonzo: the life of Hunter S Thompson

Comprising entirely of interview snippets from Thompson’s friends, family, colleagues and more, it paints a different picture of the man behind the legend. Possibly more notably, it paints a much kinder picture of Wenner than Thompson ever did in his own writing…

Coda

Well, there you go – a bit minimal for an FPB, but at least there’s something here, eh? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a gig to get ready for…

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