Tag Archives: Friday

Friday Photo Blogging: Welcome to The North

This is the view I can see through the window just beyond my monitor in my new office (albeit taken from the far side of the glass, stood out on the cold back step while smoking a cigarette in the sharp chill of dusk):

welcome-to-the-north

So, yeah – I’ve moved. 🙂

I’m afraid this won’t be a full-blown FPB of the old school, because there’s still a whole raft of stuff for me to do – not only with setting up housekeeping (and officekeeping) here in Stockport, but with catching up on my freelance work as well. And then there’s the other blogs: Futurismic has, of necessity, been quiet all week; likewise The Dreaded Press.

So much to do, so much to do… and Xmas is bearing down on us like an office Romeo on the drunk secretary at the annual piss-up, so time is not exactly going to be plentiful. Well, OK, that’s not strictly true: I’ve enough time to do my work, and some time to spend with my lady and our respective families, and with our friends. My personal blog? Not quite so much… but then I’m guessing most of you are pretty busy at this time of year, too, and I hope you’ll overlook any slackness on my part. 🙂

But as a hint of things to come, here’s a “books received” entry: after seeing it mentioned at Chairman Bruce’s Beyond the Beyond, I just had to seek out a copy of Technomad by Graham St John:

Technomad - Graham St John

Basically it’s a cultural history of post-rave movements across the planet. Some of you may not know I spent a fair period as a DJ, clubber and small-time promoter on the dance music scene between 1994 and 2003; the countercultural philosophies (and fallacies) that inform that world still intrigue me hugely today. Should be a good read, I’m thinking.

But my good lady is about to return from Ikea with two large bookcases to assemble, so I’d better sign off. Have a great weekend, ladies and gents. 🙂

Friday Photo Blogging: my other echo pedal is also a Memory Man

One of the joys of being in a band that actually plays shows is that it’s a lot easier to convince yourself to spend money on new musical toys as a result. So when I was PayPal’d some cash for a big bunch of books I recently sold off, I was on eBay within five minutes purchasing this little doozy:

Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai

I already own the other Memory Man (the original Deluxe) as well; it’s true analogue, so sounds more lush, but the Hazarai here has all the handy crazy extras: tap-tempo, sweepable filters, loop recording and overdubbing, reverse delay… it’s like Pink Floyd’s entire career crammed into one small box.

Now all I have to do is learn how to use it. What a chore… 🙂


I had a bunch more stuff typed out at this point (though admittedly less than in the FPBs of old), but it appears that WordPress has decided to eat it all without storing the automatic drafts-in-progress it usually does. And I’m afraid I can’t be bothered to spend another half hour retyping it all, so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that I’m still busy and that pretty much everything is going about as well as I could expect or hope for.

Though I will just say this: go read the latest Futurismic story, “Homeostasis” by Carlos Hernandez, because it’s a good story with a zero-schmaltz happy ending, and the twenty minutes it’ll take you will be repaid by putting a smile on your face. Once that’s done, you can head off and have a good weekend; that’s certainly my intention. Hasta luego!

Friday Fleeting Visit

Just poking my head around the metaphorical door, here. As mentioned last week, I’ve a hectic few days on my hands:

So you’ll excuse me for not waffling rubbish here this week, yeah? Cool.

Oh, but before I go: China Mieville’s The City & The City? Awesome book, really enjoyed it. Go read.

Have a good weekend!

Friday Photo Blogging: second on the bill

This time next week, I’ll no doubt be sound-checking in preparation for this:

Second on the bill

Yup, Aeroplane Attack‘s first appearance at The Wedgewood Rooms, a former place of employment for three members of the band and the premier live music venue in Velcro City. And it’s a free gig on a Friday night – so if you’ve got no plans, head on down! Promises to be a night of goud loud tuneage, and I’m really looking forward to it… especially as I’ve borrowed a new echo box and am itching to deploy it over a large PA.

So, likely no FPB next week, much like last week (although my excuse last week was a train journey up to Manchester). It’s all go in my universe, as I do keep mentioning… so I’d best get on with it, eh?

Album of the week

Actually from last week, but easily good enough to carry over… it is, of course, The Eternal by Sonic Youth. If you’re a Sonic Youth fan already, you’ll be wanting to pick this up. If you’re not yet a fan, it’s accessible enough to be a good contemporary introduction to an utterly original band who’ve been gigging and recording almost as long as I’ve been alive. Go listen to ’em.

Stuff

Yeah, look at me compressing a number of sections into one. Such is the manner of my life at the moment, and – during the scant seconds I get to sit and consider it – I’m quite enjoying it that way, thank you very much!

No review writing has been committed for a while, but I’ve been getting a decent amount of reading packed into the schedule; currently about a third of the way through China Mieville’s The City & The City, which is a good story whose premise is handled with subtlety, though I’m finding the narrative voice a bit odd at times – often enough, in fact, that I may shift to reading the published version rather than the ARC in case what I’m seeing is a pre-copyedit state.

Still plenty on my freelance plate, though the light is visible at the end of a few tunnels (even as another seems to stretch itself out further). Futurismic is rolling along nicely; we got linked to at MetaFilter the other day, and while it didn’t bring an avalanche of traffic I’m really chuffed to see us there, because I’ve been following the MeFi feed for almost as long as I’ve had an internet presence – and hence appearing there is a little like getting to have a drink in the Cheers bar would be for television fans of a certain age.

Wireless by Charles StrossWhat else has been happening? Well, adventures Northward, band practices and meetings (and plain old hang-outs), live shows (like the mighty Clutch), hunting down cardboard boxes so as to ship seventy-odd kilos (SRSLY) of unwanted books to a buyer… from the sublime to the mundane, it’s all go, basically.

So there’s just time to trumpet happily about the arrival of Charlie Stross‘s new short fiction collection, Wireless, which arrived in the mail this week (and will be shouldering its way up the TBR array in the days to come).

Lovely!

Now, I’ve got stuff to be doing, so I’ll bid you all a good weekend. Take care!

Friday Photo Blogging: Hotrod Moggy

It’s not quite a Little Red Corvette, but I’m a sucker for old British cars from the bottom end of the scale – and the Morris Minor is a classic example. You don’t see many of ’em any more, let alone ones that have been modded up in a hotrod style:

Hotrod Morris Minor

Photography output has suffered from technical difficulties of late; for some reason my proper camera’s memory card refuses to mount on my computer, and the camera on my phone keeps telling me that “zoom is not available in this mode” – no matter which mode it’s in. Something to fix when I get a moment… which may not be for a little while, given the current state of my schedule. Which is why this’ll be a brief FPB, too!


Album of the week

I can be unequivocal with this week’s recommendation: you need to go and listen to the music of one Willem Maker. His new album New Moon Hand is quite simply amazing; as I put it in my review for Outshine:

Non-ironic roots Americana blues from a gravel-throated angel; the most beautiful and soulful record I’ve heard so far this year. Buy it.

Seriously.

Writing about books

Oh, don’t make me laugh! I’ve got no pending review commissions at the moment, so I’ve been dipping into my growing pile of read-for-pleasure titles, including a fair few from my lovely clients at PS Publishing. I keep meaning to do some Reading Journal stuff about ’em, but priorities are – by necessity – currently focussed elsewhere.

Freelance

This is a crunch month – two small projects to complete, and a developmental section of another to wrap up. Which – combined with all the other more regular tasks I have to do on a daily basis and my desire to take next weekend off for a trip up North – means I’m working twelve hour days at the moment. It’s tough, but it’s good. It’s also a reminder to my future self that scheduling is an integral part of this freelance gig. One that I really need to get better at… :-S

Futurismic

It’s been a busy week over at Futurismic, as is often the case at the start of a new month. Karen M Roberts’ “Awakening in Six Parts” went up on Monday, and I strongly suggest you read it – it’s a great story, and something quite different to what we’ve published before. It stuck with me for days after the first time I read it, and that’s got to be a sign of a strong story. Go see what you think, leave a comment.

New columnist Brenda Cooper has kicked off a good discussion with her debut column on artificial intelligence, as well. I love running Futurismic when we get some good comment traffic; it’s a joy to see people engaging with what we publish. 🙂

Books and magazines seen

Powers: Secret Histories - John Berlyne (ed.)None to speak of; been a quiet few weeks again, with the exception of a PS care package that included a copy of the trade edition of Powers: Secret Histories.

I quite deliberately hold off talking up PS books here at VCTB – not because I don’t think they’re good, but because I don’t think it’s appropriate given that it’s my job to do it elsewhere – I’m no shill. But I have to mention that Secret Histories really is a book of staggering scope (not to mention arm-straining size); I’ve never read a Tim Powers novel in my life, but I’ve still found myself utterly entranced by it.

I think it appeals to the same geeky part of me that adored technology catalogues and Haynes manuals as a kid, and the part of me that loved learning about cataloguing and bibliographical work when I was a library employee. It’s a taxonomical study, fanboy wig-out and DVD-extras in one package, beautifully laid out and full of commentary from Powers himself. Bloody fascinating.

Coda

Well, that’s more than I expected to write, which is often the way with FPB. But time waits for no scruff-bag, and I’m hoping to get enough work doen tonight to pop out to a gig later in the evening. As such, I’m going to bid you all a good weekend and get back to real work – take care!