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[08 Jun 2005|10:52pm]
I am in receipt of the latest Homocrime bulletin. Trust me, Mirah in particular is a MUST SEE:

DOUBLE FUN! 12th and 16h June

Sunday 12th June (i.e. THIS SUNDAY)
homocrime v unskinny bop
2pm - 6pm
The Pleasure Unit
359 Bethnal Green Rd
£5, £4 with flyer, £3 concessions

THE DISKETTES are just wonderfulness from Vancouver: girls and boys Beat Happening with added Doo Wop and all the playfullness of summer. We saw them last week and swooned (the drummer played on two cardboard boxes). We have been so excited about this gig for so long!!!

WET DOG are of course our favourite thing in London. New songs abound. The most perfect all-girl band since The Raincoats.

STATIONARY is Coral (of Kazoo band Atilla fame, and Weekend
Hairport). She is performing her new piece, dressed as Bio Femme Secretary, playing every PA's essential accoutrements. The photos at www.coralshort.co.uk are all you need to know until Sunday.

SMARTY PANTS is Holly from Radical Cheerleaders of Manchester fame's new band - casio punk freakout time, we can't wait, I believe its their London debut too!!

DRAGULA is Humey Heena and Clare's boi-band (think the Zombied
Sissyboyz from Manchester). They were the very fine ladies behind Ladyfest Manchester and also instigators of Cafequeeria.

. . . . . .

Thursday JUNE 16
MIRAH (K records)
DJs Lady V (Television Personalities) and Markland (Sleeping States)
Barden's Boudoir, 38 - 44 Stoke Newington Road N16
£5/4 with flyer/3 concessions
doors 7.30pm

MIRAH (ye olde press release):
'Something gentle this way comes...' in the form of K records star and Olympia Washington resident, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn. Having only appeared live once in the UK (with a crowd-stunning set at 2002's Ladyfest London), the intimate nature, and impressive innovation of her records have won Mirah a devoted following of fans in this country and around the world.
Her songs are infused with the political, the sexual and the theatrical - of volcanic eruptions and expansive western skys. Yet the poetic and personal underscore their delivery such that even the most casual listener is caught in her web, a sassy world of desire, heartache and longing wrapped in a bundle of joyous noise. Having worked with the likes of Phil Elvrum (MICROPHONES, MOUNT EERIE) and Calvin Johnson (BEAT HAPPENING, DUB NARCOTIC), her blend of lo-fi sensibility and unbridled vision - where folk music mixes seemlessly with electronica; the subtle with the epic - have created some of the most uncomprimising and original records of recent years.
On this tour, Mirah will sing and play guitar. She will also be
accompanied by friends playing violin, double bass and accordion.
Mirah's latest album, C'mon Miracle is out now on K, and will be
released soon in the UK on Arrivederci Baby! records.

I KNOW I HAVE NO COLLAR make life worth living. Tom and Aaron pull out the stops with keyboards, drums and teacloths and always whip the crowd into a frenzy!

FRANCOIS is loveliness in a young French man with his guitar (and keyboards and samples and drum machine). Maybe he'll bring along his animations too!

TRULY KAPUT rocks our pants off. Why is she the bottom of the bill? Because her leg was on fire.

DJ Victoria is treating us with some choice portions, and Markland will be spinning the dance floor after the show so we may well be having a little dance party!!

. . . . . .

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[03 Jun 2005|10:40pm]
Instead of anything meaningful, here's the six-current-favourite-songs meme. I'm afraid it's a bit repetitive at this moment, because there are two albums I'm listening to more than anything else...

1. Bikini Kill 'Reject All American' (so catchy!)
2. Electrelane 'Eight Steps' (so thrilling!)
3. Electrelane 'I Keep Losing Heart' (so pretty!)
4. Electrelane 'Bells' (so tuneful!)
5. Bikini Kill 'Tony Randall' (so mod!)
6. Little Richard 'Get Down and Get With It' (this one I heard for the first time yesterday - I HAVE TO GET THIS RECORD.)

OK, maybe I'll do it again sometime & it'll be a bit more varied.
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[28 May 2005|01:19am]
I am watching the TV movie of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, made a few years back with David Hasselhof in the lead role. It's terrible, of course, but in a good way. The SHIELD comic was a mid-60s, James Bond thing - only with a hard-bitten, cigar-chewing American instead of a suave Englishman. Hasselhof is surprisingly apt casting, and there are lots of nods to the comic in the dialogue and design. Shame they didn't go for the full-on psychedelic look of Jim Steranko's run on the comic, though. It's all a bit gung-ho-military. The villains are the son & daughter of Nazi bad guy Baron von Strucker from the comic, and their fake German accents and 80s hair are a joy.
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Electrelane again [24 May 2005|02:57pm]
Bloody hell, there's some startling stuff on this album. More of the choir arrangements they tried last time, lots of different instruments. Beautiful little melodies. It's amazing.

(Lots of Ros on it, too!)
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Thing [24 May 2005|02:06pm]
You might want to keep Oct 1 & 2 free. I am putting on a Thing. Will announce details next week.
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[24 May 2005|01:54pm]
I'm listening to the new Electrelane album, Axes. As always, there's a Krautrocky feel to it, but while the insistent 4/4 rhythms and little piano flourishes still remind me of Neu, there's now a Faust-ish glee in the variety of ideas, sounds and atmospheres. Along with their unabashed rock'n'roll rush, and occasional singing in Verity's unassuming, slightly fragile voice. Recorded sparsely (and live), it's got a band-in-a-room sound to it a bit like the first Gang of 4 album (or the first Ramones album, come to that). Not the surf-able wave of noise they unleash live, but full of colour and light which can get lost at high volume.

Enough comparisons already. This is a beautiful record.
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[24 May 2005|01:20pm]
This week's celebrities in our store have included Charlie Higson (very unassuming, didn't realise it was him until I looked at his credit card) & his son, and Pete Shelley (who comes in fairly regularly, but is always worth mentioning). But these are eclipsed by E, an ex-colleague who now works in an architecture bookshop. Yesterday she served Laurie Anderson and her boyfriend LOU REED. Lou fucking Reed! They were really nice, she said. So I guess he's only nasty to journalists. Heh heh.
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[19 May 2005|01:58pm]
Stop press!

SOUL MOLE IS OFF. Ed just came in & told me the Enterprise cancelled his booking without telling him!!

[EDIT]: Ed's waiting to hear more, though it's not looking hopeful. I suggest a gathering someplace else if necessary?
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[18 May 2005|01:49pm]
Regular readers will know that Electrelane are my favourite UK band, probably my favourite band anywhere. I first saw them three years ago, not knowing much about them except for a short interview which didn't make them sound particularly interesting. At that show and several subsequent ones, I was flattened by their power. They gave the impression of fashioning some invisible energy-beast out of their collective nerves and fears, like the Id monster in Forbidden Planet.

Early last year I saw them at the Spitz and all shyness was gone. They tore the place up like few bands I've ever seen, full of confidence, blasting their Link-Wray-meets-Neu songs with frightening energy.

Sometime last year their bass player Rachel left, and Ros from Lesbo Pig was asked to join. People who've only seen Ros playing simple guitar chords in Lesbo Pig might be surprised to know that she is a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist. Last week, I finally got to see her play with Electrelane.

It was apparent from the first notes that Ros has had an effect on the band. While keeping the skeletal structures of their music, she has wrapped small intricacies around those bones, and the bass and keyboard play off each other now in a way they didn't before. The combination of this increased delicacy with their brutal energy has taken the band up a level. S, who had scarcely heard them before, was astonished by this show as I had been that first time back in 2002. It was awe-inspiring. My favourite band just got better.
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Happenings twelve years' time ago [16 May 2005|11:33pm]
Over at Tammy's on Friday, she dug out some old videos which I'd either forgotten about, or didn't know existed until last week. She'd intended to do a college video project on riot grrrl, but never finished it, and the tapes went into a box for over ten years.

There is footage of the Voodoo Queens and Bloodsausage playing small, early shows in 1992 or '93, and of a riot grrrl meeting at Bunjie's coffee bar (R.I.P.) with members of freddster's old band, Hissyfit. Most astonishing, though, was her film of a daytime show at the Conway Hall. I just created a detailed chronology of that time for Sara's book research, so I can tell you that this show took place on Wednesday March 3rd 1993. The lighting is really clear, because it's in the day, and the sound isn't bad. She filmed a couple of songs each by Avocado Baby (not their best stuff, but Pete looks fetching in a wig and dress), Pussycat Trash, and Huggy Bear ('Pop Scorch' and 'Into the Mission'), well into their non-fun phase unfortunately.

Mainly, though, there's three or four songs by Bikini Kill. It sent shivers down my spine to see this band again, clear as day and as powerful as I remember them.

It is strange, setting out and re-evaluating all the events of that time again. Puts a lot of what I'm doing now into context. It was an exciting time, but there's more fun and creativity to be had in the grrrl-inspired scene now than there was at the time. The last three years have really changed my life.
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[16 May 2005|11:28pm]
On Friday night, Vase are playing an early show at LARC in Whitechapel. I doubt I'll be there - I'm working till 7 - but I recommend it. Afterwards, though, I'll definitely be at Soul Mole, moleintheground's nite upstairs at the Enterprise, by Chalk Farm tube. Come & dance & say hello.

On Saturday I won't be at the U-Bop, because rustystiletto will be performing at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden. If spoken word appeals more than dancing that night, it starts at 8. I can say without any bias whatsoever that she is great. And since the Bop goes on till 2, adventurous social butterflies can certainly do both.
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[16 May 2005|11:02pm]
Last week I:

- rehearsed with my other band (duo), The Shallows. We are recording in June, the weekend before work starts on the new Linus EP.

- saw Electrelane at the Scala. It's the first time I've seen Ros play bass with them. It was pretty staggering. I'll write some more about this at some point. Attended the show with rustystiletto, filmmaker Lucy T, and accomodatingly's pal Sara who was in London briefly doing interviews with various people (including sweetpizza, drummygirl, and me) involved in ye olde riot grrrl. Saw Jon Huggy, who needs a haircut, but is otherwise on good form, and a guy called Chris who I haven't seen for ten years and doesn't seem to have changed at all.

- took my mum (in town on her way to see my favourite cousin, who is very ill) to the launch for Amy Spencer's book DIY: the Rise of Lo-Fi Culture, at the Horse Hospital near Russell Square. Nice venue. Michal Cupid was DJing and looking none too well. winstonecho sang a bit (unamplified when the mic broke, sort of a Cliff-Richard-at-Wimbledon moment), dickon_edwards read his first-ever online diary entry from 1997 - which mentioned Linus, to my great surprise - and Amy Prior and Frances from Plan B magazine also did a bit of reading. Francois played musical accompaniment to his charming animated film shorts, and we had to leave as Lesbo Pig were about to start. I chatted with Elvina, another old face from the early 90s.

- went over to sweetpizza's to do a bit of band stuff. We have some fun things planned for our website, which will be added during the summer & announced on our mailing list, so if you're not on it yet...

- visited my old friend Lee over in darkest West London for the first time in ages. He has offered to loan me some tasty computer kit when he upgrades his machine, and I've been trying to carve out some free time to go over there for a while. He is a voracious reader of history and politics and I realised I'd missed his perspective on the global events of recent times.

Finally I (reluctantly, but I was knackered) skipped seeing Ana da Silva at Mofo & spent the next 33 hours in Brixton with S. Finally a lie-in together with few pressing tasks to distract us. Sunny Sunday was lovely.
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[07 May 2005|11:35pm]
Tonight I was going to see Zombina & the Skeletones, but have had a small financial disaster & also, I am knackered. Hope everyone who went enjoyed themselves & apologies to the band... hope they play again soon.
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[07 May 2005|10:33pm]
Thursday night I went to see Wet Dog support the Pipettes at LSE. Got recognised as a Linus member before I'd even walked in the door, which was odd. Wet Dog played one of my favourites, 'Trehorne Beach', for the first time in a while. I met mega_normal for the first time (she is one of the organisers there), and chatted with mzdt, small_circle, and Daniel from Homocrime. I wasn't overwhelmed by The Pipettes - they've got energy, good songs, good singing voices, synchrosised dresses and synchronised moves, etc, but it's just retro girl group/new wave and nothing extra - not expressing anything - just quite fun rather than great.

Friday lunchtime was a publisher's promotional lunch for a crime novel set in Camden. The author, a few people from the publishing house, their London rep, and a handful of booksellers, in a restaurant in Soho. It's a first novel, by a music journalist - Cathi Unsworth, who reviewed Linus for Melody Maker once or twice, years ago. I didn't know that she had also been one of the team behind the gothy arts mag Purr, and had worked for Bizarre in its earlier, better days under the editorship of my friend Fiona Jerome. My proof copy of her book never arrived but it does sound pretty fun.

Then, a meeting at my house for the group project me & two of my classmates have to present in a couple of weeks. We're doing various aspects of gender in comics - gay superheroes, women & Japanese comics, and (my part) some historical background. Hardly a stretch for me. I delved under my bed and dragged some relevant comics out of boxes, C described her (almost-written) presentation, T showed some Japanese stuff, we drank beer and wine, and had a pretty fab time.
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[02 May 2005|02:02am]
What an excellent day I've had. accomodatingly's pal S is over from New York for a few days, researching her book about riot grrrl, and he recommended she get in touch with me. We met in Camden and spent a couple of hours in a nice cafe, talking about the history of the UK RG scene. S's pal and mine, L, joined us as the cafe was closing, and we spent a further half hour in a pub with an empty upstairs room, laughing about old times - I don't see L that often - before S and I went over to Islington so she could meet up with ex-label boss G.

All of which just sounds like a list of initials, but it was a lovely time. The sun was out and even Camden looks good in the sunshine. It was great to meet S and see L and (briefly) G. And talking about what I was doing back then and what I'm doing now, I realised again just how much I'm cramming into my life right now, and how much I'm enjoying it.
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[02 May 2005|12:58am]
In Florida right now, there is a 13-yr-old girl who is at the centre of a court case to stop her having an abortion. The whole case is extremely stinky, but talentshow has pointed to this news item about it which shows, as she says, that the 13-yr-old in question is "seriously an asskicking, fierce kid". Her responses to the judge are truly fantastic.
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[01 May 2005|03:17pm]
There's some photos from last night's gig at Underexposed! Thanks to Bob from that site!
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[30 Apr 2005|11:10pm]
The Linus show last night was the most fun we've had in ages. Pantsuit were great - hadn't heard Nan's other band before (she's in the fab Schwervon, with Major Matt Mason who also played a great set last night), and so many people came - charleston, jinty, swisstone, the legendary Katherine Gifford, among many others. Rosie Local Kid was there (she's driving the van for the tour), our new songs worked, the promoters liked us, the venue was nice, we got paid, YAY.
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Zine delay [30 Apr 2005|10:00pm]
Ahem. My zine was supposed to come out this week, but I forgot to bring the photocopies back from the_beanio's. Just as well really, since I can't afford to copy the covers yet. So it'll be out in June. Well, some of the pieces are two years old... what's an extra month!
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[26 Apr 2005|04:44pm]
Last night rustystiletto & I watched Woody Allen's Bananas, kindly lent by moleintheground, and then chanced upon a new show on Living called Boston Legal.

Has anyone seen this? It's not a good show - produced by the guy behind Ally McBeal, and it's like the wacky-legal-soap-opera bits of that watered down & written worse & acted worse (with one exception). But it was worth seeing, just for the worlds-colliding experience of watching JAMES SPADER (for it is he!) doing scenes with WILLIAM FUCKING SHATNER (oh yes!!). An actual actor who's done loads of good films and some enjoyable blockbusters, finding himself in a substandard TV show acting opposite Mr Mannerism himself. Surely the very fabric of the universe should tear asunder??

Shatner is even worse than usual - I can see why they cast him, he ought to be ideal for the role (self-regarding patriarch of the law firm), but he's not giving it any energy. Plus, he seems to be turning slowly into a giant toad.

His finest moment is actually the great Roger Corman cheapo anti-racist flick The Intruder (a.k.a. I Hate Your Guts), from about 1960. Anyone seen that one?
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