Saturday, 12 March 2011

So, Up is Down and Down is Up

I am immersed, in an ongoing disconnect.

By habit, I am early riser writer. Happiest getting up around 6am, before the family and work start knocking my door. Yet here I am, after the 10pm point, listening to music via youtube (at this very moment Theo Parish's Soul Control), catching up on the previous day’s facebook action.

The reason why I am resorting to this strategy for my musical fix is because my personal laptop recently gave up the ghost. So, no spotify; no BBC I Player, no free rein downloading and a whole heap of corporate fire wall clogging my work computer. Lovely.

Still, I can write (naturally, I still have all my fingers), pick up e-mails and go on facebook in the evenings. And it does no harm for a writer not to get too comfortable, I hear.

The disconnect festers and forms around a particular image, of the broken trampoline currently littering the back garden. A casualty of the recent freak high winds, one if its arms has snapped clean in two, its metal skin folding like lips around the wound.

Speaking of which, we have two shows coming up soon. Both of which are outside our usual home patch of the North East and are in Leeds and York.

It is also the first time that we have done a collaborative venture, in this case with the brilliant Monkish Wordtank, and together we are putting on the Word Machine show at the York Theatre Royal on the 17th March.

It is going to be a mixture of performance/spoken word gems, some short films and a bunch of open mic sets. We are hoping that the local York scene have gotten wind of the night and are going to come down and raise hell.

It is inert. Rain water gathering within its black canvas and netting. A mouth in rigor. Mourners flank its sides. A colour bled slide, an overturned plastic house, various rain splashed small trucks and spades. All witnesses to the trampoline’s destruction and who still  keep a vigil on the corpse left behind in the wake.

To be honest, I am also selfishly hoping people are going to come along and watch us shake our collective tushes. Viv Wiggins and I are going to attempt to breathe new life into a piece called Muse which I wrote for Vol 2 of our zine “I’m Afraid of Everyone” and performed at our launch, a proper Ink/Tank cross over.

Equally weighing on our minds is a night we are organising with the Cadaverine Press for the Headingley Literary Festival on the 22nd. The Self 101: An Introduction to YOU will be our first event where we are doing the whole shebang in character and thematically linked.

The trampoline’s remaining arms stretch out into the black sky, occasionally shivering as a gust of wind artificially animates them. It is a pathetic spectacle, a last gasp and gesture towards the unknown source and force that crushed the purpose out of it, a cry of why directed into the cold, uncaring void.

All of our characters are pretty messed up. Mine is a particular self generated brand of self indulgence, misanthropy and rage. I have been using the music of Oxbow ((S Bar X) to transport me mentally into the right place in between rehearsals and to get the juices flowing. No holding back, no limits. Well… that’s the idea.

There will be live music provided by my brother, who plays in a local Leeds band I Concur and John has put together some stunning visuals for the night. We are hoping it will be as enlightening as it is disorientating and again any support you can give us with be greatly thanked.

Questions arise and are answered in an instant. Modern market forces dictate that that the trampoline is the product of the East and cheap labour. That it was probably air freighted over thousands of miles and arrived at this point as much a result of global economics as weather fronts, storms gathering over the Atlantic and finally the fatal attack on the inland terrain which has claimed at least, one inanimate object.

Following these events we will be throwing ourselves into Vol 3 of our zine, I’m Afraid of Everyone. Again, to banish any claims of complacency we have decided to make this zine an audio book, and on top of that one where all the parts work towards a collective whole, rather than a loose anthology of disparate pieces of fiction and art.

Next, it will be collected for scrap. Sieved and dismembered, its metal limbs and skeleton transported to a burning inferno to be partially reborn. Possibly as scaffolding, maybe as parts for a series of cars, or to form the lining for a communal urinal. Evolution and devolution. Frighteningly arbitrary.

At this point all we want from any would be contributors are some examples of your best work and once we have reviewed everything we have been sent we will pick out the writers who we feel will be the best fit for the zine and story.

We are starting to get vague notions of the influences for the world the zine will occupy. Through the works of JG Ballard (South Bank Documentary), dark dubstep perfected by the likes of Raime (This Foundary), the promise of a new documentary about WG Sebald (Brief Doc about Rings of Saturn) and films such as Dogtooth and Bergman’s Persona.

The rest of the body, butchered back into various pieces and forms of plastic, will be recycled or consigned to landfill. Possibly to be delivered and exported back to its country of birth, to be buried in a hill of regurgitated vomit, yards away from the houses of the people who built the original trampoline, or their family and friends.

We are hoping again that it will be a platform for creative collaboration, as we will be looking for actors to provide the voices of the characters and narration, music to provide a sonic landscape and for artists to design the sleeve of the finished article.

If you are interested drop us a line and/or send us examples of your work. If you think there are artists, film makers and musicians we should be checking out, let us know.

I am immersed, in an ongoing disconnect.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

New Red Dawn


So, a new year and a new chance to push things to the limit, bring ideas to fruition, wow the crowds or crash and burn in the process, sink into ignominy, end our days sleeping rough on dog shit stained park benches, dredging white lighting outside performance nights and screaming through blackened lungs and teeth at entering punters and performers, “Don’t get in there, that’s where dreams are destroyed!”.

All good stuff.

We have a bunch of shows lined up for the new year! In 2010 we had our first launch; this year we are going to concentrate on putting on ‘events’ i.e. shows with a theme and/or characters.

We will make these shows as mixed media orientated as possible. One of our biggest challenges is to develop and learn how to do this seamlessly and get the most out of current, available technology (i.e. on the cheap!).

So far we have the following lined up:

  • 17th March, Theatre Royal York: WORD MACHINE. In partnership with Monkfish Wordtank from Newcastle we are putting on a showcase of their work and ours along with a element of open mic and contributions from local York performance artists and writers.
  • 22nd March, Heart Centre, Headingley, Leeds: SELF 101: An Introduction to you. As part of the Headingley Literary Festival we are putting on a show in which visiting professors from The University of Freduberg carry out three weird and wonderful lectures into the self and consciousness.
  • June, The Arc, Stockton: SELF 101: An Introduction to you. Sometime in June (dates are being confirmed) we will bring the Contexts of the Self event to the Arc for a performance.
  • June, Middlesbrough, Literary Festival: Again, sometime in June we will be putting on a themed night for the Literary Festival, possibly horror based and we will put out something asking for contributions from people to perform, similar to the zine and the launch for Vol 2.

If you can get to any of these events, particularly York and Leeds then we would really appreciate it. If you live in Leeds or York please start passing the word around about them so we can get bums (not that your friends, peers colleagues are bums per say, maybe dregs but not bums) on seats and get feedback on the show.

Also this year, we will publish Vol 3 of the “I’m Afraid of Everyone,” only this time we are shaking things up, doing things a bit different. So we decided… (dunt dunt dah!) that Vol 3 will be an audio book! Yikes! How are we going to staple it?!?

Not only that, but it will have a narrative running throughout which we as King Ink will write. We will use this to create a ‘world’ within the audio book, and given our obsessions and interests you can probably guess it isn’t going to be a particularly pleasant one (but as usual there will be flashes of deepest, darkest humour).

Alongside the words, we may lay on some soundscapes, tones, scratchy analogue whines, bleats and bass murmurs. We hope to please, or perhaps contort the ears as much as the mind. To achieve this we plan to work with local musical talent.

We will be asking for guest contributors, who we will work with to create short stories or poems to illuminate and examine this world of ours, through pieces which add texture or focus on specific characters whom inhabit it.

So, if you want to contribute to Vol 3, here are some guidelines:

  • Can you please send two pieces of work (i.e. prose, poems), no more than 500 words each to showcase your writing. If you have done any audio book work or written any radio plays then please also send those, no more than 5 pages for each piece please.
  • All examples should be sent to us by the 30th April, you have until Midnight (moo hoo ha haa!) to send them to  
  • We will then review the examples, pick out the best work and get back to all successful contributors by the 30th June (or sooner, depending on how many contributions we receive), and will then confirm names on the blog on the same day.
  • Successful contributors will then work with us between June and the autumn to write and then record the pieces. Contributors will have the option of recording the work themselves or using actors (who we will drag of the street and then dispose of or keep in a cage in Tim’s basement if we feel they can be useful).
  • We will then aim for a launch in September, possibly with a performance of all or some of the pieces. The venue will be revealed closer to the time but it will be in the North East.

Lastly we are going to try to get a website set up over the next couple of months. We are being assisted with this by Mr Crash Raindog, who is dungeon master of the interweb and e-ternet and we are very grateful that he will be bringing his skills to the table to help move us to the next level. God bless you governor.

There will probably be other events and bits and pieces happening this year but we will keep you in the loop via the facebook page and the blog.

Please get involved, support us where you can and together lets make this a bloody good year before we all descend into the Mayan approved and pre-ordered apocalypse in 2012!

Whilst we wait for the flames to engulf our skin and souls, you can do no better than boogie down to the following pure classic album, Return to Cookie Mountain by TV on The Radio.

Released in 2006, which was a good year for apocalyptic pop (same year Liars released their seminal Drum is Not Dead), every track is a funky, noise behemoth, trading in every style from post punk, trip hop and even barbershop to make a cohesive, melancholy whole. 

"Open my heart and let it bleed on yours." Indeed.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Countdown To Launch

Hi. Just a quick intro as Tim is going to go first and give his enigmatic approach to describing how he put together his short film Coffee, then I will give you the low down on what we’re up to. 

As Tim would say, lumpy (that means good, apparently).

Tim - How to Make Coffee

1 x cafetiere
1 x grinder
1 x kettle
1 x jar of coffee beans
1 x cup/saucer
1 x video camera
1 x spot light
1 x tripod
1 x John Chadwick
1 x Tim Marshall


1.) Take a John Chadwick and a Tim Marshall and place them in a room with the rest of the ingredients. Finely chop a good bunch of tunes and mix in plenty of rolled up cigarettes.

2.) Put the kettle on.

3.) Preheat the camera to 1080p and point it where the caffeine is.

4.) Meanwhile, add four spoons of coffee beans to the grinder and activate while shaking so as to avoid scorching the coffee grounds.

5.) Drizzle generously with spotlight.

6.) Pour the coffee grounds into the cafetiere, and add three inches of freshly boiled water. Swirl the mix round, and allow to bloom for thirty seconds before topping up with water.

7.) Insert press and depress.

8.) Zoom, pan and cup.

9.) Combine the whole mix in iMovie HD and slice repeatedly.

10.) Add a generous dollop of music and sprinkle with story.



Hello again, if you are still reading.

Apologies that it has been a bit of awhile since we have put a posting up as we have been real busy with performance nights etc. over the last few weeks so we basically took a few days off to recharge our batteries.

But now we are back and getting closer and closer to the 10th of December and our launch and man we are getting well excited!

This week we are going to go through all the stuff you guys as contributions to the zine and I tell you it is going to be hard to pick the final line up as all the stuff we have received has been great in their own unique way. We are definitely going to try and get as much in there as possible and may even add a few more pages to accommodate more content but we do want to say a big thank you to all the people who have sent us stuff, you are grand.

I don’t think I have mentioned it yet but the one piece of work who will defo be in is a piece by Jo Colley, who is our chosen guest contributor for this issue. We all really admire her poetry and general positive and friendly attitude which has been an inspiration to all three of us.

As stated previously we will continue to invite people to write something for the zine as part of subsequent issues, unless people tell us to bog off. And then we’ll just impersonate them. Alan Moore will be in the next one (ha! As if..).

As another taster for what is going to go in the zine, below are two stories which I have written for Vol 2 and I would like you guys to tell me which one you think is the best and should go in.
Again, please, please, please, pleasepleasepleaseplease! give us some feedback. I must admit I was a little sad that no one has given us any comments about the draft art work but hey ho but I definitely want your views on these two pieces:


You love me.

I know by the way you stare out at me, day after day, night after night, always there since that afternoon six months ago when you stopped and truly saw me.

Do you have a job? A family? A home? Possibly in the early days, when you only came to look at me at lunch time, evenings and weekends. But not now. Now you hardly ever move from that spot outside the large glass window that separates us.

You lust for me.

I can tell by the way you lick your chaffed lips and how your left hand descends to your lower regions when you catch a glimpse of me naked, when they change my clothes to suit the changing seasons and latest fashions.

How many times have they tried to chase you away from me? How many times have you escaped followed by cries of, “pervert”, “freak” and “weirdo”? Still you always return. In the early and late hours, when you are safe to be with me.

You covert me.

I see it in the tears you smear across the glass which separates us, smudging its surface. You used to cry only when you had to leave me but now you do it all the time, bursting into sobs as you watch the light shift and alter across my perfect brown surface, red lips and blue eyes.

You’ve lost weight. You’re not eating or drinking properly. You relieve yourself when the pain becomes too much. You used to duck out of sight, ashamed that you are unable to match my endless gaze, not wanting me to see your weakness.

Now, you just soil yourself on the spot, occasionally emitting a low grunt of shame and pleasure.

You need me.

I witness it when you let out a violent scream, rip off a piece of metal from a dustbin and with your bleeding hands smash it into the glass encasing me.

Alarms shriek as you stumble over the broken shards, kicking over my fallen sisters and take me into your arms. You press your dirty, hairy mouth against my cold, hard lips.

You pick me up and run, leaving my left arm and legs behind in the wreckage.

Sirens wail and chase us.

Angela and Adam

Angela was having a good time, despite her jet lag. The restaurant was fairly busy, and the food was not bad and she had particularly enjoyed her synthetic, fat free steak.

Adam had picked the wine. A good choice, which had not only complimented their meal but also given a sensual edge to the evening and his voice as he described the local clubs and bars in the area. Probably not tonight. She had an important meeting in the morning, which meant an early start.

“Now, maybe we should partake of some jazz tonight. There are two places we could try, if you’re in the mood? There is the Nite Owl which is just off the High Street, their cocktails were described in Time Out as incandescent, then there is Smokies…”

Something about Adam’s voice irked Angela. She had not noticed before how his voice rose as he finished his sentences, making him sound slightly effeminate. Angela pulled out her pda and pressed the pause button. Adam stopped mid sentence.

She played with the voice controls and lowered his voice a fraction. She pressed play and he launched back into his patter, his smile widening as he ran through various reviews and recommendations.

As she listened and drained her wine, Angela looked around the room. There were a number of other women with the same basic Adam Template as her. A few even had the latest David and Darren Templates. Still, she flattered herself that the modifications she had made to her own over the years reflected a rare subtly.

It was in her Adam’s imperfections, that Angela was most proud. How his hairline was receding a touch, that his teeth weren’t perfect and how that she managed to disable most of the cross selling and advertising functions hard wired into his programming.

No more updates on the latest Template software and hardware enhancements over breakfast. No more pointing out of sales and promotions at nearby department stores and shops as they wandered arm in arm through the various towns and cities they visited through her work. It had a cost a lot of money and wasn’t exactly legal. But it had been worth it.

“Now, if we really want to tear the night up we should go to Dorcia. Big band and easy listening on the top floor, hard house and techno in the basement. Accept no substitutes, according to the Observer on Sunday...”
Angela was tired and dreading her meeting in the morning. She turned Adam’s voice off and they sat in silence for a few moments as they waited for the bill. Adam paid for it with the money she had given him and as they left his wireless connection had already ordered them a taxi.

On cue, he kissed her full on the mouth outside the restaurant. She never got over the sweet, sugary taste of his lips. Maybe she would add a hint of cinnamon during the drive back to the hotel.

As stated we’ve done a fair bit of travelling to open mic/performance nights and I recently had my car broken into and the fxxkers even took the lead for my MP3 player! So I have been listening to a bunch of CDs I have had under the bed for eons and have been listening to quite a lot of old favourites, which include the following:

If you want a sexy, guitar driven romps, then this is the album for you. I’ve been lucky enough to see these guys live at ATP and made an inappropriate remark to my wife about how I would have liked to have take Karen O home with me and kept her in our wardrobe. She properly punched me in the face. I deserved it.

Big Black – Various

I love Steve Albini. Again, I’d love to keep him in a wardrobe but he frightens me and I think it would just make me nervous. I dug out a couple of their albums and when you feel like going to sleep and you’re driving down the dark and lonely, accept no substitutes.

It seems right somehow that their stuff (and the Shellac records) is not on spotify, given Abini’s hate for all things digital. Below is a link to them playing ‘Kerosene’ live. I am so glad I didn’t have this when I was a teenager, it would have given me ideas.

The Tuss – Rushup Bank

I love Richard D James i.e. Aphex Twin. You can guess the rest. It involves a wardrobe. This is one of his pseudonym projects and as far as I am aware a one off. Do buy it as again it ain’t on spotify (but it is on youtube).

Right. So, I’ll be looking forward to your feedback on the stories and fairly soon we’ll be sending an ‘event’ via facebook to people about the launch on the 10th of December.

10th of December.

Friday the 10th of December at the Python Gallery in Middlesbrough.

Make sure you are there, or I will cry. Then I will kill. And it will be your fault.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Making Mov(i)es

Well, we’ve had a busy time of it since the last posting.
If you weren’t there for the Heroes and Skulduggery night then you missed a treat. Not only did I wear a cowl (first and probably last time) but if you were not there to witness Tim Marshall’s genius in the shape of his video for ‘Dagon’, one of the two short stories I performed on the night.
Luckily for you, we’ve recorded some audio and spliced it with Tim’s images and popped it on youtube for your delectation, just in time for next week and our supporting slot for Informal Launch on the 22nd. For more info on how we made the video, Tim has got the skinny below.
We’ve also performed some slots at Jibba Jabba in Newcastle and Take to The Stage in York, all of which have been great and we have been bowled over by the grace and camaraderie of the people who run these ongoing events and the other people performing on the bill.
Back to the zine and now for your critical perusal is the first draft of our front cover artwork. Ta dah!

Now please bear in mind that this is very much first draft stuff and we are hoping to refine and work on our approach but it will at least give you a taster of what we are aiming for. In the spirit of keeping this interactive and allowing you to help mould this zine, we have provided two draft covers.

Which one do you like? Is there a particular one which grabs you? Or do you think they are a mistake? Be candid, don’t hold back. But they are draft. Very.
In terms of content, I have pretty much drafted my three stories for Vol 2. If you come along on the 22nd October you’ll get to hear one of them but I am reserving the right to review and improve. Part of this process will be by asking people for feedback on the night.
So again, turn up and participate, if you can. If you dare (no, even I know that is going too far, please ignore).
A loose theme is starting to form between these three short stories (yep, still no poems yet). Summed up in one word: consciousness. The thing that distinguishes us from all other life, the only thing we can rely on, according to Descartes i.e. I think therefore I am.  .
Obviously this churns up so many questions, none of which can be answered via this blog, by a bald headed twat like me or in a bunch of 400 word short stories. But still, food for thought.
If you are interested to learn more, then you can start no better place or enhance your knowledge via the following podcast, which is a recording of an academic course hosted via the University of Berkley.
And no, this is not an (another) attempt to make myself appear more clever than I am, it is genuinely very engaging and relatively easy to following.
As always, there is music and I have been listening (as always) to some cool shxt.
First up is ‘Brown Rice’ by Don Cherry. Now, as you probably already know, I like my jazz. I am but no way an authority but I know what I like. And I like this album. This is beyond any genre. This is pure music.
I am not going to go into any detail why this album is so fxxking great, as Julian Cope has already done me the favour and once you’ve listened to it a bit I heartily recommend you review equally his intelligent and funny take on this unacknowledged classic.
I have also been really caning Basic Channel over the last few days. I love their minimalist approach, the way their tracks just glide aurally in a state of glacial rigor and stasis. They are fairly new to me so if you know more please, please, please share and advise me where to find more of this great stuff.
Lastly, a word for the flicks.
I just so happen to have written for NARC an article about a Latin America film festival which is being put on at the Star and shadow in Newcastle. One of the films on the bill I saw recently at the Arc, ‘The Headless Woman.’ I urge you to go see this film. It is very, very good. If you can’t make it (a link to the cinema is below) then no doubt it will be on DVD soon.
Rent it. Buy it. Watch it. Get something out of it. Cool.

Dagon Emerges

It began with waking at 5:45am one Saturday morning a few weeks ago. Previously: beer and whiskey session with brother and Stoogy, three hours sleep. Michael picked me, cameras and tripods up soon after. A creeping stench of seawater and rotting fish enveloped me in the car. The change was happening already. We had to be quick. He pointed the thing at South Gare and let the wheels do the work.

In pale light, we hung around the fishermen’s huts and got the footage for Film 1. Having watched this many times, I have as a novice camera operator come to one ultimate conclusion to kick off the learning curve: you can move the camera. I didn’t move the camera. Michael began to cough and balk, the saltwater filling his lungs. His was skin losing colour now, his features changing.

We hurried towards the beach, Michael now shrieking and retching between maniacal gargles, hisses and cackles. Dagon was emerging. Soon, the humanity seemed to be gone altogether.

After some time shooting Dagon the Cruel (as he insisted on being called) loping around trying to catch a seagull to feed on, the foul creature was ready for the money shot.

Burning stacks framed the scene, as a terrible and triumphal Dagon with beastly movements, made for the icy waters of the North Sea. His beak clacked and spat. The Lord of the Oceans was returning home.

The camera batteries died. My eyes stung from the whiskey and the surgical morning light: scalpel bright. I packed up the tripod and abandoned the beach.

Since that morning it has been a case of editing.

Michael contacted me the next day. I’m not sure when or how he got home. We haven’t talked about it, and I’m supposing we won’t. He still refers to Dagon in the third person, so that’s encouraging.

Dagon’s recording of his story arrived on my car windscreen, in amongst a mess of semi-digested seaweed and fish. I think you will agree his reading is excellent, if a little disturbing.

I decided on Lusine icl for the music. Stoogy had lent me the album ‘Language Barrier’ the night before the shoot. I am very grateful that Lusine ( was happy for me to put the tune ‘Without Standing’ on the film.

I now look forward to doing some more filming and learning how to use a camera properly. If you watch the film, I hope you enjoy it. End.

Watch ‘Dagon’ at:

Sunday, 10 October 2010

New Skin


The past couple of weeks have entailed a steep learning curve relating to film editing. I have followed no manuals or guides on style or substance, but rather have given my mouse clicking fingers over to the flow; and spent quite a lot of time getting to know and verbally abusing the software.

The first fruit, discarded, bruised and chewed from the rolled down window of whichever car is making this journey, I now offer up. Having picked it up and dusted it off, I call it I’m Afraid of Everyone Vol. II Film 1.

It’s a choppy and urgent escape from running. Stop. Let Michael do the running. I was kind of aiming for unsettling in terms of tone, but I’m sure other adjectives would do. So long as they feel almost imperceptibly, yet undeniably uncomfortable. Itchy.

The second ripe item on the chopping block emerges from the sea. Dagon, to be read by Michael at The Arc the Heroes and Skulduggery night 13/10/10, now has moving pictures. This saline beast will creep through the surf and arrive on these shores at the end of the week.

While fiddling around with these films, I was listening to all sorts:

Sleigh Bells, a two piece noise-pop outfit from Brooklyn are rocking my boat at the moment.

Pansonic have also figured quite frequently in the film editing process. Gritty. Yeah.

Wavves is a young fella from L.A. and the band who used to play with now sadly dead from death, Jay Reatard. He was one of those really good ones we should have kept. This young lad is doing his memory justice with the old band, mind.

I could go on, but then where would it all end?

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cool News

Right, I promised you on the last blog entry that there will be cool news and cool news I bring you!
We’ve had a meeting with a bunch of guys from Informal Art, who also produce zines (I have my own copy of “Making it Look Accidental”, which is visually stunning and very witty... damn them) and we are going to support them with their launch on the 22nd October at the Writers Block North East headquarters on Albert Road.
They are still firming up details of what will happen on the night but we will (possibly and hopefully) be performing some stuff from Vol 1 and some sneak previews from Vol 2.
So, get the date in the diary and make sure you keep your eyes peeled for more details (as always, we’ll put them on the blog and facebook page).
Also, make sure you have blocked out the 13th October, as on at the Arc in Stockton that night will be Bob Beagrie and Andy Willoughby’s Heroes and Skullduggery night. Yours truly will be performing, aided by video put together by Tim M and starring moi!
I will provide no further details at this point. Suffice to say, it will be worth popping along just to watch the celluloid (actually, if you keep reading Tim gives you some... just keep reading).
In terms of stuff for the zine, I am starting to get together my ideas for my content and short stories for Vol 2.
To start with, I have to confess that my original intention was to primarily use some stuff I had written over the past few months for various, recent performances nights but... that seemed too easy and convenient and I have been genuinely inspired by some of the provisional discussions we have had about the art work for Vol 2 and how we can possibly play with the form and layout of the stories to support it.
So there you go. Once I have drafted some stuff in early October(ish) I’ll provide a preview and ask for some initial feedback.
As for inspiration, well, it has been an interesting week.
I reckon most people have five, possibly ten staple bands/musical artists they fall back on. You only have to look at my Last FM page to pick out mine, which are currently (no need to be too consistent, that’s for the anals and nut jobs) The National, Miles Davis, Tindersticks, Coil, John Coltrane, Ben Throbbing Gristle, Oxbow, Antony and the Johnsons and Swans.
It just so happens that Mr Michael Gira and chums (bet he never ever refers to them as that) have just recorded a new album, and I can’t stop playing it.
In fact, I am worried that I like it initially too much and will fall out of love with it sooner rather than later. I am kinda figuring that if this occurs that passions will be reignited after seeing them in Leeds at the end of October (yes, I am officially gloating).

Till then I am going to continue with my compulsive behaviour, if you want to join in there is a link below to the album on spotify.
Following is a link to an eight minute documentary about the band on Youtube, which is worth a watch if you’re interested in them or a fan.
And for the diehards, check out Gira’s Angels of Light stuff on spotify, which to my mind is a natural evolution of the countrified, acoustic led but still powerful stuff on the later Swans stuff and some of the albums are just as good (“How I Love You” is my personal favourite).
Angels Of Light


Hello there. Time for an update on our filming endeavours.

I awoke with a jolt and an unambiguous whiskey hangover at quarter to six last Saturday morning. Michael arrived at six and shortly thereafter we set off for South Gare with video cameras and tripods aplenty. The wind was blowing and the light was good: the skies over South Gare always provide a fantastic back drop for filming, dog walking and disposing of bodies.

We began by shooting some footage for our first short promotional film. I don’t want to say too much about this as the film itself will be released next week. Suffice to say it involved fisherman’s huts and Michael doing lots of running. The footage has been edited and the film is almost ready to go.

Next, we made for the beach proper. The mission was to get footage for a short film to accompany Michael’s reading of ‘Dagon’ at the Heroes and Skulduggery night at The Arc on October 13th.

Under the gaze of an arc of video cameras, Michael made for the sea beneath heavy overcoat, gloves and thick tights. I might add that the tights were over his head, rather than on his legs. We got some great footage of Michael entering the sea, submerging and resurfacing before loping up the beach with a monstrous gait.

So, this week’s film project is to edit the ‘Dagon’ footage in preparation for the Heroes and Villains night at The Arc (October 13th).

Watch this space for the first ‘I’m Afraid of Everyone’ Volume II promotional film, coming soon!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Trial and Design

Pretentious, moi? Well, I have to keep the titles vaguely enigmatic.
Anyhoo, we had our first meeting on Wednesday at the Thomas Sheraton in Stockton. Nice place actually, good selection of real ales and nice and quiet (it’s all in the detail).
The topic of discussion: art work.
John Chadwick is manning the design helm once again and with Tim and board and in the spirit of keeping the zine fresh and interesting, well, we are looking at doing something different to with the next edition.
Whereas Vol  1 was very much a Burroughs informed cut and paste experiment, keeping true to the feel of a zine and making the art work bespoke for each story, we have decided to go the other way.
This time we are going for a cleaner look, where the stories will fit in with the artwork and as Tim, John and I write our stuff we will respond to John’s artwork as it develops, so that the stories are not only influenced by the design etc. but also grow organically with it.
Well, that’s the theory and challenge.
In terms of look we fell back on some of our first loves in terms of design: record art work. Specifically Factory Records stuff. I am a massive Joy Division fan and love how the coolness of the Peter Savilles’ designs reflect and compliment the music.

We then looked at Saville’s influences: Bauhaus, de Stijl and other record sleeves, particularly those of Raster-Noton, who are making some of the coolest, glitchy electronic stuff to date and have a touch of Factory about them in their attitude to making truly independent music and maintaining a certain consistent ascetic.

Below is a link to a very short and cool film about the Bauhaus school , which is part animation and is great fun.

Also, below is a link to Alva Noto’s (he’s one of the head Raster – Noton guys and my favourite in terms of output) records on spotify. If you are feeling adventurous start with ‘Transform’, if you are a bit timid then go for ‘Insen’, it is a lot more laid back but equally interesting.
So, what do you think? Come on! We want feedback, tell us if you think we are betraying our roots or if you are genuinely interest if we can pull this off.
Have you any suggestions, maybe someone who has created similar artwork and we should look into as it could help inform our vision. Please let us know.
We should have some cool surprises/news for you guys soon, stuff we didn’t even know was going to happen! Sometime next week we will officially let the cat out of the bag.
Also, John and Tim will be making some form of contribution to the blog, giving you their thoughts and feelings on how it is all going, what is inspiring them.
Till then, have a good weekend and stay safe out there.