Officially just over halfway through the two-week birthday extravaganza and I’m not flagging at all (although I have drunk my weight in alcohol and eaten more food than they have in Costcutter)
So far, I have:
- enjoyed a luscious Thanksgiving meal cooked by Hannah and Aubrey
- DJed at BBA for the quiet and non-dancing crowd at the Marie Lloyd Bar (although we danced enough for everyone!)
- written new crush lists
- seen some performance art in a warehouse in Stoke Newington
- chatted up beautiful artists
- had Advent Tea and played with my nieces
- watched Milk and A Streetcar Named Desire
- hidden from huge storms and eaten pizza
- gone to Biddles with all of my Hackney family
- worn Sandi’s dress as a top
- learned about measuring social impact
- attended my first ever Beer Festival (and tried some Welsh perry)
- chatted on the phone to Nathan in India
- cried into my vodka and watched Akira the ultimate collection
TONIGHT ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE GOING TO THISTags: Akira the Don, Anime, birthday, Blind Baby Animal, crush list, films, Hackney, InCounter, manga, Thanksgiving, Vodka and Diet Pepsi
As it turns out, I’ve completely backed up on myself with my blogging. So I’ve decided to skip through the last week and a half or so with a quick summary…
On Saturday 14th November I moved home, I saw Carter USM (who were absolutely awesome, can’t wait to see some of Jim Bob’s upcoming solo stuff), I stormed the stage during the Hoodrats’ set at the afterparty – like their own personal Bez, I found my way back to East London through a storm at 5am…
On 15th woke to find I had already (in less than 24 hours) earned a ‘partygirl’ label by my new flatmates and received an amazing gift of groceries from my gorgeous sister (she knows me so well!)…
A lovely dinner with Hannah and Aubrey on 17th, helped us all compile our latest crush lists…
Sunday 22nd November (one of the best hangovers ever) – woke up in Brighton, went for lush fry-up with 2/4 hoodrats, went to conceptual exhibition by Beatabet Collective at the Phoenix Gallery, got train to London, was cooked a massive gorgeous roast dinner. Slept well…
On 25th November, I saw the Filthy Dukes album launch gig (mindblowing how good they are, hot too, really know how to put on a show, got lovely fans as well) and hung out with lovely Emily at The Flowerpot…
Today is Thanksgiving, I am celebrating with my gorgeous theme-loving American friend and her sexy culinarily-gifted flatmate…
As it is my birthday soon and because I think I’m much more important than I really am, my friends and I are celebrating with 2 weeks of parties, seeing performances, gigs, AtD’s boat party, shopping, and more! The two-week mayhem kicks off with my guest DJ spot at the BBA Thanksgiving Party at the Marie Lloyd Bar tomorrow night, free entry – come along, dance, sing and say hello.Tags: Akira the Don, Blind Baby Animal, Brighton, Chris T-T, fans, Filthy Dukes, Flowerpot, Hackney, JimBob
Wow! Where was I?! I love Autumn, November is my very favourite month.
From what I’d seen online, I wasn’t that keen on Gonzo from some of his skits on youtube and other than the famous piano battle (which I confess to not watching all of), I hadn’t heard his playing really either.
I WAS WRONG! Chilly Gonzales is an awesome pianist. His songs are hilarious and his new work-in-progress Opera of his own life is of a high technical quality and at the same time brilliant humour. His arrogance and love of women/drink/himself onstage persona work because of his musical skill.
Of course the highlight of the evening was when AtD joined him onstage for a little chat and rendition of his old hit Thanks For All The Aids – which was the best version of the song I’d heard, just piano and two voices. They then did a rap battle to a metronome which was a lot messy, funny and bitchy all wrapped in one.
I know you thought that I was a fan-girl (I am not ashamed) but until you have met my new real friend Katharina from Frankfurt, you do not know the effect someone’s music can have. A few months ago Katharina, who took the photo at the top of this, went along (for a laugh, not really knowing Gonzo’s music at all prior) to Chilly Gonzales’s 27 hour long record-breaking piano extravaganza.
…She stayed for the whole 27 hours.
THEN, she flew for one night only to London (for the first ever time) to accompany me to this show!
To top off all of this excitement I also discovered my new hero: Marawa Cup, hoola-hooper extraordinaire. She is incredible. Marawa came on stage disguised as an unsuspecting audience member, dowdy and uncoordinated. Awkward in the high high heels she was told to wear. As she twirled some hoops she gradually became more coordinated and slowly stripped ~_^ to reveal a lycra catsuit in leopard-print and took her massive curly hair out of its tie. She twisted and twirled hoops round her waist, hoops on her arms and legs, hoops on her neck and hoops in the air all at once. Perfect end to the evening.
After putting Katharina into her cab (to who-knows-where) I walked past old haunts to get the bus (had to visit my potential new home the next day and didn’t get back till 4am!)
Massive thanks to Chilly for putting us on the list and for making Katharina’s long journey worth it. Huge thanks to Akira for talking to us like we’re human beings (not super-fans). It was also great to finally meet Twitter-friend Sophie without whom I wouldn’t know that I shouldn’t fancy Morten Harkett.Tags: Akira the Don, Chilly Gonzales, fans, Heroes, Marawa Cup
Twitter is a wonderful place. There has emerged a new thread: #desertislandcomics. It is now one of my very favourite things in the whole world. Here is a small random selection:
Akira the Don: Death’s Head, Calvin & Hobbes, Miracleman, Hate… crap, how many can I have? …The Fixer, Bone, Asterix, The Invisibles, When The Wind Blows, Preacher… I could build a hut by this point. Part 3: Jimmy Corrigan. All Star Superman. Squee. Maid Marion And Her Merry Men. The Tale Of One Bad Rat. 1602.
Martin Carr: Maus, Jimmy Corrigan, Ed The Happy Clown, From Hell, Bone, Hate
Nick Shearon: transmetropolitan, umbrella acadamy, the submariner, sandman, hellboy, scott pilgrim, wormwood Part Deux: Doktor Sleepless, Crossed, Narcopolis, Ignition City, Preacher, Stuff Sucks
Douglas Noble: Fires, Joe’s Bar, Sky Chariots, Alec, Temptation
Andrew Luke: Mills/Ezuerra 3WW Bk 1, Morrisson etc Animal Man, Coney & Holden Moon Looked Down and Laughed, a laptop for e-merl.com And Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen
Jason Cobley: 1: complete Capt Britain. 2: Miracle/Marvelman. 3: DR @ Quinch. Moore and Davis’s finest moments. 4: Joe Sacco Palestine. 5: Will Eisner Contract With God trilogy. Genius. beautiful, funny and moving as well as angry. 6: complete Calvin and Hobbes. Obviously. 7: V For Vendetta. Better than anything. 8: Saga of Swamp Thing. Moore’s run. 8: Bulldog Empire. I couldn’t not. We got it right. 10: Dan Dare 1st Eagle collection. Bubbling under: Judge Death…WHY didn’t I mention Rainbow Orchid? Or Dare? Or Martha Washington? Or CS:SO? Or Fun Comics? Or Derek the Sheep?
Jonathon Dalton: Finder, Age of Bronze, Understanding Comics, Yotsuba&!, Scott Pilgrim, Watchmen, The Arrival (I have ecclectic tastes)
CLR: Bone, Fun Home, Blankets, plus all of Zits and Fruits Basket, and Boulet’s books.
Neill Cameron: 1: Ranma 1/2 vol 1, by Rumiko Takahashi. Incredibly funny and sweet, beautiful art, kung-fu pandas and gender-bending. 2: Complete Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson. Possibly my favourite artist ever. 3: a collection of Moore-Davis-Delano Captain Britain. And if we could squeeze some Excalibur in there too, aces. I might swap out CB for a collected edition of Morrison/Yeowell’s Zenith I mean, seeing as this is all imaginary anyway
Faith Erin Hicks: This is SO OBVIOUS, but: Bone by Jeff Smith, everything by Naoki Urasawa. But here’s a weirder one: I think I’d also like the complete Alan Davis run on Excalibur. I really liked that comic.Tags: Akira the Don, Comics
July 23rd, 2009Heroes
This post is specially about two heroes who aren’t on the list. I chose not to include them on the Hero List for several reasons which I will go into great detail about if you ask. They are also friends with each other which just makes it all the more wonderful.
Akira the Don will be one of the most influential musicians of the next few years. He is a highly skilled producer and rapper drawing samples and influences from a huge eclectic song/cartoon/sample bank in his head. His blog is one of the best critiques of Hip Hop around but also holds social and political commentary, reviews of various bits and bobs along with video clips, artwork, photographs, interviews…it is AWESOME and you should all be reading it. He likes beards and comes from Wales. Twitter: /akirathedon
Zombie Hamster constantly surprises his readers, pointing them in the direction of amazing horror stuff, books, comics (including his own Godzilla Boy creation) and music. ZH’s encycolpedic knowledge is spewed out for all to see. Someone recently wrote on twitter something like “what if you found an i-pod on the street/bus, listened to it and found it contained all your favourite music as if it were your own?” – if you throw in film, literature, weird or scary moments from your childhood/adolescence and add some obscure stuff that you love but had never heard of before then you would get this website. ((NB I did tire of Marilyn Manson much earlier than ZH did, we strongly disagree about Rufus Wainwright and I’m a little bit girlier)) Twitter: /zombiehamster
Go and explore both these sites. You’d be fools not to.
xxTags: Akira the Don, Comics, Heroes, language, sickness, zombiehamster, Zombies
This weekend has been different. I have experienced what it feels like to be the other side of the stage/lense etc.
Firstly I went to Lexapalooza. This is an awesome annual one-dayer in aid of breast cancer charity. Because it was a charity gig, I bought a ticket online like a good-gig-goer and even got there at the start in time to catch the first band (Chris T-T and the Hoodrats who ripped it up!). Anyway, I got there a little bit early and although I know the lovely and gorgeous Evan and Dani, I didn’t jump queue or talk my way in early and was quite happy chilling in the sunshine outside the event with the other fans.
Having not had to queue for a gig for quite a long time, this set me up in a different way – I had already decided who out of the crowd I thought was a twonk and who I thought was really cool because of overhearing their in-queue banter (I guess it’s the equivalent of when you’re watching a play and everyone’s going “oh, YES, I saw Patrick Stewart’s one-man show last year and blah blah BLAH” – trying to sound like they really know what they’re talking about). It did also build the anticipation, along with hearing faint bits of the final sound checks etc from inside. Then finally we were let in YIPPEEE – such a good afternoon!
The festival was really really good. I particularly enjoyed the set from Jedethan who are metal rock insane and their guitarist looks a lot like the skinny guy out of series 2 of the Wire (Ziggy). Of course I really enjoyed the aforementioned Hoodrats and CT-T as well, especially their hardcore King of England (without me *sobsob*) and the last song Where Were You? which both rocked hard the bassy and very very loud sound system. Evan and Dani did a really amazing job and I hope they raised lots of money through ticket sales and through the collection boxes dotted around. If you are reading this and didn’t go to the event this year, please do find out how to donate anything you can to them via their various web-presences (search: Lexapalooza).
Although the festival went on well into the evening, I went home early to watch Cronos with Kal. It’s a weird, glorious, influential 1993 film by Guillermo del Toro, I think it might be his first film, I’m not sure. It has hellboy in it playing his uncle’s muscle and a young girl who wears red a lot who has that young girl haircut (fringe and short straight bob a la pan’s labyrinth and leon etc). Won’t say too much cos I hate spoilers. Aces.
The second half of my weekend (sunday) was spent chilling in Victoria Park with my friend Emily looking forward to the Akira the Don gig at the Natural History Museum (one of my very favourite places in London). He did not disappoint.
As you all know, I am a huge Akira the Don fan. To be on the other side like this is a strange feeling. I have seen fandom by proxy before from backstage, from standing around in the wings and from the cosy yet exposed merch stall but not quite so directly from the fan’s-eye-view (apart from a few idols: PJ Harvey, Liam Finn, Bjork, Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip, I don’t get star-struck at all easily but did on this occasion). It was an awesome gig, definitely a harder sound than the first time I saw him live and much more stage involvement from both Joey2Tits and James which added to the atmosphere and did make you want to hear more from them both. The vast array of influences actually gives Akira’s music a completely individual sound and there is such a high quality of live performance from him and his whole band.
The famous Pan Mask made an appearance and the set left the whole crowd wanting more (especially me who was left shouting ‘more more’ after everyone dispersed – embarrassingly a FAIL ha ha!). The lovely Rachel sold me a copy of the early AtD CD and I went home on the tube with a big grin on my face. I hope to see you all at the next gig – avidly awaiting details.
So all in all, this weekend has been a time for turning the tables on myself. To seeing truly what it feels like to be a fan and feel a bit awkward and embarrassed when around your idols is all part of the experience. I only hope my next few tunes/gigs measure up to those I’ve seen this weekend. I’ve got a lot of practicing to do!
xxTags: Akira the Don, Chris T-T, Lexapalooza
Just been to an awesome gig by Akira the Don. The night started pretty weirdly in a goth/metal-looking bar in Holloway, London. Akira (Adam/Alex – I was told different real names throughout the evening) had asked everyone to dress as zombies which despite the amusement factor of this dressing up, did leave me and my friend wondering who was a regular in the bar and who usually looked normal but were just dressing up tonight.
The music was absolutely great. The DJ we caught played a variety of experimental electro/disco/breakbeat stuff including Aphex Twin so although the atmosphere was a little weird, I was a very happy bunny.
The live acts got off to a shaky start with a hip hop double act, their beginning rhymes were frankly basic and they mentioned various bits of genitalia in most of their tracks but their energy was really great and I liked about half of their lyrics (couldn’t tell you which half right now!), the beats were also really good and their DJ looked like a chubby Chris O’Dowd. There was a bit of a gap between the style of music and the venue, this was exacerbated by the zombie outfits and the lack of dancing by most of the crowd.
Akira started with one of his new tracks: hood up and lights down; definitely felt like he could’ve held his own at Plan B or Herbal at a proper hip hop night. Another favourite of mine was the duet with ‘Envy’ – they both played off each other very well. I have to say that although the crowd seemed to love his older, ska-y sing-a-long tracks, the tasters we got from his new repertoire sounded like proper music, unlike his older stuff. The gorgeous and probably hugely talented backing vocalist was inaudible due to the soundman despite him being asked politely by management to turn her up – this does seem to keep happening to good female musicians who just get on with their jobs without any drama, sexism is still rife among the music industry.
It really was a great gig. I’m very glad I went to Holloway this evening. I will definitely go to see Akira play again and will buy the LP which is out now.
Back home now for some drunkenly-made haloumi wraps. Yummy.
xxTags: Akira the Don, Zombies