zoo_music_girl: (neubauten - group)
On 27 February The Wire's Biba Kopf and Lisa Blanning present a
special Clear Spot show on Resonance FM featuring Blixa Bargeld of
Einstuerzende Neubauten. 'Jewels In The Show Home: A Conversation With
Einstuerzende Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld' features Bargeld talking
about the group's Palast Der Republik concert DVD, Musterhaus series
and their website's monthly download series, Jewels, plus extracts of
music from all three projects. 27 February, 7-8pm (GMT).

zoo_music_girl: (Default)
You may be interested to hear that GNER have released the cheap fares for Thursday 26th April.

I've just bought singles to York (we need to buy our Scarborough tickets separately) for £9.50 each.
zoo_music_girl: (Iceland)
An Australian friend of my brother's is looking for work in London.

"Richard has a 5-year ancestry visa to the UK, and his background is in mechanical engineering but he is searching jobs particularly in the field of business analysis, or IT development. He has done seven years product development and business analysis at Ford Motor Co. in Australia."

Does anyone have any idea which agencies or job sites might be a good place to point him? To be honest I'm not sure if the guy is in London yet or not. It's actually his girlfriend who I think is in Italy with my brother who I've spoken to.

Anyway, any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
zoo_music_girl: (Default)
Looks like I'm walking to Lewisham to catch the DLR, about 75% of the trains are cancelled. But my, it's pretty!

More of the same here.
zoo_music_girl: (Dancing)
Really delicous, low fat, high omega oils, mega-easy recipe I thought I'd share. (Actually it's too easy to call it a recipe.) Totally ripped off from the Magic Mackerel Couscous that Leon's do, but mine was much better, I think it was the cinnamon.

Ingredients (Quantities are kind of rough estimates.)
1 fillet of smoked mackerel per person
Handful of hazelnuts per person, slightly crushed
Handful of dried apricots, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon per person
cous cous (enough for each person)
Some leek, sliced.
Olive oil

Make up the couscous using vegetable stock and include the cinnamon, apricots and hazelnuts while it's absorbing the stock. When the couscous is ready, microwave or fry the leeks in some olive oil or butter (I find microwaving them means they go soft but don't burn). Put couscous mix in a big pasta bowl, leeks on the side and fillet on the top. Eat.

And excitingly, there's light snow predicted for London next week!
zoo_music_girl: (xmas GROW)
My flight was officially cancelled last night, so the train it is. I've got what I'm hoping is a good book (Until I Find You by John Irving, purchased as my 3rd on a 3 for 2 when I bought my Mum's presents) and lots of Sudoku puzzles to keep me going. It will be 6 hrs 45 minutes if all goes well, my Dad is picking me up from Stonehaven. I got through to BA very quickly last night and a surprisingly cheerful (or just professional) lady told me I'd get a refund for the outbound flight and would still be able to take my return flight, so that's ok.

While I'm here, I'd like to wish you all a very merry winter festival of choice and all the best for 2007. Once again I donated to charity instead of sending Christmas cards, to the River Kids Project, as suggested by [livejournal.com profile] ladymoonray.
zoo_music_girl: (Bikers Jacket)
Tonight Simon and I went to The Coral Sea, a tribute to Robert Mapplethorpe by Patti Smith and Kevin Shields. Unfortunately I'm still feeling absolutely dreadful (although I did go back to work today) so we only saw the first half and missed the actual Coral Sea bit as I wasn't sure I could get through the second half without having to leave in the middle of something to pass out or throw up, which as I was in the second row would have been distracting for Patti and embarrassing for us.

The first half was excellent though. When she was just talking I kept thinking I was going to have to leave, but during the songs the music was so beautiful that I mostly forgot how ill I was feeling. It lasted about an hour and started off as Patti, Tony Shanahan (who I think was with her at Charleston) and Italian cellist Giovanni Solima, who was brilliant. It was the usual mix of great songs and political polemic in between, and she did her daffy thing again, talking about trying to find a square with a poet's house in it and getting distracted by the squirrels and eventually realising that the square she was looking for was on the other side of London.

She put it on a bit too though, I'm never sure how much of the daffiness is real (although I don't doubt she really did end up knee deep in a cow trough at Charleston) pretending to have forgotten the words to a song that she wanted us to sing along to, presumably to get a good second cut as they were recording. Later she was joined by Jason Pierce (of Spiritualized/Spacemen 3 fame), and for the last song of that set, by Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine).

We'd actually arrived at the Queen Elizabeth Hall just as she was finishing an (I assume, as it didn't seem to be advertised) impromptu solo acoustic set in the foyer and that was great too. She's a total legend. I suspect we've missed a great second half.

Review of Monday night's show from the Independent.

You can download new track "Qana" here.
zoo_music_girl: (Iceland)
I'm back. What an amazing holiday! The 250 odd photos that turned out the best or most represented the holiday are here, but I took nearly twice as many as that. Iceland is so photogenic that it's hard to stop taking them. I bought a huge book of professional photographs that puts mine to shame and which is inspiring me with destinations for my next visit.

long, really long )
zoo_music_girl: (waterskiing)
Last night we invited Peta and Will over for dinner and Eurovision watching at the last minute and had a great night cheering on Finland and Lithuania. Best Eurovision ever. Probably the first one I've watched properly since I was a student actually.

I taped CSI: NY but I pressed the button on the video instead of the remote and it seems not to have liked that. Can anyone lend me a tape of last night's CSI: NY please?

For Peta, the chicken in mango sauce recipe )
zoo_music_girl: (Default)
The annual Hyde Park picnic will be going ahead on Sunday 21st May from 2pm despite [livejournal.com profile] jhaelan's absence, so we'll just have to raise a glass to him.

Usual place, which is roughly here.

We have special guests this year, [livejournal.com profile] tvor and [livejournal.com profile] gramie_dee, and if it's rained off I'm meeting them in the Marlborough Head, if anyone would like to join us they're welcome.

I didn't take my camera last year, and I was too ill to go in 2004, but here are 2003's photos. Let's hope we get better weather this time.

Edwardian/Victorian/Ubergoth costume is encouraged but not compulsory. (I never bother.)

Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested.
zoo_music_girl: (argentine tango)
Last night [livejournal.com profile] realtan_dannan, [livejournal.com profile] childeric and I went to see the flamenco show A Compas! (To the Rhythm) from "flamenco legend" Paco Peña and his company. I can see why he's a flamenco legend as it was really really good. Peña is a guitarist and leader of the flamenco company, which last night consisted of two male dancers, a female dancer, two other guitarists, a percussionist, a male singer, a female singer and another woman who played the castanets in a way I never managed with my toy ones!

I've always wanted to see a flamenco show. I had many holidays in Spain as a child and always yearned for a flouncy polka dot dress like the costume dolls I collected. I was absolutely captivated for the evening, but it wasn't by the female dancer as I'd have expected, who actually left us all a bit cold, but the two male dancers, who were just amazing. They didn't just dance, their stamping and tapping heels kept and set the rhythm and they were so passionate and yet elegant.

I loved the music too, lots of Arabic wailing, guitars and percussion. My favourite bit was when they put down the guitars and did a percussive set slapping a table, hitting bits of metal (I was reminded of Neubauten's improvisations at the supporter's event at the Palast der Republik) and stamping and clapping.

At the end everyone had a bit of a dance and the two women who had sung and played the castanets proved to be very sexy and elegant dancers. Realtan said she thought the woman with the castanets had probably once been a truly great dancer but had perhaps retired with an injury. They both had more impact in a few minutes than the younger female dancer did in the rest of the show.

I want to dance flamenco!

It's on for two more nights if anyone is interested. There are better reviews here (Independent) and here (Guardian).
zoo_music_girl: (face)

About two o'clock I got a call from Graham and decided to go into town early based on what he told me about the itinerary for the afternoon. Unfortunately it was too short notice for Christa to meet me any earlier so I went in to St James's Park on my own. I found the little girl (and Graham) easily enough, just following the crowds and the noise. I was in a great spot to see her, but not a good place for photos as thin branches were in the way.

She was asleep in her deckchair but soon after I arrived they woke her up and she went for a walk. They were letting children sit on her arms, in the crook of her elbow.

I watched for a while and then went to find Christa. We went straight to Horse Guards Parade and got a reasonably good spot to watch the finale. I couldn't believe how many people were there. I was really glad to have seen so much over the weekend because it took the pressure off to try to get right to the front.

I could only really see by looking to either side of the guy in front or standing on tip toe, but I saw everything. I had to raise my camera well above my head to take any photos for most of the afternoon, so today's shots aren't very well composed and some of them are just plain squint!

We stood around for ages, but eventually the little girl approached from the park, but then turned left and headed up to The Mall. Some more time passed and she reappeared leading the elephant.

They both went into the main arena where the rocket waited. The little girl was dressed in a flying helmet and goggles and lifted into the rocket. The elephant and the little girl said goodbye and the lid was lowered on. The elephant blew steam into the rocket and suddenly silver streamers exploded everywhere. The rocket flared brightly and there were vast clouds of smoke. When they dispersed the lid of the rocket was lifted again, and the girl was gone!

The sultan and his entourage left the elephant, everyone took their bows to rapturous applause and we all went home.

(Well actually Christa, Tanya and I went to look at the cars and then met Aideen and friends for a drink, and then Christa and I had dinner in Melati, but that doesn't sound as neat and tidy an ending.

That was truly one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I'd consider travelling to see another Royal De Luxe show. I had tears in my eyes when I realised it was all over.)

Full gallery now here.
zoo_music_girl: (solveig)
If you're in or near London and haven't been to see The Sultan's Elephant yet I would urge you to go along to Horse Guards Parade this afternoon. I've posted a lot of photos over the weekend but what I'm not sure comes across is the sheer charisma of the elephant and the little girl.

I nearly skived off work on Friday afternoon to watch it all begin (and I really wish I had) but I contented myself with heading into town at 5pm. I came out of Embankment, headed up to Trafalgar Square and then into Admiralty Arch, where I could see crowds gathering. As I reached the corner of the Mall and Horse Guards Road I looked to my left and saw the elephant.

It was honestly one of the most amazing things I've seen in my life, and I am reasonably well travelled. I followed it for a while, taking photographs and then went in search of the little girl, keeping an eye open for a suitable dinner location for Saturday evening. I went up past the now open rocket on Waterloo Place and down towards Trafalgar Square, where I caught a glimpse of her on an open top tourist bus. I ran to catch up with her and got a few shots as she turned down Northumberland Avenue.

I went back to The Mall to follow the elephant again and bumped into [livejournal.com profile] zotz, who was down for the weekend to steward at the event, and managed to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] magfish. We followed the elephant around for a while, entranced and as excited as children. I got soaked in water from its trunk and it lifted a small truck full of hay and swung it around as if it weighed nothing. It was a real truck, about the size of Reliant Robin or a Mini, with a driver inside, who later drove off and parked it.

Aideen and I said goodbye to Graham around seven and went for dinner, then back to Horse Guards Parade to watch the puppets put to bed. The girl arrived first, still in her bus, and was lifted out the top with a crane. They took her shoes and socks off, changed her green dress for a pink nightie, placed her in her deckchair and then covered her gently with a blanket. She fell "asleep".

The elephant wasn't far behind her, getting into position in the enclosure and then kneeling to allow the Sultan and his court to disembark and be whisked away by a waiting stretch limo.

On Saturday I was back in for about 3pm, just in time for the rain to start. I made a quick detour via Artisan du Chocolat and then Pall Mall to look at the cars the little girl had stitched to the tarmac with a giant needle and thread and then met up with Aideen, Kate and Tony. There wasn't much to see at first, it was raining quite a bit and a sea of umbrellas obscured much of the view. The girl and the elephant were resting outside the National Gallery and we decided to go for a coffee. Everywhere was packed, so we gave up and went to get a good spot to view the rest of the show.

Around 4pm things started to happen. The little girl went for a walk round the elephant while the Sultan's court boarded it, then she was lifted onto its trunk and the procession began.

We hurried ahead of them to the bottom of Haymarket, where we got a good view despite the umbrellas and then Aideen and I decided to cut round to Piccadilly Circus and get ahead of it. We got a fantastic position to see it come round the corner and then stayed ahead of it till St James's St, where we found a convenient wall to stand on, giving us the best view of the day, in fact we were so close that only quick relflexes with my umbrella saved us from a thorough drenching by the elephant.

We left it there and headed off to meet our respective dining companions.


The Sultan's Elephant - my photo gallery.
zoo_music_girl: (solveig)
Day Three's photos have now been added to the gallery. Write up from the last couple of days later.


zoo_music_girl: (Default)
I'm too exhausted to do a proper write up and sort out all my photos properly, but I know some people were keen to see the photos, so here's a small selection of the 100 I took. It was awesome. More tomorrow.

I feel like this at the moment:

More here.
zoo_music_girl: (earthlight)
There's a rocket embedded in Waterloo Place, buried hard into the fabric of the road with dusty smelling smoke billowing out from underneath it. It looks mostly wooden, with some brass fixtures, and there's an oval window with closed red curtains in one side. The first installment of a periodical lies in piles around it and talks of a Sultan and his time travelling elephant.

more )

More photos here.
zoo_music_girl: (Bikers Jacket)
Last night we went to see The Sisters of Mercy. I use the word "see" loosely as there was a huge amount of dry ice and we only got occasional glimpses of the band. I used to be a huge Sisters fan. I have This Corrosion in three formats. I have umpteen bootlegs because my local record shop used to keep them by for me. I've even got an original copy of "The Damage Done". This was my third attempt to see the Sisters (there weren't a lot of opportunities for gigs living in North East Scotland as a teenager). I had a ticket for the infamous cancelled Birmingham gig in 96 or 97, and I was at the Astoria in 2000 (2001?) but got stuck right at the back and the guy I'd just met in the pub wouldn't shut up. (He was cute, but he wasn't that cute.) Third time lucky?

We'd planned to skip the support band and have a drink with Steer and Jane first but we missed them (bumping into them as they were leaving) and ended up at the Astoria really early anyway. We were both feeling a bit crappy so we made the most of being early and grabbed a table upstairs with a good view of the stage. I'm glad we were early because support band The Ivories were very much my thing, three Chrissie Hynde impersonators on vocals, guitar and drums and a bloke on bass playing bouncy punk flavoured rock. The singer was channelling Patti and pre-Juju Siouxsie. Great stuff. I'll be buying their album, which I think the singer said was out on Monday. She used to run a club called "Release the Bats". Be still my beating heart.

The Sisters, unfortunately, sucked. Big time. The sound was awful, not much improved when we ventured downstairs, and Eldritch's vocals were absolutely buried in the mix (apparently he couldn't hear himself either), in fact the only thing I could hear clearly was Doktor Avalanche, and it was sounding tinny. For me the lyrics and Eldritch's amazing voice are absolutely crucial to the songs. What's "Giving Ground" without the deep bass growl on "ground"? I didn't even recognise "This Corrosion" till the "hey now now" bit came in, and the lovely phrasing at the end of "Dominion" was almost impossible to make out. The best ones were definitely the big crowd pleasers, because you could actually hear the words.

Lousy sound aside I'm still not sure it would have been that great a gig, there was just too much damn dry ice for them to put on a decent visual show and I really didn't like what they did to some of the songs. I felt like calling the RSPCA for what they did to "Anaconda", and you can call me a boring purist if you like, but "Something Fast" really shouldn't have a guitar solo. Even Simon said so.

On the plus side, there were lots of songs I didn't know, so it looks like they actually have new material. Unfortunately I didn't like any of it much, but perhaps it will be better on record. We stayed for one encore and buggered off. I doubt there'll be a fourth time.
zoo_music_girl: (yet another doll)
I'm leaving Plus. I'm thinking of going to Zen, as I've heard such good things about them, but they are bloody expensive (£24.99 inc VAT per month) compared to everyone else. Given my history of connection problems I want an ISP with stellar customer service and support.

Any other recommendations before I move? It's costing me a £14.99 deferred migration fee to Plus so I want to get it right this time.

I'm actually really surprised Plus are giving me a MAC code at all, as I've just been badly Local Loop Unbundled.

zoo_music_girl: (solveig)
The giant marionettes are coming to London from 4-7th May 2006. More info here.

I'll say something about Whitby later. No photos, I didn't take any.


zoo_music_girl: (Default)

March 2009

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