(Hello, Hello) It’s Good To Be Back

Fantasy, Festivals, Gigs, Science Fiction, Travel

Well, hello all! I have returned from a truly fantastic two weeks in the States. We packed so much in, it feels like much longer – so where to begin when talking about it? Well, there were the wonders of Olympic National Park, the joys of Seattle, the sheer bounciness of meeting H’s various friends out there (hi all!), Halloween fuelled Queen / Elton John tribute acts, marvellous Northwestern booze’n’food, proper road tripping, New York haunted house mayhem, the nuttiness of Halloween (I have met Scrabble! And it wears very short skirts), much Met-ness, and of course World Fantasy Con, which was (unsurprisingly) just Fantastic.

So this is really a coming soon post, as there’s much to blog about having conned over the weekend. Again, where to begin? Ted Chiang set me straight on the relationship between science fiction and reality… I talked fiction-as-implication with Steven Erickson… Hal Duncan ranted unstoppably on the absolute need to read both Alasdair Grey’s ‘Lanark’ and Edward Whittemore’s ‘Jerusalem Quartet’… Lisa Tuttle was fascinating on her fictionally challenged Great-Grandfather… and so on…

All that’s coming up over the next few posts (coming soon!) – oh, and of course I’ve got to report back on the great Stellas comeback gig (one of the odder but more rewarding gigs we’ve done, it turns out) – but for the moment a very last minute plug for the great Jean Herve Peron (Faust bassist and all around Art Errorist), playing tonight at the Luminaire. Go here for details – what with the chainsaws, the solo-ness and the ace support, it’s going to rock (my attendance attendant on jet lag, alas…)


Festivals, Gigs

Well, it’s Bank Holiday Monday over here and life is slowly restarting. Last week was mostly very productive book work, combined with lots of rain; last weekend’s Green Man Festival was muddy but highly enjoyable, climaxing with a fantastic Strange Attractor-organised night of talks on animism, the cultural history of mushrooms, plus hypnotically wonderful music from the Raagnagrok All-Stars (joined on-stage by bagpipers, dulcimer players, etc). Pictures here.

And now my blog brain is rebooting. Family business in Devon tomorrow, then I’ll be back ranting about the usual, as usual. So until Wednesday, farewell!

Avant garde internet radio

Festivals, Gigs, Music

Just a quick reminder that Jean Herve Peron’s Avantgarde Festival 2007 begins today. If you’re near Hamburg, head on over – and if you’re not, you can listen to it live over the next couple of days by following this link (once you’re there, click the little play button at top right of the page – seems to be running 7-12pm, Friday / Saturday / Sunday).

As Tim Stella once said, ‘nothing beats making strange noises with your friends’.


<EDIT – Quite a few people have been coming here having searched for ‘Avant garde internet radio’ or similar. Jean Herve’s no longer broadcasting from Shiphorst, so I’d recommend checking out the ever-intriguing Resonance FM – Enjoy! Al>

Attack of the art-errorist

Festivals, Groove, Music

If you’re near Hamburg this weekend, then there’s only one thing you should be thinking about doing – heading to Faust bassist Jean Herve Peron’s Schiphorst Festival, a gathering of some of the continent’s finest established and upcoming avant-garde musicians. As Jean Herve puts it:

Our purpose is to give a platform to dedicated/renowned yet not famous avantgarde artists and give you / many people the chance to get to know a style which still suffers from negative prejudices. Avantgarde is full of life, full of humor, without any restraints or boundaries. Open to everyone and everything.’

I played over there a couple of years back with the Stellas; between the music, the beers, the frankfurters, the parachutists, the aikido display and the general huge commitment to making wonderful spontaneous sounds using any means available it was a fantastic weekend. Alas, prior commitments stop me from going over this year, but you’ll love it.

Oh, and here’s this year’s line up. But like all festivals, it’s not the individual bands that make it – it’s the event as a whole! It’s also going to be webcast, so I’ll link to that nearer the time…