Wednesday, April 21, 2004

It's been a while, huh? Well, I've been running back and forth to gigs the past week or so. Last week saw the inaugural Stirling:Live festival, which I attended in my capacity as Stirling News arts maestro. Had to be nice to all the local bands - it's only fair - but the main acts were quite good. Wreckless Eric was very funny, Martin Stephenson was warm and fuzzy, while Thea Gilmore, a bit earnest on record, was actually quite good live. I interviewed her, which went okay, although I'm hardly Lyn Barber yet. She's a Replacements fan, so plus points.
Also been to see - as a paying customer - Calexico and Blance (molto bene), and the Shins (nice, but shit QMU sound). I'll bash together some reviews for Beard #2, which is starting to come together. We've got some nice illustrations of Kinky Friedman to go with Neil's fantastic interview. Once they're scanned a double page spread can be laid out. That's another two down.
My mission to namecheck as many obscure bands as possible in the Stirling News continues apace. So far I've got in Fugazi, At the Drive In, Sufjan Stevens, Alisdair Roberts - I forget the rest. My favourite preview has been for some shitty Queen tribute act: "With the Darkness straddling the pop world like some hideous four headed gargoyle, you'd think the last thing anyone would want is another Queen tribute band. Think again, because Mercury are here to rock you!" A cheap shot I know, but it brightens up the day.
An exhibition of Alisdair Gray's artwork (bear with me and I'll link this later) is on display at the Smith in Stirling, which meant I could go to town and show off my knowledge of his ouvre. So I've put references to Hobbes' Leviathan and William Blake into a news story in a free paper. And why not?
My Dad, self-styled Zelig figure of the literati, says Alisdair Gray owes him a pair of car keys. He was driving the great man home from a talk my Dad had organised in Irvine. Mr Gray was somewhat worse for wear and threw my Dad's car keys into Irvine harbour. Despite my Dad's best efforts with a fishing rod and magnet the keys were never recovered. Alisdair Gray was forced to stay in Irvine as punishment. (I jest, it's a perfectly decent place)
Alisdair Gray's finest moment is complaining to the staff of a Glasgow chippie about their use of the Daily Telegraph to wrap fish suppers. Were they trying to brainwash the proletariat with right wing propaganda?

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