Hip-hop night (possibly with cakes) – Nov 14th

My housemate Kirsten is helping organise a hip-hop night on Friday 14th November.  It starts at 9pm and costs £4/3 and will feature a set from Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer.  From the facebook blurb:

"THE MESSAGE. Unique within Brighton, The Message is a night of old
school and golden age hip hop. The Message offers live acts, Dj’s and a
few surprises in between. Opening night is hosted at central Brighton’s
prestigious venue, The Hope, where Mr B and a selection of mint-fresh
Dj’s will provide entertainment. As hip hop crumbles amongst egotism,
The Message is a reminder of what rap was designed to do…

And, according to Kirsten, there may be cakes.  I'm looking forward to seeing what type of cake Kirsten selects as the perfect complement to old-school hip-hop.


Zombie Bride 2

Yesterday was an exciting day.  It started with a trip to the dentist, where another broken tooth was fixed, and ended at Portsmouth's HELL-oween Ball, where I performed with Kitty Peels. We did a new version of last year's Zombie Bride act which featured more gore and some astounding make-up from Kitty.

The night was fantastic with about 3 hours of acts.  All the other performers I met were lovely, particularly Dolly Divine and vaudevillian Joe Black, who I hope to catch up with when they come to Brighton for the Bands and Vampesque night.  Among the many performances were a couple of awesome routines from Miss Ruby Red.  With so much fake blood, the backstage bathroom looked like a scene from Reservoir Dogs before I tidied it up.

Kitty has also been a zombie for Dark Daze recently.  Dark Daze and his team spent several days preparing a set for a single shot.  I can't wait to see what it looks like – Kitty apparently wields a chainsaw.  Another recent Dark Daze shot of Kitty is here and there's also a Dark Daze flickr RSS feed which shows recent photos with background notes.

Reading at Short Fuse, October 23rd

I'm going to be reading at the next Short Fuse event, where the theme is Tales from the Crypt.  The event starts at 8:30pm on Thursday 23rd and will be in the Studio Bar at the Komedia.  Tickets are £4 on the door.

A few years ago I saw Stewart Home read at Tight Lip.  His reading was impressive – partly because he read one story through a ventriloquist's dummy, and partly because he'd memorised his stories.  At the start of the reading he announced, "If it's worth reading, it's worth remembering." 

I'm going to try memorising the story I'll be reading next Thursday.  The interesting thing is whether the reading will work without the prop of a sheet of paper.  It may be that my performance looks better when I'm holding something rather than having my hands free.  I'll have to see how well it works during my practise.

The 23rd also sees the launch of Ros Barber's new collection, Material.  The launch party starts a little before Short Fuse, so hopefully I can catch Ros's reading and pick up a copy of the new book before heading to the Komedia.

Back to Brighton for Sparks Night

I spent a lovely long weekend in Derbyshire.  I visited ChristmasWorld (photos to follow), read, and fed the ducks with my niece – or, rather, fed bread to the ducks with my niece.  I feel wonderful after the break and seem to have brought some of my calm back with me.

I returned yesterday in time to go to Sparks Night at the Three and Ten.  Sparks night is a short story night which distinguishes itself from other local nights by adding a visual element.  A photograph is commissioned for each story and projected behind the reader.  I've been wondering for a while about the addition of musical/visual additions to spoken word and it seems to work very well indeed, helping to focus attention on the reader. 

The standard of the stories and the readings were high.  The night started with Joel William's story about dwarves (as seen in Penumbra #3 – full text also available in this PDF).  There was also a brilliant story about physics and grief, but my favourite was Porn Mallow by Sara Crowley (full text available here).  The reader said she was nervous, but did a brilliant job.  The photographs were also very good and had a range of different styles.

It's exciting that Brighton has so many live literature events at the moment and that they're of such a high standard.  I'll definitely be at the next Sparks night in four weeks time.

Social news

Following a suggestion in the Oliver James book Affluenza, I drastically reduced the amount of news I consume.  I still seem to learn what are the issues of the day, without being overwhelmed by them.  So I liked this quote from Nasim Taleb, via the Long Tail Blog:

"Put wax in your ears. People are more afraid of flying than driving
because the press does not report car accidents. I never watch the
news. Only listen to news you get in a social setting, the things
people talk about. Our brains cannot deal with the overload of
information. Having a lot of data is not good for anyone trying to make
a decision.
" (originally quoted in the New Scientist Article Risk – not what you think)

One of the things I love most about reading RSS feeds is that I wake to a set of news stories about things I am directly interested in – what friends have been doing, literature, Brighton and so on.  It's not perfect, but seems far more relevant than reading a newspaper.  The echo-chamber effect even seems lessened since common interests are no guarantee of common politics.

Chris Morris seeks funding

It’s been a long time since I last read popbitch, so I only just found out about this, which was featured in their latest issue (via Scott Peck Pack):

“[Chris Morris] is now working on a movie about Islamic terrorists.  The BBC and Channel 4 have already turned it down, supposedly a wee bit scared about the reaction it might provoke. Good news is that Warp Films are going to support it but are looking for funding.  Anyone prepared to donate between £25 and £100 to the project can have the chance to appear in it…. Anyone interested should email fundingmentalism@warpfilms.com for more info.