Pollyn: Living In Patterns – Album Preview on KCRW

Pollyn: Living In Patterns – Album Preview on KCRW.

Great band from L.A. One of my new finds this year. You can preview their album via the link until October 26th.

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The Weaverfields Heir by David Bridger

 

Cover Blurb

 

A new love… an old evil…

 

When Kate Richards inherits a dilapidated English estate from her estranged grandfather, she finds herself thrust into a world full of hostile new family members, mysterious Romany tenants, and strange visions of “the net” – an invisible web that connects everything in the universe. Kate thinks she’s losing her sanity, but the odd family stories and disturbing tales of the locals convince her that something sinister is going on at Weaverfields, while the inescapable pull of the net draws her deeper into the secrets of her new home.

 

Excerpt

 

But with those secrets come danger, and an old evil that refuses to let go of its hold on the net — or on Weaverfields. The only person who seems to understand is Joe, a Romany street artist with his own ties to the land. Kate and Joe must master the net before the past intrudes upon the present… in very ugly ways…

 

The northbound traffic clogged up to a fuming jam that stuttered past the airport. Kate leaned back against the headrest and stared down her nose at the car in front. One more day. One more day. One more day…

After Roborough, the traffic jam dissolved and she took her place in the synchronised escape from the city. She was up on the moor, five minutes past Princetown, when she suddenly felt very ill. She pulled into a lay-by and opened her door slightly in case she had to throw up, thinking it must be the heat. She turned the engine off and closed her eyes.

Dizziness left her unable to move, as if a big net kept twisting and tangling her up, tighter and tighter. A hot flush spread through her chest, and her mouth tasted sour. Her heart throbbed in heavy, painful waves, making her arms ache and her fingertips prickle. Her neck stiffened. Darkness gathered on the edges of her vision and raced inward.

She panted in pain and panic. She was dying.

She saw her dream home in dappled sunlight. The pool water chuckled and hiccupped over the dam. A big fish swam placidly just below the surface, watching her, and deer grazed the lawn in front of her big house. She was dying and she didn’t care because she was going home.

Her chest exploded. She wet herself and her world faded to black.

* * *

Slowly, a lifetime later, she became aware that she was still alive. Her vision cleared, and she saw blue sky, purple moor, grey sheep and dusty black tarmac.

She saw everything in everything: the tiniest molecules in whatever she looked at. She looked into her windscreen, into the glass, saw every flaw, every colour. The liquid glass flowed in an intricate pattern. She retreated from the windscreen and saw her eyes, saw their colours, saw the cells through which she saw. She looked into her heart. Good grief, she could see her heart, beating her back into the outside world.

A web of gossamer threads covered everything in sight. Kate blinked hard to clear her vision, but it was still there when she opened her eyes. The web was everywhere, like a net, linking everything. Golden traces glowed and stretched to infinity in every direction. She looked through it, concentrated on the moorland, and the everyday world returned to its normal focus. She relaxed and let the net glow again and saw deep into everything.

A nearby gorse bush gleamed and pulsed with life. Patterns spread and contracted within its frame. The moor behind it remained three-dimensional while her gorse bush became its own vibrant world, tiny models of itself forming intricate combinations and multiplying throughout the whole: smaller and sharper, smaller and sharper.

She shut her eyes and fought her fear. What could it be? Epilepsy? A brain tumour? Madness? She filed these possibilities away for later. All she needed to do now was gain enough control to drive safely. A wet seat was the least of her problems.

It was dark before she managed it. Her phone rang, but she couldn’t spare any attention to answer it. Finally, she was able to start the car and ease it back onto the road. She wanted to go home, but she didn’t know where that was, so she headed for Bag End Cottage. It seemed to be in roughly the same direction.

Mum was at the door, watching for her. “Where have you been? We’ve been worried sick!”

She managed to climb out of the car and stagger halfway to the front door before the ground tilted violently. Blackness swirled through her mind and she heard Mum’s voice from a long way away.

“Kevin, call the doctor! Kate’s ill!”

 

I new novel written by a dear Twitter friend which I have just purchased. Click the link above to buy a copy. 

Doctor Ten: Allons-y! **Contains spoilers**

*******This post will contain Doctor Who spoilers, so only read if you have seen both parts of The End of Time or are utterly disinterested in Doctor Who!*******

Last night saw the end of an era when David Tennant’s reign as the tenth Doctor came to an end. It is also the end of Russell T Davies’ time as head writer and executive producer on the show. And to that I say GOOD RIDDANCE!

Yes, I thank him for returning Doctor Who to our screens, unreservedly. And yes, he has delivered some fine scripts, Midnight and Turn Left being his stand outs for me. But I CANNOT forgive that final 15-20 of schmultz that had the Doctor visiting his companions and friends in one FINAL goodbye. You did that, RTD, with the series four finale (Journey’s End). You really are hell-bent on the emotional goodbye.

The Doctor’s goodbye could have been so much more befitting. David Tennant had made the character of Doctor Ten SO strong. He had gone to sacrifice himself several times over during the last four series without even a hint of regret or unwilling. And then RTD gives Doctor Ten his final words – as of a coward or wimp, “I don’t want to go”.

Before that, don’t give me the 20 minutes of schmultz. That final line would have sat better if DT’s final scenes had been played out with Bernard Cribbins (as Wilfred Mott).

I can pick holes in the whole thing. I can pick it all apart and over analyse it, but I won’t. I can’t stand the torture of it. Suffice it to say that part one disappointed me greatly and part two sat more comfortable with me until the final 15-20 minutes.

Part two should have ended with Wilf and the Doctor post nuclear lock scene. Those scenes there where the Doctor realised his demise was going to be (inadvertently) at the hands of Wilf were wonderfully played out. It should have continued. Once we were aware the Doctor had soaked up all the radiation in the nuclear lock, I’d have liked to have seen him struggle out the door, lay on the ground and have an exchange with Wilf. You could have played in nostalgia there and not let it obscure or overshadow what were glorious scenes with Bernard and David.

Then it was just stupid. Martha and Mickey married! The Doctor saves Sarah Jane Smith’s son Luke from being hit by a car (isn’t he a cyborg?), setting Jack up with a guy from a previous episode (midshipman Alonso Frame), he turns up to Donna’s wedding, leaving her a lottery ticket (WTF??!!!) and then going back to 2005 to a time before he meets Rose to tell her she’s going to have a “brilliant year”.

And of all of that 15-20 minutes, the one that made no continuity sense whatsoever was the Doctor at a book shop visiting a writer called Verity Newsome who’d released a book called “The Journal of Impossible Things” that had been in her granadmother’s (Joan Redfern) possession since 1913. I got the gist of it, was aware of the book and the character of course, but what didn’t sit right was HOW on earth the Doctor knew to go to this particular bookshop and see Joan’s granddaughter. And apart from that, the Doctor wasn’t in love with Joan, his human self as John Smith was!!!

RTD you make me SSSOOO angry.

I just had to vent and air. I could write more, but I need time, so this is enough. Enough to express my anger and disappointment. I wanted so much more for David Tennant’s final scenes.

The one positive I can take from it is that DT’s demise was ultimately SO anticlimactic that it has actually made me genuinely excited about the new series and Matt Smith as Doctor Eleven.

I think in the end David was right to leave when he did. It *was* time. I am SO looking forward to what Steven Moffat is going to do with it.

Goodbye David and Doctor Ten, you were brilliant. RTD, f*ck off outta here! Go on, piss off to L.A. See if anyone will have you there. Good luck and don’t ever write sci-fi AGAIN!

Listen Up, All You Young Dudes…

And London Boys. I don’t want to “Scream Like A Baby” about it for fear of “Repetition”, but the BBC have done a “Kook”y article on Duncan Jones’ (aka Zowie Bowie) Edinburgh Film Festival debut of his film Moon.

“Fill Your Heart” with love for this film. Make sure you go see it, and don’t “Look Back In Anger”. It’s a “Criminal World” when you use puns like this, but it’s the “Fashion”, so who am I to argue, “Queen Bitch”?! I’ll always “Win”, “Right”!

I think I better go “Underground”.

And so, like a “Slow Burn”, my puns have died.

Here’s the article.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Bowie son lands Moon at festival

Erm…watch out for the puns, “It’s No Game”.

The Snobbery of Art – Tracey Bashing!

I read yesterday that there’s a long awaited (for us who love and appreciate her art) Tracey Emin exhibition at the White Cube Gallery in Mason’s Yard called “Those Who Suffer Love”.

Once again, there’s a bubbling undercurrent of controversy, for HEAVEN FORBID Tracey has a piece in it that shows that most women in the 21st century like to masturbate. One of her pieces is a flick-book animation of a woman masturbating. Oh, HOW pornographic!

The first article I read about the exhibition was on the BBC News web site. They mentioned the animation briefly, but seemed to realise there’s much more to talk about with Tracey’s work. They had a comment from Tracey about the piece. She said, “[Masturbation] is not just about self-love, it’s also about self-loathing and being alone and for the act of being alone.” I understand what she means completely. Tracey’s work speaks to me.

I have to say, I’d never even heard of her until I moved to the UK. And even then, it took a visit to Tate Modern and seeing some of her work for her name to REALLY resonate with me. I saw a short film she’d made, almost like a video diary piece. Her art is SO personal and the video work I found very moving. I think I started to become a fan from that point on. If indeed artists have “fans”, like rock stars do.

Perhaps that’s what the critics (and Lord, the woman has her fair share of them) hate about the “modern” artists or as the Brit contingent are referred to YBA’s (Young British Artists – in the early 90’s, when a set of them came to public attention). That they are sort of held up as “pop stars” and have fans and followers. Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Sam Taylor-Wood, The Chapman Brothers, Michael Landy are in the ranks of being labelled YBA’s. Hirst and Emin appear to be the “King and Queen” of the YBA’s, given the Wikipedia entry on the subject.

I see Tracey as almost a “today” version of Frida Kahlo. Kahlo was ballsy. She went FAR beyond what was the “acceptable face” of femininity in her art and her life. Her art was deeply personal and although I’m not a BIG fan of her artwork, I am of Frida herself and the things she represented in the art movement at the time. She portrayed herself in her art. She showed us what she wanted us to see, not what she THOUGHT we WANTED to see.

And that’s why I love Tracey. Her art is personal, but it is in no way conceited or self-centred. I’m sure critics would disagree (oh how they would disagree), but that’s how I see it. And that’s why ALL art is good. Critics, I swear, through their snobbery think they must like ALL art. If they don’t like it, it’s not art. WHAT A LOAD OF SHIT! I don’t rate Damien Hirst much myself, but I don’t begrudge people liking his work, or think any less of them.

I do, however, think it’s criminal that art has become SUCH a commodity. I watched a programme recently called “The Great Contemporary Art Bubble.” Revealed in the programme were aspects about how the collectors make the art a bigger commodity than it should be. A couple of examples: Andy Warhol collector Jose Mugrabi and his sons prop up the price of Warhol works, because they own SO much if it. Jay Jopling (the owner of White Cube Gallery – incidentally) and Damien Hirst bid on his own artwork (Hirst’s) to make it sell for what THEY deem it to be worth. But not only that, they also retain a percentage of the work most of the time, as it’ll be bought by consortia in which THEY are part of, therefore reinvesting in their own work, making more and more profit each time.

Most of the critics that criticise Tracey don’t do it because of some morality about the absurd price of art. Quite the opposite in fact. Most of them think she’s just “not worth it” or is not an “artist”. But what is an artist? Someone who is creative? Someone who produces images (be they words or pictures) for viewing? And isn’t art, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? Should I be pandered to and told what is art and what isn’t? Should *I* be told what I should and shouldn’t like? Am I meant to like a Jackson Pollock, even though (frankly) I think an elephant can do a better job? That’s just MY opinion on Pollock though. I don’t expect others to feel the same. For what his art sells for, obviously most people don’t.

But the critics who critique Tracey seem to think we should all listen to them and stop liking her work.

Here are comments left on a article on the Times Online.

She’s absolutely right when at the end she says others artists will be missed by the media even if they are fantastic, whereas she will not . She’s “lucky”. Job done…but just don’t ask us to accept your rubbish as well. You’re extremely famous and lucky but you can’t draw. You are not an artist.

Bob, from Hong Kong.

I have a good idea for an artwork. Copy some of the crude scrawls from the walls of my local public toilet, add some pretentious titles and pseudo-intellectual explanations, and…

Oh bugger, Tracey Emin has beat me to it.

Chris K from Cheltenham

While Hirst doesn’t seem to be any better at drawing than Emin is, at least it is not what he’s trying to impress us with…. actually the ‘dead sheep’ and ‘pickled cows’ have quite an effect when seen for the first time. I just really can’t see what’s so special about her rather ugly sketches.

Paloma, from London

In response to Paloma, I dare say that what separates Hirst from Emin is that although it could be argued that Tracey’s sketches are crude (by definition a sketch is “A hasty or undetailed drawing or painting often made as a preliminary study.”), they ARE personal. What’s personal about a pickled cow? Yes, it’s very fascinating anatomically, but is it art? Is it something Hirst MADE? All he did was probably design the thing it’s displayed in. He didn’t “design” the cow, or make up the formaldehyde or probably even dissect the animal himself. Tracey’s not trying to “impress” us, she’s telling us her story (and for some of us her appreciate her art), OUR story).

Then there are just absurd, ridiculous statements that are laced with personal attacks.

Good grief! We have all had trauma in our lives – why is this hellish woman who wants us all to know about her tawdry life in a sick visual Big Brother style, taken seriously? Arrgh. She is not an artist but a poor exhibitionist who always makes me want to shower after seeing her work. Eeww shudder

Christina from Edinburgh

“As artistic as vomit. – Tom Franklin, London, United Kingdom”

Geez Tom, don’t give the lady any ideas!

Clickety6 from London, in reply to an earlier statement.

Tracey Emin can’t draw for toffee.
Nice frock she’s wearing though, so she must find a few suckers.

Sara from Leicester.

Maybe an inspirational woman, but an artist!?
You can fool some of the people some of the time…………

Steve Duckworth from Leicestershire.

Steve may have a point at the end, but if you are basing that purely on her drawings, then perhaps you would come to that conclusion. The Times article DOES point out (some people seemed unable to take this information in) that some of the drawings go back a LONG way.

Let’s not forget, they are doodles, sketches. What Tracey does is present ALL of herself. Good and bad. If you only show the “good” art, isn’t that sort of a con? A cop out? Why do people not understand that? That, what is artistic in her is the way she reveals herself. That’s HER art. That, if you like, SHE’S the art. If she left sketches out because they weren’t “good enough” she’d feel she was cheating us. And people can’t see that it’s the revelation of the art, and perhaps not so much the pieces themselves that is the art.

And that’s why I compared her to Frida. And that’s why I want to go and see the exhibition.

He’s a Scot. He’s from Paisley. I love him, but…

He’s NOT David Tennant! What’s going on?

I have a new love in my life. Not exactly in the lustful, pining ways I feel for David, mind. Purely for his artistic ability this time (although he is cute, but WAY too young for me!). My new love is Paolo Nutini.

Yes, only 3 years after he hit the music scene, I know! But I’m slow on the uptake sometimes!

It all started with an appearance he made on the live music show “Later…with Jools Holland” a couple of weeks ago. I’d not really taken him in much before. Oh course I’d heard of him. It was hard to escape hearing “Last Request” as it was a HUGE hit for him. But because it was Top 40, I didn’t take it in. Hardly anything in the Top 40 ever sways me these days. I’m not having my musical influences dictated to me by what 10 year old girls like!! I had just assumed he was a sort of cheesy, middle of the road singer. I wasn’t interested.

But after seeing him on Later… The way he performed, the sound of his voice, I was soon changing my mind. It was like he’d been possessed by a 65 year old African American blues singer. It was amazing! I had to look up how old he was later on and was astonished to find out that he’s only 22!! That’s how I learnt also that he’s from Paisley, home of David Tennant as well. I knew he was Scottish of course, but didn’t know where in Scotland he hailed from.

I went through the back catalogue. Of only one studio album, of course. Still can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the past stuff. But the new stuff he was performing and the matured vocal style have really got me excited about the new CD he is bringing out in just two weeks time. The first single off it was released yesterday and I’ve had a listen. I’m really looking forward to the album. Especially one track which he performed on Later…called 10/10. It was a STONKING track!

The album’s called “Sunny Side Up” and it’s out 1st June.
UPDATE: As of June 7th, 2009, Sunny Side Up is the UK Number 1 album! Go Paolo!

Doctor Who – Planet of the Dead

Just watched it an hour ago. Try very hard not to give away anything in my little review of it.

It’s MY opinion (my opinion okay, and I know my taste differs from others, so just wanted to highlight that it’s MY opinion and I’m not trying to put anyone off watching it. You can form your own opinion) that this was a wasted special.

The script was VERY light. I’d been listening to David Tennant being interviewed all week on the radio and he referred to the episode as being a “romp”. To me that would imply that it was pacy and exhilarating. Neither of these elements were reflected to me in the episode. Perhaps it felt different to David as he was filming it. It certainly didn’t come across on the screen to me.

Michelle Ryan’s character Lady Christina wasn’t a very interesting character. I found her irritating to the highest degree and I saw nothing redeeming about her. I just wanted her to pi** off actually.

Lee Evans’ character, Malcolm, was really good.

There was nothing scary about the aliens in the episode, about the Doctor’s predicament, or the location he found himself in.

There was the VAGUEST hint at what’s to come towards the end of the episode, but for Whovian’s who like their spoilers, it wasn’t revealing anything we don’t already know – POTENTIALLY.

All in all, I just came away from it disappointed. Just four precious episodes we have this year (the next now rumoured to be shown in November), so there should have been something more substantial to this script, but it just didn’t happen. Russell T. Davies and Gareth Roberts worked together on the script. Roberts scripted episodes “The Shakespeare Code” (S3E2) and “The Unicorn and The Wasp” (S4E7), both of which I like, particularly the latter. But obviously together, RTD and Roberts didn’t work writing it together. Sorry guys.

There were some funny elements, but I still come away thinking, “What a waste of one of David’s final episodes as Doctor Ten”. Just disappointed.

6/10