Last night, after a session at the gym I may add, I went to see a gig under the banner of "Deliverance" at the Elm Tree in Cowley Road, Oxford. It was, believe it or not, a country-themed evening, not my usual kind of music but there you go.
We were there really to see the lovely Piney Gir who had a country band (guitars, bass, pedal steel, drums) backing her rather than her usual two guys with synthesisers. She did a number of songs from off her "Peekahokahoo" album, although these were performed in a country style (although "Greetings, Salutations, Goodbye" was recorded in a country style to start with). On the whole, it all worked out very nicely, although one song was abandoned because the lead guitar player couldn't remember how it went and the rest of the band seemed to thing in was in 3/4 when it should have been in 4/4.
Piney herself was resplendent in one of her fab 50s style dresses and had a mental pair of Dorothy-esque glittery red high open-toed wedges on her tootsies. Oh, and instead of the usual Yamaha "key-tar" synth around her neck, she was playing an accordian. Far more appropriate.
All in all, a good night out, although Ghost did seem intent on driving us all under a lorry on the way there!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:28 pm
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Hey, I've just noticed... Simon at Simon's Skip is blogging again. Hurrah! I thought he gave up a while back. He certainly went quiet for a long while and then announced that the blog was to be no more. When did that all change then? It's going to take me ages to catch up again!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 2:04 pm
Oh, at last Blogger lets me log on! Well, a lot has been happening since last Friday when I posted last (foretting my mini birthday post).
On Friday itself I went to see Julian Cope at the Royal Festival Hall. Last time I saw him (at Oxford) he was playing solo - just him and a guitar - but this time he had his whole band with him - I think I prefer it that way. It was good value for money - about three and a half hours of solid music. Bizarrely Cope and his band came on stage first and did a complete set, then it was time for the support act (Comets on Fire, or something. They were just noise merchants), and then Cope came back and did a second set.
He did all his usual going out into the audience thing whilst singing, everyone grabbing him, snogging women etc, but for most of the songs he was playing guitar (a Gibson Flying V faded cherry jobby, just like mine) so he had to stay up on the stage for these songs. Loads of great songs included "Hanging Out and Hung Up to Dry", "Spacehopper", "Highway to the Sun", "Raynard the Fox", and even a couple of Teardrop Explodes songs "Bouncing Babies" and "Reward"! There were also a bunch of new tunes from the latest album "Citizen Cain'd" but I've not received my copy yet so have yet to familiarise myself with them.
"Raynard the Fox" closed the proceedings, and he did the long rant at the end, then climbed his budgie-perch mike stand, ripped his t-shirt, and went at his bare chest with the top part of the mike stand. I'd read in his autobiography that he'd cut himself like this on stage in Japan years ago, and I was cringing as he did it. I don't know if he was bleeding but he had some very nasty looking red marks on his chest. I could have done without that bit, to be honest, as I'm quite a squeamish person. (A lot of people have been talking about this Dr Gunther von Hagens chap dissecting bodies on Channel 4 television... I don't know how they could watch it personally. Is the world getting harder-skinned?)
Saturday, Sunday... blah blah blah, oh I can't remember. I don't think anything of any particular importance happened.
Monday was a crappy day, just felt really depressing (and according to the BBC website scienctists had announced that it WAS indeed the most depressing day of the year. There's scientist's for you, up to their old tricks again).
Tuesday was my birthday, so in some ways that was still depressing. I had only two cards when I woke up, and one of those was from my great aunt and it was actually a notelet not even a real card and featured a picture of a butterfly. Now anyone who knows me will know that I HATE butterflies. I loathe the bloody things, the mere sight of them can turn my stomach. So I had two cards, only one of which I could put up on the mantelpiece because I couldn't bare to look at the other. (Hey, I'm not the only one, apparently Nicole Kidman hates butterflies as well).
After work I went to see the psychic medium Derek Acorah live on stage at the New Theatre in Oxford. He's the guy that regularly appears on Living TV's "Most Haunted". When I first saw him on telly, I thought "What a load of old crap", then I started getting really into it and being impressed at what he does, and then in more recent months I've been getting more cynical again. I definitely approached the whole evening from a sceptical stance. I wanted to see for myself the sort of thing he does, and try to decide for myself how "supernatural" it really is.
I can't say that I was really convinced by his "powers", although he was quite entertaining. Some of the things he was coming out with, things that were supposedly being conveyed to him by the spirit contacts he was claiming to have made for people in the audience were just too generalised, and when the person in the audience who thought they might know the spirit person he was talking about didn't recognize some aspect of what he said, he'd just fob it off by saying that it must in that case be something that's about to happen in the future.
However, there was one woman in the audience who kept saying yes to everything that Derek came out with (supposedly from her dead mother). That one was a bit more impressive beacause of the number and nature of things that she verified (how could he know all that?), although I'm not prepared to say it was paranormal or any such thing, especially when you consider the talents of Derren Brown who does not claim to have any paranormal powers at all but uses misdirection, subliminal messages, psychology, etc to make people think he can read minds, etc. (I'm going to see him in May, too!) So anyway, viewed as entertainment, it was fair enough, but I don't think I really buy into it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:13 pm
I didn't win a queerie award for best transgender weblog. Never mind. I suppose it might have had something to do with the lack of recent tranny-related content. I can't remember the last time I discussed any transgender issues on here. I got bored with all that a long time ago, to be perfectly frank. Hey, but a couple of years ago I would have won, because this was the only transgender weblog to be found anywhere (well, the only one I could ever find, anyway, and believe me I did look), so at least I can say I was the first.
Off to see Julian Cope tonight at the Royal Festival Hall. Looking forward to it!
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:44 pm
I was rather alarmed when I returned from Wales over the Christmas hoidays to see that my cat appeared to be much much bigger than he was when I'd left. I'd bought a whole bag of Iams cat food before I left and it was nearly finished in under two weeks. It should have lasted him much longer. I think Karen must have been feeding him each and every time he meowed.
This weekend I'd been visiting Shel in Kent. When I got home, the cat came and made a fuss of me, and he followed me into the bathroom (he's got a thing about coming into the bathroom whilst you're sitting on the loo) and he sat on the weighing scales. Curiousity got the better of me - I couldn't stop myself taking a look to see how much he weighed. 1 stone, that's how much! I must say I was shocked.
So, I need to instigate a feline dietary regime. I just need to persuade Karen (who is at home in the daytime when I'm at work) to go along with it.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:56 am
Eeeeeks! I've only just found out that this blog was one of those nominated in the Best Trans Blog category in the Queer Day Queeries: Queery Awards 2004. It seems that voting finished several days ago. I wonder how I got on?
posted by Gina Snowdoll 3:40 pm
Monday, January 10, 2005
My religious upbringing
I didn't come from a particularly religious family. I remember my sister and I as small kids singing Christmas carols with my Dad in the dark in our bedroom, illuminated only by the orange glow of the bars of an electric fire. I found that quite magical at the time, and it's one my earliest memories of Christmas.
We also went to Sunday School for a brief period. Sunday School confused the hell out of me as a small child. I mean, at Christmas we were told about the nativity and how the baby Jesus was born, how all the wise men and shepherds and all the various animals gathered together to praise the newly born messiah. But then in Sunday school we were told all these other stories about Jesus and all his disciples, how he performed miracles, how he told parables, and how these great crowds of people would flock to hear his words of wisdom, etc, and I thought, "Wow! That's pretty clever. A talking baby."
The whole concept of God confused me also. I remember once when I was about 6 or 7 years old my Uncle was paying us a visit and he was reading this newspaper article, and I remember there was a photograph of this great big statue, and I asked him what it was all about, and he explained to me that it was an artist's idea of what he thought God looked like (wasn't there something in the Bible about NOT making graven images of God?), because no-one knew what God looked like. I told my Uncle that was silly, everyone knew what God looked like.
"Do you?" he said.
"Of course I do," I replied, "He's got a big white beard and white hair, and he's dressed in a red suit and hat with white fur around the edges, and..."
"That's Father Christmas," my Uncle told me.
"Yeah, I know." I replied.
As far as I knew Father Christmas and God were one and the same person. You just didn't tend to refer to him as Father Christmas when it wasn't the Christmas season. He was Father Christmas when it was Christmas and for the rest of the year he was God. It made perfect sense to me.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 10:33 pm
* OK, 11 then. Or is it 12? Or are the last few cheats and should it just be 8?
There was absolutely no question about the No 1 album. It had to be Piney Gir's debut "Peakahokahoo" which is an album that I could so easily throw so many superlatives at. It features a mixture of styles - electro-pop, country, jazz, guitar pop - but it all coheres nicely into a whole. It is in its parts equally charming, fey, snarling and attitude-ridden. It also includes a couple of bizarre cover versions - a synth version of The Who's "My Generation" with Piney's distorted broken vocals, and a brief by-the-numbers version of the Doris Day classic "Que Cera Cera" which quickly segues into Piney's own "Girl", a feminist electro-pop anthem.
Wreckless Eric's "Bungalow Hi" was a near contender for my personal No 1 spot, but it's quite a bleak album subject-wise (and bleak doesn't mean bad, it's just that it's not always what you'll be in the mood to listen to) and so I opted for the much more up-beat Piney Gir album.
Actually, when compiling the list I was surprised to find out how few new albums I actually bought during 2004, which is why I had to cheat and include the Super Furry Animals singles compilation and the re-release of The Damned's "Machine Gun Ettiquette". (I also included two fab in-concert DVDs from 2004, by Sparks and Goldfrapp.) I thought that I'd bought quite a lot of CDs last year, but I guess the majority of them must have been older albums. I know there were a few bootlegs that I can't include in the list.
There was one other album I wanted to include but couldn't on the Amazon list because Amazon doesn't stock it, namely Julian Cope's "Live Japan '91" CD (available from the merchandise section on his website).
posted by Gina Snowdoll 1:34 pm
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Bringing the blog into 2005
I've been home for a few days now but haven't been feeling too well - I think it's the residue of this cold thing I've had over Christmas. More recently I've been suffering from non-stop headaches, feeling sick, and all that sort of lovely stuff. Fun, eh?
Christmas was a bit of a strange affair to be honest. My sister and her mob didn't make an appearance with the rest of us in Wales until quite a few days after Christmas day because she was suffering quite badly with the flu.
For Christmas Eve night and Christmas day itself we were joined by a friend of my parents. He is an MS sufferer, and I don't wish to sound uncharitable, but he was really hard work. My parents are both retired now and certainly aren't getting any younger and they are not really able to cope with caring for him. He's stayed previous years with us, but it seems he's gotten much worse this last year. I had to help take him to the toilet, and I'm obvioiusly a lot younger than my Mum and Dad but I too found the whole thing really difficult. Also Christmas Eve night he fell out of bed and I had to get up and help him. Getting him upstairs in the first place was hard enough - it took three of us.
Also on Christmas day we were joined by my grandmother and great aunt. They are 86 and 90 respectively and are both quite deaf. Some very difficult conversations ensued!
Christmas Day itself was white, but white with hailstones and not snow! Actually, the weather was really weird. One moment sunny and bright, then cloudy and raining, then snow showers - which didn't settle - and loads of showers of hail - which did settle in icy drifts - and which rattled against the windows and thundered against the conservatory roof.
On Boxing Day we woke up and were greeted with the television news of the terrible tsunami tragedy in South Asia. (Sorry, I didn't mean to alliterate that, it looks a bit naff, but I can't think of an alternative right now, my brain's a bit fried).
I think it was the Wednesday after Christmas that my sister, her husband and the sprogs turned up. It was good to see them all, but I was a disappointed that the kids already have the DVD of "Shrek 2" and had watched it, as I'd brought my own copy of that and was looking forward to watching it with them. (I watched it on my own a couple of days later).
New Year's Eve was spent playing board games with Mum and Dad and my Sister's mob. We put the telly on for Big Ben at midnight. We respected the two (?) minutes silence before the chimes, but I thought that the quarter of an hour solid of fireworks afterwards were totally over-the-top, gratuitous and, quite frankly, obscene. To think one that moment we are asked to remember the people killed in the tsunami disaster and then the next moment watch as millions of pounds of explosives are detonated. Am I really the only person who thought this was sick?
Another really sad thing that happened was that a close friend of the family died on the 30th December. I won't name her or go into any further details out of respect to her and her family.
posted by Gina Snowdoll 9:06 pm