Posted By Sandra Alland

Zorras play The Arches in Glasgow tomorrow, as part of Scratch. Come check it out! 7:30pm, only 2 quid!

In other news, it was grand to see that Stills Gallery decided to present the work that GoMA was too wimpy to present a year and a half ago. So far the world has not fallen apart from the shock, and also many people have been able to see Dani Marti's important and engaging films about HIV-positive gay men in Scotland.

In still other news, the library took my complaint about the transphobic librarians seriously, which was quite surprising and refreshing. They even *phoned* me. So that was a nice little moment, which was quickly erased the next day when yet another drunk asshole verbally assaulted Zorras, and was about to attack us, but then suddently revealed that he had "realised we weren't men" and left us alone with a "fuckin lesbos". Apparently we have him to thank for our existence because he was "in Afghanistan". Yeah. Some days I'm not sure why I leave the flat...

Shouldn't leave things on such a blech note.... so I'll tell you that Neu! Reekie!, a new night of poetry, film and music at Scottish Books Trust, was just grand. Zorras had a blast, and congratulate Michael Pederson and Kevin Williamson on bringing together such a strangely sublime combo of work. There was a smorgasbord of fascinating international and local films; we especially enjoyed those of Sacha Kahir.

Okay, play safe kids. It's a messy world out there.



Posted By Sandra Alland

Tomorrow night is the last instalment of Cachín Cachán Cachunga! for a while... Zorras will be presenting a new film and two new poetry-music performance entities. Also featuring the fabulous Miss Leggy Pee, K Anderson, Evan Greer and Lily. More info here. We're sad we might be saying good-bye to our beloved Cachín, but the times they are a-changin'... please join us for the party!

In other news, I wanted to say some nice things about Nick-E Melville and rodney relax's Throat Cuts Not Bonus Cuts at the Roxy on 7 October. These two poets are among Edinburgh's most interesting (and consequently, most ignored). They both gave fab readings, as did guest Jim Ferguson (one of Glasgow's best and most ignored poets). Performances by Wounded Knee (who creates amazing layered sound pieces) and Shellsuit Massacre (the high-energy poetry-music-video duo of Melville and relax) were also stellar. The night was lacking in women (it was just us Zorras) but overall was one of the best poetry-based events I've been to in ages.... down to the posters on the walls by amazing (and less-ignored) Scottish poet Tom Leonard, and other visual contributions from the newly-formed and intriguing Zoo Station. It was inspiring to see so many artists who are engaged politically and *also* making fascinating and challenging art.

Coming soon... Things I Can't Stand About Most Poetry Readings and Journals, or How Not To Treat Artists.


Posted By Sandra Alland

Many thanks to The Wine Monkey and A. Valliard for all their help... Watch the newest Zorras' video here.


Posted By Sandra Alland

There's something in the air lately... something kinda like hope. After helping kick the Nazis out of town the other day, I found out there's a new indie bookshop in Bruntsfield called The Edinburgh Bookshop. Then today I went by The Forest Cafe and discovered that their renovations are complete and Snip & Sip is up and running!

Snip & Sip is run by Magda, a wonderful hairdresser who will cut your hair and give you vodka, all for a very reasonable price! Also she plays the music of local indie musicians while she cuts (and you drink). On the beautiful shelves around her shop are publications by The Forest, as well as indie books, zines and CDs. It is divine. Go there! 


snip sign

snip chair

snip books 

pretty no? All those yummy zines and CDs and books!! xoxo

Posted By Sandra Alland

"And if you can't trust your friends? What then? What then..."

The opening and closing lines of Danny Boyle's crackin Shallow Grave. Just watched it again for the first time since 1994. It's still great stuff, a wonderful thriller (set in creepy Edinburgh). But I also got new things out of it, and saw it as an intense metaphor for betrayal in general. The things that happen are so over-the-top, but give such startling imagery for what it's like to be "stabbed in the back" by a loved one (in this case stabbed in the front, and then the knive gets twisted deeper haha) that I couldn't help but think the whole story was a creative way of illustrating a more "normal" (and non-filmic) betrayal. Whatever the case, it's grand. And scary and sad.

Other grand things: Rabiya Choudhry's part in Diaspora at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Choudhry is a fantastic local artist who explored her mixed heritage (Scottish and Pakistani) and how it has impacted her art and her life. The work was deeply personal, and deeply moving. The world needs more Rab. Catch an interview with her about the project here.

And EVERYONE at last night's Cachin Cachan Cachunga was grand! Seriously, Carolyn Anona Scott sang like an angel, Ariadna Battich's film brought a tear to more than a few eyes, Kristi Taylor's reading was hilarious and her artwork stunning, and Lily danced the most powerful piece I've seen her do yet. Thanks to Anna, Jesus (not the lord and saviour one the Grassmarket one), Rebeca Pla and The Street for all the help! Next month is Rabiya Choudhry, Pat Cunningham, Gein Wong and of course Lily and Zorras. 7:30 on 15 September at The Street.


Posted By Sandra Alland

So Michael Jackson died. There's of course more news coverage on the death of a pop star than on the stepped-up wars in Afghanistan, or the new reports of torture in secret U.S. prisons (and the Brits who lent a helping hand). Nonetheless it is one of those... historic moments? When I was ten, I wanted to *be* Michael Jackson. There's that, too. In the end I never knew what to think of the man, except that he was talented and knew how to move people...

But Farrah Fawcett died yesterday too... and Charlie's Angels were pretty damn cool. I also wanted to be her when I was 10. Bad timing, Farrah. I'm afraid no one's gonna notice now... there's too much cash to be made off of Michael.

In better news, Y was on fire last night. Zorras played to a small but delicious crowd at the lovely lovely Bowery. Thanks to Jane for the gig! Hailey Beavis was great too, she's quite a composer and plays guitar superwell. And I super super dug The Debutante Hour, a trio of women who are hilarious and fun and gooooooooooooood. Some of the best lyrics I've heard in ages! Too bad you can't see them, cuz they're off to Poland, but check them out if you can. Y joined them onstage for a couple of songs, one of which was a Ukrainian song that brought the house down!

In still other news, I saw on the news the other day that Prince Charles spent 3 million pounds of taxpayers' money on travel last year! I've never been a fan of the royal family, yet I'm more infuriated than usual. And that's just *one* of a huge family of idiots. But instead of doing away with the royals (I mean, really, don't they have enough of their own money??!), the government does things like focusing on the tiny number of people committing "benefit fraud." They encourage people to spy on their neighbours and report those living in poverty who may have "stolen" 200 pounds, when the real thieves are the banks (that have been bailed out with our money), the car companies (also bailed out with our money), and here in the UK -- the royal family. Millions of pounds for non-essential travel is never justifiable, and even less so in these times.

Lastly, check out the new shows as part of Sh[OUT] at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. Anthony Schrag collaborated with LGBTI faith communities (including Al Jannah, Metropolitan Community Church and Quest), and David Sherry worked with The Scottish Transgender Alliance.

And speaking of the queers, tomorrow is Pride Scotia. The parade kicks off at 1pm on The Royal Mile.


Posted By Sandra Alland

Thanks to everyone who came to visit me at the Meadows Festival today, and to B and M for sharing their stall with me. Here are some pics... B presented the "smallest theatre ever" and it was crackin. If only all actors were so cooperative...










Posted By Sandra Alland

In the midst of another rage-fest at the UK governmnent regarding ridiculous barriers set up for people with disabilities (it's time for me to "prove" I'm disabled yet again!), I have also fallen into a rage against the Belgian government and their fascist idenitiy cards and incompetency. European bureaucracy is unbearably ridiculous and ineffective, and a huge waste of money...

To combat all this anger, I will talk about some lovely art that has come my way recently...

1. Let The Right One In is, gorgeous and moving, um... horror film? It's beautifully shot, and the young actors are incredible. By far the best "coming-of-age" film I've ever seen, as well as the best vampire film. Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson is shockingly good. This is a film I want to own! (and due to pickiness and poverty I only own 4 films and some Wholphin DVDs.) See Let The Right One In at The Filmhouse in Edina.

2. Sophie Mayer's first book of poetry, Her Various Scalpels, is a juicy collection indeed. Mayer's imagery is densely beautiful, and even her poems about films feel deeply personal, drawing you in like an incantation. These are pieces I will return to often, always to find something new.

3. American translator Mark Schafer has finally published his ambitious anthology of Mexican poet and activist David Huerta's work, Before Saying Any of the Great Words. The collection is divine, featuring some very early poems by Huerta, as well as selections from his book-length poem, and a large amount of recent work. It's lushly designed, and has facing pages in Spanish and English. It's great to be able to watch an artist's progression in this way, especially one whose style has changed so much. Many thanks to Mark for dedicating himself to this translation at a time when we are seeing fewer and fewer translations...

4. Steven Smith, a local Edinburgh singer/songwriter, has released his first CD, and I dig it. Smith has a pretty but interesting voice, and isn't afraid to delve a wee bit into melodrama (slightly a la Antony and the Johnsons). He also throws in a fair amount of humour, which is always a plus for me.

5. Last, but definitely not least, Edinburgh's Shellsuit Massacre has released an EP that will knock your socks off.  This spoken word band is refreshingly political, especially about class issues  -- and funny, too. The EP comes with a wonderfully tactile booklet of poetry -- -interesting note: many pieces are made from found text. I especially dig "drug king bully" and "yi hoodies". Kudos to the designer, and to this weird and wiley duo of shit-disturbers.


Posted By Sandra Alland

Ah, Edinburgh. City where I have now been egged twice by homophobic idiots. I don't really know what more to add to that. Eggs hurt quite a freakin lot, bruise skin even more, and ruin clothes. Yay, eggs. Yay, cowards. Yay, Scotland.

In other depressing news, that Patti Smith documentary kinda reeks. I love Patti Smith. I don't love watching her eat a hot dog on Coney Island for ten minutes. I don't know... I watch a documentary about a rock star poet, and I guess I kinda want to see... rock n' roll and poetry? Not hot dogs. Not her annoying 14 year-old son. Not endless shots of her apartment. Etc. Snore. And it must've been quite hard to make Patti Smith boring. I guess they deserve kudos for that at least...



Posted By Sandra Alland

Pockets is a crackin local musician... Y and I bumped into him on the last train from Glasgow... where he and his KazooKeylele had made some new friends...



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