Posted By Sandra Alland

The lovely Karen Miranda Augustine has interviewed me for The Artist's Business Digest, about my micropress sandraslittlebookshop.

In other news, you can now download Zorras' songs online from CD Baby!

In still other news, here is my article in Xtra! about the censorship of queer and trans art in Glasgow.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

 
Posted By Sandra Alland

"Scottish-Canadian poet Sandra Alland and musician Y. Josephine have a more experimental take on spoken word performance than your average word-spitter. Having emerged from the Edinburgh queer cabaret scene a few years ago, Zorras deliver their musical stories bilingually, mixing text, sound poetry, percussion, guitar, megaphones, singing and projected visual images. Though I'd wager their live performance is more true to their artistic vision than an audio recording, they are still interesting on CD, mixing it up between more musical numbers like the guitar-folk 'Nest' and more radio-dramatized pieces like 'Here's To Wang." I personally love the 'In the Details' spoken interludes, humorous musings on the idiosyncrasies of the Bulgarian language." - Curve Magazine, Feburary 2010

In other news, Cachín Cachán Cachunga is Tuesday at 7:30pm at The Street. Don't miss Alison Smith and Penny Stenhouse. Also Zorras and Lily, and a few filmic and musical surprises!

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Hi all -

I put together this demo of Zorras' performances, photos and recordings from the past two years. It should be up soon, if youtube ever processes it... (is the internet getting slower and slower in general, or is it just the bloody UK!?)

With thanks to Ariadna Battich, Teo Vlad and Evi Tsiligaridou. And love always to Y.

Enjoy... Zorras Demo 2010.

xo

ps when will this snow stop????????


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Thanks to all our friends who came out to the most excellent Christmas party at the ceaselessly amazing Elvis Shakespeare Music and Books. If you're shopping, please shop there! They are a rare last bastion of community-oriented shops. And they have good stuff.

Zorras had a blast and enjoyed all the other bands who managed to cram themselves into that tiny corner among too many records, books, beer bottles and people. We especially dug the Fnords. Pure surf-punk joy.

In other news, please read the following review of Angels of Anarchy (see previous post on this amazing show at Manchester Art Gallery) by London's fantastic Sopher Mayer. I can't tell you enough times to go see this show if you get the chance.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

The blatantly fascist/racist British Nationalist Party's website currently describes the Copenhagen Summit as an "anti-white guilt hatefest which will see billions more taxpayers' cash poured into the Third World." When will Britian do something about the BNP?

In other news, Borders is closing its doors in Glasgow. In the Metro "news", there were reports of campaigns to keep it open. The quotes were as follows: "I met my wifey at the Starbucks in Borders." "I like watching people passing from the window." and "I enjoyed wandering around." No one mentioned books or magazines. I guess that explains why these "protesters" weren't around to protest the closing of independent bookshops...

I do have to admit that I'm slightly sad to see Borders close, only because it's one of the very, very, very few places in Scotland where you can get at least a minimum selection of independent arts, feminist and LGBT magazines and journals. Waterstones, for example, do not sell a single magazine or journal. This is very scary. And I don't know of one good independent bookshop in Glasgow or Edinburgh that specialises in new books and magazines on a wide variety of topics.

Speaking of the death of books and book culture, have you heard of Google Books? Google Books freaked me out a while back when I read they were scanning billions of books to put online without permission. Now it seems there's a class-action suit against them for copyright infringement, which they deny and yet are agreeing to a settlement about.

It's all very confusing for a poet but it seems that I can get the whopping sum of 30 quid for each of my published books that was stolen by Google. From now on I can also supposedly get payments if people request full views of my books (currently the views are partial yet extensive) or click on advertisements for new cars or breath mints next to my books. I can also decide how much of the work and what sections people can view. Finally I have the option to delete my books from their database, but with the threat that they will not be rescanned in the future should I change my mind (e.g. because Google owns the whole world and it's the only way to read anything.)

My first instinct is to have my books deleted, yet I'm a bit confused. Look here and tell me your thoughts if you're so inspired www.googlebooksettlement.com/

In still other news, Noisy Nights was fantastic! Check out the next one in February. It's the Traverse Theatre's new music night, where they accept scores by new and established composers, then arrange a (usually somewhat bizarre) trio of professional musicians to play them live. I especially loved Robert Irvine on the saw and Judith Keaney on the toy piano. Zorras had a blast, and even sold some CDs, which was impressive to me in such a discerning crowd. Also fittingly the logo for Noisy Nights is a person with a megaphone, and the Traverse is currently showcasing Zorro.

Now back to bed with me. Haven't been feeling well.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Zorras play Noisy Nights on Monday 7 December at 8pm at the Traverse Theatre bar on Lothian Road. Free admission to this cool night of new music experiments, with a focus on composition.

In less fun news, my experience working for GoMA and Culture and Sport Glasgow (and without my knowledge Glasgow City Council) has (among other things) confirmed for me the notion that the government should never ever ever have any direct involvement with the arts. Funding for the arts is of course necessary, but politicians should not have any direct say about the actual commissioning, production or dissemination of art. It's a slippery slope when it comes to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. As soon as you let them decide one thing, suddenly they are deciding everything -- not only limiting artists and art itself, but also limiting what the general public can and can't see, or the way in which they see it. For many people (including queers and trans and disabled folk) this is a scary thing in a prejudiced world. Just plain icky.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Thanks to the lovely man on the bench, the even lovelier man with the cape, the stupidity of those who wish to hurt those I love, and the sweetest friends a person could have. Thanks also to A in London, who is always there. Sometimes there is strange justice, sometimes you survive something you think will destroy you, and sometimes gifts arrive from unexpected places.

I know this all sounds obtuse, dear reader, but in some of our lives there are things you can't say for legal reasons. The main lesson of 2008 and 2009? Poetry and metaphor have more uses than I imagined... So beware, forces of evil, because books are coming and you shall pay dearly, if only in your hearts.

In other news, Zorras brought the house down at GFest, a lovely queer festival in London. The Cochrane Theatre was a fantastic venue... it was especially fab to see Ariadna Battich's beautiful videos on the big big screen.

In still other news,my first major art show, b)other, opens this Wednesday (to the public on Thursday) at Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. For info on b)other and the collective I've been collaborating with, read a wee article in The Skinny.

And then I must sleep until January, forgive me if I'm not often here. Sadly the end of this chapter has not yet arrived, we've just been given a moment's pause to clean our glasses... xox


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Reminder:

Sandra Alland Open Studio, with members of the b)other collective
Thursday 5 November
Trongate 103 Visting Artist Studio
(located at 103 Trongate, Glasgow)
3-5pm and 6-9pm
Free!

(see previous post for more info)

In other news, Matthew Jebb has started a new radio show on Edinburgh's Fresh Air. Listen at 11pm here. Zorras song-poem thingamobobbies will be played!

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

A few people have commented intelligently and respectfully on the SubCity website, and I thank them for it (see yesterday's post). Others (from SubCity) have made further ridiculous and often offensive statements. I was considering writing a letter of complaint to the station, or commenting in their comments section, but I've decided I won't waste any more breath or time on this. Except to say I find it hilarious that the station bothers to do "reviews" at all (given their guidelines, their reviewers' lack of training or skill, and their whinging that they are volunteers); that it defends racism by saying the racist is just a student and that it's perfectly legitimate to complain if someone is speaking a funny language you don't understand; and that some guy thought he was insulting Zorras by saying that when he searched us online all he found was Spanish porn. That's kinda the point, genius...

Thanks for the entertainment.

xo

NOTE from 9 Oct.: Subcity has removed many of the loaded comments now (without saying that they have been removed). Now they are speaking calmly, and pretending to have a professional opinion...


 


 
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