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Posted By Sandra Alland

Well, Y and I had so much fun in London that we, ahem, forgot our suitcase... I know, it sounds really dodgy, but we're so used to travelling to gigs with just the instruments and megaphone that it completely slipped our minds. So if you are trying to call me, well, I also left my phone charger there. And if you notice my clothes look unusual, well, I left almost all my clothes there too.

Anyway, so Found In Translation was great...I think there were about 70 people packed into the Soho Theatre studio, pretty impressive for 3pm on a Monday! And we've already had a few calls for gigs, so yay for that. Saw some lovely old friends and made some new ones too, hurrah! Thanks to everyone for coming, and to Chroma and Oxford Playhouse for making it all happen.

zorras soho


amphibia soho


alan soho

Alan Smith

shaun soho

Shaun Levin

soho akkas

A play by Akkas Al-Ali

This Sunday at 7:30pm Zorras play Manifesto Politikal Kabaret at the Tron Theatre (63 Trongate) in Glasgow. £5/£3. Hope to see you there.

In other news, um, well, Channel 4 had a good documentary on Joe Strummer last night. Next week I promise to bring you some scintillating news about some fantastic zines and other indie stuff I am currently smitten with. And more pics.



Posted By Sandra Alland

Well, I always knew my parents had artistic ambitions that were thwarted by money and circumstance, but who knew ma wee da wis a poet? Check him out:



Posted By Sandra Alland

Today feels like a sad day. But here's some inspiration -- a fabulous artist reading a fabulous anarchist: Sandra Oh reads Emma Goldman.



Posted By Sandra Alland

I entered my first literary contest, and won 3rd prize! Thanks to London's Chroma Journal for the publication and the much-needed moolah!

Judged by Sarah Waters, Robert Gluck and Betsy Warland. Here are the other winners, and you can get a copy of Chroma here.

Short Stories
emily m. danforth (USA) "The Truest Way to Name Something"
Ben Fergusson (England, Germany) "The Luck of Finding a Stationary Car"
Jade Brooks (USA) "Precious"
River Wolton (England) "Return"
John McCullough (England) "The Other Side of Winter"
Sandra Alland (Canada, Scotland) "Ambilingual"



Posted By Sandra Alland


Well, thank you Canada for the week of gorgeous summer weather! And thanks to all the beautiful friends who came to my gigs and hung out with me in the sunshine in Kensington Market or Lawrence & Orton Park. It's been nice to be warm (even when it 's cold, you Canadians have this great idea of *heating* your homes!) and to have my clothes dried in a dryer, oh my.

Some things I've loved since being here:

1. Dead Cars in Managua by Stuart Ross. A beautiful collection of poems by one of Canada's best writers. It's also one of his most personal collections... and there are pictures!

2. Cusp of Chaos by ryli skelton. Skelton's latest chapbook of poems... he's a supertalented up and coming writer who mixes humour and loss in divine ways. And he has a delicious touch of weirdness. Get it at This Ain't the Rosedale Library.

3. Shameless Magazine. Shameless is always yummy, and the new publisher and editor are doing a great job. I especially dug publisher Stacey Mae Fowles' piece on self-harm.

4. Mutant Superpowers and Lithium Pills: Bipolar Adventure Stories. I picked this zine up at Toronto Women's Bookstore. It's by Sascha Scatter of The Icarus Project, and is an engrossing account of personal thoughts on mental health, creativity and the medical system. Also superb details about community activism and peer support.

5. Auk/Blood by Tagaq. I have to give Tagaq's latest CD a few more listens for a final verdict. But of course she is brilliant. Listening to her can never be casual (which makes it a bit hard to throw into a party shuffle!) but if you have time to sit down and really listen, this CD is gorgeous, like going to a trippy opera. Tagaq often works with a dj, and has quite a lot of different and wondrous fusions going on. The only stuff I'm really not crazy about are her collaborations with Buck 65. It feels like she's just backup for his tracks, which doesn't do her justice. Also I find Buck 65's rhymes rather simple and cliche.

I want to talk about the gigs I read at, cuz everyone was so grand, but I will save that for another post, so I can add pictures. Okay? I'll miss you Canadialand.

As for the rest of you, I'll see you on the other side of the pond soon.



Posted By Sandra Alland

I just woke up from a weird dream where George and Barbara Bush were trying to score a photo op with me and some friends... no one would shake their hands, then I made some crazy speech that ended with "You are an asshole, Ms. Bush, and your family's days are numbered." Ha.

I wasn't really interested in the U.S. elections. I'm not so into government in general, I have a problem with Canada's obsession with US politics, and well... I have no faith in the Democrats or in Obama leaving Iraq. And yet... Obama certainly is a waaaaaaaaaaay better alternative, and perhaps more importantly, an amazing symbol of hope. And symbols are powerful, wonderful things.

Now I'm gonna go back to watching The Jeffersons... Canada has the best reruns.

I'm reading tonight one last time, details below (in yesterday's post).


Posted By Sandra Alland

Hi friends,
I have one more reading in town before I swim back across the pond... hope to see you there!

The Secret Ingredient (aka Fabulousness)
Wednesday November 5
at Clinton's (693 Bloor Street near Christie).
Pay What You Can (suggested $5-10).
Music, poetry and burlesque, featuring me, ryli skelton, Dainty Box, Laura Aidanblaise, Brescia Bloodbeard and Stacy B!
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.


Posted By Sandra Alland

Yesterday was about 18 degrees and GORGEOUS! I call that "summer" because I'm from Scotland now, and 18 is HOT in Scotland.

Pivot was great on Wednesday, I enjoyed the readings by Fraser Sutherland and Sally Cooper. Thanks to everyone who came out... and to those 5 lovely souls who bought my books. I read some short stories for the first time ever, and you were such sweet guinea pigs.

Monday is the launch of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's new novel, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly, at The Boat on Augusta in Kensington Market. 7pm, $5. Also featuring me, Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, Stacey Mae Fowles and Hal Niedzviecki. I will be reading another of my weird little stories.

R and I were fantastic communists for Hallowe'en. Oh my. We were trying to figure out two things: How do you dress like a capitalist? and Do they do so for Hallowe'en in Russia and Cuba? I am going to wear my little hat with the hammer and sickle on the plane home for fun -- though it might not turn out so fun...





I wasn't completely crazy about No Bra at Vasowe'en. I dug some of her lyrics and her general vibe, but I'm pretty tired of people singing not-so-well over bad beats...

In other news, Toronto made the expensive, ugly, and silly decision to make cigarettes "invisible" in corner stores by placing them inside hideous cupboards like this:


(thanks to the guy who posed in front of the atrocity)

And why only cigarettes? Why not put cancer-causing GMO foods inside grey cupboards, and toxic cleaning products? What about hiding SUVs behind ugly curtains so no one will be tempted by them? Oh, Canada...




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