Posted By Sandra Alland

Hello friends,

I'm blogging from the library, thanks to lack of funds coupled with the mysterious disappearance of my mysterious free internet. The library is depressing: it is filled with terrible romance novels and some Steven King. I managed to find only three passable books, and I'm not exaggerating.

1. Amulet by Roberto Bolano, which was quite good. I would like to read it in Spanish, but well, I just told you where I am. Anyway, Bolano writes beautifully, and with an unnerving humour. I dig him.

2. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, which was quite terrible (honestly, in Tipping the Velvet her use of the word "queer" to mean strange was okay and even ironic & cute but in all her subsequent and straighter books she not only continues to overuse the word but it has started to outright annoy me so that I curse every time it appears which is once every page or so!). But more than that, it was just like, Why did you choose to write this book? And why did you take so long to tell me nothing? Plus, really, wah wah wah, some rich English family is losing their estate and have fallen to the point where they have only one maid, and also they have a poltergeist. My heart breaks. Etc. Finally, what a TERRIBLE title, no?

3. Alice Munro, I forget the title but am liking it so far. She is an excellent writer.

One more mini-rant, though: both Waters and Munro use the words "cripple" and "invalid" as if they're acceptable. And Munro actually used cripple as a metaphor, coupled with another nasty blind metaphor, in the same sentence. Ick. Who edits this stuff? Besides being offensive, the metaphors are just so overused...

In other news, Zorras have been unceremoniously deleted from Facebook for using a "fake name". You would not believe the list of rules sent to us about names. It is absurd and we may publish it here for you to marvel over if we can be assed. We are not really that interested in getting back in the the facefuk, to be honest. They are Control Freaks, like a bad boygirlfriend or something.

Zorras played Pussy Whipped in Manchester on Saturday. It was grand! Thanks for having us, lovely Ste McCabe! And also it was great to celebrate the birthday of the Number Nine, our lovely friend who pops in and out of our lives (and of countries) faster than you can count to... well, Nine.

Okay I have secretly found a way to have more than one session at this library but they will soon become suspicious and kick me out so I must run. (You can only have one hour even though I'm the only person here except for the teenager who comes in to search Cougar sites).

More exciting library news coming your way soon. I will see if I can force them to order a poetry book or two, but I'm not going to hold my breath.


Posted By Sandra Alland

Tomorrow night Zorras play The Wailing Banshee at Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, 9:30 doors. Free!


Posted By Sandra Alland

Yesterday I witnessed my first uberviolent football standoff in Edinburgh. Two groups of about 20 men were not just fighting but truly trying to kill each other with all manner of materials: their belts, pieces of wood, garbage cans, fists and feet. They were smashing the windows and doors of a pub to get at those inside (who were desperately trying to hold the doors shut). One group of five men threw another man to the ground and kicked him repeatedly in the head (while holding onto a pole for extra leverage) until finally a brave woman drove up and chased them off. The injured man couldn't stand, and fell into the road. The animal pack mentality was utterly terrifying and depressing to witness.

Naturally by the time the police arrived everyone was gone. No ambulances came and the very injured man was left/allowed to walk home. Not only was he probably brain-injured but he was also an aggressor and should perhaps have been questioned... the police were quite useless... honestly one of the most horrific things I've seen, with also no clear "bad guy"... and all for football? Or?


photo blurred for obvious reasons...

In brighter news, I visited a lovely friend in Dublin last week. It was delightful to spend time with Sir Valliard, philosopher extraordinaire. Sadly, Dublin is perhaps the most expensive city in Europe: a crap bottle of wine costs 7 euro and a glass of wine or a pint is about the same in a pub. Speaking of crap haha, Krapp's Last Tape cost 30 euros on the cheap day, so there was no Beckett for me or any other person not middle class... The new SoGo Festival was also too twee for us, and seemed to have spent more money on advertising and forming partnerships with posh restaurants than on quality events. Nonetheless we amused ourselves immensely, as we had the comfort of the wonderful Irish faces (and the stellar collection of books and music) at The Secret Book and Record Store... plus the pure joy of excellent conversation.





Posted By Sandra Alland

Tomorrow night is the 10th Cachín Cachán Cachunga! at The Street. The wonderful Andra Simons is in from London, don't miss him -- he's a rare treat. And his stellar new book is here with him. The Joshua Tales is available tomorrow night, and also from Tree House Press.  Cachín will also feature a new story from Hamish MacDonald and other yumminess. Dance the night away with DJ Supernowoczesna, too!

xo Now I'm going back to have fun with Andra, bye!


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.


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

I'm in this fabulous new anthology in protest against Stephen Harper's (that's Canada's Prime Minister in case you live elsewhere) ridiculous decision to prorogue parliament until after the Olympics, in order to avoid scandal over Canada's complicity in torture. It's called Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament. Edited by Stuart Ross and Stephen Brockwell, check it out!

In other news, over 2000 people gathered in Edinburgh yesterday to kick out the racist Scottish Defense League (which is really The English Defense League who travelled up here to cause shit). The fascists and neo-Nazis were not permitted to march, for the second time in Scotland in two months. Go Edinburgh!


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!


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.


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.




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