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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

TRANARCHY Let's Go Bitch!

This is the House of Tranarchy's first video. More coming soon!

Monday, 30 January 2012

House of TRANARCHY!

TRANARCHY is now a HOUSE! Check us out:



I'm loving this pic of me:



We're not here to be shady, just fierce.

The door to the House of Tranarchy is always open, but there may be a queue for the bathroom!

Join the Tranarchy Facebook group here.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Joyce D'Vision opens the Everything's Great exhibition



EVERYTHING's GREAT is an art exhibition in The Hive Gallery in The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre (Rochdale) featuring work from Gary Fisher, Lou Woodcock, Jennifer McCarthy and Helen Shanahan of the band Womb. Joyce was on hand to do the official show unveiling, you can see that here:

"Everything's Great!" exhibition opening from Sian Williams on Vimeo.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Menergy Mascara Massacre flyer

Featuring the one and only Von Sauvage (also the designer).



It's on Feb 11th - more details here.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

January Bollox'd

A couple of nice pics from Friday's Bollox at Legends.



Friday, 20 January 2012

The Art Of Mixing

I posted a much longer entry on this video on Dangerous Minds, and I am sharing it here too because I love it so much.

This video fills me with happiness every time I watch it. Sure, it's funny and kitsch, but it's also full of valuable information. David Gibson comes across as very likeable and does a great job of imparting tips for mixing music well, but also just the sheer joy of working with music:

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Manchester Is Burning


Photo by Paddy Baston.

It was almost exactly one year ago that Growler and Niallist held our screening of Paris Is Burning at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. We met some pretty awesome people that night, people who have become good friends and work colleagues. Sadly, some of those folks are not with us any more, but from tragedy can spring triumph.

We have some very exciting news about events that are coming up in the immediate future, as well as expansion of the whole Tranarchy enterprise. SO watch this space. The future is very exciting - we gonna be runnin tings!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Shit Bears Say

I'm pretty over the "Shit X Says" meme, but gotta say this one is pretty spot on:

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

ELECTROSEXUAL Discolition EP Available on iTunes



Electrosexual's new EP "Discolition" is out today, featuring remixes of the track "Discolition" by myself and Neue Volt.

You can purchase the EP here: http://itunes.apple.com/de/album/discolition-ep/id490843550

You can hear the tracks at the Rock Machine Records Soundcloud page.

And skip back a few entries to hear my remixx/edit.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Dangerous Minds featured in the New Yorker

The New Yorker has posted an article on its blog about Dangerous Minds, explaining how it came into being, who writes for it and what's it's generally about. Joyce D'Vision is even mentioned:



What follows is an e-mail exchange with the site’s founder, Richard Metzger, edited and shortened for clarity.

Who puts Dangerous Minds together, and what is everyone’s current (or previous) day gig?

I was the co-owner of a left-leaning book publishing and DVD distribution company called Disinformation (which I left in 2005). We released “OutFoxed” and documentaries like that. I hosted an underground culture show for Britain’s Channel 4 for a couple of years. I’d interview people like Robert Anton Wilson, Douglas Rushkoff, Grant Morrison, and Genesis P-Orridge and then do a mock “60 Minutes” type of piece where I’d investigate a conspiracy theory. The segments played like documentaries directed by Christopher Guest but they were real, just about people who believed crackpot things. I was an advertising executive and then I worked at the Los Angeles Times on their ill-fated, now defunct competitor to the LA Weekly, Brand X.

Tara McGinley was a fashion stylist and Hollywood costumer from about 1997 to 2005, dressing people like Mila Kunis and rock groups like The Strokes. Marc Campbell had a hit in the eighties with a song called “88 Lines About 44 Women” and owned some video-rental stores in Taos. Paul Gallagher, who lives in Scotland, was a comics publisher and a stand-up comedian who now produces pop-culture documentaries for the BBC. Niall Connolly, who is also based in the U.K., runs a record label, DJs, and is in a drag queen Joy Division tribute act called “Joyce Division.” Brad Laner is a musician and producer who has worked with people ranging from Van Dyke Parks to Brian Eno. He used to have a band called Medicine in the nineties, whose back catalog is about to be rereleased.

Tara and I are married, and I know Brad Laner, but the rest of us have never met in person.

Is there an editorial mission for DM? How would you describe what you’re interested in?

Marc, Paul, and I write about pop culture that “men of a certain age” would know about, but for many younger readers, it’s stuff they’ve never been exposed to before. One day Tara was talking to these two young guys we know—both of them as smart as you can possibly be, real otaku-types—and they were excitedly asking her how we heard about that totally amazing band, Devo, which they pronounced like “Da-voe”!

Tara has a particular knack for finding loopy stuff and viral videos before they go viral. Niall writes about new music and electronic music in particular. He contacted us one day and said, “What about covering the music you don’t read about in Mojo? I’m your man.” And so he was. I can’t write about dance music. I don’t know the first thing about it. It takes a younger person than me to do that convincingly. We also don’t post about cyberpunk and techie stuff because it’s covered better elsewhere. We’re aware that our audience is largely a subset of Boing Boing’s vast readership, and we’re all friends, so we try not to “me too” them.



Read more here.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Dream Queens: 'Voguing and the House Ballrrom Scnee of NYC 1989-92'

Joe got me this wonderful book for Christmas! A pictoral history of NY's vogue scene in the late 80s / early 90s, you can read my thoughts about it on Dangerous Minds.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Friday, 6 January 2012

My Best Moments of 2011

"Life moves pretty fast sometimes. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. "

Thanks Ferris. With that in mind, and the dawning of a new year (a new era and all that jazz), I have decided to look back over the last 12 months of my life and pick out my top 15 highlights. From a music and performance perspective mostly, so not including stuff like Murdochgate (which I was obsessed with over the summer), the August riots and the Japanese earthquake. Looking back it turns out 2011 was quite event packed:

1) Boyz Magazine cover





The year got off to a good start with a cover feature in the London magazine Boyz (above). The interview is not online, but you can read this one at Bent mag instead.

2) Writing for Dangerous Minds



In January I landed a job writing about music (and other stuff) for my favourite website Dangerous Minds. I had been reading and commenting for over a year when I decided to chance my arm and send them a pitch - and they were into it! I've done well over 200 posts now, you can see a list of them here.

3) Vogue Brawl





At the end of January Growler & Niallist held our inaugural Vogue Brawl in Legends. The night was a huge success with Manchester's fiercest and most fabulous showing out. Music was supplied by Pumping Iron and Menergy, and prizes went to Woof Woof, Sebastian, Zsa Zsa Noir and the House of Blige. Vogue Brawl will be back this year, bigger and better than ever! Funnily enough, the Facebook event page is still up.



4) The Birth of Joyce D'Vision





I knew from the moment that Joe Spencer told me his idea for a Joy Division based drag act called Joyce that it was beyond brilliant. So big props to Scottee Scottee for insisting that Joe do some kind of performance piece at Eat Your Heart Out in February, kicking Joe's arse into gear and giving birth to the whole Joyce D'Vision thing! [Eat Your Heart Out pics here]



5) Dirty Minds - a tribute to Prince







In March Growler and Niallist hosted a Prince tribute night at the Purple Pussycat with help from local scene queens Sheela Blige, Kurt Dirt and Emma Peate (who incredibly dj'ed for 4 hours playing NON STOP Prince music and not even resorting to extended mixes!) This was a major blast, and I wanna do it again... [Dirty Minds pics here]

6) Facebook gay kiss controversy





In April Dangerous Minds had our biggest story of the year, unintentionally inspired by a post I wrote on a London pub's gay "kiss-in". This post was removed from Facebook, inspiring Richard Metzger to write another post that got shared 85,000 times on Facebook and gaining coverage in the international media.

7) Ariel Pink & Haunted Graffiti live



This was a great gig, but it was what happened on the walk home with Joe Spencer that was the real magic. Call it another gay kissing controversy if you will.



8) Supporting JD Samson's MEN at the Islington Mill





Another awesome gig by one of my favourite bands, and this time I was honoured to be able to share a stage with them too. Me and Joyce D'Vision also got to interview JD Samson and talk about queer issues, and it turns out she's lovely! You can see that (unedited) interview here.



9) Sharing a stage with David Hoyle





David Hoyle is a natural comedy genius, a legendary performer and a huge inspiration to pretty much everyone I know. Getting to share a stage with him (as part of Joyce D'Vision) was another great honour for me last year. As for the show, well, it was smashing...



10) Biophilia live





Bjork's Biophilia show as part of the Manchester international Festival was by far the best thing I saw live lsat year. It was a perfect blend of the old and the new, the organic and the technological and in a beautiful setting too (the Museum of Science and industry). The music was wondrous, rapturous - this was pretty much some kind of religious experience. You can read my review on Dangerous Minds.

11) Tranarchy presents Showgirls





As part of a series of alternative events over Pride Weekend, Growler & Niallist screened the cult classic Showgirls with live drag queen stripping, topless (bear) dancing, a thrusting competition, Bad Taste Barbies live and more.



12) Menergy second annual Fierce Ruling Divas Ball





The FRDB returned for it's second outing in Glasgow near the end of August, and saw a huge turn out of drag queens that seemingly never existed in Glasgow before. Have we cast some kind of a spell? Guest judge Jonny Woo might well think so...



13) Zombie Pride 4





A week after FRDB2 saw Zombie Pride return for its fourth year to Legends, packing in well over 400 crazily dressed people into the venue, and going on till 4AM. Although it was a long shift, it basically ran like a dream, and was probably the most successful night I've been involved in running! Here's Kate Hughes' excellent investigative report:



14) Remixxing werk





Although I spent a large part of my musical time this year getting together the AKA album (out soon with guests like Yo Majesty, Andrew WK, Beth Ditto, Ali Renault and more) the work I was most pleased with was my remixxing. I have been honing a sound that takes the best bits of urban music and makes it house (with some acid and disco thrown in).

15) Joyce D'Vision on Harry Hill's TV Burp



What the fuck can I say? This is still like a dream, it all happened so fast. I still have to pinch myself to remind me that it's real - it's one of the biggest comedians in the UK basically saying, in front of one of the largest audiences of prime time television, that he thinks this is great. Thank you Harry, so so much!!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Top 5 albums of 2011

JOHN MAUS - We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
SSION - Bent
DEN HAAN - Gods From Outer Space
MEN - Talk About Body
AZARI & III - S/T

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Top 5 singles of 2011

CHERIE LILY - Werk
SAM SPARRO - You's A Nasty
MIDNIGHT MAGIC - Beam Me Up
BEYONCÉ - Who Runs The World?
AZELIA BANKS - 212

Monday, 2 January 2012

My awesome Best of 2011 mixtape!

Cross post from Dangerous Minds.

image
Image from the English riots, the defining moment of 2011 for me

So here it is, what I just know you've all been waiting for - a round up of 20 of my favourite tracks from the past 12 months. It's just over 60 minutes, meaning that some of the tracks have been edited to fit, and it's in 192kbps resolution to make the file size manageable for download.

This mix is pretty eclectic and features a ton of acts I have covered over the last year on Dangerous Minds. I'm sure there's tracks on this mixtape that the other DM writers will hate, but that's part of the fun. One of the points of Dangerous Minds is that we have not set out to push some unified, all-encompassing, easily-packaged view of the world. We're all different, and at the end of the day debating stuff is healthy.

As for the music itself, well I'm with Andrew Dubber on this - the past 12 months have seen some fantastic music, and some very interesting trends in both the artform and music consumption. I mean that stands to reason right? As the amount of music that becomes available increases, the amount of good music increases. It might not come to us through the traditional channels, but it is out there. So here's twenty of mine (and before you say it, yeah, some of these tunes came out in previous years, but those tracks are also featured on albums released this year):
 

 
Fucked Up - The Other Shoe
SIlverclub - The Goldener Reiter
Atari Teenage Riot - Black Flags
SSION - Feel Good (4 Ever)
Den Haan - Metamorphosis
Black Devil Disco Club ft Farris Rotter - Distrust
Ali Renault - Dignitas Machine
John Maus - Keep Pushing On
Neon indian - Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow)
MEN - Who Am I To Feel So Free?
Azari & III - Into The Night
Midnight Magic - Beam Me Up
Dam Funk - Forever
Destroyer - Chinatown
Grace Jones - Devil Dub
Mungo's Hi Fi - Super Sharp Roller
Beyonce - Who Runs The World (intro version edit)
Ben Butler & Mousepad ft The Niallist - Infinite Capacity
Arthur's Landing - Bobby
Andrew WK - Vagabond

You can download my Best of 2011 mixtape here.

BONUS!

If I had to pick just one record from the past 12 months, it would have to be We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves by John Maus. It's glorious, genuine outsider music that's also genuinely brilliant. If you dig Ariel Pink, don't mind a bit of lo-fi hiss and have a soft spot for early OMD, then I can't recommend it enough. Here's a fan vid for the album's opening track featuring a scene from Abel Ferrera's Ms. 45:

John Maus "Streetlight"
 

 
EXTRA BONUS!

I originally uploaded my Best of 2011 mixtape to Soundcloud as it's my music sharing site of choice, but oddly it was blocked because of the inclusion of Fucked Up's track "The Other Shoe". That's not very punk rock, now is it? But hey, I don't blame the band, rather their label Matador. What's even funnier is "The Other Shoe" is widely available freely, and legitimately, from the label itself. I considered taking it off the mix, but as it's my single of the year I decided to upload the whole thing to Mixcloud, intact, with a separate download option .

So just for you dear readers, here's a link to the free download of my single of the year:

Fucked Up "The Other Shoe"

And here is the mixtape minus Fucked Up.

And here's to an exciting and eventful 2012!

Sunday, 1 January 2012