It’s really high time I used this blog for powers of Good (rather than the narcissistic me-me-me-ness it has been of late), so here–in quick and dirty fashion–is some stuff you really HAVE to know about culture-wise, because it’s all happening NOW.
Book: Authority by Jeff Vandermeer. Sequel to the incredible Annihilation, taking the Southern Reach trilogy into even weirder places. This time with rabbits.
Story: Valerie by Maura McHugh. Pretty unique slice of dark fantasy set in a small town hotel hosting a fetish convention. A short story packed with surprises from NewCon Press’s Le Femme anthology.
Story: The Lonely Sea In The Sky by Amal El-Mohtar. Just released in Lightspeed Magazine’s Women Destroy Science Fiction anthology, and one of the most beautiful and elliptical tales about the things we bring back from other planets that I’ve ever read. Absolutely scintillating.
Album: Arc Iris by Arc Iris. Absolutely, freaking gorgeous album from The Low Anthem’s Jocie Adams and friends. The confidence with which these song straddle and blend genres is at times breathtaking. And absolutely ethereal vocals throughout.
Gig: Stag and Dagger. The annual Glasgow new music thrash that always throws up an ace selection of acts. This year, while everyone else is enjoying The Hold Steady at the ABC, my highlight looks like being the dual delights of Syd Arthur at Broadcast followed by (after a desperate sprint) the above-mentioned Arc Iris at the CCA, and there’ll be plenty more besides.
Theatre/Gig experience: Biding Time (Remix) tour by A Band Called Quinn. Been a fan of ABCQ for years and totally loved their performance of this multimedia show at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. A blend of live performance, video, silent disco technology and a giant white rabbit. Really, really worth catching when it kicks off next week.
Theatre: Merrily We Roll Along by Glasgow Music Theatre. One of my all time favourite Sondheim musicals which relates the incredibly bitter-sweet story of three friends backwards in time from the unmendable acrimony of the present day, back through their relationship and ending up on one night of innocent optimism when they’d just met. Glasgow Music Theatre’s talented casts have produced excellent treatments of Into The Woods and Threepenny Opera in the past, so I’m confident this will be utterly superb. Runs next week.