Daily Archives: December 9th, 2005

Cornelia Funke and Anna Lanyon

I know it’s a bit sad, but for only the second time in my life I sent a fan email to an author – to Cornelia Funke. I got areply today, from her sister, who apparently has taken on the task of answering the fan mail Cornelia receives. (Although of course, she still reads all of it, and it’s very precious to her….) Anyway, she let me in on the tentative title of the third Ink book: Inkdeath. Oh dear.

I think I quite like being a fan. I think I’ve written before about the issues of being a fan, me being such a snob and all… but the look on Anna Lanyon’s face, after I heard her speaking about her books Malinche and The New World of Martin Cortes, and then I asked her for her autograph, was incredibly worthwhile. I think, if I were an author, I would get a kick out of anyone saying they liked my work. Surely you don’t get sick of that too quickly?

In your Dreams

Tom Holt; sequel to The Portable Door. Seems to be open for a third part, too.

Very entertaining. Paul Carpenter is such a prat, he is an incredibly funny guy to follow… I think it quotes somewhere that urban legend of some army dude’s soldiers saying they would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity, in relation to him.

Holt has a gift for turning normal things – whether everyday minutae, or legends/fairy tales – completely on their heads and making them quite odd and sometimes rather sinister. I like it. His characters are often so completely over-drawn they’re hilarious, and the plots are insane, with the sorts of ridiculous get-me-outs that anywhere else would be ludicrously implausible, but here just add to the general hilarity.

Blah blah. I like Tom Holt. He’s a legend.

Dave Grohl is a geek

Let’s review the evidence, shall we?

1. Wears black clothes? Check
2. Including black jeans? Check
3. Has slightly-too-long hair? Check
4. Has a dry sense of humour? Check
5. Is in a rock band? Check
6. And plays mad guitar? Check
7. Likes Nirvana? Check (presumably)
8. Is something of a poseur? Check
9. Can play at least the opening bars of Stairway to Heaven? Check

And how did I come to this conclusion? Lots of observation during the gig on Wednesday, of course. It was occasionally distracting to be able to see the whole crowd – given we were up in the gods – because it was just fascinating* to be able to actually watch people moshing, plus all of the little blue lights in the crowd… that would be the mobile phones.

Grohl and the rest of the band were brilliant. Grohl is much a show-man, very capable of playing the crowd – and don’t we just love to be played – and seeming to really enjoy the whole thing himself, which is I think a huge part of it. Only about a third of it was off the new album – which was fine, because I don’t actually know it that well; the rest was old stuff; very nice. They played for 1 3/4 hours, which was a good deal; Kat had come over for it, and it was really cool to go out with her; she is very undemanding. In fact, we are sometimes frighteningly alike, but that is a completely other story.

And this time, the support band didn’t suck; it was the Kaiser Chiefs, and they were cool. I didn’t think I knew them, but I did recognise two of their songs, especially “Predict a riot” or whatever it is.

*I just today discovered that my Roman army tshirt has a spelling mistake; no c in fascinating. Very disappointing.

Wolfmother concerts

I’m not really very committed here, am I?

I went to see Wolfmother at the Forum on November 12. They were as spectacular as expected – the music sounds even better when it’s incredibly loud and there are hundreds of people around you singing along. It’s a bit embarassing to say that this is my first real experience of a rock gig… I never had seen crowd surfing in the flesh before. And I’d certainly never stood that close to a mosh pit before. It was brilliant. I seem to be a bit hooked… Last night, they were playing at the Corner, being broadcast live on 3RRR. It was only a 30 min set (turned out to be 45 min actually), but through a connection we got free tix so the sis and I went along. They were, of course, great again. Quite a different crowd though… I had expected that, at a smaller venue, people would still do the mosh thing and the atmosphere would be even more excited. But it wasn’t. I don’t know if it was just a different crowd who were there, or if most smaller places have the effect, but two weird things happened: Wolfmother were way more energetic on stage than at the Forum – which is weird since it was being broadcast on radio – and the crowd almost seemed apathetic (except for this one loser to my right, who kept on shouting out incredibly stupid and annoying things). I felt conspicuous being I knew the words and was singing along… Oh well. Who cares. I only knew a couple of people there; guess they now think I’m mad. What’s new? New would be me almost verging on groupie-ism. Well, maybe not quite… but I did get Chris Ross’ autograph – that would be the crazy bass/keyboard player.

I must say that the support act for Wolfmother at the Forum was absolute crap. They were the Mess Hall – two blokes, one on guitar that seemed to need tuning every second song, and one on drums. They had some pretty good intros, but every song seemed to deteriorate into the same ‘how loud can we play’ shlock. Very bad.

EMAs

Watching the EMAs on the teev. How the hell does Greenday beat the Foo Fighters to Best Rock of 2005?? Beating U2 I’m fine with – they’re really on the cusp of rock, I think – but the Foos?? As if.

And right now the Gorillaz are ‘performing live’. I had wondered how they would do that – in fact, the sis and I had a discussion about it not two days ago – and now I know; presumably some sort of hologram type thing on stage (I don’t know, but you get the idea), or the people actually there were stooged and we in TV land are the only ones to get the benefit.

The lead singer of System of a Down is a weird looking man.

Since when were The White Stripes alternative?? Goldfrapp, yes; not convinced by Beck being alternative, either, but maybe that’s just me.

The “compere” for the EMAs is really, really bloody annoying.