He who lives by the sword, also lives across the street

The night my neighbour pulled a sword on me started off quietly enough, or about as quietly as it could living in a flat in a rundown part of town. There were always varying levels of noise. Arguments heard through thin walls were accepted and endured with all the grace I could manage. Boyracers tearing… Continue reading He who lives by the sword, also lives across the street

When authors disappoint: a personal story

Last year I was at a launch of a new book when I had a conversation with a blogger, someone I like quite well. We were chatting about books we read when we were kids. If the early nineties belonged to Point Horror, then the late eighties were owned by Roald Dahl. However, as soon… Continue reading When authors disappoint: a personal story

Chemistry by Girls Aloud

One of my favourite hobbies in the early years of 2000 was trolling the pages of Channel 4's Planet Sound music page on Teletext. Every week I'd write in and upset people with my eloquent displays of bitchy brilliance. Oh yes, I enjoyed it. My favourite technique was to write really long letters praising Girls… Continue reading Chemistry by Girls Aloud

One Inch God by Defenestration

Nu-Metal was terrible, according to critics. It was masculine, posturing, witless, joyless rock that allowed everyone into the hermetically sealed world of metal. Actually, it did allow metal to crossover into the mainstream. In the early 2000s, it wasn't unusual to see a Limp Bizkit song in the Top Ten or hear Linkin Park's Hybrid… Continue reading One Inch God by Defenestration

Sonic Jihad by Snake River Conspiracy

Way back in 2001 when I was skinny and trying to find my way in the world, I used the freedom of my student loan to buy books and music and clothes. Really, that was my entire existence. Through these things and the newness of college, I was able to become...me, or a version of… Continue reading Sonic Jihad by Snake River Conspiracy

Juvenilia by Liz Phair

Juvenilia is an EP by Liz Phair released in 1995 by Matador Records. Ostensibly a single for Jealousy, a track taken from her second album Whip-Smart (which I still listen to quite often), it also shows a more playful side to a singer/songwriter often written off by male journalists because she never quite became what… Continue reading Juvenilia by Liz Phair

Life For Sale by Yukio Mishima

Originally serialised in Playboy Magazine (in Japan) between May to October of 1968, Life For Sale wasn’t available to read in The UK for decades. Thankfully Penguin Classics decided to turn Yukio Mishima’s stories into a novel and, with the help of Stephen Dodd’s translation which makes the story accelerate along, this classic by is… Continue reading Life For Sale by Yukio Mishima