The joyful noise of The Monkees

From as long as I can remember, my nightmare always starts and ends the same way every single time. I'm in a large bed that's improbably being propelled down a busy road full of cars in a city that vaguely seems like it might be somewhere in America, but only a version I've seen on… Continue reading The joyful noise of The Monkees

The weirdness of Penguin Classic Crime art

Whoever said you should never judge a book by its cover clearly has ugly cover art on their books. I like artwork to say something, even if I can't understand what it's trying to tell me. When Happiness was picked up by Fledgling, I immediately knew what I wanted: "Make it '90s inspired brutalism with… Continue reading The weirdness of Penguin Classic Crime art

I Am Kurious Oranj by The Fall

Independent music and ideology go hand in hand, the clue being in the word independent. But independence isn't necessarily the label bands sign to, but their mindset, how they present their work. What makes one band stand out from another? The Fall never had that problem. In whatever incarnation they arrived, it was always fully-formed,… Continue reading I Am Kurious Oranj by The Fall

FICTION: Supermarket Sweep

The witch in the supermarket didn’t look like a witch. For a start, she didn’t have a big pointy hat or nose to match. There wasn’t a hairy wart on her chin and her skin wasn’t green. In fact, she had great skin. There was a good reason for her flawless face, and she explained… Continue reading FICTION: Supermarket Sweep

Social Dancing by Bis

Trends change, fashions leap around, forever leaving millions of reviewers and bloggers to catch them. Sometimes, however, it isn't up to us to catch these trends, but to catch up with them. In the case of Bis, a band whose magpie musical styles made them impossible to categorise outside of 'pop' (a whole universe in… Continue reading Social Dancing by Bis

College rock: a confession

Really, I should have been in a college rock band. The problem was that I came from the wrong country, turned teen in the wrong decade, and my college was a stout tower block rather than a bustling campus with a radio station where all the best songs could be found left of the dial.… Continue reading College rock: a confession

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan – an examination

SPOILERS AHEAD! Lois Duncan was a household name if your house was home to kids with library memberships in the 70s and 80s. Her books for young people were Young Adult before the genre became mainstreamed. Looked down on, these books were known back then as Juvenile Fiction. Not that Lois Duncan ever wrote fiction… Continue reading I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan – an examination

Scotlit Blog Interview

One of the earliest supporters of Happiness Is Wasted On Me was Scotlit Daily, the blog dedicated to all things literary in Scotland. They've tirelessly championed the Scottish scene and thank goodness for that. Last week we chatted about the book and Scotland's publishing scene, plus a few topics that you'll hopefully find interesting... https://scotlitblog.com/2021/10/17/interview-kirkland-ciccone-on-strange-towns-the-scottish-psyche-and-pandemic-publishing/

The Kosuke Kindaichi Fan Club

In all honesty, I prefer detectives who treat murder like an elegant puzzle to be solved. For me, the golden age detectives are the greatest of the genre. They were sophisticated figures, usually privileged well-dressed forces of nature who arrived at a location (a country manor for the most part), looked around a crime scene,… Continue reading The Kosuke Kindaichi Fan Club

Scream (Music From The Dimension Motion Picture)

This was a high school album on CD that I desperately wanted to own before the credits of the film started to roll. When it comes to music in movies, especially those aimed at young people, no-one did it better than John Hughes. A tastemaker, he wrote characters in his movies that listened to the… Continue reading Scream (Music From The Dimension Motion Picture)