Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Highlights of London Zine Symposium.

So this Sunday just gone, I ventured up to London Zine Symposium with the lovely Catherine and Ingrid (their zines will be getting a shout out later!), and I had an absolute whale of a time! It was my first time at a zine event, and it was a wonderful experience. We all left feeling very inspired regarding our own personal prospects and we all managed to pick up some awesome stuff, my favourite bits of which will be listed here.

I'm Drawing A Blank - Issue #1
Ever since Miss Tukru announced plans to release a comic zine, I've been pretty psyched to see it, and yay, I have! Tukru's drawings are absolutely adorable, and the range of stuff she covers in this issue is pretty broad. Highly recommended if you're a fan of her fantastic other zine, Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell. She also co-runs a distro with partner Carl, Vampire Sushi Distro. I picked up a lot of zines from her table at LZS and I can confirm she is lovely in real life (I hate that phrase).
I particularly liked her brief discussion about the fetishization of wearing glasses. I hear you, lady!

I picked this up from the lovely chaps at the Zineswap stall (who can be found on Twitter), who had a box on their stall full of zines, and anyone walking past could put one of their zines in for one of those in the box. I had printed a few copies of mine earlier in the week so I traded for this one.
Fresh Meat is an awesome zine about roller derby, and even though I don't play myself (I have been toying with the idea though!), I found this such an interesting read. It's worth a read for the player names alone!

I picked up these treats as well as some other bits from the wonderful Emma Falconer, writer of Fanzine Ynfytyn and other assorted zines. Fanzine Ynfytyn was one of the first zines I read and I loved it instantly - Emma writes about stuff like rubbish teachers and awesome bands with such humour and Britishness, absolutely irrestible stuff.
Another zinester who it was lovely to meet on Sunday! Her Etsy full of wonderful goods can be found here.

We picked this up from this really awesome lovely guy's stall, but for the life of me, I can't remember his name! I'll look through the programme and try and find it to edit later! This Miss Marple zine is basically lots of photocopied quotes from Miss Marple stories on different subjects. He happily told me that we should all listen to the wise words of Miss Marple, and after reading this, I am inclined to agree. Let's just forget about the upcoming Disney version with Jennifer Garner....

This was a free zine put on the flyer table at the event, called Library Love. I'm probably slightly biased as I submitted a contribution to this zine, but loving your local library is crazy important, as the other contributors agree. I really enjoyed reading everyone else's contributions to this, and anything that raises awareness of the disgusting library finance cuts is a winner in my book.

Fat Quarter - Issue #3
This magazine is AWESOME. It's like the women's magazine that you've always wanted to read. The latest issue does not disappoint with a great interview with Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses and an article on male drag, really interesting stuff. It's available to buy here.

And as for the friends I went with, their zines are obviously awesome. :Pictures below belong to the respective authors as my camera ran out of batteries.

Ingrid writes the fantastic Mythologising Me zine, and her second issue came out very recently. Issue #2 discusses the job she lost and the job she has now and drinking, amongst other things. I particularly loved her article on her veganism, which made for a really interesting read.

No picture available for this one! Will get one and edit ASAP, sorry Cath!
Cath writes the wonderful Here In My Head (available on her website or at Marching Stars Distro, who I have absolutely mad love for, bought so much stuff from the stall on Sunday, definitely recommend spending your hard earned cash there!), and her 8th issue has just been published. It's a split issue with the aforementioned Tukru, and two of my favourite zinesters working together was an absolute dream come true for me! Cath writes intelligently and sensitively about her feminism, her shyness and her musical career amongst other things, and it's a fascinating read.

Hopefully I can make zine reviews a more regular feature :) what did you all enjoy most about London Zine Symposium? Any zines I should've picked up?

Friday, 1 April 2011

Oops, have been really rubbsh at updating recently. As what always seems to happen, life got in the way which stopped me from doing pretty much everything except working!

I was very excited this morning to log into Google Reader and see a review I wrote for the wonderful The Girls Are blog, a blog that covers female musicians. Being a rampant feminist, I, of course, was really interested in this, and have been reading the blog for several months, so volunteered to do a bit of writing for them on the side. The blog is absolutely awesome, and I'm not just saying that because I write for them.

The gig I covered was the wonderful Paper Aeroplanes and my review can be found right here - let me know what you think!

More regular posts to come, I promise :)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Welsh live music.

Just found out some awesome news from the lovely gig organisers at Swn - they've just announced two super awesome artists to play gigs in Cardiff in June! It's the month of my birthday, so it's triple the awesome!

As well as organising their own yearly festival taking place in Cardiff, Swn put on gigs in the capital, and by doing so, bring a hell of a lot of amazing music to south Wales.

The first gig is the amazing Darwin Deez on the 1st of June. Love a bit of the Deez, his self-titled debut album is absolutely cracking, and he has a fantastic reputation as a performer.

The second gig announced is one I am absolutely thrilled about: Warpaint on the 24th! AH! The Fool was one of my favourite albums of last year and I've been wanting to see the girls live for ages. They've toured the UK a few times before, but I believe this is their first ever Welsh show, so yeah, definitely hella psyched for that one.

Am even more excited about the Warpaint gig as I get to review it for the fantastic blog The Girls Are - huzzah!

I'm sure all Welsh music lovers share my frustration that when good bands tour, they ALWAYS seem to ignore Wales, and this is rubbish. Thank goodness for Swn then, and other fantastic Welsh promoters, getting artists like Darwin Deez and Warpaint to visit our capital city :) but they can only continue doing great work like this if we actually buy tickets and go to the shows. It helps the bands and helps the promoters, as well as keeping us Welshies from whinging about lack of good gigs!

Facebook pages for both events can be found here - Darwin Deez and Warpaint - and to keep up to date with all the goings on of Swn, you can follow them on Twitter.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Happy International Women's Day!

I hope you've had a wonderful International Women's Day, everyone!

To celebrate, I went down to the lovely National Waterfront Museum to their Wonderful Welsh Women event, which was really interesting, discovered some amazing stuff that Welsh women in the past have done. Then we all particpated in the Join Me on the Bridge campaign (More info here!) and met some fantastic people! It was a shame only myself and 3 other people from the SU got involved though...though the nice ladies from the Soroptimists said it was lovely to see some younger blood doing their bit :)

But we did agree unfortunately that maybe there wasn't as much going on as we'd hoped, especially as it's the 100th anniversary of the day. Not to say we didn't enjoy the event, of course, just that maybe a bit more could have been done to raise awareness! However, the fact the day has lasted in public consciousness for 100 years is awareness-raising enough itself, and it's still such an important thing to celebrate. Looking at the fantastic achievements of past and present women today has really hit that home.

But for me, and many others, every day is Women's Day :)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

World Book Night.

So it was World Book Night last night...what a wonderful idea!

I remember being in primary school and being ever so excited when World Book Day came around, cos it meant a £1 voucher off any book. I've always been slightly literature obsessed, even when I was a lot younger, so that was literally a highlight of any year! We always had book themed activities around the day, but I'm not sure if it's done so much now in schools, which is a shame.

I celebrated World Book Night by attending a literature themed quiz at my local library! Our team were the Write Stuff (as we were all writers - ace name, no?) and we actually came second, fantastic :) It was loads of fun though, and awesome as there was such a big range of age groups - a really nice thing to see.

People nominated to be World Book Night givers were there and I managed to get free copies of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood - both of which I'm looking forward to reading! The shortlist of books that were sent to applicants to give away was SO good. I regret not applying myself! (Which book would I have given out? Life of Pi, I reckon.)

Hopefully, the success of World Book Night this year means that it'll become a regular celebrated event. As an English Literatue student, I would obviously be a little biased in how important I feel it is, but events celebrating books are so thin on the ground and books are such an important thing to celebrate! I absolutely loved celebrating the event this year and I'm definitely repeating it next year :)

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Love letter to Gaga.

Okay, I've had this video on repeat all weekend.

Say what you like about Gaga, but there is no way you can deny that she pushes boundaries with everything she does. I mean, look at the other cookie cutter female singers around today. I'm a bit conflicted on this issue really, it's wonderful that there are so many successful female singers, but unfortunately, they have started blending into each other. I know it's the nature of the industry, it's just a shame that female popstars appear to be riding each other's coattails. Some are AWESOME (Nicki Minaj springs straight to mind) but others suffer from being dull as dishwater. Not cool.

I had the luck to catch Lady Gaga on her tour last year, and she was fantastic, a real performer. What this video, and that tour, shows off is her unique aesthetics. In her few years that she's been doing her thing, she's done so many iconic things, aesthetics-wise: the McQueen armadillo shoes, the meat dress, the pastel hair...stuff that not many female popstars would touch with a bargepole. And for that reason alone, I adore what Lady Gaga does.

Despite the fact I'd defend Gaga to the death, the "Born This Way" video is still batshit insane. If you haven't subjected yourself to the 7 minutes of messed up births, skeletons and unicorns, you're kind of missing out.

Friday, 4 March 2011

An introduction of sorts.

Hello there. This is yet another attempt at doing some blog kind of stuff - I did intend for my Tumblr to be for that kind of thing but I've just ended up filling it with pictures of forests and Kathleen Hanna. Incidentally, if that sounds like your kind of thing, you can find me at http://skiptracer.tumblr.com. So I've started this as a more personal place to spill my thoughts.

So yeah, I'm Caitlin, 20 years old, and I hang about in my hometown of Swansea. I'm in my final year of an English degree, and as well as doing uni stuff, I play the ukulele, write zines, read, party and sleep: not always in that order.

The intention with this blog is not to have any one particular subject in mind, as I take an interest in so many different things that it would be unfair to just focus on one aspect of stuff I like. So literally, you could find absolutely anything here, as long as it holds my attention for more than 10 seconds and gets me thinking.

I'm sure that you, the reader, hate awkward first posts just as much as I hate writing them, so let's leave it there for now :)