Venom and Diamonds

What not to do

2:51 November 21st '04

I could be wrong, but I think I've seen people do smarter things than throw a pint of beer at Alec Empire. Especially if done during his trademark playing-awesome-noise-and-beats-on-a-gameboy performance. Some musicians might keep playing, but Mr Empire is quite predictably going to unplug his Gameboy, step to the edge of the stage and proceed with a "you want some? then come get some"-type discussion with the twerp. Then, he'll pick up a remnant of the aforementioned pint and cut his own forearm half a dozen times just to prove he's serious (believe it, he's done it before). At this point, the Spaniard who threw the beer does wisely to obey and get up on stage as requested. He is then saved from his pitiful attempts to negotiate his way out of a fight ("I thought you could use a refreshment") by security. This may leave our perp in the clear, but it also leaves us, the audience, with an angry and bleeding artist on stage, who probably doesn't really feel like picking the show up again. Thankfully he did manage to get mostly back on track in the end, but the mood never really recovered.

National Empire Day

10:15 November 15th '04

By pure chance I happened to visit Digital Hardcore Recordings to find that Alec Empire (with Nic Endo in tow) is performing right here, in Helsinki, this Saturday. Considering I've been incredibly stupid and missed him the other times he's been in the same town as me, I'm ecstatic that I've now got a chance to catch him here of all places!

Not only do we get a club set, but there's also Revolution Action! - an hour of Digital Hardcore videos - earlier in the day, along with a panel discussion on counter-culture that Empire is taking part in. The whole thing is thanks to a festival called Avanto, "Finland's annual event of non-conformist audiovisual art", which I've been completely unaware of until now, probably due to not being here at this time of year since the nineties.

Now, how do I contain my excitement for another five days?

Comics are easy, you say?

15:07 November 12th '04

Having just finished reading Neil Gaiman's Endless Nights, I'm glad to hear that he too considers 'Fifteen Portraits of Despair' the most depressing story of his career. If it weren't for that one, I would've finished Endless Nights in a heartbeat. With that story, however, it took me three days. It was powerful stuff, and it made me want to go back and read the rest of Sandman again...

Now like my innocence. Pie gone.

21:20 November 6th '04

Disconcerting as the superspower's election result was, life still goes on it seems. Maps like this give a decent idea of what the balance was like in proportion to population. Some refuge there from the worst of paranoid reactions, I think.

If it does get to be too much, you can always resort to escapist metaphors. I found myself looking for them in Weebl and Bob's 'Art', but that's probably just me.

shall we drink a toast to / absent-minded friends