The Tale of the Sad Gen-X-er

Philip HarrisChatter, MusicLeave a Comment

Amanda Palmer‘s fantastic Kickstartered album, Theatre is Evil, came out last week and as with most of Amanda’s music you can ‘pay what you want’ for it on her website – and what you want can be $0. It’s an approach she’s taken pretty consistently since breaking up with her label and it seems to serve her well. The theory is that it’s more important to get long term fans than short term profits, those fans will pay back your investment in them tenfold at a later date. It’s an admirable policy if you can afford it and given the success of her Kickstarter project (with over $1.1 million raised) it seems to be working but I was reading through Amanda’s Tumblr site a few days ago and came across a post that, frankly, made me sad. You can read the whole thing here (look for the first comment from Thom Martin) but here are the relevant bits. “…it’s about perceived value. I have TBs of music. Mostly “free”. I’ve bought music online because I exhausted every way to try to download it free…Make me, the typical Gen-X-er give you money after the music is already out by sending me something useful like a … Read More

Back From The Dead

Philip HarrisBooks, Chatter, Events, Movies, Music, StoriesLeave a Comment

Time flies when you’re living in a self-imposed creative wasteland. It’s been three months since my last real update and since then I’ve been to several plays including two musicals, seen a couple of fantastic musicians live listened to a lot of great new music, backed loads of kickstarter projects, watched some hockey but not as much as I would have liked, eaten in some nice restaurants, injured my foot, run a marathon and signed up for a second one, watched some really good films (and awesome videos), seen the batmobile, read some great books and a lot of short stories but written nothing. The Evil Dead Claim Another Victim*  However, a couple of weeks ago we went away to Desolation Sound for a short break to recharge and I ended up writing the first drafts of a couple of new stories – This is Not the Apocalypse You’re Looking For and Artificial Wife. Desolation Sound  That burst of creativity (and the amazing location) swept away the cobwebs and since then I’ve been masterminding a plan to get writing back into my regular schedule. The first step was to clear out all my almost finished stories so I’ve spent the last few days revising Origami Man, Rainshine and … Read More

Molly Lewis – Live in Vancouver

Philip HarrisEvents, Music2 Comments

No actual writing this week, just more planning, but we did go to our first musical event of the year last night – a gig by Molly Lewis. The first thing I need to mention about this particular show was the venue – a real live human being’s front room. Okay, we weren’t all sitting round the fire in great grandma’s Victorian armchairs or anything like that – this was a loft in Vancouver after all – but there was a sofa and a computer and food in the kitchen and somewhere, a cat. It was also the perfect location to see the charming Molly Lewis play. If you aren’t familiar with her, she plays the ukulele (and sometimes, a kazoo) and sings about Mr T, Stephen Fry, MySpace and beards. Basically, she’s George Formby for the iPhone generation. She also isn’t sure how many songs people expect at a $5 show. In this case the answer was ‘we don’t really care’. I would guess there were about 30-40 people there last night but a lot of them already knew each other so it felt like a group of friends hanging out rather than a gig. Molly’s a great singer and her … Read More

She Wants Peter Murphy

Philip HarrisEvents, MusicLeave a Comment

At some point this blog will stop being about events I’ve attended. But not today. I got into Goth music by accident in my late teens and it quickly became the soundtrack to my life and although I have somewhat more varied tastes these days, Goth is still where my heart is. Bauhaus –  one of the first British goth bands – were a key part of that soundtrack and although they split up years ago, I’ve been lucky enough to see them on a couple of reunion tours and still listen to their music. So, when I heard that Bauhaus lead singer, Peter Murphy was coming to town, along with LA based She Wants Revenge I had to go. She Wants Revenge set list The evening was actually a double headliner show with She Wants Revenge also playing pretty much a full set. I’ve seen them in Vancouver before and liked them enough to buy both their albums. They’ve got a bit of a British Goth feel to them that appeals to me and I’m obviously not alone – they had a lot of very vocal fans in the audience last night and it was a great start to the evening. They mixed in some … Read More

It’s Not Hard to Hang Around with Saints

Philip HarrisEventsLeave a Comment

Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are the Sonny and Cher of our generation. But one’s a writer. Okay, maybe not Sonny and Cher. Bonnie and Clyde perhaps? Traveling the country robbing people’s hearts? No, given their sometimes morbid artistic sensibilities, dying in a hail of bullets might be an appropriate end to their careers but that would be a terrible waste. Sid and Nancy? Closer, but no. Mulder and Scully? No…William and Kate? No, definitely not. Brad and Ang…okay, this isn’t working. I’ll start again… I first discovered Neil Gaiman in the pages of the Sandman comics (thanks to my comic shop owning friend). From then on I was hooked and American Gods is still one of my favourite novels. Neil’s one of my literary heroes and I eagerly devour every book and every blog he writes. I was fortunate enough to see him when he visited Vancouver on his Anansi Boys tour. He was funny and entertaining and after I’d waited for two hours to get my books signed I couldn’t think of anything to say to him. I first discovered Amanda Palmer as one half of The Dresden Dolls (thanks to Caitlin R Kiernan’s blog). From then on I was hooked … Read More