“No, they’re all behind the trees”

Philip HarrisVideosLeave a Comment

I generally try to post a music video on a Wednesday but this week I’m going with something different. This is an animation by Avi Ofer that uses a voice memo from Amanda Palmer’s phone of a conversation she had with a sleeping Neil Gaiman. It’s very cool – apparently Neil has so many imaginative ideas trapped inside him they seep out at night.   I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s short story collection Trigger Warning at the moment and it’s great. I guess it’s not surprising his night time ramblings are equally creative. I talk in my sleep as well, mostly about monsters. For a limited time, I’m giving everyone who signs up to my mailing list 5 free books, including a copy of my science fiction novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet when it’s released later this year. Click here to sign up and get your free books. [“No, they’re all behind the trees” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 5th August 2015]

“I can even take him in the bath”

Philip HarrisMusic, VideosLeave a Comment

Tonight, my wife and I are heading out to Amanda Palmer’s Friends from TED event. Last year’s NinjaTED event was fantastic but involved a lot of queueing. This year there are tickets so we won’t have to spend quite so long standing on the Vancouver streets. To commemorate the events, here’s the video for the song that introduced me (via Caitlin R Kiernan’s blog) to Amanda Palmer and the Dresden Dolls, Coin Operated Boy. Coin Operated Boy is taken from The Dresden Dolls’ self-titled first album.     Get a FREE copy of my short story, Only Friends by subscribing to my newsletter. [“I can even take him in the bath” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 18th March 2015]

“I know a place where a body can hide”

Philip HarrisMusic, VideosLeave a Comment

I first got hooked on Murder by Death (the band) when they traded cover songs with Amanda Palmer. She recorded Three Men Hanging and they recorded Another Year and the tracks were released as a 7″ single. I fell in love with both tracks and in a lot of ways, I prefer them to the originals. I’ll probably post them here at some point but for this week, here’s a Murder by Death track – Lost River.   Lost River is from the album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon – one of the many Kickstarter Projects I’ve backed over the years. [“I know a place where a body can hide” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 4th March 2015]

Five Things I Learned Last Week

Philip HarrisFive ThingsLeave a Comment

While I fight to rehydrate and the Vancouver heat wave fights to turn me into a dessicated husk, here’s five things I learned last week. The impossible space drive isn’t so impossible Canada is getting it’s own Fangoria Horror Convention Horror-Rama – Unfortunately, it’s in Toronto. Unfortunate because that means I probably can’t go, not unfortunate because Toronto is a bad location or anything. I’m not reading all the horror magazines I should be – At least according to LitReactor. David J Rodger is giving away a Cthulhu Mythos short story called Hokan – Yes, I’m pretty late with this one. Amanda Palmer sung backup vocals on one of Weird Al Yankovic’s new songs – and she’s very happy about it.   Now, time to retreat to somewhere cooler and do some writing. [Five Things I Learned Last Week by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 4th August 2014]


Philip HarrisChatter, Events, MusicLeave a Comment

My enthusiasm for Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman is well documented on this site so it should come as no surprise that Wednesday’s #ninjaTED event was the highlight of the week for me. It all started innocently enough. Amanda tweeted a call for a venue for one of her ninja gigs – spontaneous shows like the one she and Neil played at Fluevog. By Wednesday, in another demonstration of the power of both Amanda’s following and the internet at large, the ninja gig had turned into well over three hours of interviews, poetry, songs and stories featuring a mix of TED speakers, local and international musicians and of course Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman – all with the goal of gathering donations for the Vancouver Food Bank and creating some “realtime cross-over with the people here in TED-land and the population of Vancouver”. After standing in the unseasonably cold (but thankfully dry) Vancouver streets for over three hours my wife and I were relieved to get into the warm and inviting Vogue Theatre (who’d donated their space for the evening). The room was already full of energy. Vancouver’s Orkestar Slivovica brass band were playing some lively Balkan tunes, the belly dancers were in fine form and … Read More

Another @amandapalmer Post – Now With Added Melon!

Philip HarrisChatter, MusicLeave a Comment

If I don’t get back to writing soon, I’m going to have to turn this into an Amanda Palmer fan blog but anyway… Amanda Palmer and her band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, played at The Commodore in Vancouver last night as part of their Theatre is Evil tour and despite the temptation of the Garbage gig that was happening at the same time, I ch-ch-chose Amanda and her Grand Orchestra. Amanda Palmer Their set featured a mix of new songs (the highlight being the amazing Killing Type which is an even better song live) and old including a couple of Dresden Dolls classics; finishing off with a masterful rendition of one of my favourite Amanda Palmer songs – Leeds United. There were also no less than four support acts – Zoey Boekbinder, Ronald Reagan (Boston’s premier 80’s pop saxophone duo) and two sets by members of The Grand Theft Orchestra – some stunning bass playing by Jherek Bischoff and a couple of songs by The Simple Pleasure featuring guitarist Chad Raines. Amanda Palmer and Ronald Reagan If that wasn’t enough, at each stop on the tour, The Grand Theft Orchestra is supplemented by a string quartet and horn players crowd sourced from whichever city the tour is … Read More

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

Out Now – On the Finding of the Body

Philip HarrisOut Now, Publications, WebsitesLeave a Comment

My Who Killed Amanda Palmer? inspired piece, On the Finding of the Body is now up on Brown God. I call it a “piece” rather than a story because it’s more poem than prose but I don’t know that I’d go as far as to say it actually is a poem. I originally wrote it intending to submit it to a website built around Amanda Palmer’s Who Killed…? album but I never did. It languished on my hard drive for months until I eventually started submitting it. Brown God was the second market I sent it to and I think it fits the site very well.

Wet and Grey

Philip HarrisStories, The Ghost SmugglerLeave a Comment

It’s another very wet and grey day in Vancouver. I guess no snow is a good thing but still, I’ve had enough of the rain. So, what’s being going on. Ah yes, Tuesday was tying-up-loose-ends day. I finished the final drafts of a couple of stories – the horticultural science fiction tale, F Bomb, and a piece of flash fiction that could be a poem instead called On the Finding of the Body. Body as I like to call it, was actually written at some point last year and was inspired by Amanda Palmer’s Who Killed Amanda Palmer album. I think originally I was going to submit it to one of her websites but I never got round to it. Anyway, I tweaked it a little bit and moved it to the glorious Finished folder. Tuesday was also the day that the critique of The Ghost Smuggler arrived from Jeff VanderMeer. He’s provided lots of great feedback and some very insightful comments and suggestions. Now I just need to work out what to do with it all. In the evening submitted I four more stories including Body. F Bomb will go out later this week. Wednesday morning was mostly filled with writing but it was for my … Read More

Doing the Santa Shuffle

Philip HarrisMusic, RunningLeave a Comment

Yesterday was our last race for 2011 – The Santa Shuffle. It’s a 5km fun run round Stanley Park and the seawall and this year was the third time we’d taken part. The weather was great (one of those amazing Vancouver mornings we didn’t get last weekend) and we timed our arrival perfectly so we didn’t need to stand around in the cold for too long. Despite having run the half marathon last weekend and promising to “take it steady” we actually ended up finishing in around 25 mins 30 which is our fastest 5km yet. The post race refreshments (beef chili and some granola bars) were good as well so it was a successful event all round. One of our local HMV stores is closing down – presumably falling victim to the relentless advance of digital content – so in the afternoon I dropped by to take a look at their 60% sale. It turns out that it’s mostly a 10% sale (although if you want a Metallica clock then you can indeed save 60%) but I did pick up a copy of Murder by Death‘s album – Red of Tooth and Claw. I first discovered Murder by Death (or … Read More