Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I got some weird spam at work today:

Salut
Merci d'avoir écrit à AZLEFANTOME ; la valeur de l'amitier se mesure par les actes car quelque soit la distance les veritables amis sont toujours là pour nous aider ou nous soutenir. Merci et à bientot dans vos box
azleghost pour vous servir
love is good
life is real
2pac is great
Beckh@m is really a big man
A tous ceux qui m'aime supporter manchester un*ted comme vous le faite avec moi et puis aimez beckh@m plus que moi
MERCI

For non-French speakers, the message says: "Thank you for writing to AZLEGHOST; the value of a friendship is measured by a person's acts, because no matter the distance, real friends are there to help or support us. Thank you and see you in your inbox soon, AZLEGHOST at your service..." and then "To all those who love me, please support Manchester Un*ted as you support me, and love Beckh@m more than you love me too"

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Sparkle alert!

Slowly but surely getting everything together for the big Spectropop party this Saturday at Bush Hall - have you reserved your (free!) place yet? (See my previous post for details.)

My dress arrived from America the other day, and my stars, it's a vintage cheongsam vision of turquoise satin and silver piping. It makes me*so* happy when my eBay purchases turn out exactly right. Armed with some vintage stilettos, liquid eyeliner and all things sparkly, I have a feeling it's going to be a good night. God I love dressing up...

Friday, March 19, 2004

I'm watching the Pet Shop Boys perform their new single on Top of the Pops at the moment... what's with the dancers? They look like a cross between a bunch of Cyndi Laupers at a fancy dress party and someone's embarrassed auntie dancing awkwardly at a wedding...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Supermarket speed dating

I was reading this Guardian article on customer profiles of supermarket shoppers, and it got me thinking about my own habits.

I used to be a die hard Sainsburys girl. But now, being in the city centre without a car means I'm limited to what's in town - otherwise it's a creaky bus ride to the Sainsburys in Fallowfield or Asda in Hulme.

We don't have Waitrose in the North, and Morrisons are in posh small towns outside the city. I don't thing Lidl exists up here either. But anyhow, in the city centre you have a choice of Marks & Spencer (one flagship store, one smaller in Piccadilly Gardens); Tesco Metro (Market Street); Somerfield (Piccadilly Gardens) or Sainsburys Metro (one in Piccadilly Station, one on Oxford Road and one on Deansgate - but only the one in the station is close to our flat.) Oh, and there's also the food halls in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

So - it's Tesco for the main shopping, but I try to shop before work or at weekends, because it's chaos after 5 pm. Somerfield for bits and pieces - it's actually rather nice and has a good bakery section as well as self-check out, and it's usually pretty quiet too.

And then there's treats. M&S for when I'm in a traditional mood - it is definitely the kind of place you would go shopping with your mum. And it's true, the chickens do make the best roast dinners. Selfridges for American food (overpriced, but sometimes necessary for the soul!) posh cakes for dinner parties when I don't feel up to baking, or the very occasional splurge on Laurent Perrier champagne. There's something very seductive about walking back with your goodies in the yellow Selfridges carrier... I most often find myself going there after say, a nice trip to the hair salon or on days where I just need a bit of a boost. But for some reason, I never ever shop at the food hall at Harvey Nicks. There's something too snooty about it.

On the other side of the scale, I also top up on cleaning basics from the various pound stores in town. So unlike the people in the article, I don't feel overly loyal to any one store. Am I a consumer research nightmare?

I've thought about shopping online at Sainsburys and coughing up the £5 for delivery - but to be honest, when you have a miniscule fridge, limited cupboard space and no freezer, it doesn't make sense. One day...

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I've got another show coming up - here are the details:

Spectropop and The Actionettes....invite you to a party! party! party!

Saturday 27 March 2004
Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Rd (corner of Arminger Rd), London W12.
8pm - Midnight


Big screen 60s videos, live set from the Actionettes, Elisabeth/Swishette and Emma/Dustette, fabulous background music, pay bar and Malcolm B’s rare record rack for one-stop vinyl shopping. Admission is FREE but you MUST have your name on the guest list. If you haven't done so already, get your name on the list by emailing projects at spectropop dot com. LIVE SHOW STARTS AT 9.... DON'T BE LATE!


And can I just add that it's going to be an incredible night, with lots of 60s producers, Brit Girls and musicians expected as well - a rare chance to have them all in the same room. I'm nervous but incredibly excited and honoured to take part. You can help out the organisers with the cost of the room hire by buying one of my little cds on the night, too... 7 new girl group heaven-tastic tracks.

(I've taken out the direct email link to stop any spamming...)

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I had the most amazing, chilled weekend - and part of that was finally attending the Peter Saville exhibition at Urbis.

Now, Urbis is itself a bit of a letdown - fantastic building, but patchy exhibits that failed to draw me in. It doesn't help that many of them involve audio and video in an open space concept, which means you can hear them throughout the building and makes paying attention difficult.

However, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Peter Saville show, which is set up in a separate part of the building. At £5 entry, I was a bit wary at what would be in store, but isn't it nice to eat your words once in a while? I've since found out that it was arranged by the Design Museum in London - perhaps the Urbis curators should take heed.

As you enter, there's a wonderful backdrop grainy shot of the Arndale in the 60s with a telly showing some of Anthony Wilson's old music programme So It Goes. From there, you can pore over the scribbles, rough designs and varied sources of inspiration that led to some of the most famous record sleeve art ever. New Order, early OMD, Factory posters, the gorgeous Pulp 'This is Hardcore' era sleeves - to name just a few. Seeing how they all came about felt like being allowed into a secret world. He drew inspiration from unexpected things like dried leaves or quirky antique books. We agreed that it made design feel really accessible - in fact I felt really inspired to do a bit more myself.

The background music is also gorgeous, and I found out afterwards that it was specially created by New Order for the exhibit itself. You can buy the cd in the shop afterwards. (I haven't, as I'm trying to be non-shopping for a while... but I'm tempted!)

Anyhow, it's on until April 18th. If you're in town, I can't think of a nicer way to spend an afternoon.