Friday, August 31, 2007

Time Out Manchester... it's alive?!?

Missed this little piece on Time Out Manchester from way back in July on How Do. Not much information in it, but the folks in London are saying the project isn't dead, and the TOM website has been updated with a wee bit of content. So I'll certainly let you know if I hear anything more than this. But I suspect there are some among this blog's readers who actually do know something more than this. Ahem. Hello?

Incidentally, if you scroll down to the comments on that How-Do article there's a cringe-inducing catfight between two local media folk that makes for pretty funny reading.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New blogs: The shoegazer edition

A bunch of new additions to the Manchester blogroll:

The Shoe Project is Chris Shen's new site - he's taken down his multimedia blog Supashen and is focusing all his energies on this. The site features pictures of people's shoes with their handwritten notes about what they think their shoes say about them. You can download a form on the blog to make your shoes part of the project (see above.)

Manchester Dead Souls is about all kinds of things, lately Mancunian driving style and how it differs from the way people drive in France and Sheffield.

Rent Girl lives in Salford and writes about landlord and tenant issues, the perils of renting and her adventures in Dovecot Towers.

Lady Levenshulme is "all about things she likes and things she doesn’t like, things she’s done, places she’s been to, the neighbour who has stolen 3 of her wheelie bins, books she’s read and anything else that takes her fancy. And why Lady Levenshulme? Because she lives and works in Levenshulme and you wouldn’t believe the stuff that goes on there."

Wiggers World is Tom Wigley's personal blog, which features writing about various places, flora and fauna as well as some lovely pictures. Here's a cool post on the Hawthorn plant and its uses.

Single Mother on the Verge is the personal blog of a mother and writer in South Manchester who recently had a play in the Edinburgh Fringe.

A couple of new music blogs: hip young gunslinger "is a blog that 'deals with' pop music, electro music and indie music you can dance to. It is basically an 'indiepop electro' blog, whatever one of those is." Fucking Dance is Jamila Scott's "music blog from a bored girl."

And still with the music, here's a new one for the sidebar: Northernights is a pleasantly lo-fi clubbing site for Manchester whose mission is to "bring you independent and accurate nightclub listings with insider knowledge and recommendations from the people who really matter: the clubbers themselves. We won’t hound you with flashing ads and cheap hotels. This is a non-profit service predominantly for the creative and forward-thinking side of the city’s nightlife." It's been really difficult for me to find out what's on since ___(insert rant about Manchester STILL not having its own listings magazine here). This will help.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Weekend: New Islington, Mayflies

Remember last year's New Islington festival? Uh... I remember that there was one... something about a spurting man and a barge? This year its being billed as The Urban Folk Festival for Urban Folk. Urban as in Urban Splash, developers of that rebranded bit of Ancoats, geddit? Anyway, it's 2-8 pm around Old Mill Street, and it's free.

And the music is by (drumroll please) D.percussion, making a "secret return" after saying this year's fest was the last. Not sure this is a real selling point in Manc these days. The list of performers, spread over three stages, doesn't ring a lot of bells for me. Psychedelic outfit the Beep Seals, Magic Arm and a bunch of other local bands and DJs. Contrary to what the "urban folk festival" tagline leads you to expect, there are only a tiny handful of folk performers including Mancunian folkstress Kathryn Edwards. Would've been nice if they actually had given us an urban folk festival, instead of the usual teeth-grinding mix of Manc djs spinning the usual thumpy whatever. Basically, it's going to be D.Percussion with fairy cakes.

Fortunately, there's the indie-tastic Manchester Book Market, where you can meet some of those hardworking literary magazine editors and small press folks. There's readings from Anthony Joseph, Lemn Sissay (though he was a no-show last year) the brilliant flash-fiction writer David Gaffney, Tony Walsh, John Siddique, and a mess of poets and writers you may not necessarily have heard of before but you never know one or two of them might be pretty decent, all compered by Chloe Poems. There's also a series of specially commissioned shorts from local filmmakers.

There's also some twee activities involving vintage cakes, wellies and eek, pedalos on the canal. Yeah, that canal in the picture above. A lot of it sounds harmlessly annoying along the lines of Mr. Scruff's sodding tea tent. But then there's the nu rave sheep pen. "Graffiti artists will spray designs on live sheep while listening in the best in nu-rave club sounds." Oh sweet Jesus, that's wrong in eleven different ways at once.

At the same time, across town in Cornerhouse, Mayflies flits into town to bring us a day of arty hijinks. Between 11 and 5:30, artist BBB Johannes Deimling will perform Don't Hurt Me in the public spaces of the Cornerhouse building. His works often "provoke unconscious fears using an undercurrent of bizarre humour." Scary and funny? Sounds good. Up in the gallery they'll be screening Kleinodtotsod, a video work by John Bock that hints at the malevolent nature of domestic space. Then at 6 there's a screening of the Mayflies film programme, with works by George Barber, Deborah Bower, Wojciech Bruszewski, Michelle Handelman and Ben Rivers. (entry to the films is £3 and includes a drink, booking reccomended.)

Oh, and you can't get in if you've been within ten feet of the nu-rave sheep pen. They'll be checking.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Manchizzle in The Guardian

Holy cats! Today's Guardian Guide did a Blog Roll feature on Manchester, and here's what they had to say about this blog:

"The pick of Manchester culture and hub of blogging goodness."

Couldn't have said it better myself. Cheers, nameless Guardian writer.

Blog Roll also namechecked Mancubist, The Ring Modulator, I Shook My Head, Manchester Looks, Yer Mam!, and Chronicles of Joy Division.

Now off to enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend. They said it was supposed to be sunny, didn't they? THEY SAID IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE SUNNY.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

I'm astonished to tell you that today is The Manchizzle's second blogiversary. My first post, way back in 2005, was about how much I love pound shops mixed up with a story about a girl menacing me at Piccadilly Pound World. I had done some blogging before I moved to Manchester, but not much. For the most part I've had a great time doing this blog - it's brought me together with some people I'd never have met any other way, and I feel like it's helped me explore the city, settle in and make it my own.

It's interesting for me to see how the blog's focus has shifted and evolved over time. It's now a rather impersonal site about new blogs and upcoming events in Manchester. While this is pretty much what I intended to create, I feel like I might be changing things around a bit in the future. But not for a while. I am far too busy with blog awards stuff to even think about this now, not to mention social networking (snicker.)

Anyway, thanks for reading, all this time. Awww. Go out and buy yourselves a cupcake or something.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

On holiday

Am busy eating maple creemees, swimming in the lake and reading comic books. Normal service will resume in a week or so.