Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shaken and stirred to do list

1. Anyone who had tickets for the Vampire Weekend gig tonight at the Academy is SOL: they've pulled a sickie. But they ask us to "please send positive health vibes our way." Consider it done.

2. The Viva film festival, featuring the freshest cinema from Spain and Latin America, hits Cornerhouse next week. Have seen some great films there over the years that I'd otherwise have been completely ignorant of. Get your tickets early as each film only screens a couple of times and it's usually quite deservedly mobbed. And don't sit in front of me and talk to your friend or check your texts.

3. Ever wondered about those shadowy figures writing for Manchester's literary journals? You know you have. You can see some of them for real at a mega reading event featuring way too many writers from Ugly Tree, Lamport Court and Parameter, and enjoy the cool malty tipples of the ever-reliable Briton's Protection at the same time. Monday night 6:30 for 7.

4. Got a bike, unicycle or frankenwheelie? Grease it up and join the hordes for Manchester Critical Mass on Friday. Meets at 6pm at the Central Library.

5. If you're the least bit obsessed with the Obama-Clinton primary (and may I say, what's wrong with you people? I at least have the excuse of being a US voter) you might get a kick out of watching this campaign commercial that's currently airing in my home state of Vermont, which votes on Tuesday. Hear that heart-stirring theme swelling up in the background? Remind you of anything? Aww. It's amazing how close you can get to the West Wing music without actually playing it.

6. The ill-advised Manchester supercasino has once-and-for-all bit the big one. But maybe we'll get some more money as a consolation prize. And did anyone read this Jonathan Jones piece in the Guardian about public art and, specifically, the B of the Bang?

"'s bad art; in fact I think the word "art" overpraises it. It's a piece of design, like a decoration devised for a shopping centre. There's something planned and corporate about it."

I couldn't agree more. What say we keep that money in East Manc and use it to fund a groundbreaking project that would recycle B of the Bang into another totally different artwork that neither quietly crushes your soul nor threatens passersby with grievous bodily harm? Schematic proposals on a postcard please.

7. As a follow up to the bewilderingly popular post about Manchester restaurants, I ate at Isinglass in Urmston for the first time last night. Everyone says how good it is. It was good. It's also a lovely place, with very atmospheric lighting and branches on the walls for decoration. I tried rabbit pie and venison but they had a smoked eel and beetroot tart on the menu too which I faintly regret not getting. If you haven't been, maybe you should go sometime.

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