Shimura Curves

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Spangle Pop Frenzy

Apparently, this is how the Bull and Gate is describing us. Anna reckons it sounds like the sort of thing you'd buy in an old time sweets shop.

Aaaaaah, I should go home.

I'm getting The Fear about the B&G gig for reasons too tedious to go into, really.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Under The Weather

Subdued rehearsal last night. Frances was still ill, which put a bit of a damper on things, Anna was feeling otherwise and Miss AMP spent the whole rehearsal sitting on my bed riffling through my stash of pornography back issues of Country Life.

Because Frances couldn't sing, she picked up my bass and started jamming out. Excellent - taking on a new RAWK/bad funk (a la mid-period New Order) direction, tee hee. So the gingers sat on the bed and had fake hissy fits at one another.

I played them the new songs - Noyfriend was much appreciated for its "Klaus Dinger"ness. (sp?) We reckon we need to translate the lyrics into German. Lambeth fared less well - they reckonned it sounded like the soundtrack to an educational film. So perhaps I'll try to go a bit more Film Boards of Canada with it (the educational nature films, not the band).

All three bottles of pink wine got drunk in the end. Even the Strawberry Wine. Yum.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Also, it has come to my attention, that there have not been nearly enough photos of Captain Anderson and his fantastically ginger sideburns (not to mention cocked hat) lately. Must rectify this situation immediately. Oh yes.

Pointy nose.

Minatory jaw.

Right... as you were.

Krautrock By The Yard

So I wrote two new songs yesterday! Well, not really wrote, as they were songs that had been kicking around in my head for ages, but yesterday I finally got them arranged and down, sequenced, on the laptop. What a productive weekend.

One is called Noyfriend, about indie boys who cannot bear to actually use the terms "boyfriend/girlfriend" let alone admit they are actually in a relationship. Although it's rampant in most members of the male sex, it's worse in indie boys and music geeks. Perhaps because they spent most of their time arguing about micro-genres of Grime vs. Crunk or whatever that they want to experience every micro-gradation of the modern "relationship" from fuckbuddy to friends-with-benefits without ever having to have the bother of using an emotionally loaded term like "Boyfriend". Who knows.

Anyway, Noyfriend is an obvious Neu! pastiche so I spent all afternoon listening to the first 10 seconds of Super over and over, trying to get exactly the right two bars of motorik drums to repeat over and over again. It's funny, because I always thought - perhaps due to the solemn po-facedness of the people who usually play Krautrock - that it was a particuarly difficult type of music to write or play. This is a lie. I've discovered it's so utterly easy to write Krautrock - you make it like the British Navy made ships, build them by the mile and saw off as needed. Mein Gott. What a racket. (In both senses of the word.)

Then there's The Grain Of Sand In Lambeth That Satan Cannot Find which is, erm, a Shimura Curves pastiche. I'm worried that I'm starting to plagiarise myself at this point. It's got some lovely banjo ding-ding-ding bits. But then I ran out of ideas, so I found myself sticking on the bassline from Lost Rivers Of Clerkenwell and the drumkit from Thoughtworm. I don't know. I'm hoping that Frances will write a real bassline for it. Perhaps I'm not plagiarising myself, perhaps it's just consistency in terms of our aesthetic style. Yeah, that's it.

Also, there's talk of a gig at Cargo. I'm excited because I really like Cargo as a venue. Nice loos, too.

Bring Me Your Pillow, The One That You Dream On

I've become semi-obsessed with this strange site where random people post their dreams. It's like this lost corner of the ILX world where no one ever goes except for strangers. Reading about other people's dreams is kind of creepy in a way, because they seem so meaningless out of context, "like a stuffed animal lying on the floor of a bank" (who said that? William S. Burroughs?) but obviously they have such meaning to the dreamers. It's like a sad lost luggage department, but with lost dreams instead of objects.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I Dream Of Sleep

This morning I actually asserted that I preferred sleep to sex. Now that, dear reader, is a lie. I do love to sleep, perhaps more than anything else on earth.

But this week, the Horn has hit me, and hit me hard. I feel like a sad and desperate old woman. This week, I don't care about relationships, or marriage, or babies, or any of that. I just want to be naked and holding someone. (Preferably *without* the hassle of a relationship.)

And that is the most dangerous time of all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Band Of Pirates

Arrrrrrrrrrr... it's catching on. The rest of the band have started doing this, too, which is a bit worrying.

Last night, I felt like a human being for the first time in ages. Relaxing, enjoying myself, just having fun with friends. We also happened to sound particularly good - or maybe it was just the drink. (And what wonderful drink it was - we drank the cornershop out of this lovely Italian rose with an art nouveau lady on the front.)

We met up with our manager officially for the first time. We gossipped about Ladyfest, and tried to figure out which Sex & The City girl each of us was. Waaaaah, I've become a Miranda. I so used to be a Samantha once upon a time. That seems like another person, it was such a lifetime ago. We started talking about threesomes. Everyone's done the two girls, one guy thing, blah blah blase. But two guys and one girl? Irony being, been there done that (god, I hope my mum doesn't read my blog) got the t-shirt lost it at the laundrette. Like most kinky things, the fantasty is invariably better than the reality. Which usually involves too many genitals and not enough attention. Sex is not an easy thing to multi-task at.

Errr... anyway. Emma (our manager, woo!) reckons I should go to Norway because the boys there are so pretty and so friendly. I think we would all very much like to go and play gigs in Norway. Groupies, sex, dancing boys, pink wine, posh tights on the rider, these are the things we demand.

I looked through AMP's copy of The Artists Way. I've always been suspicious of that book, wondering if following it would actually change my creativity. I've only ever been blocked very rarely. I suppose the confidence to *do* something with the things that I've created is my problem. I can't do it unless I have other people around me - like somehow their contributions makes The Thing. I'm just some kind of facilitator who writes down doggerel or something. Who knows. I'm annoyed lately because I'm not blocked at all - songs still force themselves into my head, rhymes, melodies, harmonies and arrangements I can hear in my head. I just don't have the time to write them down any more.


Anyway. I am happy today, despite the hangover and the lack of sleep or brushed teeth. It's been a while since I felt this way. And I'd like to stay here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How To Make A Shimura

Crushed ice
1 shot cacacha
Nectarines and peaches, pulped
2 spoonfuls soft brown sugar

Desperation breeds inventiveness. And it's glorious.

Testing, Testing

Today I am mostly taking Enneagram Personality Tests because my mum suggested I take them, after having to take them herself as part of some job-related vicar-screening process. (Don't ask.)

Typically, these kinds of tests aren't very accurate for me, because the answers are very different depending on which part of my mood cycle I'm on. So I scored equally high on these two profiles:

Six out of Ten

Seven out of ten

(I prefer the words to the pictures, though.)

Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||| 26%
Type 3 Image Focus |||||||||||| 46%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||||| 78%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||| 46%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||| 30%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||||| 58%
Type 9 Calmness |||||| 30%

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Shimura Curve, Yesterday

(J/K, AMP!)

Hacking Jacket

So I'm going to try and be nice and positive and make this a happy post about the band, rather than turning it into a rant about my housing troubles and my neighbour troubles and the like.

We drank way too much last night (red wine and pink champagne and when we were done with that, we even devoured the rest of the Mead) and bounced up and down and Anna even sang into a hairbrush and it was more like a party than a rehearsal, which is the way these things should be.

Lots of gossip and EMBARRASSING REVELATIONS about certain Shimuras about which I am sworn to secrecy. And now I am the Only Single Shimura which is a bit depressing. Ah well, I am married to music. Or maths. Or something.

Because I was a bit rubbish and still have not completed the New Songs (hah! get in the queue behind my boss complaining that I have not Coded The New Reports) instead we decided to sit around a table and talk about important things - like image. I'm sorry, but I do actually think this is highly important. Fandom is often turned to obsession for me by a good image - more than just a look, but more like a whole gestalt, a syllabus, cultural references outside of music. Most easily encapsulated by having your art and your clothes look a certain way.

So *sick* of cutesy girlbands who try to tap into that cutesy 1950s housewife thing. Polkadots and lipstick cases - enough already. We started talking about the female equivalent of the Great British Eccentric. Anna was talking about fashion shoots which always had the mad girls in ballgowns and green wellies and massive pre-Raphaelite hair. I thought this was great - fits in with my current obsession with Liberty Print shirts and my desire for a tweed hacking jacket. The demented granddaughters of bearded Edwardian eccentrics who threw Country House Parties. Oh yes. Can we do all Art Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite without coming across like blooming hippies?

We shall see.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Practice Tonight

Yes, at my house.

Hopefully my smug married housemates will actually let us have the kitchen long enough to make pizza and open the (non-pink) wine...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Would You Buy A Second Hand Band From This Woman?

I feel that I should write something about the band for a change, rather than rambling on about my silly life, and problems, and the quirky beauty of Captain Anderson Jared Harris and his amazing pointy nose...

Image hosted by

...whoops, sorry, slipped for a moment there, what was I saying?

Oh yes, the band. We seem to have aquired ourselves a manager, in the person of Emma. This is quite good, as she is, in fact, made of rock'n'roll. I can't believe our luck, really, as I felt a bit like I was persuading her to buy a second hand car, going, "well, we're a bit disorganised, and we can be a bit rubbish, and, like, you're really good at this stuff and really respected in the British music scene, and erm, what with your being made of rock'n'roll and all..." Emma did press for Ver Lollies for years and years and I really credit her with a great deal of the success we had. She's completely brilliant at that kind of stuff, she's got amazing taste in music, and she's so philosophically and ethically sound I trust her completely.

I was trying to play it down in the pub last night and all because I was faintly embarrassed about my own enthusiasm (god, I have become so English) but I'm very, very pleased about this. It's comforting and inspiring to feel like you're part of such a magnificent team. Not just dead cool bandmates who happen to be your good mates, but dead cool people working with you. Who also happen to be your good mates. Rock!

(Sometimes I'm just flabbergasted that these people let me hang out with them. Heh.)