Shimura Curves

Monday, February 27, 2006


Stupid blogger won't let me upload my bluebells pictures, so I'm just going to have to be naughty and link.

I wish I was here. End of story.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Let's Take Some Tests

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Well, I'm glad I'm in the right city, then!

You Should Be In Destiny's Child

You're sexy, smart, and hard working.
The perfect combo for superstardom!

Ooh, errr... I don't think we can handle this!

Your Hat Personality Is A


Errrr... how did you know? I'm wearing one right now!

Your Power Color is Green

You feel most at home in a world of ideas.
You're curious and logical - and enjoy a good intellectual challenge.
You're super cool, calm, and collected. Very little tries your patience.
Your only fear? People not realizing how smart and able you are!

Ha ha ha ha ha, patient? Moi? Never! However, the rest is pretty OTM. And as to the colour green, well... look around. Heh.

And finally, no surprises here, but...

You Are Most Like Miranda!

While you've had your fair share of romance, men don't come first

Guys are a distant third to your friends and career.

And this independence *is* attractive to some men, in measured doses.

Remember that if you imagine the best outcome, it might just happen.

Romantic prediction: Someone from your past is waiting to reconnect...

But you'll have to think of him differently, if you want things to work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bad Curves Vibes?

So I had a concerned email today from a friend, who noted that I'd been making various remarks about band concerns on the web, instead of talking to my bandmates. The funny thing is, I *do* talk to my bandmates about these concerns (the usual, argh, lateness, argh, we're so disorganised, argh, have we changed the lyrics again) in person. I guess, though, point taken. That I can seem quite negative (about myself as well as others) a lot of the time, and I diffuse that negativity in little comments, so that they don't build up and cause big problems.

Maybe this is not productive, and instead I should comment on and focus on what I love and appreciate about my bandmates. So, I'm going to think of my favourite thing about each of my bandmates.

AMP - I love AMP because she's saucy. No, really, I mean, she's sexy, charismatic, earthy, she's this river of libidinous energy turned into a creative (and highly fun to hang out with) dynamo. I find that attractive.

Anna - I love Anna because she has a way of seeing the positive in every situation, however dire, even if there's nothing good about it, she still manages to see some humour in it, and make us laugh. I find that inspiring.

Marianna - I love Marianna because of her enthusiasm. She gets so excited and caught up in the moment, she shares her most fabulous fantasies, and when she's really into something, there's her great little WHOOP! I find that energising.

De Tox

So I'm on Day 3 or a 5 Day Detox. Well, not a real detox, but:

-no booze
-no refined sugar
-no bread
-no coffee, in fact, no caffeine except green tea

Physically, I actually feel fine, if a little sleepy after lunch. But psychologically... ohmigod.

I miss sugar. I miss the taste of it, the way it makes everything taste good. I don't miss booze that much. But coffee.. ARRRGGGHGHGHGLLLGGEEEGGGHHH! I'm even dreaming about coffee at this point. Even the smell of coffee from across the room can turn me into a slavering fiend. If it weren't for my willpower, I'd be mugging old ladies to get spare change for a Latte. The taste of it, the smell of it, the lovely warm, full feeling you get when you drink it, like an oral hug. Warm milk has a relaxing effect, while the coffee has a pickmeup and the sugar is like a bonus kick.

There was some talk at the last rehearsal about what Shimuras were doing for lent. Anna is giving up cheese. AMPy and Emsk discussed giving up booze. I was going to do this detox thing for the full 6 weeks, if I could survive a week. I don't know now if I dare...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pash Fest

So yeah, this is happening. Next Sunday. There will also be a ROLLING LONDON WALK beforehand.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Best Features

There are more amazing photos of the gig on Marianna's Flickr. Go look and see!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Frances' Sparkly Photo

From the secret gig... this is one of my favourite photos of us! I don't know why, it's blurry and you can't see Anna (possibly she could be fixing her wardrobe malfunction) but somehow it managed to capture what I want us to be about. Sparkle and intimacy and warmth and girls dancing around, happy and slightly drunk, a secret to keep in your living room.


What a freaking great gig. What a beautiful venue! What lovely people! The Luminaire is my new favourite venue (North of the River, that is, becaues the Windmill is still my local.)

I'm always a ball of stress before gigs, and there I was in full-on stress mode, manager missing, half the band having to work late and totally missing soundcheck, trying to field a bazillion and one text messages telling The Boy when and where to go, limping about on a swollen ankle, 30 seconds away from total diva - Andy and Molly were lovely, showed me to the beautifully mood lit backstage, filled me with tea and generally did their best to make the evening pleasant, as well as smoothly running. This makes *such* a difference, and I thank them.

Anyway, we soundchecked the best that we could with Cat and Ruth from the Kissing Time filling in. And then it was the "sit around and wait" game. This is what I hate most about headlining - soundcheck first and play last means you have FIVE HOURS sitting around getting more and more nervous. Couldn't even get drunk, as that helps with the nerves but destroys your performance. Barely left the venue, except to go and get curly chips at Kilburn Fried Chicken, and then I had to hurry back like an agrophobe. Though the girls' bathroom was a flurry of dresses and makeup and hairspray - one of the other fun things about a line-up with loads of women. Good thing, as both Emsk and I were utterly flummoxed by my hair ornament.

At least it helped that I really enjoyed the other bands. My mind was taken off my stress by watching Sande and the Memory Machine and the Kissing Time (even joining them for a wonderfully shambolic Kissing Curves version of Just Like Heaven) - but by the time YSN came on, I was in too much of a flap to enjoy them. AMP like them - I liked their clothes.

All of our mates were there by this point, and I was doing my best to be a bit of a social butterfly. It was Matt DC's birthday, so he brought a truckload of drunken people in the mood to party. Hurrah! My Boy arrived, having driven instead of taking the train, and I was being flummoxy about him, too, worrying that I wasn't paying him enough attention, and forgetting to introduce him to my friends. Though he did seem to enjoy the backstage pre-gig rituals of titty-shaking and the like.

And then we got onstage, and all of it disappears, the stress, the annoyance, the "argh, I don't enjoy this, why do I *do* this?" just goes away when you perform a song perfectly, the sound fills your heart, the audience claps, and you can look out and see all of your friends enjoying themselves, laughing, dancing, shouting requests between songs. The sound was.... perfect! It's actually a bit scary to have sound that good when you're used to not hearing anything. (Well, my sound was perfect, though, for some reason, the two who missed soundcheck had complaints. Imagine that.) And we asked the audience to move up and fill the gap, and for the first time in gigging history, they actually *did*. Hurrah.

There was pink wine (swigged directly out of the bottle, as we were not allowed to take glasses onstage - classy!) and dancing and fun. Though if anything, it was a bit weird being on such a big stage - I felt quite far away and a bit separated from the rest of the band, especiallly Marianna, when we usually ham it up onstage. It's better when we're more intimate, interacting with each other. And it's funny, because several different people have described seeing us as like being let into something a bit private and secret, being allowed the join the sleepover. Which I like.

We did a fake "encore" of Noyfriend (time to formalise that spelling) and then there was the panic of trying to pack everything up. I was actually quite pleased that The Boy offered to help, carried things, but couldn't figure out why he was hurrying me along until finally he says "come on! I've got champagne chilling backstage!" Yay! So eventually we invited the entire audience (that was left) backstage and had a big party.

Best VD ever. I *hate* Valentine's Day, but this year was definitely the way forward. Thanks to all of you.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I don't know what Audioscrobbler is, but...

Apparently we're on it:

I have no idea what this means, I'm such a Luddite.


Argh, I wanted to upload an image from the gig on Saturday night, but the damn web cafe doesn't seem to want me. All those breasts are probably too much for them.

Tits of Fire

Anyway, I'm exhausted. I didn't go in to work today despite the Boy's best efforts to get me out of bed on time, I just could not face it, and the realisation of all the things I had to run around and do to get ready for DJing tonight and the gig tommorrow. It became very clear I couldn't both go to work and DJ tonight. And which did I choose? Not very responsible. But the one good thing about my line manager changing at work is there's no longer any clear line of who actually approves my holidays, so I can take them when I like. So I've been going through my CD collection and loading up with stuff I love.

Secret Gig on Saturday - blimey. I was blasted after the work doo on Friday night (give and take, I guess) and despite the fact that we were supposed to *start* at noon, I woke up in a panic at just after noon. Tried to shake off my hangover and get on the train feeling like death and realising that drinking away the pain of the ankle I'd sprained the night before hadn't done me any good. Lurched through a rehearsal with the help of loads of coffee, then I lay down for a nap while the girls went to get loads of pink wine and pizza.

Pink Wine and Paracetemol

Blimey. Sound problems. Argh! The laptop and the stereo just didn't want to talk. Who let Squarepusher in here? We did our best and carried on, doing a capella bits if we were too far into a song to stop. There wasn't a real "audience" - it was just loads of our friends gathered round on the sofas and sitting on the floor. So I guess it was a good way to gently break Marianna into her first gig. I mucked about with my guitar, which was good, because I never practise with my pedals, which is bad, while AMP ran the laptop. Phew, that works much better.


And all the while, there's giggling and pretty dresses and lots of in-jokes and half synchronised dance movements and even though it's very kitsch, I think sometimes, my god, we must be a fun band to *watch*. My bandmates are always like this at rehearsals, I just hope they carry on making the transition to being like that on *stage*. So Secret Gigs are a good way to accomplish this. Plus, we get to have great little surprises like the Flashing Hedgehogs, our Bull & Gate Support Band Of The Week. And The Kissing Time joining us for super special encores.

Flashing Hedgehogs
Oh yeah. Plus everyone trying to decide who should remix which song. I just want Tiga to remix the whole thing at my house, four Shimuras in a bedroom studio shockah!

I didn't get drunk. I left early and limped home, and did the laundry and the shopping in a huge rush then spent two hours in the bathtub reading the Observer. (Argh, I totally forgot to get a Guardian on Saturday, so now I am *never* going to know what happened to Tamara Drew, oh no.)

Anyway, DJing tonight. Oh yes.

(Thanks to AMP, Marianna, Cat and Frances for the photos!)

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Why do I *always* gets this in tarot readings? It's kind of spooky!

You Are The High Priestess

You represent mystery - secrets that are yet to be revealed. You find yourself sitting between two worlds: one dark, one light. You tend to hold these two worlds in balance, reconciling the two. Open and welcoming, you invite others to learn your secrets.

Your fortune:

Something hidden, or latent, in your life is about to come forward. You need to pay more attention to your dreams, thoughts, intuition, and imagination. And if that involves tapping into your dark side, it will all balance out in the end. You have a lot of potential dying to be unleashed, so let those gates open!

It's becuase I'm manic depressive, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Frock Shock

So I appear to have bought a new frock for the Valentine's Day gig! (Actually, I have bought two frocks, but one is for my big, important Black Tie work doo on Friday.) It is red and floaty and sort of paisley-ish. (I am so glad that "boho chic" or whatever is over, so I can go back to wearing my hippie clothes without people thinking I'm trying to emulate some actress/model/whatever.*)

Also, the mixing is done. Well, at least it's at the penultimate phase, which means I still have to put a few more guitars on, and change anything that sounds wrong on other people's stereos and stuff. Emsk reckons it sounds good, and I trust her ears. But this means we should actually have a PRODUCT to give away to our mates sell at the VD gig.

Cover, schmover, it's a white label at this point. Though I'm tempted to scan the lovely housewarming card that Nobody's Prawn made me and use that.

*Though, that said, I utterly *covet* this outfit. It's very Kate Gordon.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Gigs and Stuffs

So yeah, we are doing that gig on Valentine's Day after all, it looks like. With The Kissing Time and Sande and the Memory Machine. I'm actually more excited about seeing them than playing our own gig.

And also, we're playing a secret warm-up living room gig on Saturday the 11th at a Super-Secret Special Location in trendy Dalson. No, I'm not going to tell you where it is. You're only allowed to come to the warm up gig if you guarantee that you'll come to the real gig.

Friday, February 03, 2006


So I'm going to be mixing this weekend. I hate mixing more than just about anything else involved with music creation, but then again, perhaps it's better to do it when you're in a bit of a short, bad-tempered mood, because you'll be less likely to fritter away time, and snap decisions are often the best ones because pop needs that kind of immediacy.

No booze allowed, but plenty of coffee and plenty of chocolate, and snacky grazing food. Our manager is coming by on Sunday afternoon to see where I've got to, but I've unilaterally decided not to invite the other Shimuras. This may seem mean (though, given our current state of indecisiveness over the state of rehearsal arrangements... I wouldn't expect any of them to actually turn up!) but to be honest - although many ears are better, it's better if those ears are not attached to the voices on the record. It's a common problem - when you listen to stuff you're on, you automatically listen more to your own voice. For some people this means they always want to be turned up, for others it means they always want to be turned down. I think I've got to the point where I've been recording my own voice for 20 years now, and it's turned into just another instrument. I hope.

It will probably be good to do something tangible for the band because I'm so frustrated with it right now. I'm having an immense amount of trouble with the work/life balance right now to start with, and the endless meandering of the band decision-making process is making it seem like JUST ONE MORE STRESS being added to my already stressful life.

Anyway. We may be playing a gig at the Luminaire on Valentine's Day. We may also be starting Shimuras Pash Fest at the Bull on Sunday, 26th Feb. At this current moment, I don't actually know for sure. And I'm starting to wonder if I care.

(Especially given the demise of Smash Hits, now we'll never have the chance to realise one of my long-standing ambitions - to be on its cover.)