I've had a good January. I don't often say this. I consider myself to have had a month off from doing things.
I wrote some stuff for Electronic Sound. If you want to read those words, it's worth subbing to them. If you want a visual representation if the kind of words I write for them, click through here. That amazingly dark image is broken down here by illustrator Steve Appleton.
While the nights are ugly and the clouds all leaky, I've been staying in more. Recharging my batteries. Still, I went to an enjoyable Speakeasy in Stretford, organised by my writing buddy Dave Hartley. And then there were the two spoken word nights I host: a memorable The Word in Didsbury and a gigglesome Bad Language in the city centre.
I enjoyed my writing critique group in which a bunch of us tear apart each others' stories then sulk for ages. Actually, we're quite adult about it all, and only sixteen punches were thrown at our latest meeting.
I went to the cinema more. Spielberg's Bridge of Spies was a sold historical drama, although I wish he would lay off the sentimentality. There was a great living room scene in which something surprising happened (no spoiler) and he demonstrated his ability to tell an incident as a story-in-microcosm with a series of expertly controlled camera angles; he's still a genius. I enjoyed The Revenant despite it being very much like this Simpson's scene. I'm not as smitten with it as other people, though - there were at least two Revenant moments that were way too Oscar-worthy to be taken seriously. Neither of these films were as good as Room, an extraordinary film about childhood resilience by one of my favourite directors. It takes a dark theme and makes it into something life-affirming and worthy of discussion weeks after you've seen it.
I'll post some more music-y things in February. Honest.