16.9.07
this is a test.

i mean, vox has all the functionality, the tag cloud, the lovely 2.0 look and feel.. but

it's hosted not on ampnet

it won't let me display an RSS feed of my latest posts elsewhere

only voxers can post comments

it has that facebook 'walled garden' feel

work ppl... you know

i think i want to come home.

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4.7.07
I've moved.

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21.6.07
SATURDAY NIGHT

Saturday night. ALRIGHT? I'll be DJing at The George Tavern on Commercial Road. Two bands from Adaadat will be playing. The George is an ace pub and, best of it, it is only ONE BUS JOURNEY away from my house. I <3 Whitechapel. Everyone should hang out there for ever and ever amen.

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6.6.07
I'll be singing in Shimura Curves for one last bonus night on Thursday 14th June. We're playing at Bardens along with No Bra, Bishi and Ebony Bones. It's put on by the UndGretel collective and with that line-up it promises to be very very good, so I think you should come along. See www.myspace.com/undgretel for more details.

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17.5.07
Here's a review I wrote of a book called 'You Don't Love Me Yet', by Jonathan Lethem. The cover illustration was done by a lady called Eline Van Dam, who is a brilliant illustrator who can be found online here at a site called Zeloot. She illustrated the cover of the Club Kids issue of AMP that we did a while back. I love her work. Anyway. I guess you can't judge a book by its cover....

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6.5.07
If you're stuck for something to do this Bank Holiday weekend, you might want to go see the wonderful EATS TAPES playing at the Buffalo Bar tonight. Barr is also playing, and Lucky Dragons, and something I've not heard of called Car Clutch. It's put on by the brilliant collective Upset the Rhythm and it's gonna be bleeptastic brilliance.

more info

See you there!

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1.5.07


So the piece I wrote about cute fat chicks has been published in the Sunday Times. I wasn't prepared for all the feedback you get when you go mainstream. *buries head in comforting wing of underground*

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25.4.07
Ms AMP?

This may seem ironic from someone whose pseudonym over the last few years has been 'Miss AMP', but let's just ignore that shall we? Back in the real world, I prefer to use 'Ms' on official forms and stuff, just because Miss seems gay and Mrs is ugly. And untrue. And... jeez, the whole advertising yr marital status thing seems kind of gauche, really. And men don't have to do it. So I go for 'Ms' on forms. In real life, Anne-Marie or AMP seem to suffice quite nicely. Nobody has reason to call me by my 'title' - I'm not a teacher, am rarely in formal situations, so what's the problem? But I was a little shocked yesterday when I signed up for Brand Republic - you know, "first for advertising, marketing, media and PR" (what can I say? I've been misguidedly trying to take my 'career' a bit serious for once) - and discovered that there was no 'Ms' option. I mean, there was Dr and Prof, but no 'Ms'. I was a bit shocked at this, and even went so far as to send them an email (whoo! direct action!) suggesting that this made their supposedly forward thinking edge pushing brand-building magazine look a bit - well - retro, and eventually, of course, I selected 'Miss'. But not without reluctance.

So yeah. What is the deal with 'Ms' these days. Apparently Lucy Mangan of the Guardian doesn't use it because, well, it makes her feel a bit old, and men don't like it, and neither do some women. Way to go, Mangan. Fight the power. But what about my contemporaries? I've realised that I actually have no idea which box they choose to tick. Let me know. Does the omission of a 'Ms' box on a form or website signup worry you? Or am I just being totally boringly rad-fem about the fact that I cannot see what relevance my marital status has to, well, absolutely fucking anything these days? I think we should be told.

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More Liam Sullivan - here he's explaining how the process of 'becoming' Kelly - shopping for clothes, applying make-up, etc - helped him understand a lot more about women. Aw.


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The obsession with letter-writing continues apace. There's something gloriously hedonistic and wonderfully wasteful about putting time and effort into a hand-written letter and decorated envelope you'll almost certainly never see again. Knowing, after you've dropped it in the post, that you've entrusted it to a horde of unseen hands that will help it reach its destination. (Posting a letter is an exercise in wishful thinking). And once you start - particularly if you find a willing co-correspondent, who is not too tardy with the replies (selfish, selfish!) - then it's so hard to stop. You eye stationery shelves with new vigour. Woolworths winks at you each time you walk past, flaunting its glittery stickers for children at your oh-so-tempted adult self. A pink and white striped paper bag from a sweet shop screams to be made into an envelope: you buy white tippex pens to scribe on scraps of black leatherette you bought at Spitalfields market; a tin box that once held chocolates is stuffed with goodies from Berlin, gleaming with fresh purpose. When you're engaged in correspondence, the world is that little bit more alive. No, email does not count. This is a strictly real-world only operation, and it's very, very special.

And. Pod Post are two ladies who understand this. They share this vision, this lust for pretty postable things. This is their Pod Post mail art Bento box. They went to Japan and found lovely things other postal peoples might like to use, and wrapped them up in a bento box. They make also: sew-on badges for successful zinesters and bookbinders; notelets; exquisite looking fanzines. You should visit their site. Buy some things. Send me a message, drop me a line. I'll write you back. I promise.

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24.4.07
THURSDAY NIGHT AWESOMENESS

Get thee to the Nog Gallery on Brick Lane on Thursday night. Upset the Rhythm are putting on an event which will feature a performance from Barr and a reading from Amy Prior. Frances will be dj-ing. Sounds super fun and is only £3. Be there!

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23.4.07
I'm finally starting to understand Youtube. It's like a tiny telly. Which is ace because I don't have a telly. But I do have a pulsing 15 inch Macbook. Here is Youtube discovery brilliance number ten million and one; it's called "Text Message Break-Up":



... in which Kelly gets dumped by text message and goes mental. "I'll be like MACE in your FACE on MYSPACE.... Just you wait till you read the shit on you I'm gonna blog about. I'm gonna PODCAST yr BASTARD ASS from COAST TO COAST!"

There's also Shoes:



The videos are the creation of Liam Sullivan, a comedian. There are more. You can download them from his site in Quicktime, Windows Media and iPod versions. One of my favourite things about them - apart from the way they keep turning from soap-opera esque kitchen sink dramas into booty-shakin' hip-hop videos - is the fact that, even though Kelly is a dude dressed as a chick, there's none of the harsh edge that drag can often have; that worrying sense that the female is being laughed at. You don't really feel that Liam is taking the piss out of Kelly. You empathise with her. She feels a bit like one of your friends. <3

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21.4.07



A flyer from my fave rad fem activist group of all time, W.I.T.C.H aka Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy From Hell. They practiced a form of guerilla theatre they called 'witch zaps', and ran around putting hexes on everyone and everything, from stockbrokers and bridal fairs to transport authorities after a price rise. Read about them here. Wouldn't it be fun to do stuff like that now? CURSE YOU O KEN AND YR STUPID OYSTER CARD THAT DOES NOT WORK ON MAINLINE TRAIN SYSTEMS SO I HAVE TO PAY THRICE.

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18.4.07
Interesting interview on Venuszine.com with the estimable A.M. Holmes. She's talking about the difference between men's and women's writing; about how there are writers, and women writers; about her refusal to be pigeonholed as a 'woman writer' (a scribe of domestic, family topics); about her admiration for Didion and Sontag and Phillip Roth. It sounds kind of essentialist put like that, but you can see where she's coming from.

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13.4.07

Tonight sees my erstwhile band Shimura Curves play a gig at How Does It Feel at the Luminaire. They're on at 8.20 so get there early to catch the new line-up (featuring Kate St Claire on guitar, my sister Lisa on vocals, ex-member Frances on synths and the mandolin-strumming Ed) take Shimura Curves in a whole new spacerock direction.

Archie Bell = swedish electropoppers with four tracks of downloadable bleepy goodness to help yr weekend get started with a wiggle. Check them out on Myspace.

And look, you can play old Nintendo games on the internet, in your browser, with no downloads required. Bless.

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11.4.07
Jeanette Winterson writing on Djuna Barnes' Nightwood in The Guardian:

Nightwood is itself. It is its own created world, exotic and strange, and reading it is like drinking wine with a pearl dissolving in the glass. You have taken in more than you know, and it will go on doing its work. From now on, a part of you is pearl-lined.


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There's a certain moment every year, every spring. It is shaped like daffodils and birds twittering more loudly than before. The sound of a lorry reversing; cars dashing down the motorway behind yr block of flats. The window's open and the air is scorch-cold but the sun is warm. It's like a kind of Saint Etienne shaped hole where only something by them or perhaps at a pinch Birdie or Dusty Springfield will do. But here is something to fill that hole for 2007: the new album from Johnny Boy, who brought us the Wall of Sound-esque glory that was 'You are the generation that bought more shoes'. It is so perfect for right now: girls singing, massive overproduction, like Go Team mating with Ronnie Spector and it's so ace that they forget their samples and just, like, lean in. Headphones springtime deliciousness awaits you, my friend. Accept it now.

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30.3.07
So I know that punk rock aerobics is a bit of a dead fad now, and it never really made it to these shores anyway, but. I have been investigating it because I'm working on an aerobics fanzine with Raz, and it's so ace. Did you know it was just two totally normal girls who both got sacked in the same week and decided to actually go for it with a rad idea they had, instead of, like most of us, just sitting there going "Yeah... someone should invent mop shoes, yeah? Or rave aerobics where you can take pills but you have a choreographer for yr moves... or...yeah." They went and got aerobics certification, and set up classes in nightclubs,(and you could drink and smoke during the classes if you wanted - after all, people drink and smoke while accidentally exercising while partying, so why not?) and ended up with things like J.Mascis playing guitar along to 'Freakscene' while people worked out to it, and choreographing a routine for Le Tigre, and so on. That's so ace. Someone should make a film about these ladies. Anyway, now I think that PRA is not so much a going concern, and that the ladies are channelling their interests elsewhere - for example, a band called Sheperdess. Check it out! Maybe you can do some leglifts to this, and think about why going to the gym can be so boring, and wipe a little tear from your eye for all the punk rock aerobics classes you never got to try...


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Despite the fact that there's something unsettling in the notion that one's online self should accurately reflect whatever activity one is engaged in in the real world - there's something gauche about so wholeheartedly embracing surveillance culture - nonetheless I have signed up to Twitter, so maybe you should like add me and shit.

http://twitter.com/AMPSTER/

And here is a message from my sister about where you should be tonight:

HOT CHIX N VINYL: VAO

"Vinyl. The very word rolls around your mouth and ends up on your tongue. The spelling is strange, exactly how you'd expect but altogether wrong all the same. Tonight VAO will leave the technical wizardry behind that you've come to expect from their sets. Tonight, for your aural pleasures, VAO have selected a set of pure vinyl. Come. Listen. Enjoy. The George Tavern, Commercial Road, East London."


And for your viewing pleasure, the awesomely rapey 'I Was Robbed By Two Men' video that I forgot to link to a while back. Enjoy!

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26.3.07
Look at this excellent event coming up in May at the Women's Library:

Saturday 12th May 2007

12-4pm, Free

The Women's Library, 25 Old Castle Street, London

Zines are hand-made magazines which are made for love not money. Requiring few resources to self-publish- just a pen, a piece of paper, and a photocopier- zines are made on any number of topics,and showcase culturally innovative writing and art.

To promote the Women's Library Zine Collection (which collects women's zines and comics from the 1970s to the present day) we're organising a one-day zine fest on Saturday 12th May 2007. Focusing on the rise of the "girl-zine movement", this day aims to showcase women's talent in feminist and radical print cultures and to introduce lots more people to the wonderful, addictive world of zines!

Zine Fest! is free, but as places are limited please email moreinfo@thewomenslibrary.ac.uk or call 020 7320 2222 if you would like to attend the zine making workshop. All ages welcome!

Programme so far includes: zine-making workshop, talk by zine academic Teal Triggs,zine reading lounge, distro and craft stalls, Grrly Show film screening, zine history art exhibition, and tours of the library's reading room and zine collection.

Check it out on Myspace: www.myspace.com/zinefest

I am so there. Possibly in some kind of riot project capacity - watch this space!

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25.3.07
Via the venerable Jessica Hopper's blog, so excuse me if you've already downloaded this, but if not: check Dan Savage's Savage Love podcast, particularly the episode where he completely loses it at a 'misogynistic faggot'. I was smiling so hard on the bus I thought my face would crack from the effort of keeping my laugh in.

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23.2.07
Jungsheft (previously Gluck) is a German publication featuring 'lecker jungs' (jung is German for boy, apparently) in their skinny nekkid hipster glory. As it's all in German I can't judge the quality of the articles, though they seem to be mainly sex-based - a guide to giving the perfect blow job, a feature on slash fiction, etc. I do like these new attempts at porn for chicks (New York's Sweet Action magazine being another example), but I think one of the things that slightly disappoints me about them is that the content is almost always exclusively about sex. One of the things I enjoy about Butt magazine is that the interviews are about politics and culture as much as - or more than - they are about sex. This has the effect of positioning sex somewhere differently, as just a small part of a rich life. If you surround your pictures of naked hipster men with features about sex and porn film reviews, etc, then sex becomes segmented, separate from the everyday - swept into a corner as though it is something distinct, (shameful?), rather than something that underpins and runs through our day-to-day actions. As though sex and intellect are at odds with each other. I think the difference between Butt and these magazines as well is that Butt is able to persuade gay fashion designers, writers, illustrators, filmmakers, artists and so on to pose naked and semiclothed to accompany interviews with them. Vincent Gallo aside, could hetero male artists, musicians, writers etc be persuaded to pose unclad for an audience of women alongside interviews about their work? Because I think that is what's necessary to create a porno* for chicks magazine that really really works.

*Also I don't think the expression 'porno' really works here. I don't know if I could get off to any of these pictures of naked boys. It doesn't mean I don't want to see them.

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27.1.07
Owen Pallett and Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear ponder the 'glassy-eyed' nature of English girls in this feature on gay site Out.com.

Owen: Yeah! I think all English girls are, maybe, kind of down-trodden. England seems really misogynist to me—the music scene and the art scene. Girls aren’t allowed to do anything without a man holding her hand. When’s the last time you saw an English band with a really conspicuous female frontwoman?

Ed: The Pipettes!

Owen: They’re new, aren’t they? I haven’t heard them but I like their style.

Ed: They’re totally popular. But I don’t know if they actually write their own songs.

Owen: The Long Blondes are the only band from England I know who are popular and have girls writing their songs. And Lily Allen, I guess, too, but I haven’t listened to her. Other than that, it’s all like, Pussycat Dolls. And I think one of the dudes from OMD writes all their songs. Anyway, they don’t seem to get behind the girls in England in their music or art scenes and I think it fucks the whole English female population up. It makes them non-intellectual or something.

(I'm not non-intellectual, you fuck!) But, does he have a point? Doesn't Dorian Cox write the songs for the Long Blondes? And Monster Bobby writes the songs for the Pipettes. And we've a new wave of female singer-songwriters (Bat for Lashes, Kate Nash et al) but, I don't know, they're all a little pretty, teenage and knock-kneed for my tastes. I keep reading about the right for feminists to be appealing and beautiful etc (see This Is What A Feminist Looks Like on myspace - whoo, feminists are white, pretty girls in their 20s, just like all the other images of women in the media ever!) but what about the right not to be? I would love to see more crazy dykes and fucked-up trannies and old fat fierce fugly women (shame my band broke up lol) in bands. Perhaps it's all the riot grrrl footage I've been watching lately (more on this later) but what I'm not getting is craziness and chaos and a sense of wild-eyed spontenaeity. I'm getting girls in frocks with acousitic guitars playing the pretty and slightly disaffected singer-songwriter role they've been allotted since the 1960s. Where's the British Gravy Train!!!! Isn't there something more? Is Owen right? Do Brit girls suck? I don't want this to be the truth. Please post me some links to prove it's not so!


And oh, the riot grrrrl thing. I have taken it upon myself to make a book documenting the early 90s British riot grrrl scene because, well, I want to. And I was there, guvnor! A little bit! I went to meetings! I had an 'I Love Blood Sausage' sticker on my diary! I saw the Voodoo Queens at the Monarch! I made fanzines! I spray-painted feminist symbols on the porno posters on the Holloway Road! Anyway so what it is. At the moment we're all about collecting as much archive material from the time as possible - we want to create a kind of rich dictionary of what went on, with timelines and bands and interviews and yeah, all the beautiful fanzine shit that inspired me so. Hopefully there will be some kind of CD, but riot grrrrl was about more than the music, it was about a whole slew of things, fanzines and comics and a whole way of living really, and we want the book to reflect that. We'll also be looking at how riot grrrrl impacted across Europe - my co-editor, Corinn of Passenger Books, was heavily involved in riot grrrl in Switzerland, where she was living at the time. So if you were living in the UK or Europe and were influenced by riot grrrl in any way, get in touch! You can sign up at the Riot Project website, check us out on Myspace, or simply drop me a line via the contact form.

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24.12.06
We have been totally mainlining Christmas. We had a party! Here are Miss Amy Prior and Mr Tyler Coburn posing delightfully next to a gingerbread house my sister made:

AMY, TYLER

And here is my sister SMASHING THE SHIT out of said house mere moments later:



Yay! DESTRUCTION!!!!

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14.12.06
Battle of the Myspace songs:

I've Been Stalking You On Myspace by John B


MYSPACE
by Chicks on Speed


(Keep My Name) Out Of Your Blog
by Masonic Boom / Shimura Curves

I think my fave is actually the latter, not just because we were in band etc etc. What do you think? And are there any other songs about Myspace worth checking out? I still think Figurine wrote the best internet-related songs out there but they've disbanded and James Figurines's solo stuff ain't quite the same...

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6.12.06
Check out Marmalade magazine's Myspace page if you've got a minute - I've been writing a bit of content for them. If you have anything you think should be featured on the page, drop me a line and let me know about it. Or go straight to the source and get involved in creating the mag itself - they're throwing their March 07 issue open to anyone who wants to help make it.

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i said i'd take you bowling
then somewhere nice for dinner
but i think it's too late for all that now


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Billed as an experiment in web, art, community and economics, OPENSTUDIO combines a vector-based drawing tool with an economy of artists, curators, dealers, collectors and viewers. You can create, modify and 'sell' your drawings - each user gets a 'gallery space' and 25 units of the local economy, Buraks, with which to play. You can also commission and accept jobs from other users. Because the drawing tool is vector-based, it lacks the adorable retardedness of Paint (I love the naive edge Paint gives to everything, even porn), but, if you're clever (note = not clever) like me you'll still be able to create some pretty naive shit. Check my gallery for proof. You can read an interview about some of the more theoretical concepts behind the space over on we-make-money-not-art.com, or just head to OPENSTUDIO itself to sign up.

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29.11.06
All I want to do at the moment is get away from the internet. This takes various forms: swapping regular email correspondences for hand-written letters and care packages sent through the post; switching the laptop off last thing at night so that the first thing I do every morning is write in a notebook instead of checking my emails; reminding myself that no new messages or comments on Flickr or Myspace does *not* mean I no longer exist as a human. And yet scientists are working on more and more ways to ensure that the world of the net and this one intertwine. I mean: the Flickr and Youtube UMBRELLA? Don't make me get a Flickr umbrella mummy! Free me of my addiction!

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27.11.06
Good to see Lily Allen having a pop at NME editor Conor MacNicholas for his extreme weakness over the NME cool list issue in her Myspace blog. As you've probably heard by now, the list features Beth Ditto in first place, plus Lily Allen, Lovefoxx, Kate Jackson and Karen O in the top ten. Ace. But MacNicholas lamed out of putting Ditto, Jackson and Allen on the cover - the shoot was done, but then he replaced it at the last moment with - yep - another picture of frickin' Muse. Way to show you really mean it, Conor. Also, thanks for the press release congratulating these women for 'showing that you can rock a crowd while wearing stilletoes.' Because ultimately that's all that women bring to music, right? High heeled shoes. Allen calls MacNicholas 'fucking patronising' and finishes thus: "You should take your heads out of your New Rave arses and actually think about your responsibilities to youth culture, and to women in general." Hurrah for Lily. I couldn't agree more.

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22.11.06
EBONY BONES + SHIMURA CURVES + NO BRA @ LSE, 29TH NOVEMBER 2006

29 NOVEMBER

Go Native! Une 'ladyfest' laissez faire

Wednesday 29th November, 8.00pm, £3/4
LSE Quad WC2A


Ebony Bones sound like Delta 5 crossed the Ronettes, only less facile than that sounds. Stupid journalistic compounds aside Ebony Bones play post-punk with a more than a hint of '60s girl groups. Fronted by the impeccably dressed & incredibly sassy Miss Bones their live show is all about dancing and fun, or perhaps just fun dancing.

Shimura Curves play laptop pop with shoegaze guitar & vocal harmonies. Featuring Miss Amp of Plan B fame (THE PROMOTER WROTE THAT OVER ON DROWNED IN SOUND! NOT ME! I JUST COPIED AND PASTED IT IN!) they've just released their debut single on Brainlove Records.

No Bra is one woman who sings over lo-fi synths & drum machines. Her lyrics vary from the hilarious fashionista bating 'Munchausen' to the vaguely menacing sexual politics of 'Doherfuckher', a song Momus described as 'Throbbing Gristle with a tone-deaf Marlene Dietrich'.

Wet Dog are a shambolic post-punk band from Brighton who are constantly compared with to The Slits, but that's just because they're three good looking girls playing unusually good music.

COME

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16.11.06
My sister tells me that I am behind the times. My sister tells me that "nothing happens on the internet any more". My sister tells me that I interact with the internet as though it was 2000 or something and something stunning could happen at any moment - a message board revelation, someone sending you a dirty pic, somebody totally ACE that you just HAVE to speak to signing into Messenger. My sister says that nothing interesting has happened on the internet since about 2003, and even then that was only like one thing. My sister says that social networking gives the illusion of things happening online, but that is all it is - illusion. She says that I hang on the internet, checking in every few seconds, doing my 'rounds' of email and LJ friends page reading and Myspace stalking, as though I might miss something important; but there is nothing important to miss. My sister says there is nothing on the internet that cannot wait until tomorrow. My sister has a point, I fear: but... what then? Are we to return to a pre-internet world of phone calls and hand-written letters and fanzines and book-reading? What would that be like? I can't even imagine.

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8.11.06
EMO BOY ON BOY, OH MY

So it looks like FLA - you know, Fake Lesbian Action (girls making out in order to procure male attention) has finally jumped the shark. Yay. Emo Boy on Boy (EBOB) is much more fun! Google image search ‘emo boys’ and your eyes will be met with swathes of befringed boys kissing, or get specific and sign up for a Livejournal group dedicated to the phenonomen to ensure that goodies such as these photo collections and the video below are delivered to your browser daily. Still not sure what I’m talking about? Check the urbandictionary definition. Been there, bought the t-shirt, lost it at the laundrette? Then sign the petition (what are they petitioning for? EBOB to become compulsory for males aged 15-23? Those without fringes and eyeliner to be forcibly made over?) that advocates that ‘Emo boys kissing is the sexiest thing eva!!!!!’ And! Lest you think this is merely another underground fad, EBOB also sneaks into the gaming world, where Rockstar Games’ controversial new title Bully joins The Sims in letting two boys kiss like it ain’t no thang. (Which it, er, isn’t, though raving anti-games lawyer Jack Thompson doesn't seem to agree.)

And finally, via the BoysKissing LJ community:



This video’s got it all. The way it seems to start as a joke, but they slowly begin to get into it: the way the girlfriend’s hand keeps grabbing the guy’s arm as though to reassert his heterosexuality and her possession of him, despite appearances to the contrary; the way the boy rearranges his fringe each time they break off from kissing; the way the one in the hat gradually seems to be assuming the dominant role; the way, when it’s finally over, the hat one tries to get another emo to get off with "Jeff", and he's like 'uh, not right now.' Adorable. Hurrah for heteroflexiblity, the influence of manga / yaoi on teen culture, or whatever it is that's led to this increase in EBOB action in the 'straight' community. I'm off to sign the petition. Seeya!

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4.11.06
WHERE ARE WE GOING / WE'RE GOING TO A PARTY



This video is ace. It reimagines a plane crash as something licentious and lovely, like that Liverpool Poets poem about the world ending and everyone making love on a double decker bus. So much nicer than the awful plane crash visions of Lost or Glamorama. Hey, burying your head in the sand is the new black. Or something.

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2.11.06
IN THE LONDON AREA

If you're in the London area tonight - or would like to be - then run, don't walk, to tonight's Shimura Curves show at the Fly Bar on New Oxford Street. Doors are at 8pm and we're on first, so don't be late. Tonight will bring wondrousness: with me playing an actual INSTRUMENT, the ultra-ravey Yamaha CSX1. Wow, what with guitar and synth as well as laptop we're almost like a real band!

And then, because we know how to exploit stereotypes of femininity for our own good, oh yes: we have two delectable blonde ladies singin and shakin it down the front, with NEW DANCES! And a new song about MYSPACE which is better than the CoS one by a country mile (no offence CoS!) And a banging cover version which you will love. Or hate. Because that's what people do with this band, they either love it or hate it, which is ace, because it's an excellent way of weeding the cool from the lame, and makes it that much easier to go round to the houses of the lame and hit them with sticks.

Anyway, look, a flyer. Be there! It'll be very.


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31.10.06
THE INDIEST BAND ALIVE

Ah, Comet Gain. Comet Gain are so indie. They are indie's distilled essence. They are formed from a hundred rubbish fanzines mulched down with the spit of a decade of inept indie kisses and tied into shape with the twisted brown innards of ten thousand discarded mixtapes. Watch their video for 'The Fists In The Pocket' - as my internet buddy Extensions Off pointed out, isn't this just the indiest video ever made? It's so Brighton: thirtysomething men in bands throwing stones on the beach during a comedown, thinking about that time their 15-year-old girlfriend kissed her mate Annabel from the youth club, wondering if he can get her to do it again. Ugh. Brighton scares me. Don't get me wrong though - I love Comet Gain. I love their murky, evocative sound. Their last two albums, Realistes (2002) and City Fallen Leaves (2006) form this glorious dyad, infused with all the depression and shite of aging within a culture (indie) and a city (Brighton) which fetishises infantilism, and you should definitely check them out. I know I sound ambivalent about them, but I'm really not. Or maybe I am. See? Ambivalence is exciting, anyway. Plus it's an ambivalence borne of an uncomfortable over-identification with their subject matter. So hurrah for Comet Gain, the indiest band alive!

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30.10.06
SHE'S COVERED IN MARMALADE

I seem to have become Marmalade Magazine's online editor, which is nice. First stop is this newsletter, in which I have included so many exclamation marks that reading it back makes me feel slightly sick. I must have been in a good mood or something when I wrote it...

marmalade_newsletter
(Click to enlarge - it's a bit massive)

Anyway, if you feel like sending me any links or stories or whatever to feature in the newsletter, or you want to mention an event you're holding or something, then please do! I've also been writing a bit of content for their Myspace, so you might want to have a look at that, if you're so inclined. And! I have a feature in the new issue of the magazine as well - I met some disgusting sweary sweaty roadies (actually they were quite fit, but whatever) and they told me some ace stories, and now it is in the magazine. Check it out!

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26.10.06
In view of Julie Bindel's admission that she would not go to the police if she was raped, it seems an appropriate time to reprint this meme:

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Hell, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about:

If a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
If a woman is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don't rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.
If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.
Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.

If you agree, re-post it. It's that important.

Note: This goes for any gendered rape, male on female or female on male or female on female or FTM on MTF or non gendered to dual gendered and so on and so forth....
-author unknown

Via The F-Word.

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25.10.06
WINE THEN BED THEN MORE THEN AGAIN

Hm. Well, as my friend Alice so kindly pointed out, there's no use getting all excited about my new RSS feed (check it out! Over there ----->! In the pink bar! At the bottom! That little button!) if there's no decent content on this blog for you to subscribe to. She has a point. Bitch. So. I hereby promise to stop being unfaithful with Myspace, LiveJournal, and any other publishing service I can run my curious little fingertops all over, and return to the mothership, starting from NOW. To kick things off, may I present, from the current issue of Plan B: CSS LIVE!!!!! WHOOO!!!! TAKE IT AWAY AMPYYYYYYY!

CSS
DINGWALLS, LONDON

It's a crush it's a scrum it's, oh, it's rammed and it's exciting. It's Beatlemania in reverse. It's a forest of hands - manhands - stretching towards the stage like baby birds squealing for a scrap of food from mamabird. It's testosterone miasma floating in a cloud above our heads, rising to the ceiling like sweat, like mist. They're begging. They're pleading. They're grabbing. It's kind of rapey. I guess it's what rock and roll is all about.

Lovefoxx doesn't mind though. Lovefoxx is eating it up with a spoon. Lovefoxx is, mmmpf, I don't think I even need to tell you how hott and cute and sexxus and lovely she is, with her Shibuya-style babyface, and her long shiny flapping black hair, and her little outfit of black tights under a stripy black shorts-leotard thing layered under several black vests which she yanks on and off throughout the gig - UP over her head, BACK over her shoulders, now it's on her face and she's singing through it - it's hott, it's innocent, it's kind of naughty and she doesn't even realise. She's like a Samurai convict cartoon jazzdancer, and I don't even know what one of them looks like.

Anyway. Start at the beginning. C - S - S - SUXXXXX!!!!!! they are chanting. They are clapping. There's none of this slow build stuff you get at some band's gigs. They are chanting and clapping and I am hit from the back by a phalanx of menfolk. Gosh do the boys ever love this stuff. The girls onstage are the cliff wall and the men behind me are a fucking tidal wave. I am a piece of seaweed tossed too and fro inbetween. I swear a man - not the man I came here with - is grinding his boner against the small of my back. I haven't felt this testosterone surge since early Peaches gigs.

I am tidalwaving towards the front of the stage, pulled inexorably towards the guitarist, Luisa. Her tattoos are the seaweed now, glued to her shoulders, scraped across her wrists. The neck of her guitar extends towards me, past the shoulder of the photographer who ducks his camera away, barrelling towards my eyes till I dodge downwards, flexing my knees like I'm about to dive. She. Is. Immaculate. Her hair snakes in a lazy mullet and her body is knifelike and titless and she keeps half-closing her eyes and scrunching up her mouth into a shape that inscribes just how fucking cool she feels at that precise moment, and that's more than allowed, because she's making these riffs and thumps and noises on the guitar and the electropop of the album is bigger and more swaggery, than it's ever been on my speakers, mutating into bastard dog rock, and she's dangling a cigarette out her mouth and squinting her eyes up and yeah maybe it's a pose, but wouldn't you?

It's undeniable that a faint whiff of disposability hangs over the CSS album. Is that a problem? Spank Rock smell the same, so what? Disposability is the essence of a good party. Who would want a party that lasted forever? Who can handle more than three days without sleep? Could you actually function adequately as a human if the initial rumpetty-pumpetty in love sexmeup high so eloquently expressed by CSS in 'Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above' - 'wine then bed then more then again / wine then bed then more then again' - actually lasted forever and ever? You'd be a wreck; sacked; homeless; spent. Forget it. This is about a flurry, a tsunami, a smack in the face: spinning till you're dizzy, running till you're choking, dancing till you're broken; then you stop. And so we wave our arms left-to-right to 'Alcohol', just like we're urged to, and we laugh and smile as the men's thrusting grabbing manhands lift the crowdsurfing Lovefoxx high into the sky, and we wander home, drenched in sweat, the riff of Alala and the twist of the guitarist's mouth embedded in our heads for the following three days, and then we smile, and then forget. Perfect.

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19.10.06
"writing is like being an arielist" 
Joan Didion


Joan Didion on writing 'The Year of Magical Thinking'.


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16.10.06
21st October @ SOAS:


"Feminist Fightback is a one day activist conference, initiated by Education Not for Sale Women, for anyone interested in the struggle for women's liberation. Speakers include Abby Lee, author of the "Girl with a one track mind" blog on feminism and sexual expression; sacked Gate Gourmet workers; NUS Women's Officer Kat Stark; International Union of Sexworkers; Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq; Scottish Socialist women on sexism on the left; health workers on low pay and abortion rights; and many more..."


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13.10.06
"I'm an emo kid, non-conforming as can be! You'd be non-conforming too if you looked just like me!" Cute video taking the piss out of emo kids (because nothing gets a laugh like hitting an easy target.) I like how it goes all homo at the end.


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8.8.06
Check this charming little site, A Softer World. Photographs and scraps of text tell beautiful short stories in three tiny frames. She takes the snaps, he writes the wordage, and together they create loveliness.

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1.12.05
Myspace may have inserted its creeping fingers right into my addictive little heart, but at least my hair remains relatively sober in its styling. Not so the winners of The First Annual MySpace Stupid Haircut Awards...

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16.11.05
I thought paisley was just a pattern that it was best to avoid for fashion related reasons. I WAS WRONG. It transpires that, in the PAISLEY PRINT PATTERN, you have a connection with:

CATHOLICS

THE COUNTRY OF INDIA (WITH ALL THEIR GODS)

GOAT HAIR (GOAT IS THE SYMBOL FOR THE DEVIL)

MUSLIMS

PRAYER RUGS

JESUITS

CULTS

SEERS

MAGICIANS

OCCULT

If you want to be delivered from evil and protected by Jesus, DO NOT WEAR PAISLEY! For more fascinating facts on everyday things that are actually quite evil, please see demonbuster.com. Down with Demons! Boo! Rubbish!

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15.11.05
So out of practice it’s unbelievable. If this weblog was a lady's area (start as you mean to go on, hit ‘em with the tasty meaty labial metaphors asap, that’s what I always say, so quit scowlin’) it’d be beyond dried up and way into dessicated and cobwebby. Or maybe it would just have closed up and healed over, silent like a papercut.

Anyway, there would definitely be a big OUT OF SERVICE sign slung across it (personally, I just use a profusion of pubic hair to achieve the same aims. Getting it regular? Then the area gets friendly with my hot pink Venus razor on a near daily-basis. Getting it irregular, or worse, not at all? Tis a veritable thicket. Men need machetes to hack through the junglist massive before they can reach the rosy-pink clitoral prize that lurks within). But now it is time to apply that machete, hack through the thicket, smash the OUT OF SERVICE sign with a sombre stomp of my Swear-boot heel. It is time, ladies, FOR AN UPDATE.

Now, being both cheap and of course slightly late on various very important bits of work, I am going to completely chief these links off my friend Sam, because he has been deluging my inbox with them. First of all, Sam (who is a homo and, as we all know, homos are often far more sexually progressive wrt monogamy than us straightlords) sent this link over, entitled “Wow! Now even straight people are mixing it up!”

In this article, Nerve.com’s Em and Lo examine ‘Marriage with benefits – the new monogamy’. From ‘open flirting policies’ (e.g. flirting is ok and healthy and normal) and ‘above-the-waist-rules’(any touching above the waist is ok, but wander below-the-belt and it’s talking time) to polyamory, ethical slutdom and partner-swapping, Em and Lo take a look at all the different ways straight couples are using to attempt ‘managed monogamy’.

Course, us straightlords haven’t being doing ‘managed monogamy’ long enough to know if we’re any better at it than the other kind, so it’s early days yet, but the one thing Em and Lo concluded is that even all this talk about non-monogamy is still really just talk about monogamy – about commitment, and partnership. ‘Over and over, couples told us that their goal is less about sex than it is about wanting a relationship that will bend with pressure, rather than break.’ It’s all about love in the end, baby. Ain’t that the cutest?

You probably know about this by now, but just in cse: excellent literary identity hustle: Is JT Leroy for real?

And finally, while you’re pondering this, why not drink some delicious Liquid Cereal - a delicious blend of fat-free milk and real cereal! Apparently the apple and cinnamon one is green in colour and has a thickish consistency, with a mouth feel of real cereal. Mmm, that’s definitely what I’ll be reaching for next time I have one of those killer waves-of-nausea-style hangovers.

Your face here? Send us some links!

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30.9.05
I'm off to Berlin for the weekend, so the shocking neglect of this site is due to continue for a little longer, I'm afraid. Next week though. Things will happen. I promise. In the meantime, the new Plan B magazine is out, so pop down the nearest Borders for your alterna-music and culture fix. Also due out next Monday is Good for Nothing magazine, with reviews, a Sugababes feature, and a column (on the horrors of mySpace) by your humble correspondent. Good for Nothing is available in various hipster bars and cafes around London town. It's free, so it disappears pretty fast - keep your eyes peeled!

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25.8.05
Who says gamers are all boring boys growing little hip-hop bellies quietly beneath their controllers as they fight mindless, pointless battles which provide an entirely false sense of satisfaction and achievment while preventing them from actually getting on with anything at all? No one! Because it's not TRUE! Because here is Old Grandma Hardcore, who will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube or other console game put in front of her. God, I can't fucking wait till I retire, and will finally be able to reach the end of SX3 and will never ever ever have to feel guilty for just lying around and playing games with stupid boys and never ever ever doing any writing. It's gonna rule!

PS - this link's probably been halfway round the internet and back, hasn't it? Sorry. Been out of the loop. Computer died. Please to be sending witty, urbane, AMPtastic links to ensure this weblog stays as menthol-fresh as a deoderised pantyshield. Thanks!

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30.7.05
Just to let y'all know that our recent computer problems have led to the complete destruction of the entire (unbacked-up) hard drive. Need to reinstall software, download the files for this site, etc etc. So it may be a while before more updates start appearing on AMPnet. Also contributors with articles waiting to appear may need to resend the text and artwork. We'll be in touch about this. Sorry everyone!

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21.7.05
"At the heart of Mac OS X one finds Darwin, an open source core that integrates a diverse collection of powerful technologies in a robust, flexible architecture. Darwin is like Linux with a day job: By day, it stays discreetly in the background, running Mac OS X. By night, Darwin shows its open source roots: hackable, extensible, and the product of the same community, culture, and traditions that created Apache, sendmail, GNU/Linux, Mozilla, and UNIX itself..."

That's nice. That's really fucking brilliant. I'm so glad that OSX runs a Darwin core. I just don't actually want to SEE IT. I don't want to be prompted with a black screen saying 'Darwin / BSD (AMP.local) (console)' when what I'm used to seeing is Apple's cuddly graphical login screen.

My iBook has died. It is at the Apple Store, hopefully being massaged back to life by the fingers of the Hott Genius, but I'm not so sure. Even before it kept rebooting into Terminal mode, instead of the GUI, there was a problem with the screen going black the whole time. I think its day has come. Of course, this means no AMPnet updates, if you're wondering why the long silence. Sorry everybody, espeically Maiko and Elizabeth, whose lovely article on hipster monks in Tokyo was just about to go live.

In brighter news, the new Plan B is due out, and I think it's going to be a corker. I interviewed the lovely Kevin Blechdom for it, and my wife wrote a stunning review of Delia Gonzales and Gavin Russom at Kosmiche... I think it's one of the best things she's ever written. Check the cover (above left) - it's out at the beginning of August.

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2.7.05
Feminist Blogs UK: independent alternatives to the malestream media: "Feminist Blogs UK is a community of weblogs by self-identified feminists, women's liberationists, and pro-feminist men in or from the United Kingdom. "

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7.6.05
Wow. I wish someone had made a modern-day chastity belt complete with GPRS positioning and temperature sensors. That would be hott! But, er, we don't actually live in the Middle Ages, so in fact Forgetmenotpanties.com is an entry for the Contagious Media competition. Ladies and gents, I think we have a winner!

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6.6.05
The lovely Sonja Todd is holding a 'Make my cross count' event at Whitehall in favour of electoral reform today - see Sewkits.co.uk for more info.

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3.6.05
Consumating - Hot nerdy girls and indie rock boys! With glasses!

Consumating.com uses social software - y'know, like Flickr tags - to hook up 'hipsters, bloggers, freaks and geeks'. You can specify whether you're after 'lingering online flirtations which never go anywhere' (internet friends), 'starter marriage' (serious relationship) or 'xxxx bootAY action' (naughtiness), describe yourself with a bunch of tags, upload a load of photographs and then sit back and wait for people who clicked 'ghost world one-stars glasses nerdy riot geek punk feminist slut' or whatever to start drooling over your profile. It's kind of cute, though I wonder how British levels of self-deprecation / self-esteem will handle the feature which displays, beneath your photograph, how many people have voted that they would 'do' you, and how many wouldn't. But at least it makes explicit just how harsh / two-dimensional the whole netdating thing can be. Welcome to the noughties, fuckers!

Some quickies:

Threadless T-Shirts - The Internet, by Oliver J Moss


the internet on a tee-shirt! OMG lol i <3 this shirt. i will pwn it!

kittenwar.com

aww! it's like hot or not for cats!

Missing the mid-nineties? Nostalgic for 10 years ago? Or do you hate the past, because it's dead? Whichever it is, you'll probably enjoy this:

Jamie Hewlett cartoon of Pulp's 'Common People'.

Your face here? Send us some links!

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18.5.05
London with bite

Good for Nothing is a lovely London style magazine and guess who wrote this month's cover story, all about Londoners' skanky molars and how hott and sexxy they are... ME!!!! So please pick one up from your local hipster emporium immediately, and read it and then send me a nice email if it entertained you (or nothing if you think it's shit, thanks). Yay!

Our dashing Jo-burg correspondent, Cocoa Beware, has sent in his top picks from Kottke's 50 things to do with your iPod:

Apple iPod Socks? Silly.

iTunes phone? Wow!

iPod based gourmet food recipe database.

And... an oldie but a goodie: Retropod! Stick your iPod in an old walkman to prevent thieves from stealing it.

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17.5.05
Hey ladies. Fasten up the pretty buckles on those ankle-mangling taxi shoes - an Andrex advertising promotion is offering free cabs for a week! Ok, you’ll have to suffer the indignity of riding in a vehicle which is lilac and white, looks like it's wrapped in a large quilt, and is bedecked with a giant puppy, but hey, I know you're tenacious and stylish enough to deal. Boys are allowed too, but only when accompanied by a female companion. Vrooom!

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16.5.05
It’s always good to have a eye-wateringly cute party trick to woo potential or recent lovers with, don’t you think? One boy I know broke hearts a-plenty with his origami roses, swans and, er, Viking war helmets. Another would make deer and small doggies from twisted paperclips, then hang them from the edges of drinks glasses, in order to woo the object of his affections. But if you personally lack such skills, do not fret! Learn how to draw hearts, hibiscus flowers, sunrises and clover leaves in the foam of your lover’s latte with this simple guide! People will be ripping their shirt-buttons off to reveal their enormous love-boners for you in next to no time.

Incidentally: I have a darling little anecdote published in The Guardian newspaper today. It's all about a haunted office chair - a chair which, I feel, was at least partially responsible for my broken leg. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Ejector Seat!

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15.5.05
Dead mother board.

My iBook appears to have succumbed to the apparently infamous Logic Board Death problem. Which means that AMPnet, barring this Blogger-powered page, is going to be rather static for the next three weeks. Bah. Broken legs, lost cameras, and dead computers - 2005 isn't turning out to be quite the fun-fest I had anticipated.

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10.5.05

DIY Writing: Online Journal Readings at The Horse Hospital, programmed by Amy Prior


0714531057.02.MZZZZZZZ Here's a thing for all those at a loose end tonight (Wednesday): A night dedicated to 'DIY Writing', and I'm not talking nuts and pulleys and u-bends, o no. It's a night of readings from online journals at the Horse Hospital, featuring my wife and Amy and some blond dude...


- Dickon Edwards, one of the first online journal writers in the U.K., reads excerpts from his cult diaries.
- Frances May Morgan, editor of music magazine Plan B, reads from her music weblog.
- Amy Prior reads her new fictional story based on texts by a Livejournal community.

Part of the launch for the book 'DIY: The Rise of Lo-fi Culture' by Amy Spencer (Marion Boyars).

Night with music, writers, DJs.

Wed 11 May
The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, London WC1
(nearest underground: Russell Square)
Doors open 7pm, readings at 8pm.

See you there!

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4.5.05
In today's Hilarious Dramatic Irony News, the world's least sexual band, BSP, have had their video banned by American MTV because the song includes the words 'wetter and wetter'. Violent / sexist / misogynistic rap videos? No problem. Five deerstalker-wearing milksops singing about the countryside? Waaaay too arousing for American youth. Wtf?

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"Ladyfest Brighton is a non-profit D.I.Y. festival taking place in various venues around Brighton on the 20th-23rd October 2005. Organised primarily by women for the benefit of the wider community, Ladyfest Brighton will showcase performances by bands, visual artists, fashion designers, writers, film-makers, dancers, zine kids, teachers, students and activists. With the first Ladyfest taking place in Olympia, Washington in 2000, and since speading to over 50 cities world-wide, Ladyfest Brighton joins a global movement of young women promoting women and queer based projects, arts and activism in their communities."

I'm always politically sceptical about festivals and exhibitions of diverse artforms and interests grouped solely on the protaganists' gender. I am Londoner, middle-class, curly-haired, ginger, and so on, just as much as I am woman, etc - you know the drill. However, as long as the line-up for major festivals still displays such a mega-bias towards the boys (check Glasto: the few femmes [Kylie, M.I.A., Martha Wainwright] stick out like neon beacons on a sea of generic grey), Ladyfest will remain essential.

It's not just about showcasing female artists and female culture: it's about encouraging girls to realise certain things are possible. What's a teenage girl at Glasto going to think? 'Hm, well, if I wanna be a musician I'd either better be a mussy-haired indie boy like one of the Cooper Temple Clause - oh dear, no good, I'm a chick, I'd better be a sexy Tamil Tiger or a pert-bottomed sex midget then - oh dear, no good, I'm a fat self-harming goth girl with a dodgy eye! Meh. I'm going to go to my tent and cry.' This may be (is) reductive, patronising, Riot Grrrl 101 - but it's not, it appears, without truth. Change is happening, but not fast enough. Check the cover of the NME. Check the line-ups of the major festivals. Check the record company rosters. Boy-tastic. Hence: Ladyfest.

I understand that Ladyfest Brighton is going to include a workshop or talk around women in journalism, but I'd be interested in seeing an event devoted to UK women in blogging - a mini-version of the forthcoming US BlogHercon. BlogHer will feature talks and discussions around female identity and blogging, link-based power structures, flaming, op-ed pieces by women, and 'getting naked in public' - 'What happens when you blog your true self and the whole world shows up?' A similar event exploring women and weblogging here in England is long overdue...

...At which point, in true DIY spirit, I have to say that I'd be interested in organising such a thing if I thought others would be up for it. Anyone? Drop us an email, let's see what we can do.


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2.5.05
01_01_2003_32_copy This summer, why not endeavour to make your Flickr more exciting by getting involved in the FakeFunk Jump Project? Nothing enlivens a boring old landmark like someone leaping, legs aloft like Dave Lee Roth, their face a gurning rictus of joy.

Ever wondered why the quality of your favourite internet message board seems to be dropping over the years you've been there? You could be yearning for a mythical 'golden age' which never really existed - or perhaps the participants' minds have been slowly dimming due to an email addiction more threatening to IQ and concentration levels than smoking weed...

Should you and a friend find youself involved in a difficult discussion - which pub to go to? The 'pregnant incest survivor in cowboy boots' or the 'amenorrheac Eastern European retired gymnast' look tonight? Shall we allow Sotheby's or Christies to handle the sale of our multi-million pound art collection? - why not decide it with a game of Paper Scissors Stone? Apparently it's all the rage in Japan.

28.4.05
Awww. Indietits.

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cameramail

On the 22nd of December 2004, Kyle Van Horn [best name ever!!!!] taped a disposable camera to a piece of black foamcore and inscribed upon it the following message: "ATTENTION POSTAL WORKERS! Please help us with our project. As this camera travels across the country we want photos of all whom it encounters. Please take a photo before you pass it along. Thank you!" And they did! I'd like to try that with the folks at the E9 Hackney Sorting Office, but there would probably be just lots of pictures of them, like, laughing at the post, stabbing the post, holding the post quizzically saying 'Doh, what is this? What do I do with it?' before someone teaches them that Hackney Sorting Office's official policy is to throw it in the canal. Maybe I should try it, and post the results here. Watch this space...

Also (this will never happen) if anyone happened to find a blue Canon Ixus i5 at All Tomorrow's Parties - maybe among the sand dunes, or in the bar - they can take all the pictures they want with it, but can they then send it back to me? Please. Please. Please. You will know it's mine because there will be a video of Simon Bookish talking about snails, and then some pictures of a big blond boy and a fat goth girl, right at the beginning of the film. SEND IT BACK. Please. The heavens will reward you.

Ok, I do hope I'm not going all schmindie and gey after ATP (i-is there something wrong with knowing every single word to 'Ask' by The Smiths, and all the harmonies?) but l@@k! at this beautiful, creepy, abandanoned fairground in Japan. Wouldn't that be a great place for a first date? (I'm collecting great first date places for my '2005 - the year of being tOtALLy cRuShEd oUt!!!' chapbook I am making. Email your great first date ideas for inclusion!)

And in your latest Mayor of WTF visits popland news: Le Tigre to record with Paris Hilton? Wtf?

Dancehall darning

And finally - don't throw shit away when it breaks - mend it! Make like the Castoff chicks and go darn your socks while listening to tunes. First Saturday of every month at the Heavenly Social in Islington.

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21.4.05
RICH KIDS! DOLE SCUM! WANT TO WORK IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?

The Outpost is looking for dynamic individuals wanting to gain work experience in the music industry. The Outpost is a Music PR company based in West London, UK.

This is a unique opportunity for an individual to get hands on PR experience, while at the same time gaining valuable insight into the workings of a record label.

The Outpost roster currently includes Definitive Jux, Scenario Records, Out Hud, Swayzak, !K7, Dented Records and All City Music + more

The Outpost are offering entry-level internships within the company and are looking for people available full-time (10am-6.00pm) for a minimum of one month, who are living in London or able to commute on a daily basis. The placements are unpaid, though travel costs will be re-imbursed.

WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENT TO START MAY 3RD

These positions are ongoing and so applications from people available for a longer term would be welcomed. This is a genuine and unique opportunity for someone to get that first break in the music iundustry.

The role will include taking cuts from national press, answering phones, doing general administrative work and mailouts as well as the opportunity to contribute to national publicity campaigns. The internships will also involve assisting All City Music and Scenario Records.

Think you've got what we're looking for? Please email your CV to david@outpostmedia.co.uk

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17.4.05
Corn Mo, the accordion superstar, is playing in the UK on Thursday and Friday nights! I have never seen Corn Mo or even heard any of his songs, but I do not think that that should be a barrier to appreciation of a musician's aesthetic, so I hope to see you there. Here's Corn Mo's site, and here's a rather surreal interview we did in which he makes up stories out of email subject headings. Yay Corn Mo!

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20050401-gillian

Could you ever love anyone this much? "I put my ring finger in Clive’s mouth and he put his ring finger in my mouth with our teeth resting right on the last joint. We looked in each other’s eyes, nodded, and bit down as hard as we could. It was a little disappointing because we couldn’t actually get all the way through, but we did pop the joint open and tear it a little. We cut the rest, just some skin and the tendon, the normal way."

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Got my keys, money and fags. But ladies - have you determined whether your outfit is modest or not? We wouldn't want boys catching a glimpse of bra-strap, the outline of a nipple, or, God forbid, ass-cleavage. Try these simple "Truth or Bare?" tests and let your heart be moulded into modesty!

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11.4.05
Feminist icon Andrea Dworkin dies.

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Clearly influenced by my sister's My Belated Valentine project (which involved sending a Valentine's card to a local cutie - which directed him to a website - which showed intriguing photos and an email address - which sadly had no effect whatsoever) - this Stateside computer geek has gone one better by hiring a billboard designed to advertise himself and get himself a date. Aww! Maybe my sister and the geek will get it together! That would be so sweet.

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DIY / zine swap image

Here's a neat little idea. It's a banner swap website that exists in order to promote DIY craftpersons and the underground press. For everyone who clicks through to their site, you 'earn' an exposure of your banner. Access to all the punk rock sock moneys and crocheted skulls your heart could desire!

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9.4.05
DILF

The dudes at dilf.com may know all about tops and bottoms, but they don't seem to know very much about subs. Otherwise they'd have hired a decent one before going live with a grammatical error of this magnitude. Porn these days. I ask you.

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8.4.05
'Horses do not win Grand Nationals ridden by women - that's a fact. Carrie is a grand lass, but she's a brood mare now, and having kids does not get you fit to ride in Grand Nationals.' Tune in to tomorrow's Grand National to see whether Carrie Ford can prove the bigots wrong and become the first woman to win the race. Place your bets (odds currently 10-1) now!

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4.4.05
How ace does Bruce LaBruce's new film, Raspberry Reich, sound? "The leader of the Raspberry Reich, Gudrun, who has patterned herself after Gudrun Ensslin, one of the main members of the Baader-Meinhof Gang (the Red Army Faction), spends her time indoctrinating vital, athletic young men to her cause.

"A strict devotee of Wilhelm Reich, she believes that heterosexual monogamy is a bourgeois construct that must be smashed in order to achieve true revolution. To that end, she forces her straight male followers to have sex with each other to prove their mettle as authentic revolutionaries. A porno-political-palooza!"

Our man Cocoa Beware loved the film, describing it as an "interesting intersection of hardcore porn and real propaganda, and also a cool commentary on the commodification of 'radical chic' that references both Godard's La Chinoise and Fassbinder's Die Dritte Generation." Gosh! Read an interesting interview with Bruce LaBruce, by the guy who is largely credited with making younger Germans interested in the RAF again via his own informative, cool site, to find out more. (thanks Sam!)

And now, I'm not sure if Bruce LaBruce approves of gay weddings or whether he'd spit 'assimilation!' just like the Hidden Cameras and Butt magazine would, but here:

With the civil partnerships act coming into force on 5th December 2005, Tartan Films is celebrating the premier of the upcoming documentary Andrew and Jeremy Get Married by hosting a group commitment ceremony on Thurs 7 April 2005. If you and your partner would like to take part, log on to http://www.andrewandjeremy.com to fill out an invitation. Every couple who participates will be entered into a draw to win an all-expenses paid Civil Commitment ceremony and the honeymoon of a lifetime!

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cutting

This image is from a collaborative art project, Post Secret. Like a more involved version of Grouphug.us, users paint or otherwise illustrate postcards telling a secret, then send them through the post to a central address. New images are uploaded every Sunday. Peep at other people's vulnerabilities, or confess your own.


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1.4.05
luridMy poor broken leg gets a mention in today's Independent: "Eamon winces at the suggestion. A recent jaunt on to the South Downs resulted in a broken leg and a helicopter rescue for his mate, and a pitch-black ramble home for him." Lucky old leg. Fame at last. *strokes leg*. Hey, added bonus of leg-break: magazines are sending cars to take me to and from interviews! Woot! Check me out. With my limp and crutches. Ooh yeah.

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Could there be a better first-date proposition than a game of ultraviolet art tag? It's tomorrow night (Sat 2nd April) outside the Serpentine Gallery, from 7pm. And then you can go back a week later as Tomoko Takahashi dismantles her exhibit and take away your very own little bit of art as a souvenier of Your Love. Awwww!

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"She was into S&M and Bible studies, not everyone's cup of tea, she would admit to me..."

It's always fun to meet someone and watch their face do a confused as they realise that you in the flesh is a huge disappointment compared to your online persona: but at least I've never been dumped in favour of my online alter ego. Ouch!

And finally...could this be the ugliest, most inbred-looking baby EVER?? It's so ugly it looks like one of those fake baby dolls you see advertised in the National Enquirer. Poetic justice.

27.3.05

There's a great film to be made about the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, USA. The Rock and Roll Camp for Girls started off as a one-off camp in the summer of 2000, but demand was such that not only did the camp return the following year, but also developed into a Girls Rock Institute offering block lessons, practice space (boys allowed if the majority of band members are female), private lessons, and worshops (such as making experimental music videos, or self-defence for females aged 10-18.) How rad is that? Perhaps I can force my friend Jule to make a documentary about it. Hormonally-charged adolescent girls, feminism, drumsticks, sparkly eye-shadow, catfights, underage skate boys... it'd be like a cross between Thirteen (because you'd have to get their totally hip riot grrl mamas in there too), Josie and the Pussycats, and School of Rock. Wow!



Now course everybody knows that the greatest insult you can give a lady who isn't, like, a size 8, is to accidentally call her pregnant. (I mean, the greatest insult while you're still trying to be nice to her - we're not talking calling her a grotacious piggy while throatraping her mother or anything.) Seems the commuters of London town agree, and are so keen to avoid the 'accidentally calling a fat woman pregnant' scenario that they've stopped offering their seats to ladies who might be pregnant altogether. So London Transport are pioneering a Baby on Board badge scheme. Now someone just needs to create a 'not pregnant, just fat' badge to avoid any further confusion, along with, ooh, 'I am drunk please wake me up before Manor House' and 'Dude, there's just no way you're going to convert us to Christianity, no matter how presentable you are, so just give it up', and we're laughing.


Other links: Blogosphere dominated by white, straight males; A spectactular display of (misogynistic) stupidity by someone who clearly still believes that there's a difference between the internet and real life; A 'marriage is SO gay' wifebeater vest; Doggles is one thing, but Dog Condoms (lubricated and meat-flavoured)? prove that some people are clearly far too over-protective of their pets; ...and finally, Goaste.cx wanted to speak to us as part of their 'Internet Celebrities - a chat with them' page (the interview was very revealing).


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20.3.05
Hello. I'd like to introduce you to my broken leg. It's all swollen and has the most incredible purple-grey yellow and black patterning I have ever seen. Inside it is an 'intermedullary nail' and some little screws. I'd also like to introduce you to my new favourite site, MyBrokenLeg.com, packed with lots of fun 'cripple blogs' by other people with broken legs, and hints on how to cope with crutches and boredom and how to avoid passing out in awkward places when your industrial-strength codeine kicks in sooner than anticipated. It's where I'm going to be spending a lot of time from now on, hanging with people who 'get' me. People who understand. People who know what I'm going through. People who also face six weeks in sweat pants. It's going to be a whole bunch of fun. See ya!


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16.2.05
This is just to let you know that the very nice man Julian Fox has a short piece on Radio 4 tonight (Wednesday, Feb 16) at 11pm. Julian is obsessed with Gatwick Airport - he says it's his first love - Duran Duran, and accepting his crappy job. He works on the stage door of the Barbican, and the Radio 4 thing features the sound of the doorbell at his work going off and other such distractions. I expect you would particularly enjoy this piece if you are, or have ever been, a receptionist of any kind. RECEPTION POWER.

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26.1.05
Man attempting to steal truck chokes on truck driver’s tobacco spit, which he mistook for a drink. EW!

If you’re fed up with looking at your ugly vacuum cleaner, you might want to try disguising it as a giant rat in a gingham dress. There. Much better.

Sure, we tried the Faces of Addiction - where a blonde lady slowly but frighteningly morphs into first Pauline Fowler and then a deathrock skull. But trust the Yanks to go one better. Their Faces of Meth are way better than any stupid skull. We’re talking pungent reddened facial sores. We’re talking skin cracks. We’re talking total facial destruction. ROCK ON.

What was going on in this lady's mind, I wonder? "I love cats. But then, I love fractals. Cats. Fractals. Cats. Fractals. Eeny. Meeny. Miny – no! Wait! I’ve got it! I’ll combine cats and fractals into a web gallery of such astounding awesomeness that it will block out the sun! Oh my god I’m a genius." (via Alice.)

Anyway. Sorry for lack of updates. My charming wife and myself have moved from London’s newly fashionable Dalston – it’s the new Stoke Newington, y’know (*does sick*) to the fabulously scuzzy Homerton. Homotown. Hurrah! As such internet access is severely limited, and updates to the main part of this site impossible: in fact, presumably nobody is even reading this, so *takes off clothes, does a little dance* - anyway, I scribbled a review of last week's Go! Team gig for our buddies at Playlouder, so check it out!



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13.1.05
Ooh hurrah! Me and Sophie are on the front of Playlouder wittering drunkenly on about our new favourite Germans, Bodenstandig 2000. Also there is some new style magazine doing the rounds - put together by people who did Sleaze, mainly - called Good for Nothing - and I've got a feature about the lovely Lady Sovereign in there somewhere. Haven't seen it yet, so if you get a copy, gimme a call! And that's it. Proper, less solipsistic linkage to follow shortly. Promise.

6.1.05
Awww. Vinnie. What a cute, cramptastic man. Even if he does sound rather like The Man Who Became A Feminist Sometime In 1992 Because He Totally Realised It Would Get Him Laid. Listen:

'My intention was to create a conversation that had never happened before: a man voluntarily asking a woman about her period. My hope is, that with the basic facts about a woman’s body, men can generate a greater respect and appreciation for women and their bodies.'

I'm rather fond of my Vinnie's Tampon Case, which I got given for free when I worked at Bizarre. At least the little bastards don't get loose and run around the bottom of your bag when they're in one - and it's sure nicer than those horrible 'discreet' navy blue Tampax freebie cases that my mum used in the 80s.

Get your Vinnie's Tampon Case here, or a retro one with a 'babe' on it here or here (ps - note the lame copy about 'what tampons?' and how 'noone need ever know about your personal life', *sigh*) or a tough-style leather one here - or just ditch the cases altogether, never leave the house, and install this excellent piece of Swedish design in your home instead. Sorted!

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First Janet Street-Porter on I'm a Celebrity, now Germaine Greer in the Big Brother house. Cantankerous, clever older women - the new black?

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29.12.04
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DONATE: TSUNAMI RELIEF

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'THOSE CRAZY JAPANESES' vol 5434875984208

After the boyfriend's arm, comes the lady's lap (with thanks to Alice for the link!).






Not a euphemism for the all the fems recently released from LTRs choosing to embrace a more feminine style of lovin' - though it should be - but a range of anatomically-shaped pillows designed to provide you with all the comforts of a relationship, but none of the angst.

The arm pillows are now also available from the States via ArmPillow.com. The site suggests that these pillows would make an excellent gift for 'anyone who has recently become single again.' Yeah RIGHT! If you HATED them!

If men use affection to get sex, and women use sex to get affection, then is the Arm Pillow the chick version of the Pocket Pussy? If so, what kind of reviews would ladies give to it?

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Apparently, petism is the sexuality of the future - and looking at this hot poppa on the left, I can see why! Looking for someone in your area with a suitable pet? Why not try BeastMatch! For a limited time only, single females can get free lifetime's access to the BeastMatch service! Hurry, AMPnet readers. Whatever are you waiting for? (Not safe for work.)

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While I'm all in favour of women's lib, sometimes I feel like it's only fair to make the gentlemen do the heavy lifting and taking out the rubbish and drilling, because we have to have the babies, which hurts and makes our tits sag, and because men are stronger than us, and because statistics show they still only do a comparatively smaller amount of household chores than women, even when both parties are working. And they really ought to be made to do something. Unfortunately, occasionally there are no gentlemen around to lift things up and mend them, at which point you'll need to consult tomboytools.com, and learn how to do shit yourself.

The site offers everything you'll need to learn to know how to knock down walls and do various other home improvement jobs, and they also sell tool-kits specially for chicks. However, unlike most traditionally male stuff that gets marketed to women (Gameboy Advance, anyone? Mini iPod?) they didn't just stick a candy-coloured veneer on said tools, but customised them to fit women's dinky li'l hands and made them lightweight, durable - and definitely not pink. They also run workshops and there's a useful forum to discuss DIY-related shit without some cowboy builder patronising your ass off. So throw away that gey little crochet hook, crafters, grab a pneumatic drill, and start KNOCKING SHIT TO BITS instead.

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Sure, we've all been jokingly calling Google 'God' for a while now, right? But this is just… frightening. You start typing in what you're looking for, and Google provides a list of suggestions and shows how many results there are for each suggestion as you type. Brr! I don't like it if I'm typing some perverted crap (purely as research, officer!) into Google's little box and it gets there before me. Google's starting to feel less like a benevolent, omniscient being, and more like some creepy uncle who's read your diary, knows all your shit, and is not afraid to use it against you.

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