Review: Blue in Chicago by Bette Howland

Blue in Chicago is my first dive into the work of Bette Howland as tragically this is the only work of hers available in the UK, with recent noise of W-3 soon to be published. This book pulls together the bittersweet short stories of this remarkable American writer, often regarded nomadic and retreating. Hailed as a major talent before all but disappearing from public view, this tenderly compiled collection restores her interesting voice to our shelves.

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Review: Throwing Snow – Dragons Rating 76%

Review: Throwing Snow – Dragons

Throwing Snow, a.k.a. Ross Tones, will release his new album on June 25th via Houndstooth. The artist’s fourth album is the audiovisually-augmented Dragons, a work that occupies the space between science and ancestral wisdom. It links music back to its prehistoric capacity for transmitting knowledge to new technology that can make sense of the complexity of the contemporary world. Dragons’ ten tracks of heavy primal rhythmic synth productions incorporate the physicality of acoustic sources, from ancient ritual instruments to modern drum kit, and each track is accompanied by visuals generated by a neural network.

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Review: Blue Rose Code – With Healings Of The Deepest Kind Rating 93%

Review: Blue Rose Code – With Healings Of The Deepest Kind

Blue Rose Code is the creative guise of Edinburgh-born singer-songwriter Ross Wilson, whose fan-base (affectionately named ‘the lovers’) has been growing steadily since the release of his first album, North Ten, in 2013. For his fifth studio album, With Healings Of The Deepest Kind, recorded in the iconic Castlesound Studios, Wilson took full control of the production and assembled a band drawn from the cream of Scotland’s jazz, folk and rock players (most of whom will be familiar to Blue Rose Code aficionados). During the early stages of making the album, Wilson was beset by serious personal issues and it is testament to his resilient spirit, and the loving care of special friends, that he recovered to produce what I believe to be his strongest album so far.

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Review: SQIFF Opening Shorts 2018 Rating 73%

Review: SQIFF Opening Shorts 2018

Attending the opening night of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival for the first time at the Glasgow Film Theatre, there was a buzz about the evening. As well as screening seven films that focus on queer or transgender identity they have clearly made a point to improve their accessibility, with a brief note from the access and engagements officer at the beginning of the night. Subtitles on all films and silent spaces for those that require the escape, making the festival pleasant for all, for this is just the opening night.

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Review: Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella Rating 70%

Review: Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella

There are three options when presenting a Christmas ballet, especially Cinderella… Appeal to those for whom this kind of theatre visit is a rarity – or indeed a one off. Fill it with glitz, glitter and every familiar trope and expectation of the dearly loved story, complete with opulent costumes and epic, grandiose sets. Second, take a fresh look at the narrative with a starker, darker, more real and arty interpretation, likely to please frequent ballet goers who tire of samey, traditional versions of well known classics they’ve seen so many times. Third, do something in between. Scottish Ballet’s 2018 festive offering takes this latter option and while it’s undoubtedly impressive, I fear the middle ground doesn’t quite leave us satisfied.

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Persistent & Nasty: I realised something had to give and that’s when Persistent & Nasty was born

“I have been angry for a very long time,” says Louise Oliver, in a firm and steady tone. Looking around at the current cultural discourse, with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements gathering speed and acquiring as many detractors and supporters along the way, it may be hard for some to remember a time before this landscape. However, this anger has been building for a long time and is finally not only being noticed but also heeded. That is the nature of a cultural shift, much like the tectonic plates. Slight movements, barely noticeable, before, one day, unpreventable and irrevocable change.

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The Violet Kind: It’s always exciting to see what you can create in the studio

The Violet Kind have released EP OXTR, via Kindness Records to shout a powerful message about rape culture, pushing boundaries, about those that survive and come out the other side of sexual violence.
The band spoke with The Fountain about how they acquired their name, their favourite gig at The Old Hairdressers and what we are likely to expect from them later in the year.

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Rebecca O’Connor: Definitely a bit of both but I wouldn’t have had it any other way

Co-founder, editor and designer of The Moth magazine, Rebecca O’Connor, has a novel out next month, which centres around an adolescent in small town Ireland in the nineties. Published by Canongate Books, He Is Mine And I Have No Other is a tale of first experiences whilst living out in the back of beyond.
Rebecca spoke with The Fountain about how she finds editing helps with the writing process and how the novel is intrinsically linked to her past, having written it many years prior.

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Review: Passing Places Rating 88%

Review: Passing Places

As with any road trip the journey is more important than the destination. In Stephen Greenhorn’s 1997 play, the journey of two underachieving lads from Motherwell to the highlands has a transformative effect.

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Review: Belle & Sebastian Rating 79%

Review: Belle & Sebastian

When I heard Belle and Sebastian’s first EP, as an opinionated teenager, I dismissed it as sounding too much like Love’s Forever Changes. I was similarly sniffy about subsequent releases declaring them as too ‘Fey’ and ‘Arch’ and I refused to reconsider my position. I was just too cool for Belle and Sebastian and too cool for school (although my mum did still insist I attend).

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Review: Stewart Lee – Content Provider Rating 87%

Review: Stewart Lee – Content Provider

To anyone who hasn’t been to one of Stewart Lee’s shows before it’s worth pointing out that in his stand up Lee plays an amped up version of himself that is more bitter, angry and insufferably woke than he is in person, and in the process he often berates and taunts the audience. Tonight is no exception as he kicks thing off by threatening to do hilariously unspeakable things to any mobile phones he finds in use during the performance.

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Jan Rutherford: Those writing now for digital media can transfer skills to those who are not digital natives

Creative Scotland and Scottish Review of Books have for the second time round requested submissions for their Emerging Critics programme, which provides a mentoring opportunity to enable an new generation of reviewers in Scotland.
Jan Rutherford from the Scottish Review of Books spoke with The Fountain about the change in programme, the programme in more detail and who it is geared towards.

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