The Skinny: August 2014 Editions
THE PLEASANCE AT 30, HARUKI MURAKAMI, JULIETTE BURTON, STUART MURDOCH, ST. VINCENT, LIVERPOOL PRIDE, THE BUG, GRUFF RHYS, JESSICA HARRISON, THE MOTH, GRAHAM FAGEN, J MASCIS, AND MORE...
THE SKINNY northwest ISSUE 17
Editor of The Skinny Northwest, Lauren Strain introduces issue no. 16:
It’s too hot to think. It’s too hot to eat. It’s too hot to sleep. It’s too hot to sit on a hot leather sofa with a hot fanless laptop. It’s too hot to write an editorial. Isn’t it? Ah balls.
I am also duty bound to say it’s not too hot to learn something new – in fact, it is the perfect temperature in which to learn something new, wouldn’t you agree? Good, because we’ve given over a few pages at the centre of the mag to an exploration of courses, pursuits and other aspects of personal development to inspire you to develop yer skills or, who knows, even steer your career: one globetrotting correspondent writes from Tokyo on the subject of teaching abroad, another hears how a course in foraging can be both fun and improve your survival skills. Eclectic.
Though a vast percentage of the Comedy and Theatre scenes have decamped to Scotland for the Edinburgh festivals, it hasn't left us with nothing to talk about: comedian Juliette Burton expounds the importance of writing material that challenges stigma around mental health, religion, feminism and, well, everything really. Meanwhile, our Theatre editor asks companies from Liverpool and Manchester about the enduring allure of the Scottish capital and just why the gargantuan undertaking is worth it.
Besides, there’s still plenty of festival action going on here. Film carries previews of Cornerhouse’s POUTfest and Liverpool Pride’s film strand, Pride at the Pictures; and, as the Biennial enters its second month, Art catches up with Jeanne van Heeswijk, whose 2012 Biennial commission/social project 2Up 2Down, which developed into the community-run Homebaked bakery, has risen – sorry – in profile to become a cornerstone of the local community. You could even say it’s bloomered!!!!!1 God it’s hot.
Meanwhile, it seems like blimmin’ everyone is off to Beacons festival – Clubs has interviews with both Erol Alkan and Roman Flügel, the former on his reluctance to make too much of himself despite being one of the biggest DJs in the world, the latter on the many guises he’s assumed over the years on the run-up to his new record for Hamburg’s Dial label, Happiness is Happening. Hotness is happening, more like.
Music on the other hand enjoys a bit of respite from the punishing festival calendar, opting to take stock of the careers of St. Vincent, The Bug, and Trans Am – all at this point in time with a certain history behind them, but all beginning new chapters. In Books, Gruff Rhys discusses the mythology of his multi-media project American Interior, and US storytelling collective The Moth explain the nuances of the artform and why audiences are drawn to this form of oratory like a moth to a flame, though quite why anyone is lighting candles in this weather I don’t know JESUSSTOPIT.
What else? Fashion introduces the Makers Dozen collective; Deviance asks why we’re spending so much of our time shaving our pits; and Food & Drink subsists on an inadvisable diet of ribs and chocolate. Last but not least, and casting eyes back North, our Showcase this month profiles the graduates our sister paper have selected to present IN REAL LIFE at Creative Exchange, Edinburgh, as part of Edinburgh Art Festival – if you’re in the city for any festival/Fringe-related activity, do drop in, it opens 1 Aug and runs until the end of the month.
THE SKINNY Scotland Issue 107
Editor-in-Chief Rosamund West introduces this month's Scotland edition.
Hello and welcome to our August issue, aka the biggest issue of The Skinny yet, including more than sixty features on topics ranging across the world of culture. Seeing as there are all those festivals and that, we thought it was a good time to go full on bonanza with our coverage. You’re welcome.
Given the sheer volume of amazing articles we’re talking about, and the vast wealth of experience awaiting you outdoors in the unexpected sunshine, I’ll keep this quick. On our cover you will see a lovely sculpture by one Jessica Harrison, interviewed on p36 and exhibiting this month in Jupiter Artland. Her work has already caused an online furore, and now you can find out about her inspirations here, and then see them in the horrifying flesh in a country park outside Edinburgh.
It’s a busy month for art round here, as we gear up to launch our first Edinburgh Art Festival exhibition, aka The Skinny Showcase Goes Live. Since 2008, we’ve been selecting an artist from each of the degree shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee and showing off their work in the magazine. This year we’re taking that into the real world with a graduate showcase down in Leith’s Creative Exchange gallery, and adding in a graduate from Gray’s in Aberdeen for good measure. Turn to p61 to find out more about the talented young artists involved.
Elsewhere in our EAF coverage, we look at a retrospective of late sculptor Paul Carter, chat to next year’s Scotland + Venice representative Graham Fagen, and try and convey the sheer breadth of Where Do I End And You Begin, bringing together a host of artists and curators from around the world to explore a myriad of concerns in a post-colonial Commonwealth.
In Comedy and Theatre we valiantly attempt to distill the many competing voices of the festivals guide into one (per section) manageable chunk. May we present… The Flavour Wheels! Our section editors have pored over all those event guides and whittled them down into their constituent genres, beautifully illustrated by Louise Lockhart to present a palatable summation of the acts on offer. In summary, it will tell you what to see if you like, for example, storytelling comedy, as exemplified by Eddie Izzard. Answer? Tony Law. Turn to page 10 for more, and to be gently guided into our Fringe coverage.
We also celebrate the 30th birthday of festival mainstay the Pleasance with a special pull-out supplement in our centre pages looking forward to their 2014 programme, while acknowledging what a major contributor they have been to the spirit of Edinburgh in August. We talk to comedian Tim Key about being a slut in a hut, and look at some of the emerging talents being directly supported by Pleasance initiatives this year.
For the Book Festival, we’re sponsoring a couple of events, namely the Super Furries’ Gruff Rhys introducing his new book, and Letters of Note taking their celebration of the written word into the live arena, so we spoke to them about what they have planned. In other coverage, we find out more about much-celebrated NY live night The Moth, pitching up over here for a night, and offer a crib sheet on greatest living Japanese author Haruki Murakami, tickets for whose event are like gold dust.
In the world of Music, not to be outdone, we have a succession of exclusive interviews with many people whose names happen to include the prefix Also Known As. There’s (deep breath) Annie Clark aka St Vincent, The Bug aka Kevin Martin, Rustie aka Russell Whyte, and Owl John aka Scott Hutchison. We also have words with Trans Am’s Sebastian Thomson ahead of the release of their tenth studio album, Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis, preparing to launch his latest solo album, plus words with Grumbling Fur and an introduction to Adult Jazz.
On the clubbier end of the musical spectrum, revered DJ Erol Alkan talks about being well into his indie, while Frankfurt-based producer Roman Flügel introduces his second album, Happiness is Happening. Film eventually managed to track down Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch for a chat about his long-awaited directorial debut, God Help the Girl, and Tech this month relaunches in print with a look at some creative uses of technology at the fringe, and an interview with some of the folk behind Dundee’s Data Protoplay festival.
And so our whistle stop tour of our quite frankly massive August issue comes to an end. Turn to the Contents page for a map of where everything is or simply read on. Aka I'll stop now.