THE WEEK AHEAD...
With this week taking in Halloween official, it seemed only fair that we direct you towards a few spooky top picks – hence we've split the top ten straight down the middle, with five normal events (as in really-bloody-good normal, you understand), and five Halloween-themed events. Things kick off with the return of Music Like A of Vitamin, offering up a selection of solo sets and off-the-cuff collaborations from a fine lot of local musos, before we enjoy chat with David Byrne, catch James Yorkston's Neu! Reekie! debut, and pick between Halloween nights taking us from a Day of the Dead fun night to an Evil Dead all-nighter. That's a lotta dead. Enjoy.
PICKS O' THE WEEK
We start the week with a guaranteed gem of a gig, as Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival again team up with the Fruit Tree Foundation (aka Rod Jones and Emma Pollock's project promoting music as a tool for mental wellbeing) for Music Like A Vitamin. For it, a fine selection of Scottish musos will come together for an evening of solo sets and unique cross-artist musical collisions, with the bill made up of Rod Jones (and his Birthday Suit players), Emma Pollock, Fatherson, Withered Hand, and Sparrow and the Workshop. The running order will be picked at random, and it's but a fiver. What we're saying here is: GET THERE EARLY.
Local music blogger Song, By Toad returns for the second edition of his new night; a sprawling gig boasting post-band DJs and a 1am licence. And this edition will be a bit special, bringing together a newly-composed supergroup who'll record an album in the days before, and then unveil the fruits on the evening. So aye, this supergroup – it'll feature a Broken Record-er (Rory Sutherland), a Sparrow and the Workshop-er (Jill O'Sullivan), a James Yorkston and the Athlete-er (Reuben Taylor), two Meursault-ers (Neil Pennycook and Pete Harvey) and, er, a Rob St John. Phew.
Fri 26 Oct, 7pm, £12 here
Stimulating the old brain cells this week is Talking Heads co-founder and solo musician in his own right, David Byrne, who stops by Glasgow's GFT as part of a trio of special UK talks at which he'll discuss the joy and the business of music-making, as explored in his new book, How Music Works. For his Glasgow talk he'll be focusing his thoughts on the subject of how independent labels and artists have survived the various struggles they've faced, chatting live with Chemikal Underground label founder Alun Woodward. Sure to be more than a little illuminating.
Opens 26 Oct, Mon-Sat, Free
Edinburgh's Dovecot hand over the main gallery space to Tokyo-based design and production studio Nuno, who'll be showing a selection of their designs within a specially-created environment (complete with an element created from Washi paper and Nuno fabric, made by young paper-maker Satoshi Hasegawa). Known for exploring ways in which their designs respond to the human form, the exhibition will reflect the importance of cloth for protecting, adorning, and creating social well-being, whilst keeping sustainability at the fore. And looking damn pretty, o'course.
Fri 26 Oct, 7pm, £7 on the door
Cross-artform funmakers Neu! Reekie! return for their second date at their new home of Summerhall, with what was supposed to be a super-secret line-up, but, well, someone – ahem, Mr Kevin Williamson, we're looking at you – spilled the beans at the last event. And it's a bit of a special one, as they've managed to coax folkie Fifer James Yorkston to their lair for a headline set, alongside John Hegley's singalong comedy poems (ranging on topics from amoebas to handkerchiefs), and poet Douglas Dunn, bolstered by live animations and growling house band Emelle.
We're offering one lucky chap or chapess the chance to win an exclusive VIP pass to the sonic art delight that is Sonica 2012 festival (read our full article here), for which the prize includes an overnight stay for two in citizenM boutique hotel, plus VIP passes to the launch reception, and a pair of tickets for both Sandglasses and Ecstatic Arc. Oh, and an exclusive Sonica t-shirt. It wouldn't be complete without a t-shirt, now would it? Browse the full Sonica 2012 listings here. Full competition details and how to enter here. Closes 29 October.
FULL COMPETITION DETAILS HERE
Sun 28 Oct, 11pm, £8 (£9 after midnight) on the door
And now for Halloween! You've pretty much got two options: party on the night itself, or wait for the following weekend... Optimo plump for, well, neither of the two, hosting their favourited annual Optimo Espookio night the Sunday before All Hallows' Eve. Going dark with a suitably haunted soundtrack and spooky fx, they'll also be hosting their somewhat competitive costume competition – which has seen everything from Super Mario to, erm, a sanitary towel. Y'all need to up your game for this one.
Fri 2 Nov, 11pm, £5 on the door
Pretty much the benchmark for what a party should be, The Flying Duck go all-out with their version of a Halloween bash, hosting a tongue-in-cheek night based upon the annual Mexican festival, Day of the Dead, featuring performances from macabre duo The Creative Martyrs, and local DJ scallywag David Barbarossa (pictured). As per, they'll be going to town with the decor (think: skulls, shrines, and piñatas), and inviting folks to dress up in traditional dress – or indeed just anything Mexican. Nachos and chili dogs seal the deal.
Fri 26 Oct, midnight, £15 (£13) here
A horror movie's pretty much a must on Halloween, right? And the Cameo make it a scarier affair than most by commencing at midnight, and showing a triple bill of scaries in a row with Evil Dead trilogy The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness. And horror movie staple Bruce Campbell's in each and every one, so all is well with the world. They'll also be screening A Nightmare on Elm Street on Halloween itself, with the GFT following suit with showings of The Exorcist, and The Shining. Happy shitting-it.
Wed 31 Oct, 9pm, Free
That jolly lot over at LAID brighten our Halloween with a gory version of their rather fine gig-in-a-club night, with this edition headered by math-rock foursome Carnivores (pictured, who promise to dress up like Batman villains for the occasion), alongside Ice Sea Dead People, and Honeyblood. And, harking back to those propergood parties we had when we were wee, they'll be decking Bloc out with apple dooking, pumpkins, face painting, sweeties a'plenty, and Halloween punch. All for gratis.
Wed 31 Oct, 7pm, Free
Trust Edinburgh to offer up a more cultural Halloween experience that most, with The Old Ambulance Depot playing host to a mini (like, three hours mini) art exhibition held over Halloween evening, at which exhibiting artists will display work exploring and comparing ancient fears and preoccupations with new ones, amongst them former Skinny Showcase-ers Rabiya Choudhry, and Ross Fraser McLean, whose work you can also buy here. The promise of 'a freaky painting of a creepy baby' surely makes this nigh-on unmissable? Dressing up encouraged.
SSW 2 tickets: We've got a pair of VIP tickets up for the sprawling, four-room DJ epic that will be SSW 2 weekender, featuring sets from international headline DJs Tony Humphries (pictured), Motor City Drum Ensemble, Prins Thomas, and Paul Anderson, amongst others. More info here.
Some Like It Hip Hop tickets: We've got a pair of tickets to see the West End smash hit Some Like it Hip Hop; a comical tale of love, mistaken identity, cross-dressing and revolution, all played out in ZooNation's trademark hip hop style. Closes 30 Oct.
VIP Sonica passes: Cryptic and CitizenM celebrate the launch of sonic art festival Sonica 2012 by offering one lucky reader the chance to be a Sonica VIP for the night, including accommodation in a boutique hotel! Full listings here. Closes 29 Oct.
Skinny On Tour: Guess where The Skinny's own lovely Kyla is reading her trusty copy of the magazine (yes, it's a bog somewhere) and you could win yourself a boozy prize courtesy of our chums at Vino Wines. Closes 31 Oct.