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The print edition of The Skinny is a monthly free magazine covering the best in culture and lifestyle across Scotland and beyond. In October 2005 the first issue of The Skinny Scotland hit the streets providing up to date listings, previews and in depth features about events and artists in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and nearly 150 issues later we still provide the best way to keep up to date on the best of your local scene. Find out what’s in this month’s magazine by reading the digital edition below, along with this month’s editorial introducing what’s inside.

THE SKINNY: January 2018

Alright, hope you’ve all had a good Christmas, now let’s get things going on this ‘new year’. Let me just have a quick Google and see what’s what. Now it says here that “in the year 2019, America is a totalitarian state where a charismatic strongman uses the TV to attack his enemies and demonise the poor.” Oh, sorry, that’s a synopsis for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dystopian sci-fi banger The Running Man – wonder how I could have possibly confused that with anything else such as, say, actual reality.

But this is a new year, so let’s at least kick it off with a flash of optimism, and by spending large chunks of the month in lovely pubs and restaurants. That’s the premise of our Food and Drink Survey, back again with eight pages of venues voted for by you lovely lot. Every autumn we ask for your picks, hoarding them all to be used up in the dead of winter when we all need something to keep spirits up; we’re a lot like squirrels in that regard. New places to check out, the shops to get stocked up in and the dishes you need to try out – there’s bound to be something you like the look of, so head on over to p10 to get started.

Remaining hopeful in the face of grief and sadness is one of the key points in our chat with James Graham of The Twilight Sad, with Graham left reeling after the passing of friend and colleague Scott Hutchison last year. The band are looking forward to a bumper year though, with their new album out this month and some big shows across Europe lined up for the summer. Steve Mason’s also back, with a new solo record and an updated outlook – he’s trying not to get bogged down by the overwhelming gloom of the big picture (cf. that Running Man chat from earlier), and instead focussing on staying positive. We also talk with John Grant, Blood Red Shoes and Lost Under Heaven… oh, and John Baillie Jnr from Bossy Love reminds us all of his favourite millennial R’n’B bops. Sean Paul and Blu Cantrell; relevant in 2019, and it feels so good.

If you’re hiding out in the cinema this month, you’ll find a pair of films by and about badass women; Karyn Kusama directs Nicole Kidman as a shit-kicking cop in Destroyer, and Josie Rourke brings the story of Mary Queen of Scots to life in a film that is rather handily-titled Mary Queen of Scots. We talk to both directors, as well as reuniting with author David Keenan to chat about his new novel, and Louise Welsh gives us the lowdown on the process of writing her latest opera Anthropocene with Stuart MacRae (fittingly for this month, it involves spending a fair amount of time in cafes).

Theatre takes a survey of the country’s playwrights and directors to find out which pieces remind them to stay positive; Art sweeps up everything that’s happening in Scotland’s galleries this year to help you fill that diary you got for Christmas; our new Comedy column begins its reappraisal of the alternative comedy canon by looking at The Young Ones (“it’s like a comedy Kinder Bueno”). Hopefully this month’s mag helps you kick off 2019 in a hail of inspiration, positivity and interesting cultural happenings – it might be a bit dark outside (literally and figuratively), but there's plenty of opportunities this month to make it a bit brighter. [Peter Simpson]

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