I was determined to get my end of year list out within the first week of January, and I just made it. 2015 seem to disappear quicker than 2014 did. I mot definitely think less procrastinating is in order for 2016.
Anyway, here it is, some of my 2015 highlights....
- GIGS! lot's of fun gigs happened in 2015, Girlpool, Gerard Way, Ex Hex, Sleater-Kinney, Babes in Toyland, Frank Iero, The Julie Ruin, Babes in Toyland, L7, Queer Fest, Martha, The Potentials, Jack Off Jill and loads more. It was of course the year of the reunion gigs!
-Zinefests. I tabled four times last year. A return to my favourite one in Sheffield, Leeds in an old church, the debut of North West zine fest in Manchester and at Ladyfest Manchester. I love doing zine fests because I get to sit behind a table eating snacks and selling things and buying things and seeing a bunch of great stuff but mostly hanging out with people I don't see often enough!
-Sleater-Kinney!!! Yes Sleater-Kinney returned and I didn't think I was gonna be that arsed about it, but it turns out I was! Saw them in Manchester and one of my favourite places to visit, Glasgow. They were amazing and spending a couple of days with a bunch of my favourites was even better.
-Amsterdam. I said it in last years end of year post, but the best thing about getting older and turning the big numbers I that it means your friends do too, so May saw me celebrate Alison's 30th birthday in Amsterdam. How I had never managed to get to Amsterdam before I don't know, but I shall be returning!
-Babes in Toyland. Another reunion gig that blew me away, going to London and Manchester meant I got t see a whole load of faces (it's nice to have events that pull older people out of the house!) also meant I got to see faces I only knew of online, it's great finally meeting people you've only spoken to in the virtual/postal world (hey Rachel!)
-SUMMER TOUR! this was probably the highlight of my year. August is always a fun month as three of my bests have their birthdays then, but this year was a dream. Yiiikes! decided we needed to play a gig, so what better way to force ourselves to do this than go on a week long tour of 6 gigs with two bands, that just so happen to be yr mates! Got to hang out with my bffs and new bffs for a whole week whilst travelling up and down the country and playing songs! From the southern seaside to finally getting to the north east, this was like the best free holiday ever!
-Yiiikes! It's been a great year for Yiiikes! we didn't get any art out, but we made a bunch of great songs, toured, played a few gigs after the tour, had matching stage outfits and ace merch and most of all had fun doing it! SLIME POP FOR LIFE I.D.S.T.
-Zines. I didn't make anywhere near enough zines what I wanted to make, my infamous crisp zine still hasn't seen the light of day (watch out 2016) and I think I spent most of the year talking about what zines I was going to make. Did manage to put out the annual tradition of two issues of Sugar Paper, two issues of Poor Lass and a second issue of Brown Girl.
-Jack Off Jill. The end of a year of great reunion gigs came in the form of JOJ, a band I never thought I would get to see, a band who blew me away. Seeing them in Manchester and London, witnessing Jessicka perform and probably being one of the greatest front people I've ever seen. <3 font="">3>
-Slayerfest. Halloween is always one of my favourite times of year and in 2014 when we were trying to egg ourselves on to play a gig we made a pact to play on Halloween 2015. Our dreams came true when we got to play Slayerfest '98 (2015)!!! Our great mates (and my new fave band) The Potentials, organised a night off great bands and disco dancing and Yiiikes! got to play, I also got to do a tap dance to the Buffy theme whilst dressed as a yellow crayon. Good times!
Other highlights include.... attending the indiepop wedding of the year where Bearsuit played, indie pop royalty attended, and had a great dance. Probably going to Karaoke more times then I ever have and adding more staples to my Karaoke repertoire aside from Lisa Loeb's Stay. Sorting my 'studio' space and making it more organised and inviting. Meeting Patrick Ness who was a total sweetheart. Remembering how much I love to make things and just staying home!
Photo of the year is this one with all my favourite weirdos....
You get lot of end of year lists round this time of year, mostly music ones, but seeing as my tradition from 2000 onwards seems to be that I don't get more than two new albums a year (forever stuck in the 90s) that would be a boring list. I do however get more than 2 zines a year and this year I got some great zines. here are my top 5....
BRUXCORE A zine about Irn BruHolly Casio March 2015
My favourite zinester Holly made a few zines this year, but I think this is my favourite. With a bright orange front cover and blue inside pages, a zine full of stuff about one of her main loves, Scotland's finest import, Irn Bru! The zine has all about Holly's love for Irn Bru, Irn Bru imposters, Irn Bru in different forms, contributions and a bunch of recipes. It's a zine for anyone who likes the orange fizzy pop! GET IT HERE!
SCRATCH THAT ITCH #5Kathleen July 2015
Kathleen is someone I have known for years, but never spent lots of time with. But I had the pleasure of doing that in August when she drove us round on our super summer tour! Kathleen also brought a mini zine distro with her, which included her latest issue of Scratch That Itch zine. Scratch That Itch is always a treat, but this one is particularly great, for a start it looks great. It's an A6 affair that Kathleen hand bound (there ain't nothing Kathleen can't do!) and is a tour diary! It's a diary of the month in spring 2015 Kathleen spent driving top notch band Caves round on tour with Against Me! It has some highs, some lows and some pretty great scenery! It made me want to get out more and visit places. It was like reading someone's diary and Kathleen writes so well, would recommend this to anyone!
GO FIGUREA.K August 2015
In 2015 Holly an I went to a comic con in Las Vegas and we made a great friend. Fast forward to 2015 and this awesome friends makes her first zine! She has been making really intricate and awesome dioramas with her vast collection of star wars figurines and then turned them into this zine! The zine is ascetically amazing, full of detail, heart and passion, just like the diorama. You don't even need to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy it.
AFTER GRRRL small stories from big livesCarrie Jo Tucker/ Jessicka Addams October 2015
A zine full of short pieces written by all my favourite artists and musicians! what more could you ask for! It has Allison Wolfe talking about her Cool Mom and rubbish boyfriend, Camille Rose Garcia talking about being told girls can't do art and Lori Barbero on learning drums and SO MUCH MORE! It also has a page where you can write your story! I wrote a lot more about it HERE. And you can get yourself a copy HERE!
SHAPE AND SITUATE 7 posters of inspirational women in Europe Melanie Maddison December 2015
Melanie compiles some of my favourite zines (her Colouring Outside The Lines zine will surely top next years list) and this one just made it out before the end of the year! Shape and Situate is a zine made of posters people make of women they have found inspiring for one reason or another, artists, educators, activists, community pioneers. I love tis zine because you learn about so many great figures you may not have heard of otherwise, plus you get all the different styles of posters the contributors send in, from illustrated to written. This is the last issue of S&S (boo) but fear not Melanie will still be working on other zine projects. Also I co-produced a poster for this one, so get it now. Get it HERE!
Special mention goes to Poor Lass #6 Health Issue, a zine about working class people from working class people, that I co edit with top lass Em! Get it HERE!
Last weekend I headed to Bury Art museum to the opening of a new exhibition there by my bff (and favourite artist) Alison...
There's nothing for you here is a collection of old and new works featuring brown ladies, animals, trees and creatures painted on all manner of things from vintage mirrors, cupboard doors, second hand pictures and pieces of wood!
Even though there is definitely Alison's signature style on everything, each piece is different. Two of my favourite pieces were new works , A girl of Trinidad, which is a portrait of a lady on a wooden souvenir and Speak no evil, a collection of large side profiles silhouettes painted in a wood effect on cardboard.
The title of the exhibition comes from cult TV show The League of Gentlemen and just like the show itself, Alison's works are a touch of the gross, some sadness and mischievous but always served with humour!
It's that time of year again, the time where I panic about what gifts to buy everyone whilst simultaneously writing my lol of a gift guide to make it look like I am super organised for the upcoming festivities (spoiler: I am totally not!).
If you too are in a panic and don't know what to gift your loved ones, the hopefully this will help....
First things first, you have no idea what they might like ARGHHHHH! Fear not I have a fool proof plan, let's just say you can tell a lot about a person from the TV they watch* So next time you see them, ask if they have any recommendations of good stuff to watch, or next time you're round their house see what boxsets are left by the side of the TV or look the least dusty, or better yet hack into their Netflix account and see what's on their most watched
Then use this handy guide below.... (*If the don't watch TV then sorry you're fucked!)
They seem to watch a lot animal documentaries and cute stuff with cats in.... Then they clearly love animals! If they seem to favour the cat over most others then I have a few things for them.
Like this enamel Cat Brooch from Andrea Garland, that is first glance looks like a cute brooch, but it in fact holds some cruelty free natural lip balm inside!
There is this cat print that Fawn Gehweiler has a hand in with new company Miaou & co. Art objects for cats!!!
Then every self respecting cat lady needs a detachable collar with cats on right? Well luckily Jessicka Addams has made one!
If no favouritism has been spotted and just animals in general is their thing then Emily Martin's Black Apple shop has everything from deer to bears to sea monsters!
They have watched all of Angel and have alerts for when Firefly gets added....Well you have a Joss Whedon fanatic on your hands here, this is an easy one, they simply need to be alerted about the existence of the queer feminist Buffy punk band The Potentials! They have music, tshirts badges and stickers!
There's a lot of films that aren't that current featuring people called Winona Ryder, and Alicia Silverstone....
They haven't quite realised that it is no longer the 90s and they are no longer a teenager, but it's ok, it's a healthy nostalgic obsession.
Any witty Winona fan loves Heathers, so why not wear this love with pride on a denim jacket with this patch from Rosehound Apperal.
Rosehound Apperal also have a pin of ultimate 90s teen film heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio.
If more Leo is needed, the yours truly (me!) made a zine of my teenage crushes and features reviews of all Leo's films up to 1999! it also has Paul Rudd and Winona in there so you know! get it HERE!
Lastly, for every Cher and Dionne in your life, Skinny Dip have a range of stuff (Kindle/laptop and phone cases!) with some of the best phrases from Clueless!
Their binge watching comes in waves and its usually feel good stuff that stars Paul Rudd or Amy Poehler.....Then you may have an anxious pal. It's ok let them know they are not alone with these two...
There's the anxious ghost pin from Matt Darling, which when you wear fellow anxiety sufferers come say hi and let you know yr not the only person who overthinks everything!
Or this Anxious punks tee from the ever Awesome Emma Thacker, which when you wear you get a bunch of other anxious punks wanting to be yr friend, then you can for a band, that mostly sits around watching Paul Rudd films on Netflix.
They put an internet shout out when Goosebumps got added and only searches things from Nickelodeon pre 2000....Then you have another child of the 90s on your hands here, who loves some nostalgic splat and gross out animation!
The ultimate gift would be this great record from Enjoy The Ride Records, which is a re pressing of all the best Nicketoons songs!
They also need some sweet garms from the awesome slime pop band Yiiikes! (yeah that is my band, so what!)
They watch a lot of programs about food and films with James Franco in....They are clearly a stoner! That or they just love food and James Franco, but most likely they are a stoner.
Show your love with these Best Buds friendships pins from Sara M Lyons!
Or just in case their stoner status isn't officially confirmed, stick with some food gems like these pentagram junk food badges from Danny Brito....
They only watch all the Netflix exclusives and make sure they do it before everyone else, then boast about it whilst boasting about themselves....
You have a self assured loved one here, who probably loves themselves too! That's all good.
Why not get them a pin of someone else who loves themselves?! Like This Kanye West one from Georgia Perry...
Or maybe they just want an image of themselves, remember Emma Thacker and her Anxious Punks tee, well she also does great commission pieces, get one HERE!
That's our Kandy top right!
Finally....if all you can deduce from your snooping is that they watch a lot of Netflix, so much so they flake on plans with you, then they need this patch from Sara M Lyons.....