We are, as a collective across the World, facing a very real threat that is affecting us all. We will expose our true selves in our actions during this time as both an individual and in our communities, near and far. There are no absolute answers to how to respond to this invasion of sorts, so naturally these rapid changes and looming uncertainty will evoke fear and anxiety, things we respond to in different ways.
But in times like these our solidarity against the fight of invasion often bring out the best across the majority, and we look to those who are making the best out of a worsening situation. We look for inspiration and hope.
I myself have had probably some of the most troubled months of my life leading up to this point. With the loss of two people close to me and deferring my studies in order to save myself from the deep spiral I found myself in. As my work declined and the fear gripped hold I felt what everyone else feels. It is most important to look after one another as we do not have the same levels of support or adequate rituals to keep our heads above water. We must seek alignment to something more spiritual, and these can be in the things you enjoy be that in music, the arts or film, but not limited to those.
I feel I have spoken briefly but very candidly here, and Pink Sugar Mouse, both myself and Laurence’s thing is about the essence of sharing.
What I have put together here is a brief list of films, books, music and places I ‘go’ to at home in order to share and offer other places for you to go to too. To dig and to share a common interest with me and to enjoy these in isolation.
If anything has resonated with you or feel something you have found here has offered you some respite from the chaotic sickness of the media and life in general, please share these with me – I’d be glad to here and potentially expand on them, and share further.
Things to watch
Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place
Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle
Marble Hornets (I was obsessed with this sometime ago, perhaps it hasn’t stood the test of time for ideas, but it was quite something in 2009)
The Internet’s Own Boy
The House on Coco Road
New Town Utopia
Behind The Wall – Life in the Two Berlins
The Florida Project
No Country for Old Men
The Reflecting Skin
The Talented Mr Ripley
Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Darjeeling Limited
The Photographer of Mauthausen
Attention Scum – bit of a hard watch at times, but a great deal of solid comedians from Sally Phillips, Stewart Lee and Julian Barratt passed through the doors of Attention Scum. With Simon Munnery at the Helm, it started off at the Edinburgh fringe in the early 90’s as Cluub Zarathustra.
Hello! – again, Simon Munnery standup, quite difficult to find on the internet but with NextUp! you can find it alongside a good deal of decent stand up comedy.
Or his performance at Blue Dot Festival…
Anything by Tony Law, again all on NextUp!
Stewart Lee – anything basically, but to choose it would be either If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask or 90’s Comedian
The app Mubi are currently running a £1.00 for 3 months fee, an absolute bargain given the content they roll out on there. Cult Classics, Art House and foreign cinema aplenty.
The IDFA (Independent Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) have released an entire back catalogue of documentaries (around 300) available for free streaming.
Things to read:
Get on AbeBooks, a great alternative to Amazon for discounted books.
London Review of Books who have now created the ‘Diverted Traffic’ series, which brings an article forward from the Paywall every day, and is in circulation for the day. This will not include any content referring to plague or anything like what drains us in the media at the moment.
The Paris Review has a paywall, but still an enjoyable amount of content on there across poetry and story writing.
Longreads, a collection of sprawling write-ups that go beyond the short and often diluted and stunted reads we find now.
Medium can often be a good source of reading, again there is a paywall, and whether this is altered to provide more reading in due time I don’t know. But it’s worth diving in.
Cosey Fanni Tutti’s ‘Art Sex Music’, you can find this almost anywhere including on Kindle. It will likely remain one of the best autobiographies I will read given my love of her work, both visual and audio.
Viv Albertine’s ‘To Throw Away Unopened’, a candid autobiography from The Stint’s lead singer of her close relationship with her mother. Beautifully sad and interesting. It was in fact this very book I took the name ‘Pink Sugar Mouse’ from.
Adolfo Bioy Casares ‘The Invention of Morel’
Herman Hesse ‘The Glass Bead Game’
Milan Kundera ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’
Virginia Wolff ‘A Room of Ones Own’
Italo Calvino ‘On A Winters Night a Traveller’
Marlon James ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’
Fyodor Dostoevsky ‘Crime and Punishment’
Thomas Mann ‘Magic Mountain’
Gil Scott Heron ‘The Last Holiday: A Memoir’
Tim Lawrence ‘Love Saves the Day’
Things to see:
Solidarity Revolutionary Centre Thanks to Archive.org, a whole unit has been dedicated to collecting revolutionary papers, writings and illustrations for the purpose of unified strength against politics, racism, sexism and all other threats to both individuals and communities (especially those that are marginalised) that see expression of the self and others as paramount. This has been a great source of information for me and will be other the next coming months of mostly isolated behaviour for the greater good. From Angela Davis’ Lectures on Liberation to Noam Chomsky’s Notes on Anarchism to Punk and Free Women notes, we could all use this time to seek different views and learn.
RaveZines collection on Archive.org focusing on words, illustrations and reviews of the early 90s rave culture. Lots to take from this hedonistic period of freedom in music and expression pre-internet. Yes, it is ironic looking at these from the internet, but it is a useful tool in discovery for it is best used for expanding knowledge and learning.
Retronaut is a collection of odd and interesting images put together in their own collections from colourised historical images, candid immigration photography depicting struggle to Shepherds herding in the mountains.
BirkaJazz is an archive of a whole range of Jazz artworks. Blue Note, Prestige and Impulse, amongst other names, were putting together wonderful display pieces for recordings. Mixed media of photography and design graphics in times where more complex means to achieve their vision were conducted.
This to listen to:
This was a very difficult but rewarding task. Creating a comprehensive list that still won’t touch the sides had me wanting to include so much more. I decided to put a limit on it in order to put together a concise listening playlist ‘In Isolation’ to reflect this. These are my selections outside of the dance music focus. These I will share over the next few days.
There are also podcasts, lectures and radio snippets from mixes I have put together, and that others have put together.
Nurse With Wound List, was a comprehensive list from the experimental group that listed all their influences across their first two albums. A treasure trove for those seeking “kraut, punk, industrial sounds”, but not limited to!
Hunter S Thompson Day on NTS, a collection of music that surrounded Hunter S Thompson. I come back to this one quite a bit.
Lectures by Jorge Luis Borges – one of my favourite writers discussing
1. The Riddle of Poetry
2. The Metaphor
3. The Telling of the Tale
4. Word-Music, and Translation
5. Thought and Poetry
6. A Poet’s Creed”
Andrew Weatherall’s Mellow Mix, from the Sabre of Paradise himself.
A mix I did for Pleasure Connection a couple of years ago.
Me and Loz @ Outlaws Yacht Club, Leeds in late January.
The ‘In Isolation’ playlist which I have pulled together over the last few days. I will likely keep updating this as the days go by, so stop by.
An amazing playlist that I return to on a regular basis.
Great big list from LOW COMPANY, London. A darling record shop for freaks and misfits.
Random generator of Folk from across the world, simply select the country and let it browse for you.
Andrew Pekler’s PHANTOM ISLANDS. An auditory experience that works alongside mythical cartography through the centuries. Imagining sounds of phantom islands.