Author Archives: lonesomemonsters

Thinking of something to write is harder than you might think

In the absence of any particularly interesting thoughts I’ve had over the past week (I was vaguely thinking about writing about BBC4’s Women documentary, but others have written about it better than I could have, and it’s more than a little suspect for a man to start criticising documentaries for not being feminist enough. Relatedly, you should obviously read Nina Power’s One Dimensional Woman, and this. The plight of women today is intimately connected to the capitalist society we live in, and the BBC documentary didn’t seem to have any intention of even acknowledging that), here’s some interesting bits and pieces from what I did seen this week.

Firstly, if you’ve not seen the Merton chatroulette videos, may I direct you to John Walker’s post here? My favourite’s the Ben Folds one, where he (and his entire audience) sing songs to random people who were connected to them. There’s something really heart-warming about a whole group of people just singing to random people; a kind of I love you to a complete stranger. There needs to be more of that kind of thing.

Next, I can’t actually remember where I found this, but here’s a short documentary about Le Corbusier, Varese, and Xenakis’ Poème électronique.

I’d heard the music before, but never seen what the pavilion actually looked like. And it looks fantastic. And 2 million people went there to experience it! There’s a distinctly odd sensation seeing the pictures of the pavilion as it was. In many ways it seems incredibly similar to certain recent buildings, and yet it possesses something that the work of Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid lacks. Maybe it’s the sense that when it was built, it was a vision of the future, and yet now that the future’s come to pass, there’s the distinct feeling that we’ve been cheated. Superficially it looks the same, but the wider modernist project (to create a better future) that the original pavilion was a part of has been all but abandoned (as I understand it, when schoolchildren are asked to imagine the future, they now nearly always imagine dystopian, apocalyptic scenarios), and all that’s left is a clumsy facsimile (I think this is what Fredric Jameson means by pastiche?). Again, see Owen Hatherley’s Militant Modernism. The VR stuff at the end seems completely pointless and again, little more than a poor facsimile of something that disappeared long ago. Surely one of the fundamental properties of architecture is that it is physical, and tangible?

Finally, via Coilhouse, a short piece of visual music:

Very simple, but effective. I’d like to do something similar, but in the absence of any useful software I’d probably have to code it all by hand in C++. Which would take a while, and really I only want to do a couple of quick sketches.


Craig’s Albums of 2009

No great explanation and in no particular order, all well reviewed elsewhere:

  • Low Miffs and Malcolm Ross
  • The Wild Beasts – Two Dancers
  • Annie – Don’t Stop
  • Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport
  • Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Its Blitz

Actually very difficult to choose this year, some tough choices in my wee head.
Two honorable mentions:

  • The Wildhearts – Chutzpah! – such remarkable consistency, such a remarkable band
  • MSP – Journal for Plague Lovers – I was bizarrely excited about this and it didn’t disappoint. Not as staggering as THB, but pretty great nonetheless.

It Tingles!

An update of the previous tune, now named Tingles. For now at least.

Food wise, there was Leek and Thyme Sausages with a tomato relish and mashed tattie, then Niall’s Marbled Chocolate Chocolate Cake. Marvel at the pictures and the recipes below!

Leek and Thyme Sausages

1tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Leek, trimmed and finely chopped
1tsp chopped Thyme
75g grated Cheddar Cheese
75g Fresh Wholemeal Breadcrumbs
50g Ricotta Cheese
1/2tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
1 Egg, beaten
25g Dried White or Wholemeal Breadcrumbs
Sunflower Oil
Salt and Pepper

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the leek and thyme and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 mins. Leave to cool.
Combine the leek mixture, cheddar, fresh breadcrumbs, ricotta, mustard and salt and pepper in a bowl.
Stir in the egg and mix together to form a soft dough.
Shape into 6 sausages and roll each one in the dried breadcrumbs.
Heat a little sunflower oil in a frying pan, add the sausages and fry over a medium heat, turning frequently, for 10mins until golden and cooked through.

For the tomato relish: peel and de-seed a couple plum tomatoes, sweet some diced onion and garlic in olive oil, along with a finely diced red chilli. Add the tomatoes, then 2 tbsps of wine vinegar and 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Cook for 30 mins – 1 hr till a nice brown colour. Season and serve hot or cold.

Marbled Chocolate Chocolate Cake


175g margarine
175g Caster Sugar
200g Self-Raising Flour
3 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla
~150g Icing Sugar
2tbsp(?) cocoa
~100g dark or milk chocolate (I used Cadbury’s Bourneville with Orange)
~100g white chocolate

Heat the oven to 180C.
Put the Margarine, Caster Sugar, Flour and Egges in a bowl, beat until light and creamy.
Divide the mixture in two.
Chop up half the dark/milk chocolate fairly small and add it to one half of the mixture, along with the cocoa.
With the other half, chop up half the white chocolate and add it to the mixture along with the vanilla.
Add both mixtures to a greased, base-lined cake tin (9″, I think), keeping them separate (i.e. one half circle white, one half circle dark).
With a skewer, swirl the two mixtures together to get the marbling effect.
Bake in the oven for 18-20 mins/until a skewer comes out clean.
Once the cake has cooled, add some water to the icing sugar to make water icing (you want it fairly thick, not too runny), add to the top of the cake.
Now melt half of the remaining dark/milk chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water.
Take a freezer bag, snip a corner off it, and add the melted chocolate.
Use the bag to pipe the chocolate over the top of the cake, then take a skewer and drag it across the piping to get a kind of lattice effect.
Finally, grate some of the remaining chocolate (dark and white) over the cake. Eat whatever you have left of the chocolate.


Hello!

So this is the blog of an as-yet-unnamed band, documenting our various musical (and culinary) ventures. It’s just the two of us at the moment, but we want to get more people involved, so if you’re in Glasgow and interested, drop us a line at kimpinesscrapbook [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk

Now the introductions:

There’s Niall; I like noises I haven’t heard before, and music video, Scarlett Thomas, Kelly Link, Paul Morley, Suzumiya Haruhi, OddBob, Auntie Pixelante and Andrei Tarkovsky. As well as making music, I also code software (which you can see over here). I also did a PhD in which I tried to link sound and visuals in a musical instrument (video here). If I ever get my act together, the plan is to start a kind of non-profit record label/confused art project thing.

And there’s Craig; I like noises I’ve heard before (an unfortunate child of Britpop), and sport. Mainly football (a long suffering follower of the Honest Men). Also indoctrinated, and attempting to do something with it, but it’s far too dull for words. If I ever get my act together, I’ll be doing something else.

Here’s some of our best stuff so far:


Fajitas + RGB2

Hurrah – the joys of Mexico coupled with a nod to the king of the potato people!

On the menu – Veggie beany fajitas fooled by a slice of Raspberry Love Cake.

Fajitas:

  • Some onion, red pepper, a couple of chillies, a clove of garlic a few mushrooms and some corriander.
  • 1 tins of beans

Salsa:

  • 3 tomatoes – peeled, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 chillie, chopped
  • A little chopped onion
  • Some corriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar

Mix it all together!

There was also an abortive attempt and making flour tortillas, but there was a minor failure leading to a quick dash to the shops!

Putting it all together – wrap everything in a warm tortilla with some cheese and eat wearing a sombrero.


Then the cake:

Raspberry Love Cake
(made up of raspberry coulis, cake batter, butter cream, and raspberry water icing)
(? means play it by ear(tongue?) – that’s what I did)

Raspberry Coulis Ingredients:

  • 1 punnet raspberries
  • 1/3 of the weight of the raspberries in caster sugar

Cake Ingredients:

  • 225g margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs (this should maybe be 3, w/the 4th egg replaced by the coulis)
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp(?) raspberry coulis

Butter Cream Ingredients:

  • 50g(?) margarine
  • 150g(?) icing sugar
  • small handful raspberries

Water Icing Ingredients:

  • 10 tsp(?) raspberry coulis
  • 150g(?) icing sugar
  • 4(?) tsp water
  1. Start with the raspberry coulis. Mix the raspberries in a bowl with the sugar, and leave until the juices start running.
  2. Stick the mix in a food processor to make it all liquidy, then pass through a sieve to get rid of the seeds and pulp.
  3. For the cake, grease 2 20cm sandwich tins, and preheat the oven to 180C.
  4. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, beat until thoroughly blended.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 mins/until the tops of the cakes spring back when pressed with a finger. Leave to cool.
  6. To make the butter cream, cream the margarine, than add the icing sugar (add as much as you need to make sure it’s not too runny).
  7. Ice one of the cakes with the butter cream, then chop the raspberries in half, and add them to the icing. Place the other cake on top.
  8. For the water icing, mix the icing sugar, coulis and water. Again, you want it fairly thick, so it doesn’t dribble off the side of the cake.
  9. Ice the top cake with the water icing, leaving a gap to the edge of the cake so it has space to expand as it settles.
  10. Rejoice, for you have brought love and joy to the world!

10a.) You should have some coulis left over, so chop up a melon, banana, apple and some grapes (and any remaining raspberries), and make yourself a fruit salad.


And finally the tune, a more finished version of RGB, featuring a distinctly Pixies-esque outro, which we’re both guilty of, but far from ashamed! All hail Black Francis – king of the potato people!

Get it here.


Curry and Cake

(this week’s musical accompaniment: Sa-Ra Creative Partners: Nuclear Evolution/The Age of Love)

The ‘and’ is important here. This is NOT a cake made of curry. That will be next week.

This week’s treats were firstly a curry and secondly a cake. But they were two separate things. Seriously, next week – curry cake.

So the curry – aubergine, tomato and cashew nuts, served with a mixture of brown and wild rices and some pupupupuppodum. Recipe can be found here.

Pictorial evidence:

Cake-wise, this week’s offering was a world exclusive, the Orange Death Cake:
So-called because it is so orangey there is a 66% chance your first bite will cause you to experience extreme orange trauma and drop down dead, leaving a Tommy Sheridan-esque corpse.

The recipe (adapted from the Orange Victoria Sponge in Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book):

  • 225g margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking power
  • 5 oranges
  • some more margarine
  • some icing sugar
  • 150g more icing sugar
  • 3 orange Fruit Pastilles
  • 2 orange Opal Fruits
  • 2 orange Chewits

The sponge:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, grease 2 20cm sandwich tins.
  2. Put the margarine, caster sugar, eggs, flour, baking power in a bowl, along with half the zest of one of the oranges.
  3. Beat well until thoroughly blended.
  4. Divide among the tins, and bake in the oven for about 25 mins.

The butter icing:

  1. Cream the some margarine.
  2. Add icing sugar until the butter taste stops being overpowering.
  3. Add the rest of the zest of the orange.

The orange water icing:

  1. Juice the oranges, strain to remove the pulp.
  2. Put the 150g icing sugar in a bowl, and add the orange juice until you get the right consistency (fairly thick, not too runny).

Putting it all together:

  1. Sandwich the butter icing between the two cakes.
  2. Add the water icing to the top.
  3. Chop up the Fruit Pastilles, Opal Fruits and Chewits, sprinkle them over the icing.
  4. Congratulations, you have created orange death in cake form!

Conclusions/reflections/digestions/stomach aches:

The curry was tasty indeed, but very very mild – lacked a punch. Perhaps more chilli or spice? While we survived the cake (only mild Oompaloompaness occurred) it was perhaps just a little overpowering. We blame the Opal Fruits (mainly cause they’re now called Star Burst – why!!!!!!! 15 years and we still can’t come to terms with it. Opal Fruits was by far the better name. Star Burst?!?!? What the hell does that even mean? How does a star burst? Does it go ‘pop’? It is more explosive? And how does that relate to a tasty fruit flavoured chewy sweetie? Opal Fruits – now that was a name you could hang your hat on. You knew where you stood with Opal Fruits. “Packet of Opal Fruits my good man” you’d say, and you knew what you were getting. Blah.).

Next week, music too!