:: Buzzwords Archive: March 2009. Click here for the latest posts.

There and back again (published 13/03/2009)


Billy Childish at the Sydney Cooper Gallery, Kent:

International artist – painter, poet and musician Billy Childish is based in Chatham, Kent. In the spring of 2008 he joined the Band of Historical Hill Walkers on a field trip to the Atlas Mountains in North Africa to “make pinhole photographs, draw and paint the scenes before them – taking time to be present and amazed by the world”. This exhibition shows the paintings produced in his Whitstable studio as a direct and imagined response to this experience. Also on display are the notebooks and photographs made on the trip as well as books, woodcuts and recent self portraits.

High Atlas, woodcuts & new paintings, 14th March – 7th April

McCarthy Über Alles (published 09/03/2009)


Tom McCarthy will be in Berlin for the launch of 8 1/2 Millionen (Remainder) on Saturday 14 March at Volksbühne (9 pm). More details here. 8 1/2 Millionen is published by Diaphanes.

(Pic by Andrew Gallix.)

Disco not disco (published )


The very lovely Ghost Box records are throwing Youth Club Night with Belbury Poly, (named after a fictional CS Lewis institution and profiled by Simon Reynolds here).

DJs: Julian House & Jim Jupp (Ghost Box), Woebot,
Mark Pilkington (Strange Attractor), and Jonny Trunk.

James Cargill and Trish Keenan of Broadcast provide a
live improvised soundtrack to a short film by Julian House.

Throughout the evening we’ll be screening a programme of rare,
unsettling and forgotten TV drama and public information films.

Entry: £5 doors from 6pm (first come first serve – no advance sales)

The Shunt Lounge, 20 Stainer St., SE1 9RL (tube: London Bridge)

3:AM Reloaded (published )


What you (may have) missed on 3:AM last week:

Poetry by Jake Severn

Reviewed: Richard Marshall on Graham Bendel‘s A Nasty Piece of Work“better than American Psycho” – and Andrew Stevens on Richard Milward‘s Ten Storey Love Song“a tad laboured, not exactly perfect but pleasing all the same”

Non-fiction: Gaby Bila-Günther on the Berlin poetry scene, Barbara Foster on ménage à trois & Sophie Parkin on the changing face of Soho

Interviewed: A Totally Wired conversation between Andrew Gallix & Simon Reynolds:

3:AM: As you write in the introduction to Totally Wired, “Books continue to write themselves in your head long after the official end of the project” which is why you have several blogs which you use to publish “footnotes” to your books. What impact has the internet had on rock criticism?

Simon Reynolds: That’s too big a question, really. But one effect it’s had on me is this idea that I can put the left-overs and stray thoughts on the web — it has made me more comfortable with the cutting of things down to size, whether it’s an article or a book. I can run the director’s cut version or the ideas that were never integrated into the piece on the web, for the small minority of people who are interested.

The Missing Links (published )

vespapinup/>The Beat interview Tony O’Neill: “Getting published for the first time on 3:AM was a huge validation. Because not only was somebody saying ‘we like you, we like your writing’ the people saying it were obviously people who liked the same authors I did. Having someone like that dig your stuff was worth more to me than having Joe Schmoe from whatever-house saying it, because they probably hated all the guys that I dug.” * Richard Milward‘s book of a lifetime: “I’m absolutely mad on mad people. Some of my favourite artworks and novels appear to have been spewed from the hands and minds of mad folk, from Henry Darger to Alfred Jarry to Jean-Michel Basquiat, but none has made a more prominent dent on my brain than the Comte de Lautréamont‘s potty page-turner, Les Chants de Maldoror. It’s like an old, twisted rulebook on how to break all literary rules.” * “I first met George Whitman in 2007 when he hit me over the head with a book.” Jeanette Winterson on Shakespeare & Co * The London Review of Books on Guy Debord and the letters of the Situationist International: “Debord the swashbuckler, the romantic hero of art schools to this day, comes centre-stage, and the letters are a fine study in the art of enmity.” * Also in the LRB, Richard Gott on Cornelius Cardew * Adam Gopnik on Damon Runyon: “Popular fiction is supposed to be essentially story-driven; the proof that it works is the sound of the pages turning. But a few of the great pop writers were stylists, above all, and their success is measured by a different sound, that of the snort of appreciation followed by a phrase read out loud to a half-sleeping spouse in bed at night. The pages stop turning while we admire the sentences…Of all the pop formalists, the purest and strangest may be Damon Runyon, the New York storyteller, newspaperman, and sportswriter who wrote for the Hearst press for more than thirty years, inspired a couple of Capra movies, and died in 1946. Runyon’s appeal, though it has to be fished out like raisins from the dreary bran of his O. Henry-style plotting, came from his mastery of an American idiom. We read Runyon not for the stories but for the slang, half found on Broadway in the nineteen-twenties and thirties and half cooked up in his own head.” * Inspired by Roberto Bolano‘s 2666, The Rumpus take a speed-read through literary uberbooks * 3:AM‘s interview with Peter Murphy is coming soon; meanwhile Murphy talks John the Revelator with Mark Thwaite: “I like that phrase “apostolic fiction”. The gospels are narrated by scribes who don’t really enter the story until the final act, if at all. John is a watcher. At first his function is to bear witness to his mother’s life, and then his friend Jamey’s, but as the story unfolds, he becomes more of a participant, changes from passive to active. Not a big transformation in the grand scheme of things, but it’s huge for him. I suppose J the R is kind of an inverted version of the mythic rite of passage tale. Instead of the archetypal call-to-adventure, a boy leaving the tribe to go out into the wilderness and prove himself, John attains manhood by staying to watch over his mother. A less glamorous version of the hero saga maybe, but a trial by fire nonetheless.” * 3:AM‘s Chris Killen talks to Tao Lin: “I think if after Richard Yates I published 10 remixes of Shoplifting from American Apparel (which comes out before Richard Yates), or published something “equally retarded” like 3-5 consecutive books of drawings, over a period of 3-8 years, it would be “giving up” in a way that is exciting to me, and so would be an “artistically acceptable” development in my career arc, encompassing both “giving up” and “not giving up.” It would be a sort of non-sequitur in my career arc.”

Living To Oneself (published 07/03/2009)


As noted at the Bookkake blog, you have an ever-decreasing number of days left to listen to BBC Radio 3’s series of talks on ‘solitary thinker’ William Hazlitt as Philosopher.

Related: Richard Marshall on the Hazlitt day schools at Oxford in 2001 and 2003.