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

A 3:AM Xmas: Shonen Knife (published 20/12/2009)

Merry merry christmas,
Happy happy christmas,
Merry merry christmas,
And happy new year.
Merry merry christmas
Happy happy christmas,
Merry merry christmas,
And happy new year.

3:AM Reloaded (published )


What you (may have) missed on 3:AM recently:

Fiction: ‘(P)’ by Sarah Catherine Golden, parts one & two of ‘Truth and Lies at Christmas – a Seasonal Encounter With Mr Luke Haines’ by Tim Mitchell

Reviewed: Max Dunbar on Theodore Dalrymple’s Second Opinion

Interviewed: A conversation between Darran Anderson & Adelle Stripe:

In terms of music, I know it’s an important influence on your writing too Adelle; your poem about Robert Wyatt Solar Flares Burn For You springs to mind. It’s strange that people separate poems from songs to begin with, back in the days of Blake or Brecht or Yeats as you mentioned (James Joyce sang Yeats’ wonderful Who Goes with Fergus? to his dying little brother and Christy Moore does a great cover of Yeats’ The Song of Wandering Aengus) they were pretty much one and the same. Now they’re like Siamese twins that have been detached and one has grown big and fat and the other has kind of shrivelled. I think it’s the same for yourself but I’m not sure there’s a poet alive who writes better lyrics than say Leonard Cohen, Jarvis Cocker, Rennie Sparks or Shane MacGowan and that’s only a handful for that matter. Tom Waits is the big one for me, I listened over and over to Rain Dogs and The Pogues’ Rum, Sodomy and the Lash and thought if these guys can make albums this fucked up and beautiful, just head for the scrapheap and try out everything they find there, why don’t people try the same with poetry? Why not write a sea shanty? Or a lullaby? Or a carnival tune? All these possibilities open up.

A 3:AM Xmas: Sufjan Stevens (published 19/12/2009)

The Missing Links (published 18/12/2009)


Issue 11 of the extraordinary Taiwan-based White Fungus to be launched in NYC on 14 January. * “This could so easily have been a shoddy cash-in, but in throwing down the gauntlet for pop music to provide more than entertainment, Lydon is back where he belongs”. * On Terry Taylor. * FLicKeR — the story of Brion Gysin‘s extraordinary dreammachine. * High culture vs low culture. * The Invasion of…. * Inky fingers and sore thumbs. * 3:AM among the Philosophers’ Magazine‘s quotes of the year. * JG Ballard‘s daughter remembers: “…[I]n between school runs, ironing school ties and cooking sausages and mashed potato, he wrote his novels and short stories – one minute conjuring up wild dystopias, the next watching Blue Peter“. * You can’t speed-read literature. * Is technology dumbing down Japanese? Haruki Murakami doesn’t think so. * Fetishizing bookshelves (via @ElectricLit) * Move over Dylan, it’s the H.P. Lovecraft Radio Hour, “you will join us” (via @davidbmetcalfe) * Anais Nin on LSD’s value at Arthur (via Vol. 1 Brooklyn) * “My ’smoking years’ were the most glorious and satisfying period I could imagine.” Naim Attallah on The Cigarette Book. * David F. Hoenigman interviews D. Harlan WIlson. * Read issue 1 of Leah Moore & John Reppion‘s The Trial Of Sherlock Holmes for free at Bleeding Cool. * Comixmas: When Worlds Collide, an exhibition (Osamu Tezuka, Hergé, Andrzej Klimowski) * Reading to the Endgame, a novel approach to chess (Primo Levi, Oulipo) (via The Rumpus) * Johnny Cash‘s late covers are superior to their original recordings, but are they traditional? asks Rick Moody. * A toothpick for $9,150? But it belonged to Charles Dickens. Well that’s okay then. * Despite a volume of them being on track for Book of the Year ’round some parts, a rare collection of Samuel Beckett correspondence failed to sell at auction. * Stuart Evers on plucky editors (Bolaño, David Vann) * Michael Chabon & Wes Anderson on their favourite Xmas animated specials (via Largehearted Boy) * A film by Charles & Ray Eames for Polaroid (via @doorsixteen) * The Second Pass ask which recent-ish novels will still be read in 2110. * The evolution of Lou Reed.

A 3:AM Xmas: Flaming Lips (published )

Wayne Coyne & co. are dreaming.

A 3:AM Xmas: Morvern Callar (published 17/12/2009)

“He’d cut His throat with the knife. He’d near chopped off His hand with the meat cleaver. He couldn’t object so I lit a Silk Cut. A sort of wave of something was going across me. There was fright but I’d daydreamed how I’d be.”

From Lynne Ramsay‘s adaptation of Alan Warner‘s Morvern Callar.

3:AM Top 5: Rhys Tranter (published 16/12/2009)


Rhys Tranter blogs on literature, film, philosophy and critical theory at A Piece of Monologue. He has just launched One Down, One Up, a jazz website. He writes: “Listening to music often taps into my impatient side, so my favourite tunes are changing all the time. Here are a small selection of tracks that, for one reason or another, I keep returning to:”

1. ‘Generique’ – Miles Davis
It’s difficult to pick a Miles track from such a huge selection, but this piece from the soundtrack of Louis Malle’s Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud is a perfect demonstration of Davis’ artistic restraint and introspective style. There’s also something undeniably urban about it, which I love.

2. ‘Song of the Underground Railroad’ – John Coltrane
Breaths life and urgency into contemporary American myth. The Africa/Brass Sessions are all just superb, but something about this second tune gets me every time.

3. ‘Blue Monk’ – Thelonious Monk
Beautiful and deceptively simple. This was my first step into Monk’s music: quintessential night-listening.

4. ‘Blues Walk’ – Lou Donaldson
Light-hearted, upbeat and inventive. I think Donaldson remains an underrated alto-saxophonist to this day, but there’s no denying his talent or accessibility of this early Blue Note record.

5. ‘Blowin’ The Blues Away’ – The Horace Silver Quintet and Trio
I’ve always associated this tune with Art Blakey’s statement about the lasting appeal of jazz as a cleanser, washing away the dust of everyday life. Relentlessly energetic, Silver’s piano playing is filled with wit and exuberance. I’ve always loved this one.

Lethem & McCarthy in London (published )


Jonathan Lethem with Tom McCarthy at the London Review Bookshop on Thursday 7 January at 7 p.m (£6):

Chronic City (Faber) is a searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped up in their own delusions, desires and lies. Into the cloistered life of Chase Insteadman, handsome but inoffensive fixture on the social scene, comes Perkus Tooth, a wall-eyed free-range pop critic, whose countercultural savvy and voracious paranoia draw them into another Manhattan, as they attempt to unearth the answers to several mysteries that seem to offer that rarest of artifacts on an island where everything can be bought: truth. Lethem, the author of seven novels, including Fortress of Solitude, will be in conversation with the novelist Tom McCarthy, author of Remainder and Men in Space.

[Pic: Jonathan Lethem by Julie Jo Fehrie]

ampere’s and (published )


Today’s quick lit [& alt.cult] links from around the web:

A return to Beckett

& What Bolaño read: The Americans & The Spaniards

& David Wallace-Wells on Lorrie Moore (via 3QD)

& Bring back rejection letters

& Christopher Hitchens on Stieg Larsson (via A&L Daily)

& Patricia Highsmith’s New York, real & fictional (via @the_red_shoes)

& S.S. Van Dine‘s 20 rules for writing detective stories [1928] (via @AAKnopf)

& Johnny Marr is to score soundtrack for The Big Bang, about “an L.A. private detective hired to find a stripper who is not only missing, but has never been seen before”

& Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany

& Yann Tiersen plays ‘Comptine D’un Autre Été: L’après Midi’ from Amélie on 6 iPhones (via @amandapalmer)

& Diagram of geek culture (via @Slate)

& The decade of dirty design (via Design Observer)

[Image: splorp]