:: Buzzwords Archive: December 2010. Click here for the latest posts.

We Oppose All Rock’n'Roll (published 15/12/2010)

Jon Savage commenting on the first video: Vic Godard‘s band live at Sussex University in May, 1977. Great footage of hermetic band with fantastic clothes, haircuts and guitar posture”. A later incarnation of Subway Sect appeared at 3:AM‘s first event in 2003.

The Missing Links (published )

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The siege of Sidney Street. * Samuel Beckett‘s 1965 Film, starring Buster Keaton. * Spectral Beckett. * John Robb interviews Johnny Marr. * The good thing about stealing books, according to Roberto Bolaño. * Stuart Evers reviews Gabriel Josipovici‘s Heart’s Wings & Other Stories. * Ben Myers on Darby Crash. * Artists, writers and depression. * A forgotten Roald Dahl story resurfaces on eBay. * Argos catalogue, 1985. * Zoë Street Howe on Cage against the Machine. * William Burroughs‘s “The Junky’s Christmas”. * The Trainspotting sequel. * Part two of Mick Middles‘s punk diary. * Revisiting A Christmas Carol. * John Waters’ guide to Chistmas. John Waters is also interviewed in Nude Magazine. * The Book of Genesis. * Aubrey Beardsley. * The return of Adam Ant. * Typewriter art. * Le geek c’est chic. * Trailer for the Master and Margarita animation film. * Michael Norris on Proust. * David Cameron asked about The Smiths in the House of Commons. * Jon Savage on “The Queen is Dead“. * Are smartphones becoming extensions of our brains? * Marky Ramone pasta sauce. * Jamaican airport named after Ian Fleming. * Radical architecture zines of the 60s and 70s. * Edward Albee interviewed. * Vice‘s fiction issue 2010. * Surreal babies. * Molly Parkin at the Polari literary salon. * Is Lewes the most middle-class town in Britain? * Free State. * Joe Strummer‘s Christmas cards. * A review of Albert Cossery‘s The Jokers. * The Anti-University of London, 1968. * Photos of the 1981 Brixton Riots. * Bill Drummond‘s $20,000 on the TLS‘s end of year faves list. * Huw Nesbitt on the student protests. * On The Book of Genesis. * Bill Ectric discusses Steve Aylett, whose Smithereens collection is out now. Live review here. * Maud Newton: a year in reading. * Merry Christmas to you all!

The Anti-University, London 1968 (published )

Via Peter Watts, a news clip of The Anti-University which was opened in February 1968 at 49 Rivington Street, Shoreditch by David Cooper and Alan Krebs, and featured Cornelius Cardew, CLR James, Robin Blackburn, Bob Cobbing, RD Laing, Yoko Ono, Jeff Nuttall, John Latham and Alexander Trocchi as lecturers.

3:AM Cult Hero: R. Crumb (published 13/12/2010)

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(R. Crumb. Self-portrait. 1986.)


“I felt so painfully isolated that I vowed I would get revenge on the world by becoming a famous cartoonist.”

Robert Crumb did indeed became a famous cartoonist. He became famous and influential enough that his work has been exhibited in art galleries and influenced a generation of artists after him.

Crumb was born in 1943 in Philadelphia. His older brother Charles had an obsession with making comics. Robert credits this for his own devotion to art. Charles was also an artist, but was emotionally and psychologically troubled, eventually killing himself in 1992. Charles’ work received interest after the release of Terry Zwigoff‘s documentary Crumb.

Robert started his career at a Cleveland greeting card company, while drawing alternative comics (later styled “comix”) on the side. During this time, he befriended Harvey Pekar, who shared his love of 1920s jazz. Through Crumb, Pekar discovered the dramatic possibilities of comics, and the first several issues of Pekar’s comic autobiography American Splendor were drawn by Crumb.

Starting in 1965, Crumb began drawing Fritz the Cat for Help! and Cavalier. Fritz was like Crumb, except he had many sexual escapades that Crumb could only dream about. Ralph Bakshi made an animated film in 1972 based on the character – the first and only animated film to get an X rating.

Crumb eventually married and moved to Haight-Asbury when the hippie scene was at its peak. He started the legendary Zap Comix in 1968. The first issue introduced his character Mr. Natural and the famous Keep on Truckin’ – a reference to a 1920s dance move.


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Crumb was pigeonholed by critics early on as having a fixation with the female form – many of his drawings were sexual fantasies and he has been criticized as being sexist in his depictions of many of them. As time moved on, his women were less sexually exaggerated.

Terry Zwigoff’s documentary Crumb came out in 1994. It focused on Robert and his brothers Charles and Maxon. It was hailed as one of the best documentaries of the last 25 years. It was not nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and the furor that resulted – along with the snubbing of another acclaimed documentary that year Hoop Dreams – caused the Academy to change its documentary nomination process.

Most of Crumb’s recent work can be found in the pages of either The New Yorker or Mineshaft Magazine. The latter has reprinted works of the late Charles Bukowski, whom Crumb collaborated with in the early 1980s.

MORE: Official site / Crumb Museum / Mineshaft Magazine / Paris Review: R. Crumb, the Art of Comics no. 1. Interviewed by Ted Widmer. Summer 2010 / Conversation with Francoise Mouly / G2 in Crumbland / “No Girls Allowed! Crumb and the Comix Counterculture” / “R. Crumb” Salon, May 2000 / Comic-Art.com biography

The Missing Links (published 12/12/2010)

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Nine films by and about John Cage. * John Cage‘s “Lecture on Nothing” (audio). * Cage against the machine! * The rehearsals for Glenn Branca‘s Symphony N°15. * Why do we hate modern classical music? * Paul Morley vs Alex Ross. * The 34th anniversary of the Sex Pistols on the Today programme. * A farewell to Malcolm McLaren. * Roger Ebert‘s screenplay for Who Killed Bambi?. More here. * The forthcoming Europunk exhibition. * In search of lost Paris. * London‘s lost River Fleet. * Gustave Doré‘s London. * Thoughts on Geoff Dyer. * The philosophy of David Foster Wallace. * Infinite Jest diagram. * “Blitzkrieg Bop” deconstructed. More here. * Downtown 81. * Bad Writing (film). * Only boring people are bored: The Indy on Sunday on Boring 2010. * Figment, an online community for teenage scribes. * An exhibition of Ambit covers. * New communities of the digital age. * The future of Facebook. * An interview with William Gibson. * Jez Butterworth to write the script for a London Calling biopic with Mick Jones and Paul Simonon as executive producers. * All creative work is derivative. * Were The Smiths “classic conservatives”? * Johnny Marr vs David Cameron. * A BBC radio interview with Nabokov from 1969. * David Lynch interviewed in Dazed Digital. * James Naughtie‘s naughty slip of the tongue. * Dedalus Books saved by fairy godmothers. * Poly Styrene returns with “Black Christmas”. More here. * Viv Albertine‘s Christmas single. * The Telegraph‘s books of the year, including Tom McCarthy‘s C. * Gabriel Josipovici‘s books of the year in the TLS. * Harold Pinter‘s radio plays. * Poems by Kevin Sampsell, Lydia Davis and others in fanzine. * Spanish woman claims ownership of the sun. * The 10 best illustrated children’s books. * Shanghai Expo. * Leslie Nielsen RIP. * Clarice Lispector‘s “The Smallest Woman in the World,” translated by Elizabeth Bishop. * Mark Morrisoe’s pictures from the 80s. * David Lynch releases single. * Peter Christopherson: The Indie‘s obit. * Iain Sinclair on his French influences: “Is there a Paris-based book in the pipeline? Sinclair remains noncommittal. But he does note that there was a metro station at the end of line 8 that shares the name of his mentor: Balard. The topic for a new book perhaps?” * Ronald Reagan and James Dean, 1954. * Hardboiled America: Lurid Paperbacks and the Masters of Noir. * Two reports on the California Steampunk Convention. * A steampunk record player. * Stephen Morris (Joy Division/New Order)’s favourite albums. * Frankenstein draft goes on display. * The original film version of Frankenstein (1910). * Guy Debord‘s The Society of the Spectacle — The Movie (1973). * Jonathan Franzen interviewed in the Paris Review. * Faulkner interviewed in the Paris Review. * Don Delillo. * On Heinrich Böll. * Soho on celluloid. * Classical “Rock Lobster”. * Used Furniture Review. * The Stones on Ready, Steady, Go in 1966. * Larkin poem found in shoebox. * Real-life Tintin dies aged 98. * Launch of Google eBooks. * The Jesus and Mary Chain family tree. (Their new compilation is reviewed here.) * The Snark Handbook. * The rise of literary animation. * The New York Times‘s 100 notable books of the year. And their 10 best. * Gerry Feehily on Iain Sinclair (audio). * Will Self interviewed on Sky Arts. * Shooting The xx. * 16 drinks named after authors. * The Whisky A Go Go before a New York Dolls gig in 1973. * Alix Cleo Roubaud‘s Journal reviewed by Lauren Elkin. * Jim Carroll reading from The Basketball Diaries. * An extract from Zoë Howe‘s Typical Girls: The Story of the Slits. * The Museum of Unnatural History. * Michael Wood on Finnegans Wake. * Anna Suma‘s punk photographs. More here. * The year’s best outsider fiction. * Saucy Christmas cards. * Gerry Feehily at France Cul. * A fry-up with Kerouac. * Not so groovy British ads from the 60s. * Scootermania. * Mod on the cheap. * David Bowie: the lost Beeb tapes. * Deconstructing “Suffragette City” and “Moonage Daydream”. * On Fernando Pessoa‘s heteronyms. * 10 authors and the directors who were born to adapt them. * 100 least influential bands of all time. * A Jean-Luc Godard typeface. * End times. * The old writer. * Iceland’s creative revolution. * Tales for Little Rebels. * The future of literary journals. * A rock’n'roll map of Manhattan. * A book lover’s San Francisco. * Patti Smith and Jonathan Lethem in conversation. * A short extract from Maurice Blanchot‘s Death Sentence. * A Phil Spector reader. * Williamsburg fights gentrification. * So you want to write a novel? * Beckett plays on film. * Eduard Limonov interviewed. * Jon Savage‘s non-canonical pop ten (includes The Adverts and Subway Sect). * Mick Rock interviewed. * Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin up for sale. * What it’s like to win the Bad Sex in Fiction Award. * Santacon. * Ben Myers on Nature Tales. * Remembering JD Salinger. * Michael Moorcock on J. G. Ballard. * Photos of Tokyo commuters. * Giacometti, 1965.

[Artwork by the extraordinary Susu Laroche. ]