:: Buzzwords Archive: August 2012. Click here for the latest posts.

Stanley – Animals with Amazing Disguises (published 16/08/2012)

This is Stanley’s first album and obviously these guys have been listening heavily to Neil Hannon’s The Divine Comedy. As far as as overwhelming influences go, they could have chosen worse (disclosure: we’re big fans of Hannon). Inevitably one is tempted to compare them to the original, so to speak, and Stanley have nothing to blush about.

This is a good record in the cheeky melodramatic orchestral pop vein (think the Decemberists and… well The Divine Comedy). The Aberdeen band might have to differentiate themselves a bit more from Hannon (even the lead singer’s voice sounds, let’s say, like a pointed tribute) in the future, and ‘Moneys and Friends’ on the album is a move in this direction, with more of electronic vibe than the rest, or even the more aggressive rock and roll of ‘Dance like your Daddy’. Regardless of the direction they take in the future, this particular stage is a success and we’ll be keeping an eye on them.

More of Stanely, including live tracks, here: http://soundcloud.com/stanley-aberdeen.

Stanley - Animals with Amazing Disguises

3:AM Cult Hero: Miquel Bauçà (published )

In her introduction to The Siege in the Room translator Martha Tennent writes: “Critics placed his work in the line of European experimental writers such as Robert Walser, Dino Buzzati, and Franz Kafka (though he could equally have been compared to Thomas Bernhard for his unapologetically obsessive vitriol)..” So why haven’t we heard of Catalan poet and experimental prose writer Miquel Bauçà? For one, his ‘unapologetically obsessive vitriol’ – he has been accused of misogyny, homophobia and racism. That, and a self-imposed literary exile (an ‘apartment hermit’, he lived in a bookless apartment with a writing desk that lined an entire room) has meant that his reputation as a kook has overshadowed the writing. Yet in his own lifetime (Bauçà died in 2005) he wouldn’t have it any other way, going so far as refuse literary prizes (for Carrer Marsala) and advocating that all writers should lead furtive lives. And what of the work? His prose, as Tennent puts it, strikes a ‘delicate balance between madness and the quotidian drudgery necessary for survival.’ She continues: “His stylistic innovations, his corrosive humor, his fantastic depiction of disturbed minds in claustrophobic worlds, and his refusal to offer his readers an easy ride make him a preeminently original writer.”

Further: Author’s page at Dalkey Archive Press / spotlight on Bauçà in Transcript / biography on Association of Catalan Language Writers (AELC) / documentary, Miquel Bauçà, poeta invisible.

The Missing Links (published 12/08/2012)

Modern architecture’s dark side. * Abandoned train stations. * Faded outlines of phantom Manhattan buildings. * London’s streets of love & anarchy, Will Self takes a short stroll through the city. * Laura Oldfield Ford on London’s spaces lost to the Olympics. * Kapoor & Balmond’s Orbit captures the spirit of its time & place as much as Eiffel or Tatlin’s designs. * London’s top brutalist buildings. * Walking tour of London’s literary pubs. * Path to enlightenment, how walking inspires writers. * Christoph Simon‘s New York short stories. * Iosi Havilio interviewed. * Paulo Coelho is harmful to literature. * What makes a book ‘difficult’? * Beck‘s new ‘album’ Song Reader, twenty songs that exist only as individual pieces of sheet music. * Three Percent on the paradoxes of publishing. * Reassessing Richard Brautigan. * Re-thinking “non-retinal” literature. * Kevin Williamson on the Man Booker Prize & 44 years of institutionalised anti-Scottish racism. * The wisdom of not being too rational. * Ten London novels. * Literary ink, authors & their tattoos. * Flavorwire have a nice discussion of the future of American fiction going: Grace Krilanovich, Antoine Wilson. * Hipsters at the Louvre. * If hip-hop lyrics were book blurbs. * Shane Jones interviewed. * Ned Beauman on his “historical novel for people that detest the genre”. * Friend of 3:AM Tom Bradley interviewed by HTMLGIANT. * Secret London, dealing with the counterculture at Maggs. * Patti Smith‘s early poetry readings & rock shows. * Dr. Julius Neubronner’s miniature pigeon cameras. * Artists create giant portraits on live grass. * Desearch journal, “engagement with emergent ideas & undercurrents of radical thought.” * Everything is fiction, brilliant piece by Keith Ridgway on writing. * The literary life of Gerald Murnane. * aMAZEme labyrinth, the shape of Borges’ fingerprint, made from 250,000 books. * Against enthusiasm, Jacob Silverman on the epidemic of niceness in online book culture. * Notes from the underground, Guernica interview radical bookstore owner Sean Stewart. * “A classic Russian genre…bitter dark comedy depicting the absurdity of oppression.” Pussy Riot on trial (more here & there).

Up Yours Too Guillaume Apollinaire (published )

A very short B.S. Johnson film (via Juliet Jacques).