:: Buzzwords

23/05/16: 3:AM Asia: Up Yours! Tokyo Punk & Japanarchy Today


Red Gallery
3 Rivington Street
London EC2A 3DT

August 18-28

A photography exhibition documenting the five years Chris Low spent immersed in Tokyo’s underground punk scene: its faces and places, bands and fans.

Having played for a number of punk bands popular in Japan Chris was welcomed into the thriving Tokyo punk community and was accorded access to a scene he found to be the most exciting and vibrant of any punk movement he’s ever encountered. It’s a culture that exists and flourishes in the face of traditionally conservative Japanese society. Most impressive of all, perhaps, is that to facilitate this dynamic movement a whole infrastructure of gigs, parties, shops and bars have emerged in accordance with punk’s original DIY ethic: Run by Punks, For Punks

The reference points of Japanese punk are similar to those reflected in Western punk styles – the UK82 mohicans and studded jackets; the biker-traveller hybrid of the crust tribe or the utilitarian black of the anarcho-punks. However, like much in Japanese culture both the look and the music are pushed to extremes.

Today’s Japanese punks wear their influences proudly painted on their studded leather sleeves. In Japan entire subgenres of punk have emerged and mutated like D-Beat forged from Discharge’s “Noise Not Music” ethos or the recent wave of “Young, Loud, Pissed & Proud” Pogo Punk bands.

It’s a scene that despite Japanese punk’s reverence within the punk community worldwide and the legendary status of such acts as The Stalin, GISM, Gauze, Confuse, Kuro, LSD, Crow or Disclose remains largely undocumented.

These photos tell the stories and evolution of their subjects caught in the camera lens. The spiked hair grows higher whilst the favourite bands du jour replace others in the fight for space with increasingly studded jackets.  Bands initially only attracting a handful of friends to their shows later pack out clubs. A fresh-faced punk girl in the front row of one of her first gigs is five years on  the singer in one of the most popular acts. A baby is held in the crowd by it’s mother, unflinching amongst the pogoing throng. A singer crowd-surfs and is carried aloft by the crowd, following his guitarist who has just been deposited at the back of the hall to continue playing.

05/05/16: The Big Day

claire-louise bennett

Claire-Louise Bennett, author of the extraordinary Pond, in Paris yesterday, following her appearance at Shakespeare and Company in conversation with Lauren Elkin.

: Andy Blade / Prince Albert, Brighton

By Nick Ashton.


Whilst most of Andy Blade’s peers have disappeared up their own backsides by now, he continues to defy expectation, releasing music that is far more edgy and vital than anything Morrissey/Lydon/Weller/Jones/Strummer et al, have ever produced. Blade’s command over an audience — large or small (as is the case tonight) — comes with a consummate professional ease, a craft honed over many years of live performance, often sharing the stage with those we now refer to as rock legends, yet somehow Blade has fallen through the cracks. His in-between-song raps, which are now just as much part of his set as the songs, command full attention. A very sharp, very dry wit indeed: even the likes of Oscar Wilde would have struggled to keep up with Mr Blade. Catch him on tour this year, I guarantee you shall be entertained.

03/05/16: Book Launch: Pierre Guyotat: Revolutions & Aberrations by Stephen Barber


27 May 2016
6:00 pm | Studio | ICA
Pierre Guyotat has been a unique figure in art and writing over the past 50 years, inspiring innumerable artists, film-makers, writers and choreographers. Foucault, Pasolini, Genet, Barthes, Derrida and many others lauded his work in the 1960s and 70s, and protested against its governmental censorship in France. Foucault wrote of Guyotat’s book Eden, Eden, Eden that he had created “a language of startling innovation. I have never read anything like it in any stream of literature. No-one has ever spoken as he speaks here.” Guyotat’s recent and contemporary work, such as Coma, remains as seminal as ever.

In this launch event for Stephen Barber’s book on Guyotat’s work, Revolutions and Aberrations — based on dialogues with Guyotat over a period of twenty years, and the first book in English on his work — he and Paul Buck discuss Guyotat’s work in its depth of experimentation and its capacity to provoke extreme outrage. The event includes screenings of film documents such as that of Guyotat’s appearance at the ICA in 1995, along with readings of translations from his work.

Stephen Barber is a professor at Kingston University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture; his recent books include England’s Darkness (2014) and Performance Projections (2015).

Paul Buck—poet, novelist and performance artis — is the co-editor of Cabinet Gallery’s Vauxhall & Company publications.

22/04/16: The Removals


The Removals, the directorial debut of 3:AM contributor Nicholas Rombes (author of the brilliant novel, The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing), premieres on May 4.

The movie, which tracks two agents as they try to undermine and escape the ideological confines of total media, was produced by the book publisher Two Dollar Radio. It’s part of their new venture to create films with bold visions independently and outside the traditional channels of finance, capital, and marketing.

Read Andrew Gallix’s in-depth interview with Nicholas Rombes here.

: From Sleepwalking to Sleepwalking


Bertie Marshall‘s new novella, From Sleepwalking to Sleepwalking, is now available. It is part of Publication Studio’s Fellow Travelers series, which “extends the pioneering work of Paris-based Olympia Press’s Traveller’s Companion series of the 1950s and 60s” by presenting new works that have been “effectively ‘censored’ by the market”. You’ll find pictures from the launch here.

: The Missing Links


Joanna Demers on drone music. * Esmé Weijun Wang: “In deciding to keep certain parts of my book in untranslated Chinese, I was making a commitment to including some readers and likely excluding most others; I was also making a commitment to the possibility of being unintelligible”. * Can an unfinished work of art be considered complete? * An evening for Tony Conrad. * Rachel Cusk on the suspension of disbelief. * Climbing Mount Sontag. * “That we no longer believe in the exalted status of Literature frees the writer to ‘believe in writing’ anew.” * Walking in unquiet landscapes. * Alex Pheby at Shakespeare and Company (audio). * Hans-Ulrich Obrist on curating (video). * Lara Feigel and Jon Day on writing the city (audio). * Jonathan Meades: “I hate the idea of experimental cookery, but I like the idea of experimental literature. I think the novel should be novel, rather than this institutionalised form which has developed, within which very few people seem prepared to break the mould”. * Jonathan Meades again: “I have no idea what that new photography will be but I am sure that if we have an end in mind when we begin we’ll simply return to where we were”. * Dustin Illingworth on the suicide note as literary genre. * Justine Frischmann — the painter. * Translating Knausgaard. * Knausgaard on writerly staying power. * Maggie Nelson at NYPL (video).

[Artwork: Susana Blasco.]

16/04/16: The Missing Links


Becoming Marianne Moore: * John Berryman: a poet of deep unease. * Stéphane Mallarmé‘s terrorism of politeness. * Tony Conrad RIP. * Tony Conrad: “For one piece, he cooked celluloid in a pan and ‘projected’ the film by hurling the contents at a wall. It still wasn’t far enough”. * Tony Conrad obit in frieze. * 3:AM‘s K. Thomas Kahn in Black Sun Lit. * Darran Anderson interviewed. * Olivia Laign on British conceptual art. * Susan Tomaselli and Joanna Walsh on Rob Doyle. * 3:AM‘s Joanna Walsh on autofiction, and her work, in the Irish Times. * Joanna Walsh on The Argonauts. * On Maggie Nelson‘s The Red Parts. * Samuel Beckett in Paris. * Unseen pictures of the Sex Pistols at the Nashville, April 1976. * 3:AM‘s Mark de Silva interviewed: “I hope a book like mine will strike someone as violating a lot of common sense ideas about literature. I know it will. It violates my common sense about literature, and I wrote it. I had to follow my intuitions to this strange place”. * Futurist music. * Julian Barnes on the late Anita Brookner: “She was, in her deepest self, a stoic. And she took that stoicism to the level of nobility. She would probably be appalled by that statement; but many who knew her would agree with me”. * Christine Brooke-Rose was a scream. * The Mina Loy mysteries. * Nicholas Lezard on Fredric Jameson: “there’s a playfulness at work when the literary sensibility bumps into the image, like a bring-your-toys-to-school day”. * On Daniil Kharms (audio). * Helen Mirren‘s orange rubber gloves. * Who do you think you are? Dan Fox (audio). * Ben Lerner on The Lichtenberg Figures. * Umberto Eco R.I.P. *  The making and myths of Joseph Beuys. * Tom Overton on John Berger. * On The Seasons in Quicy: Four Portraits of John Berger. * JG Ballard‘s unlimited dreams. * Cerys Matthews talks to Olivia Laing (audio). * Hilma af Klint: “was she a quirky outsider, or was she Europe’s first abstract painter, central to the history of abstract art?”Bob Last. * Celebrating Saul Leiter. * Three London Saul Leiter exhibitions reviewed. *  Anna Karina on Godard. * Jon Day reviews Owen Hatherley‘s The Minstry of Austerity. * Adam Mars-Jones on Max Porter‘s Grief is the Thing with Feathers: “Death translated into a body of words is no longer death”. * Joanna Walsh on Hotel, Vertigo, and Grow a Pair (podcast). * Marina Benjamin reviews Joanna Walsh‘s Hotel: “Hotels stand in for an unease with home”. * Marina Benjamin on turning 50: “At 50 I will quite literally be over the hill; ahead of me, the incline runs downwards. And it doesn’t end well”. * Darran Anderson interviewed by Karl Whitney: “I think the end of the world would be quite a sight if you had a nice view and a decent whiskey”. * Knausgaard after My Struggle: “I’m interested in the idea of looking at things without hierarchy, in the world as it is before we start categorizing it”. * Why Knausgaard can’t stop writing. * Vice mets Knausgaard (video). * Will Self on JG Ballard. * Will Self, urban explorer. * Will Self and Gregor Hens discuss nicotine (video). * Will Self on David Bowie: “Like the quick-change vaudevillians, Lennon, Bowie and their successors (one thinks of Morrissey) wrote mythopoeic songs that implied the existence of entire cultural realms — ones that were obscure and yet tantalisingly familiar, inhabited as they were by the likes of Sergeant Pepper, Aleister Crowley and the Bewlay brothers. It was in these alternative worlds, spun into existence from riffs and melodies and hook-lines, that Ziggy Stardust struck attitudes, the Jean Genie slinked about, and the Spiders from Mars cavorted — and it was around these worlds that Major Tom orbited, awaiting his rendezvous with the Star Man. […] [H]ow strange it is to be living through the period when these great artists are dying — Bowie and his peers were avatars of the ephemeral, whose art was conjured out of the sexually frustrated gyrations of teenagers, but over the decades both they and it grew and matured into a sort of classicism. All of which is by way of saying: we won’t see his like again”. * Simon Critchley on David Bowie: “The word ‘nothing’ peppers and punctuates Bowie’s entire body of work, from the ‘hold on to nothing’ of ‘After All,’ from ‘The Man Who Sold the World,’ through the scintillating, dystopian visions of ‘Diamond Dogs’ and the refrain ‘We’re nothing and nothing can help us,’ from ‘Heroes’ and onward all the way to ‘Blackstar.’ One could base an entire and pretty coherent interpretation of Bowie’s work simply by focusing on that one word, nothing, and tracking its valences through so many of his songs. Nothing is everywhere in Bowie“. More here (audio). * Michael Bracewell on David Bowie: “And then in 2013, when ‘Where Are We Now?’ — so simple, yet one of the most beautiful and complex love songs ever written — arrived out of nowhere; and suddenly feeling this ancient, keening tug from the music and the voice, back to something inside me that meant something of enormous importance”. * Brian Dillon on David Bowie. * Hari Kunzru on David Bowie. * Michael Bracewell on David Bowie. * Tony Visconti on 40 years of Bowie (recorded before his death; podcast). * Bowie, song by song. * Glam rock (audio). * Ruin porn (audio). * Belgrade nightlife in the 80s. *

08/04/16: 3:AM and the Panama Papers


3:AM wrote about David Cameron’s father four years ago, here.

“… David Cameron asked taxpayers to pay over £21,000 for a second constituency home after taking out a taxpayer funded £350,000 mortgage in Oxfordshire whilst paying off the full £75,000 mortgage on his £1.5 million spread in North Kensington. This millionaire Prime Minister and leader of the Tory/Whig alliance comes from a very rich family and inherited his wealth. He supplemented his fortune by marrying a millionaire. Was he cheating when he asked people poorer than him for £21,000? A mystic says: ‘to burn the bones of the King of Edom for lime seems no irrational ferity, but to drink of the ashes of dead relatives seems a primative wrong.’ It is a salvo requiring the analysis of fire rather than the compounding of sun. This is written as a subsidence in fire’s coal, calx and ash…

… Ian Cameron established an offshore fund in the tax haven of Panama called Blairmore Holdings in 1982. It is worth £25million today. Ian Cameron set it up ‘to provide investors with steady long-term capital growth over and above the global rate of inflation… The affairs of the fund should be managed and conducted so that it does not become resident in the United kingdom for UK tax purposes.’ Ian Cameron was involved in several operations like this: Blairmore Asset management in Geneva, Close International in Jersey alongside Blairmore Holdings.

David Cameron’s wife is an Astor. Her stepfather Viscount Astor is worth £130 million. Her mother is Annabel Lucy Veronica Astor, the CEO of OKA Direct…”

07/04/16: All That Fall by Samuel Beckett


Transferring to the West End for five weeks
13 April to 14 May, Arts Theatre | Tickets £34 – £10

Max Stafford-Clark’s “ingenious, evocative” production of Beckett’s radio play transfers to the West End following sell-out performances at Wilton’s Music Hall.

In theatre company Out of Joint’s ground-breaking production, theatre-goers wear blindfolds, and actors roam about the auditorium, enhanced by a 360º sound design.

★ ★ ★ ★ “Beckett’s best play” The Guardian
★ ★ ★ ★ “An ingenious, evocative staging” Financial Times
★ ★ ★ ★ “An experience to cherish” The Times

By turns funny, chilling and moving, All That Fall is one of Beckett’s most naturalistic plays, inspired by boyhood memories of Ireland. It is a play about faltering journeys: an old woman sets out to greet her husband at the station on his birthday, only for this small act of love to take an epic and unsettling turn.

Don’t miss Tony Award-winner Bríd Brennan’s much-praised performance as one of Beckett’s most memorable characters: the funny, crotchety and self-pitying Maddy Rooney. Joining the terrific cast will be Adrian Dunbar (currently starring in The Line of Duty), taking on the role of Maddy’s blind, enigmatic husband.

Tickets start at £10 – and the best seats are just £34 for the full close-up, immersive experience.