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by Andrew Gallix



Novelist Nicholas Blincoe is the latest addition to Leaving the 21st Century, 3AM's mini-festival, which will take place this Saturday between 6pm and 11pm. This means that both editors of the New Puritans anthology will be there!


We also did a bit of promo at Maggie Fortune Presents in Whitechapel. Excellent readings by, among others, Charlotte Cooper (pix 1 and 2) and the eponymous Maggie Fortune. Blinding music too. Definitely one to check out if/when you're in London.

HOXTON TWATS 07/23/2003

Flyposting in Hoxton yesterday to advertise 3AM's Leaving the 21st Century gig on Saturday. Pix: the headquarters of the Stuckist movement, a 3AM flyer, cool murals at The Vibe bar (Brick Lane, Shoreditch).

3AM TOP 5 07/21/2003

LA émigrés Young People have recorded a John Peel session which airs tomorrow. The band are currently listening to:
  1. "LA Woman" -- The Doors
  2. "Lightning Girl" -- Nancy and Lee
  3. "I Told Jesus" -- Roberta Flack
  4. "Pardon My Heart" -- Neil Young
  5. "Thunder Road" -- Bruce Springsteen

MY LIFE IN 3AM 07/21/2003

Check out "Spartacus" (especially you, Emilie!) by the great Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal. Another classic short story by Almond ("Anthony's Girl") will be posted shortly.


Sarah, my little sister, turns 21!


Two pictures: the infamous Millenium Dome and Ken Livingstone (bloke on the right), the current Mayor of London, at the Respect Festival.


I'm not a huge fan, but Public Enemy certainly went down a storm. (Webmaster's note: Some of us love Public Enemy!)



A few pictures from yesterday's Respect Festival, London's anti-racist and multicultural festival, organised by the Greater London Authority.


3AM's Leaving the 21st Century mini-festival keeps getting better! The latest additions to the line-up are pop terrorist Luke Haines and celebrated novelist Marina Warner. Be there or be square!


Yesterday, several members of the 3AM contingent gatecrashed the launch party for the Sniffin' Glue compilation album inspired by Mark Perry's legendary fanzine. The party took place at the Notting Hill Arts Club and was followed by the customary Death Disco shenanigans - boss rock vibes, snogging, blonde sex kittens and the odd smug-looking twat sporting a Joe Orton/beatnik cap.


Top Scottish publisher Canongate are bigging up our interview with Dan Rhodes: "'I've signed more gagging orders than Tom Cruise's butler': 3AM Magazine's Andrew Gallix talks to Dan Rhodes about falling out with the London literati, falling in love with The Smiths and what drew him to writing. This interview is reproduced courtesy of the wonderful 3AM Magazine. For intelligent comment on books, music, politics from outside of the London/New York publishing behemoth, do check out 3AM." Here's a short extract from the interview: "Far too many books are written by writers who are writing because they are writers and that's what writers do. So many new books seem to be sloppy and half-arsed, and as a reader I find that deeply offensive. How dare they waste hours of my life with their ill-executed pap? I've been psychotically devoted to my books, and yes -- I'm borderline petrified by the thought of returning to that level of commitment. It's just too weird."


Great pictures of Adam and the Ants. The third Exit festival in Novi Sad (Serbia and Montenegro). Flash mobs: they're all the rage. Venice Biennale diary. Remember Tiswas on the telly? Yes, Sally James did look great in baked beans, didn't she? Toby Litt on Nadine Gordimer's Loot and Other Stories. John Carney reviews the New York Noise compilation. (3AM model: Egyptian Girl aka Emilie Pierrard.)


Two great additions to the line-up of 3AM's summer extravaganza on 26 July at the Horse Hospital: art critic Matthew Collings and novelist Preethi Nair.


Save for a little remixing, the new July Skies album is ready. If all goes according to plan, it should be released by Rocket Girl some time in the autumn. As its title suggests, The English Cold will be "a bit of a darker departure" from the classic "carefree" debut, Dreaming of Spires. Antony Harding told 3AM that "the darkness is due to the subject matter: English WWII airfields, lost airmen, the mighty 8th, the contrast between the English countryside's beauty and the dark airfield activities, the cold grey English skies and constant rain… The music definitely has a certain sadness when I listen to it now. While recording tracks for the album with Ben and Rob from epic45, we spent a fair bit of time walking the local old abandoned WWII airfield at Wheaton Aston at dusk, watching the skies and nightfall, exploring the old structures". Look out for two July Skies tracks on the forthcoming MakeMineMusic CD compilation Flow which will be out later in the year.


Novelist Toby Litt will be editing the next New Writing anthology with Monica Ali. Steve Aylett will be selling his new CD, Staring is its Own Reward, at 3AM's summer party on 26 July. Carl Swanson in Nerve on the state of male bisexuality. Graham Swift interviewed in Identitytheory. Adam Kirsch in Slate explains why writers hate L.A.: "Los Angeles is a powerhouse of American and even world culture. (Nathanael) West's 'dream dump' is really a dream depot, supplying every city from Tokyo to London with its indelible images. In fact, that may be the very reason literary visitors since Huxley have taken such joy in imagining the city's destruction: Hollywood is the capital of post-literate culture, the place where writers were first transformed from unacknowledged legislators to 'content providers.' No wonder that, as Mike Davis wrote in The Ecology of Fear, 'at least 138 novels and films since 1909' have dealt with the destruction of the city by fire, flood, earthquake, nuclear holocaust, or alien invasion. Apocalypse is the writer's best revenge." The Complete Review has just posted a review of China Mieville's King Rat. More summer reads, this time from the Village Voice. Take a gander at the new Trafalgar Square in London. Can you spot Laurence Rémila at any of these Parisian parties? Men set to outlive women. Check out Jami Attenberg's website then buy her book, Deli Life. The future of the Net is the grid -- apparently.


3am's poetry editor Kimberly Nichols has lost dozens of poetry submissions due to a computer meltdown. Please resubmit your work here.


"I hate totally fucked-up people because they are boring in bed and out, they are all fixated, and nothing is as boring as fixation, in bed or out. . . . On the other hand, totally unfucked-up people are also boring. They do not know the meaning of danger, but everything that is exciting is somehow dangerous (not the other way around, by the way). They think that the world is by and large and broadly arranged for their benefit, their ambitions are so modest that they are almost bound to be fulfilled, they can buy bungalows beside Dioxin plants and snore the pelmeted sleep of the terminally content. No, give me people who are slightly fucked up any day, people who are just fucked up enough to show they can see all the crap about, but not so fucked up that they are stuck in it, like rabbits in headlights. Give me real people." -- James Hawes, A White Merc With Fins (1996).


The mighty Steven Wells, who will be appearing at 3AM's summer bash later this month, launches a typically scathing attack on Tim Henman: ". . . Right, first off he's not going to win. He's got a wonky shoulder, a mediocre serve and the cojones of a gnat. But secondly -- and far more importantly -- he's called Tim. And nobody called Tim has ever won anything. . . . Put it this way, if Tim Churchill had been prime minister during the Battle of Britain then today our national dish would be bratwurst mit sauerkraut. With no pudding. And while we're on the subject of nomenclature -- what sort of surname is 'Henman' anyway? It's a damn sight too close to 'Ladyboy' for my liking. Now I want to try desperately hard to avoid a personal attack on poor old Tim. So I'll not mock that pathetic little air-punch he does. . . . So no comments about Tim being Harry Potter in sexy white shorts then. Nothing about him resembling a semi-shaved Rupert Bear. And nothing about him being Hugh Grant sans the testosterone either. In fact the phrase 'wimpy home-counties mummy's boy loser' will not pass these tip-tapping fingers, honest. Because -- as Tony Hawks pointed out (in our savage, no-holds barred, heated debate) Tim 'can't help being middle class'. How true. But he could make an effort, couldn't he? A bit? Like Mick Jagger did? And Damon out of Blur? And maybe spit a bit? Or up the ante on old Greg by dropping the occasional c-word into his conversations with the umpire? But then he wouldn't be Tim, would he? Because Tim is middle class. . . . Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah. Tim's NOT going to win. But if he does it's going to be a DISASTER for British tennis. Look, face facts, British tennis is crap. It's a sporting Chernobyl. It's a smug, sterile, mono-cultural, quasi-fascist, casually racist, elitist, snob-ridden, blazer-buggered, apartheid-crippled disaster area. It makes golf look like the Notting Hill carnival. . . . Like you, I was appalled the facts catalogued in Martin Jaques' brilliant Guardian article about racism in tennis. . . . So IF Tim Henman wins Wimbledon -- what sort of message would that send to those who want to keep tennis nice, middle class and white? It would mean that the pressure for tennis to change -- to become both multi-cultural and truly inclusive -- would slacken. . . . I suggest that we all do our bit by gatecrashing Tim's forthcoming games waving banners that read 'More Cable Streets -- fewer Dunkirks, please.' That'll confuse 'em."


Summer is a time for memories, according to Alain de Botton in the Observer: "The last time I even vaguely did summer justice was at university. I had a bike, there were fields, I could take whole days off to do things that no tutor would recognise as productive. Girls played a privileged role in my university ideas of a happy summer. For a certain kind of male, there can only be a Pavlovian response to the idea of the English female in summer: delicate white skin, freckles, cropped T-shirts, light cotton dresses with trainers - enough to persuade even the inconsolable that life might be worth enduring. . . . But ever since graduating, and moving to London, summer has become more about memories than promises. The season is enjoyed only as brief moments in the city: coming out of the tube on a summer evening and seeing a huge orange moon, having a sandwich on the terrace, taking my shoes off in the park. Summer is remembered and evoked, but it is no longer created or defined. Which isn't to say that it goes by unappreciated. What makes summer in Britain so particularly touching is its fragility and brevity; it's a haunting reminder of an elusive state of continuous happiness that almost naturally, and no doubt erroneously, gets located somewhere in the past." (Read our interview with Alain de Botton.)


There's an interview with Toby Young in Gawker. New editions of Stirring, taint, Pif and Linnaean Street. Playwright David Hare has penned an excellent article about US foreign policy. Doris Lessing on Virginia Woolf's recently-discovered 1909 notebook. Yet another article about chick-lit, this time in Book Magazine. Neal Pollack interviewed by CNN. Hotly-tipped NY band The Twenty Twos play Miss Melodynelson and Mr Jenyk's Vicious on 8 July.

3AM TOP 5 07/02/2003

3am Editor-in-Chief Andrew Gallix is currently stage-diving to:
  1. "Ladyfingers" -- The Fever
  2. "Saturday Afternoon" -- The Perfect Guy
  3. "Pin" -- The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  4. "You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)" -- The White Stripes
  5. "Black" -- Whirlwind Heat


The latest edition of Laurence Rémila's newsletter brings us news of François Weyergans's new novel: "Every year, it's the rumour that has Paris' literati all excited. Someone knows someone who knows someone who's heard that François Weyergans has handed his many-years-in-the-making manuscript to his publisher Grasset. Well, this newsletter announced it last year (sorry), but this time, seems like he's finally gone and let go of the beast. Which makes him one of the favourites for the Goncourt in a rentrée short on big names." The summer edition of Bobby Joseph's Black Eye Magazine is now on sale: "It's a mix of Black satire, smut and silly, stupid fun. Find out about the new features and characters in our comic strips: Susie Slappa in Ayia Napa, PC Davis Institutionalised Racist, Garage Glen, Erin Brukupbitch, Big Val Yardie Gal and more!" Lucinda Strummer on the Glastonbury Festival where a memorial stone has been erected in memory of her husband, Joe Strummer: "We loved Glastonbury. I think Joe went to the first one in 1971, and he used to go most years, long before I met him. He just loved it for the spirit -- it was the music, obviously, but he just loved meeting people. He was always a bit of a hippy. His idea of heaven was to stump around and talk to people at campfires, or invite them to his, and just talk. He used to look after people - he was very good at bringing in the strange-looking or the lost. He would come back and write -- it was incredibly inspirational for him. He didn't really like to play Glastonbury, for the simple reason that he loved it as a festivalgoer. . . ." Bez (ex-Happy Mondays) joined The Rapture on stage at Glastonbury the other day! A social history of beer. Monica Ali, AS Byatt, William Gibson, Stephen Frears, Michael Foot, Alain de Botton and others suggest some summer reading. Alain de Botton recommends Toby Litt's latest offering, the chick-lit parody Finding Myself. Toby Litt again in The Indie on Sunday yesterday: ". . . A few days ago, I took part in a reading at the Arnolfini centre in Bristol. It was part of the Granta Best of Young British Novelists promotion. . . . Afterwards, in the bar, I got into an argument with a Yorkshireman who introduced himself by stating that all writing about writing was self-indulgent wank. I said that I thought all writing was, in one way or another, about writing. Even writing, for example, macho American crime novels, which pretends to be about nothing but action. It's just in denial. He wasn't convinced, and followed up by suggesting I should get out more." Do the Germans have a sense of irony? Why is Expressionism unfashionable? The problem with British pop today. Peter Pan was right! There's an interview with Serge Bozon, the director of the film Mods, in Chronic'art. Death of British philosopher Sir Bernard Williams. What happens when you mate television with the novel? Novelist Monique Roffey explains in that she'd like to beat up VS Naipaul: "An important writer from the country where I was born; but a pig of a man, a national disgrace. I hope we never meet. As another Trinidadian writer said to me, 'Some writers save the best of themselves for their work only.' This seems to apply to Naipaul. I could fight him physically." Excellent interview with Charles Baxter in the latest issue of Failbetter.

3AM TOP 5 06/29/2003

The author of (among other titles) Dead Clever, Bright Young Things and Going Out --Scarlett Thomas -- is currently strumming to:
  1. "Satellite of Love" -- Lou Reed
  2. "Innocence Kindly Waits" -- South San Gabriel
  3. "Cupid's Trick" -- Elliott Smith
  4. "Shiver Me Timbers" -- Tom Waits
  5. "Superstar" (a Carpenters cover) -- Sonic Youth


London's revamped Trafalgar square. Miss melodynelson and Jenyk have launched Vicious on Tuesday nights at Sin-é, 148 Attorney St, NYC. Next gig is on July 8. The consistently brilliant urban75 brings you pictures of the recent Reclaim the Beach free party in London. There are also great pix of the disused Midland Grand Hotel in St Pancras. George Orwell's centenary. Jean Baudrillard on The Matrix. Gender-stereotyping, an update on sexism ("My current favourite (joke) has a woman asking a friend to define her ideal partner. Her answer: a man 'who can make love all night and turn himself into a chocolate fudge cake in the morning'") and date-rape drugs. More on crap books. Philip Hensher on Harry Potter in The Spectator. historical.'" The Libertines are very concerned about Pete Doherty's well being. The perfect cuppa (link via Sixd!fferentways). The Hipster Handbook and the Non-Hipster Handbook. Steve Mitchelmore pulls no punches in Spike: "From the BBC News ticker: 'Sir Denis Thatcher, husband of the former prime minister, dies. More soon.' Let's hope that means his wife." (And thanks for the mention Steve. Nice one!) The best NYC websites including reallysmalltalk and NYC Bloggers. Wordspy is ace. A review of Michel Houellebecq's Lanzarote. Back to the future: Ze Records has been relaunched in the wake of the new punk-funk scene. They have just re-released the seminal N.Y. No Wave compilation of 1980. All the beautiful people in NY seem to be at Bang!. Talking of beautiful people, here's a groovy punk label from Italy recommended by Federica Rossi. Indie bands on iTunes. The making of One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest. Andrew Anthony pans the latest Hunter S Thompson: "The talent displayed here is no longer Gonzo. On this evidence, it's just plain gone." The Complete Review brings us the first assessment of Adam Thirwell's debut novel, Politics. You can read Thirwell's "The Cyrillic Alphabet" here. There's quite a lot of activity at the Joe Orton Community which I moderate. In my last entry, I mention John Carney's article about Biff Bang Pow! in tangents.


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