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CUTTING-EDGE LITERARY NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBAL VILLAGE

3AM TOP 5 04/10/2004

London art-rockers Art Brut have released their first single -- "Formed a Band" - on Rough Trade Records: "'Formed A Band' is the debut single from Art Brut. It's a song about forming a band and was written 5 minutes after Chris Chinchilla (Guitar), Freddy Feedback (Bass), Eddie Argos (Vocals), Ian Catskilkin (Guitar) and Mike (Drums) decided to form a band. It's a calling card, statement of intent and manifesto all rolled up into three minutes of cathartic punk rock. Having been penned and recorded so quickly, it was licensed to Rough Trade five minutes after A & R James Endeacott heard it. On hearing it it's easy to understand why, the NME have already called it an 'Insanely brilliant demo of stuttering art-rock'. The one part of the story that is unclear is how Art Brut actually managed to 'form a band'. Apparently their coming together was the result of a series of 'weird and wonderful coincidences', whatever, the results speak for themselves."

Art Brut are currently listening to:

  1. "Freebird" -- Lynrid Skinryd
  2. "Deeducation" -- Rhesus
  3. "22 Grand Job" -- The Rakes
  4. "Social Misfit" -- The Fades
  5. "Action Packed" -- Jonathan Richman



NEW 3AM MERCHANDISE! 04/10/2004

The new 3AM T-shirts, mugs, bags and mousepads are now available over at the 3AM Store.



THE COOLEST MAN IN PARIS 04/10/2004

Here's a picture (from canto.biz) of the self-styled coolest man in Paris standing next to film director/musician/artist Vincent Gallo. 3AM contributor (and lead singer with art-rock combo Gülcher) Laurence Rémila bumped into Vincent Gallo in a notorious gay nightclub. They discussed:

"1. Pornography:
When I came in, I saw a man who looked uncannily like Vincent Gallo talking to 'hardeuse' Dolly Golden. I asked my friend James -- ex Hot Video staffer -- if there was an American pornster who looked like Gallo. 'No.' Went over, James' girlfriend started doing the fan-thing, soon joined by Yours Truly. Gallo asked if Dolly acted well.
LR: 'Does she act well? What d'you mean?'
VG: 'Well, does she do Double Penetration?'
LR (indicating all the ladies -- and men -- in the vicinity): 'They ALL do Double Penetration'.

2. Technikart:
Laurence Rémila then kvetched about the fact that he was meant to have his picture in the current issue of Technikart, the one with Gallo as Jesus on the cover, but it got bumped to make way for one of Gallo -- taken by Terry Richardson -- wearing a crown of thorns and with his forehead bloodied. Gallo apologised.

3. Music:
Gallo urged Laurence Rémila to be open-minded and LISTEN to the early Genesis albums (up to "Selling England by the Pound", possibly). 'Forget everything else and just LISTEN to the MUSIC'." Vincent Gallo also features on the cover of this week's Inrockuptibles alongside Jim Jarmusch.




NECRO CARDS 04/10/2004

The great Bill Drummond in The Guardian on Stewart Home: "Last night I read Down and Out in Shoreditch and Hoxton by the author-provocateur Stewart Home. It is the latest in his long line of novels, all of which I have read, none of which I have understood. There is always a lot of sex and violence in these books. I don't know why. It bores me. There are always a lot of literary references that I don't get; they all seem to be pro the proletariat and anti the bourgeoisie. So although I have no idea what they are about and at times think they are complete rubbish, I keep reading them. In fact, I love them. . . . I met up with Home at a friend's flat he had been staying in, off Old Street, London. I noted that he looked leaner and fitter than the last time I had seen him, and that his wardrobe still reflected that of an early 1970s suedehead. He probably noted that I have lost more hair. He had a walk planned for us, a walk that would take in some of the locations of the book. I had 10 questions planned to ask him. We got walking and I got questioning. . . . Even if the above doesn't make you want to go out and buy his books, you should get hold of one of Stewart Home's necro cards. You should never go out without one in your purse or wallet. It looks like an organ donor card but in fact it gives permission for your body to be used by necrophiliacs."



WASCO & FAKE PRINTER'S US TOUR 04/06/2004

3AM editor and Slow Toe supremo Matthew Wascovich (pictured) is going on tour with one of his numerous music outfits, a duo called Fake Printer.

Matthew Wascovich plays in USA-based bands, Unequals, Chris Habib Motherfucker, Thee Banged Heads, Passenger Rainbow, and Junk Mules. Some of his recent music and writing collaborators include Byron Coley, Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore, Nikki Colk, Alan Licht, Dennis Cooper, Tyondai Braxton and Jutta Koether. A screenplay and film with Jackie O' Motherfucker's Tom Greenwood should flash like a red light in the near future. His duo, Fake Printer, involves turntablist Maria Chavez (Houston, USA), while Wascovich plays electric bass, electronics and hack voice. Also, Wascovich will play a few shows with his trio with Kris Abplanalp and Pete Nolan of Louisville, KY and members of Taiwan Deth during this tour. Maria Chavez's music has been called improvised/abstract turntabilism. She has performed and toured with improvisers including Christiina Carter (Charalambides, Scorces), in a duo called Weird Cookie; Kaffe Matthews, with whom Maria will record a duo CD this April at Deep Listening Studios in Kingston, NY; Hrvatski, for whom she opened in August 2003; and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, with whom she played a duo at her NYC debut.

So far, the confirmed dates are:

4/10 New York, NY (Tonic)
4/11 Brooklyn, NY (The Lucky Cat)
4/12 Cleveland, OH (Beachland Tavern)
4/13 Cincinnati, OH (Shirleys)
4/14 Louisville, KY
4/15 Nashville, TN (Springwater)
4/17 Shreveport, LA
4/18 Austin, TX
4/19 Austin, TX
4/20 Houston, TX
4/24 Houston, TX.







ALL MODS CONNED 04/04/2004

Robin Stummer claims in today's Independent on Sunday that the pitched battles between mods and rockers were largely staged by the media: "They came, they saw, they beat each other senseless on the shingle. Or did they? Forty years ago this Easter weekend, mods took on rockers for the first time, fuelling Britain's first mass-media scare over dissolute, drug-taking, mindlessly violent youth. Starting with a spot of bother at Clacton, Essex, over the Easter weekend of 1964, the tabloid press feasted for months on the gory new phenomenon breaking out at sleepy seaside towns across the South-east. Beside gleefully horrified headlines -- 'Riot police fly to seaside' -- were photographs of pale youths in Italian fashions fighting pale youths in engine-oil-caked leathers beside penny arcades at Margate, Brighton, Bournemouth, Clacton, Southend and Hastings. But now mod experts and some of the old rockers and mods themselves are admitting that many of the candid newspaper shots of seaside gang fighting in 1964 -- so shocking at the time, and now considered classic images of Sixties Britain -- were staged. . . . 'There are famous photographs taken in Brighton where the photographer paid the lads a few shillings,' says David Cooke, a Brighton-based mod ephemera dealer and an authority on the history and lore of the mod world. 'Quite a few people know that photographs were set up in Brighton.' Finding that gangs were engaged not in open warfare but aimless wandering, some photographers and reporters paid youths to stage mock fights and chases. 'At Margate some photographs were definitely staged,' recalls Howard Baker, in 1964 a purist mod and now a writer whose novel Sawdust Caesar is set against mid-1960s mod culture. 'Reporters and photographers were paying off a lot of kids. You'd get a fiver or a tenner. We'd get pissed on it.' . . . Tabloid headlines about the drug menace facing Britain's youth, which for a few months in mid-1964 alternated with seaside warfare headlines, pointed to another glaring falsehood. 'There was an idea that amphetamines, which were the mod pill of choice at the time, caused us all to be terribly aggressive, but that wasn't the case,' says Alfredo Marcantonio, 40 years ago a devoted mod and now a leading figure in British advertising. 'Most of the time you danced your socks off in clubs, but afterwards you were so worn out you wouldn't want to fight anyone.' No, says Howard Baker, there was real fighting as well as fake fighting. 'The Brighton photographs weren't staged. I was there. The violence was nasty, but there weren't guns.' Mods were not averse to fighting other mods, rather than rockers. 'It wasn't really mods versus rockers, as the press put it, anyway,' says David Cooke. "Mods were fighting each other. The north London mods hated south London mods. South London mods hated north London mods, and east London mods hated everybody, and everybody hated them.' 'You could almost tell which part of London a mod was from by which colour suit he had,' recalls Mr Marcantonio. One of many early mods who went into advertising and the media, he remembers spats, but maintains pitched battles did not happen. . . ."



3AM TOP 5 04/04/2004

Laura Codrescu, poet, editor and devil's bride is currently listening to:
  1. "Monkey Man" -- The Rolling Stones
  2. "Nocturne in C Major, opus 37 no. 2" -- Chopin
  3. "Keep on the Sunnyside" -- A.P. Carter
  4. Theme from Amarcord -- Nino Rota
  5. "To Ramona" -- Bob Dylan

(Andrei Codrescu's new novel Wakefield will be published on 21 May in the US.)




I'M A BELIEVER 04/04/2004

Gordon Burn in the Guardian on a new transatlantic literary coterie: ". . . Bankrolled by Dave Eggers, the suddenly-very-rich and ultrafashionable author of the confessional memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (1999), and co-edited by Eggers's fiancée (now his wife) Vendela Vida, the Believer sparked a firestorm of gossip and speculation and was being publicly gloated over, sniped at and forensically dissected within hours of first appearing. 'As soon as I was spotted with the Believer on a Brooklyn subway platform, I was promptly accosted by a dark-eyed woman in her 20s wondering where she could find the debut issue,' a writer reported in the on-line magazine Salon. 'Given the cultlike reverence that arises around anything Dave Eggers gets involved with ... it didn't take long for word to get out that the new literary/cultural magazine published by the McSweeney's collective in San Francisco had hit the bookstores. Already, the power of the Believer is strong.' . . . To point out these connections, as well as noting in passing some of the multifarious examples of in-breeding and insouciant log-rolling (Heidi Julavits, Vendela Vida's co-editor at the Believer, is married to Ben Marcus; Ben Marcus interviews George Saunders in the current issue; George Saunders nominates Ben Marcus as one of his favourite writers in a recent interview and puffs a new Julavits book - 'a terrific and important addition to our literature'; Hornby puffs a new collection of stories by Vendela Vida's good friend and recently -anointed true Believer, Julie Orringer, as well as talking up the latest novel by friend-of-the-magazine, Jonathan Lethem ...) is to risk being branded a 'snark'. . . . (I)t is true that some reviewers, and big battalions of literary bloggers, routinely use Eggers and his fellow-travellers as a ball to kick around. . . . But what do Eggers and co expect? They're rich, they've got readers, they're still (mostly) young. Eggers himself made so much money he had to give much of it away. Then he wrote about giving it away in You Shall Know Our Velocity and got it all back again. . . . (T)hey do seem to have ring-fenced themselves into a clan or cabal or club; what's known as a 'coterie' in literary circles. . . ."



THE MISSING LINKS 04/04/2004

Saving the short story. The Libertines launch a London club night devoted to film and music. An interview with playwright Simon Gray in today's Observer. Also in The Observer, an in-depth article about the blogging phenomenon hot on the heels of the Sarah Champion / Belle de Jour controversy. Chavscum. Essential reading for those who want to know what's going on in old London town: Kultureflash. The Sound of the Crowd exhibition runs from 3 April to 15 May at the Ritter/Zamet Gallery in London (2 Bear Gardens, SE1, Southwark/Blackfriars tube). It's a group exhibition including work by many artists and essays courtesy of Richard Hell. Six's Pervateen exhibition is on at the Window Gallery (Central St Martin's, Charing Cross Road, London W1) for one week only starting on 2 April.







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