The Lifted Brow #17 | The Music Issue
Matt Hickey chronicles the story of Donnie and Joe Emerson’s cultish album Dreamin’ Wild in a wide-ranging 10,000 word essay, Frederick Barthelme revisits his experience as a founding member of psychedelic experimental group Red Krayola, Max Easton examines the current Sydney DIY music scene and explores what this means for the city’s cultural ambitions, Tom Doig recounts his musical experience of Mongolia, Luise Toma reveals that she could’ve been Germany’s next big pop icon, Kent MacCarter is all about death death death, Jon Tjhia critically examines the trade of music criticism with interviews from heaps of experts, Giles Fielke performs a vivisection on the modern music festival, Ian Rogers digs into The Smashing Pumpkins and why Billy Corgan is obsessed with pro-wrestling (he’s started up his own wrestling company!), and newly-knighted Australian National Live Music Coordinator Dr Ianto Ware surveys the health of the music scene in his hometown Adelaide.
There’s fiction by Elizabeth Gaffney, Kent MacCarter, Joe Ponepinto and magical Australian musician Darren Hanlon. We have Australian songstress Angie Hart writing meticulously about her writer’s block, Adolfo Aranjuez has translated a story by Filipino literary luminary Lualhati Bautista, and as always Benjamin Law and his mum Jenny answer your sex questions.
The columns for this issue are also ridiculously excellent: Christine Priestly’s exceptional Work column probes the life of a gastroenterologist, Rhianna Boyle investigates the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon for her Nature column, Briohny Doyle in her new Popapocalypse column skewers Lana Del Rey in a discussion of users and abusers of history, Charlotte Callander remembers Wheel of Fortune’s Adriana Xenides and finds out just why a Melbourne band is writing a rock opera about her, Chad Parkhill’s Booze column narrows in on Fernet-Branca, Clementine Bastow unveils her undying love for the music in the films of Robert Zemeckis, and Zoe Barron goes bike riding in Fremantle pulling a stage and speakers behind her.
World-renowned music critic Chad Parkhill has guest-edited the Middlebrow section: it includes a profile of Aldous Kelly of the Stickmen, and also a feature on eminent band The The by Adam Curley. The Middlebrow regulars also kill it as per usual, with Ellena Savage kind-of-savaging the idea that creative writing can be taught, Gillian Terzis picking apart the economics of digital streaming, Roger Nelson exploring the links between visual art and music in Southeast Asia, Andre Dao pondering what noise even is, Rebecca Harkins-Cross gazing at the film Dogs in Space and its place in musical history, Elliott Logan considering how music works on television programs, Matthew Clayfield using the theatrical works (and the music therein) of director Simon Stone to wonder what being a theatre critic really means. And there are snappy musical recommendations from Elmo Keep, A.H. Cayley, Brady Clarke, Caitlin Welsh, Nikki Lusk, Simon Topper, Daniel Young, and Alex Bennetts.
The comics and artwork for this issue are revolutionarily good: there’s full-page work from Ben Sea, Simon Hanselmann, Blaise Larmee, Ben Juers, Matt Huynh (with Jolie Holland!), Thomas Toye, Leonie Brialey, Sam Wallman, Lunch With Friends, Tahlia Palmer, Jacob Ciocci, Peter Glantz, Becky Stark, as well as illustrations by Amandine Thomas, Matt Bissett-Johnson, Mark Chu, and Alex Mustakov. There’s a photo essay from Fallopian Tunes, there are incidental artworks by Bren Luke, there are stark and sharp Middlebrow illustrations by Korrin Stoney. And Glenn Manders has given us just the best cover artwork.
This million-page edition is masterfully put together by our gifted designer Jordan Dolheguy of Totem Visual — a man who works miracles without even any help from some lazy big guy in the clouds.
As part of the Music Issue, available for Brow readers will be downloadable music bundles from four Australian independent labels: Bedroom Suck Records, New Weird Australia, Fallopian Tunes, and Special Award Records. And as a special once-off listening party extravaganza, we’ve asked thirty-odd writers to put together music mixtapes, which you’ll be able to stream online. These mixtape-makers are: David Shields, Anna Krien, Catherine Lacey, Hannah Kent, Blake Butler, Monica Dux, Astrid Lorange, Tao Lin, Eli Horowitz, Steven Amsterdam, Tom Cho, Ianto Ware, A.H. Cayley, Sam Twyford-Moore, Shaun Prescott, Pip Smith, Estelle Tang, Emmett Stinson, Clem Bastow, Lawrence Leung, Giles Fielke, Melanie Joosten, Alice Gage, Courtney Collins, Sean Whelan, Edwina Preston, Ainslee Meredith, and Chris Womersley. Check our website around launch time to access all of these.