We are super pleased to be able to sneak you a peek at the contents of Kill Your Darlings Issue Two, beginning with Benjamin Law’s ‘Latecomers, You’re All Right: Discovering music after everyone else’. We’ll be releasing teasers until the July 1 release of Issue Two, so stay tuned.
Ever felt behind the eight-ball in the music game? I suspect you’ll find a lot to nod your head to in the excerpt that follows. Benjamin Law is a Brisbane-based freelance writer whose essays have been anthologised in Growing Up Asian in Australia (edited by Alice Pung) and Black Inc.’s The Best Australian Essays series. The Family Law (2010) is his debut book, and is published by Black Inc. Books.
When Jeff Buckley was sucked into a Mississippi slack-water channel and drowned, the masses mourned, sparrows spontaneously fell from the sky, bells in the church tower chimed and Richard Kingsmill wept into his microphone. Me? I’d never heard of the guy. At that stage, the sophistication of my music knowledge was summed up by my CD collection: my most recent purchases were that Chumbawamba single and Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. But the cool kids had started listening to Triple J, and now, lemming-like, I had started to tune in, too.
What they played was ‘Corpus Christi Carol’, a traditional song that Buckley sang sweetly like a goddamned hymn. At first, I thought he sounded like a goddamned homo, but by the end of the song I’d decided it was haunting and weird and sad and interesting. I’d never heard anything like it, and something in my brain adjusted. When I went to school the next day and spoke about Buckley, it turned out all my friends were already fans, and were all glassy-eyed and shocked over the news of his death. I was also upset – not because Buckley was dead, but because everyone already knew about this guy before me. How had this happened? What else was I missing out on? It horrified me to think that now Buckley was dead, I couldn’t claim him as my own discovery. (I was sort of possessive as a teenager.)
Pre-order Kill Your Darlings Issue Two or subscribe to the print journal here.