Maura Magazine | Issue 4: Desire
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Issue 4: Desire

Letter From The Editor: 

The pieces in this issue all have longing at their core, whether it’s the desire to figure out one’s place in the world or a deep-seated need to be closer to one’s idols through membership in a fan club.

Some of the SHINee paraphernalia on offer at Hallyucon.

Riding The K-Pop Wave

The kids in the crowd want lights dimmed, an apparent prerequisite to see the abs belonging to the pleasant-looking young man onstage. “Take it off! TAKE. OFF. YOUR. SHIRT.” We are at Toronto’s Korean Canadian Cultural Centre for HallyuCon, one of North America’s first conventions devoted to Korean music, and if the unnamed object of this lust isn’t an actual K-pop idol, he’s a reasonable facsimile. The physical boy-band template leaps borders like any other universalist concept, although certain male idols favor outfits that would look avant-garde on One Direction.

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Into The Light

When Enlightened premiered at the end of 2011, its parent network, HBO, promoted it under slightly false pretenses: There was Laura Dern—her mascara smeared, her mouth contorted into an expression somewhere between a heaving sob and a rageful shriek—as “the new face of tranquility.” It played the cognitive dissonance for laughs, setting up a slapstick show that would play off Dern’s endlessly pliable face in order to heighten its inner tension.

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I Guess This Is Growing Up

Recently I was seated with four moms about my age at a baby shower. Some worked, some didn’t, but they had children in common. When the conversation moved on from sitting in a car for two hours to let a child sleep and dealing with other moms at daycare to ripping vaginas and cord-cutting, I reminded the ladies we were eating. They looked at me like I was an alien. Then one of the women asked me what I’d normally be doing on a Saturday—they had already reeled off lists of classes and activities—and I said, deadpan, “Yoga, then… whatever.” They laughed, all in on the big joke that I had nothing important to do. I wanted to say, “I might spend three hours on the phone with my mother trying to convince her to move to a single-story house, because I worry every night she’ll fall and kill herself.”

Photo by Ben Clark

Unwound: The Untold Story

Tumwater, Washington, might not have turned out as much legendary music as Evergreen State cities like Seattle or Olympia, but it did birth two pioneers of sonic bludgeoning: The sludge-ripping Melvins disciples KARP and DIY art-punk heroes Unwound. A decade or so after each of those bands melted down, both trios have more or less escaped M.I.A. status. KARP stars in the awesome yet tragic documentary on record and the tour circuit throughout the ’90s—have teamed up to bring their band back from the dead. Guitarist/singer Justin Trosper, bassist Vern Rumsey, and drummer Sara Lund have launched a website replete with stories, pics, and video and released the double LP Live Leaves.