» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

December 21, 2009
"Sex motivates us in ways almost nothing else does... and death lurks in every conversation about age, health, or the future." There need be no further reason to pick up Issue 3 of Fray magazine, "The Quarterly of True Stories," which is out now. The "Sex & Death" issue is "the product of months of work by dozens of people, it is 60 pages, 8.5x11, perfect bound, offset printed on FSC-certified paper and includes 28 original illustrations, 18 true stories, one interview, and a full-page spread of 36 lips." Considering the theme, there are some interesting phrases to be found in this issue, including: "still opposed to cunnilingus, orally catastrophic, frightening act of depravity, that low and blue streak, one more atrocity before dinner, roiling hotbed of calm, slash of spring, strangling mom's lilacs, grotesque inner workings, and zipping up the darkness." Oh, boy.

As publisher Derek Powazek, a dot.biz veteran from the early days of Blogger, HotWired and Technorati who was named one of the web industry's Top 40 Influencers by Folio Magazine, explains it, he had considered doing a sex-themed issue of the magazine for some time but had held off out of fears that "it would end up sounding like an alternate-reality version of Penthouse Letters." Powazek had a similar hankering for a death-themed issue, but balked at the depressive (lawsuit?) potential of making readers "want to slit their wrists." Finally he decided that idle hands weren't doing him any good, especially with sex and death on his mind, so he set out recruiting contributors for the latest print issue of his formerly online magazine. Web developer starts publishing online and then reverts to printing, in 2009? Yep, you read that right.

"The themes haunted me," Powazek says of sex and death in the introduction to Issue 3. He couldn't get away from them. "Can you think of two subjects we spend more time thinking about, but discuss less?" Though he'd initially anticipated a polarizing nature to content developed around the two themes, white-hot versus pitch-black, but something else happened. "At first, the pairing seemed like a simple combination of opposites, but sex and death have a deeper connection," Powazek writes. "A part of each inhabits the other. That's why the French called orgasm la petite mort--the little death." Oh, French orgasms, only you could be both joyous and macabre.

There's a nifty no-sound video that lets you leaf through the new issue and gander at the layout and art for each writer's piece, which are provided by a different illustrator, including work by Andrew Wilson, Ramsey Sibaja, Chad Essley, Chris Bishop, Ray Frenden, Jim Unwin, Ana Benaroya, Jim Unwin, Paul O'Sullivan, Rex Crowle, Brooke Nuņez Fetissoff, Stefan Grambart, Mal Jones, Andrew Fulton and Claire Robertson. The stories themselves are by Lindsay Champion, Daniel McDermott, Steve Silberman, Jack Boulware, John Halcyon Styn, J. Tarin Towers, Jennifer Daniel, Ed Wolf, Jarret Liotta, Emily Morris, Xep Levy, Eric Meyer, Eric Spitznagel, Carolyn Sortor and Powazek himself. We might have missed a few. What we didn't miss was mention of Dan Savage being interviewed by "Sound of Young America" host Jesse Thorn, and an article called "Both Sides of the World's Oldest Profession" by Susannah Breslin.

The issue is available now, and magazines have already been shipped to subscribers. Just remember, if you're going to completely indulge, don't end up like David Carradine as an autoerotic asphyxiation statistic. Tempt just one aspect of the issue at a time.

SEE ALSO: www.fray.com

Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.



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