John Darnielle is "America's best non-hip-hop lyricist"—at least according to those fusty crabs over at the New Yorker. To us, he's that dude who sings songs and started the Mountain Goats, and who also happens to write incredible fiction. His magic pen—and the success of his first novel, Wolf in White Van, which was a New York Times best seller and National Book Award nominee—has led fans to petition the White House to appoint him poet laureate. This issue features an excerpt of his new novel, Universal Harvester, forthcoming in 2017.
READ UNIVERSAL HARVESTER
Laura Jane Grace
Laura Jane Grace is the lead singer of Against Me!, a punk band responsible for those iconic albums you love and a few you hated enough to write to her and let her know that she is sellout scum. She also writes a column called Mandatory Happiness for Noisey. Recently, Grace penned her memoir, TRANNY: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, with the column's editor, Dan Ozzi, who is definitely, totally not writing this bio about her right now but is very talented and handsome. This issue features a killer excerpt from the book.
Meryl Meisler is an O.G. Brooklyn photographer. In the 1970s, she worked as an art teacher in Bushwick, and she would take photographs of her students in the streets, roller-skating and goofing around. At night, she'd cross the Williamsburg Bridge and photograph the alternate universe of Manhattan, where the disco scene was exploding at clubs like Studio 54. Two years ago, she published a book of her pictures from this era, A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick, and the photos in this issue are some shots that never made it into the book.
Noisey is VICE's music channel. In five fine years of existence, it's made the prestigious move from calling itself a "blog" to a "website," and now it's also a "television show." With offices all over the world, Noisey prides itself on using music as a way through which to explore the highs and lows of global youth culture, while still figuring out the best way to make fun of Drake's latest haircut. This issue features work from Noisey editors Dan Ozzi, Kim Kelly, Kyle Kramer, and Eric Sundermann, who are all special in their own way.
THUMP is VICE's electronic-music and nightlife site. She likes fog machines, healing crystals, and using club culture as a lens for writing about what it means to be a young person in 2016. For this issue, she asked her adoptive mother—editor-in-chief Emilie Friedlander—to write about a teenager-focused video-sharing app that's revolutionizing the way that music marketing works. She also collaborated with VICE on a reported feature about the alleged-sexual-abuse scandal surrounding pioneering hip-hop DJ and Zulu Nation founder Afrika Bambaataa.