Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford is The Monthly’s music critic and the author of Live Through This.

Articles by this author

A fraction of the Hole: Courtney Love, Festival Hall, Melbourne, 16/8/14
I never thought that watching Courtney Love would be boring. The woman is a born agitator, and one of the most divisive figures that rock ’n’ roll has ever produced. Her fans are...
A review of Clio Barnard's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant"
Walled in
“The poor children had nowhere to play,” reads The Selfish Giant, Oscar Wilde’s 1888 fairytale. After the titular giant has built a high wall around his lovely garden of fruit and...
FKA Twigs
Timbaland and Boyz II Men haunt FKA Twigs’ ‘LP1’ and How To Dress Well’s ‘What Is This Heart?’
Ghosts of R&B past
A spectre is haunting contemporary pop music – the spectre of Timbaland. America’s R&B super-producer – real name Timothy Mosley – is still very much alive, but his...
Orange Is the New Black
Netflix; Foxtel Showcase
Orange Is the New Black (Season two)
In the concluding scene of Orange Is the New Black’s first season, we left the show’s ostensible protagonist, Piper Chapman, in a prison-yard fight to the possible death with her...
Cycling through cinema
Motion pictures
Mere seconds into the history of cinema a bicycle makes its debut appearance, in the Lumière brothers’ La Sortie des usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in...
A review of Snowpiercer
Cold wars
Thirty years ago John Hurt lent his crumpled mien and instantly recognisable voice to Michael Radford’s filmic adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Hurt played...
Hole in Los Angeles, December 1994. L-R: Melissa Auf der Maur, Courtney Love, Patty Schemel, Eric Erlandson. © KROQ-FM
1994 might be one of the best years popular music has ever had
What the future sounded like
On approximately 5 April 1994, Nirvana’s vocalist and primary songwriter, Kurt Cobain, ended his own life. What I remember most clearly about it – apart from my mum...
Review: Pet Shop Boys in Concert
Pet Shop Boys are unusual. A pokerfaced parody of a pop band who happen to write brilliant pop music, they have achieved commercial success on a level that most bands can only...
HTRK. © Robert Bellamy
The Melbourne band's new album owes as much to tragedy as to the clubs of London and Berlin
Sex and sadness in HTRK’s ‘Psychic 9–5 Club’
Psychic 9–5 Club is the third album from HTRK (pronounced “Hate Rock”), a band that began in Melbourne in the mid 2000s as Hate Rock Trio, and released their first studio album,...
Kanye West at the Grammy Awards in 2006. © Kevin Winter / Getty.
Kanye West and ‘Yeezus’
The world’s biggest rock star
Kanye West is the world’s biggest rock star, and he knows it. Like rock stars before him, he is obnoxious, contradictory, absurdly egotistical and famous to the point of...
A poetic tribute to My Kitchen Rules
Home cooking. It’s our dream. It’s got to be perfect. Losing is not an option. We’ve got to nail these dishes. We’ve sacrificed so much to be here. This is...
Record store day
When I was a teenager I’d occasionally skip school, catching the train two hours into Sydney so that I could spend the day looking around the city’s record stores....
The Muppets vs Wes Anderson
Muppets Most Wanted and The Grand Budapest Hotel both have plots that involve wrongful imprisonments. I know who I felt most sorry for, and it wasn’t Ralph Fiennes as...
Noah: A catastrophic spectacle
In the dark of the movie theatre I took notes on Noah. These read, in part: DOOM STRINGS Motley leathers That’s a lot of CGI for talking rocks Slave trade?...
© Cybele Malinowski
The fourth solo album from the Sydney singer-songwriter
Sally Seltmann’s ‘Hey Daydreamer’
“Cinematic” is an easy adjective to reach for when describing pop music, but it’s much harder to pin down what it signifies. Does it mean a soundscape spacious...
HBO / Foxtel Showcase
‘True Detective’
Halfway through the final episode of the first season of True Detective, HBO’s latest television hit, I started thinking about The Wicker Man (1973). It’s a British...
Review: All is Lost - Redford's one-man disaster response
All Is Lost is director J.C. Chandor’s second disaster flick. His first, Margin Call (2011), was a chamber piece about the beginnings of the global financial crisis, set at...
Lorde performing at the Laneway Festival in Sydney. © Will Reichelt
Laneway, Lorde and other disappointments
Kids these days
Am I the only critic immune to the charms of Lorde? The 17-year-old New Zealander has the world kneeling at her feet. Her song ‘Royals’ has already earnt her two...