Memoir Mixtapes Vol.6, Track 6

Fossiling by Amy Alexander

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

Amy Alexander is a writer, visual artist, and homeschooling mother living in Baton Rouge with her husband and two kids. Her work has appeared most recently in The Coil, Cease, Cows, Mojave Heart Review, The Remembered Arts, and Mooky Chick. Follow her on Twitter @iriemom.

Seigar Recommends: “Way Back Home” by Prince

Seigar, the photographer, is back.

“Way Back Home” is one of the nicest compositions Prince has ever made. This song shows a very unusual composition. It belongs to his 37th album: Art Official Age, an album that has been quite appreciated by most of his fans. Lianne La Havas added vocals to some tracks on the album: “Clouds,” “affirmation I & II” and “affirmation III”. She matches beautifully with Prince’s voice in this one. It seems he never performed this song — a pity for us.

Joshua Welton, the co-producer of the album, was received with mixed expectations; we may say he wasn’t that popular among his fans. The lyrics of the songs became almost an epitome of his music career and a metaphor of life and inspiration. In fact, this cohesive album was conceptual and thoughtful, simulating or presenting a journey that nowadays might be understood with different meanings due to his death. Prince looked into the past and the future in the messages of the songs, getting quite personal:

Most people in this world (Most people in this world) are born dead
But I was born alive
(I was born with this dream)

Lyrics may even work now as a sad foretelling of what happened:

I’m happiest when I can see
My way back home

An anthology compiling his material from 1995 to 2010 has just been released. You can’t find clear hits on this compilation, but all the songs are good. The closest songs to hits we can listen to are: “Musicology,” “3121” and “The Greatest Romance”. Prince had major difficulties to adapt himself to the market, closing the doors to his own legacy to be known.

Rolling Stones stated about this group of songs: “Anthology: 1995–2010 is a solid and necessary primer on 15 years in the life of a guy who deserved more. We’re lucky he left enough work for us to play catch-up with for years”.

Let’s try to know and enjoy his latest songs that just reached the fans. “Way Back Home” is the perfect way to start this journey.

If you want more, here you have my top 50 Prince songs on Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/user/jseigar/playlist/2A7x6NgGcHkR0UFSRXvYPH?si=Id-hv6NPQS6tw8aMs4wIWg

(Song recommendation by Seigar)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.6, Track 5

Someone Else by Kevin D. Woodall

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

Currently freezing in the chill of an early autumn, Kevin D. Woodall is one of the co-editors of Memoir Mixtapes. In addition to having appeared in previous volumes of MM, his violent and murdery short story “Let Me Love and Steal” was published in Issue 3 of Moonchild Magazine. Follow him on Twitter for hot tweets about excessive coffee consumption, awful writing examples he finds at work, and .gifs from the movie Drive.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.6, Track 4

Cant’ Stop by Sarah Layden

To read this piece, click on one of the album covers below.

Sarah Layden is the author of a flash fiction chapbook, The Story I Tell Myself About Myself (Sonder Press), and the novel Trip Through Your Wires (Engine Books). Her fiction, poems, and essays have appeared in Boston Review, Booth, Reed Magazine, Juked, Salon, Ladies’ Home Journal, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at IUPUI.

Jon Recommends: “Lyla” by Big Red Machine

Listen, sometimes it’s hard to admit you are a fanboy. Not for me.

I’ll be the first to admit I ride Justin Vernon’s dick hard as hell.

I’m like that 17 yr old THC addict that looks for any gear that has a pot leaf on it so I can hold it up to my ear and let it tell me once more how cool I am.

You get it. I like Justin. Bon Iver, DeYarmond Edison, Shouting Matches, Volcano Choir, Gayngs, and now Big Red Machine.

But you ever like someone so much you get mad? Like fuckin’ HOW is this dude so perfectly expressive? How does this powerful fragile idiot articulate feelings I didn’t even know could be?

How does this godforsaken hellfiend just falsetto his way into my heart and expand it with some modulated baritone sax until I am things that have no words?

It’s a damn shame is what it is. So I listen to all of his damned projects and damn them all to the perfection they’ve already damned themselves to.

Dammit.

(Song recommendation by Jon Johnson)

 

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.6, Track 3

On Hearing Liz Phair’s “Flower” for the First Time by Megan Pillow Davis

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

Megan Pillow Davis is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction and is currently a doctoral candidate in the University of Kentucky’s English Department. Her work has appeared, among other places, in Brain, Child Magazine; Still: The Journal; and The Huffington Post. She has received fellowships from Pen Parentis and the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and recently completed a residency with the Ragdale Foundation. She is currently at work on her dissertation and a novel.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.6, Track 2

Elegy featuring “Louisiana Saturday Night” and The Weathervane Theater by Brianna Pike

To read this piece, click on the album cover below.

Brianna Pike is an Associate Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College. Her poems have appeared in So to Speak, Connotation Press, Glassworks, Gravel, Heron Tree, and Mojave River Review among others and she currently serves as an Editorial Assistant for the Indianapolis Review​. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband & son.

Kristin Recommends: “Storms” by Best Coast

“Storms” is possibly my favorite Fleetwood Mac song. Maybe even my favorite Stevie Nicks song. It’s hard to pick a favorite — she’s an actual goddess.

Opening with what sounds like a gust of wind, Best Coast brings their stripped-down style to this classic song. The Los Angeles duo — who have cited Fleetwood Mac as an influence — trade in the elegance of finger strumming for a surfy-er vibe as perfect backdrop to Bethany Cosentino’s voice.

And like any musicians worth their salt, they have come to Stevie’s classic melody with their own sense of movement, dipping and dodging to create a new narrative with just the pitch of Bethany’s harmonies. The signature sunniness in her voice is such a contrast to Stevie’s dark and breathy style—this ability to make such a deeply melancholy song feel almost uplifting is almost some sort of witchcraft.

But there is still that feeling of urgency. As the song ends, Bethany refuses to swallow it. The outro swells, echoing “we were frail” — an almost throw-away line easily missed in the original — as a refrain and an invocation. And while Stevie asks, in 1979, “Is there anything left to say?” Bethany answers with this simple and profound ending — an open ending that perhaps was always there for us to hold.

(Song recommendation by E. Kristin Anderson)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.6, Track 1

“Follow Me” Through the Years by Sam Frost

To read this piece, click the album art below.

Sam Frost lives in Los Angeles and spends most of her time binge drinking green tea. She mostly writes flash nonfiction, and it almost always starts in the notes section of her phone. Find her on Twitter @sammfrostt

Nicole Recommends: “Miriam” by Norah Jones

I learned this the hard way: don’t make out to this song.

I’m going to overshare with you for a moment. At the beginning of my relationship with my husband, we put on Norah Jones’ first album, Come Away With Me, when we were feeling amorous. The first time we saw each other, I was singing “I’ve Got to See You Again”—I know; fortuitous!—so that album just meant a lot to us.

CAWM came out in 2002, and I didn’t buy another NJ album until 2012, when Little Broken Hearts came out and I bought it on a whim after happening upon it somewhere (probably a Best Buy, back when they still sold CDs).

Given our history with her music, Lawrence and I pressed play without a thought, snuggling up to each other for some face time (if you know what I mean).

Cut to the second-to-last track on the album: a slow, eerie tune called “Miriam.” And immediately, the mood is ruined.

Why? Because this is a song about murdering a woman named Miriam who slept with the speaker’s husband.

WOW. I didn’t know you had it in you, Norah. (Obviously, I assume this isn’t an autobiographical song, but still.) What a narrative.

The moral of this story, my friends, is: listen to this song because it’s great and revengey and dark, but under no circumstances should it be playing when you’re trying to make out. (Unless you’re into that kind of thing.)

(Song recommendation by N. Alysha Lewis)