Emery Recommends: “Miss Misanthrope” by Jealous of the Birds

Recently I gave notice at the job I’ve had for over two years.

When I finished my master’s program in 2017, I knew I couldn’t go on to a PhD right away, but I was sure I’d be working on campus in some sort of administrative/student support role. So the silence (and one awkward video interview) that followed the many, many, many applications I submitted was brutal.

I finally looked elsewhere; soon I found work with a startup. I enjoyed the ease, the creative freedom, the growth. The company evolved and eventually I became the sole employee. Several months ago we ditched the office and went fully remote.

Working from home sounds like the dream, doesn’t it? My dogs and cat love having me around for belly rubs and snacks. I can stay in pajamas all day if I want. Scheduling doctor’s appointments presents no problem. I should be content, right?

That’s what I’ve been trying to convince myself of for a long time.

There’s a lot I could say about my general dissatisfaction/disappointment/state of ennui, but the isolation of my remote job is one thing I’ve found a song for.

“Miss Misanthrope” by Jealous of the Birds somehow manages to put my loneliness to music in perfect form.

The song is beautiful, and beautifully sad, and there are lines that just get to me, like:

She said I care too much these days
About my place in this ball of yarn
There’s not a lot that I can boast
I water plants and make french toast

I’ve grown tired of the reclusiveness of my job. (The dogs and cat provide fine company, sure, but they’re not great conversationalists.) Isolation and burnout have spilled over into other parts of my life, sapping my creative energy, rendering me lethargic and disconnected. While there are many reasons I’ve decided to work elsewhere, one thing I’ve learned is that I do need human connection.

I get the sense that’s what this song is about, too. Despite the misanthropy and the solitude, the song ends by reaching out. And when she sings, “It makes me smile to know you’re alright,” I always smile, too.

(Song recommendation by Emery Ross)


Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, Track 6

I am a Consequence of Bad Decisions by Jackie Haze

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Jackie Haze is an MFA candidate whose ultimate dream is to live on the road with her little chihuahuas—Bacchus and Lola—making art. She is a spoken word poet, authored Borderless, and has had work published on Curve and Happy Cow.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, Track 5

To Alanis Morissette, After Reading About Her Postpartum Depression in My Therapist’s Waiting Room by Julia C. Alter

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Julia C. Alter is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poems can be found in, or are forthcoming from Palette Poetry, CALYX, Crab Creek Review, The Boiler, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. She lives in Burlington, Vermont with her partner and young son. www.alterpoetry.com.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, Track 4

I Used to Be Seventeen by Colleen Rothman

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Colleen Rothman’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, matchbook, Jellyfish Review, Lunch Ticket, Mutha Magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in New Orleans, where she is currently at work on a novel. Find her on Twitter @colleenrothman.

Erika Jane Recommends: “Yesterday” by The Beatles

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

Singing the first line in the lyrics made the whole song catchy enough for me to channel my emotions. Today it’s the year 2019, and I know nothing will always be the same.

All that I had in mind right now is that I miss the previous school year, and it seemed to me like it was yesterday. The second half of 2018 drove me to euphoria, and it has been a year after, but I felt it like it was just a day ago. Happiness made it infinite, but now it was time for another drama session of my life: a run-over of memories and sadness, alone.

Maybe, being in a new atmosphere was quite a big mistake. I had problems adjusting with their personality and everything, something I’m different from. They count my mistakes, but never my deeds that are supposed to be for their good. I kept asking myself, “What have I done? What was wrong about it?”

I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday…

Honestly, it wasn’t my problem. I’ve had enough. Now, I am longing for the presence of my seniors to seek guidance and help amid this unexpected struggle.

I remained loyal to my old batch of classmates, so is everyone to their own. Yet, I continued with my battle-cry for my moving on, and for the unity and respect of my new team, which was already present in my previous year.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away,
now it looks as though they’re here to stay.

Oh, I believe in yesterday.

(Song recommendation by Erika Jane Roble)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, Track 3

Up, up, up by Sarah Priscus

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Sarah Priscus writes in Ottawa, Canada, where she attends the University of Ottawa for English and Theatre. She has been published most recently in Likely Red, Luna Luna Magazine, Rookie Mag, and Atlas and Alice. She can be found on Twitter at @sarahpriscus.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, Track 2

Only a Motion Away, or Why I Flew Cross-Country to Paul Simon’s Last Show in Memory of My Mom by Kate Washington

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

About the author:
Kate Washington is a California-based writer and the dining critic for the Sacramento Bee. Her work has appeared in Eater, Avidly, Catapult, Dame, Southwest the Magazine,Sunset, The Bellingham Review, and many other venues. She is currently at work on her first book, a feminist cultural critique and memoir of family caregiving, forthcoming from Beacon Press. Follow her work on Twitter @washingtonkate, at kawashington.com, or via her monthly newsletter, tinyletter.com/alreadytoast.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.9, Track 1

Sweet Child O’ Mine (as sung by Taken by Trees) by Elizabeth Ditty

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


About the author:

Elizabeth Ditty lives in Kansas City, where she is attempting to raise two children with good hearts and strong minds with the help of their father and Daniel Tiger. Her work can be found in Memoir Mixtapes, L’Éphémère Review, and Moonchild Magazine. Additionally, her set of children’s stories, “My Sister the Werewolf,” is available in theBedtime Stories app.

Sam Recommends: “Inside My Love” by Minnie Riperton

Minnie Riperton (aka Maya Rudolph’s mom!) was an amazing singer/songwriter who was taken from this world much too soon.

You probably know her best from her incredibly popular 1975 single, “Lovin’ You,” which you may even remember being featured on a Burger King commercial for mini cinnamon rolls a few years back.

But that’s not the song I’m here to recommend to you all today. Nope. Instead, I’m bringing you “Inside My Love,” a soulful, seductive track about sex.

Scratch that. This isn’t just a song about sex; it’s a song about making love. A song about two strangers, who despite just meeting, are soon to know each other as intimately as two people can know each other — literally getting inside one another.

It’s as suggestive as it sounds, and I wouldn’t recommend listening to this song with your parents. In fact, just to avoid any confusion or awkwardness, I wouldn’t recommend listening to it with anyone you aren’t actively trying to seduce. Think I’m exaggerating? Check out the chorus:

You can see inside me.
Will you come inside me?
Do you want to ride inside my love?

While the lyrics are X-rated on their surface, and the song might sound raunchy in another artist’s hands, Minnie’s execution of this song is almost otherworldly in its beauty. If this song doesn’t make you want to light some candles, pour some champagne, and slip into something more comfortable…then you probably need to check the quality of your speakers.

(Song recommendation by Samantha Lamph/Len)

Seigar recommends “God Control” by Madonna

70s disco diva wants gun control.

Seigar, the photographer, is back.

Madame X is the album that gives me everything that I have been looking for in other musicians for years; addicted to Pitchfork I must admit. Being a Madonna fan since I was a kid, I can tell this record is epic.

It’s “world music 2019”. Madame X sounds like many singers and musicians so different among them that it’s a delicious and explosive cocktail: Ibeyi, Daft Punk, Nneka, Liz Wright, Kali Uchis, Ayo, Uffie, James Blake or Richard Russell. She has elevated her music and style with these songs. God bless Portugal for the inspiration she got there.

It’s a concept and political album, but she also keeps a quite personal view about global issues. It’s full of hopeful messages in its lyrics and it has an outstanding production and sound. It’s her most experimental album ever I’d say! What fans didn’t expect, at least now.

The best tracks in the album are Dark Ballet (experimental collage), God Control (religious music meets 70s disco ball), Killers who are partying (fado 2019) and Come Alive (world music summer song). However, there are other great compositions like Medellin (Latin hedonism), Faz Gostoso (Michael Jackson), Extreme Occident (Evita meets Mer Girl), Crazy (sweet perfect pop) or I rise (epic final song).

Before the fans listened to the whole album, there was a backlash about Madame X. First single songs weren’t completely understood, and in fact, the Eurovision song performance didn’t help. But finally, when the album was released we all got it. There is a consensus among fans but also among music critics that “this is it”. Some critics talk about her best album since Confessions, others say since American Life, but what is clear is that it is a decisive moment for her and her music.

This is a masterpiece all together. It’s an album that must be heard from the first to the last song, no just individual songs, because they all work as one.

Madonna 1 — Fans 0.

Enjoy her protest song about gun control in which she becomes a writer and a 70s disco diva. Madame X can be everything she wants/we need.

(Song recommendation by Seigar)