Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 12

On “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson by Kyra Leroux

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

About the author:
Kyra Leroux is a writer from Vancouver, British Columbia. A student at Charles Best Secondary School, she is an actor, dancer, and musician that is passionate about connecting with people through art.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 11

On “Doll Parts” by Hole by Jennifer Wilson

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Jennifer Wilson lives in Somerset, England, with her husband and spends her days as a faceless retail drone. Her work will/has appeared in Molotov Cocktail, Awkward Mermaid, Barren Magazine, Mojave Heart, Constellate Lit & Anti-Heroin Chic among others.

Douglas Recommends: “Flatlands” by Chelsea Wolfe 

I return to Chelsea Wolfe’s music as I do certain books whose passages elude yet reveal their mystery with every revisit. In my memory, there are different versions of myself that revolve around Chelsea Wolfe’s music. Her lyrical poetic images and gothic dreamscapes serve as an anchor to a mosaic of memories from all those different moments in my life.

I want flatlands
I never cared about money and all its friends
I want flatlands.

I saw Chelsea Wolfe live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg when a friend bailed. I went alone but ended up connecting with a friend who also happened to be there alone. Together, we saw Chelsea. She looked just like she did in photos, with dark clothes, black hair, expressive, shadowy eyes, and striking tattoos. Her sound was heavy and post-industrial, but super gothic, darkly Romantic, and with poetic dreams of magic. Yet when she spoke in between songs, she was soft-spoken, not shy, but cool and calm.

I want flatlands
I don’t want precious stones
I never cared about anything you’ve ever owned

I first heard “Flatlands” after watching an episode of Parts Unknown up in Woodstock with my mom towards the end of 2017. In a hotel by the woods, we watched the episode where Anthony Bourdain visited Seattle and chilled with Mark Lanegan. I liked Mark Lanegan’s music so much that I looked him up and soon learned that he did a version of “Flatlands” with Chelsea Wolfe.

I want flatlands
I want simplicity
I need your arms wrapped hard around me

“Flatlands” by Chelsea Wolfe, with acoustic melodies, percussive thumping strings, and expressive, darkly emotional singing, brought me ease through its tranquility. The sense of yearning for flatlands, and simplicity, made me feel peace, and got me in touch with my own fantasies of wandering to far off places. The strings built and built, stirring in me a realization of feelings that mattered. It still does.

I want open plains and scattered trees
I want flower fields
I want salty seas

I want flatlands

I met someone before going to Woodstock, and through Parts Unknown and Chelsea Wolfe we kept in touch. I started to experience that rare gift of beginning to understand another. It wasn’t always going to be that way. In February 2018, she told me something that shocked and devastated me. A year later, in an immeasurably different and healthier situation than the year before, I relived pain from the previous year. I was surprised at how weak and powerless the memory made me feel. I talked it out with, among others, my good friend Dr. Kasia.

Soft and steady breeze
bringing scents of lined-up orchard trees
dripping heavy with pears and dancing leaves

I want flatlands
will you go there with me?

I’ve known Kasia for 15 years, half my life. She’s a psychologist, and she told me we don’t know how the anniversaries will affect us, but we can use these moments to reflect upon our growth. Through talking and communicating where before I hadn’t, I had in some way chosen a different path for myself, one where I had not gone before. That gave me hope.

When it’s said in the dark and you know it’s always there

when it’s dead in our heart but your mind is unafraid
when it’s said in the dark and you know it’s never coming back
when it’s there in your heart in your mind you set it free

Now in February 2019, I returned to “Flatlands” like I had to her work previously. Seeking a different kind of emotional solace in Chelsea Wolfe’s music than I had the year before, I was now ready to come to terms with my insecurities and doubts. I remembered yet again what Chelsea Wolfe once said in an interview. “Humans are a glitch,” she said, “a beautiful glitch… embrace it.” I am learning to embrace the glitch in myself and others. And Chelsea Wolfe was right about glitches. They are beautiful.

(Song recommendation by Douglas Menagh)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 10

Modern Mary by Tyler Anne Whichard

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Tyler Anne is a writer studying at UNCW. She is the fiction editor for semicolon literary journal, a K-Pop stan on antidepressants, and an advocate of radical kindness. Her work has appeared in Spelk, rkvry, and Atlantis: A Creative Magazine. Follow her on social media @tylerawhichard.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 9

January 2003 by Emily Costa

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About the author:
Emily Costa teaches freshmen at Southern Connecticut State University, where she received her MFA. Her writing can be found in Hobart, Barrelhouse, The RS 500, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere.

K Recommends: “Time Has Come Today” by The Chambers Brothers

At around 11 minutes long, “Time Has Come Today” stretches and tests the boundaries of time. This psychedelic anthem celebrates the unknowns of time, appreciates the time we have, and accepts that life is short. The song addresses how time is often fraught with sadness and frustration but we are also rewarded with powerful experiences.

I enjoy how The Chambers Brothers demonstrate time within the song. At the beginning, the thrill of the lyrics, the maddening guitars, the lively drumming… all instruments and musicians build this song together. Then there are instances where the background vocals are more of a shout or a statement: “TIME!” The song slows a bit; a cowbell introduced from the start clicks like a second hand.

Was it always ticking? The drums… I think they might have been leading us into something hypnotic and mysterious all along. You can contemplate this once that break fills in the song completely for minutes. Time doesn’t exist here… or does it? This is where we spin, dance and fall. We reach out to one another or pull away not knowing when or if this space is momentary or forever. As we drown in or ride on the meandering ooze of psych we can revisit memories and history or look away.

Released in the Vietnam War era, it’s a song that’s musically familiar but takes a slightly different route from the messages other bands electrified during this period. I think of “Fortunate Son” by CCR which speaks to issues with concrete examples. The Chambers Brothers take rock and current events and put them in a very surreal musical context. It really makes you appreciate these songs as more than their relationship to the decade.

Of course there are so many interpretations one could glean from this track. I love how the main pieces of the song come back at the end, and time carries on. Take the time to hear this song in its original, plentiful version. You have time. Or do you?

“TIME!”

(Song recommendation by K Weber)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 8

On “The Holly and the Ivy” by George Winston by Keef

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About the author:
Keef lives, writes, and listens to lots of music in Austin, TX, although he doesn’t listen to very much sad music anymore. He’s been published in Cabinet of Heed and Five on the Fifth, and has put a series of horrible little fables on the web at horriblelittlefables.com. He’s also on twitter@keefdotorg.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 7

Chic Cheer by Patrick Williams

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

About the author:
Patrick Williams is a poet and academic librarian living in Central New York. His recent work appears or is forthcoming in publications including Vinyl, Bennington Review, Nine Mile Magazine, and Posit. His chapbook Hygiene in Reading (Publishing Genius, 2016) was awarded the 2015 Chris Toll Memorial Prize. He edits Really System, a journal of poetry and extensible poetics and is the hands behind typewriter.city. Find him at patrickwilliamsintext.com and on Twitter @activitystory.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 6

A Toast to Innocence by Erin Cork

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

About the author:
Erin Cork lives in Missoula, MT. She writes and hikes in the mornings with her two rescue mutts. She works the swing shift as a train dispatcher, drinks a lot of coffee and uses foul language. Her work has been featured in X-R-A-Y Lit, Hypnopomp, Image OutWrite and Memoir Mixtapes. She has other pieces about to drop elsewhere. She is working on another draft of her first novel and an essay collection.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 5

On Marianne Faithfull: Diary of a Lesbian Spinster in Winter by Tanya Pearson

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About the author:
Tanya Pearson is a Ph.D. Student, Oral Historian, and Director of the Women of Rock Oral History Project, a collection of digital interviews and written transcripts documenting the lives and careers of women-identified rock musicians. She is a proponent of lesbiansim, aging, vegetarianism, senior dog adoption, and Joan Didion. When she's not working she enjoys rock climbing, playing in bands, and watching The Golden Girls with her dog, Andrew. Her work has been published in Bust Magazine and “I’ve Got My Equalizer”: An Oral History of Rock Music will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in 2021. Follow Women Of Rock Oral History Project on Twitter, Instagram @womenofrockohp or visit www.womenofrock.org