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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


(Song recommendation by Jon Johnson)


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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.

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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.

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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)

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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

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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)

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Tom Recommends: “The Twenty-Second Century” by Say Hi

Eric Elbogen writes songs that sound like my childhood Nintendo was surreptitiously recording fleeting but formative moments throughout my life and magically turned them into pop songs.

And I love everything about that.

It’s had me listening to his band, Say Hi, for years and puzzling over why more people aren’t in the same sort of active love with his music that I am.

“The Twenty-Second Century” is a deceptively simple song, lyrically. I can see how someone might easily overlook the poetry of a moment as ubiquitous as the one depicted in the lyrics of the opening track from 2005’s Ferocious Mopes. But musically, this song sounds and feels just like playing in the woods behind your house with your best friend at age seven: the endless possibility, the tunnel-vision focus, the boundless ambition of young imagination, the world absolutely ending beyond the scope of right here and now, the immortal magic of it all. If you have ever contemplated the beauty of such time spent now gone (and who amongst us hasn’t), if you have ever welled with tears watching your own child turning the whole banal world into an endlessly fascinating toy, if you have ever puzzled over where play and its unadulterated engagement with existence goes over the years, then this song will sound like it has been sitting right next to you for years waiting for you to Say Hi.

From love to sadness to joy, unrequited infatuations to unending rainy days to persisting belief in magical thinking and things, childhood to adulthood to whatever all that in between space is, Elbogen captured it all and fed it through a multitrack recorder. Don’t stop with “The Twenty-Second Century,” either. There are 10 albums and growing. So blow the dust out of your old game cartridges and reintroduce yourself to the moments you keep forgetting to go back and feel ever since life started getting so full of busy things.

(Song recommendation by Tom Stern)

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