Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 17

A confused timeline for Scott Hutchison, prophet by Luke Larkin

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

About the author:
Luke Larkin lives, studies, and listens to sad music in Missoula, Montana. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Firewords Quarterly, Popshot, on MTPR, and others. In his free time, he helps out with the magazines Visual Verse and unstamatic.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 16

A Quiet Full of Longing by Claire Dockery

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

About the author:
Claire Dockery is a recent graduate of Tulane University. She is the recipient of Tulane’s Academy of American Poets Prize for 2017, as well as a Fulbright grant. Her writing has appeared in Madcap Review, Entropy, Tulane Review, Grimoire Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a poetry reader for The Cerurove.


Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 15

When Called by Leslie Haynes

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

About the author:
Leslie Haynes is a north-of-50 caregiver who flamed out of a brilliant career in philanthropy and education. She writes about her family and life with her husband who has a rare, degenerative neurological disease. She lives and writes in Pioneer Square, the once gritty heart of Seattle.

Tyrel Recommends: “Once” by Van Halen 

Now, if you’re not intimately familiar with Van Halen (and/or Eddie’s signature guitar sound) outside the major hits, I could play this album, released in 1998, against literally any prior records and you would — not even close — ever guess it was the same band. Case in point: the insanely strange ballad, “Once.”

It’s a beast of a song — at 7:35 it’s the second longest of VH’s career — and manages to showcase everything from a haunted, 90s-tinted trashcan piano, Spanish-jazz guitarist in a (seemingly) odd time signature, a smorgasbord of vocal stylings and the trademark chorus/flanger fueled guitar noodling of Eddie Van Halen. “Once” is dirty and dark, lacking the pull-it-out-your-ass improv of Van Halen’s Roth-era albums and the often saccharine high-sheen of the Hagar-era.

You have to hand it to them though: they went for broke, throwing everything they had at the song unbridled abandon; leaving what seemed to stick (and maybe leaving some things that, well, maybe, didn’t quite stick). Though I ask you to consider our subject again. Instead of dishing out some boring, uninspired, middle-aged white guy “cockrock,” Eddie and the rest of the gang dished us out “Once,” a song that should be recognized as a grand experiment in the face of modern obsoletion. Did it fail? By normal stardards, yes. The album was critically panned and sank commercially (although it did eventually obtain gold status). Still, Van Halen was willing to take a risk and really, isn’t that something we should all be doing a bit more of?

(Song recommendation by Tyrel Kessinger)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 14

Garden Interlude V by Jordan E. Franklin

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

About the author:
Jordan E. Franklin is a Black poet from Brooklyn, NY. An alumna of Brooklyn College, she recently earned her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton. Her work has appeared in the Southampton Review, Breadcrumbs, easy paradise, the Ekphrastic Review, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the 2017 James Hearst Poetry Prize offered by the North American Review, and a finalist of the 2018 Nightjar Poetry Contest. Currently, she is the poetry editor for Suffragette City Zine and is working on her first poetry collection.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.8, Track 13

Sun Beholds Me (after Hand Habits) by Lucas Bailor

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

About the author:
Lucas Bailor is from Moreno Valley, California and is an MFA candidate at UC San Diego. His long poem, Love’s Refrain, appeared in Ghost City Press’ 2018 micro-chapbook summer series, and his poems have appeared in HVTN, SHARKPACK Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is currently a poetry reader for Gigantic Sequins and Bodega Magazine, and occasionally tweets @lucasbailor.

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.