Jon Recommends: “Grip” by Pixx

*White guy in socks with sandals voice* “I’m not a compare-ist, buuut…

I love Enya.

Blame my mother for playing Shepherd Moons & A Day Without Rain nonstop as a way to soothe her neuroticism when she didn’t have food around to eat it away.

Or blame Enya for making us all want to sail away sail away sail away.

Either way, I always felt there was this void for music like this as I got older. I’d find myself going back to those albums and getting my fix, not finding anything else like it out there. Granted I wasn’t looking hard, but come on.

Imogen scratched the itch and took it further. Now there are two fuckin’ voids, thanks. The original void has been mixed with something else I didn’t know I needed, and its calming and moving and….damnit.

So here comes Pixx and Age of Anxiety ticking my ears from some radio in Spain, and…. me flipa, tio.

While I know there is no comparing one drop in the sea to the next, the hunger pangs lessen with every ever-shining note.

(Song recommendation by Jon Johnson)

 

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 4

O, Pioneers by Debby Wolfinsohn

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

About the author:
Debby Wolfinsohn has written for the Austin American-Statesman, Spin, and MTV.com. Her artwork has appeared in the New York Times. She has written television pilots (Gigantic) and screenplays (Nowhere) and edited films (Friends Forever, High School Record). Her ‘zine, Satan Wears A Bra, is a a permanent part of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Archives in Cleveland and the Fales Riot Grrrl Archives at NYU. Born in Detroit, she has lived in Madison, Oakland, and Brooklyn, currently residing in Austin, Texas, where she writes YA novels and raises her family. In her old life, she played guitar with her band, the Speed Queens, completing two US tours and recording two records (released on Sympathy for the Record Industry) before the whole thing exploded like a Chevy van on a remote Florida highway (true story). Find her at debbywolfinsohn.com or on twitter @debbywolfinsohn

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 3

Crux by M.Stone

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

About the author:
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry and fiction while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, Star 82 Review, UCity Review, and numerous other journals. Find her on Twitter @writermstone and at writermstone.wordpress.com.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 2

An Anthem for Sad Girls Who Don’t Know Heartbreak, But Do Know the Bible by Hannah Gordon

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

About the author:
Hannah Gordon is a writer and editor from Detroit. She’s the managing editor of CHEAP POP. Her stories can be found or are forthcoming in Hypertrophic Literary, Jellyfish Review, Synaesthesia Magazine, WhiskeyPaper, and more. When she’s not writing, she’s hanging out with her cat and watching cooking competitions. You can follow her on Twitter at @_hannahnicole.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.4, Track 1

On “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac by Karissa Morton

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

About the author:
Karissa Morton is originally from Iowa & currently lives in Texas.  Her work can be found in Cream City Review, The Indiana Review, Guernica, The Paris-American, Sonora Review, Devil’s Lake, & Crab Orchard Review, among other places.

Hawa Recommends: “More Than This” by Roxy Music

Warm yet wistful with lyrics alluding to lighthearted longing, Roxy Music’s “More Than This” is what nostalgia sounds like. You hear not only a fondness for some past time, but also the wisened sense of time’s inevitable passing — an awareness of the present always becoming lost to the past. The song, though, has a whimsical touch, as if its singer — having been transported by a daydream to meet his younger version— knows there’s no point in warning his former self that youth is fleeting. He knows the only way to grasp the ephemeral nature of youth is to go through the motions of outliving it.

It was fun for a while
There was no way of knowing
Like a dream in the night
Who can say where we’re going

Vivid yet illusory, memory is a kind of virtual reality. Press play and relive your own . . .

(Song recommendation by Hawa Allan)

Kevin Recommends: “Elegia” by New Order

Have you ever listened to New Order’s “Elegia” and thought, “Man, this song is great, but it sounds kind of abbreviated. Why can’t it be like, 12 minutes longer?” If you have — well, my dudes, I’ve got something good for you today.

Most fans of New Order already know that the version of “Elegia” on Low-Life is indeed but a fraction of a much longer, much more anguished song, and — thanks to the power of the internet — I’m able to provide you with New Order’s original, un-shortened tribute-slash-group-therapy elegy for Ian Curtis.

If you needed to work through some feelings of loss today, I suggest you take aside 17:30 for yourself and work through them. Let those feelings out, don’t hold them back. We’re all friends here, and we won’t judge; we’ve all got losses to mourn.

(Song recommendation by Kevin D. Woodall)

 

Nicole Recommends “I’m So Humble” by The Lonely Island

Here’s the thing about parody/comedic music: While it obviously needs to be funny, it should still be good music.

Enter The Lonely Island and their 2016 film Popstar. In line with many a parody film that focuses on a musician, it’s full of songs that aren’t real songs in the sense that a real-life band with an actual name didn’t sit down and craft them. But at the same time . . . the songs in this movie are a lot better than they should be.

In a way, I shouldn’t be surprised. I love The Lonely Island. I think they’re hilarious, and oftentimes their “for a laugh” songs are still really fucking catchy (See: “Hugs” off The Wack Album). But even so, I was kind of blown away by how much I wanted to listen to this soundtrack on repeat—in addition to how many times my husband and I have watched this movie (which is A LOT).

There are several contenders for “most recommendable” songs on this soundtrack, but I had to think about what I’m trying to accomplish by suggesting one. And that is “Get more people to watch this movie.” So, I bring to you the song that opens the film: “I’m So Humble.”

In this song, Andy Samberg as Conner4Real sings about how he’s this super amazing dude whose amazing personality is enhanced by the fact that he NEVER talks about how amazing he is. Backed up by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, he humble-brags about his baking skills, his ability to compliment unattractive people, and how he never complains “when [his] private jet is subpar.”

Truly a god among men, that Conner4Real.

While not the funniest song to appear, this is definitely the catchiest and most “real song” sounding. I can imagine a version of this being written in earnest (and the implication in Popstar is that Conner4Real is incredibly earnest; he’s just an idiot), and I feel like I wouldn’t hate it. It’s bouncy, it’s full of easy-to-remember rhyme, and it’s over before you get burned out on its simplicity. It’s also the perfect amount of Adam Levine because I feel like he really needs to not be around as much as he is.

Besides, where else are you going to get a lyric like “I feel more humble than Dikembe Mutombo after a stumble left him covered in a bit pot of gumbo”?

Nowhere.

(Song recommendation by N. Alysha Lewis)

Sam Recommends: “Top of the World” by Brandy ft. Mase

J.Lo totally bit hard off of this Brandy joint when she came out with “Jenny from the Block” a whole 4 years later.

Too bad that song sucks and this one rules. (This was also the first or second cd I ever bought with my own money, so I could be biased.)

Whether you’re getting it from Brandy, J.Lo, or Queen Bey, the message is the same:

Haters gonna hate. Don’t let them bother you. Twirl on ’em. Do what you gotta do. Stay true. Keep killin’ it.

And that goes for you, too, J.Lo. Respect.

(Song recommendation by Samantha Lamph/Len)