Sam Recommends: “Baby, It’s You” by Smith

As much as I love The Beatles’ & The Shirelles’ versions, when it comes to “Baby, It’s You,” you can’t beat Smith’s soulful take:

Cheers to Quentin Tarantino for including it on the “Death Proof” soundtrack back in 2007. I don’t think I would have heard it otherwise.

Sam Recommends: “Flyin’ High” by Delicate Steve

I first encountered Delicate Steve in 2014, when they opened for Tame Impala (who will surely appear on this blog at some point in the future.)

It was love at first listen. I’m not a huge fan of instrumental music, but while Delicate Steve’s entire catalogue is (very nearly) free of vocals & lyrics, it never sounded like instrumental music to me.

To me, that lead guitar (I’m not a musician, so I don’t know if that terminology is correct) acts as the vocalist & storyteller in Delicate Steve’s songs, and it conveys just as much emotion as any human voice ever has.

In “Flyin’ High,” that voice is telling a story about the resilience of the human spirit. It expresses a slow but steady (and ultimately euphoric) realization that things are going to be okay, that there is beauty and joy to be found in the world, and that it’s worth getting excited about.

That’s what I hear, anyway.

Sam Recommends: “Them Changes” by Thundercat

Holy funk, this song is so good. I dare you to listen just once. You can’t. Unless you’re a masochist. In which case, do your thing. 

In the mood for a 3-for-1? Okay, sure.

So, if you’re like me, what probably first drew you into “Them Changes” is that opening drum beat, right? You might recognize it as a sample from Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day,” which is another all time favorite jam.

But, if you were raised listening to oldies, you probably know that Ice Cube actually borrowed it too, sampling The Isley Brother’s “Footsteps in the Dark.”

Sam Recommends: “Really Something” by Hector Gachan

I have to hand it to Spotify’s “Discover” weekly playlists. They’ve turned me on to some really great songs/artists.

This track by Hector Gachan is one of those fortuitous introductions. I think fans of Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ariel Pink, etc. will enjoy the listening experience.

I can’t find a whole lot of information about the artist online, but I’ve been following him on Facebook, and he just released another song tonight. So if you find this song as addicting as I did, check out his new release “Untitled 91.”

Sam Recommends: “Tyrant” by Kali Uchis (ft. Jorja Smith)

In honor of our current call for submissions, I’m going to plug some of the songs that have inspired my own obsession.

I’ve been listening to “Tyrant” by Kali Uchis (Feat. Jorja Smith) at least 3x a day for the past two weeks.

It’s a hypnotizing, sensual, and salty-sweet love song that I discovered via HBO’s “Insecure.” If you haven’t seen the show, start watching because it’s amazing, and the soundtrack is a true gift.

Call for Submissions for Memoir Mixtape #1: Origin Stories

For our first Memoir Mixtape, inquiring minds would like to know:

What was the first song that you were truly & madly obsessed with? And what possessed you to listen to Fleetwood Mac’s “Silver Springs” 304 times over one weekend in 4th grade? Did it lead to a personal breakthrough? Or to a year-long case of insomnia and fitful nightmares starring Stevie Nicks?

Yeah, I was never really the same after that summer.

Send your submissions to

Wait…are there rules?

Not really. Just remember that we’re looking for essay length pieces — not novels. But now that I’m thinking about it…we’d love to see your poems, too. And don’t forget to include a short bio, photo, or any other relevant info you want to be included with your submission should it be included in our first mix.

Deadline for issue 1: 10/31/17

They Can Feel It All Over

This evening, on my hour long commute home, while listening to a particularly delightful, though admittedly eclectic, Spotify playlist I’ve been building, song by song, all summer long, I experienced something I haven’t in quite some time: an exciting idea that got me feeling all sorts of inspired.

Listening to music on my drive to and from work is one of my favorite parts of the day.

Whether I’m singing along to a guilty pleasure like Calvin Harris/Pharrel/Katy Perry/Big Sean’s “Feels…”

(I’m not even embarrassed though…it’s a bop)

…or unconsciously floating away to re-live the moments certain songs trigger (I can’t listen to The Carpenter’s “We’ve Only Just Begun” without crying due to a particularly touching home video from my childhood)…

music never fails to evoke real emotions connected to real memories, however fleeting, superficial, profound, blissful, or distressing those emotions might be.

I know most of my fellow human beings can relate, and I think sharing the stories we have, along with the songs that conjure them, is a great way to connect with each other while building some pretty groovy (or, at the very least, very “interesting”) playlists in the process.

So here’s what I want to do, with your help:

I’ll be posting calls (with a prompt to guide your selection) for submissions on a regular basis, curating collections of your stories (you’ll always be credited), and creating the playlists that you can share with your friends and people around the world.

Not an experienced writer? Don’t even worry about it. I can help you edit and proofread your story to get it to a place where you’ll feel comfortable sending it our onto the world’s stage.

If you’re interested, check out the call for submissions for Memoir Mixtape #1: Origin Stories, and get to it.

Prompt suggestions/ questions/comments/rants/raves/deep, dark secrets/ confessions of undying love and devotion can be directed to me at