Memoir Mixtapes Vol.10, Track 13

i haven’t seen endgame yet, but i’ve already read what happens at the end by Matt Mitchell

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Matt Mitchell is a writer from Ohio. His work appears in, or is forthcoming to, publications like BARNHOUSE, Gordon Square Review, Frontier Poetry, Homology Lit, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry, among others. He’d love to talk to you about 1980s pop.

Lindsey Recommends: “Best on Earth” by Russ and BIA (NSFW)

Why is he so cute?

Every once in awhile, a song drops that you know will be adopted by every stripper in the galaxy. “Best on Earth” by Russ and BIA is that song for 2020. And you don’t even have to go to the strip club to know I’m right — search the #BestOnEarth on Instagram and see hundreds of Insta babes’ bouncing booties.

You’re welcome.

Russ first showed up among my suggested playlists in 2017 when his album There’s Really a Wolf, came out, and I instantly fell in love. His sound stood out from other emerging hip hop acts. He raps; he sings; he’s not hard to look at it. And as I immersed myself in his entire catalog, I discovered he wasn’t actually a new artist. The guy is prolific, having put out ELEVEN albums on SoundCloud between 2011 and 2017.

Ok, so clearly I’m a bit of a Stan for Russ, so maybe it was a given that I was going to love anything he put out. Or maybe it’s BIA’s perfect blend of crassness and charisma: “Now I got the pussy and power if you ask me.” Or perhaps I’m just a sucker for mattress creaking on a track (see also: “Bad” by Wale and Rhianna). You know, I love my Tuft and Needle mattress, but it lacks a certain audible feedback when I’m getting busy. Now that I think about it, will the future generations even know the joy of making your own music from fucking? Sad.

As a bop that is guaranteed to bring out the freak in, like, everybody, I can recognize that “Best on Earth” is on the slippery slope of novelty. So enjoy it. Hopefully with someone cute. But do yourself a favor and don’t stop there. Russ has like a zillion songs and, honestly, most are objectively better than this one. Put him on shuffle and vibe the fuck out.

(Song recommendation by Lindsey Hileman)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.10, Track 12

Out of Reaches by Cassandra Caverhill

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Cassandra Caverhill is a poet and freelance editor originally hailing from Windsor, Ontario. Her work has appeared in Great Lakes Review, Typishly, The Louisville Review, and Open Palm Print. An MFA Poetry candidate at Bowling Green State University, Cassandra lives and writes with her husband, Michael, in Ohio. Visit her website at cassandracaverhill.com.

Jeanne Recommends: “Invisible Touch” by Genesis

“Do you love her? Are you going to marry her?”

My father and older brother were arguing in the front seat of our station wagon as we traversed western Montana en route to Yellowstone National Park. My brother was dating a woman our parents didn’t like, and my father was doing his best to nip the situation in the bud, conveniently ignoring the fact that my brother was a young man in his twenties who could do whatever he wanted.

I lay stone-faced in the backseat, a chunky eleven-year-old just out of the fifth grade. It was June, still too early in the summer for me to be very anxious about starting middle school in the fall. On balance, I had been enjoying the road trip from Seattle to Yellowstone with my father and brother. The latter was going to work for the park’s concessionaire for the summer, and we would meet up with our other brother, who was already there doing the same thing.

Not wanting to hear any more of the argument in the front seat, I rewound the cassette in my Walkman to the beginning of Side A and pressed play. The telltale drum and keyboard intro of “Invisible Touch” filled my preteen ears, and the pop perfection transported me out of that car and into my own imagination. My brother had given me the tape as a gift to celebrate finishing elementary school. He loved Genesis too, and I remembered sitting in his room at a very young age, just listening to their songs and dreaming of being old enough to go to concerts and buy my own records.

Well I don’t really know her, I only know her name
But she crawls under your skin
You’re never quite the same, and now I know
She’s got something you just can’t trust
And it’s something mysterious
And now it seems I’m falling, falling for her

I wondered what it must be like to have that kind of power over a man, the power to make someone fall for me. I was too young to understand the realities of love and relationships; to me, finding the love of my life was still the ultimate accomplishment and I wouldn’t shake that notion (or some variation of it) until I was in my early thirties and going through a divorce. But that June day, I put off growing up a little longer, watched the sky through the car window, and took refuge in the music.

(Song recommendation by Jeanne Sharp)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.10, Track 11

Sometimes I’m Above Water but Mostly I’m at Sea by Marissa Castrigno

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Marissa Castrigno is an essayist living in Brooklyn or North Carolina, depending on when you read this. Her work has appeared in Lavender Review, Bluestockings Magazine, Eater, and on the HuffPo Blog. She is an MFA candidate at UNC Wilmington.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.10, Track 10

self-portrait of the artist in love as mitski’s be the cowboy with red lipstick & ice (after Kaveh Akbar, after Sara Mae) by Adrienne Novy

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Adrienne Novy is a writer, musician, and Bettering American Poetry and Pushcart Prize nominee currently living in Saint Paul, MN. She is the author of trisomy 22 and Crowd Surfing With God (Half Mystic Press, 2018). Her most recent work can be found in ENTROPY’s series The Birds and FlyPaper Magazine, and has previously been published in NAILED Magazine, Rising Phoenix Press, among others. She loves My Chemical Romance and she loves being alive.

K Recommends: “The Enchanter” by Budos Band

Instrumentals are not my most favorite thing, or so I said before really listening to jazz and hearing more recent artists like Dirty Three, The Olympians, a lot of post-rock groups and surf rockers, and Budos Band. What used to feel like an occasional novelty on a popular artist’s album — that one quirky instrumental song tucked inside, at the end or as a hidden track on CDs — has evolved and allowed my appreciation for instrumental music to take a turn for the better once I was introduced to bands who were fascinating in instrumental form. No longer resembling Muzak or meditation background, modern artists specializing in instrumentals gave me a huge appreciation of drums, guitars, bass, brass, synthesizers, and so many more noisemakers!

I got into Budos Band when a coworker recommended their first, self-titled album, back in 2005. That lively and spirited debut felt fresh and transcendent; a most fulfilling introduction into instrumental music for me that wasn’t in the indie or post-rock sections. Their sound was indescribable in few words but stretched across lots of genre territory.

Several albums and nearly 15 years later, their 2019 album, “V,” has a darker bent to the music. “The Enchanter” is just one of the tracks that doles out a bit of snarl. The drums get increasingly louder and almost match their signature horn stylings! There is a brooding rock feel with wicked organ and guitar break-outs! They still know how to roll with added funk grooves and danceable shakedowns! But there’s a sly 60s and 70s psychedelic element permeating this song and album a bit more.

Budos Band go deep and moody on guitars here and the horns seem to have grown horns to get to the fiery, growling niches in this song. Every album expands on their unique, core funky sound and just grows bolder in time! Listen to anything they’ve done!!!

(Song recommendation by K Weber)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.10, Track 9

On a Maddening Loop by C.C. Russell

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
C.C. Russell lives in Wyoming with his wife and daughter. His writing has recently appeared in such places as Tahoma Literary Review, Word Riot, Rattle, The Meadow, and The Colorado Review. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best of the Net. He has held jobs in a wide range of vocations—everything from graveyard shift convenience store clerk to retail management, with stops along the way as dive bar DJ and swimming pool maintenance. He has also lived in New York and Ohio. He can be found on Twitter @c_c_russell.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.10, Track 8

Wanted by Lisa Fleck Dondiego

To read this piece, click the album cover below.

About the author:
Lisa Fleck Dondiego’s poems have appeared in The Westchester Review, Haibun Today, and in several anthologies, including Red Moon Press’s yearly anthology and in the Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley’s A Slant of Light. She has read locally at Cornelia St. Café and the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, and has taught in the Learning to See workshop series at the Greenburgh Library in Westchester. Her chapbook, A Sea Change, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011. She lives in Ossining, NY, with her husband.

Seigar recommends “About Work The Dancefloor” by Georgia

Green Georgia ready for success

Georgia released her debut album in 2015, and she made some noise, but maybe not as much she expected and deserved. If all the tracks on that record had been as good as the first four songs, perhaps everybody would know her by now. However, the daughter of Leftfield cofounder Neil Barnes has this second chance to gain that notoriety. Every list of the best songs of 2019 included the song I’m bringing you today. “About Work The Dancefloor is a disco party anthem with retro 80s synthesizers and hedonistic lyrics.

’Cause I don’t have much in terms of money now
I don’t have material gifts for you
You want me to stay a while, stay a while
To be in a moment with you
I was just thinking about work the dancefloor
I was just thinking about work the dancefloor
I was just thinking about work the dancefloor
I was just thinking about work the dancefloor

This singer, songwriter, composer, and drummer has focused on the nostalgia for the dancefloor in her new album Seeking Thrills, the first one to watch this year! In fact, Georgia told an interviewer: “I made this song after a weekend in Berlin entirely dancing in a few clubs and I realised how important the dancefloor is to people to give them a certain relief from their everyday activities.”

The video is a stunning production, visually connecting to the 80s and early 90s aesthetics and imagery. Her crazy fairy tale matches the visuals of Stranger Things, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and her catchy tunes and way of singing remind us of Robyn. The Swedish singer may be a strong influence in the sound of Georgia’s new album.

Enjoy the song and the video, and do yourself a favour: listen to Seeking Thrills first. This is one to include in the best of 2020 for sure.

(Song recommendation by Seigar)