Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

On The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by Julie Corbett

To my mind it was certainly recorded in black and white, grayscale with grainy pixilation. Sometime in the fifties when people wore hats and used handkerchiefs. Suitcases were no bigger than the holdalls we would pack for a gym session today. Every woman had a vanity case, every man a drinking habit. The moon was always bright until a sinister cloud veiled it and spies were two a penny or more likely 5 cents apiece. It was rock and roll, English not American but I still thought gangster moll and private eye. My first album, a cassette tape and a cassette tape player and recorder, the hard brittle clicking of the buttons, the pencil to re-reel the tape after it became caught in the playing heads. The cassette went from bedroom to living room, house to house and through six removals the last two with no means of playing it. The brittle case is gone, recycled to a friend’s daughter’s ‘A’ level art project. The tape and its companions remain in a wicker basket in the loft. But this is a misrepresentation of the album, but it is my emotional signature of the experience of listening to the tracks. I never bought the cd, downloaded (or is it uploaded) to an mP3 player. This is not an album I could ever put on shuffle.

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About the Author: 
Julie Corbett is a writer from Hull and is a member of the Women of Words Collective and the Mutiny Writers. Julie likes to sing and take photographs.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

Achtung Baby by U2– How I Survived My Adolescence by Jessica Siobhan Frank

It’s April 14, 1993 and I arrive at Carl Sandburg Junior High School before my friends have. My father picked me up at 7, and I am eager to get to school after 10 days of hell on the adolescent floor of the mental hospital. I turned 14 a few weeks earlier, and at 14,
any day without your friends is a long day. Ten of them strung together in the scariest place on earth made days feel like weeks, and I was more than ready to go back to school.

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About the Author:
Jessica Siobhan Frank is an MFA candidate at McNeese State University. Her work has appeared in Ninth Letter (online), The Poeming Pigeon, Portage Magazine, and several other publications. She lives in Lake Charles, LA with her three children but is originally from the Chicago area.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

On Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix by Cynthia Gallaher

“I Want Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland!”  ~ my mom

The year 1969, in retrospect, was one of the biggest in classic rock music. It was also the year my friends Sue and Mary Jane and I, three 16 years old, signed up for summer telemarketing jobs. It was during these working hours we perked up our ears, not for music, but the sounds of potential clients’ unenthused one-word responses across the wire, and the lilting, if not often monotonous, rhythm of our own voices as we repeated rote telephone pitches. Our goal was to sell small plots of Wisconsin resort property to older folks in the south Chicago suburbs, not an easy sell for a peddler of any age or experience.

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About the Author:
Cynthia Gallaher, a Chicago-based poet and playwright, is author of three poetry collections and two chapbooks. Most recently, she made a 10-city book tour with her nonfiction guide & memoir Frugal Poets’ Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren’t a Poet, which won a National Indie Excellence Award. The Chicago Public Library lists her among its “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets.” Follow her on Twitter at @swimmerpoet and on her Facebook page at @frugalpoets.

Kevin Recommends: “I Feel Better” by Hot Chip

not pictured: hot chip

Life’s short.

Often too short.

Being reminded of that can get you down.

When I start reflecting on the brevity of existence, and I get the panic and dread and shakes, I like to think on the words of Hot Chip in their song “I Feel Better:”

 “Nothing is wasted, a life is worth living.
Heaven is nowhere, just look to the stars.
There is a day that is yours for embracing.
Everything’s nothing, and nothing is ours.”

Let’s get pumped up my dudes.

Embrace today and LIVE.

After all, you never know when a bald dude is going to float into your show and blast you with mouth lasers, absorbing your essence into his own and reincarnating you, only for you to once again meet your demise from the eye lasers of a disembodied floating head dude.

…what?

It could totally happen.

Check out the video, you’ll see.

Seriously Peter Serafinowicz you beautiful bastard you made one of my favorite music videos for one of my favorite songs.

(Song recommendation by Kevin D. Woodall)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

On Underworld’s Dubnobasswithmyheadman
by Cory Funk

In the early to mid-90s I was the production director for my college radio station (no joke: KUMM FM). It was the height of Alternative as a music style and the bloat of the Music Industry. Interest in radio and music was so strong that the station had one DJ on air per hour, every hour of every day, with many more people waiting in the wings to get an on-air slot. People were still lured by tv ads to fly-by-night ‘academic’ institutions to study radio production. The internet was still in its infancy. We didn’t have color monitors for all the computers on campus and our email addresses had multiple dots after the @. There was a very high cool factor in having a pipeline to new music in a town of thirty five hundred people out on the Minnesota Prairie.

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About the Author:
Cory Funk is a music junkie who lives in St Paul, Minnesota. He has built many sets of stereo speakers for fun.His photography and part of his record collection has been displayed at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He has a short story in the recent collection Killing Malmon published by Down & Out Books.  He can be found online at funkomatic.wordpress.com.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

Carry On by Claire L. Smith

“If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, you can find out first-hand what it’s like to me,”

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About the Author: 
CLAIRE L. SMITH is an author, poet, filmmaker and artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Her opinative essays, fiction and poetry have been featured in many online bulletins and magazines including Luna Luna Magazine, MookyChick, Moonchild Magazine, Peculiars Magazine, Death and The Maiden, Anti-Heroin Chic, Horror Scribes, Zeroflash, Business Woman Media, A Woman’s Thing and NerdVana TV. Since January 2018, Smith has served as a Representative for SPREADING THE LOVE, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to spreading awareness about bullying, mental illness and suicide. She is also the curator of Spreading the Love – Melbourne and an official contributor to Outlet Magazine.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

Whitesnake Saved My Life by Cate Meighan

It hasn’t even started yet but already 2018 has handed me a huge gift in the form of Whitesnake tickets. Yeah I know, either you love them, hate them or you’re totally indifferent. But what you don’t know is that David Coverdale quite literally saved my life. We go way back, even if he doesn’t realize it yet. Back to when my Jehovah’s Witness mother dragged me to church three times a week and I’d play hair bands in my head just to survive the two hour sentence. Back to when I rushed to my after school job at Arthur Treacher’s, where I mopped up the baked potato bar and ran the register for hours. Having to strategically place the fast food joint’s hat over my big hair was totally worth it to get away from my bible thumping mom.

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About the Author:
Cate Meighan is an accomplished entertainment writer by day, a radio DJ at night. Vinyl, coffee & cat obsessed. Her first book, “Diary of an 80’s Girl,” is coming in Spring 2018.

Sam Recommends: “Big Fish” by Vince Staples

When they ask why you look so tired, tell them you were up late night ballin’, counting up hundreds by the thousands

This song goes hard about going hard.

I play it whenever I need a little kick in the ass to get my head right, which is pretty often to be honest. I got a lot to get done, y’all. I’m in this life game to win it.

So even though I can’t afford a life coach, I consider Vince Staples to be an invaluable mentor. Because Rick Ross might hustle every day, but Vince knows that to really make your big dreams come true, you gotta pull an all nighter every once in a while.

(Song recommendation by Samantha Lamph/Len)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

Bruce Springsteen’s The River and the Limitations of Love by Carly Plank

The protagonist of the title track of Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 double album The River asks, “Is a dream alive if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?” He dreamed of spending the rest of his life whisking Mary, the woman of his dreams, across the country on grand adventures without anything tying them down. Instead, this man—based on Springsteen’s own brother-in-law—finds himself getting hitched at a courthouse in a shotgun wedding because the girl of his dreams is pregnant with his child. Sure, he can still spend his life with her, but the dreaming has come to an abrupt end only to be replaced in the near future with hard living. Dreaming is always easier than living.

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About the Author:
Carly Plank is an adjunct professor at Kendall College of Art and Design and Grand Rapids Community College. She is currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is working on a memoir. Bruce Springsteen is her favorite musical artist of all time.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

Clueless in the Sixties on Woodstock Weekend by Ben Fine

In 1969, three hundred thousand people went to Woodstock.  However by 2017 seven million people remember being at Woodstock.  The memories of baby boomers  have transformed the sixties into this magical, mythical landscape where everyone was a hippie, everyone was a draft resister, everyone was a veteran, and everyone was at the forefront of sex, drugs and protest.  

In truth, most of us were entirely clueless during the sixties.  We ambled through the decade much as we ambled through the fifties before and the seventies after, not realizing much of anything.  We confronted big historic moments and didn’t realize that they were big and historic. We concentrated as always on the trivialities of getting through each day.

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About the Author:
Dr. Ben Fine is a mathematician and professor at Fairfield University in Connecticut in the United States.  He is a graduate of the MFA program at Fairfield University and is the author of thirteen books (eleven in mathematics, one on chess, one a political thriller) as well over 130 research articles, twelve short stories and a novella about Pirates. His story August 18,1969 published in the Green Silk Journal was nominated for a Pushcart prize.  He has completed a memoir told in interwoven stories called Tales from Brighton Beach: A Boy Grows in Brooklyn.The stories detail his growing up in Brighton Beach, a seaside neighborhood on the southern tip of Brooklyn, during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Brighton Beach was unique and set apart from the rest of New York City both in character and in time. His latest novel Out of Granada is came out in July of 2017.