Lindsey Recommends: “Love You Down” by Da Bassment (1996)

I know you don’t know who Da Bassment is.
I know I have Ready for the World to thank for this classic.
I know that INOJ had a much more commercially successful cover of this song just a year later, in 1997.

But is the version I fell in love with.

I wish I were cool enough to be a slow jam purist. However, all the baby-makin’ R&B had already been remade (twice) by the time my love for the genre blossomed when I was 13 and my only interests were making out and music I could make out to. As a result, most of the songs I loved were remakes, like “Love You Down” by Da Bassment from The Nutty Professor soundtrack.

Oh, and don’t act like you weren’t making out to Eddie Murphy movie soundtracks in the ’90s and early aughts. Boomerang, The Nutty Professor, Dr. Doolittle, and their sequels were full of hip-hop and R&B that would make your mom blush. They were all seriously underrated compilations, in my opinion.

As I’ve grown up and my musical sensibilities have matured, I appreciate the work of Ready for the World (I can’t NOT Carlton dance to “Oh, Sheila”). But I had to be true to myself and recommend the version of this song that I listened to on repeat while applying too much Cover Girl foundation AND powder to my yet-to-be-ravaged-by-puberty face and practicing flirty smiles at my vanity mirror.

(Song recommendation by Lindsey Hileman)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 30

Now I’m Dancing… by Ingrid Calderon

It was 1989.

I was 10 years old.

The year a fated motorcycle accident left me fastened to a Queen bed inside my faux-grandfathers house. We’d ended up there, after a long search for sanctuary. He’d take me on long drives to record-stores, where he’d put 10 dollars in my hand and set me loose.

He was a memento of cleanliness and purity.

An Angel from New Mexico.

Godsend.

TO READ FULL PIECE, CLICK ON THE ALBUM COVER BELOW.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 29

Excavations: On Richard Buckner’s The Hill by Matthew Woodman

“My boy, wherever you are,
Work for your soul’s sake,
That all the clay of you, all the dross of you,
May yield to the fire of you”

–“Emily Sparks” from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology

On January 18, 1870, Matthew Woodman, under contract for the burning of ironstone, died when the rope connecting the wagon train snapped, leaving cars to careen down the quarry before toppling near the kiln bank and burying him beneath the grey fleshly cleaved rubble. Such a cloud of dust. Such fractured veins. Such banded ferruginous sediment.

TO READ FULL PIECE, CLICK ON THE ALBUM COVER BELOW.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 28

De-Loused in the Pizzeria by Kevin D. Woodall

hurry the call comes
the craft does not multiply
lone pilot the mission demands
to a decrepit shell of a once-home

slip through to the manupod
a delivery of cruel importance
loaded weapon of greased indulgence
the caveat spoke a debt must be paid

TO READ FULL PIECE, CLICK ON THE ALBUM COVER BELOW.

Emili Recommends: “Outstanding” by The Gap Band

Last evening I turned on my Bluetooth speaker and put my music on shuffle for my nightly shower. The reaction I had to The Gap Band’s “Outstanding” was nothing short of Pavlovian.

When this record comes on I cannot resist shaking my hips, swaying left to right, and straight up grooving when I hear those drum beats. The rhythm never gives up; through this song you have six holy minutes of pure dance session bliss.

Don’t forget those vocals though, this song will have you belting that resounding, contagious “Outstanding” like the R&B funk singer you believe you were born to be… or maybe that’s just me.

Regardless, join The Gap Band when you’re in need of a dance-it-out session, you won’t be disappointed.

(Song recommendation by Emili Lamph)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 27

A Head Full of Flames: Elliott Smith’s Roman Candle by Melissa Brooks

“You don’t know Elliott Smith? Damn! Give me your iPod,” my high school crush demanded one afternoon in my parents’ basement. I handed it over and he plugged it into the sleek Apple laptop he carried with him everywhere. He soon transferred Elliott’s entire discography to my device. Much like Elliott, he was a musical prodigy, possessing an ability to pick up most any instrument and best other musicians who’d been playing for years. My musical naiveté would have appalled him if he didn’t enjoy educating me so much.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 26

Lemonade by Mara A. Cohen

While Beyoncé was secretly recording what would become her sixth consecutive number-one album, Lemonade, I was making a secret recording of my own—nearly 10 minutes of my husband raging at me as he drove us home from couples counseling, the engine revving in the background, me repeating, “I’m sorry, so sorry,” and begging him to slow down.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 25

And I Can’t Get Enough: Why My Love for Third Eye Blind’s Self-Titled Debut Album Goes Deeper than Bones by Lindsey Hileman

Though I can’t place the exact moment I heard Third Eye Blind’s first single, Semi-Charmed Life, I know it entered my consciousness sometime during its early rotation on Bay Area radio stations in the spring of ‘97. I had been aware of it enough to know that I loved it and to be thrilled when it played as the last song of my eighth grade graduation dance at Miller Junior High. This would be the last song of my last middle school experience. I would exit the cafeteria that had been transformed into some kind of unexplained castle-themed dance floor, to the future, to high school, to some contrived idea of the best years of my life.

“Doot-Doot-Doot…Doot-doot-doo.”

TO READ FULL PIECE, CLICK ON THE ALBUM COVER BELOW.

Kevin Recommends: “Time Moves Slow” by BADBADNOTGOOD ft. Sam Herring

sun’s out guns out my dudes

BADBADNOTGOOD are a shining treasure. True masters of music. Unfairly, impossibly talented. I hate them and love them for being so good.

They’re nominally a “jazz” band, but they live in a weird void-space between jazz, hip hop, and electronic music. They’ve collaborated with some heavy hitters: Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean — shit they even have a joint album with Ghostface Killah (WU-TANG, WU-TANG, WU-TANG, WU-TANG). These dudes are titans, and those in The Know fucking know.

For your consideration today, I’ve got their track “Time Moves Slow,” featuring guest vocals from Sam Herring of Future Islands. If you’ve ever experienced a breakup with someone who didn’t love you the same way you loved them, I imagine this song will have some weight for you.

And if you experienced it while you were on a French holiday sometime in the 60s, I imagine it would hit you even harder.

Give it a listen and I think you’ll hear what I mean.

If you like this song listen to the rest of the album because it’s incredible okay

(Song recommendation by Kevin D. Woodall)

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 24

On Bach’s Bottom by Alex Chilton by Elizabeth Barker

Not too many years ago, I stole a rock star’s likeness for my novel and then he asked me on a date. He’s the singer for a band I’ve loved since I was 14, one of the most enduring infatuations of my life. The character I based on him was very minor: my protagonist’s most adored ex-boyfriend, who wore beaded necklaces and ate his ice cream from the pint, with a butter knife instead of a spoon. He existed in flashbacks where kids drank warm beer on back porches in the New England summertime, Rickie Lee Jones on the radio. In one scene he dragged his finger through the melted frosting of a lemon danish, on a front stoop on a Sunday morning when he and his girl had barely slept and both had exciting hair, unwashed and ocean-salty.