Jon Recommends: “$$ Kash Register $$” by Kashmere Stage Band

A dollar sign for every minute of funk (rounded down)

Handle it.

That’s all I think as I fly to the keyboard for some Kashmere Stage Band.

The power to blast through a stiff, sleepy morning, get out of your head, or finally clean your damn room is locked in every liquid sound travelling the decades it took to get to your ears.

And if you somehow sit still through the entire song and don’t end up with that stinky funk face on (you know the one), I would see a doctor. This may be a sign of

a serious medical condition known as psychíary obstruction or a “blockage of soul”.

(Song recommendation by Jon Johnson)

Brittany Recommends: “Liquor Store” by Devil Doll

When relationships find that hard spot, the relation is this song. When I listen to this song, I hear the random fights involving insecurities of other women-or even men. I hear someone drowning themselves in alcohol to avoid all pain that comes along with those fights… As dark as the song is, it has an upbeat melody which makes it ironic af. I love it, I hope it speaks to some of you as it does me.✌🏻

(Song recommendation by Brittany McCann)

Kevin Recommends: “Seventeen” by Ladytron

Dystopian music for an increasingly dystopian present.

Today feels like a good day for this one. It’s short and simple with a strong message; much like the chorus of “me toos” currently resounding throughout the internet.

I’m not going to say too much this time. I’ll just let the song do its thing for you.

Sam Recommends: “Ivy” by Frank Ocean

What is this song about?

Is it about young love grown weary or bitter with old age? Is it about the rush of #feels we experience when unexpectedly encountering an old flame or being reminded of the innocence of your first experience with love (before some awful person broke your heart and destroyed that innocence)? Is it about the painful realization we all must endure as we come face to face with our thirties and realize we ain’t a kid no more, and that we’ll never be those kids again?

All of the above?

I spend an inordinate amount of my free time reading other interpretations of/reactions to my favorite songs on songmeanings.com and YouTube, and, in this case, I can personally relate to each of the following comments from my fellow Frank Ocean fans.

It is a song capable of digging up some of our most painful memories.

But we all know that, deep down, the feeling still, deep down, is good.

(Song recommendation by Samantha Lamph)

 

Bethany Recommends: “Falls” by Odesza

Living in LA is stressful.

I can remember breaking down into tears multiple times during the first week of living here. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and thought moving an hour and half away to go to college was a huge step in becoming an adult. Little did I know that packing up my jeep to drive to Los Angeles, California would be a little more defining.

Since I got a drivers license at 16, driving around and listening to music has been my thing. I’ve always loved to drive and used to do it just as a reason to leave the house. I even enjoyed the drive to and from California to Missouri. All 2000 miles of it. But, my love of driving quickly faded after I moved to California for good and began working in downtown LA.

 Back in Missouri, our idea of traffic was a slow down to 20 mph during highway interchanges. I was in for a treat when I saw what the LA streets had in store for me.

After being here five years, it seems like a way of life. And no matter the traffic conditions, I always have music going. It’s my way of mediating. My thoughts clear and the music eases my mind to bring out the stresses from the day.

Lately, “Falls” by Odesza has been my car anthem. If you’re having one of those days, it’s the perfect song to belt out alone in your car (while surrounded by hundreds of other people in their cars.)

It has just the right amount of drama and emotion to match any hardship one may be going through. Whether it be a break-up or some rude person just swerved into your lane and didn’t even need to get off at the next exit. You just gotta feed your emotion into the song. It’s less expensive than a therapy session, and much needed if you want to remain sane in this city.

Side note: this has only been tested if you sing/scream the lyrics along with song. So next time you’ve had a bad day, or if you feel like just listening to a dope song, check out Falls by Odesza.

(Song recommendation by Bethany Schluter)

Reminder: Submissions Close on 10/31

We’re about halfway through the month of October, which means the deadline to submit your work for issue 1 is quickly approaching.

Here’s that original call for anyone who needs a refresher:

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 hello@memoirmixtapes.com

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.

Kevin Recommends: “Jolene” by Dolly Parton

Do you guys like karaoke? Of course you do. I know I do, even though I’m a shy and nervous guy. Jolene is one of my staples, and when I start belting it in the middle of a drunken karaoke night, let me tell you‒it gets results.

In spite of Jolene’s up-tempo speed, there’s a mournful, funerary quality to the song that I’ve always been attracted to. Dolly is pleading, begging, and still fighting for her man, but I dunno‒it’s almost as if she knows she’s already lost the contest with Jolene. I guess what matters is that she took a stand and fought for what’s hers, regardless of whether she thought she could win or not.

I suggest that you put this song on, don your best western shirt and bolo tie, find a flaming-haired bitch named Jolene, and fuck up her day.

No one takes your man.

EXTRA CREDIT: If you’re done with Dolly but can’t get enough of the song and you need a little change of speed, here’s a different take that I’m also partial to:

The White Stripes do a hell of a job I tell you what.

(Song recommendation by Kevin Woodall)

Andy Recommends: “Apeman” by The Kinks

If the modern world seems like a real pain in the ass lately, take a few minutes and spend some time with Ray Davies of the Kinks as he escapes it all in “Apeman.”

Not known for their subtlety when combining satire with some of the catchiest rock and roll of their era, Davies and the Kinks put together an especially straightforward mockery of all that ails society with “Apeman.”

We fucked up. We’re just monkeys. Let’s act accordingly.

If you don’t agree, just put on “Apeman,” sing along with the chorus, and see if you don’t feel it in your loins when you proclaim to the world “I’m an apeman.” Your monkey loins.

Cause compared to the sun that sits in the sky
Compared to the clouds as they roll by
Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies
You are an ape man

(Song recommendation by Andrew Len)

Sam Recommends: “Crazy On You” by Heart

Have you ever gotten so carried away singing along to a kickass rock song as you’re driving down the highway that you look down at your speedometer two minutes in and see you’ve been pushing 90 mph in a 65?

Yeah, Heart’s “Crazy On You” (or “Magic Man,” which was a very close contender for today’s song recommendation) will do that.

In my next life, I hope to come back as the 70s version of Ann Wilson.

PS–
Don’t forget to submit personal essays/poetry inspired by your earliest song obsession to hello@memoirmixtapes.com by 10/31!

2 Ways You Can Contribute to Memoir Mixtapes

Just to clear up any lingering confusion, here is a quick & dirty guide to the two main ways you can contribute to the Memoir Mixtapes project.

Before we start, one important message: You can absolutely do both!

1. Looking for a serious commitment?

Write a personal essay or poem inspired by your first song obsession for Issue #1. These will be longer (3–7 pages is the ideal range, though we are flexible), more artistic pieces.

Many people have asked if they can write about a full album, and I don’t see why not, but we would prefer to see some more emphasis on one track that we can include as part of the Mixtape/playlist we’ll publish & share along with the issue.

You can read the original call for submissions here. Email your subs to hello@memoirmixtapes.com

2. Looking for a quick fling?

Write a short song recommendation that we can publish as part of our daily series here on the blog. Read this great recommendation from our first guest contributor to see an example of how it can be done (but you are fully encouraged to bring your own personal style/voice to your recommendations.)

If you create a Medium account, we can add you as a contributing writer, so you will be noted as the author and people can click over to your Medium page and learn more about how awesome you are.