Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 8

Fear of a Black Planet by Yoshio Drescher

I was eleven years old when I heard Public Enemy for the first time. My family and I were driving from Honolulu to my Uncle’s apartment on the North Shore, cruising past rows of pineapples and sugarcane. I was absentmindedly staring out the window, rolling the radio dial back and forth on my black plastic walkman trying to catch a station worth listening to when “Welcome to the Terrordome” by Public Enemy suddenly burst through the static.

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 7

Sylvester’s Step II: Sylvester Taught Me How to Be Queer by Peter Piatkowski

I’m an atheist, but I believe that Sylvester is my guardian angel. I believe he watches over all of us nelly queens, sissies, nancyboys, and marys who sought solace and escape on a dance floor. Sylvester is no mere disco diva, but our Francis Scott Key. The United States has The Star Spangled Banner but we have “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).”

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

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 6

The Rainbow’s End: A First Taste of Doom by Eric Bryan


2003 was a strange year to be a young metalhead.

Aside from the looming shadow of global terrorism, a quickly developing surveillance state, the dissolving housing market and the unnamable tension that would become the general social unrest that we currently exist in, it was also very hard to find old metal CDs!

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

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 5

On “Everything Under the Sun” by Jukebox the Ghost by Ehlayna Napolitano

The album didn’t belong to me.

I’m not sure how many people had that album in their possession that year, my sophomore year of high school, the year I sat in the hallway every morning with my four friends.

The album belonged to a friend of a friend.

It got passed to me by my best friend, who’d had it passed to her by its presumable owner. Had it belonged to someone else before that?

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

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 3

On Wilco and Being There by Mike Lindgren

February 16, 1997 was a cold, gray day in Boston, and Fenway Park was shrouded and dark. Across the street from the famous left-field wall was a dank, shabby nightclub called the Avalon Ballroom, which despite its rundown interior was the Boston stop of choice for mid-level bands touring the East Coast. The Chicago alt-country band Wilco would have arrived sometime in the afternoon, loaded in their gear, done a perfunctory soundcheck, gotten something to eat. Their show that night would be the seventeenth they had played in the last nineteen days; they were halfway through a bruising tour that had taken them as far south as Atlanta and as far west as Kansas. Their singer and guitarist Jeff Tweedy, guitarist and keyboardist Jay Bennett, bassist John Stirratt, and drummer Ken Coomer were touring in support of their album Being There, an ambitious double record that had been out since October.

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

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 2

Healing Lights by Nadia Gerassimenko

It was 2010 and my heart was shattered, my body ablaze, my soul lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore, the child within me slipping away, only a fragmented ‘I’ remained. Mentally I was suffering from trauma from a former abusive relationship, physically from initial symptoms of Lyme Disease—only in retrospect did I realize that. My being didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t understand how I could suffer so much from a break up when others seemed to carry on so painlessly, so effortlessly, if not expressing to my face, then with their eyes that I should get over my pain already. I didn’t understand how and why every fiber of my being was on fire, and nothing could put it out. There were fleeting moments of freedom and peace, at least I had that.

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

Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2, Track 1

Somewhere We Will Meet: My Life with Radiohead’s OK Computer by Sarah Nichols

I can’t tell you that I knew about Radiohead from the beginning. Maybe, in 1993, I flicked the radio dial across Thom Yorke’s signature sob-sneer of a voice, unimpressed, a cast-off of the grunge I didn’t care about. I was sullen, depressed, and nineteen in 1993; a high school dropout. I was the perfect audience for that earnest despair, but I didn’t feel it. I see myself rewinding my cassette of Depeche Mode’s Songs of Faith and Devotion (released a month after Pablo Honey), the bedroom light off, at least until the end of the first side. I listened to the hold-overs from the last decade; Republic might not be brilliant in the way that Technique was (and is), but it was still New Order. Wish didn’t exert the same night-blooming dread that Disintegration did, but it was still the Cure. I wanted stability, the same voices that I had devoted hours to in all of those dark suburban bedrooms.

TO READ THE FULL PIECE, CLICK THE ALBUM COVER BELOW