What Got Us Through Issue 81

When I was about 19, I started reading a hip independent rag out of New York by way of Decatur, Atlanta that covered the various appendages of throwback and contemporary hip-hop culture (more Crazy Legs and GZA than Gucci Mane and Louis Vuitton face tattoos). At the end of each issue, the editorial staff would catalogue a list of music joints that got them through a month of compiling the magazine, addressing harassing letters, writing comics about 40ozs of malt liquor, and responses to an obviously outstanding Chuck D advice column. I would often read this final section first as it satisfied various things for me: providing me a new hit list of underground jams for me to bang out to, as well as humanized the staff in such a manner that I trusted the material in the magazine – humorous or not, thuggish or not. Magazines and journals alike are comprised of a gang (see what I did there?) of people who have ranging and eclectic tastes in art, music, hipsterisms, supernatural teen romance novels, Nathan Freddy Blakes, books on creation myths, etc.

What I found in this short installment, including the plugs for mostly new albums, was that it humanized the magazine and gave shape to the staff that compiled the various pages, interviews, and reviews. The installment provided an intimacy to the rag that allowed its subscribers the man-behind-the-curtain opportunity to see who was behind the pages and why the staff should be important to the readers.

I find that this is likely the case with literary journals in that our submitters and blog readers often times don’t have the opportunity to engage with the editorial staff and get a voyeuristic view of who, or what (robot chickens?) we are and how our lives are comprised of various arts and experiences. The goal of this section (there will likely be more references to early 90s fringe music, graffiti, chupacabras, and hopefully a plug for anything Billy Bob Thornton pre-Bad Santa) is simply to familiarize our dynamic and evolving readership and contributors with who we are and what drives us during our writing and the Mad Max rush of reading submissions. Beyond this post, I will likely continue to pursue posts that are an attempt to give shape and color to the people in the room who are responsible for not getting coffee cup stains on packets of submissions, who dreary-eyed and loping spend a crippling, albeit passionate and energetic amount of time reading through and engaging in literary pugilism over your submissions. (We get knuckley and hide rolls of quarters in socks when things get bananas at the editorial table). Following is a list with some links, some lyrics, some justifications, some skullduggery, and some lists of rad music that we are vibing to when we read, write, and contemplate friendship-risking games of Monopoly. We hope you enjoy the tiny glimpse into the one of the mechanisms that makes is tic.

(Note: The next post will likely be something serious, like “What We Really Do in The Library” or “This One Time When I Was in a Bathroom at a Rest Stop Outside of Topeka…” We here at MR feel that it is important that we tackle most of the large issues in the literary-arts world. As an addendum to this post, I think that it’s important to add Franz Wright’s presumable playlist — when he isn’t being lulled to sleep by the cries of small children. Also, note that Franz Wright is not part of the minnesota review and that I like him very much as a human and a poet.)

Michelle Calkins

What I’m listening to right now…and what I’ve been listening to lately as I write is:

1. Brandi Carlile’s new album, Bear Creek
2. Florence + The Machine’s Lung’s: The B-Sides
3. Panda Bear’s song “Surfer’s Hymn” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrLqKc3dU5c

Tom Minogue

Playlist Bizness:

1. “The Past Is a Grotesque Animal” Of Montreal. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
2. “Check the Rhime” A Tribe Called Quest. The Low End Theory
3. “F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E” Pulp. Different Class
4. “Got My Mojo Working” Muddy Waters. [Single: Chess Records]
5. “Us v Them” LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver

Franz Wright

1. Franz Wright
2. Franz Wright
3. Franz Wright
4. Franz Wright
5. Franz Wright

Jeff Haynes

Five Albums:

1. Screaming Females– Ugly
2. Silver Jews- American Water
3. Fiona Apple- The Idler Wheel…
4. Dr. Octagon- Dr. Octagonecologyst
5. Beastie Boys- Paul’s Boutique

Maria Elvira Vera Tata

1. Bebe: “Nostaré” and “Me fui”
2. Melendi: El violinista en el tejado”
3. Gipsy Kings: “Volare”
4. Ricardo Arjona: “Fuiste tú”
5. Carlos Baute: “Colgando en tus manos”

The Nathan Freddy Blake

1. Abner Jay: “Starving to Death on my Government Claim” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dYiCaabaFQ>
2. Pixies: “Hey” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIkWJZf33UY>
3. Dr. Octagon: “No Awareness” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W__sSidbMHg>
4. CocoRosie: “Lyla” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkZDtUUcRCE>
5. Mulatu Astatqé: “Mètché Dershé” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS6aMm8x8Jg>

Arian Katsimbras

1. P.O.S.: “Fuck Your Stuff” (actually the whole album, but the anti-capitalist screed in this song just riles me right up for a romp through suburbia).
2. Big Boi feat. A$AP Rocky and Phantogram: “Lines” (also the whole album, ya’ know, because it’s Big Boi. A-Town down).
3. Miles Davis: “Blue in Green”
4. Nancy Sinatra: “You Only Live Twice”
5. Astronautalis: “This is Our Science”

Amy Marengo

Right now I’m on a throwback kick–a few older songs have made their way onto my current playlists:

1. “Way You Walk” by Papas Fritas
2. “10,000 Animal Calls” by Q and Not U
3. “The Seed” by The Roots
4. “Spilled Milk Factory” by Ugly Casanova
5. “Time Bomb” by Dismemberment Plan

I’m also enjoying:

“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers

Arian Katsimbras is patiently and quietly bouncing back from culture shock after moving from Reno, Nevada.

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