InReview InReview

Support independent journalism


Mixtape Memoirs: tales of love and lust


Comments Print article

Chad Parkhill is something of a veteran of Mixtape Memoirs, one of the flagship events at this weekend’s inaugural Emerging Writers’ Festival in Adelaide.

The writer and editor has performed in three previous memoirs, another of which also had the theme Love and Lust and saw him share a story about his connection to the Magnetic Fields song “Let’s Pretend We’re Bunny Rabbits”.

“It was a song that my very first girlfriend and I used to listen to a lot as a pair of teenagers doing exactly what the lyrics suggested,” he says.

“I presented a short memoir about that time. A lot of it was about the process of figuring things out … I think the fair thing to say about the two of us was that we were both late bloomers so we had a lot of things to figure out.

“The thing about that album is that the love songs in it are about love in all its forms and guises … listening to that song now is bittersweet, but it’s not traumatic or anything like that. I have a fair bit of ironic distance.”

Parkhill is one of seven writers, musicians, comedians and artists who will be presenting stories based around a song they have chosen at the live Mixtape Memoirs event on Saturday at Ancient World in Hindley Street.

This time around he will be selecting a different song based around the theme Love and Lust, telling InDaily he was torn between a couple of options including New York singer St Vincent’s “Cheerleader” and Tori Amos’s “Bliss”.

While the term “mix tape” may be an anachronism which today has been replaced by Spotify or iTunes playlists, it still conjures up a certain nostalgia and romanticism. And Parkhill, who works as a music critic, believes music and romance are inherently linked.

“I think music is something that we kind of use as a form of currency or exchange with lovers or people we have crush on … we often try to impress people with our musical tastes or we discover new things through our partners.

“When you give someone a mix tape, it’s like saying, ‘here’s the kind of person that I am’.”

Connor Tomas O’Brien, Emerging Writers’ Festival digital programs manager and director of the Adelaide festival, says Mixtape Memoirs will feature two bands and a mixture of participants, including writers Clementine Ford and Benjamin Law, as well as graphic artists Owen Heitmann and Georgina Chadderton, who will present their memoirs in the form of comic art projected on a wall.

Song selection is diverse, ranging from American alt-rock singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco’s “Out of Range” to a song from the most recent Muppets movie.

“We get a mix, which is what makes it interesting,” he says of the event, which has previously been presented at the Melbourne and Hobart Emerging Writers’ Festivals, as well as at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

“The best ones are where the person’s relationship to the song is both hilarious and sad, because it permeates multiple experiences in their life.”

The three-day Adelaide Emerging Writers’ Festival opens on Friday with Night of the Living Journals at the SA Writers’ Centre. This will see a number of literary magazines – including Voiceworks, The Lifted Brow and Kill Your Darlings – each launching their latest issue with a short, imaginative and, in some cases, interactive presentation.

The cornerstone event of the festival is Saturday’s writers’ master-class at Fifth Quarter in Bowden, which is subtitled “everything you wanted to know about writing but were afraid to ask”. Featuring Benjamin Law and Clementine Ford, it will cover topics such as digital writing, freelancing, author marketing, performance writing and editing.

“The idea is that emerging writers can come along and develop skills so they can work at a national level and make connections with people interstate,” O’Brien says.

“It’s really like a skills session. The writers will be sharing the real ins and outs of what they do, rather than dumbing it down.”

More information about all events can be found on the Emerging Writers’ Festival website. Tickets are still available for Mixtape Memoirs, and a limited number of places are available for the writers’ master-class.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More InReview stories

Loading next article