WARMER MIXTAPES #35 | by Andy Grier of Thieves Like Us
1. The Cure | Plainsong
Oh, I got this in 1989 when it came out. On the Disintegration record. I got the cassette. It was 14 dollars. I didn't have a cd player yet cos I was 14. I had bad social skills and didn't have so many friends at the time. My mother still bought my clothes. So I dressed horribly in school. I sat in my room a lot and listened to the entire album on repeat. I hadn't heard music like this before really. There are lots of synths on this... But the songs on Disintegration have a lot more depth than the other synth groups of the late eighties (compare this to a song off a Depeche Mode or Pet Shop Boys record). The guitar sound is very unique too. A FENDER BASS VI baritone guitar. Twangy. Honest lyrics too. The last line...then she smiled for a second...
2. Slowdive | Alison
From the LP Souvlaki, 1993. I got this when it got released in the US. This space rock genre was new to me at the time (some were calling it shoegaze). Starts out with a jangly guitar sound like you would hear on a Byrds record ran through a whole lot of flange. Neil and Rachel sound so sad and lost. Some string synth thingey kicks in during the chorus (it is probably guitars) and then a tremolo guitar also. Good on headphones. Nice twangy solo at the end (similar to on a Cure record maybe)... The entire album is fantastic...Brian Eno produced some of other songs on this record too.
3. Spiritualized | Shine A Light
...After its release in 1992, cassette copies of Lazer Guided Melodies were floating around the 19 year old drug crowd of my town... I didn't really understand this band and all its druginess. Later I saw them in a small theater in 1997. I was drunk and in the front row. The live version of Shine A Light was probably a little different than the studio, and I cannot recall every detail, but my memory likes to fill in some of the blanks... Live Jason had these sweet backwads gated vocals and I do remember the saxophone was weeping right into my ear. tasty.
4. Rothko | A Whole Life Of Memory
What can I say, I am into the sound of a saxophone run through a whole lot of reverb. It sounds like a sax on this tune, but maybe it is a synth. I cannot be sure. It was spring on the lower east side in the year 2000. You could still rent a room for 400 dollars. I would stare out my window and watch the rain fall... There were dozens of empty lots which the Puerto Ricans had converted into gardens. There was one behind my building. It was an ambient spring. Eventually the city repossessed all the gardens and sold the space for high rising condos. Now New York City sucks.
5. Popol Vuh | Aguirre I
My my, what a sad nihilistic defeatist song. It is featured in the Werner Herzog film of the same name. Klaus Kinski leads his Spanish conquistadors to a dark fate on a Peruvian river. I was struggling with my girlfriend at the time and my failing career as a stand up comedian (yes I really used to do comedy). In the film Kinski made oblivion and madness seem like an elegant answer to one's problems. I decided to take up alcohol as an addiction and listen to this frequently.
6. Space Art | Nous Savons Tout
Oh. I walked into the Other Music record store in NYC and this tune was playing. Wow. Just give it sixty seconds and you will be hooked...Europe is the future. It ain't America and you can hear it here. I guess these guys were also the backing band of Jean Michel Jarre. It has a lovely snare drum...We are moving forwards now!
7. Sentimental Walk | Vladimir Kosma
This is the theme from the film Diva. Shot in Paris, 1981 I believe. There is this great little space echo on the piano. Once I met Vini Reilly from Durutti Column and he couldn't stop talking about the loft apartment that Richard Bohringer's character had in this film. It is unreal... A huge loft painted black with a beautiful Cambodian girl floating around on roller skates and this tilting acquatic sculpture in the background...A true Parisian fairy tale...I recommend this film to everyone! We made our video for Desire from clips of this movie..
8. Phil Manzanera | Diamond Head
I was depressed and frozen on the lower east side when I first heard it. Another great tune to take walks alone in the cold to. This is a little bit southern rock, a little bit space rock. Great instrumental from the Roxy Music guitarist. The lead guitar on this sounds both free and melancholic. I love it.
9. The Rolling Stones | Time Waits For No One
Mmmm...I was still freezing in nyc when I started to notice this as a special Stones track... There is a really nice synth sitting in here. And the guitars sound a lot like Television's Marquee Moon only three years earlier. And I think it is one of their saddest songs.
10. Marvin Gaye | Time To Get It Together
From 1978's Here, My Dear. Pontus played this for me. It was Marvin's divorce record. I was divorcing at the time when I heard it. The lyrics are very inspirational. A feel better song. Some nice string synthesizers underneath. I think you can dance to it also!