WARMER MIXTAPES #60 | by Leonard Kaage of Leonard Kaage & The Kin
Here is my list of songs with artists I have listened to during some part of my life.
1. Leonard Cohen | So Long, Marianne
What can I say about this old piece...It made me discover the man who was a part of giving me my name. Well, I think he had something to do with it at least. If I could choose one song and had to answer quickly I think I would have said this one. Why? I'm having a really hard time saying why. The lyrics are blue for sure and Mr. Cohen himself must have been on the edge of a cliff wondering whether to jump or not. Cohen's voice hangs on the thread from crying out in some kind of relief. I love his voice in this song, his manly, deep, scared voice meets the feminine angel-like choir who speaks of an over dramatized love story. He does this the most naive and easy but at the same time in a very serious and beautiful way. I love the way the band plays the wrong chords and how the bass keeps playing after the song has ended. I bought this record when I had just moved in to my first apartment. It was snowing outside and from my only window I could see the smoke from a refinery outside Gothenburg. It's a warm and cozy song but still lonely and cold.
2. Nick Drake | Cello Song
This is a song that maybe doesn't effect me the same way as it did some years ago. Well, of course many of the songs on this list don't. I know that for a few months in my life this song meant everything to me. Even though I can't relate to it the same way anymore, Nick Drake has done a lot for me as a musician and songwriter. It was through him that I first started to write my own songs and play the guitar. I remember my sister got the Nick Drake album Way To Blue from my cousin when I was in my early teens. I remember hearing play this record which starts with Cello Song. Every time I heard it I had to stop and just stay and listen for a while. I remember thinking his voice was so calm and mysterious. Some years later I decided to pick up the record and after that I was stuck. It was basically the only thing I listened to for a year or so. And if one day you should see me in the crowd, lend me a hand and lift me to your place in the cloud...I loved those words.
3. Monica Zetterlund & Bill Evans | Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa
I have never heard a band fit so good together. Bill Evans loves the piano. He pays attention to every tone like a poet choosing every word with great care, only hitting the notes when absolutely needed. I have never felt any special relationship to Swedish music or with Swedish culture. I have to say I find something in her voice on this record that I connect with in a mysterious beauty that I have only met in Sweden. I guess it's what we call Swedish vemod. It's not only in the way she sings, but I don't know of anyone who pronounces her words as beautifully as Monica does on this record. She speaks the perfect form of Swedish, makes it sound beautiful. I grew up with this record so I refer it to with so many memories. At one time in my life I was very serious about becoming a jazz drummer. I can't tell you how many times I have played along with the brushes on this record, and how many times my neighbor has companied about it. This is maybe one of the greatest things that has ever happened in the history of Swedish music, a perfect match.
4. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | Easy Does It
This is an artist that I haven't known about for long. Myself, like many others first heard Johnny Cash's version of I See Darkness on the American III record. At first I didn't pay much attention to the song but it affected me more and more. I began to love the song. Today I don't really know what to think. I'm having a hard time listening to the self pity. I hate that, still it is an amazing song and in someways a very honest song by a very interesting artist. When thinking of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, the most natural thing would probably be to think of someone scared and blue. I choose not to this time. I think the man is as interesting when he's happy as when he is not, which is something you can't say about many people. This song makes me happy in an honest way. I am not a man who listens only to music with big, deep emotions but I can hardly say I know more than two or three songs that I consider as good feeling music for me. This is a song that actually makes me very glad for the moment when listening to it. It sounds like he's having a lot of fun. To make happy songs from the heart could be as honest as a sad song but it takes the right man/women to make it that way. I love the piano solo in this one by the way...
5. Radiohead | Motion Picture Soundtrack
I can honestly say I haven't cried to many songs in my life. I have cried to a lot of music but not often because of a song. I remember the first time I heard this song very clearly. The first time I heard the words, red wine and sleeping pills help me get back to your arms. Those words summarized my life back then, that was all I needed to hear. That summarized my every thought. It made me think of people close to me and it made me look at myself, that really freaked me out and I cried. I cried with those words on my mind and that song on repeat for hours. It helped me to cry and get my emotions out in a less self destructive way. In some messed up way...It's all very beautiful.
6. Ryan Adams | When You Are Young (You Get Sad)
I remember being out on this inter rail thing when I first started to listen to the Heartbreaker album and Ryan's music. Traveling is an excellent way to find new music and this sure is a perfect soundtrack.
7. Bob Dylan | You Go Your Way And I Go Mine
This is not my favorite Dylan song but Blonde On Blonde was the record that made me discover his music. I never liked Dylan before I listened to that album all the way through. He is so pissed off on that album, I love that. His sarcasm makes me smile. I remember being in Dublin on my own for some reason and found my self in a total life-crisis situation just wandering around the streets listening to this record on repeat. When hearing this song the fifth time and the words You say you love me that you're thinking off me but you know you could be wrong. I decided at that moment that I needed to break up with my girlfriend. I did, stupid.
8. John Coltrane | I'm Old Fashioned
I would ratter have chosen the whole record then just a song on this one. Ballads, as the record is named, should be way to cheesy for me if Coltrane wasn't a magician. Always gets me in the mood for doing nothing.
9. Set My Path | Shine
Maybe not my first choice today but it could have been when I was 14. I had this period in my life when I hung out at hardcore gigs and didn't drink alcohol. Thinking back, it was mainly for a girl I had a crush on. She was a bit older and was into all of this, you know who you are if your reading this. It lasted for a year or something and I never made a move on her. It was a good time anyway. This was my favorite underground band for two reasons back then. A good band and one that no one else knew about. Stay true or whatever....
10. Neil Young | Out On The Weekend
I first heard Neil's music when I received the Heart Of Gold DVD as birthday gift one year. I didn't really like it at first but for some reason I got stuck and had to see it three times a row. There is something special about his voice and his sound really inspired me. I wanted to do what he did and still do but in a more modern way. Later on I went to see him when he played in Gothenburg and what can I say, the man still has it. That's something you can't say about many artists from his generation, when it comes to live performances. He is a big inspiration for me, not only musically but also for not being afraid of trying new things, even if it might end up sucking.