WARMER MIXTAPES #255 | by Cedalou Torma [Little Silver Tabby]
It’s ridiculous how much is not on this list, but I’ve decided to assort my mixtape selections specifically with songs that have influenced me as a musician. Some of these songs I’ve been listening to for years, others are recent discoveries. When I lose heart, one of these babies will go into rotation and I become convinced that life is good, once again.
1. George Harrison | The Light That Has Lighted The World
From the record, Living In The Material World. I bought it not too long ago and was floored assoon as I heard Harrison’s breaking voice. He sounds weary, so direct. It cuts through me like a knife, just like Try Some, Buy Some.
2. Foxes In Fiction | New Panic Cure
This is off the record, Swung From The Branches. I’m fortunate enough to count Mr. Hildebrand as a close friend, so I’ve heard a few alternate versions of this song over time; every one mesmerizing. This music is not frivolous sentimentality, or decoration for some image, it comes from a genuine place. I recommend giving him a listen.
3. Joe Pass | Offbeat
This song comes from the record Virtuoso No.3, which I have been listening to since… well, since I could listen to music. The experience of listening to this recording for me is like hearing something from another planet. I’ve used this song to introduce friends to Pass, with varying different results. One person remarked, He’s just doing the same solo, over and over. Jazz is not everyone’s bag. Offbeat is based around an insistent quarter pulse of bass notes, changing from one tonic to another, and adorned with shifting harmony on top. This implied melody, and dissonant augmentation of chords, is a musical device I love to use. Another is building chords with wide tonal ranges. My, how I love chords, and this song has them!
4. The Aislers Set | Emotional Levy
From the band’s second studio release, How I Learned To Write Backwards, this song is about late night desperation and a relationship fraught with tension. The song is sparsely arranged to great effect. This band was quite an accidental find, and I’m they’re one of my favourites. Great driving music.
5. Elliott Smith | Alameda
From the 8-track-recorded Either/Or. I must admit that I am yet another person who after hearing Elliott decided to pick up a guitar and write songs. His music has been constantly playing since I first heard it 10 years ago. At that time I was in highschool and mostly listened to grindcore. I have to admit that I found Elliott much more interesting and gratifying. What I like about his playing the most is an honesty and great ear for melody. Alameda goes along at a walking pace, beginning with a melodic finger-picked guitar accompanied by drums, and the introduction of the bass and electric guitar overdubs after the first chorus kicks the song into full gear. There is nothing superfluous in the arrangement, however as with all of Elliott’s songs Alameda can be stripped down to just voice and guitar and will not lose any of its rare beauty.
6. Rory Gallagher | Philby
From Deuce. Rory Gallagher LPs have been around the house since I was a kid, but along with the other records my parents owned it was barely ever played. It was a really amazing experience when I got around to discovering the vinyl we had lying around. One day I played a Rory Gallagher out of curiosity. And I was really taken by it. You could categorize his music as folk-blues, lead Rory’s licks on an overdriven Stratocaster, typical of many bands in the 1970s. There’s something unspoken in his music that really got to me though, which is probably says a lot given that I had no clue what to expect.There is something magical in that moment of hearing a song or record that gets inside of you. All guitar playing aside, Philby is one of my favourite Rory songs specifically for its lyrical content. It’s a spy story with dark undertones, the delivery of the line… I’ve got a stranger in my soul always gets me.
7. The Kinks | Love Me Until The Sun Shines
From the record Something Else. What I particularly love about the Kinks is the obvious difference between the writing styles of the brothers Ray and Dave Davies. Ray wrote most of the band’s idiosyncratic hits that have stood the test of time. On the other hand, Dave’s songs appear rather infrequently in Kinks early records, but have an edge lacking in the former. Love me until The Sun shines” is one of those songs, unapologetically in your face, loose-to-super-loose. Also, the recordings of The Kinks at this time are unpolished, almost primitive compared to those made by contemporaries Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. But they have a lot of personality that really gets under your skin after repeated listens.
8. Boards Of Canada | Kiani Industries
My good friend got me into BOC years ago, but only lately has my fascination with them increased. Like many other people, I imagine, listening to a Boards song amounts to a something like a musically transcendent experience. That sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it? Regardless I’m a big fan of this duo for their ability to use a combination of electronic and analog sources to produce voices of incredible timbre... This song is one of the few interludes from the album Music Has The Right To Children; a step sequenced synth line with modulation that wraps around on itself that concludes with a strange woodwind-like analog recording.
9. Fugazi | Nightshop
From The Argument. What? Why haven’t people been screaming from the mountaintops about this album? It’s almost been a decade since its release and for me the track-order of The Argument stands in its entirety as a great piece of music, well if you’re into intellectualizing postpunk. Nightshop will give you what you need.
10. Mary Lou Lord | 43
Mary Lou Lord doing Elliott Smith. The cycle is complete. I am an admirer of her voice, it's so bittersweet.