WARMER MIXTAPES #363 | by Charlie Kubal [wait what]
1. Third Eye Blind | Semi-Charmed Life
This track was the first song that I really liked on my own, without any friends' influence, and if I had to pick a favorite song of all time, it'd probably be this one. Third Eye Blind has put out a catalog of really great material, and I got to meet Stephan Jenkins a few years ago -- really interesting guy, and I also love that they're from San Francisco. Reminds me of hanging out with my best friend when we were in sixth grade.
2. Eminem | Drug Ballad
I couldn't relate to everything Eminem was talking about when I first heard this, but his rhyme schemes in this track floored me. Some of my favorite hip-hop verses ever, I bought this CD the day it came out at the end of eighth grade, put it in the CD player and listened through to it three times straight -- favorite track off of my favorite CD of all time.
3. Atmosphere | Trying To Find A Balance
Atmosphere is the group I immediately recommend to anyone looking to get into hip-hop. It's really tough to pick on track, but this song really introduced me to them. I got this album my senior year of high school, and remember listening to this before basketball games to get psyched -- there's a distinct emotion that Slug captures in this track that I've never been able to completely put my finger on, but I feel it each time I hear this track.
4. Taking Back Sunday | Timberwolves At New Jersey
I was obsessed with this band in high school, and especially their first album. I saw them play in San Francisco, and after that show, they made me want to be in a band and make music. I used sing along to this whole album in my car, screaming along when necessary, and probably freaking out anyone who saw me on the road. Hearing this song still makes me want to go nuts with my high school friends.
5. Bright Eyes | Sunrise, Sunset
I'm really partial to songs that capture raw emotional energy, and this is one of the best at that. Lyrically, this whole album, Fevers And Mirrors, floored me -- I was in high school when I first heard it, and went out and got everything I could from him. Before melodies or instrumentation, lyrics tend to grab me first, and this track reminds me of high school and writing down lyrics I liked in notebooks and copying them into my AIM profile.
6. Jay-Z | Where Have You Been? (feat. Beanie Siegel)
Anyone who doubts Jay-Z's ability has to check out this track -- it's a story about his relationship with his father who walked out on his family, and features a phenomenal verse from Beanie Siegel. Hearing them both open up and recall those emotions is really striking when you're used to hearing the radio singles.
7. Lil Wayne | Something You Forgot
First off, I love Lil Wayne -- I think I have like 800 Weezy songs. No other artist I listen to has music that ranges so drastically from the polished to the raw, stream of consciousness, recorded in one take at 4 in the morning. What makes Wayne compelling to me is how human he actually is -- on the surface, he's this crazy character, but every once in awhile you'll get a track like this that reminds you he is actually capable of being a vulnerable person.
8. Radiohead | Jigsaw Falling Into Place
It's kind of embarrassing, but for some reason I never really got big into Radiohead -- I think it was mostly I didn't give them a fair shot. My girlfriend once told me that this was one of her favorite songs, and it became a staple of my driving at night mix. I make the drive from Palo Alto into San Francisco -- about an hour trip -- a few days a week, and usually end up listening to this track right as I get into the city. It makes me think of the lights in the city tailing off like flares when you drive by them.
9. Sigur Rós | Hoppípolla
This song is beautiful -- I think it'd be impossible to listen to it and not feel something. For me, it reminds me of winter and taking the bus from New York to Massachusetts or DC to visit my sisters, and driving through small towns with this song on. I moved to San Francisco a few years ago and spent one winter listening to this song a lot, too -- from the first time I heard it, it felt familiar, and feels like a nostalgic soundtrack whenever I put it on now.
10. Ariel Kill Him | If Summer Ends
This is the most played song in my iTunes -- I've been listening to this song to fall asleep for the last 7 years, and it's a really gorgeous song. I think I found out about this band from an ad on a music forum that I used to read in high school, and their whole album, Alpha Is Down, is a really spectacular record. I've never met anyone else who knows about this song, but it feels like home whenever I listen to it.