WARMER MIXTAPES #390 | by Joseph Black and Erik Sandberg of Honeydrum
SIDE A | by Erik Sandberg
1. Hüsker Dü | Celebrated Summer
I've always loved the energy in this Bob Mould track, especially the way he sings (yells) the lyrics. Everything about the song is frantic, as if they were embarrassed about playing a pop song for the hardcore kids.
2. Archers Of Loaf | Web In Front
Pretty cool lyrics from a band with a shitty name. The gritty Sun-drenched guitars make me thirsty for some Arnold Palmer iced-tea.
3. R.E.M. | Life And How To Live It Obscure
R.E.M. track from the overlooked Fables Of The Reconstruction. The lyrics tell the true story of a Southern nutcase who split his house in two and constantly moved from one side to the other. Amidst the chaos, he found the time to write a book about how people should live. What's great is how the music fits the wacky imagery-the drums swing, the bass punches, the guitar rings... Listen to the holler.
4. Dinosaur Jr. | Lung
I really got into Dinosaur Jr. after hearing about their 2007 reunion and seeing them live in New York with Built To Spill and The Meat Puppets. J Mascis had a stack of amps that were positioned in a 180 degree arc behind him that sounded as epic as they looked. Lung is a song that takes me back to that night, and is a testament to J Mascis' indubitably creative guitar style.
5. The Smiths | William, It Was Really Nothing
What isn't to like about this song? I swear I can hear rainfall when Morrissey sings the line about the humdrum town. And I still shiver I still shiver every time I hear that staccato electric guitar line come in...
6. Wire | Ex Lion Tamer
When I first heard Pink Flag, I didn't notice any of the songs. I loved everything I heard, but I had to listen to the album several times before I started to get familiar with the songs. Ex Lion Tamer is one of those timeless anthem-tunes that won't leave you alone, probably because it's simple, smart, and genuine.
7. Dream Syndicate | Halloween
The way Steve Wynn enunciates Halloween makes the song for me.
8. Mama Cass Elliot | Make Your Own Kind Of Music
As an avid Lost fan, one of my favorite scenes was when the inside of the Hatch was first revealed. Seeing Desmond fumble around with the turntable and punch the numbers into the old terminal was both satisfying and unsettling. The song adds this layer of comfort and familiarity until you realize that something isn't quite right...
9. Love Tractor | I Broke My Saw
The opening guitar riff to I Broke My Saw lets you know exactly what to expect from the rest of the song. It's sharp, addictive, and it will go perfectly with whatever it is you are doing. And the refrain at the end of the song is brilliant.
10. The Church | Almost With You
Is that a 12 string Rickenbacker? I dig it.
SIDE B | by Joseph Black
1. Bruce Springsteen | Atlantic City
This song perfectly encapsulates the feelings of quiet desperation, disgust, and hope that one experiences living in a place as expansive as New Jersey. Listening to this song makes me realize that I have indeed been shaped by where I live in ways that I am only now beginning to understand.
2. Aphex Twin | Goon Gumpas
I must admit that this song is a song and an album that I constantly find myself coming back to. When I was still in high school, a group of friends and I used to gather at my friend Carleen's house and distract ourselves from the frustrations of teenage life through the use of various mind-altering substances and music. In that room was the first time I experienced many things including the genius of Richard D. James. When this song came on my friend put on a wig on and started goose-stepping along to it. That was the first time I fully appreciated that music can be serious and humorous at the same time, I don't think I've peed myself from laughing since then.
3. Liars | The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack
I had liked the Liars for some time before I heard this song. It came on the radio one night during a period of time in my life that I would describe as stagnant and rough. It's elegant simplicity and stark instrumentation underline it's beautiful lyrics which became my mantra for the next month. More recently this song has cropped up again in my daily listening habits, but for different reasons.
4. Guided By Voices | Mincer Ray
Guided By Voices recently got back together and played some shows, none of which I had the slightest interest in seeing. Their songs are great because they are these ephemeral glimpses into some alternate dimension; their recordings are pieces of a composite reality that is magical because we only catch bits and pieces of it through their music. For them to exist here and now would somehow cause me a lot of cognitive dissonance.
5. Big Star | September Gurls
Sun-drenched harmonies and jangly guitars; this may just be the most perfect pop song ever constructed. It is one of those songs that makes you feel like you're 16 and riding your bike to your girlfriend's house on a hot summer day.
6. The 6ths | Falling Out Of Love (With You)
There are only two people on the face of this planet that can make me laugh while tugging at my heartstrings and those two people are Morrissey and Stephen Merritt. The upbeat, happy backing track wonderfully juxtaposes the hopeless, down-trodden lyrics. Context can sometimes be the most powerful tool in music and this song makes full use of it.
7. My Bloody Valentine | She Loves You No Less
The dark interweaving guitar sounds and frenetic drums are a wonderful backdrop for the even and emotionless vocal melody. There is something so perfect about the way this recording sounds. It has all of the qualities of some of my favorite C86 tracks but it sounds like someone put them through an evil filter.
8. The Human League | Empire State Human
Another song that I continue to revisit. This song was in my heavy rotation senior year of high school and it was on a CD I had in my car when I gave this girl I liked a lift home from school. She also happened to love the Human League and we wound up talking about music for hours, it was great. I love that this track is both electronic yet raw at the same time. There is a very tangible and real element to the sounds that they use that almost feels organic. The synthesizer sounds are rudimentary but they are somehow more vital and exciting than most of the stuff you hear nowadays.
9. Fist City | Debbie Get YR Boa
This song makes me want to run as far and fast as I can while screaming until I completely collapse from exhaustion. High energy punk with snippets of great jangle pop guitar hooks and a punchy beat. What more could one ask for?
10. Mimi & Richard Fariña | Celebration Of A Grey Day (Instrumental)
This is one of the many incredible tracks by the totally underrated and under-listened-to Mimi & Richard. My favorite always changes but lately this song stands at the top of the list. It has this wonderful wintery feel to it which is to say that it is warm and welcoming. The vibrant melody perfectly intertwines with the pulsing percussion and curly cue dulcimer lines.