WARMER MIXTAPES #516 | by Brian Pitt (Demise/Domestic Dispute/Brian Pitt & Richard Davies/Middleground/The 70's Fitness Explosion/Peppermint) of Switchblade Cheetah and Ira Krisa [Ira Rat] of Neon Lushell

SIDE A | by Ira Rat

1. Joy Division | Love Will Tear Us Apart
Growing up in small town Middle America, sometimes it was incredibly difficult to find anything that could be considered even slightly out of the mainstream. For years my only exposure to the likes of Frank Zappa was staring at the front cover of Weasels Rip My Flesh endlessly in a library book I forgot to return long enough that my parents had to pay for it. So for the majority of my young adulthood the thought of happening upon British Post-Punk were pretty unlikely. However, I stumbled upon a copy of Joy Division's Peel Sessions at a goodwill store and quickly became fascinated by these dark brutal songs that were more poppy than the things that I grew up listening to on the radio. To this day I can't listen to this song without thinking about being 15 years old, being filled with both palatable angst, but with hope that someday that it would get better.

2. The Beatles | Tomorrow Never Knows
When I was 6 my little head was blown off when my cousin put the needle down and Revolution by The Beatles came out of his tiny little 80's stereo system. It was a moment of oh, so this is what Music is. Within 2 weeks of my tape player playing it 24 hours a day my dubbed off copy of The White Album had been worn down to an indistinguishable tape warble. Through the years I've had phases of coming back to The Beatles and just immerse myself into their world. I don't know if I've ever had a favorite Beatles song two days in a row, this one just kind of fits where I'm at with both this mixtape and what we're trying to do with Neon Lushell in general.

3. William S. Burroughs | A Thanksgiving Prayer
And Physic TV - The Orchids... When I started recording for Neon Lushell, I started digging around my record collection for inspiration. If you look at these two songs you might find the point A for where we're trying to go. I kind of feel uneasy everytime someone calls us Experimental, especially when I see how far Music can actually go. I really think that we're rooted in Popular Music, but maybe it's just our definition of Pop that's a little skewed.

4. Velma And The Happy Campers | Venus
And Thunder Bunny - Lollipop + Switchblade Cheetah - I Command You To Be My Pig... I've been in the enviable position the last year or so to be in close and constant contact with 3 of my favorite bands on the planet. They've been a constant source of inspiration, so much so that we've started Plainsfield Farms to house different projects, we've all been released under Workerbee Records and that's how we became involved with each other on a social level, we're just pretentious enough to have to segregate ourselves from everybody else. Again it's hard for me to choose favorites, these were just ones that seemed to fit the over all scope of a mixtape.

5. Palace Brothers | I Send My Love To You
Growing up in Iowa, I have a tiny bit of Country that I'm always trying to kill in my soul. Will Oldham might be the only hope for Country Music left in the World.

6. Jay Reatard | My Shadow
At least a few times in a lifetime you have to have those epiphanies that I mentioned earlier with the Beatles. Next it was Nirvana and then the Pixies and then The Velvet Underground for me. The most recent however was Jay Reatard just completely blowing my mind when I heard this song. I can't think of another musician that can take Garage, Punk, New Wave and Gothic tendencies and make it into something this consistent and amazing.

7. Daniel Johnston | Rock 'N' Roll/EGA
When I finally picked up a copy of Fun, thanks in part to an unhealthy Cobain habit I picked up in highschool, I didn't even know the harrowing and heartbreaking history of Daniel Johnston. It was just a very innocent off-kilter masterpiece that I can listen repeatedly unto the annoyance of others. Since then I've learned of the term Outsider Music and have a fairly extensive collection of Jandek. But it's this entire album that makes me believe that Daniel should be reguarded as one of the best Pop musicians of the past 30 years.

8. Syd Barrett | Dark Globe
And Neutral Milk Hotel - The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One + The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two & Three... When I was really young I used to have vivid dreams that I had been born as a set of twins, and that my brother had died. I used to repeatedly ask my mother if it was true or not, she always denied it. To this day every once and a while I still get that feeling of not being told something very important as a child that would have sent me veering off into a different direction in Life.

9. Kangarot | Beyond Human
And The Electric Healing Sound - Eiffel Tower + Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk... Last night sucked, whenever I make mixtapes I tend to throw at least one song on there that's from an artist that I just recently got into. But here's three. Kangarot is a great instrumental musican from America that we've recently been working a lot with. He's both directed a video for Leave Me Alone and remixed Me All Covered In Blood Again, but he's a brilliant musician onto himself. Where as Electric Healing Sound sounds like Lou Reed on downers and I've been listening to them non-stop, and Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk make wonderful reverbed out ethereal masterpieces that make me feel 3 inches tall.

10. Leonard Cohen | Hallelujah
And Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues + Leon Rusell - Tight Rope... Sometimes you just have to go back to the classics to really figure out where to go from there. Actually the only time that Brian and I have disagreed musically was him thinking Dylan is overrated. Even so, you can't argue with writing chops like they've got.

SIDE B | by Brian Pitt

1. Jason And The Scorchers | Pray For Me, Mama (I'm A Gypsy Now)
I grew up in the wilds of Tennessee, and the red clay of Alabama. Roots Country has always been in my blood, my soul, my very being. Ever since I was little I had been lucky to be around 45's spinning the classics well into the Moonshine soaked night. Every lonesome tune had been heard, every tear had fallen, or so I thought. That was until I stumbled upon Pray For Me, Mama (I'm A Gypsy Now) by Jason And The Scorchers. This song is the epitome of sadness and sorrow. Who knew that regret and unresolved pain could feel so good? When I listen to this song I actually want to be more lonely than I really am. It's just that kind of tune. It makes you long to be alone, two empty bottles of whiskey next to your boots, and the blood and tear stained love letters of years gone by crumpled up in your hands, while you are curled up on the floor of your freezing one room apartment, screaming the name of the person who might have once loved you. This song is all that and more. Simply amazing.

2. Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons | Walk Like A Man
The first song I can ever remember hearing. To this day I love this song. Something about the simplistic back beat, the snotty voice, and the ghost like oohh wee ohhh oohhh ohh weee really stuck with me. I mean, I know, I know, it's Frankie Valli, but listening to this song as an adult, it has a very Punk Rock attitude. He is pretty much saying Fuck off, bitch! It's all about me now, baby!... This song is as tough as any Slayer song, and as rude as any Dead Boys song. Don't let the V neck sweater vests fool ya', Frankie and the boys meant business. I used to listen to this song before soccer practice when I was a kid so I could be a man on the field and slide tackle all of the little geeks that I had to play against, with their shiny new shinguards, and their big expensive bottles of All-Sport, and I still listen to it weekly, just to remind myself that I am living for me, and everyone else can eat shit. Thanks for the inspiration Frankie-boy! If you read the lyrics, they just might surprise you!

3. Life Of Agony | River Runs Red
When I was in 8th grade, my friend Dean Lacombe killed himself. He had huffed a bunch of air freshener and then hung himself. In a typical Can you hear me now? teenage way, he had the song River Runs Red by Life Of Agony playing on repeat on his CD player when his body was found. I'm sure that he thought people were going to sit around and analyze the lyrics and be like Wow man, Dean was DEEP. But instead he was quickly forgotten, and the 8th grade class moved on. I didn't though, Dean was a really good friend of mine. We would have sleepovers where we would each make two Totino's party pizzas with nachos stuffed in between them, followed by Mountain Dew chasers, and then some pizza bagel bites. Dean could finish this snack platter of saturated fat, and carbohydrates like it was nothing, and then he would make fun of me as I struggled to stuff the last tiny bit of hard, overcooked, square Pepperoni into my mouth. We would then seek out hard to find (at the time) Italian horror flicks, like City Of The Living Dead, by Lucio Fulci (we rented this one alot) as well as some easily accessable American classics like Friday The 13th Part II, and laugh are asses off well into the night. Yeah, I had good memories that I was left with when Dean moved on, so to speak. His parents gave me his CD collection (all 22 of them, wow!) and when his mom gave me the Life Of Agony disc, she told me, Dean was listening to song number four... It quickly became one of my favorites. I would listen to it and wonder about how many times did Dean listen to the track before killing himself? I kind of became obsessed with the song. I became obsessed with finding out why he had killed himself, but more than that I became obsessed with finding out how anyone could commit suicide when songs this badass exist? I mean, if I was gonna do the deed, I could throw this track on and be like Oh shit, wait a minute, I'm going to fucking rock the fucking house, not hang myself like some kind of cocksucker. LIFE OF AGONY, BABY! A true suicide solution.

4. Angelo Badalamenti | Twin Peaks Theme
When I listen to the theme from David Lynch's Twin Peaks I tear up almost EVERY time. In a subtle, tough way, of course. Maybe it's because I remember being about five years old, playing with Swamp Thing action figures on the living room floor, while my parents (still together at the time) sat in their recliners, smiling, watching this crazy new show that everyone at the office had been talking about around the water cooler. Dad would ask me to grab him a beer from the fridge, and mom said that I could get a Happy Meal once their program was over. Does it get better than that? Or maybe it's because I watched Fire Walk With Me about two hours after I had lost my virginity when I was fourteen, and as the film reached the forty eight minute mark I realized that it was bringing me more pleasure than any sweaty, writhing body of a teenage girl could ever bring. Maybe it's just because the music is like the breath of an angel. All joking aside, this theme is the ultimate in Music for me. It will be played when I die, and I kind of wish the show had been around when I was born so it could have been played then. To me, the Twin Peaks theme is the single most gorgeous instrumental ever created. Nothing even comes close. It speaks to my body and my mind. But most of all, it speaks to my heart. I feel this song in my heart every time I listen to it. This is what Heaven (if there is one) sounds like.

5. Violent Femmes | Good Feeling
You know how every now and then life may actually throw a good hand your way? That first kiss. Your first drink. That perfect LSD trip that lets you stretch out and hug at the Moon, instead of making you tense up and bark at the Sun. This is that good hand. I don't even have any specific memories to go with this song other than the blur of hopelessness and rage that has been the past 26 years that the parasite that is Brian Pitt has been infesting this garbage dump that we call Earth. Every now and then I just need a break. Alot of people do. It's like how when you are bent over the toilet again and your are puking up four bottles of $3.99 red wine that you got from the Zippy Pump down the street (hey, sometimes you just gotta get your wine from the gas station) and once your strain that last chunk of black and yellow bile out of your core, you feel that cold-sweat wave of relief as your smile and make your way down to the freezing tile of the bathroom floor. You don't care that you pissed yourself. You don't care that your wife stormed out of the house and took the El Camino. All you care about is that ice-cold bathroom floor pressed against the back of your head. All you care about is the fact that you didn't piss in the bed this time. That is the Good Feeling. And that is how this song will make you feel. Pure and innocent. Reborn.

6. Diamanda Galás | Wild Women With Steak-Knives (The Homicidal Love Song For Solo Scream)
I will keep it short and sweet with this one. I had the luck of hearing this when I was about ten years old. Up until that time I thought that Samhain's November Coming Fire was about as evil as music could get (another amazing band and record, by the way). I heard this specific cut and realized that the empty waters of Hell churned far deeper than I had ever imagined. This song and well, actually the whole The Litanies Of Satan album turned my world upside down. It shaped my songwriting style, especially my songwriting process for Neon Lushell. It is a bleak stream of conciousness vocal pattern that does not need any conventional format to get it's point across. When I heard this song my third eye was not just opened, it was ripped apart by Diamanda's screeching banshee-in-heat wails. While upon my first listen I was simply taken with it's unique style, further spins opened up my head like some kind of audio trepanning experiment, and once the pressure was released from my skull, I came to the realization that Music can be whatever I want it to be, no matter what it sounds like. I have to say that if I had never heard the song Wild Women With Steak-Knives (The Homicidal Love Song For Solo Scream) then alot of Neon Lushell's vocals would be drastically different. Thank you Diamanda for lighting my path with your raging darkness.

7. Nicki Rose | Battle In The Sky (The Desperate)
I have been laughed at for my music. I have fought over my music. And I will always fight for my music. I will never take shit from anyone. And neither will Nicki Rose. Who goes forth on the dying day?... When I drunkenly stumbled upon a copy of a copy of a copy of a bootleg of a copy of a possible original copy of the infamous Nicki Rose audition tape VHS I was so relieved to find out that the Son of God really did walk the Earth. And his name is Nicki Rose. Imagine if you will... Two men in a room. Or a trailer. Or a smelly basement. The wallpaper is so off yellow and brown that it is hard to tell where the legendary recording is actually taking place. You cannot see the cameraman, but I assume that his hair is as windblown and as feathered as Nicki's is. Two stacks of shitty amps and what look like VCR's (for the production of homemade snuff films, I assume) frame a beautiful Rock N' Roll legend, a legend in his own mind, a man who's skin is so leathery that Slim Jims asked him for exfoliation tips, a man so determined to FUCKING ROCK that he doesn't even for a split second think that what he is doing could possibly be seen as creepy. Enter the Rose. Nicki sports a black leather duster, earrings that look like the dude from Skid Row's nose ring (you know the nose ring that I am talking about)... They're gonna battle in the sky, the depths of Hell the demons rise... Nicki, a sexy Buffalo Bill lookalike contest loser puts on his pouty lips and waves his arms around like an epileptic Decline Of Western Civilization Part Two extra that got kicked off the set for being too ridiculous. He plays and then stops playing his Metal as fuck black guitar (which still plays while he is not even touching it!) and he warns us of the coming of the end, the resurrection of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, and that If you turn away you'll be turned away, only through his love is everlasting freedom!... Vietnam was just a joke!... Holy shit. I know it's a funny song when looked at for what it appears to be, but when you watch, or just hear (like those of us privy to owning the ULTRA-RARE Nicki Rose cassette!!!) you can't help but appreciate the fucking heart and soul Nicki puts into EVERY song. I picked Battle In The Sky (The Desperate) because it's my favorite song of his, but truthfully, any one of his tracks has the possibility of changing your life forever. To quote the film Taxi Driver, Listen you fuckers, you screwheads... Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit. Here is a man who stood up. Nicki Rose stood up against a music industry that laughed, and naysayers that said Give it up, man... And his no-bullshit, rock-or-be-rocked attitude has not only influnced my attitude towards creating Music and Art, but it has also influenced my attitude towards Life in general. Never take shit from anyone and play from your very core. Play from the very spirit that is inside of you. Do it because it makes you happy. Not because you want someone else to like it. And look now, his music is on websites all over the net. There is a zine (Nicki's Way) dedicated to him and to those who's life his music has touched. Who has the last laugh? His oddball persona and one of a kind Rock N' Roll songs leave a mark on everyone that hears them. And if you hear it and don't love or hate it, then you may have no fucking soul. For there is no in between in the world of Nicki Rose. Let's hope you are on the right side...

8. Damien Storm | Raven In The Courtyard
One foggy autumn night I had just pulled the needle on my signed copy of Tim Buckley's Happy Sad and laid my folk filled head down to rest. As I lifted the veil from the world of sleep my dreams were filled with images of nude girls, aged 15 to 21 with an abundance of pubic hair, and beaded necklaces (and some moccasins, here and there) frolicking through a corn maze while under the influence of premo hash and peyote. They showed me their amazing record collections and said things like Hey man, Oily Way is about as far out as it can get, zoot head. Try this man, let's fuck to it daddy-o, let's become the fuck. So we indeed became the fuck. As our stinky, patchouli covered crotches grinded together, creating a friction of limitless togetherness and peace, a demonic sprite with flowing black locks and a pin-striped suit appeared above us and said to me Vacate now, this crab filled whore of the corn, and escape with me to the nethervoid of 6 foot tall ravens named Raccine, and ghostly cowboys that do tromp about their vast deserts of darkness to the beat of an ancient drum. I was all like Fuck yeah dude. If you need more of an explanation that that, then you have no business listening to Damien Storm.

9. The Cryogenic Strawberries | Things
The first time that I listened to The Cryo's Things my mind lost all normal pattern of thought and began sending my nervous system intense waves of synapse that not only made me piss my pants, but also made me lose my cowboy boots (still can't find the damn things). In the traditional slate-talking board, seance kind of way, I found a scented tampon wrapper on the hood of my car the morning after listening to Things and on it were the scribblings of a desprate soul in the throes of a Cryo-induced panic attack. It read like this:

My brain.
Bust up
Bust up all bad inside
Melting went my nerves again for the first and last time
Too many moldy strawberries
Where did all of my stuff go
What stuff?
Oh no, OH YES!
For me went the good times and here comes all of the bad
No wait! This is good though!
Oh, I am in my car with my purple horse falling out of the window
Many times did I see the tide fall into my head
Out comes my mind again
Too many Cryos
Song sixteen make me bad boy again
This time the electrical me becomes the neuro-me for a time and again
With a new time for cryo-berry-boy-boy-boys! Boyseez!
Beyond my skull the pink woven pattern of glow in the dark
Strawberries makes me a man again
Deep inside I was always a strawberry
Even in my 'pear' days
Eddie Desade gonna get me tonight
He a comin'
Rev. Eddie gon' keep good on his word
SO many things
I'm a good cryo-berry

The Cryogenic Strawberries Things is both peaceful and terrifying all at once. Can you handle Things? Or any Cryos for that matter, punk? Put some hair on your chest, boy! Spin Things or anything off of The Fantabulous Geek-Hop Con Job and make yourself a man, sissy-boy. Oh, and I just realized that I never did actually own any cowboy boots.

10. Johnny Thunders | So Alone
The title track off of Johnny's So Alone album is always a good mixtape ender. Sure, mixtapes have their Pop-sugar tunes that make you hum and skip through the streets, and they may have their heavy tracks that make that last 20 minutes of cardio on the stationary bike go by in a flash, but let's get with it guys and ladies, we are all artists here, and at our very core, even if you are not aware of it, we are all miserable, lonely, misunderstood shells of what we once were, and we need a song to remind us of that every now and again. No song makes these feelings a harsh reality quite like So Alone. To me this song and the entire So Alone album for that matter, are a visceral collection of one man's deepest regrets and sorrows. We all know Johnny from the New York Dolls, and most of all, the classic L.A.M.F. album, but true Thunders fans know that So Alone is where it's at. The track itself is a sleepy, loose, jaundiced, tooth decay melody with a Johnny-turned-blue moaning and whispering another story of failed love and relentless heartbreak. Nothing too far from his usual work, right? Wrong. There is something about So Alone that is so far gone, so hopeless, so remorseful, that you almost want to die with it. Just watch the video of him performing it in Japan in 1991 to see what I mean. Beautiful and heartbreaking. This song is the sound of a Rock God who is so deep into his addiction that he is practically dead already, but he is such a Rock N' Roll machine that his trackmarked arms refuse to stop playing the guitar, and his thin, blue lips refuse to stop crooning their lonesome wails. Seems like everytime I try to love somebody, it's that same old story. I try so hard. I give it everything I got, but at the end, I'm the one who's left alone... So Alone is the sound of being on death row, and having your due date fast approaching, and having no family or friends to call on to reassure you that there is a God, or that God loves you, or that there is an afterlife. You are facing the end, and there is nothing you can do about it. You think back to little league practice when you were six. You remember the band you had in high school. The talent show in 10th grade. Boy Scouts in 3rd grade. You think about how you used to nibble Pop Tarts and watch Bobby's World with your older brother every Saturday morning. You think about that Christmas where your parents got you the Mongoose BMX bike that you wanted so bad. But you fucked up. Big time. Big Brother doesn't want to watch cartoons with you anymore. Mom and Dad don't buy you bikes anymore. Shit, no one in your family even acknowledges your existence. You are dead to them. And soon, you will be dead for real. So Alone... Johnny Thunders.