WARMER MIXTAPES #568 | by Bruce Driscoll (Blondfire) and Marie Seyrat of Freedom Fry

SIDE A | by Marie Seyrat

Bruce and I have 2 different backgrounds considering the fact that I’m French and that he’s American and Brazilian… So our musical tastes are pretty different even though we still share some classics like the Beatles. So it makes it really interesting when we write songs together, mixing our preferences.
The songs I selected are songs I liked through different stages of my life, songs that bring back memories, songs that I still love to listen to again because of what they mean to me.

1. Les Coco Girls | Ce Mec Est Too Much
This is the theme of a French TV show from the 80s. This is the first song I ever knew by heart and kept singing wearing a little outfit with my sister, accompanied by choreography. I should mention that I was only 3 years old!

2. Bryan Adams | (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(Sigh) The longest song EVER!!... We used to have parties as kids called Boom and there were the slow songs but I remember that a little boy I didn’t like invited me to dance on this song and I didn't want to be mean and say no. The only problem is that the song never ends and it seemed to last forever. There’s a pause in the song at one point and I felt relieved and started backing out but it started again so I felt trapped.

3. Creedence Clearwater Revival | Proud Mary
That’s one of my dad’s favorite bands and my favorite memories while we were driving to the south of France during Summer… Listening to my father’s mixtapes. Maybe that’s why he named me Marie? Anyhow, that’s a song I still listen to whenever I’m down to gain my confidence back!

4. Zero 7 | The Pageant Of The Bizarre (feat. Sia)
Fell in love with Zero 7 when I went to a very private show in Milan in 2004 while I was studying there. But most of all I fell in love with Sia Furler’s voice during that show and she became instantly my favorite singer. Her voice is just unbelievable, so original and smooth to the ear! I picked this song cause I had to chose one but I just love them all. I admire her specificity and how she created her own genre. I even got to talk to the band before the show at the entrance and remember thinking they were all so approachable and fun. That’s probably the best show I went to. I’ve never been to a Sia concert yet but I’m really hoping to go next time she's playing in town!

5. Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot | Bonnie & Clyde
To me they’re one of the sexiest couples that ever lived, and as a French native I had to pick a French classic! The desinvolture and the blasé way of singing and carrying themselves make these 2 icons so attractive and the song fits perfectly that vibe. I love the inimitable beat and melody. Bruce and I covered this song, writing some of the lyrics in English for Bruce’s parts while I sing in French. There's a video on YouTube of us playing it at one of our shows.

6. Air | Playgorund Love
The first song from Air that I heard. Once again, such a sexy vibe… I actually think Air got inspired by Gainsbourg. If you pay attention you can definitely hear the Gainsbourg heritage in most of their songs. I heard this song for the first time in the movie The Virgin Suicides and played it all the time after that. When I say all the time it really means playing it and replaying it over and over again. I’m the kind to do that when I like a song.

7. Lilly Wood & The Prick | Water Ran
One of the new French bands that I love. I can’t get enough of their sound and they’ve been covering songs recently and are doing an amazing job at it. They’re friends of friends so I’m really hoping to meet them someday… And maybe do a Freedom & The Prick single ?!

8. John Lennon | Jealous Guy
Such a sad song… Such a beautiful melody… I loved it instantly when I heard it for the first time as a little girl. These chords have such an impact on me and my mood. It’s one of those songs that brings tears to my eyes.

9. Joni Mitchell | Case Of You
I love the intensity of the lyrics, the beauty of the melody, and the simplicity of the production. I have a preference for songs written in the 70s. This song makes me feel in love and peaceful whenever I hear it.

10. Paul McCartney | Temporary Secretary
Bruce played the whole McCartney II album for me while I was visiting him in New York when he was still living there. I had absolutely no idea that Paul came up with such a sound and that he’d been so cutting edge even after the Beatles. It’s such an interesting beat and melody, and it's so fun to play loud and sing along with.

SIDE B | by Bruce Driscoll

1. Procol Harum | A Whiter Shade Of Pale
First off, the lead organ part gives me goosebumps every time. I'm obsessed with Bach and there's a similarity to him in that melody for me, which is maybe why I love it as well. The Hammond sounds so haunting in the midst of that late 1960s production. Gary Brooker's vocals are so inspired sounding. It's a perfect track as far as I'm concerned. I think I first heard it on an oldies station in Grand Rapids, Michigan which is where I grew up. Very few songs, if any, top this song for me.

2. Paul McCartney | Coming Up
If this song was written by anyone else I might call it a throw-away jammy jam type song. The lyrics aren't very deep on paper - However, because it's Paul McCartney, it's totally epic. The way the bass walks up in the choruses when he's singing Coming up is genius. The production is so cool and I love how ballsy he was to effect his vocal so greatly. Some people I play it for don't recognize his voice. It's a feel-good song and it works on me. It really has an energy that doesn't quit. This was from the record McCartney II which he recorded completely at home by plugging his microphones into the back of his Studer tape machine. While we're discussing a Beatle - I kind of have mixed feelings on the whole favorite Beatle conversation. John, George, and Ringo are just as brilliant in opinion - obviously some in different ways. I don't have a favorite at the moment. Also, Marie and I listen to this on road trips and sing along.

3. The House Of Love | Beatles And The Stones
The lyrical nostalgia encapsulated within the four minutes and twenty-two seconds of this song is so thick that I can't help but gaze off at sunsets or sink into some cloud of memories. Memories of the good old days - the ones I'm not even old enough to have lived through. Musically it's like some kind of warm, retro bath. The elements of the 80s are there - beautiful reverb soaked guitar arpeggios and vocals, but the throwback to the 1960s in the lyrics and the lullaby like Nature of the melody makes me melt. Plus, Guy Chadwick's vocals are so deep and haunting in this track. The way he softly croons in this kills me. Also, I'd recommend listening to it in sequence on the butterfly album. There's a wonderful fade-in to the song featuring a sample of All You Need Is Love, John Lennon speaking, and some other Beatles related radio/TV noise. My friend Kip turned me on to this when I was 17 or so. It was Love at first listen. This was pre-iTunes so I actually had to get in a car and drive to several record stores hunting the Music day. There's some nostalgia for you - actually going to a record store.

4. Santo & Johnny | Sleep Walk
The epic amount of emotion I feel in relation to this song must be at least half as a result of my love for the movie La Bamba. In the end scene - as Ritchie's family & Donna are learning of the plane crash that took Ritchie Valens' life - they roll tune in the background and successfully press the ignite button for the audience's tears. Definitely one of my favorite uses of Music in a movie. The melody itself is just so sad. It's perfection. I love sitting with my guitar and working out different arrangements of it. Trying to play the melody and keeping the bass notes going at the same time. Some kind of knock off Chet Atkins-hack approach. The weeping sound of the pedal steel is what sells it for me though. I remember not knowing what this song was called or who did it and it driving me crazy for a while. I believe my guitar player friend Pete Dunning was the one who knew who it was and what it was called. Pete is in a band called Papa Vegas that was also a big influence on me as I started learning to play the guitar and write songs. They released a great album on RCA in 1999 and have self released another since. They're definitely worth listening to as well. Back to Sleep Walk - Brian Setzer did a great cover of it. Saw him play it live when I was a teenager and my jaw was on the floor.

5. Electric Light Orchestra | Don't Bring Me Down
The massive drum sound in the beginning of this sucks you in from the get-go and then next thing you know the riff impales you. I can think of few producers & songwriters as creative as Jeff Lynne. The man doesn't get enough credit. And the stuff he was recording was all to tape which makes it all the more crazy when I think about it. I think the first time I tuned into it was used in the background of the movie Donnie Brasco. Which I also thought was an underrated film. Particularly Al Pacino's performance. But anyway, Don't Bring Me Down is one of the coolest songs ever written. Also, one of the rare songs that has my name in it. Don't bring me down, Bruce. Also, I was on a tour with the band the Postmarks once and one night after a gig they put my name down for karaoke without telling me. Suddenly they MC called my name so I reluctantly went up on stage and this song kicked on. It was a good night. I wore the keyboard player's Darth Vader mask while I sang it. I think there's a picture somewhere. That's probably another reason I love this song.

6. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers | Last Dance With Mary Jane
I can remember being a goody-two-shoes kid in the backseat of my older sister's car, driving around with some of their slightly burnt-out high school friends and hearing this song on the radio for the first time. Taking the song at face value - to be about a girl named Mary Jane. Not getting the pot connotations at all. They were all singing along in the car like the Bohemian Rhapsody scene from Wayne's World and when the part Oh my my, Oh hell yes came along I remember thinking it was so badass. Tom Petty definitely hooked me in for good with this song. Then, when I saw the video with Kim Basinger's corpse I was so into it. Still one of my favorite music videos as well.

7. Trashcan Sinatras | Leave Me Alone
Around the time I first met my friend Andy Chase he was in the middle of mixing a record for this Scottish band called the Trashcan Sinatras. I hadn't heard of them though they'd been around for awhile. Andy wanted to check a mix in his studio's A room on the big Genelec speakers so he played this song. I remember thinking it was quite possibly the most beautiful song I'd ever heard. It gave me chills. The sad lyrics and the 1950s chord progression combined with the singer Frank's soft, lullaby-ish vocals are terrific. Also, the guitar playing on this song - and on all their others - is brilliant. Later on in Life I had the fortune of touring with the band and getting to know them. They're all some of the nicest human beings alive as well.

8. The Smiths | Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
I relate to these lyrics so much. They're so sad but so true. Morrissey really knows how to tap into a dark place that's similar to mine. Plus, with his touch of humor it comes across to me with the perfect bittersweet feeling. The guitar parts make me envious. The major 7th chords get me - they always do. The baseline has one of the best melodies I've ever heard - I should mention that Andy Rourke is the most underrated bass player ever. This song came into my life around High School when I bought a collection of their Singles. I must have listened to it at least 1,000 times.

9. Anna Ternheim | New York, New York (Liza Minnelli Cover)
A cover of the song made famous by Frank Sinatra. Marie introduced me to this. It's really sad sounding and was a very smart reinterpretation. I recently moved from New York to Los Angeles and I put this song first on a mix. I don't know why. Maybe to have a weepy Dawson's Creek type moment and get it out of my system. It didn't happen that way because I was more excited to move than sad to leave, but this version is really sad. I highly recommend it for the more Downtempo moments of Life.

10. Bee Gees | New York Mining Disaster 1941
Speaking of songs with New York in the title and because most people only know the Disco era Bee Gees I felt compelled to include this. This was from the Bee Gees' 1st and honestly the whole album is amazing. The songs are more in a darker Beatles type direction. I chose this song because the I love the contrast between the dark, spacious verses and the huge, uplifting sounding choruses. I think I discovered this on iTunes by previewing various Bee Gees songs one day long ago and suddenly being like, Holy shit, what is this?...