WARMER MIXTAPES #1164 | by Patrick Scott Chalfont Tabor [Tabor Mountain] of Creepy Marbles and Morning Hands
1. Essay | Helicopter
In my old band Creepy Marbles I was lucky enough to go on tour with LA-based duo Essay in July of 2011. In addition to hanging out with 2 really rad people I got to see their set every night all over California and Arizona. This song hit so hard and always provoked an audience reaction to its 4-to the floor beat and slinky, powerful bass line. I still throw their Animal tape on from time to time and bask in the memories of sweaty dance parties, Central Californian wastelands and persistent caffeine quests in Western deserts.
2. Type O Negative | Love You To Death
I think everyone has a band or an artist that completely changes their musical life or lays the groundwork for an aesthetic identity, and for me that band was Type O Negative. I saw them in a guitar magazine I was reading in my 8th grade computer lab and thought they looked really cool so I downloaded their October Rust and Bloody Kisses albums from Limewire that day. As a young Metal fan their down tuned sludgy dirges and working man's Goth aesthetic really appealed to me, but what really surprised me about them we're all the LOVE songs! Love You To Death perfectly encapsulated the scope of the drama of my middle school crushes - the grandiose devotion you would build up in your mind to someone you might barely know or talk to. It is about dying with the one you love, wrapped in each other's arms - a heavy romantic image for a 13 or 14 year old who is new to Love. The dreamy piano plinks, the burrowing steamshovel of a bass line, and of course the resonant baritone of Peter Steele forged a monumental image for me for what romantic love might be like - as daunting as asking a girl on a date was for me then, the notion of being that much in Love with anyone was almost too huge to grasp.
3. Talk Talk | Life's What You Make It
Talk Talk is one of my favorite British Pop groups from the 80s, and this my favorite Talk Talk song. The way this song is arranged is nearly perfect - a heavy repetitive bass line played on the piano, an insistent syncopated percussive beat, really creative guitar work - and of course the vocals. As far of the message of the song, it could not be simpler. All the musical and vocal repetition persuades you absolutely that Life's what you make it, can't escape it. Empowering and catchy as hell, this is one of the best songs of the 80s.
4. HEALTH | Goth Star (Pictureplane Cover)
Hands down my favorite song of 2011. The original by Pictureplane was really great too, but the thundering drums are what really make this cover so heavy and memorable. The combination of effected crystalline guitar, over that driving slow disco beat just KILLS. This song is still my mental soundtrack to driving around the gorgeous backroads of Humboldt County, California.
5. Kate Bush | The Big Sky
I got into Kate Bush when I was 20 or so, a friend of mine gave me Hounds Of Love and I quickly fell in Love with it. This song leapt out at me the most because of the syncopated sucker-punch Pop chorus and the HUGE percussion overload towards the end - there must be over 100 tracks of instruments on this song. At this point in my life I was working and going to School in Seattle and biking everywhere. I was one of those bikers that drivers hate - weaving in and out of traffic with no helmet - listening to Kate Bush on my over ear headphones.
6. Jens Lekman | A Man Walks Into A Bar
At 19 years old I had never really been in Love before, and when I did finally fall in Love with my first significant girlfriend it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought about her all the time, skipped classes to hang out with her - she even became the excuse for the first time I was ever late to work. We were lying in bed with each other on a warm Seattle night when this song started playing. I was looking into her eyes watching for a reaction to a song I really liked and when Jens sings the lyrics A man walks into a bar... Orders a beer and a bowl of peanuts... But the bar turns into a spaceship... And the bartender gives him a hair cut... I can't remember the end of that joke... She let out her great little magnetic laugh. That exact moment a hot rising sensation just filled up my whole body and I knew I was in Love for the first time.
7. Cocteau Twins | Primitive Heart
Cocteau Twins is a band I was lucky enough to discover in my Junior Year of High School when I probably needed to hear them most. This song is a somewhat rare B-side released on the Tishbite single in 1996, but didn't make it to my ears until 2005 when I was a beer chugging, weightlifting, High School Metalhead. The angelic, almost reassuring maternal quality to Elizabeth Fraser's voice in this song just floored me, and still does - and was one of the earliest songs I heard that was heavy without being HEAVY. I soon snapped up all their releases and spent considerable time with them, further nudging me in the direction of more Post-Punk, Synth Pop and Shoegaze Music. As far as I can tell, Primitive Heart is a song about loving someone with less complex yet stronger and clearer feelings than you. The lyrics (although pretty hard to decipher) seem to romanticize the purity of such a primitive heart, and really encouraged my 17 year old self to connect with my emotions in a more meaningful way, no matter how my primitive my heart was then.
8. Andrew W.K. | Never Let Down
Andrew W.K. is an intensely polarizing and misunderstood artist. To most of my contemporaries he's probably just that party party party! Rock bro from the early 2000s responsible for such songs as Party Hard, Party Till you Puke and It's Time To Party. This is ammunition enough for many cultural aesthetes to dismiss him outright, which I must admit I did for a long time. My first real roommate - whose taste and intelligence I respected immensely - forced me to reconsider my stance on Andrew W.K. after repeated exposure to his more obscure songs and albums. This experience combined with his articulate comportment led me to realize that Andrew W.K. was more philosopher than musician, and he had discovered the most significant way to communicate his philosophy of unwavering positivity via the concept of partying - delivered in the guise of massive Rock songs with brilliant Pop hooks. Songs like Never Let Down are heavy Hi-Fi motivational statements meant to inspire the listener, and I was indeed inspired by his message. As a touring musician who is always trying to make a name for myself, I've experienced more than my fair share of rejection and worse, indifference. It is partly due to the unabashed positivity of Andrew W.K.'s Music that I keep going, writing, and playing - and I will never let down.
9. The-Dream | Yamaha
If you grow up primarily in the culture of Punk, Metal and Hard Rock it is an unwritten law that commercial Pop/R&B is irredeemably cheesy. It took me a long time to shake this vestigial cultural assumption from my childhood and teenage years, but when I was finally exposed to the Music of R. Kelly, Kanye West and most importantly The-Dream - I was hooked. To me The-Dream is the single best Pop producer of the 2000s. Yamaha was the first song I heard from him, rolling around stoned in my friend's SUV somewhere in Northern California. The truly giant syncopated beat, shimmering synths and the undeniable vocal swank of Terius Nash himself impressed me instantly and I quickly became familiar with all of his other equally stunning albums. He's definitely made the most money and biggest cultural dent writing songs like Justin Bieber's Baby and Umbrella by Rihanna, but to me his solo work is some of the best modern R&B I've ever heard.
10. Tim Cappello | I Still Believe (The Call Cover) (The Lost Boys Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Tim Cappello is probably best known as Tina Turner's touring saxophonist for many of her big stadium tours of the 80s. His single biggest moment as a solo artist was this song's prominent role in the 1987 film The Lost Boys - which has since become something of a Cult classic. Musically his version stays true to the original in most ways, but what makes it better to me is the more impassioned singing, the addition of saxophone interjections during the chorus and a slightly higher BPM. At the age of 18 I moved to Seattle from my hometown of Half Moon Bay, California and by the time winter rolled around I found myself very homesick. I would watch The Lost Boys obsessively not just for the campy vampire elements I've always loved but also for the sweeping shots of Santa Cruz and the California coast that I missed so much in my new cold, rainy environment in which I had few friends. Eventually I got the soundtrack and this song is definitely the best thing on there, swirling with keyboards and sax and filling me with nostalgia for a 1980s' California dream that I was born into but never really knew.