WARMER MIXTAPES #1260 | by Joel Michael Howard [Harelip/Super Lonely] of The Huntingtans, Bravo Silva and The Albertans
1. Led Zeppelin | The Battle Of Evermore
I fell in love with this song in 1994 when I was very young. It was my introduction to Classic Rock and to the epic spectrum of emotion a young kid feels reflected in the expansive sound of a Rock ballad. I remember reading Stephen King's The Stand, curling up in a loft bed, with The Battle Of Evermore set to repeat on my CD 5-disc boom box.
2. Aaliyah | Back And Forth
In 1995. She was a real talent, and this song made me laugh. I danced to this song with other kids. I think I felt some white person's version of groove for the first time. I love this song.
3. The Smashing Pumpkins | 1979
For me, this is the greatest Adolescent Pop Rock song of all time. It is perfect and timeless. Listen to it again. The drums, the guitar line. I'm an obvious sucker for melodrama, but always looking for ways to cut into the self-indulgence, or at least coat it in film... Like when you take Percocet. No story with this song. It's just beautiful.
4. Aphex Twin | Jynweythek
In 2001, I was involved in a theatrical re-imagining of Egil's Saga. The director, Kristjan Thor and I would listen to this song. We were in a cabin in Iceland in December and we drank whiskey and then he would write and I would play my violin afterwards (this was my first instrument). We also listened to Tom Waits' The Piano Has Been Drinking. But I really fell in love with Jynwythek. I think this song was one of the first ones to steer me in the direction of Pop.
5. The Walkmen | We've Been Had
One of my favorite memories when I first moved to New York was living in the East Village and walking over to The International Bar on 1st Avenue and 7th Street. This was the bar's first incarnation, and it had a great jukebox. We've Been Had was played at least once a night. Two musicians, Henry Wolfe and Malachi D'Lorenzo, artist Matthew Siegle, and director Kristjan Thor and I would drink beers and whiskey and then stumble over to The Sly Fox before passing out. I think this was 2004, and Williamsburg hadn't taken over yet. I was already in love with New York, but this time was a honeymoon.
6. The Crystals | Then He Kissed Me
Always, forever this will be one of my favorite recordings. I loved it when I was 8 years old and still 20 years later. Spector!! When The Albertans first toured, we would listen to this song in a converted, propane-fueled short bus painted army green. 7 people and a cat driving through Washington, down the Oregon coastline and then to LA. Our bus broke down in Seattle and we slept the night by a cream cheese hot dog stand, the drummer's head next to the kitty litter. But then we fixed it up and made it to Portland where we played a show in the back yard of a Hare Krishna temple, and we covered Then He Kissed Me. Sunshine!!
7. George Harrison | Got My Mind Set On You (James Ray Cover)
I had just finished recording Super Lonely, a record I wrote from the perspective of a lost feminine self. The final song recorded for the record was a cover of Harrison's cover of the song, Got My Mind Set On You. This was a song I loved, purely for the lead chorus melody which is, ironically, in Harrison's version, a lead chorus harmony. To cover the song I had to ignore the aggressively bland lyrics, such as It's gonna take money... or most especially, But this time it's for real, the feelings that I feel... You know if I put my mind to it... You know I really can do it. After some time, I started to enjoy these lyrics. They provided comfort like cold soot or a bathtub of fine, beige dust, that I could stick my feet in. Something about the plainness of these lyrics felt meditative. I thought a lot about Music of this era: late 80s, melody-driven radio Rock dominated by POP lyrics and POP production. I also thought about some mid-90s radio Rock that went this direction too. In this music I started to re-appreciate the melodies, the musicianship, the jams, and especially the lyrics.
8. Alice Coltrane | Journey In Satchidananda
When I lived on Bowen Island off the coast of Vancouver I would take the ferry to the mainland and go to Dandelion Records. I had never been a record collector, or any collector of anything, and I have trouble remembering names of things, so always felt subconscious talking about anything Music-related openly. But I could go to this store and the owner recommended just one or two records to me. This was one of them, and the title track is one of my favorite songs of all time. I never had furniture in my place on Bowen, but it overlooked the ocean and big mountains. This song felt great. It's also my last auditory memory of living in seclusion.
9. Fleetwood Mac | Big Love
Forever I will love Lindsey Buckingham. This is one of his songs, and he sings it and plays it unabashedly. Thank you, Lindsey!
10. Blood, Sweat And Tears | I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know
This is the last song I've gotten into obsessively. I love the cheese vocal take, the brash orchestration and the overall expanse of non-coolness. The song I wrote called The Way I Love You is a homage to this song by B, S And T. You'll get to hear it soon!!