WARMER MIXTAPES #98 | by Nick Jones [thrifty astronaut]

I didn’t feel like I could condense everything I listen to into 10 songs, but after cheating slightly, I have found 12 songs that I really like.

1. Grandaddy | A.M. 180
When I first discovered this album, I listened to it about 5 times a week for months on end. It has so many wonderfully heartfelt songs, but this one in particular has earned the right to be the first song on any mix tape I will ever make.

2. Hear Hums | Monday Or Any Day
Every time I listen to this song I hear something new. I especially like the giddy, little piano and drums that come in at the middle. I still don’t totally understand the rhythm, but it is the type of song that you can spastically dance to while nobody is watching.

3. Starfucker | Pop Song
Last summer, I never went very long without listening to this album. Something is really refreshing about them; probably in part because they are so shamelessly catchy and bouncy. I heard that they changed their name to Pyramiddd which is sort of sad, but still I’m excited to see what they do next.

4. Dr. Dog | Oh No
Dr. Dog was my favorite band for a while. They are really good at doing the whole retro-60’s-throwback-pop thing. Part of me wonders if they consciously tried to write a song that would fit in on the B-Side of Abbey Road when they wrote Oh No.

5. Hank Williams | Nobody’s Lonesome For Me
Hank Williams had that classic, self-deprecating, country sense of humor. It is the type of song that makes you smile because it is so sad. I try to write lyrics that have that kind of wit, but generally I don’t do very well.

6. Cold War Kids | Audience
I heard this song the first time about a month ago. It completely redeemed the Cold War Kids in my eyes. The lyrics are just so incredibly lucid, and the groove is so simple and cool. It reminds me a lot of Robbers And Cowards, but at the same time something seems more progressive and personal than they have sounded in the past. This was possibly my favorite song of 2009.

7. Elvis Perkins | While You Were Sleeping
Out of all of these songs, this is one of the few that I can remember hearing for the first time. I feel the same way about him as some people feel about Leonard Cohen. There is something about his lyrics that just haunts me.

8. The Teeth | Shoulderblade
I had a hard time knowing which song to pick off of this album, because there are a lot of really great songs. What I like about The Teeth is the way he rushes through the lyrics with such a sense of urgency. He sounds like he is about to breakdown at any second.

9. Beck | Steal My Body Home
Mellow Gold is probably my favorite Beck album and this song has been my favorite Beck song recently. The ending is just so fantastic. Most artists treat their own work with such reverence, but Beck has no problem completely vandalizing his own songs. Of course, I wouldn’t like the song nearly as much if it didn’t turn it around at the end. The song builds up in such moody and brooding way, the outro is almost therapeutic in its sillyness.

10. Bob Dylan | Talking World War III Blues
This song is so completely ridiculous. It really shouldn’t be my favorite Bob Dylan song. I feel like I should say that I like With God On Our Side or Baby Blue best, but for some reason this song is always the one that I want to hear. I think because it is one of his only songs that he allows his sense of humor to show in. For some reason, humor is important to me in music.

+11. Casiotone For The Painfully Alone | New Year’s Kiss
This is another recent favorite. It is one of those songs that you know you will like as soon as you hear the drum beat. I’ve been listening to a lot of CFTPA lately. He has wonderful textures and electronics but what really makes it interesting is the songwriting behind it.

+12. Otem Rellik | The Pale
Otem Rellik is probably the best artist living in Colorado right now. It is amazing because he is still playing little house shows and things like that, but he sounds like he should be touring the world. Most of his songs are somewhere in between hip-hop and electronica, but I chose this one because it is the one I most often end up singing to myself in the mornings.