WARMER MIXTAPES #208 | by Nicholas D. Futcher of Kite Club

1. Best Coast | Our Deal
I’ve had this song on repeat for weeks! It reminds me of the early sixties girl groups I so much adore, only in a modern take. A girl confused in where she stands with her guy. The innocence in her voice gets me; I want to be her boyfriend! The vocal melodies hang high and carry along the chipper groove. That old-style point bass technique that makes itself heard only when relevant. When you leave me the pad is empty and I feel crazy ‘cos I didn’t say anything...?...Aww. This girl pouring out her heart to this guy, even though he may never hear it, all the while keeping a sense of maturity about it, because if he did, she might not have the kind of presence she needs in this relationship. It’s extremely well written and I’m sure, given a few months, will remind me of now, only, then.

2. Charles Manson | Look At Your Game, Girl
This has to be one of the saddest stories in contemporary times. A true genius, fallen at the reigns of the western battle. A victim of civilisation. A martyr amongst the rats; portrayed as a heartless killer. A visionary of cult status. Whenever I play this song, someone will walk in and be like, Who is this? This is great! to which my reply quickly sets a confused look upon such face. But isn’t that... He’s a psycho... This man has one of the sweetest and reassuring voices I’ve ever experienced. This song to me is about the demographic of girls aged 17-22 that have more physical appeal than they know what to do with. They figure this out around then, and move to a city, and get by on the plethora of guys with their tongues visibly hanging out their mouths. This social monopoly has become quite common, as I’ve experienced it myself. This continues for years, until the sort of epiphany that embeds emotional damage comes to, and you’ve got a whole army of bitter 23+ girls that can’t get close to anyone. Can you feel? Are those feelings real? Look at your game, girl...What a mad delusion...Living in that confusion...Frustration and doubt...Can you ever live without the game? This recollection rings true to me.

3. Nico | Chelsea Girls
Here’s room 506...It’s enough to make you sick...Bridgette’s all wrapped up in foil...Let’s see if she will uncoil...The moment I heard this song, I was extremely creeped out. I was sharing a creative space with a few friends at Hibernian House on Elizabeth St in Sydney. Everytime we went up the elevator there’d be a gang of pigeons waiting for us, staring us down. It was quite intimidating, and it smelt. The girl we rented from was named Bridgette and it just happened to be room 506. Enough said. Also, there was a wonderful little known jazz club called 505 which happened to be next door... We’d here these blistering groups coming from next door while we did our thing. It was great.

4. Plants & Animals | Faerie Dance
*_* Fell asleep under a tree...Got woken up by birds by bees...They’re hard at work but they’re hardly working...There might be rain, but not for certain...

5. John Coltrane | Giant Steps
The first time I heard this song I was frightened. I was heavily into progressive rock at the time ie; Yes, King Crimson, The Mars Volta; and this song sent me into a primitive paralysis. What these groups had in studio presence, Coltrane was expressing through his minimal tone. His lines were conversing with my immediate conscious, it was incredible. The rhythms that were being put across was like being barked at in traditional mandarin, and magically receiving clear. It was a shamanic experience, one of which I will never forget. The unforgiving pace of the chaos sent me into a parallel realm. This also was amplified by my love for quite quick early seventies street punk. Breakneck speeds of drumming, and keeping time with this, was a highschool hobby of mine. It taught me rhythm in the highest degree. I have since discovered The Bitches Brew Sessions by Miles Davis, which speaks for itself.

6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti | Among Dreams
I wish I wrote this song. There’s so much to express about this song, both lyrically and sonically. To be in love with someone that isn’t with you is one thing. To be feeling this among dreams is torture. You can hear this come across. The way he bursts so innocently from phrase to phrase. Among dreams we’re best friends...While in life we float apart...It bothers me that you don’t admit you love me...Though it’s precisely in your dream...I’m livin’ to love you...Oh, to be wide awake beside you. It’s up, down. From line to line, It’s positive and outward, yet reclusive and nieve. Confident yet unsure. Is the person real? Is it figuritive? The songwriting is immaculate and pure. It’s the strangest mix. He’s barely playing the instruments in time, yet it’s this obscurely symphonic signature; six or seven bass chords to a bar. Incredible. To hear this song is definitely an experience. The way it whispers across the tape. It’s a ghost of it’s own form. The scraps of the carbon copy of another, far more emphatic song. It would be impossible to recreate this. The first time I heard this song at my friends house, it haunted me. I felt I’d heard it a million times. The way it was dreamily carrying on in the background like something was going on that I didn’t know about, but was utterly intrigued to experience. The sparkled analogue strings of yesteryear. Like it was the song I was always trying to get out of my mind when I’d sit down to write. For weeks that followed, I would put on these giant headphones I’d loaned and bounce around the streets of Sydney, this song blaring in my ear drums while I would fight the urge to make elaborate hand motions; a fight I would often lose. I was homeless for a few months around then, and this song would make the world seem a little less there. I still listen to it every day without fail. Thankyou Ariel!

7. The Used | Light With A Sharpened Edge
In Love And Death is the first record I remember being alarmingly aware of the nature of production in music, and to the greater extent, the power of such things. What I now understand to be compression and saturation, shook me up upon initial affect. This spectrum that fell upon virgin ears... They almost bled. Some purists believe that production and song are seperate. I find this ignorant and to the lesser degree arrogant. If you’ve got a badass cake... It’s still a killer cake regardless, it’s just up to you how you ice it. The two work in harmony. It’s all expression anyway!! Bert is another singer who definitely influenced my style. He’s got these cheeky little pre/suffixes to his dictation. It’s manipulation of the larynx to create character. I’m sure he’s had a few takes in the booth in his life, but nonetheless genius.

8. High And Driving | Baby Girl
This is the epitome of my adoration for leave you high, two minute bliss balls. Anthony Green was one of the first, and still is one of my favourite singers to take influence from. He’s one of the first singers that I learnt the art of tone from. The way he tightens up his chest and assaults you. Also, with his upward way. It’s joyous, it’s celebratory... The celebration of your girl!... Baby girl, twist away!...When you’re talking to me, I can’t breathe!...She’s so lovely...

9. David Bowie | Ashes To Ashes
This is an awkward and dark song to me. The phased guitar and sharp high note piano being flung at you so abruptly, with no real order. It makes me feel like the results of vicious arm waves in every which way, from a confused young human, without a place, while wearing an elaborate hat. Ashes to ashes...Fun to funky...We know Major Tom’s a junkie. To me this has a high level of shock factor; letting us know there’s a little more to Major Tom than spaceships. I think it’s brave of Bowie to communicate this. I think it’s also legitimate to hear things like this, as you know that the artist has genuinely created this presence in their heads.. As if to say that yesterday Major Tom was a hero, today he’s a junkie. The story is ever-growing. I love Bowie immensely.

10. American Football | I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional
I recall stumbling upon this group in a similar artists pop-up on the P2P client Limewire around age sixteen. It was autumn, and I burnt the record onto cd-r and played it on my portable on repeat for about four months straight. We’d just moved into a new house with my Dad’s girlfriend of two years and her two kids, one my age, the other, my brothers age. It was new and exciting, being back on the Gold Coast, with all the palm trees, the sunshine, and my new mountain bike. New highschool, with new dramas. New girls with bigger dramas. Total teenage bliss. I grew a big fringe and wore black nailpolish ^_^!

+11. Atlas Sound | After Class
Stephanie Augustine was her name. She attended the College Of Fine Arts (COFA) in Paddington. I’d meet her at the corner after class and we’d walk blissfully down Oxford St, hand in hand, our long golden locks intertwined in thick city wind. We’d devised a super-plan where we’d connect both our headphone sets to a splitter jack, so we could listen to the same song, at the same time. We’d walk the kilometer to Hyde Park, where we’d sit on the grass for hours, enthralled in each others vibrations, still hand in hand. We’d wear matching shoes. I’d smoke tobacco and she’d chew strawberry gum. After the park, it’d be threatening dark. This meant her time was drawing to an end, and we’d walk the other kilometer to the bus stop near Central station where I’d see her off to her castle, far far away, only to return the next day, to do the same thing. This song was the theme to my afternoon queen.