WARMER MIXTAPES #397 | by Melissa Ann Sweat [Lady Lazarus]

1. Bruce Langhorne | Opening
I stumbled upon Bruce Langhorne when I went into Aquarius Records in San Francisco a few years back and they had his music on in the store. I became immediately entranced. They were playing Langhorne’s soundtrack to The Hired Hand—a not-so-very-good western in my opinion by Peter Fonda, but the dusty, sparse, and hypnotizing soundtrack is truly a one-of-a-kind classic. Thumpy, warm, and minimalist banjo predominates with fiddle, harmonica, light percussion.... Epic music for a walk in the desert or solo road trip.

2. Fleetwood Mac | Dreams
You know this song has mass appeal when you’re in a punk bar in New Orleans and you put this one on the jukebox and even the gnarly looking dude at the bar turns around and gives you the nod. Lately, I’ve been revisiting a bit of music from my parent’s past. It’s hard to believe I’m just getting into Fleetwood Mac (and also Stevie Nicks who I now adore), but they have seriously been doing it for me lately. I also suggest Stevie Nicks’ demo of Gypsy, as well as her live version of Sara. So great.

3. Grateful Dead | Far From Me
Was never a Dead Head, but I think I may need to explore… Was at a late-night hang out session about a week ago and my friend put on Go To Heaven. I was like, This is the Grateful Dead?... I couldn’t believe it as I dug it a lot, and it wasn’t at all what I expected. I love the breakdown in this song at the phrase, close your eyes to see. Oh man, that makes my heart crunch every time.

4. Palace Music | West Palm Beach
I just did a mini tour of Florida and it was pretty neat that Bonnie “Prince” Billy was doing one too at the same time, though totally separate—a Free Florida Tour he was calling it. I caught his set in Orlando where I played across the street from him. Shortly after I came back from my travels, my brother Andy posted this song on Facebook in a sweet coincidence. This song is pretty much how I feel about Florida.

5. Julian Lynch | Travelers
I absolutely love the album Mare by Julian Lynch, and this is my favorite track. Travelers is something akin to groovy, New Age hipster meditation music—and also a favorite of mine for washing dishes to.

6. Brian Jonestown Massacre | (David Bowie I Love You) Since I Was Six
The title is masterful enough, but the killer is the whole muddy, jammy yet somehow succinct orchestra-of-sorts that builds up to the final chorus: It's the brightness in your eyes / I see it all tonight / In the darkness of my light / Shining on the chosen few!... I love how it contains our insignificance and glory in a few short and simple lines.

7. Arthur Russell | Eli
Discovered Arthur Russell recently while watching his posthumous documentary Wild Combination on Netflix. I really didn’t know anything about him… His disco career, that he was a contemporary of Philip Glass, that he worked a bit with Robert Wilson, Ernie Brooks of the Modern Lovers, or that he has had some resurgence in the last few years (see Jens Lekman’s 2007 cover album). I bought his album Love Is Overtaking Me and am still delving in, but this song, Eli, I played over and over again upon first listen. Strong, yet minimalist cello paired with winding and instinctive vocal lines. There’s something really genius about it.

8. The Red Krayola | When She Went Swimming
Fronted by the profound lyricist and vocal delivery master, Mayo Thompson, this whole album, Introduction, does not bore nor disappoint me and I’ve had it on intermittent repeat for the past year or so. This track is basically about a young woman exploring the depths of experience through Thompson’s seductive, oceanic metaphors. The first line is a grabber: She feeds a squid with nonchalance

9. Black Flag | Wasted
I’m not a huge Black Flag fan, but I’ve been reading Get In The Van by Henry Rollins so I felt the need to investigate more. This song is pre-Henry. It f*cking rocks, and simultaneously exudes and pokes fun at that stereotypical Southern California, burnt out surf-punk culture in dirt-cheap bites: I was a hippie, I was a burnout…. I was so heavy man I lived on the strand. Straight to the main vein in under a minute.

10. The Microphones | The Moon
The Microphones and Mount Eerie are some of my favorite projects ever. I love Phil’s use of acoustic and electronic elements in his album The Glow Pt. 2, and The Moon is a standout track for me. It reminds me of making the drive up to San Francisco on a weekend night for city fun, or being on the highway with only the Moon out, traveling from town to distant town. That double or triple saxophone movement in the chorus just kills me as it lilts along with Phil’s lonesome call.