WARMER MIXTAPES #1486 | by Frank Deserto (Dream Affair, Frank (Just Frank), Revel Hotel, Funeral Crashers), Greg Fasolino (Bell Hollow, The Naked And The Dead), Barrett Hiatt (Revel Hotel)/[Halo33] and Vanessa Irena (Synesect)/[knifesex] of The Harrow

SIDE A | by Vanessa Irena

1. Fever Ray | Dry And Dusty
I basically worship Karin Dreijer Andersson and think this is one of the greatest albums of all time. It’s hard to pick one track, but this one is kind of a standout for me. No one makes Domesticity seem more beautiful and terrifying.

2. Gazelle Twin | Anti Body
Gazelle Twin kind of filled a Fever-Ray-sized hole for me to be honest. I hate to compare the two because Elizabeth Bernholz is a genius in her own right and is definitely doing her own thing. I’m just affected in the same way by both of their Music. When this album came out I think I listened to nothing else for about three months straight. Again, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but this is a fantastic track.

3. Andy Stott | Execution
Some Music I really get down with on an intellectual level, but some Music is just purely bodily. This song seeps into me on a very deep, primal level and I absolutely love it.

4. Portishead | Machine Gun
I’ve been a big fan of Portishead forever and, when Third finally came out, this track really blew me away and it still does. Trip Hop meets Industrial Grime.

5. Ende Shneafliet | Session Zeitgeist
Frank introduced me to this track when he came on my radio show and I remember sitting there being like HOLY SHIT the whole time it was playing. It feels way ahead of it’s time for something that came out in 1983, plus Military beats are kinda my jam.

6. Radiohead | Everything In Its Right Place
I was in College when Kid A came out, and I had kind of written off Radiohead at the time because I was at the age where I thought I was too cool to listen to bands that were popular... But I remember hearing this track and being like WHAT IS THIS?... It was unlike anything I had really heard at the time and it’s what made me a Radiohead fan.

7. Guided By Voices | (I Wanna Be A) Dumbcharger
GBV were sort of my gateway into Music that was truly weird when I was in High School and College. I don’t listen to them much anymore, but I still think that Robert Pollard is a lyrical genius and this track is no exception.

8. Dead Skeletons | Ljósberinn
This song makes me want to conquer a small village.

9. Copeland | Advice To Young Girls (with Actress)
Amazing track and brilliant feminist anthem all in one.

10. Clock DVA | Buried Dreams
I basically want to have sex with this song.

+11. Brian Eno | The Fat Lady Of Limbourg
One of my favorite albums. This song is weird as hell and I love it.

+12. Bo Diddley | Who Do You Love?
I think this is probably the most Goth song ever written with the most badass lyrics of all time.

SIDE B | by Greg Fasolino

1. Slowdive | Souvlaki Space Station
Gliding and shimmering in the inky Darkness, radiating Bliss and Mystery, Souvlaki Space Station is my everlasting showstopper, my timeless Tonal Touchstone and Sonic Connection to the Universe. A song to Love forever, a song to inspire. Echo on!

2. The Chameleons | Second Skin
Second Skin has been on my favorite songs list for a very long time, and for good reason. It’s simultaneously existential and transcendent, with an almost unbearably magnificent sense of dynamics. Plus, it has the single greatest guitar hook every played. Whenever I pick up my Les Paul, I think to myself: Nothing I will ever come up with can ever be as good as Second Skin, but I gotta try.

3. Tyrannosaurus Rex | The Throat Of Winter
Picking one song from my favorite Music Artist of all time is tough. Marc Bolan was clearly a mortal man, but when he was on top of his game, he seemed to spring fully formed from some alternate fantasy universe, or from a different, stranger aeon. His voice was liquid amber and honey, tapping into deep archetypes and colorful Surrealism alike. Unicorn is my No. 1 album ever and this is one of several songs on it whose melodies are beautiful beyond compare, with the lyrics functioning as Poetry of the highest order. O the throat of Winter is upon us, the barren barley fields refuse to sway, before the husky hag of early Darkness in her hoods of snowy greydoes descriptive language get any better than that?

4. Todd Rundgren | I Saw The Light
I’m not really a big fan of Todd Rundgren, but, in my opinion, this is the most perfect Ppop song ever composed, narrowly beating out Waterloo Sunset and Care Of Cell 44. I could listen to that effervescent, floating duet between drums and piano a billion times and never ever get sick of it. I Saw The Light is bittersweet, which is the artistic emotion I love best, and it almost bursts with the glowing rush of falling in Love. I have a fetish for guitar solos that echo the vocal melody, and this is a prime example of that trick. It’s also a nice choice to reflect my deep and abiding worship of ’70s Rock, Pop and Soul Musicthose ghosts of radio past that bring my childhood back to me in an instant.

5. Hexvessel | Sacred Marriage
The newest of my finds, I came across this Psychedelic Forest Folk tune a month or two ago, via the stunning video, and was instantly seduced by its archaic texture, emotional power and vivid pagan imagery. When Mat McNerney sings, Horned God, Horned God, Moon Goddess rises with You, something inside me just responds on an atavistic level. Lord Summerisle would love this song. It is the sound of the Woods and Caves, of Rock and Stream and Moss, of the Lushness and Vastness and visceral Affect of Nature. Plant trees and worship Sagan, sayeth Hexvessel, and I can’t disagree. Now I want to go hike.

6. Black Sabbath | Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
The greatest, grandest, most epic Metal riff ever, right here, topping even Slayer’s Reign In Blood and Mercyful Fate’s Evil. It served me well when I was 14, and it serves me well now. I study Medieval German Longsword Fencing, and THIS is what is playing in my head when I don my mask and enter into sparring combat.

7. Lesley Gore | Maybe I Know
My family means the world to me, so I’m going to pick a few tunes that reflect this priority. Maybe I Know is for my 13-year-old daughter Josie. It’s our shared delight: a song that we both love from the bottom of our goofy hearts, and which we always sing and shamelessly mime along to, whenever we’re cooking something or sitting in the car together. It’s not one of Lesley’s famous songs, but I love it the most. The vocal melodies are so effortlessly Baroque and Divine, and oh, the Bittersweetness!

8. Kraftwerk | Neon Lights
This one is for my 16-year-old son Rudi. He loved Kraftwerk ever since he was a toddler, and while his own tastes developed past my influence into things like Dubstep and EDM, Kraftwerk was something that we could always still share, culminating in me taking him as a birthday present to see their awe-inspiring 3D show in NYC in 2014. Neon Lights is their finest moment, a paean to the beauty of the Nocturnal Urban Beehive and the wonders of Science and Architecture, all set to sparkly synthetic melodies of almost Bach-like Simplicity and Perfection. It is the feeling you get when you’re sitting in an airplane and you see the twinkling lights below of a new city to explore. It makes me look forward to the Future.

9. Deftones | Cherry Waves
Here is one for my beloved wife, Brittany. When we met nine years ago, this song was the key track on the first mix CD she gave me, and it totally reflected the avalanche of mad secret passion that engulfed us. I’d never paid the band any attention before, maybe because the name seemed silly or I assumed they were akin to Korn, but after that, I became obsessed with them. Chino Moreno is my favorite living vocalist (he could probably sing my tax return and make me enjoy it) and this is one of his finest performances. His voice is so sensuous, almost erotic in how it stretches like taffy. The overwhelming slow tidal rush of the Music works in such perfect harmony with his lyrics to express that feeling of falling so deeply in Love with someone that you’d trust them with your life and would risk absolutely everything to be with them. When Britt and I finally saw Deftones perform this song in 2011 and kissed in the balcony as it played, I took it as a sign from the Universe that they chose to backdrop it with scenes from her favorite film, Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders.

10. Claude Debussy | La Mer (Performed by Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Fritz Reiner) 
As recorded in 1960... It was June of ’81. I was 16 and temporarily bored with Metal, and a month or two away from discovering Punk, Post-Punk and New Wave. I came across A Clockwork Orange on Wometco (our primitive version of pay cable) and obsessively watched it over and over that month. From one perspective, it spurred my massive interest in Cult Cinema, but it also made me intensely curious about Classical Music for the first time. I found a beat-up old LP of La Mer in my parents’ modest stack of albums, threw it on, and was enraptured. I recognized the Music immediately as the soundtrack to scenes from the documentary series The Undersea World Of Jacques Cousteau, which had fascinated me as a kid. I have a lifelong obsession with the Sea and no other piece of Music captures that all-encompassing oceanic feeling like La Mer. Debussy is by far my favorite Classical composer, and his emphasis on Atmosphere, Tonal Impressionism and Melancholia are hardwired into my mindset as a musician.

+11. Suede | Bentswood Boys
Back in the ’90s, Suede meant more to me than any other band and their B-sides in particular were pure gold. This one is kinda like the best semi-Acoustic Ziggy-era Bowie song that isn’t actually Bowie. I have no clue what a Bentswood boy is, but the meaning of Brett Anderson’s lyrics is irrelevant – it’s the almost bottomless sense of wistful regret and longing he imbues the track with (and the sublime Acoustic and lead guitar work by the underrated Richard Oakes) that makes me swoon 100 percent of the time, every time.

+12. Cocteau Twins | Know Who You Are At Every Age
This song is so absolutely lovely in every way, it transfixes me in my place like a bug on a collector’s pin. The most beautifully wistful of vocal melodies combined with the most elegantly dreamy guitar tapestries make it a confection that I have to stop myself from playing in an infinite loop. Robin Guthrie is a god.

+13. Led Zeppelin | Ten Years Gone
Back in the Spring of ’78, as a callow seventh-grader, I made the fateful decision to pick up the guitar, and my newfound adoration of Led Zeppelin was surely the main impetus. Their oeuvre is so diverse and rich that – beyond those familiar tunes that are being played on Classic Rock radio every second of the day – I can always seem to find new favorites and hear different things going on within Jimmy Page’s masterfully orchestrated productions. I always liked this track, but after soaking in all the new deluxe album remasters last year, I realized just how fucking brilliant and beautiful and sad it was. Ten Years Gone is about Nostalgia, one of my favorite emotions, and Page’s liquid, shimmery guitar lines somehow reflect that.

+14. Bad Brains | Sailin’ On (ROIR cassette version)
I am a rocket, shooting forward into the Future, temporal velocity unceasing, older every second. Time may be illusory, but I still try and savor the moment and songs like this are reminders of my existence as a singular physical human at this moment in Space/Time. I could’ve chosen any number of perfect Punk Rock songs that soundtracked my last two years at an all-boys Catholic High School three decades ago, but this one isn’t just angry, it makes me feel powerful AND positive. I still remember the first time I heard their debut ROIR tape (the cleaner remake on Rock For Light just isn’t quite as superb). I was on vacation at my grandma’s house in St. Petersburg, Florida, in February 1982. Late one night, as everyone else slept and I battled insomnia, somehow I found a College station which played the entire eponymous tape, start to finish. I lay there marveling at their then-astounding speed, H.R.’s phenomenal catlike yowls, the wonderful ooh ooh oohs, wishing I could leap around the room and scream at the top of my teenage lungs.

+15. Steely Dan | Home At Last
I get more shit for loving Steely Dan than pretty much anything else in my wildly diverse closet of musical tastes. Especially from my bandmates, so this one is simply mandatory. There are so many classic Fagen/Becker songs that I love, but Home At Last has slowly risen to the top. A wry adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey, it encapsulates what I find so addictive about the Dan. Intellect meets Soul, Sadness merges with Silkiness. The juxtaposition of the cynical, World-weary lyrics and the soothing Jazzy tones never fails to please my ears and my heart. Now please give me a cigar and a Manhattan, please.

+16. Interpol | Pace Is The Trick
I will always be grateful for how Interpol (along with the first Strokes album) made me feel after my long guitar-playing sabbatical: that the Post-Punk sounds of my youth were cool again, that New York was finally a place to make Music once more, and that I really wanted to be part of it. While their first two albums are still my favorites, this song is just utterly glorious, especially when those sublime drums kick in at 50 seconds. I listened to this song so much during that transitional summer of 2007 when everything in my personal life changed. Things fell apart and came together and sometimes I had no idea which way was up. This song was my candle.

+17. The Brothers Johnson | Strawberry Letter 23 (Shuggie Otis Cover)
I love ’70s Soul and R&B the best, because it stripped away much of the bouncy Motown elements and ran straight into Bittersweetland, where I always wanna dwell. This song is so ridiculously majestic and trippy. The original version by Shuggie Otis is just as good, but this is the one that recalls walking home from School in Sixth Grade with its refrain swirling in my head, and turning on my dinky little radio and letting the World of Music envelop me.

+18. Niney The Observer | Blood And Fire
So fucking raw, so fucking heavy. Bass in your face. The rhythm is the Sound of the Heartbeat magnified almost beyond Endurance, the Sound of the Earth moving and Lava flowing, the guitar circling and chopping like a machete. It’s been my favorite riddim for decades, but since I became an ASOIAF obsessive in ’99, the very Targaryen sentiment sounds even finer. Let it burn, burn, burn!

+19. Die Antwoord | Fatty Boom Boom
My bandmate Barrett tried to get me into this band for awhile, and I resisted. They seemed so alien to me at first. One day last summer, after he’d played me another one of their tracks, I realized I kinda liked it. I came across the video to Fatty Boom Boom and instantly was like HELL YEAH! WOW! THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER! Played nothing else for a whole week straight. The beat is the best. It’s so primitive, so elemental, beyond Bo Diddley, beyond Neanderthal – it’s a beat from the Dawn Time, war drums of the Caveman calling every one of my cells to join the painted ritual. Ninja and Yolandi’s delivery is just so much fun, I can’t help smiling.

+20. Siouxsie And The Banshees | Into The Light
There’s not much I can say about the genius of the late John McGeoch that hasn’t already been said. So creative, so unpredictable. While my favorite McGeoch guitar solo is in Magazine’s Shot By Both Sides, it’s on the Juju album that he totally goes apeshit and lays down these huge webs of Mystery Mojo that have never been topped, this one being my favorite.

+21. The Clancy Brothers And Tommy Makem | South Australia (Traditional Sea Shanty Cover)
I’m deeply obsessed with sea chanties, and the rollicking, jaunty South Australia has long been my favorite, nudging The Hog-Eye Man. I also really like the crustier version by Ewan MacColl & A.L. Lloyd, but I’m picking The Clancys because they were the very first musical group I ever loved. My parents were Folk Music fans, and The Clancy Brothers were the first LPs I remember putting on the Stereo in the late ’60s, even before the family moved on to John Denver and Simon & Garfunkel. Hearing the incomparable voice of Liam Clancy reminds me of my mother Rose Marie, five years gone now but ever in my thoughts.

+22. Sun Kil Moon | Third And Seneca
I liked Red House Painters when they first came out, saw a really good show in ’92, but somehow forgot about Mark Kozelek after that. Last year something possessed me to check out Sun Kil Moon and I felt like kicking myself when I realized how amazing his more recent work is. For someone who’s usually not very focused on lyrics, I’m surprisingly addicted to his intensely personal and nostalgic autobiographical storytelling. This song is particularly special. The guitar playing is so warm and elegant and intimate. I turned 50 this year, and when I hear this voice – full of woody, caramel tones and a depth of Regret and Longing and Life Experience – it feels exactly like something meant for me at this point in my life.

SIDE C | by Frank Deserto

1. Breathless | Bad Blood
Nasty, hard hitting Post Punk from an otherwise delicate Dreampop precursor. I've always thought this band should have been huge, or at least, in the same league as bands like The Chameleons. This is a contender for my favorite song of all time (not something I take lightly), and the climax of the song never fails to give me chills.

2. In The Nursery | Lost Prayer
An early gem from an incredibly prolific group – walks a fine line between Military-driven Neofolk and Penderecki's most brutal, atonal moments. This came on shuffle recently and I had to stop dead in my tracks to give it my full attention three times in a row before moving on.

3. Turning Shrines | 1/4 Circle Black
I keep coming back to this song, over and over again. An underground Synthpop masterpiece, with just the right amount of Dreampop/Cocteau Twins flourish to really make it stick. Among other things, I've been extremely passionate about championing female-fronted New Wave and Post Punk tracks, a reaction against several friends who ridiculously claim they only listen to male vocalists. This drives me absolutely crazy.

4. Sun Dial | Reflecter
A menacing bass-and-drum-driven track masquerading as a Shoegaze rave-up. Completely danceable, with just the right amount of Nihilism to make things interesting. This song makes me wish I was old enough to enjoy the prolific UK Shoegaze scene in the late '80s and early '90s. Deep down, I will always be a sad bastard Shoegaze kid at heart.

5. Priscilla | Stone Is Very, Very Cold
Gorgeous, melancholy witchy Folk from an otherwise girl-group great. Haunting and heartbreaking. I first discovered this track through Rose McDowall and Boyd Rice's underrated Spell project, but the original will always be the best.

6. McCarthy | We Are All Bourgeois Now
Biting social commentary masquerading as catchy Jangle Pop. It took a while for this band to click, but they're in regular rotation these days. A precursor to Stereolab in membership only, I much prefer this band to what they would become.

7. Neon | Voices
Classic staple of the Belgian New Beat genre: four-on-the-floor rhythms and a synth line that just won't quit. Invokes intense feelings and sexual energy without a single lyric.

8. The Phones | Emotional Language
Completely understated, Minimal, and ghost-ridden Post Punk from the outer regions of Europe. The bleakest use of saxophone since Bowie's Heroes record.

9. And Also The Trees | A Room Lives In Lucy
Another contender for all-time favorite songs, and a huge influence on me on both a musical and lyrical level. Having a perfect Scott Walker-esque voice never hurt, either. Like Breathless, this band was just on the cusp of popularity, with big support from The Cure, but never quite made it to that level. Also like Breathless, they never broke up and continue to make excellent records, an admirable feat considering all the other drama involved with other bands from the era.

10. Second Still | Try Not To Hide
My favorite new band, hailing from NYC (and currently in the process of relocating to LA). This song has yet to be released, but encompasses everything I love about the French Cold Wave scene of the mid-to-late '80s in a perfect modern track.

+11. Asylum Party | Madhouse Grass
Speaking of which, I can't seem to get through a conversation about all-time favorites without invoking La Vague Froide, a mostly French phenomenon of bands influenced by early Cure records. While there are so many French bands and tracks that shaped early Harrow demos, it's always Asylum Party that shines above the rest.

+12. His Name Is Alive | Cornfield
A mid-period 4AD gem, and a huge formative influence in thinking outside of the box (also see Wire). Art-damaged beauty, glitchy strings, and monotone female vocals complete with almost menacing, yet warm lyrics make this one a permanent favorite for almost 15 years running.

+13. Garbage | Queer
An old favorite from the moment I first saw the video debut on MTV during my formative years. I was already knee-deep in obsessions with David Bowie and The Smashing Pumpkins at the time, but this taught me that Music could be incredibly sensual and dangerous on a more visceral level.

+14. Manic Street Preachers | Of Walking Abortion
Speaking of dangerous, every track on The Holy Bible is razor sharp, and is one of the few records that make me want to burn down the World. It's hard to pick a favorite, but this one sticks out just a hair above the rest.

+15. Cranes | Starblood
Terrifyingly loud and uncompromising, a mix of both beautiful and ugly in one three-minute package. An old High School favorite that I've never outgrown, and never will.

SIDE D | by Barrett Hiatt

1. Def Leppard | Rocket
I remember Hysteria being the first cassette tape that I purchased with my allowance. The big, heavy, arena-shaking reverb on the drums. The hook after hook that they seemed to so easily come up with. It all just resonated with me. The videos showed these larger-than-Life concerts that I wanted to attend so badly that I would still need to wait a few more years for. I still throw this one on with no shame.

2. Nine Inch Nails | A Warm Place
This song placed on one of the biggest highlight albums of my life, changed everything for me. For a short instrumental to convey so much emotion broadened a lot of what I felt a song could do. I would think endlessly about how Trent created those particular sounds. I remember putting this song on repeat on my 5-disc changer and either writing in my composition notebook, or making out with my High School girlfriend for hours.

3. The Cure | Close To Me
Even though I prefer A Night Like This primarily due to the best sax solo ever recorded, this song stands out for me as the song that made me like The Cure. Considering I was only about 6 years old when it came out, (thank you, older siblings) my addiction to watching MTV nearly every free second I could was my first introduction to a lot of bands. So this song reminds me of the moment I realized that I loved this band and still do today.

4. Tori Amos | Space Dog
Long before I really appreciated Kate Bush, Tori provided a much more accessible sound to me, and I felt like she allowed me to peek into a woman's world. I sometimes felt like I was intruding, but at the same time, I received some heavy insight. Her live shows were intense and her first three albums are all masterpieces.

5. Harry Belafonte | Banana Boat (Day-O) (Traditional Jamaican Mento Folk Song "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" Cover)
OK, so it was on The Muppet Show and in Beetlejuice. What else needs to be said about it? Harry owned this sound and style. This is on here simply as a fun song that makes me smile. As much as I like to brood and be mopey, sometimes I just want to dance.

6. New Order | Temptation
Speaking of dancing, this is not only my #1 favorite New Order song, but it is guaranteed to get me on a dancefloor. I will always think of dancing the night away in New York City at a variety of clubs in my early '20s to this song. It is virtually unskippable.

7. Massive Attack | Angel
Mezzanine is a touchstone not only in Electronic Music, but for me, I had never previously felt how sexy an album could be. I always used to joke about Barry White and cliched Makeout Music, but this album is really where it's at. All others line up behind this one.

8. Sigur Rós | Untitled (aka Samskeyti) (Track 3 on ( ))
Similarly to the way I felt about A Warm Place, this is the type of song that I could play on loop, and just think endlessly about Life, The Universe, Everything. Naturally, the soundtrack to my first trip to Iceland. It always brings back beautiful memories.

9. Oingo Boingo | When The Lights Go Out
I've loved Danny Elfman for about 90% of my life and one of my few regrets is not seeing this band perform live. Such an unique band with an inimitable voice, this was an easy band to put on this list, but a hard choice of song. Danny's score work is, just like his band was, always distinctive. That's right, HE IS THE PUMPKIN KING!

10. Björk | All Is Full Of Love
Sometimes a song's visuals really give the song that extra something. This video was no exception. I had already loved this song, as it was one of the standout tracks on Homogenic, but the video just blew me away. It was beautiful. Plain and simple. Perfectly matched the mood of the song. To display acts of Love in such a cold and sterile environment really struck a chord with me, and it stays with me to this day.

+11. Iron Maiden | The Trooper
Having older siblings during the '80s sure gave me a very wide range of musical tastes, but Iron Maiden stands out as a band whose sound, and image combined, was more than any wide-eyed child could ask for. The Piece Of Mind album was a highlight and images of Eddie The Head were wallpapered in my bedroom. While it doesn't usually cross over into my own musical output, I have considered myself a Metal-head ever since.