WARMER MIXTAPES #1626 | by Mike Pace (Oxford Collapse)/[Mike Pace And The Child Actors]

1. Randy Newman | Living Without You
Been jamming this one consistently for about fifteen years now. The standard line on Randy is that the guy who sings all those Disney/Pixar songs actually has great singer / songwriter records from the '70s. This is true, but hopefully you know that by now. This one's from his first album, back in '68. Fragile, vulnerable, imminently hummable; the joyous sound of Loneliness that I'm sure we can all relate to. Sad lyrics with an upbeat melody; can you beat that? I remember driving around Massachusetts in my old band's van en route to pick up a couch and listening to this one on repeat.

2. Rocket From The Crypt | Sturdy Wrists
Thank you, 120 Minutes. One of the first songs from the Underground to grab me at that pivotal age when you know there's something beyond Top 40 radio but you're not quite sure how to get there. The melodious cacophony of chords and horns in the chorus still gets me, and I can still recall the cliched light switch being flipped in my 13 year old brain when I first heard it (previously loving You Can Call Me Al and Dude (Looks Like A Lady) - Rock songs with horns - definitely helped). Before RFTC went Vegas they were more ragtag and gauzy and it was exactly what I wanted and needed.

3. David Ackles | Down River
Lyrically this one's a heartbreaker that took a few listens to sink in, but when it clicked; oh man. I can smell the gabardine they were wearing in the studio when they recorded this one. This song weirdly reminds me of my grandparents' basement.

4. Maggie And Terre Roche | Telephone Bill
Totally uncool NPR Folk-Rock by two of the three Roche sisters. Due to the threat of quirk-overload, I avoided this band for years for exactly that reason, but they've got some great, timeless songs (and Robert Fripp produced their first record!). This one is from 1975's Seductive Reasoning LP. When I hear this song I think of suburban New England, cable-knit sweaters and High School Music-room standup pianos. And I love it.

5. The Replacements | Androgynous
Those ragged piano chords were all I needed when I first heard this around 14 or 15. This sounded like a suburban Sunday in fall and I loved it. The lyrics (and the rest of Let It Be) settled in later.

6. Peter Gabriel | Red Rain
I love the crystal clarity that only mid 80's Digital Production can give you where the space between the notes sounds like nothing at all. Combine that with Gabriel's awesomely vivid vox and you've got the rare combo of antiseptic and soulful which I've always loved. I hear this one and all of a sudden I'm a teenager riding my bike through the business park near our house on a spring day after a storm. So was the first CD I ever bought.

7. Fleetwood Mac | Never Forget
A great rev'ver upper or come'r down'er and one of the highlights for me on one of my favorite records, Tusk. Christine McVie's Mac (and solo) cuts are almost always rock solid, this being no exception. Simple and beautiful. The kids all love it now, but NO ONE was talking about FM in the '90s!

8. Together | So Much Love To Give
Together = DJ Falcon & Thomas Bangalter. One of the most soulful hooks (Love's Such A Wonderful Thing by The Real Thing) I've ever heard + a simply killer descending chord progression = 10 minutes of my favorite French House. Played this one at my wedding and got a huge response. Turned me on to Thom Bell and The Spinners and the sound of Philadelphia. There's even a flub in the sample at like the 7 or 8 minute mark and it's amazing. Human after all.

9. Chris Squire | You By My Side 
The Yes bassist wrote one of my favorite Love songs of all time, and it's actually a two-fer with the Funkier Hold My Hand (the two tracks segue pretty seamlessly) from his 1975 solo record, Fish Out Of Water. Another classic descending chord progression, a killer bass tone (significantly louder than everything else), awesome soprano (?) vocals, saccharine strings. Pop bliss, as the critics say. I always think of walking to the bagel store when I hear this one, because one time I walked to the bagel store listening to this.

10. Judee Sill | Jesus Was A Cross Maker
 A mindblower. Upright piano, bespectacled Christian Pop that's not really xian but still holy.