Monday, June 16, 2008

Celebrity Muxtape #1: Jeremy Warmsley

Another new series, hopefully maintained more often than our other onrunning series. The concept is simple - we ask one of our favourite artists to list twelve songs, often with some elucidation, and then we stick them on a Muxtape for all to share in. We begin with the first person we interviewed for STN, here caught just after his well received The Boat Song/Temptation double A-sided single and ahead of the September release of his second album - Jeremy Warmsley.

Jeremy Warmsley's Muxtape

Flaming Lips - Race For The Prize
Perfect drumming and one of Wayne Coyne's greatest lyrics make this a prog-pop classic.

Toto - Africa
Surely one of the greatest cheesy pop songs of all time? And an overlooked influence on today's post-soft movement (Feist, Hot Chip, etc). Plus the lyric "sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti", presumably thrown in at the last minute to secure some hip, mystical cred.

XTC - Jason And The Argonauts
From their great album, English Settlement, this song bewilders and bewitches with its cyclical guitar part. Check out the 80s flange in the weird middle section.

Arab Strap - Hey! Fever
One of the first "indie" songs I ever fell in love with, this remains a firm favourite. "And I used my best shampoo on my pubes, just in case..." The barbershop quartet outro is an eccentrically brilliant touch, but the girl singing faux-soul melismas definitely grates.

Billie Holiday - Life Begins When You're In Love
Not much to be said about this perfect nugget of '20s pop.

Les Paul - How High The Moon
The man who invented multitracking shows what can be done with it. Every sound on this weirdly beautiful record was made with his 6-string or with his wife's voice but it sounds like four times as many musicians.

Little Anthony & The Imperials - Goin' Out of My Head
Tom Waits mentions this group in his Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis off Blue Valentine ("...and I still have that record by Little Anthony and the Imperials - but someone stole my record player, now how'd you like that?") and sings snatches from the song in some live performances (like the oustanding Cold Beer On A Warm Night from a late 70s Sydney radio session). None of which prepares for the outsdanding production and performance on this forgotten 60s classic.

Of Montreal - Voltaic Crusher/Undrum To Muted Da
Observe the lyrics... "I'm a flaw, I'm a mistake... oh God, please don't be a bastard..." In the hands of anyone else (Nine Inch Nails, for instance) this would be accompanied by some sort of dirge. Instead, this bounces along on its own self-satisfied merriment, synths parping away. Great. From their Icons, Abstract Thee EP.

Thom Yorke - Atoms For Peace (Four Tet Remix)
I think Thom Yorke and Four Tet should make a record together. If it was all like this and Four Tet's Skattrbrain remix (from Radiohead's Com Lag EP) it would probably be the best thing either has ever done. This has a drum performance from Steve Reid, which is a welcome addition. (Although mysteriously uncredited on the sleeve).

New Order - Thieves Like Us
I hate New Order. They're so bad. Yet so good. How anyone can make good the lyric "Love is the cure for every evil/Love is the air that supports the eagle" is beyond me but they definitely manage it.

The Microphones - I Want Wind To Blow
If you don't know this band, you need to hear their The Glow, Part II and Mt Eerie albums IMMEDIATELY! Put your headphones on and you're away. Essential.

Kate Bush - Brazil
With orchestral arrangements from Michael Kamen, this beautiful, unique take on a lovely standard was taped for Terry Gilliam's great film of the same name. This version is probably wholly responsible for the song's rehabilitation in this decade, with covers from the likes of Beirut and Arcade Fire surfacing recently.

Jeremy is playing every date of July's Transgressive Hot Summer tour. Check local press for details.

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