WARMER MIXTAPES #844 | by Lola Bell
1. Rufus Wainwright | Go Or Go Ahead
As soon as this song kicks off, I can feel it Seep into my Heart, and Alter my Emotions. No matter what I started out feeling I immediately sink into a Theatrical, Mythological Romantic Daydream, narrated by Rufus. His Voice Drizzles like Honey in the Moonlight over my Gathering Stream of Consciousness. When he builds up to the middle 8 Look in her eyes, I feel an Overwhelming Surge of Raw Emotion and I Drift Into my Own Memories of Feeling that Intensely About Someone that You Can See Through Their Eyes and Into Their Soul, a Want so Powerful and so Urgent that the rest of the World Fades Away in the Moment. I fell in Love with Rufus immediately on hearing this song and his Honesty in Lyrics and Portrayal of this Universal Topic of Love, Heartbreak and its Consequences is Unique and Utterl, Utterly Beautiful. If I could somehow Connect a Collection of Songs to my Amydala in my Brain by a Microchip that gets Triggered by my Moods Automatically, my days would be narrated by my favourite tracks (for example, Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song as I run down the street or Amanda Palmer’s The Killing Type if I have to talk to some unbearable Human) and Go Or Go Ahead would Forever be my Choice for those Heartbreak Days.
2. Thin Lizzy | Dancing In The Moonlight (It's Caught Me In Its Spotlight)
An Irish band and I absolutely Love this song, it’s a song I like to Cover from time to time and have some Fun with. Compared to Nowadays, Phil Lynott sings about a Time of Innocence, but a time I can identify with, getting in trouble coming Home Late because you were Sneaking Around with Someone Until All Hours. And definitely getting Chocolate Stains on your pants - that was a Frequent Occurrence in my house. This gets me off my chair every time I hear the Opening Bass Line, I dare you to try not to move your feet or click your fingers to this. Go on, I double dare you.
3. Skunk Anansie | Weak
It was always Somebody’s Vocal Style that would hook me initially when Listening to Music. The Lyrics came second for me. I think because when I was only Little, the Melody and How That Was Sung Conveyed it’s Own Message to me Even Without Knowing What They Were Singing About. As I type I realize that I was Young and probably didn’t really understand what they were singing about anyway, so perhaps that’s where that habit came from… Skin’s Performance of Weak stuck with me for the past 15 years, and I have sang it myself for that length of time too, never growing tired of it. The Passion and Rawness in her Voice give me Chills Up and Down my Spine, and made me make a Promise to Myself that I must Always Sing with That Honesty. Skin and Skunk Anansie have been a huge Influence on my Own Development over the years.
4. Jeff Buckley | Lover, You Should've Come Over
Jeff Buckley’s album Grace is one of my Favourite Albums of All Time. When I discovered the Music he’d left behind, it lived with me and I pretty much played it every day for a full year. Maybe it was the Time in my Life, but it resonated through me, and made me feel Connected Again to Something More Powerful Than Me and that’s the beauty of Jeff’s Music. I still play Grace all the time when I need to Unwind and Reconnect in a Busy World and I Love every minute of it. I am really picking the whole album, but don’t tell Vlad…
5. Queen | Bohemian Rhapsody
It’s quite simply a Masterpiece of Musicianship. It became so Famous throughout the World that sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the amount of Talent, Time and Effort that went into Writing and Constructing this Song, between the Arrangement of 6 Very Different Sections, the Instrumentation, and the Actual Recording of it which was done in several different parts over almost three weeks. I first heard this song when I was approximately 5 or 6. Possibly before, but it’s hard to pinpoint when you’re only a little sproglet, I grew up with Queen records, my Dad Loved them, and I instantly fell in Love with Freddie’s Voice, which consistently grabbed my attention no matter what I had my mischievous little head stuck in at the time. I became totally fascinated by the man, and my Earliest Memory of Music Performances on TV was watching a re-run of Live Aid. I sat about 90cm away from the Television screen transfixed by Freddie’s Powerful Vocal and equally, his Complete Control over the 70,000 people that stood before him. Freddie was and still is one of my Biggest Inspirations and he is one of the reasons I wanted to be a Singer.
6. U2 | Where The Streets Have No Name
Again, this is a track I heard for the First Time at a Very Young Age. When I hear songs that have this kind of Strong Impact, I get a Physical Reaction. My tummy gets butterflies and I feel… Let me try to explain… Something I can only describe as being in a Movie where there’s this Amazing Running Scene, maybe a Brilliant Escape scene, Bursting into Freedom, into the World, onto the Top of a Huge Mountain… Anything that depicts Determination and Liberty. This song does that for me, I think it’s Really Powerful Melodically and the Edge’s Guitar Part is the Special Element here. The Meaning behind the Lyrics is so Poignant too, being from Ireland and recognizing the hardship experienced throughout the troubles in the North. The Impact of Living in a Place that is Heavily Divided by Wealth, Class, Religion and Race and Trying to Deal with the Violence that this Brought was a very Real Experience for thousands of people in the North, but obviously All Around the World. I think Bono and the boys Respectfully and Cleverly Address Real Issues in People’s Lives while Reflecting the Idealistic Component of What Life Could Be Like if Humans Could Just Get Over Their Own Inherent Fears of Those Who Happen To Be a Little Different. People Want to Feel Belonging and ultimately that’s partly why these divisions are formed, but it leads to Fear and Shunning of the Unknown and a Tendency to Claim Superiority. Bono imagines a Place Where We Are All The Same: I'll show you a place... High on a Desert plain... Where the streets have no name...
7. Guns N’ Roses | Paradise City
...And Matt Sorem’s Live In Tokyo Drum Solo from 1992!... A stomping Rock Party that always has me jumping out of my skin with Excitement. That Opening Drum Beatin' Paradise City leading into the Recurring Guitar Riff, oh my God, it gets the People going (Thanks, Will Ferrell). Gets my blood pumping. My brother was a huge Guns N’ Roses fan and by proxy I became one aged 5 and from there on in Axel’s Voice became part of my days. I remember watching Matt Sorem’s Drum Solo in a Tokyo concert and I was completely and utterly fascinated at the Speed With Which He Could Hit Those Drums, I mean in a Trance, I don’t know if I blinked in those 7 minutes. Especially when he brings the Toms into it and Controls the Pitch of them Perfectly in their Naturally Tension Filled Way. I also Love November Rain, Don’t Cry, Patience, Civil War and loads of others, but I had to try and narrow this down. Slash symbolizes the first time I wished I could be a Cool Man with Crazy Hair, Leather Trousers and a Top Hat. (Jim Morrisson was the second time I wished I could be a Cool Man with Leather Trousers). My fascination with Slash also made me develop a Penchant for Candy Cigarettes, so I could emulate him… Who says Rock Stars are a Bad Influence?
8. Prince And The Revolution | Purple Rain (Purple Rain Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Ah, Purple Rain, that Beautiful 80’s Whack of an Opening Guitar before Prince sings to us. Fantastic. It’s a track that sounds inherently 80s and yet Still Manages to Remain Timeless at the Same Time. At a Late Night/Early Morning Party a few years ago, the host dug out a Rare Acapella Version on Vinyl of Purple Rain, and it was Absolutely Stunning. I have never forgotten it and I have never been able to find it since. With songs like this I am Always Fascinated to Understand Exactly Where the Artist was in his or her Life at that moment in Time. Your Whole Life Leads You to the Moment When You Write Any Song, but When You Write Something as Beautiful as Purple Rain, I’d like to dig a little Deeper. So if anyone knows Prince, could you please ask him for me? Thanks.
9. Queens Of The Stone Age | Feel Good Hit Of The Summer
I cannot leave the Radio at Half Volume if this song comes on, as it’s name suggests, putting this track on at Full Volume is a Fail Safe Way of Turning a Frown Upside Down and Getting that Rush of Energy Needed to Boost Your Day. I have always been a major Rock Music fan and the Queens Manage to Navigate that Gap Between Rock and Mainstream Music. The thing about a song like this is that by the very Nature of it’s Power, it Expresses for me all the Anger, Frustration and Other Hidden or Buried Feelings I might have Lurking Deep Within Me, Without Even Knowing It. It acts like a Channel for me Where These Feelings Can Come to the Surface. It’s so Bloody Cathartic. Trust me, I’m kind of a Doctor.
10. No Doubt | Just A Girl
A huge Influencer in my Teenager Years, Gwen belting out that she was Just A Girl with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek got me picking up an Electric Guitar and belting out my own musings about being Female. I grew up in a Male Dominated Music Landscape, both Internationally, but more Immediately in my own town. I was a Female Singer trying to push my way into Male Rock Bands; some of them - Metal Bands, challenging them to give me a chance as their new Lead Singer. I was met with Suspicion and Raised Eyebrows, but artists like Gwen gave me Inspiration and Confidence to Believe in Myself and in What my Gut Was Telling Me To Do. As a result I fronted several all Male Rock Bands growing up, Fighting my Way Through and Making My Presence Felt and Gaining Respect in this Environment for Who I Was and What I Could Do. I genuinely think of Gwen Stefani as Someone who Exuded Confidence Authority in her Position in the Music Industry in a Powerful Way, but with the Perfect Mix of Female Allure. A Total Inspiration.
+11. David Bowie | Heroes
I don’t know how to pick out just one Bowie song in Fairness, but I had to put something here in the title. I love Heroes, it Rocks Along Consistently Building My Mood as I Listen and I Can’t Help but Start to Believe Bowie by the End of the Track... Yes, maybe I can, maybe I CAN be a goddamn Hero! Beautiful and a Total Classic. Honourable mentions, Life On Mars, Starman, Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold The World.
+12. Michael Jackson | The Way You Make Me Feel
Always, always, always makes me Smile! And I cannot separate it in my mind from THAT Video with the Beautiful Girl who had the Beautiful Hair and Michael Dancing Skillfully Around Her Singing this Incredibly Catchy Little Number. Amazing. And what an Opening Percussion, it just takes over your body. My brother dressed exactly like Michael in this video after it came out, Blue Shirt, White Socks, Black Shoes and Black Trousers. It became his Uniform. And again, I cursed being a girl... But then his was before I got introduced to amazing Females in Music and all was well again! Honourables – Smooth Criminal, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Beat It.
+13. Placebo | Nancy Boy
I am really Stirred up by Good Percussion, they can Completely Change a Song making it a Total Smash, and this track is a great example of this. The Opening Beat just makes me feel Strong! I Love how Music can do that, it can actually make you feel More Confident, Stronger, More Determined. I think I stand Taller when this track is playing. This would be another one to connect into my Daily Soundtrack Microchip.
+14. Girl In A Coma | El Monte
A Quirky Fabulous Straight-Talking track from a Seriously Mega Three-Piece Girl Rock Band from Texas. Now they are the Definition of Girl Power. I Love to play El Monte myself, especially just Rocking Out Alone with an Electric. Nina is a Fabulous Front Woman and a Performance Inspiration. I saw them perform in the Sugar Club in Dublin a few months back and they completely blew me away, I’m serious. They were there attending a Seminar on the Smiths (you can see their connection) and the three of them climbed on stage for an hour long set and my mouth dropped open for the duration. I couldn’t look away. These Tattooed Inspirations actually left me floating as I left the venue, so Fully Charged and Elated I was at their Full-On Vibrant and Stunning Rock Performance.
+15. The Primitives | Crash
A Brilliant Pop Rock track, the Perfect Soundtrack to Wild Days, Long Nights and Freedom Drives on the Open Road. It also reminds me of the Movie Clueless, which I Loved. It has been Covered several times, but I always go back to the Original when I need a shot of Nostalgia.