Ahead of his two Valentine's Day shows and his special Valentine's day download, we asked Jeremy Warmsley to make a mixtape to woo his beloved...
A Valentine's Day mixtape: 11 songs with which to woo your beloved (NB: not responsible for likely disastrous results of said wooing)
Final Fantasy 'The Arctic Circle'
This is about a brief affair between a cold, cold woman (-"possible ideas for a date include... a shooting range?") and some sort of giant geek-man ("The quarry don't share his taste for Anne McCaffrey"). It doesn't work. Great paranoid ascending string thing at the end. This is off _He Poos Clouds, possibly the best concept album about the 8 Dungeons & Dragons schools of magic ever composed.
Radiohead 'House Of Cards'
Who'd've thunk that, as middle age approaches, Radiohead are getting sexy? "I don't want to be your friend... I just want to be your lover". When I first heard this, I actually did an honest-to-god double-take. But much like Malcolm Muggeridge masturbating, however unimaginable a mental image Thom–Yorke-in-the-throes-of-passion might be... it must have happened. (NB this song is also possibly about the apocalypse, in that casual manner of Radiohead songs). Can I take this opportunity to deplore the fact that the recorded version of 'Videotape' is vastly, vastly, vastly inferior to the live version we heard back in summer 07. Bah.
Emmy The Great 'We Almost Had A Baby'
This has one of the best lines of 2009 so far: "Will you think of me when you're playing the I-V in 4? Is country music what your life is for?" Great backing from some of the best musicians around, too.
Animal Collective 'Bluish'
This just sounds like one of those early dizzy days of the honeymoon period of a relationship, you know, when your beloved can do no wrong and everything is perfect and misty and slightly moist. The aural (snicker) equivelant of Oreos gently crumbled in warm milk, including the sticky aftertaste.
Tom Waits 'Blue Valentines'
Ahh, the master of the bleeding heart, 70s-era Tom Waits. Before he taking up his current post as ringleader of the dwarf circus/pirate vampire (great pension!) Mr Waits made not-quite-conventional jazz/beat poetry. "The ghost in your memory... it's the thistle in the kiss." Not as wonderful as what he did later, but still very wonderful indeed.
Magnetic Fields 'Yeah, Oh Yeah!'
All the best murder ballads are love songs and this is no exception. To be honest I could have just filled this "mixtape" (let's be honest, this is going nowhere near a tape) with songs from the sublime/ridiculous 69 Love Songs.
The Hold Steady 'Chillout Tent'
The Hold Steady are the second best bar band in the universe, after the E Street Band, and this is a great song. Boy passes out at festival, girl passes out at festival, boy meets girl in chillout tent and proceed to "kick it". "It was kinda sexy but it was kinda creepy... All the other kids were mostly in comas". Thanks, Craig Finn. Thanks.
Sam Cooke 'Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha'
I have this theory that all songs about dancing are actually about fucking. This old chestnut is about a dude teaching his girl this new dance, the Cha Cha Cha, which she's never done before. She's kind of nervous, and a bit scared, but he shows her how to do it. (Aw, yeah). "After we practised for a little while, she was doing it better than me". Mmm.
Aphex Twin 'IZ-US'
This song is so sweet. Richard D James can be tender, you see? The wobbly synth playing the melody reminds me of my first ever girlfriend: unreliable, but sweet.
Jacques Brel 'Madeleine'
This is brilliant! Poor old Jacques is waiting in the rain for his Madeleine, flowers in hand, like he does every week. But she never comes. He gets more and more intensely sad... and then, as he thinks of next week, and how she'll (perhaps) come, more and more intensely joyous. I know of no other singer who can express emotion through singing as skilfully as Jacques Brel. Too bad he only sings in French, really, in this anglophilic pop world of ours.
Finally, if it's not too crass, I'd like to direct you to here where you can download, for free, my new single, 'If He Breaks Your Heart' which is, if I might say, also somewhat valentines-y in nature. So maybe that'll bring you some small pleasure, also. Check out the Miyauchi Yuri remix, too.
Jeremy is playing two London shows this Valentine's weekend. His Valentine's 'Heartbreak Ball' on Sunday at the Slaughtered Lamb is completely sold out but you can also catch him at RoTa (Notting Hill Arts Club, 4pm-8pm, free entry) on Saturday for Catherine A.D.'s Valentine's Massacre, where he will be performing a short set alongside the likes of Som from My Vitriol, Frederick Blood-Royale from Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man./Mtv2, plus more special guests, unhappy hour drinks, Nikki Pinder's broken heart emporioum, and DJ sets from DrownedinSound and Ultimate Power... more info here.