WARMER MIXTAPES #1463 | by Jesse Kivel of Princeton, Sleeping Bags and Kisses

1. Arthur Russell | That's Us/Wild Combination
I think this song more or less started Kisses as a band. After College I had a band called Princeton with my closest friends and brother. We moved into a home in Eagle Rock to be close and work on Music. My brother has always been more adventurous with his listening habits and one day I woke up and in the room next door I could make out some beautiful Wurlitzer type chords and a low vocal that reminded me of the way I sang. I went in and listened to That's Us/Wild Combination and was mesmerized. I fell in love with Arthur's Music and feel, his knack for melody and using his low voice in a way that was still emotional. I still think it is a perfect song and whenever I put it on it transports me. What Arthur does that nobody else does quite as well is blend the beautiful with the ordinary moments of Life and living. We're leaving at 5 in the morning... We could get better mileage... It reminds me of an early road trip I would do with my family growing up, but sung in such a way that really hits. The love and care you feel while half awake and while your family and loved ones wake you and push you towards the car to start a journey into the Unknown.

2. Electric Light Orchestra | Livin' Thing
I really could pick 4 or 5 other ELO songs that do a similar thing for me, but I think Livin' Thing really has everything I love about this band in one song. To me what is timeless about the band is that the arrangements are excessive but somehow not over the top. Part of me feels that is a result of the recording of the time, making strings sound thinner and drums smaller which allows those ornate melodies to flow perfectly into Jeff Lynne's musical tapestries. Lynne's vocal instincts to me are distinct. They fall at times into the Disco, almost Bee Gees falsetto that makes this Music have a time period, but there is something totally classic about Lynne's songwriting. Something in the realm of Lennon or McCartney, he writes timeless iconic songs that have heart but are also grandiose and ambitious. I drew a lot from Lynne on this most recent Kisses record Rest in Paradise.

3. Air France | No Excuses
Air France have always transported me into a time and place. In many ways, coming from a Folk and Alternative background they were my first Electronic obsession. Sure I liked other songs and singles, but the two Air France EP's were a total mystery to me. I listened to them on endless repeat and was enamored with Sincerely Yours as a label and what kind of fun and mystery they brought to Music. I still listen to these EP's all the time (they are in Zinzi's car) and I never feel the need to turn them off. Once they are on, I listen through and think they are perfect, evocative and breezy in all the ways I like my Music to be. I think it was wrong of Air France to break up, but I get why they wanted to leave their perfect statements intact. Ultimately though, if one good song could have been found on that album they never released, I would have taken it. As an artist, I think you need to be willing to make a bad album, to put out an imperfect statement to get to the next chapter. It was a shame they didn't continue on, but we will always have France.

4. Kings Of Convenience | Homesick
I don't care if it is cool or not to say that a contemporary band is your favorite band, but Kings Of Convenience have always been my favorite band (not always, but for many years). Homesick reminds me of my Freshman Year of College, I would listen to this song a lot and feel like someone understood me, someone understood the place I was in as a teenager. I love Erlend and Erik's effortlessness and always have. Homesick is probably the closest song to a Simon And Garfunkel tune and, since it was the lead track on Riot On An Empty Street, lazy journalists have been comparing the two ever since. Actually the comparison was there prior because it was two white guys harmonizing, which, again, lazy journalism likes to push people into certain corners. In fact, I am constantly amazed at how lazy journalism has gotten. We had a song premiered the other day on a site and the site announced the song as if it was the first single we had put out in years. In truth we had put a single out two weeks before and in the embed of the Soundcloud link it said "2nd single"... Mind-blowing and we wonder why people are not interested in paying for Music anymore. It's not because of the Music, it's because journalists create no intrigue, they are simple aggregators at this point, nothing more.

5. Feist | One Evening
I love Feist, her vocals are beautiful and her first LP is fantastic. The production on One Evening taps into the 70's smooth and rubbery production that I love. Minimal but perfect synth lines matched with a really clean and dull sounding drum kit. In fact, vocally this song is pretty basic for Feist, but the hook gets me every time. I have tried on tons of songs to match the feel of this song, but it is really hard to do. In fact, Feist has never done another song like this, it stands alone in a forgotten era. I know Feist has not put out a ton of records and I actually first heard of her from those early KOC records, but I hope she continues to perform and put out new Music. Also, my friend Simone Rubi put out an awesome song with her on her first album under the group name Rubies.

6. Neil Young | Out On The Weekend
This song reminds me of San Diego. I would listen to Harvest and drive to Lou's Records in SD. That was where I bought John Phillips 1st solo record and that became another lifer album for me (should have put a song from that on here as well). Neil's voice in this era really gets me because it is high and vulnerable and I rarely like vocals like that, but somehow he makes it all OK.

7. Wilco | At Least That's What You Said
When I first had a crush on Zinzi, my brother and I went to see Wilco at the Newport Folk Festival. A Ghost Is Born had come out and that whole album colored that trip as I went to hang out and try to spend time getting to know Zinzi in Rhode Island. Watching Wilco on the water was magic and this song brings me back there.

8. Matt Kivel | Insignificance 
My favorite song by my brother, timeless lyrics and strong chord progressions. I have all of his records in my car CD changer (they are taking up a lot of room right now!), but they are all great in their own way, this particular song though got me and I think lyrically is something you can hold onto for a long time.

9. Sufjan Stevens | Flint (For The Unemployed And Underpaid)
This song kicked off my initial exploration into Sufjan. While all of his more ornate stuff is beautiful, something about that melody when he sings even if I died alone gets me every time. I buy tickets to maybe 1 show a year and this year I got tickets to see Sufjan in SB. He always brings it and it is fun to have an artist continue to grow and evolve and watch that evolution.

10. Jens Lekman | At The Dept. Of Forgotten Songs
While I always draw Jens comparisons, there are a couple songs of his I really love. I recently put on Oh You're So Silent Jens... Having not heard it in years and was floored by a couple tracks. This was one of them. I love the sound of the keys on this song, it is hard to tell if it is a piano or Rhodes, but it is fantastic and muddy. This album was fun to listen back to because it reminds me of studying abroad in London and being deeply affected by Jens' Music. This song ties into the simplicity of a piano ballad opener like the Sujfan song and need nothing more.

OK, so I couldn’t really pick my favorite 10 songs of all time—that wound up being much harder than I imagined, so these are just 10 songs that I have listened to hundreds of times throughout my life and I have repeatedly gotten lost in these.

1. Townes Van Zandt | Rake
Most of the songs I’ve picked here probably do not fall into the singer-songwriter type of song. It seems like I’ve gone for the longer, more abstract type of thing, but this one is certainly a really well written song by one of the best singer-songwriters. I can’t say for sure what it’s all about, although loss of Youth, Regret, Frailty and drawing near the End are what I get out of it. I had a tape of this record stuck in my car’s tape deck for the longest time so it reminds me of listening to this over and over while being stuck in Los Angeles traffic on the 110 freeway.

2. Richard & Linda Thompson | Calvary Cross (Live! (More Or Less) Version)
So Richard Thompson is also a great singer-songwriter, but I’m picking this particular live version of Calvary Cross mainly because he uncorks an amazing 10-minute guitar solo at the end of this which is just pure magic. A 10-minute guitar solo sounds self-indulgent, but I assure you there isn’t a note wasted. This can be found on a record that came out in the U.S. called Live! (More Or Less).

3. Arvo Pärt | Tabula Rasa (Performed by Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra with Gidon Kremer, Tatjana Grindenko and Alfred Schnittke; Conductor: Saulius Sondeckis)
This piece of Music and some of his other well-known things get used a lot in films and documentaries which sort of waters down the effect, maybe it’s a little overexposed, but every now and then I’ll sit down and focus and just take in the whole 25 minutes of this and it’s really something, it’s just a really beautiful piece, so seemingly simple but very complex and moving.

4. Sleep | Dopesmoker
This is a good one to pick because it's 60 minutes long so you get a lot for one song. People always say it’s just one riff for 60 minutes as if that’s a bad thing! And anyway, that really isn’t true. I mean, sure, the song sort of circles around the main riff for most of that time, but there’s a lot going on in this song and they push into a lot of different spaces… And it’s also one hell of a riff.

5. Nina Simone | My Man’s Gone Now (Ruby Elzy Cover)
This is the version from Nina Simone Sings The Blues. I don’t know what to say about this one, just an amazing performance. Old man sorrow indeed…

6. Drive Like Jehu | Luau
This song just reminds me of when I was younger and really loved watching this band play, I saw them a bunch of times and this song was always an epic jam. They always reminded me of a freight train running off the rails so their band was aptly named. Great interlocking guitars, great vocals… Rick Froberg is way underrated, he’s one of the great Post Punk singers and I basically taught myself to play drums by following this drummer, Mark Trombino, as well as Mick Harvey from The Birthday Party and Crime & The City Solution which leads me to…

7. Crime & The City Solution | Steal To The Sea
I love all the Crime & The City Solution stuff, and I could have named a bunch of their songs, in fact I could have just done a list on my 10 favorite Crime songs… But anyway, I’ve listened to this one an awful lot—it’s a longer one and has a number of build ups and a lot of dynamics. It’s just really well done.

8. Popol Vuh | Aguirre I (Aguirre Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
They also have so many great songs it’s hard to pick one, but this is just so quintessential and pairs up so wonderfully with Werner Herzog’s film—just a perfect match. I would love to get a hold of the choir organ he used to record this… As far as I understand it’s like a mellotron of some sort, uses tape loops of a choir which you play with a keyboard. I don’t really know, but I do know that I’ve tried to approximate that sound many times and never really get it right.

9. Erik Satie | Trois Gnossiennes (Performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet)
+ Gnossiennes Nos. 4–6... Like Arvo Pärt, on the surface it seems so simple and Minimal, but there is a lot going on here in these pieces. It’s very melancholy and a little wistful, but there’s also some playfulness in there as well. Satie was sort of a master of making that unlikely combination work and that’s not easy to do.

10. Lungfish | Fearfully And Wonderfully
Like Sleep’s Dopesmoker, Lungfish also gets saddled with the it’s only one riff critique, but I have to say again, it’s one hell of a riff, and Lungfish have so many great riffs over a bunch of great records. I guess I really like Repetition. Anyway, Lungfish not only have great riffs but also a great singer/lyricist in Daniel Higgs. I just love them and this song is one of my favorites.

Thirteen months I have sat with Vlad Stoian’s mixtape request resting quietly in my inbox, beckoning softly within my subconscious. For so long I have understood that more than any human construct it may be our potential most of all that seems to have this capacity to sort of freeze us in place, and yet still it may be my potential that has terrified me more than anything else over the course of this past decade. It will be ten years ago this October ('15) that I have dropped out of the Public Education System in the United States Of America with the genuine, earnest wish within my heart that I might actually be able to deconstruct my understanding of this place we call Home and somehow help create a world free from the allegorical shackles that bind its collective heart and mind so. Ten years later I find myself at a crux of sorts; so many musical projects later, performance pieces to save the World, an overloaded social media project confronting (what I refer to as) Functioning Schizophrenia In Western Culture And The Nature Of Our Inherent Incapacity To Earnestly Dissolve Attachment Whilst Engaging A Personal Avatar In The Digital Paradigm, thirty-one open letters to Humanity, a bicycle trip that lead me across the country, periods of extreme loneliness met by sometimes violent misunderstanding from peers, a failed Post Modern Recovery Program, a failed crowd-funding campaign for non-profit Art collective Who Gave These Animals Art Supplies?, a yearlong life houseless in the woods, an artist residency and work trade program on an organic farm on Oahu, a year of isolation in my grandparent's basement writing a 185,000 word disaster that I tricked myself into believing was somehow my Magnum Opus, a trip to inpatient rehabilitation for a penchant for Chronic Depressive Disorder and a Love-affair with alcohol and Dextromethorphan, and so many more seemingly surreal and profoundly enlightening, sometimes tremendously volatile experiences have led me to the age of twenty-seven, and, as made evident to me by many, left me with little-to-nothing to show for it, if not the occasional arguably depressive or even manic episode. Or at least, that would be one way to look at it, maybe I'm just autistic, who knows. From a very young age I have been concerned with the repercussions of the actions taken by the culture I grew up within and the energy our common denominator spends suppressing and repressing even the most basic cause and effect realities of our world. I found that as I grew up and left home, I remained incapable of behaving in the manner the majority (it seemed) of my culture might expect, and actions such as the creative process/expression and simply even living outside more common or conventional standards was received as hyperbolic or at least radical. Being told this enough times I even began to relate to this idea of my self being somehow severe or focused somehow too primarily on looking inward -- after all, the root of the word radical is the Latin radix, which in mathematics means base and in biology refers to the portion of the plant (the literal root) that pulls sustenance from the soil, from Mother Earth. In this way I see the creative process as quite literally exposing that which lies underneath, that which lives within. I believe the internal world has been largely repressed over the course of the past several thousand years; that its very existence has been suppressed if-not lambasted as a sort of illusory construct -- somehow less relevant than the external. It is the external world that I personally find illusory and attachment to it valueless, and the internal that I hold in highest esteem. It is partially for this reason that I create, and why, for me, it is unignorable that each and every given individual is a creator in every sense of the idea. The modern construct and majority opinion of Art can be a dangerous, sometimes atrocious misrepresentation of everything that truly holds value. Art is all, and Art is none; it is no different than what we refer to as God, Wisdom, Love, Understanding or Connection. These ideas are merely placeholders, a key to a gateway toward internal discovery -- and it is each and every human's personal responsibility to engage their reality with magnanimous, peerless curiosity and selfless creativity. It is near heartbreaking for me to interact with so many peers earnestly convinced that they are somehow not an artist, that they are not talented, as-if Art were some objective reality or construct with very serious laws and rules. In this way a child's innate sense of Curiosity, Creativity and Wonder is broken; the teacher - a broken child, the guru - a confused adolescent -- every individual who believes they can teach you something about how to properly or objectively express yourself must seriously be questioned with an open heart and clarity of mind. Should we not wonder if a culture whose majority populace is earnestly convinced the almighty and sacred Fine Art(s)-- the esteemed collection of monetized creation that so-oft appears available only to those with the privilege of affording the luxury of Time and the proper currency to peak in through the window of a gallery -- whom often believe that artists are somehow separate from them or perhaps born with an innate undeniable talent, might simply just be mistaken? I wish I was a prodigy, I wish I could play the piano, I wish I could paint, draw, cook like that, feel that way, express myself through any craft, be someone else. Any earnest virtuoso requires only the slightest bit of admiration before divulging that the secret to their talent is Persistence, Practice, Patience, and Faith in their own potential. Feel free to apply this to any and all of the most refined of crafts -- courage is required to find the tenacity to trust one's sense of curiosity over that of previously established societal mores, norms, values, ideas, as well as the collection of our own individual memory tapes stuck up within our subconscious that we have been primed to play on loop since our childhood. I suppose what I am getting at is that, for me, Art Is Dead; it is We whom is Alive, and I believe it is the discourse that Art has the power to foster that has lead every major movement and revolution in what we refer to as recorded history. Creation itself is living, it is breathing; We Are It. We are the Art of the Cosmos; the environment waking itself up and recognizing what a surreal, impossibly beautiful job it has done -- and, believe it or not, it was never any work at all, it was always fun. Too much time is spent in our world by creators who are convinced they are not creators, imbibing Art (whether that be Music, Mixed Media, Film, Literature, Fine Art, Video Games, etc.) that others have monetized, that often supports a paradigm of misunderstanding and arguably violence. Slowing down and going within is long past due, and most certainly an important step in Humanity finding its way upon this treacherous path of industrialized fear-defined profit margins we often succumb to out of the sake of our own personal desire for distraction. You, the reader, are the creator. You manifest your reality in every waking moment, on a measurable, scientific, provable level. Your actions and even your thoughts have a profound, tangible, measurable affect on everything in your universe. It is time for us to accept our role as creators and our responsibility and obligation to our world before it is entirely unjustifiable to raise our own families within it. I left School ten years ago concerned that the most important dream I could ever muster in this life would be to become a father, simultaneously terrified I would remain incapable of justifying bringing a child into a world of sometimes severe economic and societal fear and critical cultural misunderstanding. Along my journey I discovered a light within myself that I had long forgotten, the very same light that resides within us all. It is your Art that is Worth More than anything else imaginable, and it could never be anybodies responsibility but your own to have the faith to trust it and that it will ultimately be understood. Along these invisible digital-photon spouting lines I present to you my Mixtape, and I hope soon to share within yours; after all, it just may be why you is here: Now.

1. Igor Stravinsky | The Rite Of Spring (Performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic, Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen)
Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring debuted in 1913 at the Parisian Théâtre Des Champs-Élysées and resulted in a near riot. The Rite Of Spring is, for me, the epitome of what a cultivated piece of thoughtful Creation is capable of becoming – it greatly affected the Collective Consciousness’s concept of Sound Art itself while exposing within the listener entire chasms of the unexplored. It is somehow even more important today than it was in 1913, even after helping define the movement of Modernism and the course Popular Music was capable of taking. If Pachelbel’s Canon In D represents the simplistic, even somewhat romantic beauty inherent within the musical paradigm, The Rite embodies absolutely everything else, juxtaposing Passion itself with absolute guttural, violent tonality and dissonance. When I first listened to The Rite Of Spring seven years ago I was most interested in the manner in which it could be related to recent research within the field of Neuroscience and how it might allow us to extrapolate on the manner in which the Human Brain processes Sound that it is already familiar with, versus the way the Human Brain processes Sonic Unfamiliarity aurally. (Pop Structure vs. Dissonance / Major vs. Minor / Instrumentation vs. Musique Concrète, etc.)... Researching this construct allowed me to understand why almost all of the Music that truly impacted my life (that genuinely informed not only my concept of Sound (as Art), but even the way I perceived Reality itself), was comprised of sounds that when I first heard them felt like nothing but unfamiliar noise! From Radiohead to Animal Collective, Protest The Hero to My Bloody Valentine, growing up, when I first listened to so many groups that eventually dramatically impacted my very innermost understanding of the nature of Reality, all I heard was noise! I could not simply grasp a lot of Music’s appeal immediately; it took many listens and great patience to finally expose the reality that literally every one of these artists, that was often lauded over, were simply masking the very same chords (that help to make even the most widely accepted and celebrated songs popular) simply within a more complex, dynamic structure. Heck, it took me a little while to truly adapt my brain to thoroughly appreciating Jeff Mangum! And, boy, was it ever worth it. The process of going within these songs, almost as if they were puzzles begging to be solved, genuinely not only helped me expose portions of my self that I was unaware of, but it helped me uncover portions of my external reality that remain hidden as well -- almost as if The Architect to my mind, say God or my Subconscious, had built entire rooms within my psyche that I hadn't even yet ventured, that I didn't even know were there! And actually, come to think of it, I think that's what Palahniuk's Diary is sort of about, haha. How exciting it is when we are listening to one of our absolute favorite songs that we thought we understood inside-and-out, heard a million times before, or watching one of our favorite films or revisiting one of our favorite books, and we discover something entirely new that we somehow had previously been completely overlooking! My favorite Art changes right along with me, and that's partially why it is so profoundly important that each and every one of us create often and are unafraid of revisiting what we have made, so-as to understand ourself better and remind our psyche of just how far we have come. Sometimes Regret and Repression can freeze us into place, we can become subconsciously attached to condemning the Future so that it can match our Past without even realizing it. Just imagine if Stravinsky had been embarrassed by his Parisian showing in 1913, if he had given into self-doubt or pity and allowed the agitation of so many people to override his understanding of his own work. When Stravinsky returned to Paris a year later, The Rite Of Spring was already a massive success; word is Stravinsky was literally carried out of the theatre in a chair by his audience in celebration! His work changed the World forever, but so often does time play the most fickle beast -- Just ask Van Gogh. Art doesn't change over time -- We does. It would be along this path that I took to creating my own work, and learned to accept that sometimes when you finish performing a song, the space you’ve created can be so powerful, so palpably strong, that your audience may have literally no way of interacting but often with a defensive energy (or if you're lucky simply silence). This might be why sometimes performers just drop the microphone and allow the song of the Universe, of the crowd, of all of the voices in each and every audience member's head to take over for them; after all, the song of the Universe never ends, we're all performers, some people just take center stage more often than others (and mostly for good reason, Yeezus) and while one might argue that All Work/Art/Everything is ultimately absurd, it is merely in reality ambiguous and it is the audience member's responsibility to choose how they feel, not the presenter's. In simpler terms, what I mean to express here most importantly is that while audience is always part of the song as well (even in an empty room), it remains the presenting creator's response-ability (and obligation) to remind them as often as possible (thank you, John Cage). The Rite Of Spring’s success and the eventual admiration garnered for it is a Cosmic Signal for us all that the work (in any field, from the Sciences to Philosophy) that sometimes scares us the most may simply be unfamiliar, exposing a territory yet traversed that we simply are not yet capable of truly understanding without serious Patience and Presence of both Heart and Mind. It was an enormous piece of my personal puzzle, and helped give me the courage and tenacity never to give up, even at my absolute lowest.

2. 2pbs | Surfer Girl/Around The Fire
David Thomas & Two Pale Boys' Surfer Girl/Around The Fire from the album Meadville is another example of a song that completely and utterly reshaped my entire concept of what a piece of Music could accomplish. This live recording somehow manages to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking, somewhat confusing and yet entirely moving, childish yet self-aware, both subversive and progressive, complex yet simple, completely alien and somehow profoundly human. For me, it is the perfect example of a song that understands the Cosmic nature of Reality with all Human Emotion rooted within a wave whose poles represent Fear on one side, and Love on the other -- Surfer Girl/Around The Fire demonstrates its understanding of the only Cosmic trump card—humor -- and uses it to prove that the difference between Love and Fear is simply our ability to Choose, and that humor beats either choice every time.

3. Laurie Anderson | O Superman (For Massenet)
In a similar manner to the way in which Marina Abramović’s work impacted my concept of Performance Art in the Modern World, so too did Laurie Anderson’s O Superman from the revelation that was Big Science impact on my understanding of Sound Art. On O Superman Laurie seems to invoke De Beauvoir’s sense of Ambiguity while proving the Power of the Path of Least Resistance while walking a tight rope of culturally relevant symbols. It remains one of my favorite reminders of how much power can be invoked when a complex mind with an open heart meets a Minimalist approach.

4. Subtle | A Tale Of Apes II
A Tale Of Apes I by Subtle, an Oakland-based conceptual Avant-Garde Rap group, is one of my absolute favorite songs that quite literally sounded like nothing but disjointed noise upon my first few listens. I’ll never forget the very first, eighteen years old, sitting in a friend’s old, out-of-commission Buick in the dead of winter, in a freezing garage in the suburbs just outside of Chicago. I wasn’t able yet to wrap my head around why exactly my favorite Music-critique website had deemed the album this track was the first song on the best album of 2006, but I highly valued and trusted their opinion, so I kept digging. It wasn’t until the fourth listen through that I began to finally unravel the record’s complex movements and make sense of the numerous voices and characters emcee Doseone (Adam Drucker) was invoking . As Subtle's narrative unraveled, I discovered an altogether peerless, unparalleled mastery of Poetry and Sound that literally took me five years to finally truly wrap my head around entirely.

5. Everything, Now! | Freedom Sex With Bible Woman
Freedom Sex With Bible Woman by Everything, Now! performed live in 2006 was as goofy, fun, and tongue-in-cheek as I have had the pleasure of experiencing. When I left High School and couchsurfed my way onto the campus at Bloomington, Indiana, I found myself hanging around with a large group of older musicians, all flirting with or part of the Secretly Canadian scene -- and by far the most influential of them upon myself was the mastermind behind Everything, Now!, known to most as the infamous pseudonym Crafty. I had been listening to his work back in Chicago, prior to making my way out to Bloomington and was delighted at my first encounter with Crafty on a couch in a living room outside the front porch where we would later burn an American flag -- I'll never forget the roar of the crowd as the lighter was passed in my direction to relight the flame and keep the flag ablaze. For me Everything, Now! embodied the free-spirit and unchained human will in its rawest form, and Freedom Sex With Bible Woman was to me the miraculous mix of all of Crafty's wild positive energy and deep, heartfelt symbolism with the proper light-heartedness to truly match the level of complexity that actual lie beneath the man, the band, and its ultimate message. Every listen for me invokes this inner-feeling that, Oh, yeah, Rock And Roll can't die -- it's just that the spirit within most of us has been extinguished for so long that we forgot what both we and it were truly capable of accomplishing, and why it was never anybody's responsibility but our own to fan this most sacred flame.

6. Be Our | On The Field, In The Field
On The Field, In The Field was written by Peter Frederiksen, composed and performed by a group I was part of, called Be Our. On this track Peter approaches his relationship with his family from an entirely unique perspective, one I had never bore witness to before. The allegory of and symbolism behind this dirty spot, in my house is so heartbreakingly meaningful that it almost feels uncouth to even mention it in this way, but I feel that it must be shared. I will leave the story ambiguous, as it should be, but suffice to say every symbol invoked here blends together in such a surreal and potent manner that the true darkness present within their meaning is exposed masterfully by Frederiksen and co's capacity to do-so with as much light as they can possibly muster.

7. Weird All | I Call The Company
I Call The Company is written and performed by Dylan Cale Jones under the cosmic and intrinsically thoughtful moniker Weird All. Dylan, a childhood friend whose voice of Courage, Humility, Wisdom and Humor I have had the honor of carrying with me throughout my travel both external and inward, summons his character Weird All on this track in a manner befitting peerless genius. I have had the pleasure of watching his regard for the capacity of humor to carry deep and heavy meaning, grow over the years into a shining beacon, a compass with-which we may all set our courses upon safely. I Call The Company is a simple story of a man whom attempts to connect with The Company to complain, but the company will not return his phone call. He sits longingly, desperately perched across from his receiver, awaiting the ring-in-return, waiting for his opportunity to connect and finally express himself and engage other. Dylan's capacity to break the fourth wall while remaining a striking and powerful character is present within the Weird All paradigm, maybe most lucidly within the brilliant separate track, Moms And Dads. On I Call The Company, Weird All sings... What am I? Some unrequited lover? I wait by the telephone.. But what the Company doesn't know is that I don't call to court; and I don't call to flirt... This, juxtaposed with the notion that he questions himself mid-song, wondering why he wishes The Company could feel his garish heartbeat, exposes Weird in a moment of self-reflection. Coupled with the perfect if-not somewhat bizarre mix of instrumentation, it is the purity of Spirit within the voice that Weird All invokes that truly encompasses everything positive about Music and its capacity to shine Light into the strangest and most potent of dark human crevices and yet-traversed territory. The punchline here I suppose being that, in fact, The Company (which of course also could simply refer to any other whatsoever) is most likely well-aware that Weird All has phoned to complain; there is no reason whatsoever for them to consider the notion that he would somehow be hoping to court them for their love -- and yet the manner in which they ignore him reminds Weird of unrequited feelings, and in this way Jones uses humor in the most powerful manner of all. At no point while experiencing Weird All should the listener feel as if the joke were somehow on them; like a clown, or any great humourist, the saddest parts divulged within the Weird All paradigm are always internal and self-afflicted, engaging a profound sense of the manner in which Human Trauma may manifest a sort of pattern within the Human Psyche, a role to play if you will. Weird's role as self-aware jester is one that I proudly watch grow and am always affected by dramatically; aurally, emotionally, psychologically, and one might even say spiritually.

8. Sigur Rós | untitled #4 (aka Njósnavélin aka The Spy Machine aka The Nothing Song)
Njósnavélin from Icelandic mythologists Sigur Rós... How does one choose a single Sigur Rós song? Words escape any sort of didactic or even romantic take on Sigur Rós; the Eastern concept of what God is, that to speak It is to miss It, that to speak at all is to be missing the All... I apply this to Sigur Rós. Ethereal, awake, a reminder of everything truly magical and unspeakable about Life itself and all of its glorious complexity... Jónsi speaks the oft unheard language of Us, of Hope, of the monumental Need for Appreciation of Now and the Promise of a Brighter Tomorrow. I first heard Njósnavélin in Cameron Crowe's film Vanilla Sky, a popular adaptation of the Spanish work Abre Los Ojos. While both films present stunning qualities and deep portraits of intrinsic archetypes, there is something so entirely unique about Vanilla Sky, and its message of Self-Forgiveness. As did Vanilla Sky, so too did Sigur Rós have a tremendous impact on my adolescence and my desire for something beautiful, something magical and intrinsic, a place or a world or a time and a space where Love and Understanding were All and Humanity has finally accepted its Innocence and rejected the fallacy of an inherently sinful nature, and embraced the absolute need for Magnanimity and Unconditional Love in the external. Encountering Vanilla Sky as a teenager and hearing Njósnavélin within it while simultaneously discovering the film's various symbols and romantic constructs primed for me an entire world within my psyche, an entire portion of my imagination dedicated to this feeling of Wholeness, of Being Loved, of Being Understood. As an adolescent I found myself quite often tremendously isolated from the External World and while attending High School the escape I found most rewarding was that of the Arts, particularly Cinema, Literature and Music. Rediscovering Njósnavélin so many years later after first hearing it in Vanilla Sky was tantamount to waking up out of the coma of adolescence and beginning to find my self as a creator in this world. The sheer size and scope of the sonic landscape created by Sigur Rós has been as inspirational to me as a musician and creator as it has been ultimately Life-affirming.

9. Drrty Pharms | A Lesson For Insolence
Taking a look at Wolfe Margolies through the eyes of Potential, one sees a man befitting the struggle and consequence of his past, his present, and his relationship with both self and other. Under the moniker Drrty Pharms he seems to almost embody everything that is cruel and unjust about our world -- as if he himself and his story were literally a performance piece in and of itself, although he would strongly disagree, and maybe I'm just projecting because I knew from the first moments I interacted with this individual and his work that for whatever combination of reasons, I could feel a tangible connection, a sort of kinship and level of trust that needn't be spoken. On his stunning, 90's Marshall Mathers invoking A Lesson For Insolence, the twenty-year-old Bushwickite casually drops his history of Heroin and Crystal Methamphetamine use while imagining his persecutors literally raping and murdering him as a proper sentence for his supposed crimes against Humanity. At only 20 years of age, Wolfe's newer work makes even the most lauded after and supremely hated shock-artists look like sellout adolescent Tumblr mashups. Drrty Pharms is more than just a self-aware artist utilizing a deep and twisted narrative -- it is the work of hyper-meaningful allegory and a profound understanding of the symbols that control, subvert and continue to drive Western Culture both internally and externally. I await patiently the day that his work fall upon the proper ears and he is given the opportunity to excel that his creativity and potential so wildly deserve -- although this of course might ruin his credibility as an artist struggling to succeed in the face of the (believe it or not) surprisingly large number of people who seem to go out of their way daily to spread rumors of his supposed addiction to abrasive and taboo sexual fantasies and his desire to corrupt the minds of his popular underground Internet movement Beta Boys. It looks like 4chan finally found their spokesperson; just don't tell anybody.

10. The Beach Boys | Be True To Your School

+11. Rage Against The Machine | Killing In The Name

+12. Joanna Newsom | Emily

+13. Ellery James Roberts | Kerou's Lament

+14. Wolf Parade | I'll Believe In Anything

+15. Radiohead | Fitter Happier

WARMER MIXTAPES #1460 | by Barði Jóhannsson [Bang Gang] of Lady & Bird and Starwalker

1. Sonic Youth | Bull In The Heather
When I got into Sonic Youth, I had to buy all of their albums. They are perfect for any occasion.

2. Röyksopp | What Else Is There? (with Karin Dreijer)
Got hooked on this song after seeing the video. Been liking Röyksopp since their first album. Heard them on some album promoting Music from Bergen, Norway.

3. Deftones | Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)
One of my favorite Rock songs of all times. Perfect.

4. Frankie Goes To Hollywood | The Power Of Love
One of the best produced songs ever. Can listen on repeat forever.

5. Goblin | Suspiria (Suspiria Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
As a Dario Argento fan, I got into Goblin. Sometimes they go a bit Fusion for me though.

6. M83 | Wait
Love the track.

7. A Perfect Circle | By And Down
After many years of disliking the band, I fell in love with the ambience of this track.

8. Philip Glass | Metamorphosis Five
A genius. If you want to annoy your neighbours, play some Philip Glass loud.

9. Suicide | Ghost Rider
Electronic Music at its best.

10. Vangelis | La Petite Fille De La Mer (L'Apocalypse Des Animaux Original Soundtrack)
Beautiful song. Ambient and you feel like flying.

+11. N.W.A | Straight Outta Compton
Some teen memories come with this song. Being in Iceland and playing basketball with a Gettoblaster knowing that only a few hundred people at that time liked Hip Hop here.

1. Guided By Voices | Man Called Aerodynamics
Very hard to pick a GBV favorite but would have to go with this one for the contrast, its powerful execution - marching drums, noisy as hell power chordings - and ultra-melancholly melodies and lyrics. I remember everything about looking for, purchasing, and listening to Under The Bushes... the first time (in a bustop in Perth, Australia).

2. Koil | Waktu Yang Berhenti
An Indonesian band I looked up to quite a bit. This record was their first one and least Heavy Metallic. The song title means The Stopping Time and for me is a perfect amalgamation of sorrowful Industrial Rock and pre-Emo Pensivity.

3. The For Carnation | Grace Beneath The Pines
Slow motion goodness from one of the best Slowcore bands.

4. Steven R. Smith | All Is One, One Is None, None Is All
Just fantastic drifting, distorted Death Folk from Smith. He's a whole catalog worth delving into.

5. The Third Eye Foundation | A Galaxy Of Scars
+ Matt Elliott - If Anyone Tells Me "It's Better To Have Loved And Lost Than To Never Have Loved At All" I Will Stab Them In The Face... I'm cheating because it's essentially the same person playing very different Music. They both swell and catches you in the same way though through different manners.

6. Crescent | Sun
From the same scene with Flying Saucer Attack, Movietone, etc. Rauchy shoegazer? It feels very mid-90s Punk Rock for me though it's probably not.

7. Rome | Leaving Perdition
This takes a while to seep through if you're young-ish, which I was when I first ran into it. Another gold from the Thrill Jockey archives. I don't think they're still around, but, when they did, they felt so far ahead, even in context of the era's Post Rock-ing.

8. Shipping News | Untitled W/ Drums
This comes from Flies The Fields, a record that is just fantastic. It feels like it comes from the rural outback of an American landscape. I'm saying this as someone who has never been to America. There's an unforced sense of Mystery in the record and the songs are twistedly catchy and menacing.

9. Melvins | At The Stake
From Stoner Witch, my favorite Melvins record and one of my top 5 of all time LPs. The heaviest of the heaviest, such so that I recall the doors in my teenage bedroom literally shaking. There's a Pro-Shot live performance of this song on YouTube which the World should see.

10. Re: | Pawk
This song feels like a close cousin of Rachel's, though less deliberate. A great band and I believe one of Constellation Records' best.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1458 | by Will Cuming [LANKS] of Wilu, Poco La Pax and Farrow

1. Frank Sinatra | My Way (Claude François' And Jacques Revaux's "Comme D'Habitude" Cover)
My grandfather was a very audacious and charismatic man, who lived a long life filled with fun and irresponsible decisions. He passed away a few years ago and to that point I hadn't felt that close to him to be truthful. My mum had always joked about this song being written for him, and until he passed away I didn't realise how much he really did still mean to me, and all the memories I had of him came flooding back. My sister and I arranged a version of Frank Sinatra with horns and guitar and I sang lead in this beautiful church and it is one of the most powerful musical experiences I have ever had.

2. Radiohead | You And Whose Army?
There are many Radiohead songs that have helped define my life, but this one stood out as it was probably the first one that I had felt something above and beyond a series of sounds and notes, and it took me somewhere else. Soft and brooding introduction and then from the moment that ride cymbal comes in, bam! It hits you. That piano at the end is magical and so uplifting to me.

3. Jeff Buckley | Lover, You Should've Come Over
This song is included for a particular person in particular. A friend from High School who I don't see nearly as much as I'd like. When I was in High School and in the process of finding my identity as a musician and adolescent, we bonded over Jeff Buckley. Since that time she has had a pretty hard life, and a few people very close to her have sadly passed away, and somehow every time I hear this song, it carries across all that sadness.

4. John Butler Trio | Ocean
For a lot of people this song would conjure up images of gentle seas rolling into the white sands of the Australian coast, but for me this was the song I listened to more than anything when I was on exchange in Germany when I was 16. When I was tucked up in a warm bed, looking out the window and watching the snow fall in a small town in Bavaria.

5. Gotye | Hearts A Mess
One of my best friends in this World is currently over the other side of the World doing service in the Israeli Army. We would spend a lot of time together in the final years of High School. We listened to and talked about Music a lot, and this is just one song of many, but I remember a lot of late night drives and talking about the meaning of Life being accompanied by this song and album. I was a real loner in High School who kept to themselves and just played guitar all the time, but he helped me break out of that a bit, and through this friendship I grew a lot as a person and artist, being particularly inspired by his compassion and empathy towards people who need help. He is a very inspiring and charismatic character, and I hope I get to see him again soon.

6. Spiller | Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)
As is the case with a lot of these songs, they remind me of particular people. I became best friends with this guy in Prep, and spent 2 further years at that school until I moved schools in year 2, and we ended up staying in contact and are still very good friends to this day. He has always had a very refined sense of style and appreciation of Art, and this was one of the first songs I remember him showing me, it's such a great tune. He still send me YouTube links to weirder and greater things all the time.

7. The Beatles | You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
I grew up on The Beatles. I was completely obsessed with their Music from the age of about five, and my grandparents had this really beautiful box set of all their albums on cassette that I listened to so much and ended up ruining the whole thing. You can't trust kids with anything. This song always had an amazing feeling to me, so rich and warm, with such beautiful lyrics.

8. Beck | Lost Cause
I had to think really hard about which song I thought best represented my relationship with my girlfriend, who I have been dating for 5 years now. We first made out to Calvin Harris - Flashback (on repeat for some reason?) and despite that album being an absolute banger I felt like Beck would be a nicer fit, as she introduced me to this song and album and I will always be able to hear her pluck her way through that opening guitar riff in my memories, and I've never really heard her play any other songs. It's a beautiful song.

9. Charles Mingus | II B.S.
The first musician I ever got into that really threw so many of the rules completely out the window. Charles Mingus really was an incredible artist, wildly emotional, political, unpredictable, promiscuous (his biography is literally just a huge list of all the women he slept with), and daring with his work. He could be dark, but still have these stunning melodies that stand out on top of that and soar. I went through a big Jazz phase as I studied Jazz Guitar for a long time, and this song has to be one of the ones that represents that part of my life.

10. Nirvana | All Apologies
I went through that phase, that we all go through, where I wanted to be a misunderstood teen and was all angsty, but, truthfully, Life has always been pretty good to me and I had a great family and everything so there was nothing to rebel against. I did, however, fall in love with a lot of Angsty Music, and Nirvana was probably my favourite of the lot. I read the auto-biography of Kurt Cobain and at the time I really didn't have any friends so this Music helped me get through that, and was a great companion. All Apologies is such an incredibly beautiful song, and it carries with it such a strong emotion of Regret and Loneliness, as he felt he had let down his daughter by being a bad father. Just an incredible song.

+11. The Cranberries | Dreams
This song is for my mum. She has always had a daggy taste in Music, but she did love The Cranberries, and they are ace. We used to go up to the snow skiing each year when I was very little, as she did Physiotherapy work up there, and this is the song I remember as the soundtrack to those times. I reserve a special place in my heart for this beautiful song.

+12. Brian Eno | I'll Come Running (To Tie Your Shoe)
My dad was obsessed with Brian Eno when I was a little kid, and I grew up listening to his Music on repeat. I was actually learning to tie my shoes at the same time as this song was on repeat at home, so there's that added bit also. I think Brian Eno made a huge impression on my taste of Melodic and interesting Sonic Music too, and without hearing this record for a long time, I was still able to sing along to most of the record. Dad was also the first person to get my sister and I to play Music, we were 4 and 5 years old and he taught us the C blues scale and we would all play piano together and improvise and do solos. I owe a lot to the way that shaped my love of Music as a creative pursuit and a free approach where there are no wrongs and rights, just a nice loose casualness to Music.

+13. The Beatles | Hey Jude
My parents hired someone to babysit me when I was very young, and when we grew up she ended up still working for my parents and coming and cleaning the house. Her name is Jude and she has the most wicked sense of humour and probably knows me as good as anyone. She's been there for my entire life! Recently she had a stroke and is currently recovering from that and all I want is for her to have a solid recovery. This was a song we have often talked about together and the meaning behind it means even more now, but just like that end section of the song, I'm sure the Future is bright and uplifting.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1457 | by Paul James Bardsley (The Cappuccino Wizards) and Chris Plack (Elysium, Readers Wives) of Bulbs Of Held

SIDE A | by Chris Plack

1. David Bowie | Quicksand
Deep, dark, lyrics. Haunting melody that suits his cracked vocal style brilliantly. Very powerful for me emotionally.

2. Cocteau Twins | Blue Bell Knoll
Gorgeous, dark, floating abstraction; soaring other-worldy vocals. Reminds me of lonely moors, wild woods. Nature at its most mysterious.

3. Japandroids | Crazy/Forever
Love the sound of the guitar on this. Like a warm hug by a faintly psychotic bear. Lush melody, and a beautiful sentiment. Reminds me to keep feeling young.

4. Kate Bush | The Sensual World
Loads of KB I could choose from. She is fascinating as a person and as an artist. This track is almost scandalously sexy; mmm, yes... Sumptuous vocals. Based on the character Molly Bloom from James Joyce’s Ulysses; stepping out of the page into the Sensual World. Wonderful concept. Saw her live at Hammersmith in 2014, and the emotional energy was overwhelming.

5. Bombay Bicycle Club | Carry Me
BBC are one of my current favourites: melodic, emotional, and endlessly creative. This song employs horns and drums in a hammering staccato rhythm. So much going on here, and the usual unerring sense of melody seals the deal. Great, great, live band.

6. Pink Floyd | Fat Old Sun
Somehow captures the pure essence of Psychedelia. Dreamy summer days lying on the grass. Reassuring warmth of Sun. Too many drugs.

7. King Crimson | Frame By Frame
Manically fast guitar riff, swooping whammy bar action, polyrhythms, soulful melody. Outrageous sonically and technically but works brilliantly. Whenever I think I might be getting good at guitar, this is one of the tracks that brings me back to Earth. Fripp is a genius.

8. The Sugarcubes | Birthday
Truly stunning virtuoso vocal from Björk. Gets me every time. So fresh and exciting even now. Sparkly brilliance and delightful innocence. I imagine this would get wearing after a while, but for an occasional listen it’s perfect. Pure joy.

9. Regurgitator | Black Bugs
What’s at the end of Satan’s rainbow? Infectious and deliciously quirky Pop. This represents 80s video games addiction for me (and it’s pretty much what the song is about). The video for this is just fabulous. A singing giraffe!

10. My Bloody Valentine | Soon
How I love MBV. Delicate vocals drowning in sea of guitar noise. This is one of their dancier outings, but illustrates the principle, and their joyful disregard for conventional song structure. Soundtrack of the early 90s for me and still going strong. If you see them live USE EARPLUGS. Seriously.

SIDE B | by Paul James Bardsley

1. Mount Kimbie | Before I Move Off
Love the range of sounds and different feelings in this song, it starts off reminding me of Amon Tobin’s Foley Room album and Taxidermia soundtrack with very dark delayed textures, then builds bleeping into a super sharp vibe with a Funk bass and some Garage style cut up vocals, lush!

2. Jonwayne | Altitude
Production wise this is solid, the sub bass is heavy, the electric piano chords are so warming, the percussion and claps are tight plus watery synth effects glue everything together beautifully. Lyrically the song is insightful and inspiring, Jonwayne is a genius with his clever and relatable words.

3. Mo Kolours | South LDN (feat. Henry Wu)
Mo Kolours has been a fave of mine since hearing podcasts and live shows last year followed by his self titled album. On this recent EP he is back smashing it once again with his intricate percussion patterns, Dub heavy basslines, excellent electronics and loose swinging organic instrumentation.

4. Inkswel | Good Times (Tom Noble Remix)
Crunchy hardware Hip Hop style sampler beats are on offer here with a cross over to Italo Disco feel, complete with muddy Industrial pads, awesome arpeggiator line and screaming chipmunk euphoric vocal that sings the feeling back home, this reminds me of good times in Manchester.

5. Four Tet | Smile Around The Face
Kieran Hebden needs no introduction... This track is one of my faves amongst his endless amounts of prolific records he has made, maybe simply because of how good it makes me feel?! Aside from the vastness of tweaked and processed unique sounds that are composed together perfectly in this cut.

6. Seven Davis Jr. | Wild Hearts
This is a beast that will continue to play in my head for days after listening, firstly discovered through listening to Gilles Peterson's radio show, me and my wild heart Katie fell in Love with this raw tune on so many levels whilst boxing things up ready to move house and live together happily ever after.

7. Lilacs & Champagne | Hamburgers & Tangerines
The feel of Lilacs & Champagne's albums carry all the range of emotions from deep moody drops, intelligent sampling methods and into Space Rock effects overload parts. This standout song could be a perfect accompaniment to any sort of eighties John Carpenter and Alan Howarth soundtrack.

8. Hounds Of Hate | Tumble Down Slow
Unconventional and fully Experimental, Hounds Of Hate really smash it. This track is fully analogue and fluttery plus dark and eerie, but, amongst this, somehow uplifting in a drugged out way. The song reminds of seedy places and times in Shoreditch and Kingsland Road.

9. Gonjasufi | Duet
Upfront and attitude ridden, this beat smith combo of Gaslamp Killer and Gonjasufi is tripped out and fully space echo layered instrumentation with a feel that makes me travel meditatively and reflect on lots of different times, places and people I have met along the way in this life.

10. Boards Of Canada | Dayvan Cowboy
No compilation would be complete without including possibly my overall favourite artists, Boards Of Canada. Every album BOC have made has amazed and moved me emotionally plus inspired me into great things. Perfectly performed, recorded and programmed, this is absolutely bloody class!

AUGUST 9, 2015!







WARMER MIXTAPES #1456 | by Dustin Belt of Heffron Drive

1. Vertical Horizon | You're A God
The simplicity of the song and the lyrical earnestness is key. No matter what situation I'm in in Life, I can play this song and find something about it that I can relate to in that moment. This song is like a security blanket for me.

2. Third Eye Blind | The Background
The entire album is awe inspiring. It evokes memories of my being a teenager driving down California freeways with the windows down and the speakers blown whenever I hear it. There's this one note on guitar in the bridge, right after he sings I felt you long after we were through and the Music just hits you square in the heart. There's so much Emotion in that moment of the song.

3. Kansas | Dust In The Wind
It was the first song I ever learned on guitar. It also contains my name in the title, and the band (and band's name!) and I are both from Kansas. So there's that.

4. Katy Perry | Teenage Dream
My guilty pleasure song. Such a well thought out tune with brilliant imagery. Got a hotel and built a fort out of sheets. What a great visual line. Kudos to the team behind this one.

5. Bob Seger | Old Time Rock And Roll
I used to stand on my fire place mantle when I was a toddler and play guitar (left handed at the time) and sing this to my parents. I had no idea what any of the words meant, but it made me move and I liked it.

6. Incubus | Dig
One of my all-time favorite bands. This is and Oil And Water are in the same vein for me. Apart from being insanely talented musicians in their own right, this song just jelled so perfectly and went exactly where you wanted it to sonically go. It's powerful and the message runs deep through the veins of the track. It's one of those songs that could still be on the radio in twenty years. Those don't come along too often.

7. Jimmy Eat World | Dizzy
Jim Adkins has this innate ability to write a damn good song, and this one doesn't disappoint. It's another one that uses your heart strings like a jump rope and takes you on a journey from beginning to end. The bridge gets gritty with the chord changes and his vocals become angrier as he pleads You said you'd never have regrets. Jesus, is there someone yet who got that wish? Did you get yours, babe?... I've spent many a night at 3am after a few (too many) beers jamming out to this one.

8. Goo Goo Dolls | Iris (City Of Angels Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The iconic 90's song. The funny thing about this song is it took me about 7 years after City Of Angels came out for me to watch it -- I hated it. Johnny Rzeznik had crafted the entire storyline of the movie into a four and a half minute song. I didn't need to see the movie! The lyrics and melody are so great in this. The way the chorus melody comes in and jumps up an octave is so powerful. Has to be one of the best songs ever written.

9. Vince Gill | One More Last Chance
For the first ten years of my life I listened to almost nothing but Country, so it has a special place in my heart. This song starts off with a classic Vince Gill guitar lick and is overall just a fun listen. It's quirky and lively.

10. The Good Mad | Falling Asleep (Shine Don't Shadow)
From their Alta EP. I have a very specific memory of landing in Buenos Aires and listening to this EP all the way from the airport to the hotel on repeat. It's all I listened to for 3 weeks in South America. Their harmonies are well practiced and executed flawlessly. I'm happy to say these are some close friends of mine and Andy Fischer-Price (who plays bass and sings in TGM) even comes and subs in on bass with us sometimes in Heffron Drive. It's nice having talented friends.