JOTR Mixtape: Leslie Stein

Comic book artist and musician Leslie Stein puts together a super eclectic and psychedelic mix of tracks. Her latest book Bright-Eyed At Midnight is available from Fantagraphics books. 
Favorite Road Trip Song

Leslie Stein: “So this is kind of a funny question for me because I can’t drive. I have a phobia actually, so when I thought about this question, I was thinking of a situation where I wouldn’t be afraid of driving which would be, basically like a road in the middle of nowhere. I was thinking of a very upbeat song to accompany that. So It really could be any Creedence Clearwater Revival song, but I picked “Hey Tonight,” because that’s my favorite one.”

Guilty Pleasure Song

Leslie Stein: “I have a lot of these, as most people do, but the reason I have a lot of these on my iPod is because I run. So, I have to pick these really upbeat pop numbers to keep me going sometimes. One that comes to mind, Is “Piece Of Me” By Britney Spears, and the other one is “Tonight,” by Enrique Iglesias. I have other ones too, like Kesha songs, I even have Maroon 5 songs on my iPod.”

Broken Heart Song

Leslie Stein: “This one was kind of a tie, and I feel like I picked these two because they are either side of having a broken heart. The first was one the Fats Domino song, “I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday,” which is kind of about revenge in a way…like ‘I’m gonna be some one and I won’t want you and you’ll want me.’ The other one was this guy, Bobb Trimble, wrote a song called “One Mile From Heaven,” and that’s about really wishing the best for the person that you had just broken up with and wanting them to succeed and find good things in their life.”

Signature Track From A Movie Made About You

Leslie Stein: “That is such a hard one, so I also picked two. There is a band in Brooklyn called, Mountains, and they have a song called “Telescope,” that I really like and It’s kind of a longer song – It’s very atmospheric, but, it’s kind of sad and hopeful at the same time and I feel like it encompasses a lot of feelings that I have about my life. The other one is a Dion [And The Wanderers] song called “All I Wanna Do Is Live My Life,” which has some great lyrics just about sitting and watching the cockroaches and accepting life as this weird thing that happens to you, and also moving forward in a way that is kind of punk rock, or something like that. I feel like I relate to the lyrics in the Dion song, and like the emotional content of the atmospheric instrumental song — The sadness and the hopefulness at the same time. The minor and major chords that go back and forth, and different sounds that are coming around and leaving in one ear progression.”

Rainy Day Song

Leslie Stein: “I guess I’d pick Karen Dalton, because she has this moody voice that is very emotional. She has a great song called “Something On Your Mind,” that I have listened to on grey days, and It kind of fits my mood for when that’s occurring in nature.”

Favorite Song To Draw To

Leslie Stein: “That was a really nice question. I do a lot of these weird paintings to music a lot. One of the fun things I’ve been doing is I’ll ask my  friends on Facebook to give me a song to paint to, and then I’ll put it up on their page or send it to them as a present. It’s a great way to be communicating with people while I’m alone and drawing, which is something that I love, and listening to music and finding out about new music. So, that is kind of a hard question, But, the one that I was most excited about recently was “Journey To Satchidananda,” by Alice Coltrane, which is also instrumental…beautiful and psychedelic and wandering, so it lets me go where I want to and push the paint out in an interesting way. It’s psychedelic, but it’s also jazz-oriented, so theres a lot of improvisation, or I don’t know what she was actually doing or how together she had it before she sat down with her musicians, but it helps me settle into a specific kind of mood and allows myself to open my mind and push the paint around in a more relaxed fashion.”

Go To Karaoke Song

Leslie Stein: “For me, I’m not a really big karaoke person, but if I was and I have done this song, I would pick “White Rabbit,” by Jefferson Airplane, which I cannot do justice to, but it’s still really fun to sing and I love the song.”

Getting Ready For An Evening Out Song

Leslie Stein: “I’d pick Endless Boogie’s “Occult Banker.” It’s a very driving rock song by this Brooklyn band that I am friends with. I would probably pick it on my way to seem them play— to get ready for the night because they are like my favorite band to see live.”

Favorite Cover

Leslie Stein: “My favorite cover song is probably Devo’s version of “Satisfaction.” That song has been covered a million times, but I thought they did a really creative (and) interesting job with that one. I can’t say that I seek out (cover music) but when someone does something awesome, I think it’s kind of interesting to have a different perspective on a song.”

Something Recent That Knocked Me Out

Leslie Stein: “I actually found this by accident when I went to go see a friend’s band play in Brooklyn called Rhyton, and they were opening for this guy, Dave Heumann, who I think is most popular for his band, Arboretum, which is kind of a rock band, but has a lot of Richard Thompson influences. But, he recently came out with a solo record with mostly female musicians in the band, and there are really great harmonies, and I was just knocked out by the performance. So, I bought the record, and It would be the track, “Switchback,” by Dave Heumann.”