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Yeasayer Made This Mixtape Just for You

We got Chris Keating — the front man of current indie-rock darlings Yeasayer — to create a mixtape celebrating his more obscure influences (some so obscure, we couldn't find them to embed below!). The band, in the middle of a tour in support of Odd Blood, is playing Webster Hall tonight. “I could have given you a more mainstream mix,” says Keating, “but then it would be all Salt-N-Pepa songs.”

1.ELECTRIC FLAG, “M-23”
“A cool, weird instrumental track from the soundtrack to Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson’s sixties film The Trip. I found it on record, though I’m not as much of a vinyl guy as some others in the band. I’m not even a super-big music nerd, to be honest. Like, someone was talking about Fugazi today and I didn’t know what they were talking about. Seriously."

2.BEBETO, “Princesa Negra De Angola”
“My wife is part Brazilian and we spent time down there, and I got inspired by the intense funk-samba rhythm of the music — like this track. In Rio, we went to a Carnival rehearsal. They didn’t have full costumes on, but there were a couple of samba queens in sparkly G-strings and high heels. If I had the bodies of those women, I would definitely do that look.”

3.JAHEIM, ”Fabulous”
“If this song were a food product, it would be a fresh piece of salmon. It’s just beautiful, very pure.”

4.JOHN CALE, “Heartbreak Hotel”
“I don’t like Elvis. Other than being super good-looking and a great performer, I don’t know why this dude became an icon. He just ripped off music that was not allowed to be popular because it was made by black artists. So it’s fun to hear someone cover him in such a dark, brutal way.”

5.CAROL PARKINSON, “Heavybeat”
“We listened to a lot of music like this when we were working on our last record [Odd Blood]. Stuff I found out about from an old sound-art magazine, but you can find a lot of the tracks online; ubu.com is good because it’s not just music, it’s weird futurist poetry or spoken-word or tape mash-ups.”

6.MAGA BO, “Homeboys”
“I’m a big fan of mixtapes by this great New York D.J., DJ/rupture, and that’s where I discovered this song. I listen to it late at night on tour, when I’m going to sleep. At home, I play it whenever — to clean the house. ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ is best for that, but that’s not on the mixtape.”

7 .VOLTAIR, “Clek Clek Boom”
“More Rio shit: super-electro with hypersexualized Favela booty-beat lyrics. I love the totally raspy crazy dancehall-y, Busta Rhymes–like voice shouting stuff that I can’t understand. I played this song last night in Denver, when we D.J.'ed, and they loved it. I mean, people lost their shit and started tearing off their clothes and banging on the floor. They’re wild up there in Denver. It’s the thin air.”

8.COTTEN/PRINCE, “Tiny Places”
“This sounds like the theme song to an early eighties movie where they have to build something, or like My Science Project. That kind of vibe.”

9.SCUBA, “Subaqueous”
“Tripped-out contemporary-sounding dubstep music, which is somewhat unlistenable and totally undanceable. I don’t actually know what the purpose of it is, but I like it. People in the future will think this is funky, kind of like the way you now listen to Squarepusher and it makes sense.”

10.OFO THE BLACK COMPANY, “allah wakbarr”
“I used to go to the Providence library and check out records and CDs for free. Most wouldn’t speak to me, but every now and again you’d find something like this seventies African music. I wouldn’t categorize this as rock, but it fills that role. It’s crazy Nigerian funk music, super-scary and crazy with that fuzz guitar and really aggressive singing style.”

Photo: iStockphoto (cassette tape); Jason Frank Rothenberg (Yeasayer)