Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

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The Neverending Roads / Vol 12 / 013113

Mr. Smigielski came to me in the winter of 2010 with an idea to build a mix with multiple participants, pushing and pulling against each other’s diverse tastes and interests to create an audial document in real time. How could I not be excited? It was a challenge that I’d never seen before. So we started, with no idea where it would go. With our friend Epp, we moved through volume after volume, and picked up Mssrs. Klops and Woodford along the way. We saw our number of followers build and our traffic increase. We even had an app made.

The mix took a lot of twists and turns, and perhaps inadvertently reflected life itself. In the last few months, one of us moved to London; one of us moved to Chicago; one of us turned in his notice that he would be leaving the mix; some of us found our relationships to music changing; and all of us found ourselves insanely busy with careers, lives, and other priorities. When we stopped to take stock of everything, we came to the conclusion that the end of this volume was the right time to put the Neverending Mix on hold for the foreseeable future.

I can speak for all of us when I say that it’s been an incredible experience working on this project. We hope the NEIMT introduced you to a new band or song, made a new connection to something you already loved, or got you to make your own mixes. We hope it changed, even just a tiny bit, the way you interact with music. It did all of those for us. We might be back someday, maybe in a different form or with new writers, but we’ll always be out there devouring music, thrilled by its possibilities, curious about the neverending roads it will take us on. We’ll see you out there.

m. joosse

Download the Mix as a 116 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files. Email us if the file expires.

The tracklist is as follows:

01. Sitting Still, Talking About Jets by the Detachment Kit
02. Odessa by Animals as Leaders
03. Screams of Joy by Lungfish
04. I Built Myself a Metal Bird by Silver Mt. Zion
05. How Near How Far by …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
06. Out of My Mind by Dope Body
07. Silencer by mewithoutYou
08. List of Demands (Reparations) by Saul Williams
09. Kung Fu by the Dirtbombs
10. Little Bit of Feel Good by Jamie Lidell
11. Free by Graffiti6
12. Good Music by Colorama
13. Believe E.S.P. by Deerhoof
14. Long Flight by Future Islands
15. Blinders by Geographer

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12

Vol 12 / Trk 15 / Blinders / Geographer


As with past volumes, when I’m assigned their final tracks, I tend to go for ones that sound epic—a single take, a sunset, a long sigh. “Long Flight” put me in a reflective mood, and I wanted to return to some of the slower tempos from earlier in the volume. I like Future Islands and their off-kilter, dark new wave sound, so it was difficult to parse a response down from a vast library that’s been invaded and conquered by new wave-influenced bands year after year.

Or perhaps I just didn’t know where else to go. This volume has been, to say the least, erratic. It was driven almost more by personal whims than a desire for consistency. In many ways, that’s been proof of our unofficial motto around here: follow the music, post from the gut, do what feels appropriate. If this volume has meandered down a river, perhaps I consider “Blinders” to be the time when the dock finally comes into view.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 14 / Long Flight / Future Islands

NEIMT-TemplateI have a weird relationship with singers. There’s a thin and ill-defined line between what I think of as unacceptably pretension and compellingly pretensions when it comes to the human voice. Eddie Vedder? No thanks. David Bowie? Yes please! I seriously doubt either gentleman lathers up in the shower singing Call Me Maybe by growling like a dog, or  in a voice that constantly sounds like it’s on the verge of tears but that’s how they sing for us, the audience.

Samuel Herring, the lead singer of Future Islands, is full of shit. Seriously. His voice is 100% stage—angry at times, then sad, then just plain spastic—it is an invention. But it’s an invention I like. Is that a british accent? Is he narrating a Shakespearean play? I really don’t care—it’s cool, and it moves me. It’s a lie, but all good truths are.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 13 / Believe E.S.P. / Deerhoof


Good Music has nice energy. I hadn’t heard it before Mr. Joosse’s post, but I’ve found myself coming back for more.

The best response I can muster at the moment is Deerhoof’s Believe E.S.P. Deerhoof—a quartet that originated in San Francisco—has a reputation of being a bit unpredictable, and largely difficult to classify. Debuting as a noise band, evolving into discombobulated pop, and self-identifying as a band without a plan, they’ve mastered reinvention over the last twenty years.

The heavy, leading bass sticks in my head for days after I play this track. Though a definable rhythm differentiates it from its predecessor, both share an undeniable energy, and bolstering confidence. It just needs a little more cowbell.

Happy New Year. Here’s to a new beginning.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 12 / Good Music / Colorama


Graffiti6’s pop meets Northern soul with this Edwyn Collins-produced Welsh gem from this past summer. It’s young, it’s dumb, it’s…pretty self-explanatory. I heard last week that the word “earworm” got added to the dictionary in 2012. I assume the photo underneath is of Colorama.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 11 / Free / Graffiti 6

G6It took me awhile to answer Jamie Lidell—not because it’s too much of a curve ball but because I LOVE Jamie Lidell. Smooth move ,Woodford. I dig it.

Graffiti 6 is new to me. I’d love to share some interesting story about the band’s history or an insight into this record but I have no idea—and the cursory glance at Wikipedia doesn’t turn up much. What I do know is that this track is catchy as hell and shares the same soulful spirit as Little Bit of Feel Good. I dare you to listen to this just once. I dare you.

What the hell is going on in this volume? Actually I think the answer is simple. What is dynamic, push-and-pull rock and roll but the aural embodiment of teenage sexual angst? No one can live like that forever and I think thanks to Mr. Lidell our little NEIMT volume just got laid. The tension has lifted, and suddenly everything is a little easier.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 10 / Little Bit of Feel Good / Jamie Lidell

lidell
I’m not sure how we got from mewithoutYou to Jamie Lidell in three tracks, but I’ll embrace it. I’ve become enamored with Jamie over the last few months. He’s capable of making incredible Saturday morning music, and has become a critical component in my rotation on days when I wake up and the world is nothing but possibilities.

I’ve slaved over his catalog for the last couple of hours, discovering a few songs that tie our rather disjointed volume together. I ultimately decided to respond to Kung Fu a little more directly, and leave the heavy tracks behind us. I could draw a few direct comparisons between this track and the previous, but I’d rather leave a bit of the discovery to you.

Though Little Bit of Feel Good doesn’t tell his whole story, Jamie Lidell is a beatboxing, one-man, soul-inspired machine. If I were to build on Mr. Joosse’s analysis of the human and the mechanical, I would offer a layering of human and human to create a faux-mechanical sound. I particularly appreciate the saxophone solo a couple of minutes into this track that creates a nice moment of ambient blues. It’s a great loop that leaves me wondering where this volume is off to next.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 09 / Kung Fu / The Dirtbombs


As is becoming the norm, Mr. Klops leaves me curiously flabbergasted with where this volume is going. But I’ll try something different this time and respond to his one track only, instead of the cumulative direction of the mix. It’s going to take us further away from the heaviness of the first half, but let’s see what happens.

The vocal similarities between Saul Williams and Mick Collins are there, and there’s an interesting line about Collins as an African-American, but there are only a couple of songs I can think of by Collins’ band The Dirtbombs that could follow “List of Demands.” “Kung Fu” is one of them, and I’d like to think that after the mono-quality previous track, this one explodes in full stereo (and does some nifty fuckery between channels). It’s also the best Bauhaus homage/theft I know, using the singularly awesome backbeat from “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” as a propeller into the bulk of the song where fuzzy Detroit guitars squall. It’s another interesting combination of the human and the mechanical, which I suppose I’m inadvertently turning into a theme lately.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 08 / List of Demands (Reparations) / Saul Williams

NEIMT-SaulmewithoutYou is a tough act to follow. I’m g0ing to veer here a bit, away from the dramatic swings in dynamics and toward a more straight forward rock song.

When I read T. Woodford’s declaration of Aaron Weiss as a poet I immediately thought of my favorite rock poet—Saul Williams.

Saul is vicious. And smart. And vicious. William’s music hits hard, sometimes musically, always lyrically. His 2007 record The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! completely floored me when I first heard it. At first because of it’s genius re-imagining of my all-time favorite record and then because of William’s deft hand at revealing subtle truths about race and wealth.

William’s is very active politically—an outspoken member of Occupy Musicians and a war protestor. Which made his decision to license this song for a Nike ad campaign quite controversial. I’ve decided to suspend my judgement—because it was that Nike commercial that first turned me on to Williams, and because List of Demands quite simply kicks my ass in.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 07 / Silencer / mewithoutYou


Aaron Weiss is a poet. Often, I catch myself on the train listening to tracks he’s written on repeat, while reading, deciphering, interpreting, and responding. The depth throughout his career is proficiently astounding.

I discovered mewithoutYou and met Aaron in the same day, at a festival a stone’s throw from my hometown. On stage, he was such a big personality—emotional, impassioned, and demonstrative. In person, he was the antithesis—meek, gentle, and submissive. There was something honest about this experience that I’ll never place.

This blend of personalities is also persistent in the music. Spoken word blends into an emotional bellow. A fuzzy bass offsets an affable riff. White noise wouldn’t work without a wall of sound. Quiet compliments loud, and one thing leads to a more thorough appreciation of the next.

Truth to tell, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to post this track, and tonight feels apt.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 06 / Out of My Mind / Dope Body


THIS was the track I wish I’d posted the last time. But alas, it only came into my possession two days after that post. Sorry, B.

A general rule I live by is that anything involving J. Robbins is worth a listen. He hits a sweet spot pretty much every time, always with an emphasis on crunch and melody. You can pretty much always identify one of his songs if you encounter it in passing. In recent years, he’s expanded his palette a bit—whether this has anything to do with the remnants of emo going away or the DC-Baltimore axis mutating is almost beside the point; it’s still quite nice to see a guy change things up.

So that’s where Dope Body comes in. I read a description of the band as “sludge-punk” and another as “bro-rock,” neither of which I’d normally associate with Robbins. What I love about this track—and the great majority of their new Robbins-produced album—is that he uses his sound as a base to build on, not the end result. So above his trademark ADD bass is a pummeling drum, throaty growl and skull-rattling guitar. And a semi-automatic cowbell. Above all, the melody is still vital, even if it’s pleasingly menacing. Hopefully this volume doesn’t veer into screamo territory, but if we do, at least I had a good time getting there.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 05 / How Near, How Far? / …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead


Ok, time to redeem myself I suppose. I ventured into the forbidden valley, but just like a young Ring Hazzard (look it up) such a venture only bred trouble and complications.

Given that I named …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead as my runner-up in the tension/energy game it only makes sense that I fall back on them now.

The album this track comes from, Source Tags and Codes, is one of Ptichfork’s rare “10 out of 10” rated records. Perfect—according to them—and me. There is not a note out of place, a lyric that falls flat. I listen to this record a few times a year and every time I have to rise from the couch and pretend to be the singer, or the guitar. It’s just too perfect an expression of teenage angst and rock energy. How Near How Far lies smack-dab in the middle of this epic LP and in my opinion is the quintessential …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead track—smart, heavy, deliberate.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12

Vol 12 / Trk 04 / I Built Myself A Metal Bird, / Silver Mt. Zion



In a recent interview, Alex V. Cook described Silver Mt. Zion more eloquently than I am able.

“A song by Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra comes on like a thunderstorm. The skies darken, things creak in the stillness, someone remarks on the ominous mood and suddenly the world erupts in a calamity of lightning and upheaval. When you think the world is saturated with such unrest, it peters out and the world seems more alive than before.”

I strongly identify with this analogy, and feel this track is its epitome. From the exhilarating, invigorating intro to the nearly hysterical climax, it is stark, charged, raw, heavy, saturated, meditative, and unpredictable—like any good thunderstorm.

I’m excited at the possibility of exploring more despondent, droning post-rock as we delve into this volume.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 03 / Screams of Joy / Lungfish


Mr. Klops, I love you but you’re bringing me down.

I had a visceral reaction to “Odessa,” and not in a good-want-to-barf way. That sound of math rock melding into nü-metal is painful. I can sort of appreciate the precision musicianship, but it’s been bled of heart and light and melody. It’s the sound of doors closing and walls appearing ever tighter. And aside from all that, it contains nothing that I admired about the Detachment Kit track—a slow burn, space between notes, raw emotion, an understanding that it was created by humans.

So I submit my own version of song-as-monolith, a recently dusted and polished track from Baltimore’s Lungfish, recorded in 1999 but finally given release in 2012. The slower—no, wait, I want to use the word ‘deliberate’ instead—tempo allows it to unfurl, giving you time to create peaks and valleys out of almost-imperceptible changes in the repetition. The drums pound rather than pummel, the multitracked vocal echoes across the valley. I respect the request to go heavy in this volume, but my version of heavy must be warmer and more organic.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 02 / Odessa / Animals As Leaders

I LOVE this curveball. Craij did an awesome job of setting a very new tone and path for this volume in contrast with the few I’ve been involved in to-date.

I had the (perhaps dubious) honor of living in Washington D.C. at the turn of the millenium and for a time was SO. INTO. EMO. Yeah, yeah, I know—”post-hardcore” or whatever makes you feel better. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I once wrote an article to Pitchfork.com complaining about a Dismemberment Plan show. Fer real.

It was a phase though. The energy and tension of the late-nineties post-hardcore stuff eventually transformed into the energy and tension of post-electronic music for me. But sometimes, when a deadline is looming, I need to ROCK OUT. A little …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead will usually do the trick, but sometimes I need more. And when I need that blast of pure unadulterated rock energy I reach for Animals As Leaders.

Animals as Leaders stands at the vanguard of a sort of post-post-hardcore. Solidly influenced by the Fugazi-generation of grind and stomp but with a big dash of “real” metal and a solid tablespoon’s worth of mathy bleep influence. Odessa almost sounds like a videogame soundtrack for the first few bars thanks to some amazing sampling-pedal acrobatics from guitarist Tobin Abasi. At exactly :39 that facade strips away and Animals As Leaders thoroughly rips your face apart. The odd time changes, the guitar acrobatics, the precision drumming…damn. Damn.

As long as we’re putting our jetpacks on we might as well strap some missiles to that puppy.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

Vol 12 / Trk 01 / Sitting Still, Talking About Jets / The Detachment Kit


The following is a special guest post from our friend Craij, who’s been a fan of the Neverending Mix pretty much since we started. A shockingly talented developer, Craij took the site’s RSS feed and built an NEIMT Air app that anyone can download free at Google Play. We struck a deal: when the app gets 1,000 downloads, Craij kicks off the next volume. That was a month ago, when we were at 900 or so downloads. As of today, we’re at 1,565, which is a massive thing. We’re thrilled to get into Vol 12 and say thanks to Craij’s work (and your listening).
First, I’d like to thank you guys for the cameo entry.  So many times I plug into NEIMT and groove out while I work or relax. Now I get a chance to influence a volume! The final track to the last volume was about as close to perfect ending to that collection as one might muster—nice work, Joosse! I love that ending. Drone, drone, drone and drone some more. I stare at the floor as I fall into the abyss of FR’s impressively crafted track. I visualize dropping through a campy 80s sci-fi animation for hyperspace.  Feels nice….
The way I see it, I have three choices as a follow-up here:
1) latch on to the drone and request some slow dive or rave down
2) slide further into the mud and post something dark and pissed (a great cure for the cheery)
OR
3) put on my jetpack and blast off into the energetic….Yes, I have one of those.

craij

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 12,

A Mid-summer Night’s Dream / Vol 11 / 102912

You know that feeling you get when you realize you’ve been on autopilot? You’re at work, but don’t remember the commute. Or, you’ve been shuffling your collection of music, yet can’t name the last three artists that were played. I believe, by building slight inconveniences into your day, you can reduce your tendency to zone out. For example, I’ve changed all my clocks to military time temporarily, so it forces me to stop and think for a moment. Or, by retelling stories I’ve heard throughout the day, I’m compelled to listen more carefully. Little things.

That’s what this volume is all about, in my books. Realizing you’ve been stuck in a mid-summer night’s dream, and trying to reign in reality. As spring fades into summer, and summer bleeds into autumn, I’m realizing the seasons provide a bit of stability around an otherwise temporal bubble. It’s time to wake up.

From genuine to forced idealism. From honest-to-goodness Americana to a gentle fuzz and hum. This volume has been interesting, distracting, thoughtful, and above all, fun.

I know I’m blathering, and I’m probably reading into this more than my colleagues. On an emotional level, I’ve really enjoyed putting this one together. Fellas, here’s to the future. Here’s to a bit of improvised stability. And, here’s to carrying on.

t. woodford

Download the Mix as a 106 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files. Email us if the file expires.

The tracklist is as follows:

01. Gobbledigook by Sigur Ros
02. You’re Not Supposed To by Field Music
03. Maple Leaves by Jens Lekman
04. All Wash Out by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
05. River by Akron/Family
06. Think That You Might Be Wrong by Great Lake Swimmers
07. Who Loves The Sun? by The Velvet Underground
08. The Boy With the Arab Strap by Belle and Sebastian
09. Cheating the Game by James Yorkston and the Athletes
10. Kites are Fun by Free Design
11. Laugh and Be Happy by Randy Newman
12. Yard Work by Lambchop
13. The Swimmer by Ladybug Transistor
14. Mountains by Sparklehorse
15. Fuck This Place by Frightened Rabbit

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11

Vol 11 / Trk 15 / Fuck This Place / Frightened Rabbit


I couldn’t tell if I was affected by Mr. Woodford’s Sparklehorse post and knowledge of how that story ended, or just felt that this volume needed an epic downer for an ending. Either way, all the songs I’d earmarked for this post had appropriately titled songs: “Plane Crash,” “Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend,” “Too Old to Die Young,” etc.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Need something huge-sounding? Hit the highlands and chat up the first indie band you meet. And no one does epic downer better than Frightened Rabbit, a band that was born bearded and furrow-browed. On this, possibly their scrappiest song of their career, they’ve brought along Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura, making this a Scottish version of the Justice League.

“Fuck This Place” is thinner than most FR songs, only because you can pretty much hear every layer. At the back is a field recording of a rainy street corner; in the middle is rough and tumble percussion that I think Mark Linkous would appreciate; to the front is a rather regal brass section that swells softly. All wrapped in a lovely duet that builds in emotional plaintiveness before fading out in a rush of fuzz and hum.

It’s closing time on Vol 11. I’m left feeling a little weighted down by the music. Take me home.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 14 / Mountains / Sparklehorse


Mountains is a beautifully choreographed dichotomy between Dangermouse and the late Mark Linkous. It was penned under the stage name Sparklehorse, wherein Linkous was the singer, multi-instrumentalist, and mastermind.

Speaking of dichotomy, it strikes me that the vocals of this track hide behind a thin film of white noise, while the heavy, industrialized guitar emits a weary squall consistently and thoroughly over top. Though lo- and hi-fi are constantly at odds, this track eloquently blends them into a seductive, narcotic, almost sleepy patter. It begs me to consider my heavy heart, if only for a moment.

It’s going to be alright.

Dichotomy aside, I admire the outro as thoroughly as the rest. A smattering of electronic blips and bleeps to remind you of the other life Linkous led, which is subtly present herein—electronic, ambient, and celestial.

If you haven’t heard the album from which I plucked it, Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain, I strongly encourage you to—tonight. It is simple, yet brilliant. You won’t regret bringing it into your Saturday night.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 13 / The Swimmer / Ladybug Transistor


LadyBug TransistorHey you don’t have to tell me twice to throw a little melancholy in my pop. My selection is directly inspired by both Joose’s selection and write up. For a short time Ladybug Transistor created flawless, beautiful pastoral pop and captured that music in some of the more finely crafted recordings of the late-90s wave of Elephant6 and Elephant6-approved pop bands.

Gary Olson’s voice is undeniable and the way this song shifts from pop, to Bacharachian jazz and back again is effortless. And it’s that shift—from the jangly guitars to the minor-key bridge and back that convinced me The Swimmer was the perfect choice. Emotional depth, a ray of sunshine, AND you get a horn section and so much recorder. So much.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

About the NEIMT

Every couple of days, one of the NEIMT authors will post a song that is in some way a reaction to the previous song posted by another author. Every 15 songs will be packaged up with cover art and presented for download as a complete mix. The only rule is that no artist can appear more than once in the same volume.

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We freely admit that this blog is probably a violation of artistic copyright law. We put together these mix "tapes" as way to share great music in a way that encourages artist support and utilizes grassroots promotion by purposefully violating those copyrights. We would like to imagine that no artist in their right mind would oppose such altruistic intentions despite its bureaucratic insubordinance.

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