Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

a musical exquisite corpse. look it up.

Vol 11 / Trk 12 / Yard Work / Lambchop


Sorry guys, I don’t buy it. Being happy because you’re happy—it’s nice and all, but it’s not real life. It strikes me as unsubstantial and kind of boring. Call me cynical or post-millennial or overly pragmatic, but isn’t it far more rewarding to see the sun emerge from behind a cloud than to see a fully blue sky? Besides all that, I think there was a lot more indie pop to explore before moving on to another sub-genre. So I filed away the horn-heavy tracks and the simplified lyrics and decided to try and refocus the volume a bit.

Lambchop is one of the great American bands of the last 20 years, effortlessly wandering between country, rock, jazz, R&B, and much more. “Yard Work,” an unreleased-in-the-US track, finds them in an uptempo mood, musing over the state of Kurt Wagner’s grounds. It takes a couple of listens, but many smile-inducing elements start to announce their presence. Like the background piano lines, the “ooh wah hoo” chorus, the vibes, the oddball references to CBS and the Pointer Sisters, the brushed drums. Outside of “Up with People” and “You Masculine You” and maybe two others, this is one of the happiest tracks in Lambchop’s vast, vast catalog. As a representation of joy, it’s the kind that grows on you, until you didn’t realize you were smiling already.

Honestly, that aforementioned cloud isn’t meant to rain on a parade, just maybe show it in a different light.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 11 / Laugh and Be Happy / Randy Newman


I’m going to be honest with you, mixtapers. I’ve got nothing close to Free Design in my collection. I’ve been thinking about it for days, totally racking my brain, and I can’t seem to come up with anything comparable. This one might be a little more thematic in its connection, but I’ve decided to embrace it.

Here, I present to you the king of unpretentious, happy-as-hell, family-oriented music. Ladies and gentleman, the incomparable Randy Newman.

If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Newman’s discography, you haven’t seen a Disney-Pixar film in the last decade. (I’ll bet you never thought you’d see a reference to A Bug’s Life on NEIMT. But, there you have it.) Newman has been nominated for twenty Academy Awards, three Emmy’s, five Grammy’s, is a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and was inducted as a Disney Legend. More appropriately, he’s responsible for nearly thirty years of innocent discourse in the soft-rock scene, and is responsible for one of my favorite phrases in recent history…

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 10 / Kites are Fun / Free Design


Ok. Time to stop pussy-footing around. Each track in this volume has slowly pushed the envelope into sunny, shiny-happy-people territory albeit a mere millimeter at a time. I’m ready to dive in.

I LOVE Free Design. I love the arrangements, the jazz-influenced time signatures, the harmonies, and perhaps most of all the completely innocent, unpretentious, happy-as-hell lyrics. Not every free design track is so bright yellow in emotional color but even their more melancholy numbers possess a childlike innocence to the lyrics—which can make them sting even more—but often they’re celebrations of love, the seasons, and family. After a short stint in the late sixties to early seventies Free Design disappeared until being name-checked by like-minded early 2000’s acts like Pizzicato Five. This renewed interest flooded the market with trip-hoppy remix records—avoid these—if you like what you hear I strongly urge you to find a copy of Kites Are Fun or You Could Be Born Again, throw on some headphones and melt like an ice cream cone in the sun.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 09 / Cheating the Game (demo) / James Yorkston and the Athletes


Mr. Smigielski’s going to sit out the next couple of rounds, so we’ll move full speed ahead into the volume’s final third. Or is that half speed? Frankly, this sweetly relaxed end of summer thing we have going here is too nice to give up. Nothing in my collection speaks to this time of year quite so well as James Yorkston and the Athletes’ Moving Up Country, a folksy masterpiece from the wilds of Scotland. It’s soundtracked my starts of falls and sunny winter days every year for the last decade like a trusted and comfy chair. Recently given a re-release for its 10th anniversary, it came with a disc of demos and live-in-studio versions that were quite illuminating.

“Cheating the Game,” in its original form, is acoustic, warm, bright and crisp. This demo is rawer in all senses—the electric guitar (almost never heard on the original Moving Up Country) borders on jangly, which I say Stuart Murdoch and co. would approve of; the percussion is moved further to the background; and there’s plenty of room to breathe and move around between the bass (which Lou Reed would like) and the slide guitar (which Great Lake Swimmers would like). It’s exactly what you want to find in an unearthed demo: the sound of musicians loose and spry, capturing the start of something gorgeous and colorful before more order sets in, revealing a side of them you always hoped you’d be lucky enough to hear one day.

m. joosse

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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