Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

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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 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 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 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,

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.
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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 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 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 08 / The Boy With the Arab Strap / Belle and Sebastian


I’m afraid this may be too obvious a response, but then again, maybe that’s its saving grace. I spent a few hours perusing my collection, before realizing I couldn’t shake The Boy With The Arab Strap from my subconscious. It’s really not unlike Who Loves The Sun?—catchy upbeat tempo, with a sweet, yet full-bodied trajectory.

What I really like about this track, and most other Belle & Sebastian tracks for that matter, is its persistent duality. From the outset, it sounds optimistic, albeit a little cautious. When you dig a layer deeper, you quickly uncover references to prison, chaos, racism, and a city that doesn’t quite fit you. There’s some debate as to whether this track is a societal commentary on the city of London (sorry, Mr. Smigielski), a scathing reference to Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat, or a readjustment to society after recovering from distant isolation.

Because there is no clear answer, I leave it to your interpretation.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 04 / All Wash Out / Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

[audio https://neverendingmix.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/allwashout.mp3|width=500|bg=0xFFFFFF|bgcolor=edebdc|leftbg=0xCCCCCC]


Life’s been tough over the past couple of months—devastating lows paired with incomparable highs. Unexpected change intertwined with ugly anticipation. I’ve lived through the full spectrum of human emotion, often on a daily basis.

As I find myself approaching the end of this period of fazed hesitancy, I enjoy a certain calmness in both Maple Leaves and All Wash Out. They’re both undoubtedly pop. The latter comes from a perspective of unreserved reflection, and accepted defeat. I have to admit that it’s somewhat comforting.

For the first time in weeks, I’m relaxing in my living room. This track is playing on repeat, with an undertone of fireworks sporadically sounding off in the background. I realized about ten minutes ago that Alexander perfectly sums the collective feeling of the nation. “Free is something to believe in.”

Enjoy your independence.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 10 / Trk 10 / Les Jours Heureux / Yann Tiersen


I’ve spent the last few days circling a handful of disparate tracks in an attempt to match the catchy curiosity and meandering optimism of Smile Around the Face. After curating a small selection, trashing it to refocus my energy, only to find myself with the same list again, I’ve realized there is no magic bullet. To that end, I’ve decided to pull the trigger anyway with Les Jours Heureux.

Yann Tiersen—more notable for his soundtrack for the film Amélie, than his ability to incessently break violin strings on stage—is a French minimalist who organizes a mandolin, piano, violin, accordion, and guitar into energy, passion, personality, indulgence, and curiosity. While I abhor the brevity of this track, I appreciate the focused intensity as I struggle through inner conflict.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 06 / Let’s Build A Fire / +/-

[audio https://neverendingmix.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/letsbuildafire.mp3|width=500|bg=0xFFFFFF|bgcolor=edebdc|leftbg=0xCCCCCC]


+/-‘s ambidextrous personality begins with their moniker, extends into displaced song structures and lyrical extremities, and lands somewhere in the thematic elements of their artwork. It persists at every level of the American indietronic trio.

As an independent case study, Let’s Build a Fire eloquently describes this ambidexterity. On one hand, we have the aesthetic of an old-fashioned arrangement that is riddled with crackly faux-vinyl skips, a lonely horn solo, and muted vocals. And, on the other, we’re presented with a fuzzy guitar on top of warm vocals, creating a structure that supports a full band with a swinging horn section.

The heart of the track lies within the subtle, yet appropriate, transition between the two. While it feels like a compositionally consistent track, if you heard each part of the song in isolation, you wouldn’t assume they belonged together. Yet, the meat of the track seems to get its livelihood from the muted undertones in the intro and outro.

Like any good movement, +/- proves that no one would ever be able to truly appreciate the latter without the former.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 02 / They Made Frogs Smoke ‘Til They Exploded / Múm


There’s nothing like a bit of serendipity to start off the volume; prior to Mr. Immer’s post, I had Gold Panda on repeat for a week straight in an effort to inject a bit of optimism into my day-to-day.

Although Múm generally tends to broadcast more of a quiet confidence than anything else, something about the Icelandic ensemble reminds me of the first day of Summer. Maybe it’s the glitchy experimentation wrapped in soft, often indecipherable pronunciations. Perhaps it’s the intentionally awkward transitions between catchy non-vocals, and instrumental ephemera. More than likely, it’s a distant memory of a weekend roadtrip to Logan Square with an old friend to see a band from another continent play tracks that we often enjoyed with our windows down in the peak of the warmer months.

Whatever it is, They Made Frogs Smoke ‘Til They Exploded, emits an air of optimism—as well as a hint of schizophrenia—around an otherwise dismal season.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 09 / Trk 16 / Osaka Loop Line

[audio https://neverendingmix.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/0916osakaloopline.mp3|width=500|bg=0xFFFFFF|bgcolor=edebdc|leftbg=0xCCCCCC]


Without getting too self-referential, I will mention that posting the last track of the first volume of my NEIMT career has been an interesting endeavor. I feel compelled to respond to the previous track, but I also feel a bit of responsibility toward a summation of the rest of this volume.

With that, I present you with Osaka Loop Line. It has many interesting elements that have surfaced throughout this volume. Electronic fuzz. Whitespace that tends to hold the track together. Twitchy samples in an otherwise layered, minimal environment. A touch of romance. Above all, a nice place to pause.

Gentlemen, it’s been real. I look forward to seeing where future volumes take us.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09,

Vol 09 / Trk 12 / Be Good to Them Always / The Books


It’d be a shame to go down the path of highly visual songwriting without referencing the Books. Hailing from New York City, this duo defined an experimental genre that’s been described as Folktronica, or perhaps more aptly, a sound collage.

The Books made a name for themselves by removing sampled voices and compositions from their original contexts, and crafting them into new emotional compositions. Moments of contemplation, understanding, excitement and refinement are cataloged, transformed and infused with new meaning, creating aleatoric, yet highly controlled experimentation.

Over a backdrop of electric guitars, eclectic samples, and incessant clicking, Nick Zammuto reveals hidden melody in Be Good to Them Always by singing in concert with the Books’ familiar sampled voices. This duet tends to take the edge off phrases like “you are doing something the whole world is doing” and “this great society is going smash.”

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09,

Vol 09 / Trk 08 / Mexican Grand Prix / Mogwai

[audio https://neverendingmix.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/mexicangrandprix.mp3|width=500|bg=0xFFFFFF|bgcolor=edebdc|leftbg=0xCCCCCC]

The last couple of tracks have been decidedly difficult to follow. They represent experimentation in layered, minimal and textured environments, carried out over a career. After much deliberation, I settled on a track that pushes Mogwai—a band traditionally known for pairing lush soundscapes against uproarious white noise to create often entirely instrumental compositions—out of their comfort zone and into a totally unchartered creative space. This track represents a similar kind of experimentation as the last few, only confined to a simple five-minute expression.

The heart of Mexican Grand Prix pits a hushed intonation against intrepid robot-speak, creating a certain kind of refined intensity that wouldn’t exist if either of the vocal tracks was heard in isolation. I appreciate the subtle balance of the electronic- and organ-induced rhythm that kicks off the track against the clapping layered into the synth- and guitar-heavy post-rock fade out. The flawless layering and consistently subtle texture makes the exercise feel effortless, yet refined.

This track is as much about push as it is about pull, and definitively proves that Mogwai are more than just Scottish slow-burn post-rock kings.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09,

Vol 09 / Trk 04 / By Your Side / CocoRosie


At first blush, By Your Side has a nice kind of romantic resonance. Though, if you dig a layer deeper, a sense of desperation begins to surface, which transitions into a much more emotional plea. The tense of the phrase “all I wanted was to be your housewife” reveals the true intention of the track, and builds on the if described in the previous track. To that end, I’m left wondering whether this is commentary on a relationship gone sour, or a simple longing for on opportunity that was never posed.

While the subtle layering and beautifully-articulated emotion remains, the sunny swagger and romantic disposition of the first few tracks begins to fade.

t. woodford

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 09,

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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You can still see the old mixes at neimtarchive.blogspot.com. Some of the old download links might still even work.

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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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