Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

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Attract Repulse Confound / Vol 03 / 062710

Planets influence each other in a regular, predictable way. Not so the 3 current contributors to the Neverending Mix. This third volume may not be the smoothest ride, but it’s a rocking one. It’s especially satisfying to me as many of Robb’ s and Mike’s tracks were unknown or new to me (discovering new/unknown music being one of the main points of this exercise). Throughout the run of a mix, finding the right track to respond to increasingly complex attributes is a daunting task. At the same time controlling the pacing and flow is not absolute, a track laid down is a track laid down. I wonder how a blind response to a list of requirements would turn out, we each deliver five tracks based on predetermined requirements of genre or year or place or…. would be fun to approach some mixes in an Oblique Strategies sort of way.
m. eppelheimer

Download the Mix as a 88 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files. Email me if the file expires.

The tracklist is as follows:

01 Spartacus by Ungdomskulen
02 Feel the Mores by Wicked Farleys
03 Slipstream by Silkworm
04 No Sleeves by Les Savy Fav
05 Little League by Cap’n Jazz
06 It’s Expected I’m Gone by Minutemen
07 Without MSG I Am Nothing by Mclusky
08 Phoenix and the Faultline by The Plastic Constellations
09 Lie Down on Landsdowne [Version] by Lifter Puller
10 Epic Problem by Fugazi
11 Arizona by The Constantines
12 What If I Was Right by Sleater-Kinney
13 Cresent City by Gabardine
14 Snake Charmer by The Warmers
15 Via Nomentana by Joe Lally

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Vol 03 / Trk 15 / Via Nomentana / Joe Lally

“What happens when post-hardcore becomes post-post-hardcore.” The Washington Post said that about the sound of the Evens, which is made of Amy Farina from the Warmers and Ian MacKaye from Fugazi. I thought that was a great line that guided me into this track by Joe Lally, another Fugazi alum.

The hardcore movement never interested me. Maybe because I came into music a little late, or because my biggest influence growing up was an adult alternative radio station, or maybe because I just fundamentally don’t get screaming. So I’m much more interested in the aftermath of the dam holding hardcore breaking and spilling its waters into the larger body of music to influence and be influenced by.

“Via Nomentana” sounds a little like late-period Fugazi (duh), a little like the Warmers, and a little like Sleater-Kinney. But it thrills me to report that it also sounds like the Velvet Underground and Steve Wynn and PJ Harvey and a whole mess of other artists that we haven’t talked about yet here.

So even though I may be ending this volume on a moody note, I hope this is a mixing of waters that frees us to move in any direction in #4. As always, I’m excited to see where we go from here.
m. joosse

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Vol 03 / Trk 14 / Snake Charmer

Honestly I am perplexed by that last track. It lacks both the “spindly” nature of Sleater-Kinney and the rocking tone the mix has generated thus far. Not to knock the track however, as it is quite nice. But I am just not sure how to respond.

Doing the best to both capture a more bare-bones aesthetic as well as a slightly trance-like composition, I give you the Warmers — a Dischord-era trio that manages to sound insanely stripped down and immediate. I find this song, building on “eastern-ish” sonic tropes, completely mesmerizing in its use of contrasts. Unaffected guitars and shouted vocals against hushed melodies and an arrangement that builds and evolves unexpectedly.

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Vol 03 / Trk 13 / Crescent City / Gabardine

Maybe a quick response will bring back Mike’s good humor?
Though a dip in a pool or some AC might be more successful.

Whenever I listen to Sleater-Kinney I usually end up listening to Gabardine, mostly because I discovered them around the same time. Or maybe it’s the spare approach they share. Gabardine is a trio from Zurich that I had the pleasure of opening for with my last band in Basel. Switzerland is a desolate wilderness for the thirsty, transplanted, rock music fan, but there are a few oases like Gabardine and Shilf. At first I thought Slow Motion Rocket would be a good follow up track, but it’s too slow. Then I thought, hmm, what have they been doing lately? And found the Years & Airports album from last year. Thanks Mike!  Then I heard this great track and it was decided.
m.eppelheimer

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Vol 03 / Trk 12 / What If I Was Right? / Sleater-Kinney

I’m irritated.

It’s hot and humid outside, Supergrass broke up, people’s excitement over soccer has turned into xenophobia, but most importantly, it’s been THREE WEEKS since my last post. Come on guys, let’s pick the pace back up here.

Robb, I think inadvertently, moved the mix forward a good amount with “Arizona.” We traded heavy for spiky and noisy for melodic, and for all our sakes I hope we don’t go back for a while. And I definitely wanted a break from bands of dudes.

So here’s a track from Sleater-Kinney, who share a lot of qualities with the Constantines—a similar tone, a supreme ease with hooks, an ability to scream tunefully, and a career evolution that still allows them to remain quintessentially themselves. They also share what we used to refer to as “post-millennial tension,” but since this song is from 1998, that analysis will have to wait for a future volume and the chance to hear/discuss their revolutionary One Beat album.
m. joosse

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Vol 03 / Trk 11 / Arizona

I am a big fan of the shouting vocalist. The kind of singer who is more interested in rhythmically “stating” their words as opposed to “crooning” them. The last set of tracks have really highlighted a couple great executions of this style. But The Constantines nearly perfected it.

Now Arizona is not a complex track. It’s a little bit “one note”, in that it is really only interested in executing one sonic idea. But it has always been the song of theirs that stuck with me over time. It always pops in my head, especially that “1984” line. Not sure why. The narrative of it has me captivated. And that big ass drum sound. I was reminded of it instantly when I heard the Fugazi track.

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Vol 03 / Trk 10 / Epic Problem / Fugazi

We are listening to each other Robb, just not agreeing and the mix is very interesting because of the unexpected flow. Fugazi’s my appropriate or inappropriate next choice for this mix. For some reason I didn’t get into them until this album came out in 2001, then I backtracked with a vengeance.

I think about Fugazi’s The Argument a lot. It’s in my top all time favorite Albums. That’s capitalized because it’s a true album experience, the tracks interlocking in a sonic story with pacing: ups, downs, climaxes, resolutions. And I could listen to it over and over and over. It’s quiet, tense, loud, bracing, and a seamless crossover of rock, alternative and postpunk and every freaking track is memorable. So if anyone out there doesn’t have this, they NEED it.

But picking a song sure is a task, a problem, an… epic… problem.
m.eppelheimer

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Vol 03 / Trk 09 / Lie Down on Landsdowne [Version] / Lifter Puller

I’m including these guys pretty much because they started in Minneapolis in the mid ‘90s, just like the Plastic Constellations. This song dates back to 1999, and still sounds an eensy little bit ahead of its time. Like I’m a little surprised that bands were making this kind of music even then, in various hidden nooks across the country.

It’s interesting to me that Lifter Puller followed the siren call to Brooklyn and morphed into the Hold Steady, while the Plastic Constellations stayed put. I suppose it’s a question every band faces: go to the scene’s epicenter instead of being an odd fish in a small pond?
m. joosse

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Vol 03 / Trk 08 / Phoenix and the Faultline

Are we even listening to each other anymore? Regardless it still looks like this is shaping up to still be a kickass mix. So in the vein of Fugazi guitars and awesome rhythms and keeping things distinctly upbeat, I give you The Plastic Constellations.

Balls. Out. Rock. Without all the pseudo-violence. I am still emo after all.
r.smigielski

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Vol 03 / Trk 07 / Without MSG I Am Nothing / Mclusky

Talk about muscle.
Mclusky could’ve beaten the shit out of the Minutemen and Cap’n Jazz at the same time.
My dad could’ve beaten the shit out of Mclusky, the Minutemen and cap’n Jazz at the same time.
I don’t fight, I just like to watch.
m.eppelheimer

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Vol 03 / Trk 06 / It’s Expected I’m Gone / Minutemen

Must…break away…from…emo…death spiral…
m. joosse

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Vol 03 / Trk 05 / Little League

Oh man, Mike really through the down the gauntlet with his post. Not liking Wicked Farleys is one thing, but slagging the entirety of late nineties-sensitive-emo-boy music and especially the almighty Cap’n Jazz was shocking. Shocking I tell you!

But in all seriousness, I love this band. Very, very much. So I have almost no choice but to use this moment to insert them into the NEIMT for the first and perhaps last time.

There are many great songs to choose from, but I almost can’t not pick “Little League”. This song is the epitome of their sound and is one of my all time favorite songs, period. It’s muddy but massive. I always thought it was the closest approximation of how music could sound like thunder. It also is the perfect blend of boyhood sensitivity and adolescent anger, with absolutely zero macho testosterone. The closing of this song never fails to get my heart rate amped up.

I also see Cap’n and other bands of this ilk, to be great examples of the punk ethos. How you really didn’t have know how to sing or played expertly to create great artful rock music that was powerful and moving. This was hugely influential into me growing UP and remains so to this day. That’s what great emo was all about, and these kids were fantastic at it.

I can only imagine that Mr. Joosse is not going to very happy following my posts this round, as this particular niche of music is one of my sweet spots and I have lots more to share.
r. smigielski

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Vol 03 / Trk 04 / No Sleeves / Les Savy Fav

This Les Savy Fav track sure feels like it’s right in line with the  previous tracks and you know I like that dance around Fugazi guitar territory. It’s groovy and angular and repetitive. I don’t know what the hell the song means but it contains these great lines: “this is the bishop’s finger” / “edison put the gun in our hands” / “this move was trademarked in 1892”.
m.eppelheimer

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Vol 03 / Trk 03 / Slipstream / Silkworm

This is not to slam Robb by any means, but I just plain didn’t like his track. It takes me back to 1998, when I met my first college punk friends, Adam and Vince, and at the time they listened to a lot of Braid and early Promise Ring and Knapsack and Cap’n Jazz, which I had to tolerate gamely if I wanted to hang out with them. It always all struck me as superficial and monotonous. To me, that’s what true emo really is—kinda sloppy guitar rock featuring dudes who sang off key, recorded badly on 4-track. This music was a huge part of some people’s life experiences, and I respect that enormously. It just wasn’t my thing, and I’m glad those bands and that sub-genre evolved.

The second half of “Feel the Mores” reminded me of an airier version of Silkworm, who sort of began in that emo vein before finding their own style quickly as something far more muscular and interesting. I had several of their early songs to choose from for this post—one was a lot like the Wicked Farleys and one had some great time changes and one was an epic 9 minutes. But I’d rather use a song that evolved from that sound instead of followed it closely. So I went with “Slipstream,” which is perhaps two steps removed from “Feel the Mores,” but was my favorite of the options. Let’s face it—the 38 seconds starting at 1:34 are just fucking awesome. Coming in a close second: the line “Steve Albini, you’d better learn to take it easy. You know they used to call him Albini-weenie.”
m. joosse

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Vol 03 / Trk 02 / Feel the Mores

Well holy crap! Spartacus is my new favorite song. A song hasn’t kicked my butt like that in a long time. Not since… well I think i’ll save that for later in this mix.

Instead I’m gonna build on the angularity of Ungdomskulen, with the Wicked Farleys. This is a band from Boston that I saw play in some warehouse ages ago. The show was one of the best i’ve ever seen. It blew my furtive little mind. And this track from their first record (which is impossible to find nowadays) is one of the best. Lots of changes, noisy productions, jumpy rhythms and a soft vocal style that’s just downright pretty. And as with any good song it’s listened to loud. Enjoy.
r. smigielski

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Vol 03 / Trk 01 / Spartacus / Ungdomskulen

To kick off round three I’m starting with a song that could take the mix in many directions. I discovered Ungdomskulen (junior high school) watching them make Spaghetti Bolongnese in their apartment on Current TV.  I’m not a big fan of prog oriented rock but holy crap do I love this goofball power-trio band from Bergen, Norway. “Glory Hole”, “Modern Drummer” and “Ordinary Son” are all stand outs from the Cry-Baby album, but “Spartacus” is my favorite, with lots of changes, some great Fugazi inspired guitar and the vocal delivery in the chorus reminds me of Album era PiL.

Last.fm member sabsludge described them thus: “King Crimson song structures + Black Sabbath riffs + Sonic Youth tone + Dinosaur Jr vocals = Ungdomskulen. In short, this band is better than eating at Burger King twice per week.”
m.eppelheimer

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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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