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,

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 07 / Who Loves The Sun? / The Velvet Underground

Geez! Sorry for the wait people. Between work and a mix of projects I let my self get more than a little behind. I promise all you loyal NEIMT-ers it won’t happen again.

I wanted to retain that feeling of the sitting summer sun that Mr. Joosse established with Great Lake Swimmers but turn up the tempo a notch. Who Loves The Sun is my very favorite kind of pop, melancholy lyrics accompanied by pure rainbow-coated sweetness.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 06 / Think That You Might Be Wrong / Great Lake Swimmers


I wanted to follow “River” with something equally upbeat, but something kept pulling me away to the gorgeous lushness of this Great Lake Swimmers track. It sounds like a lot of summery things—open windows, lightning bugs wandering by, standing in a river—all of which inject a certain amount of peace into this volume. Its airiness is elegance personified; it brings back the delight of the indie pop I saw earlier and marries it to the graceful Americana that we’re just starting to delve into.

The heat’s broken, dusk is coming, let’s turn the lights down low so they burn a soft yellow instead. Let’s move to the floor and close our eyes and sway together.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 05 / River / Akron/Family


Perhaps its simply the swelter of the midwest summer and the unending drought in the air, but I could not shake the buzzy campfire imagery every time I listened to All Washed Out. There’s something distinctly American about it. And by American I mean Appalachian. And by Appalachian, I mean to suggest it’s like a scene out of the soon to be made Wes Anderson version of Coal Minor’s Daughter.

To build on that mystique, I offer up the Akron/Family. No one in my mind delivers the atmosphere of cicada buzz and country sweet melodies quite like them. Yet it never veers into parody and always maintains a unpredictable, modern edge.

r. smigielski

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 11 / Trk 03 / Maple Leaves / Jens Lekman


Oh, we going pop now? Well I just happen to have a decade’s worth of bubblegummy, sugary, rickenbacker-guitary LPs to pull from and I honestly couldn’t be happier.

I’m a little shocked Jens hasn’t graced the NEIMT already. 3 solid albums, (though I’d argue You’re So Silent Jens—the compilation this cut is pulled from counts as a forth) a slew of amazing EPs, some remixes and the best live show I’ve seen in years—it’s time the guy received the NEIMT bump.

This version of Maple Leaves is a subtle remix of the original 7″ version recorded primarily to replace some obvious samples that might have landed the increasingly popular singer in some legal trouble. I have  You’re So Silent.. on vinyl and I’ve managed to wear a short skip in this track. Just. Perfect. Pop.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 02 / You’re Not Supposed To / Field Music


How do you solve a problem like Iceland? Something about that island and its quirky bands—I don’t know. The Sigur Rós track was indeed delightful, and I had the perfect follow-up in mind: Björk’s “In the Musicals,” which amped up the oddness with a hefty dose of Looney Tunes batshitery. But alas, my external HD is fried at the moment so I can’t get to it. And besides, we’ve gone 11 volumes without repeating an artist, so why start now?

That brought me to the dreary north of England, where a number of bands have fought against rainy winters to produce tight and wonderful albums. The most inventive of these is Field Music, who grow more interesting with each passing year. Two brothers and their friend create complex songs that rope in a capella harmonies, ‘70s-style soft rock, chamber pop, ‘80s Fairlight synths, string sections, handclaps, cowbells and much more. “You’re Not Supposed To” is from a 2005 single, and perhaps doesn’t quite echo “Gobbledigook”’s wild joy as it smoothes out its edges and streamlines it, like coal under pressure, to create a compact, sturdy, shiny diamond of a pop song.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

Vol 11 / Trk 01 / Gobbledigook / Sigur Ros


There is something delightfully rubbery about this incredible song. It’s mostly a frenetic wash of rhythm and textures, yet the acoustic guitar and vocal exist in some half speed counter universe. It’s more like a really deft remix than it is a song that was written purposefully this way. It’s very organic feeling, however with its Animal Collective-like background vocals, it’s still hanging to elements of the sampling universe we’ve just emerged from. I really can’t of a better way to build on Vol 10 and infuse this next volume with a rush of blood to the head and heart. Oh the places we’ll go.

r. smigielski

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

A Bit More Daylight / Vol 10 / 061212


NEIMT Volume 10 Cover

I’m a big fan of Volume 10. There’s a nice breeze flowing through this latest edition of the Never Ending Internet Mixtape—a shaft of sunlight hitting the living room floor. It’s a happier, friendlier than the last volume, sunny, but not-yet summer. It’s the beginning of spring. There is still the occasional storm but it’s always followed by that perfect rain-smell 70 degree day. Setting our clocks forward an hour is finally paying off—there’s just a bit more daylight to play with.

b.klops

Download the Mix as a 93 MB zip file.
Now using sendspace to deliver these massive files.  Sendspace was undergoing maintenance so I opted for CloudApp for this one. Email us if the file expires.

The tracklist is as follows:

01. Quitter’s Raga by Gold Panda
02. They Made Frogs Smoke ‘Til They Exploded by Múm
03. Catching Butterflies with Hands by Mouse on Mars
04. Thank You Caroline by The Avalanches
05. I Think It Is Beautiful That You Are 256 Colors Too by Black Moth Super Rainbow
06. Let’s Build A Fire by +/-
07. Yeti by Caribou
08. Alike by Afterklang
09. Smile Around The Face by Four Tet
10. Les Jours Heureux by Yann Tiersen
11. Lovely Allen by Holy Fuck
12. What Do You Think Will Happen Next? by Final Fantasy
13. Clowne Towne by Xiu Xiu
14. I Love The Weekend by No Kids
15. Don’t Give Up by Lake
16. I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From (Röyksopp remix) by Kings of Convenience

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 16 / I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From


I like the idea that as this volume of the Never Ending Mixtape draws to a close our choices are returning to something a bit more distilled, stripped-down. My instinct was to push it even further—something acoustic, maybe even an a cappella. What I found is something I think sits in this mix even better. Kings of Convenience are masters of stripped down acoustic pop and with just the subtlest mix of beats and edits from Royskopp this remix is a nice distillation of everything we’ve heard this chapter of the NEIMT: straight-forward songwriting, smart electronic flourishes and a bittersweet emotional duality.

b.klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10, ,

Vol 10 / Trk 15 / Don’t Give Up / Lake


32 seconds into “Don’t Give Up” is the sound of a tambourine shaking exactly twice, then going silent. The tambourine starts back up later as a percussive track throughout the rest of the song, but this stray moment is quite clearly the work of a human being making a small but delightful error. Here’s my thesis statement: this moment is the climax of this volume. The last 14 tracks have been a slow but steady determination to show how musicians control their power of machines and instruments. Track by track we’ve shown more of that power—Yann Tiersen kills on the harpsichord; only H-bombs rival the destructive capacity of Caribou’s drumming; even Múm knows when to replace the glitchy samples with actual singing.

It wasn’t hard to pick out Lake to follow No Kids; we’re back to the sound of a handful of people playing live in a room, and—like us neverending mixers—excited to hear what comes out of it.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 14 / I Love the Weekend


It’s just fascinating where this has gone. We’re coming close to the end, and in a totally different sphere then we began. Yet till a totally linear progression. You can trace every step to where we are from where we began. Fascinating. If there were a thread that I think might be woven through this particular volume. It’s restless naiveté. It really came through the last couple of tracks, but really it’s been there all along. All the songs feel like they were composed by some brilliant ingenue, ignored by their parents, trapped in a room full of instruments, old records and a Wes Anderson film crew. Fascinating.

r. smigielski

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 13 / Clowne Towne

xiu xiuI’m working on a hunch, a feeling, and a free association here. As I listened to the Final Fantasy track (<3 by the way) I could hear the faintest song in the back of my head. Something that shared What Do You Think Will Happen Next?’s off-kilter timing and layered arrangement. It was something upbeat but ultimately melancholy, sophisticated but captured on a crude tape machine, it was….my…cell phone ringtone.

Thankfully, being the sophisticated post-goth that I am, my cell phone ringtone is Xiu Xiu’s brain-crushing Clowne Towne.  I love Xiu Xiu completely. They are perhaps the only band that I like the way you liked bands when you were 13—with everything, nonsensically. And perhaps that’s because Xiu Xiu makes you 13—by sharing every dark thing, every sadness, every odd thought of their own you are instantly best friends, family, blood brothers. Though lyrically I’m throwing us off track with this—musically, spiritually it feels on the same page—and I’m hoping it’s a bold answer, literally, to What Do You Think Will Happen Next?

b. klops

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 12 / What Do You Think Will Happen Next? / Final Fantasy


What I love about “Les Jours Heureux” is that it pretty much catapulted us into the next volume. Not literally, of course, but I have to admit that I was feeling in a rut with regards to electronic music. It was really nice to hear something so human and warm—and jaunty! Never forget the jaunty—even though I wager Mr. Woodford would himself say that his leap ended up being further than perhaps he anticipated.

But no matter. My favorite mixes are circular, rather than linear. They force you to listen for details that’ll come back later, little notes or melodies or time signatures that might be easily forgotten and uncovered several listens later. “What Do You Think Will Happen Next?,” aside from its awesomely on-target title, brings back around the cosmopolitan good humor of Yann Tiersen, the curious horns from Efterklang and the joyous victory of Holy Fuck. I’m glad to be able to use one of Final Fantasy’s most cheery songs and thrilled that we’ve entered yet another uncharted sea for the Neverending Mix.

m. joosse

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

Vol 10 / Trk 11 / Lovely Allen


So I’ve been in a bit of denial this week. Two songs ago, the mix was playing right into the hands of a particular song I’ve been hanging onto for a little while. A song I love dearly and hoped to use in the mix eventually. And it looked like it was finally going to happen.

Then Yann Tierson showed up. With all it’s Frenchy quaintness, and doe eyed Amelie smirk. It’s lovely. Just not where I thought we’d be. So I waited for inspiration to strike. And it struck exactly where I started.

Having relistened to the last two tracks, I noticed an interesting theme emerging that I hadn’t before. They are increasingly singular in their melodic focus. They are essentially songs of a one track mind. Songs with perfect melodies. So perfect that complicated structures of chorus’, verses, and bridges are not necessary. The song is content to meander in and out of it’s one idea, milking it for all it’s worth, relishing it’s highs and lows.

It’s a theme that’s been hinted at before but only now do I think it’s the station we’ve actually arrived at. And my original track fits perfectly. Enjoy.

r. smigielski

Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 10,

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,

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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The best way to be informed of NEIMT posts is to subscribe in the field in the upper right. You can also follow the page on facebook. We longer maintain an email list. Email is dead to us. We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments of this blog, but if you'd like to contact the NEIMT directly, email to: robb (at) agrayspace (dot) com.

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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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