If there was one thing I was really digging about the Morphine track was that it only did one thing. I really have a soft spot for songs that have the confidence and economy to just do one thing. One rhythm. One chord progression. One direction. It’s an admirable thing.
So I set about searching for a great song that only did one thing. Then Mike put the request in for less “weird-ass” and more “rock”. Which really put a damper on where I was likely headed.
When combining the criteria of “one thing” and “rock”, only a few real standouts remained. One of those is this great propulsive track from TV on the Radio’s first EP. Hell, it almost sounds like a song Morphine would have wrote. But it retains some of the lush electronic flourishes that this mix started with.
Protest song. Art Song. Meet this unlikely (and rare) live track from Rage Against the Machine. Yes that’s right. Those fine purveyors of mallrat white angst bring you a spoken word performance of an Allen Ginsberg poem. It’s every bit as ridiculous, paranoid, pretentious, furious and awesome as you’d expect. This blew my mind when I was 17.
FWIW, I always felt Rage were generally of higher quality than the rap rock douche bags that continue to clog the airwave in their name to this day.
And so ends a really weird mix, full of intense, and four months late. We lost one of our authors along the way. But perhaps Epp will be back someday. Mike and I are going to carry on this musical tennis match and hopefully the results stay interesting. Full mix download and cover art on it’s way in a couple days. r. smigielski
Needless to say, it’s been a while since the last post. More then 5 months. The last year has been a crazy one for me personally. I have been busier than at any point in my life. And I spread myself too thin. Volunteered for too many opportunities. Took on every responsibility that came my way. Started too many personal projects.
On top of that 2010 was one of the worst years for me musically. I stopped reading music press. Stopped paying attention to new breaking artists. Stopped listening all together.
All that added up to participating in the NEIMT not being high on my list of priorities. Which is a shame. Because I believe the experiment of this new version of NEIMT was really producing interesting results.
Anyway, things are starting to even out. Projects are slowing down and I am back to prioritizing what things I want to be a part of. NEIMT is one of those things. And now I am listening to music again. I actually have Kanye West to thank for that. My Dark Twisted Fantasy really broke through my malaise. Listened to it non-stop for weeks. Amazing, beautiful piece of art that record is.
Moving on and picking up where this mix left of was also daunting. With all the momentum sucked out of it, it could go in almost any direction. The question even came up as to whether or not we just end it where it was and start over.
But then, a couple days ago I was in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. And there was a really great Art of Music exhibit. One of the featured songs was this little ditty by Le Tigre. I hadn’t really heard it since it was released and it was very refreshing to hear again in the context of an art museum. It’s a really great example of how pop music can be confrontational, relevant, effective and still rock. This track is really a work of art.
Volume 04 has really gone all over the place sonically, in the best possible way. Bang! Bang! brings it back around to the beginning in a way for me. As if MIA could not do what she does without the foundation of Kathleen Hanna.
Enjoy. And tell your friends that the NEIMT is back. r. smigielski
Well this is fascinating. When I started this volume, I was expecting that it would explore an upbeat electro-pop realm. I found it interesting when it started to veer into ambient territory. While that’s a genre I very much love, I couldn’t give in so early in the chain, so I tried to steer the mix back to a more upbeat pop realm with the Sleigh Bells. Which Mike promptly let me know “he really didn’t like.”
Only to get the big “FU” from Epp with that Godmorgon track. Not that I didn’t like it, but it upset all expectations in the harshest of ways. Then another “FU” comes from Joosse with another sharp left turn back into pop territory and a new emphasis on a guitar driven sound.
I have been left sitting this last week thinking, “well what the hell am I supposed to do now?”. Pop for mike? Noise for Epp?
I have sifted through countless tracks. I almost posted a very beautiful but highly repetitious 15-minute Papa M track as my own passive aggressive move. Instead I posted this 9-minute journey through the cicada infested wilderness of Fuck Buttons. Their second album, Tarot Sport, is just phenomenal. They are really towing a nice line between the noisy and melodic sides of the ambient sound. This song is just so beautiful. Enjoy. r.smigielski
So I agonized quite a bit over this track selection. The ambient, glitch-tech sound is very much in my wheel house and I could comfortably stay here for a while. Part of me feels that’s too easy and just wouldn’t feel right. For some reason I am compelled to post this great track by Sleigh Bells. It just feels like the right song to relate to the swells of random noise this mix is veering towards. But it also picks up the pace slightly and guides us towards the second half of the mix. r.smigielski
I used to work at this rock’n'roll t-shirt shop in Phoenix AZ. It was a dream job for college. Sat around all day folding t-shirts, selling Dr. Martens and those Calvin pissing on Ford/Chevy stickers. We sat around and listened to music. Any music we wanted. When I first started, I was fresh out of high school and completely ensconced in the Seattle grunge thing. The other guys at the shop quickly labeled me “seattle boy” for the fact that the music I brought in to play was so idiotically narrow-minded. Needless to say, I discovered a lot of music by working there and quickly outgrew my grunge fixation.
One of the guys there claimed to have 5000 cd’s (which i never actually saw but for the most part believed). He played a lot of industrial music (Front 242, Skinny Puppy, etc…). I heard a lot of it over and over again, and I wondered if the repetition would eventually empower me to “love” it. But it always just washed over me like lukewarm water. Complete indifference. Some things did stand out that I grew to completely love. They will remain unnamed as they actually might appear further in this mix.
But Meat Beat Manifesto is one of the greats. In particular I find the album 99% to be masterpiece. Probably because its the one that focuses on vocals more than samples. The vocals are what just kill on this album. And Psyche Out kills perhaps just a little bit more than anything else. r. smigielski
The minute I heard this song, I fell in love with MIA all over again. She does this to me with every record. Perfect blend of dance, punk, and art noise and that Suicide sample is just infecting. Felt like it captured some of the eclectic rambunctiousness of last mix but most of all I was really interested in where this track would lead us for a new mix. I already have like 25 tracks that might fit somewhere in there. But that depends on how the other’s interpret it.
And if you haven’t check out the youtube “banned” video:
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
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
“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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
You can still see the old mixes at neimtarchive.blogspot.com. Some of the old download links might still even work.
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.