mixtape 064

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 064.

There was no mixtape last week because I intended to finish my year-end wrap-up post and then make a mixtape derived from that, but I was late, and I don't have any in the queue right now. Shameful, I know. You should demand a refund. I thought about doing a re-run of an old mixtape to fill the gap, but that seemed lame.

Three disclaimers: This mixtape breaks protocol by being very long (let's call it a C90 plus a bonus C60) because I included one track from each of the albums on my 2008 list. Also, it doesn't necessarily flow very well, since I just put them on in list order. And finally, I made only a token effort to avoid duplicating tracks with previous mixtapes, the main goal being to include one of my favorite tracks from each album.

Make this worth my time, people. Talk about music in the comments.

Update: An approximation of this mixtape now also exists in video form!

Tags: , ,
Current Music: as noted

34 Responses:

  1. I'm always very far behind on the mixtapes, but i listen. Don't like most of it, but you've definitely exposed me to some stuff that I hadn't heard before and quite like. I can't ask for more than that.

    FWIW, I have purchased music based on the mixtapes.

    • kanin says:

      I'm the opposite of jwz and really only find new music if it falls into my lap. For that reason I'm really grateful for these mixtapes and the fact that our tastes overlap a good amount.

      I too have bought several songs and found lots of new favorite artists through these mixtapes. Love it, thank you!!

    • knowbuddy says:

      I don't listen to every mixtape, and I really can't stand roughly 90% of it. But! The track or two that I do find and like make them almost always worth my time. I, too, have bought music based on the mixtapes.

      The video versions are much more likely to chew up my time than the audio versions. That's a function of indexability, I think -- since I don't actually like most of them, it's easier to do random seekage without getting lost.

      And now when my cow-orkers start bugging me that my music taste is stuck in the 90's I flip around my monitor and make them watch Sophisticated Side Ponytail until they run away screaming.

      It's also a patience thing -- since the MP3 download seems to be rate-limited to 32KB/s (I'm not arguing against that) then the process for them is this:

      1. Download the M3U.
      2. Open it and copy the real MP3 URL into a console with wget.
      3. Wait an hour or more for the download to finish.
      4. Play, seek, play, seek, etc.

      All for the chance of finding one or two songs. And if the songs I happen to like also happen to be toward the end and have weird titles that don't necessarily follow the lyrics, then there's a bit of seekery-pokery as I try to figure out which song is which.

      Compare to the video version:

      1. Click the link.
      2. Click the next video as each one starts to annoy me.
      2a. Be generally annoyed at YouTube's UI getting in the way of the videos.

      None of this is inherently your fault, of course. And I'm in no way arguing that you shouldn't keep doing it -- even just one song in ten is still a better hit rate than just turning on the radio these days. And, really, ytf don't we have an ID3 tag that does sub-file indexing for albums yet? (And yes, I know that there is a proposal for it, but it's not useful if it doesn't actually exist.) No, I don't want to make a CUE file, I want it inside the damned MP3.

      Your effort is appreciated. You're doing your country a great service, young man. Now go buy war bonds and consume.

  2. So, I recommended this mixtape series to a few people, and pretty much all of them rejected it out of hand based on JWZ's history (as a goth, an Emacs user, or an American). What can we learn from this boys and girls ?

  3. ammitbeast says:

    Hey, cool. I'd wondered about that song. "House" had an episode this season that opened with this song in the background for a hot-girl-on-girl-#13-gets-some scene.

  4. NOW all that consumes my brainspace is that badass sexy robot video for The Sex Has Made Me Stupid. Danggggg. (Though now I am inspired to check out the rest of the album--is it as good as this song?)

    Aw, shit, Jem has a new album??? I missed that!

    My faves of your list:

    Ladyhawke (what decade was this released in? HOLY CRAP 80s)
    Lykke Li (seriously regret not seeing her. I am a dumbass for missing her chirpy sweet Swedish self)
    The Ting Tings (such a good concert; how wee and adorable is she?)
    The Presets (obvious)
    Santogold (though, actually, just the awesome remix of YFAW)

    And it looks like I have some more to peruse still.

    I still think it's awesome that you had a hard time narrowing it down: there was a LOT of great music this year! (And this tape makes a great best-of collection.)

    [Maybe by the time this decade's over, we'll actually have a handle on what the fuck to call the associated music genres. (Or even what to call the decade itself. I *hate* the "aughts," but what better alternatives are there?]

    Thanks for doing these, Jamie. I can be so seriously lame about seeking out new music by myself, and a weekly installment of it has helped immensely.

    • waider says:

      I have heard people referring to the decade as "the noughties". Which makes me want to smack them in the face, mostly.

    • httf says:

      I would say that 70% of mixtape content is "music I would listen to", and it's one of my default sources of background music since I started acquiring the files and not just listening to the broadcast, a few months ago. About 15% is music that I like and will acquire more of, and 5% of that activates the completist/thorough investigation instinct which generally results in acquiring entire discographies. I'd say that this is an excellent return. Also, left to my own devices, the new music I seek out is never modern. I just can't be bothered unless it's been pre-filtered.

      Music from this list that made my top 5% of total mixtape content:
      Fujiya & Miyagi
      Los Campesinos!
      The Long Blondes

      There are a couple of others hovering on the edge that I'm still exploring.

      And re: genre...
      As a compulsive organizer, this is one of my nightmares. I sort of with that the mixtape track id3 included genre just so I could get more ideas for genre naming. I'm totally not hip enough to know what most of this is called. Most not-easily-labelable music gets labeled nothing so as not to contaminate the more accurate data, but when I can manage to sort by genre it's most satisfying.

    • gwynjudd says:

      How about the hundreds?

      Also, that scene in Ladyhawke where he rides the horse through the cathedral just about makes me wet my pants.

  5. nwilhelmy says:

    Velocifero was hands down my favorite album this year. I saw Ladytron in Chicago last summer, and they put on a great show. Helen and Mira actually seemed excited to be on stage, instead of glamorously depressed about it.

    The new Portishead album seemed to divide their fanbase, and I am firmly in the camp of people who did not like it, I'm sad to say. All of the songs just seemed sort of half-baked and formless.

    Other favorites of mine from the year were:

    Goldfrapp- Seventh Tree - Sounds a lot more like Felt Mountain than her last two records.

    Deerhunter- Microcastle - This band fits firmly between My Bloody Valentine and Pixies (in a good way)

    TV on the Radio- Dear Science - This album really is as good as the hype suggests.

    Thanks for the past year of mix tapes. They make long days at my office a bit more bearable.


    • jwz says:

      I like Velocifero (it made the list!) but really, it sounds exactly like their older stuff to me.

      I think the new Portishead is great. (Maybe half good, half fantastic.)

      I think you're right that Seventh Tree sounds like Felt Mountain, which is why I didn't even download the whole thing. To me, Goldfrapp has only two songs: the really great one that comes under the various names Train/Twist/Strict Machine/White Horse/Oohlala... and the other one, that is so boring I don't even notice it until it's over.

      I think I heard some TV on the Radio and despised it. Yes, some youtubery confirms this. They are dreadful.

      I heard one song by Deerhunter that didn't grab me, but I'm considering embargoing any band whose name contains "deer" or "wolf" just on general principle.

      • nwilhelmy says:

        I prefer the Felt Mountain/Seventh Tree version of Goldfrapp to the Disco Ball counterpart for the exact reason that you mentioned: when she's in the latter mode, you get the same song with different titles.

        The name "Deerhunter" was a deterrent for me too, actually. Between their name and the fact that they're from Georgia, I imagined some really bad revival of Lynard Skynard-style southern rock. I couldn't have been more wrong, though. This is probably the best song on Microcastle. If you don't like it, then they're probably not your cup of tea, and you shouldn't bother with the rest.

  6. katerv says:

    I love these mixtapes. I'd say they have at least a 60% hit rate of things that I definitely want to hear more of. There have only been a couple where they were so twitchy that it was a struggle to listen to the whole thing. Close to a third of the albums I bought this past year were a direct result of having heard songs here.

    I really like Ladyhawke, the whole album is easy to listen to straight through and the weird mix of 80's synthesizer and 90's fuzziness brings me some amount of joy.

    The Duke Spirit reminds me of Concrete Blonde in some way that I can't completely identify.

    I really have a love/hate thing with Ladytron. I like individual songs, but can't seem to ever make it through an album and I think I must have blocked them out on every mixtape. I really like the Black Car song that you included though, so I might have to reconsider my ban on everything but Seventeen by them.

    Because I'm Awesome is the best song. It cracks me up. Thanks for including it.

    Thanks for making these!

  7. hafnir says:

    Oh yeah, so I guess I was right this existed, and kyronfive was right it was for the RAZR:

  8. nomenklatura says:


    I first came across Lykke Li last summer in Goteborg. I had only recently moved to Sweden and was really impressed - she seemed to encapsulate all that is great about feisty scandinavian girls!

    I'm sorry I don't participate to the discussions every fortnight, and listen in only sporadically. No doubt there many are others like me. I appreciate from afar.

  9. jwz says:

    Ladyhawke is the second coming of Kim Wilde.
    Love is All is the second coming of Altered Images.

  10. I have been loving this mix tape; can't stop listening to it! We have a good amount of overlap in musical taste.

    The only problem is that I am a total music fiend and it makes me want to buy all this music I can't afford to. So I just listen to the stream on repeat. Alas!

    What do you think is the likelihood of getting the bands from your best of 2008 list to the DNA?

  11. capo_mojo says:

    Have you heard Pas/Cal? They're from Detroit, but don't sound like it. Here's a (non-embeddable...) link a live show where they play "We Made Our Way, We Amtrakked" from their newest release (I Was Raised on Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura).


  12. waider says:

    This is quite the collection of awesome. I think I'll need to listen to it a few times to get the bits I really want, but nice job on the whole thing.

  13. option12 says:

    I am still listening to this one. It is the awesome.