Category Archives: Mixtape

Review: Fresh Nerd – The New Kids on the Block Beat Tape


Fresh Nerd – The New Kids on the Block Beat Tape. 100 Akres,2012.

Fresh Nerd is pretty amazing. What he’s been doing (besides producing some really good music) is taking 80s music that has fallen out of fashion, and he’s made it cool.

Case in point: The New Kids on the Block Beat Tape. It does what it says on the tin. Fresh Nerd has taken the works of NKOTB and distilled them down to their beats and some other instruments, and then he has remixed that.

Now, I know you’re saying, “Man, jason, that doesn’t sound interesting AT ALL.” I get it…I grew up when NKOTB were huge, and the radio, MTV, and whatnot played them constantly. I hate the band almost as much as people hate the Biebs these days. But damn, this beat tape is good.

Seriously, he’s managed to turn “The Right Stuff” into a chill wave song, while “faVe,” his reworking of “My Favorite Girl,” almost sounds like something from a science fiction soundtrack. There’s a surprising amount of variety here considering he’s mainly using the beats from one group, and mostly from one era of the group’s music.

Has it made me like New Kids on the Block? Not at all. However, I can appreciate that Fresh Nerd can spin shit into gold. This dude’s a genius.

You can download the New Kids on the Block Beat Tape (AKA The NKOTBeat Tape) for free from the 100 Akres website.

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The music of design.

Since I nominally do design & commercial art for a job, I also read a lot of design blogs.

Two of the ones I read the most are the ISO50 and Hydro74 blogs.

ISO50 is one of my design heroes, basically everything he does and everything he likes is so solid you could use it to survive in space. He’s carrying the torch of Moderism in this dumb, post-modern age. He’s also a musician himself. He does classic ambient-electronic as Tycho. It reminds me of a more stripped down boards of Canada and is totally worthwhile. He also posts playlists of what he’s currently listening to and posts a lot of downloadable mixes on his main blog.

Hydro74 is more of an illustrator, but he does font design and a lot of design for clothing. He was a big inspiration for me when I was doing the same kind of work. He is the world’s foremost illustrator of skulls in my eyes. His fonts are also hell of good, really great custom typography. Turns out the dude is pretty handy with a mix. He’s just posted one of some of his favorite tracks.

Whether or not you get into these is really going to depend on how down you are with the sounds of electronic, ambient, idm, dubstep, and party remixes. If that is your thing I’d say go immediately and check out some music, if not, I’d say go immediately and check out some art and design.

This is pretty interesting for me, because like a lot of people I’ve thought about making music at points on and off in my life, but am mostly to busy or broke to get into it. As a cultural thing, music and art go hand in hand for me. One of the reasons I still like to buy CDs and records is to check out the art and design that go into the packaging. It’s very cool to see some folks out there making both.

If anyone knows any other good artists or designers who are also taking an active hand in music, send us note.

-Jayson

Totally forgot about Sgt. D from Stuff You Will Hate. A mixtape of scene music up today. He designs for Hella Mass Tight. I seriously cannot recommend listening to this music at all. However the man’s work is totally solid and props must be given.

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For your listening pleasure.

This is pretty old news, but since fully 50% of our blog is devoted to Weezer, I have to post it. This is Rivers Cuomo’s earlier band Avant Garde. Thanks to completist fans, you can listen to them here. It’s kind of like… not bad, but not good either. The best thing I can say about this is Rivers seems much cooler about his hair metal past than Phil Anselmo was about pre-toughguy Pantera.

If these jams are not to your liking, you can always go listen to Primitive North America, a compliation of tracks from the North American Black Metal cassette underground made for Type Records.

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Break-Up Mix-Tape

by jason

So, this weekend, my girlfriend of three years and I split up. I find myself asking, “What’s the best way to move past these last three years and move on to a new, single life?” Why, creating a hypothetical break-up mix tape and posting it on the blog, of course! So, here are ten songs of loss, anger, acceptance, and healing to listen to when you and your significant other uncouple. I’m trying to include songs for the dumper, the dumpee, and everything in between.

NOTE: I’m sure that by reading this, you’ll notice the fundamental differences between Jayson and me…

Woke Up New-The Mountain Goats
Gone for Good-The Shins
No Distance Left to Run-Blur
I’m Waking up to Us-Belle and Sebastian
For No One-The Beatles
Heaven Help the New Girl-The Long Blondes
It’s Over Now-Papas Fritas
It Don’t Move Me-Peter Bjorn and John
I’m OK by Myself-Morrissey
Somewhere There’s a Feather-Nico

Any songs you think should be on here? Disagree with any of my choices? Well, that’s what the comment box is for, yo!