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The Joe Beats Experiment presents Indie Rock Blues: Danceable melancholia for the depressed
June 7, 2012 1:17 PM   Subscribe

The tagline is simple: "Danceable melancholia for the depressed," though on its face, the tracklist might challenge indie rock fans. "Post-millennial indie rock faves [updated] with 1993 hip hop production"? Downcast remixes of Andrew Bird and Deerhoof by a hip-hop producer? But it works. Joe(y) Beats, who collaborated with Sage Francis as Non-Prophets, shows his love for The Black Heart Procession and Neutral Milk Hotel by finely dicing their tunes and re-arranging them so they flow together, but don't lose their original beauty. Behold: Indie Rock Blues.

Originally released as a "promo only" CD in 2005, the remix album was released on vinyl the following year. The album is now available to stream and buy from Bandcamp, along with Reverse Discourse, his mixtape of as-of-yet unreleased instrumental tracks from 2003, and Diverse Recourse, the 2007 follow-up to his mix from 2003.

If that's not enough of Beats for you, you can stream the Non-Prophets' album "Hope" on Grooveshark, and download a low bitrate version (128 kbps) of The Day The Boom Bap Died from Joey's blog that is stuck in 2010.

And for a comparison with the Indie Rock Blues mixes, here are links to the 12 original songs on YouTube:

1 M. Ward - Sad Sad Song
2 The Black Heart Procession - When We Reach The Hill
3a 90 Day Men - Exploration Vs. Solution Baby (Grooveshark; YT: live, part 1; part 2)
3b Cursive - Dedication To Desertion (Grooveshark)
4 Belle & Sebastian - Space Boy Dream
5a Ugly Casanova - Ice On The Sheets
5b Saafir - Light Sleeper
6a Pinback - XIXY
6b Kid Dakota - Winterkill (Grooveshark; YT: live at Knitting Factory)
7 Neutral Milk Hotel - Naomi
8 June Of 44 - Doomsday
9 Minutemen - It's Expected I'm Gone
10 Andrew Bird - I
11 Deerhoof - Panda, Panda, Panda
12a The Make-Up - Save Yourself
12b Scout Niblett - It's All For You (Grooveshark; YT: live in London, 2004)
13 Songs: Ohia - Coxcomb Red
Bonus: a random Neil Hamburger clip (probably NSF most places of W)
posted by filthy light thief (17 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
You had me at "remixes of Andrew Bird" (which actually sounds pretty damn good).
posted by maudlin at 1:22 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't properly check this out now, but I certainly will later on tonight. It's a neat idea, and Joey Beats has proven himself, over the years, to be a great producer.

SO weird seeing that list of artists and then Saafir popping up in the middle.
posted by broadway bill at 1:24 PM on June 7, 2012


A pretty perfect soundtrack for a cold, rainy day in the PacNW--thanks for sharing.
posted by stellaluna at 1:31 PM on June 7, 2012


I really like the Black Heart Procession and 1993-era hip hop production and can't stand Neutral Milk Hotel, so if my math's correct there's roughly a 66% chance this is something I will enjoy.
posted by item at 1:33 PM on June 7, 2012


I like this a lot, but I'm not seeing the "challenging" aspect. For me, this is a total nostalgia trip — not just the production style but the idea of using it on mopey acoustic indie-rock-ish source material. If someone had handed this to me in like 1998, when I was basically neck-deep in the Eels and DJ Shadow and Massive Attack and etcetera etcetera, I'd have said "Oh, right, yeah, this is totally the logical next step. Whoever put this together did a really nice job, though."

I dunno. Maybe looking backwards I'm overestimating how much crossover between the two scenes there actually was at the time. But either way my inner 17-year-old is loving this.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:57 PM on June 7, 2012


If you don't like the indie rock mix, the Day the Boom Bap Died mix is pretty dope, and it doesn't sound too bad as downloaded.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:57 PM on June 7, 2012


You had me at Sage Francis.
posted by psylosyren at 2:01 PM on June 7, 2012


nebulawindphone: If someone had handed this to me in like 1998, when I was basically neck-deep in the Eels and DJ Shadow and Massive Attack and etcetera etcetera, I'd have said "Oh, right, yeah, this is totally the logical next step.

Good point. The Belle & Sebastian remix sounds a LOT like old Shadow, and could be mixed in next to Midnight in a Perfect World and other Entroducing era cuts.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:03 PM on June 7, 2012


I guess thinking about it more too, part of why it sounds so familiar is just the sheer omnivorosity of straight-up early 90s hip hop. Even stuff that wasn't specifically any kind of crossover or genre-bending exercise still might well have samples that sounded like this because, well, why not?

ZOMG that Pinback track! Fantastic. Thanks for posting.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:03 PM on June 7, 2012


Pretty good record (and I say this as somebody who doesn't really like indie rock), great post.

Here's my favorite song on the Non-Prophets album: That Ain't Right.
posted by box at 3:24 PM on June 7, 2012


I know maudlin already said it but... you had me at Andrew Bird :D
posted by littlesq at 4:02 PM on June 7, 2012


It looks like Joey is still discussing these remixes, or they're still haunting him and he keeps responding. He commented on the the YouTube-posted Neutral Milk Hotel remix:
NMH fans are really into their group and I respect that...However I have gotten the most vicious criticism over this song out of any I've done...it's oddly consistent. I think that's because NMH was the probably the furthest thing left I remixed on Indie Rock Blues. Then again if Dangermouse ever remixed anything by this group, yall would lose your fucking minds -for the political context alone. Sadly, this is the very reason why i never sent a copy of IRB to pitchfork or any like publicatio
Following a dismissive comment:
Not really bashing the song, but it's not a very good remix. The sounds don't blend well together, there's no compliment or cohesion to them. It's like you just played Naomi in a bathroom to get a tinny voice effect, threw on a bass track and called it a day.
APATE1 11 months ago
Joey disclosed more of how he did it:
No, not really Apate.

I sampled Bob Azam's "Rain, Rain Go Away" for the drums. Then I layered them with Jose Feliciano's version of "By The Time I Get To Phoenix"....then mixed in your savior's voice....with reverb.

But that's just me, a guy who could really give two fucks about Daft Punk or anime.

Nah, nah, nah...not to bash or nothing.
JOEYNOSEBEATS 11 months ago
Just don't ask him if these are mash-ups:
Early on, I was really excited about this project. In fact I was so excited I printed up CDs of the first 5 songs to pass out to friends. So...I'm at a house party and this horn rimmed glasses hipster (who I likened to a pitchfork worshiper) asks me, "What are these? Mashups?"

I wanted to knock his teeth out.

I deemed the exchange with Mr. Culture as a crystal ball of sorts and a lack of enthusiasm ensued on my part, as far as "getting it out there".

I'm willing to bet all of my savings he's at a house party right now in his Buddy Holly get up, eating hors d'oeuvres, drinking obscure domestics, talking tattoos, and exercising the latest usage of the word "swag".

Incarnations of this dude make appearances on my youtube page, asking how dare I even come near something by Jeff Magnum. He's the same guy who came to the CD Release Party and yelled, "Indie Rock Blues? A Hip Hop Remix CD? Are you fucking kidding me?"

I guess so, mate.

M. Ward approved. Deerhoof approved. Jason Molina approved. Darren Jackson approved. Neil Hamburger....approved
posted by filthy light thief at 7:28 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I own the promo only cd of this, as I'm a big fan of Joey Beats due to how much I love his work on Non-Prophets (who I so wish would put out something more because I LOVE Hope.)

The standout track on this for me is Coxcomb Red. Being sped up in that fashion actually suits Jason Molina's voice really well. There aren't to many songs where I prefer a remix but this is one of them.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:52 AM on June 8, 2012


I listened last night, and I really really like this project. It's just very enjoyable to listen to. Really has me hoping that Joey Beats gets something else going soon, aside from stuff with Sage (who I find pretty unbearable).

Does anyone know if he has anything else coming down the pipe?
posted by broadway bill at 9:27 AM on June 8, 2012


Does anyone know if he has anything else coming down the pipe?

His latest thing that I've seen was a split instrumental hip-hop album, called Falcon by Design. You can hear Joey's first track here on YouTube.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:12 PM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thoughts, continued: that was only 5 tracks, and it came out last year. Looking on his Discogs page, that's his latest work, as listed by fans and anyone who updates Discogs.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:20 PM on June 10, 2012


love Joe Beats!
posted by Theta States at 7:14 AM on June 12, 2012


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