Monday, February 1, 2010


I will be creating a mix of music & other auditory ephemera every day for the month of January 2010. They'll be posted here in downloadable form. This project is a part of Art Clash's annual Fun-A-Day project.
If you listen, please leave a comment & let me know what you think. If you are one of the musicians/groups featured within these mixes and wish not to be included, please drop a line and I'll edit you out.


  1. erik,
    i didnt know id get to download your mixes. now i like you even more than i already did. thanks.

  2. amazing. i'm super psyched to download and listen to all of these mixes. thanks for sharing! hope to see you soon.

  3. Hi Erik,

    Morgan turned me on to your project. Thanks for all of the great music. I really like #3, though haven't had a chance to listen to most of the mixes (just got back from Colombia).

    See you soon,

  4. Re-posting this here—my top 5 of Erik's first 10 mixs:

    1. January 3rd—Spirits: Like being at a seance with all your favorite people in the world. Shining stars include Sumatra's Haba Haba Group, Maine's Big Blood, 60's free rockers Exuma and the Third Ear Band, plus my favorite Raincoats song of all time. I cannot stop listening to this!

    4. January 4th—Sick & Ridiculous: The title come from Chralie Mingus' fuck-the-man anthem that Erik uses as a ringtone and chose as the keystone for this mix. Great arc, building up from melancholy minimalism, through some pungent accordion playing and jazz rants, up to some agit-artpunk, and then settling down with Philly's own Jack Ohly bowing his upright bass like a herd of humpback whales. Very nice.

    3. January 8th—Short Shorts: Though you'll never see Mr. Ruin wearing 'em, these 101-tracks in 71 minutes will give you more bang for your buck than a box of funsnaps. And if you don't like something, just blink and yer on to the next song. Gems include a sendup of Balkan women's harmonies and the Royal Shakespeare Company singing a round of the word "Copulation." What could be better?

    4. January 6th—Dramatic Change: LP-length female-fronted mix, kicking off with a Shangri-Las classic, answered in French by Françoise Hardy, and spiraling out to a surprisingly good Kate Bush stomper. The big highlight is Janka Djagileva's 9-minute emo-acoustic number that kicks into high gear with a fuzzed out meollotron jam. Way.

    5. A tie between January 2nd and 5th—Tentative Pulse and Too Cold To Fly: Jan 2's title implies a beta mix made for our friend Beth Pulcinella (a.k.a. "The Pulse") that filled in a few new wave cracks for me. Jan 5's mix was Mr. Ruin's project to omit any punk stuff (though yer cuttin it close with Tom Cora mister) and has some great folk tunes and a buncha jazz that averts diving into annoyance. Cool.

    I'll be weighing in again after the next 10.

  5. Jan 6's Dramatic Change is my favorite so far. I downloaded it upon waking and it's been getting me through my day.

    I started listening to your mixes just a couple days ago but I hope to be caught up in another couple days. This has been the perfect solution to getting myself out of a LONG musical rut. Thanks dude!

  6. Erik, I'll be in Boston for the next week, so I deliver this to you a little early:

    + + + + + + + + + +

    A week ago I posted my 5 favorite mixes from the first 10 installments of Mix-A-Day to give listeners a starting point from which to delve into Mr. Ruin's eclectic and hard-earned MP3 collection. Well, now I've got my next 5 picks from mixes 11-20, even though we're only up to mix 18. I just don't foresee it getting much better than these in the next 2 days:

    1. Furious Movement (January 15th): Whereas Erik's first 10 mixes were shameless tours into the annals of obscurity, Mr. Ruin whips out some classics for this stick-it-to-the-man comp, strutting right up with Phil Ochs' signature anti-war anthem and ploughing through to Dylan's homage to George Jackson. Other highlights include the British DIY'ers Desperate Bicycles and their PSA on what to do if you get arrested, Detroit afropunk pioneers Death (whose record didn't come out for 36 years because they refused to change their name) bridging the gap between the MC5 and Bad Brains, and an amazing funk set with some of the best works by George Clinton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and an Archie Shepp screamer that shakes the foundations of America's Prisons. The subtitle for this one is, "Music to Get Off Your Ass To."

    2. Small Songs (January 12th): In his intro to this quaint collection, Ruin writes, "There's a certain kind of song that really moves me...I like to call them 'small songs'—not necessarily short or quiet...just spare, simple, and usually pretty damn effective." Some familiar gems sparkle here, like Daniel Johnston calling into a live radio broadcast to croon along with Yo La Tengo, a crackly old deep-cut from The Kinks, and Maureen Tucker singing one of the Velvets' most adored ditties. Spare. Simple. And pretty damn effective.

    3. Malcontents (January 14th): The temperament of this one falls smack dab in the middle of the two aforementioned mixes. Dotted with tunes that skirt the line between harmony and agitation, both musically and lyrically, features rare no-wave novelties by Boston's Vitamin and Austin's Reversible Chords, some bigger sounding ballads by White Magic and John Cale, and the defiant dulcimer of Larkin Grimm. You can taste the malcontent in your mouth and it is delicious.

    4. All Over The Place (January 16th): Like a globetrot to nearly every parade on the planet, All Over The Place possesses the astounding cohesion of an international carnival. Erik kicks it off with the soundtrack to one of his own shadow puppet plays before hopping us over to waltz with Dutch post-post-punks De Kift. Soon we take a train with Chico Buarque and Adoniran Barbosa in Brazil and row back over the sea to shanty it out with chanteur Georges Brassens and his protegés La Tordue. Then its off to the Balkans, Africa, and finally we land back in Central Europe just in time for some 70s psych-rock festival. This is the one you'll want to play at parties.

    5. Punk Night (January 11th): The thing about real punk rock nerds is that any quintessential punk mix they make tends to be representative of whatever bands or songs they're excited about at that very moment. This sampler has stuff from punk's canon (Flesheaters, Bags, Subway Sect) as well as some total unknowns (Gorilla Angreb sounds like X from Los Angeles, but singing in German). Many songs are so melodic that you'll get them stuck in your head and never want them to leave (The Digital Dinosaurs sparse maraca-and-guitar combo being the best), while others are downright insufferable (and every punk rock nerd knows what I mean when I say "Teddy and the Frat Girls"). Whether you want to love it or leave it, Punk Night has something for someone.

    I'll be weighing in again around the 31st!

  7. How about a SCI-FI mix?!?

  8. I'm late to the party, but it's still going strong. Looking forward to tripping back in time to hear all these mixes. Thanks!

  9. hey there.
    we ate breakfast the other week when i passed through town and months ago susan sent me a link to yer mixaday. i'm on a rather long, extended road trip and after exhausting my tolerance of pop country radio, i've decided to copy ALL of your mixes to cd and take them on the road.

    i did run into some issues downloading, though (like multiple hacking attempts via media fire, caught by good old norton), like errors when unpacking the zip files of the following mixes:

    i tried re-downloading, but still got errors. perhaps files are corrupt?

    i suppose the 23 i did get will suffice...