Monday, September 29

CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Exchange IV Drawing.

It's go time, kids!

After extensive laboring, uploading e-mail addresses and building one of those spinny-wheels with the Bingo balls in them, I have come up with the 18 pairings for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Exchange IV. Everyone who signed up has someone that they will create a mix-tape for, and in tune, they have someone who will make one for them. The phrase-centric themes everyone submitted have also been randomly drawn and assigned to each participant.

The pairings are as follows. The drawing was random; a co-worker picked a number, and I eliminated the names and themes, 'MASH'-style. I don't think kids still play 'MASH,' but that's neither here nor there:

1. CARGIRL will be creating a Mix for SMEDLEY.
THEME: "Let's not say things we can't take back."

2. JONELLE will be creating a Mix for MIKE HOSS.
THEME: "I'm not a monster...I'm just ahead of the curve."

3. HEATHER will be creating a Mix for COMET STAR MOON.
THEME: "Music to commit felonies to."

4. REESE will be creating a Mix for JT.
THEME: "Life is too important to be taken seriously."

5. HATHERY will be creating a Mix for MICHAEL D.
THEME: "I'd like that on my tombstone."

6. HILBELINK will be creating a Mix for DOMSAR.
THEME: "...And that's why I don't drink gin."

7. FIONA will be creating a Mix for BENJAMIN.
THEME: "Round up the usual suspects."

8. MAUS will be creating a Mix for THE CDP.
THEME: "I used to love you, baby, but you got real ugly."

9. SHERRY will be creating a Mix for EMILY.
THEME: "When idle concerns don't fill your thoughts, that's your best season."

10. MIKE HOSS will be creating a Mix for REESE.
THEME: "Superman isn't brave."

11. MICHAEL D will be creating a Mix for HILBELINK.
THEME: "Misery loves company."

12. EMILY will be creating a Mix for HATHERY.
THEME: "The drinking will continue until morale improves."

13. JT will be creating a Mix for MAUS.
THEME: "Mistakes are human; hooves are not."

14. SMEDLEY will be creating a Mix for JONELLE.
THEME: "Stupid is as stupid does."

15. COMET STAR MOON will be creating a Mix for FIONA.
THEME: "Watching the universe implode from space and wishing I had remembered my toothbrush; but at least I have your hand...if I could only find the rest of you."

16. THE CDP will be creating a Mix for SHERRY.
THEME: "Resistance is useless."

17. DOMSAR will be creating a Mix for CARGIRL.
THEME: "I do it for love, but she does it for science."

18. BENJAMIN will be creating a Mix for HEATHER.
THEME: "Is that a real poncho, or a Sears poncho?"

Wonderful. Here's what we all do next:

1. I will be sending e-mails out to everyone over the next several hours (give me at least until around the end of the work day to finish), reminding them who they need to create a mix-tape for, what the theme is and what that person's e-mail address is. For example, your e-mail from me will look a lot like this:

"Benjamin, you will be making a mix-tape for Hathery. The theme will be 'Please Don't Leave Me Here With This Pedophile.' Her e-mail address is Please contact her and get her mailing address."

2. It will then be up to the creator of the Mix-Tape to contact the recipient and get their physical mailing address. For example:

"Hey Hathery, it's Benjamin. I'm making you a mix-tape, so give me your mailing address so I can send you some sweet-ass tunage!"

3. One you get the mailing address of the person you're sending a mix-tape to, MAKE IT AND SEND IT! Be creative; I've seen amazing artwork, brilliant track selections and overall awesome efforts by everyone every time, so I'm expecting nothing less this time around, as well.

Everyone has a buddy; it would really suck if someone gets left out because you suddenly decided to go deadbeat on them. My goal is to have ALL MIX-TAPES MAILED OUT BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10. Now that you know who you're making a mix for and what your theme is, you should have plenty of time to whip it up and get it mailed out within 14 days. If someone gets left out, I'll feel personally responsible, so please don't make an ass out of me, or I'll publicly ostracize you here on the CDP.

4. If you're having a problem contacting anyone, an e-mail address is dead or anything else goes wrong, feel free to contact me and I'll sort it out. I'm pretty neat like that. People are busy, so give them a day or two to answer you back, but let me know if it's taking a ludicrous amount of time.

Of course, once you receive your Mix-Tape, sound off in the comments section so we all know the status of everyone's packages. Half the fun is sharing the experience with everyone involved.

5. I always mention this (and I'll mention it again in your e-mail), but if you're looking for an easy way to thank me for inventing something as uniting and awesome as the Worldwide Mix-Tape Exchange, I would love a copy of your mix. My mailing address is as follows:

PO Box 865
Sun Prairie, WI

I want to make it clear, however, that due to my schedule this October, I will not be reviewing any mixes sent to me on the CDP. If this hinders your decision to throw a copy my way, I totally understand and we can still be friends. Thank you in advance.

You should be receiving your instructional e-mails by the end of the day today (Monday). So get out there, create a rad Mix-Tape and send it off to your partner before the 10th!

(NOTE: While the CDP counts down the Top 30 Essays during the month of October, I'll still be more than available in the comments section and via e-mail to handle any questions or issues that should arise. So sound off and stay tuned all next month.)


I don't want to be a downer so early in the morning, but I want to once again ask everyone to be patient in receiving their confirmation e-mails from me today. I'm on my way to the hospital as we speak, and I really have no idea when I'm coming back, although I'd assume it should only be a few hours.

....yeesh, maybe I shouldn't say that and jinx myself.

I got a terrible cold early last week, which almost instantly led into the flu, which brought with it a sore throat and un-freaking-believable cough. This has since turned into a respiratory issue, where any attempts at deep breathing are met with more coughing and general sadness.

Crap, looks like Bronchitis, right? Well, hang on.

For the last two days, I've woken up with blue lips and what feels like a cinder block in my chest. I've lost five pounds since last Sunday, and the breathing has only been stymied more with even worse, unproductive coughing. My current fear is pneumonia.

I've never had anything like this wrong with me before (actually, I guess I had pneumonia as a newborn, and it damn near killed me), but that's neither here nor there. I didn't feel like suffocating in my sleep, so I'll probably be getting chest x-rays and whatnot for the bulk of the day. You'll get a full update as soon as I figure out what's wrong with me.

In the meantime, start the Mix Trade conversation and enjoy your Monday.
Generally speaking, we will all have a better Monday than the one that CDP is having.

Get well, sir. Your public demands it.
Let's all keep our fingers crossed that Ryan doesn't have pneumonia.

Emily is making me a mix! Woot!
Oh great, now you've got me all paranoid that something worse than a nasty cold has me in its grips. Though, I don't most of your symptoms, so I think I'm probably overreacting. Damn man, get better fast, all right?

Hathery, I consider this a most interesting challenge, and will do my best to bring the pain*. I only hope I'm up to the task!

*awesome music
Well, I hope that it is not pneumonia, although bronchitis sucks even if it isn't as potentially life threatening (I have had a problem with chronic bronchitis and my son has it right now, too)...sending you well wishes for a speedy recovery!

I'll get working on my mix tonight. I already have a handful of songs picked out and I'll ponder the liner notes while pretending to be hard at work today.
Just got back; it's serious Bronchitis. They've prescribed me an inhaler that makes me feel approximately 80-90 years old, and a jacked-up cough syrup loaded with Codeine.

They want me to stay home from work today and tomorrow, monitor my lung capacity and not infect anyone. Also, they've made it very clear that I shouldn't be going anywhere while hopped up on the Codeine. I seriously plan on sleeping for the next 30 hours.

You can hook me up w/ some of that cough syrup tonight, so I don't have to listen to you wheeze and snore.

Ryan=Mr. Wheezypants when he has bronchitis.
Hathery, I think it's the couch for you, young miss.

Ryan, man, that sucks but I'm sure glad it wasn't the big P. Enjoy your codeine, and get some rest.

Also, feel free to write an essay while jacked up on said drugs. That always makes for good times. ;)
Also also, I'm giving away tickets to a rad live show, if anyone in the Madison area is interested. Check it out.
I'm with Emily. I demand spacy Codeine-laced postings.

Oh yeah, and I want you to get better and all that jazz also.

Glad it wasn't pneumonia, buddy. I still have to meet you in person before either one of us is allowed to die. Deal?
I will attempt a Codeine-fueled rant this evening after I get all the e-mails sent out, if the Missus allows me to get out of bed. Of course, I meant that in the least-sexy way possible.

I've never had to use an inhaler before. The pharmacist told me to hold it about 8 inches from my face, and under no circumstances was I supposed to get any of the medicine in my eye. Needless to say, I'll be holding the inhaler closer to my mouth next time, and my left eye is still completely bloodshot, a good 6 hours after the fact.
I can't use inhalers, either. My doctor thinks I'm an idiot, but the last time I told him to just skip it since I'd just get frustrated and throw it away. I tell them to give me the industrial cough syrup and an antibiotic that doesn't make me break out in full-body hives. Once they even prescribed a pill that suspended nerve endings in my throat so that I would cough less (that was the time I was getting almost no sleep, my eyes were bloodshot from the coughing, and I had constant headaches), and the last time my son was sick they gave him a nebulizer, which actually works great. Bronchitis. Sucks.
Totally. You feel my pain, panda bear. On an optimistic note, I can tell I'm improving, but it could just be the massive amount of drugs talking. Also, I'm the President of the United States, and I vow to put a man on the sun by 2012.
Horrible suckage. I flew to Cleveland today, and on the way debated how many on this one. My topic is rich, yet it's fraught with peril. Or somethin'...
I don't evny you, Smedley. It's an interesting category. I'm excited to see how everyone decides to tackle their particular theme.
I wish you a speedy recovery CDP!

I'm really excited about my theme, it will allow me to get in touch with my inner thug.
I call no 'Been Caught Stealing' by Jane's Addiction. Sorry.

Dammit! I just thought of another one...To err is human; to arr is pirate.
PS...I am glad you are not dead.
Ugh. You've got my empathy man -- bronchitis sucks. The worst part is that once you get it once, it tends to happen again.

MICHAEL - Thanks much. I honestly haven't been this sick in years. When I went to the doctor today and they had nothing on record for me, I realized that this was the first time that I've been to the hospital since I moved to Madison in 2002.

Another day off and I should be back to about 80% by Wednesday. I'm glad I have the CDP Top 30 on deck for October, 'cause I need the rest.
Feel better, brother. Your health is more important than this blog.

For the past month or so, I've been making a "pool" of songs that I wanted to put in my next mix. Surprisingly, I didn't struggle too much find ones in the pool that fit my theme. I had to add one song that just has to be there, considering the theme I have.

And last night I thought of a great image for my cover and was able to snag it with a little googling. So I think it's just tweaking -- which, you know, takes a while.
I've also been working on my mix today. I'm at about 150 tracks that I'll be chipping away over the next week.
We have very different strategies. I only end up with about twice as many tracks on there as I'll actually use. I winnow it pretty quickly down to one CD worth, and then I listen to the playlist for the next few days to see if it doesn't actually work. I'll usually swap a few tracks out and mess around a bit with levels and intros/exits.

Are there any things you folks try to do with mixes? Some other things I think about:
+ I like giving people alternate versions of songs (if they're actually good) so if they know the song already, they still get to hear something new.
+ Live tracks can be good as alternates, but I don't want to have more than a couple or it gets to be too much.
+ One or two covers is good (generally less known bands covering better known songs) but no more unless that's the theme.
+ No more than two songs by the same artist, and no more than one artist with more than one song unless there's a good reason.
+ I try to split it into two acts with some sort of clear divide (harkening back to the old days of cassettes), though that isn't always easy. The draft I have now doesn't manage this.
MICHAEL - I should also have enough extra time this Trade to listen to it a few times and make revisions before the deadline. The 150 will get cut down to 30 in probably a day or two.

Alternate Versions - I do this, too. Live, acoustic and remixed versions of uber-popular tracks make me feel better about including such a well-known song on a Mix. I do this all the time with The Cure.

Agreed with cover songs. A (non-cover-themed) Mix should contain no more than one or two cover tracks. You're trying to satisfy a specific theme by using bands that you want the recipient to be interested in, and you can't really share a decent representation of a band when they're covering something.

Same deal with the artists. One or two bands get two tracks on a mix at the most. Again, the goal is to turn the recipient on to as many bands as possible without being overkill, and turning your Mix into an ensemble for just one or two bands doesn't jive with me.

I also do a 'Side A/Side B' division with my mix. For Mix-Trade #1, I did 4 discs, each representing a season of the year. For Mix #2, I broke 21 tracks into 3 'Acts' representing each day of the week. For the Covers mix, I made it so every song covered was originally recorded in the 1980's.

Michael, it seems as if we share similar Mix creation techniques. Also, this Cough Syrup is working wonders on my attention span, as I feel as if I've just written a novel about my Mix-Tape mantras.
I suddenly feel completely out of my league. Compared to all y'all, my creativity has obviously been crushed by The Man.

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