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Make me a mixtape

Last week I had a conversation about mixtapes on Twitter. It started with this.


Now, If you’re as old as I am, you probably do remember that time and the immense pleasure it gave you to receive a mixtape. The listening to it over and over, trying to unearth a hidden message. You surely also remember the thought that went into making a mixtape for someone. The painstaking attention you devoted to choosing the perfect songs, the order in which they would be played, the message you wanted to convey. It was a labor of love.

I listen to a lot of music. My iTunes library is on the humongous side, but lately it feels like I’m always playing the same stuff over and over. Also, the music I’m listening to is making me feel a bit stuck. You know that thing where you connect a certain song to a certain situation? That.

I want change. Some people get a new haircut. I want to get new music.

So, I’ve decided to crowdsource my playlist and to ask the internet to make me a mixtape.


How it works
You tell me what to listen to using this form and I listen to it and publish the whole playlist for the whole world to see. I might be convinced to share a thought or two about each song and/or a link to my last.fm feed to prove that I indeed went through with it.

What you get
Nothing, other than the chance to expose a perfect stranger (me) to what you think is the best song ever. Or the worst. It’s up to you, but if you post it and I can find it, I will listen to it. If you want me to listen to your song, that’s cool too. Super cool actually.
Oh, and if you include your Twitter handle, I will tweet you a thank you and I will mean it.

What I get
New music.

I should pick a day, shouldn’t I? I suppose it will depend on how quickly I reach, shall we say, four hours of music. But I’d like to get new music soon, that’s the whole purpose anyway, so I hope you’ll help me by sharing the link to this page with your friends.
I’ll choose a date by the end of next week and stick to it, no matter how many/few songs I get and I will post a running list of the songs as I get them.

That’s what the comments box below is for.

Ready. Set. Go. (And thank you)

Filed under: Music


  • Reply lynn |

    i will make you a mixtape and burn it to CD for you. when are you leaving town?

    • Reply alberta |

      Aww. You’re the best! I’ll be on a series of quick trips trough mid-November. I’ll give you dates in private.

  • Reply Elizabeth |

    I have two genres that dominate my playlist. The larger one is Renaissance sacred polyphony. Three of my favorite groups are the Tallis Scholars, Stile Antico, and the Suspicious Cheese Lords (whose name comes from the oft-occurring phrase “suscipe quaeso Domine” :-).

    I sang with such a group for the last five years that I lived in the Washington DC area, and I offer you a listen to my favorite piece that’s available online, a Gloria, by Guillaume Dufay. (This piece is all men’s voices, so I’m not promoting myself here, haha.) Although Dufay wrote other Glorias and although the sheet music for this one is on ChoralWiki, I haven’t found a recording of it anywhere else on line. So here you go: http://collegiumcantorum.org/recordings/DuFay_008_GloriaA3.html

    DC is full of this kind of music. Sadly, Newcastle is not. :-(

    The smaller class of music I listen to a lot (not a genre, exactly :-) is Ian Anderson. Yes, the Jethro Tull guy. There are a few songs I don’t much care for, but I’ve got an Anderson/Tull playlist that lasts for hours and keeps me energized. (I love to design to it, or to code data.) I like his more acoustic stuff best, and I have a riff from “Boris Dancing” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j565pW7iqBw) as my ringtone. I could listen to “A Raft of Penguins” or “Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow” (a wee bit less acoustic :-) or “Wicked Windows” over and over and over.

    • Reply Elizabeth |

      Dang, I wish I had known that the software would change my colon-hyphen-right-paren into a smiley-face emoticon; I would have used two right parens to close the parenthetical expressions. But I think you get the picture. :-)

    • Reply alberta |

      Most interesting music taste you have, Elizabeth. Thanks for the recommendations, I will add them to the spreadsheet when I open it later tonight.

  • Reply Paul |

    This is a great idea – only allowed one song, though? Lucky, otherwise I’d probably end up spamming the list. I’ll have to choose carefully.

    Would you mind open sourcing the spreadsheet/form at some point? I’d love to do the same experiment, and indeed why isn’t this a proper counterpart to This is My Jam & Spotify yet?

    • Reply alberta |

      Heh, Paul. I took a peek and people have submitted more than one song, so go ahead and give me as many as you want.
      Moar music :)

      I’m absolutely happy to share form and spreadsheet as soon as the experiment is over, and would love to bounce ideas about taking this a little further when I am in London next. Drinks soon?

So, what do you think ?