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Recipes for the Perfect CD Mix

These are recipes for mixes of the following types and varieties:

1) Mixes made to introduce a person to new and different kinds of music than what they're used to listening to.

2) Gift mixes.

3) Mixes with messages.

4) Themed cds.


Mix Type #1
Mix made to introduce a person to new and different kinds of music than what they're used to listening to

These are typically the easiest to make and I usually make them for my sister and/or friends. They also come in two different forms: a) New music for the both of you: Just keep mental track of all the new shit you've been listening to until it builds up and starts spilling over. Then sit down and start moving all these songs into a mix on the computer for said person, hoping to introduce them to some new shit that they haven't already heard. These are typically the mixes I make for my sister since we share so much in music tastes and it's hard to find OLD stuff to make a mix for her with that hasn't been mixed before. b) New music for them, oldies but goodies for you: These are just sudden bursts of energy where you find yourself thinking, "Jesus christ, this person has probably never heard of this song and it is a crying shame that they've gone through life thus far without hearing it once, so I'm putting it on a cd, goddammit, and forcing them to listen to it." These are some of my favorite cds to make.

Mix Type #2
Gift mixes

consist of new music for the other person incorporated with a) songs that remind you of them (typically songs that they will recognize and go, "Oh! I can't believe (s)he remembered that I like that song!" and make them get a little teary-eyed at your thoughtfulness), b) songs that the person is likely to have not heard before, and c) songs that have little messages to said person, typically about how much you heart their beautiful little souls.

Mix Type #3
Mixes with messages

These are mixes that either are SOLELY dedicated to giving the recipient the message that you a) heart them ever so much that you just wanna burst out into song, b) dig them all friend-like and long-term and wanna sit on your couch and play with their hair, c) wanna jump 'em, d) etc. In such a mix, the songs must house hidden messages for them in some sort of apparent way--typically through the lyrics and emotions of the songs. If the message is intended to be subtle, you should include only a spattering of these sorts of songs mixed in with songs you might include on Mix Type #1. Leave the person wondering--is (s)he trying to tell me that (s)he wants to "fuck me like an animal" or is (s)he just a huge NIN fan? Never reveal to them whether or not this cd mix was intended as a secret message revealing how badly you've been jonesing for them for the past 2/3/5 years--leave them guessing (mystery is good!). If the message is one that you want to sing to the world, make every goddamn song do that work for you.

Mix Type #4
Themed Cds

These are cds you get a sudden hankering to make because you have a sudden hankering to listen to these sorts of songs. They are typically moreso for your own benefit rather than another person's, but if they are good, you should of course share them, you selfish bitch. The songs on these cds will have certain thematic strings pulling them together. They consist of cds the likes of "Sexy Songs," "Songs to Listen to Late at Night," "Songs to Listen to First Thing in the Morning," "Songs That Make You Feel Like You're in the Middle of a Nic Fit," "All Up-Beat Happy Oldies Songs" etc. The key to these cds is having an interesting variety of unexpected songs, all of which fall into said thematic category of the cd. These are goddamn fun cds to make, both for yourself and other people.


1) A title that incorporates either some line from a song or a title of a song in some apropos and yet creative sort of way that reveals something about the nature of the cd.

2) NO TRACK LIST (initially at least) -- this is important and integral to the mix-making process. The recipient of said mix must go into the mix having absolutely no clue what song will be coming next. This is the best way to listen and will keep them on their toes and eagerly awaiting each and every song. Giving them the track list with the cd is allowed only if they vow not to look at it until AFTER listening to the cd.

3) A very skillfully picked first and last song. The first song should typically suck the listener in and be unexpected in some way. The last song should wind the listener down and reach some of sort of final punctuation where you know that that's the end and no more songs could possibly be coming.

And there you have it, the perfect recipes for the perfect mixes. Use these recipes wisely. And pay me royalties each time that you do.



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