Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Most Difficult Aspect of Mixes

I am finding it difficult to make a mix, due to both the intended audience and the sheer size of my digital music collection. My theme for the mix is bands associated with my musical experiences in DC, either local bands or those I saw in person. I would love to include at least a song from every band I’ve seen since 2005, when I started attending shows on a regular basis, but a cd can only hold so much. Several of these bands have been fairly popular indie-ish bands like The Fiery Furnaces, and some have been large acts, like The Chemical Brothers and DJ Shadow. I must work on narrowing the scope.

The audience will hopefully find a song or two from familiar bands, but not enough to warrant the use of a track selection button, and an abundance of new bands with which to delight their ears. My theme provides me with a lot of material from some bands, and very little from others. I buy a cd from pretty much every band I see, provided sufficient fundulation, but this means that I do have some albums that I wouldn’t want anyone to hear, including me, and some that just won’t fit within the larger group. This isn’t a compulsion, more of a way of supporting the people involved in entertaining me, like tipping a waiter or bartender.

I recently absorbed a massive amount of music from my brother’s computer when I resurrected it. The fix only required a power supply swap, and now I have this other computer full of his wife’s photos and his music collection. Some friend of his went to town on the computer and uploaded a couple of iPod’s worth of mp3s to the hard drive. Being an opportunistic sort, I made a back up of all of this music onto my music hard drive. The problem here is not the variety of music, nor the ethical dilemma in listening to it, but the sheer volume is making it hard to find the music pertinent to this particular mix.

For clarity’s sake, I haven’t stolen a single mp3 since 2002. Bearshare was fun for a while, but 7 gigs later I had a whole mess of forgettable techno and radio rock. The only songs I download these days are from review sites, like Fluxblog or You Ain’t No Picasso, which I assume have permission to distribute. I suppose that copying the contents of my brother’s hard disk is probably theft, since I haven’t bought those albums. Many of the albums are on my list to own someday, when I am gainfully employed. Listening to music in my library is nice while I am working, but doesn’t work in the living room.

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