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oily rags are special things, you know to me they're diamond rings

by mg at 01:51 PM on April 21, 2004

In High Fidelity Nick Hornby asks:

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

Who can say, really? I do know that life is music and music is life. The pain, the joy, and the experience of life is incomplete without a soundtrack.

When I was younger, I was very musically experimental. In the dominant days of top 40 radio, and well before listening stations and Al Gore’s invention of the Internet, I would go out and buy a tape (yes, tape) solely on a review or hearing a band name used in connection to a band I already liked. I got burned, and often. I bought so much complete crap, but I also expanded my horizons and found a lot of stuff I’d never have found through any other source.

In college I was an early adopter of P2P software. I had Napster and Scour, and access to a blazingly fast T3 connection. At the time, I worked with and was friends with a lot of creative people who all had diverse musical tastes of their own. On the computer we all shared in the Student Union Board office, I turned them all onto Napster as well. That computer was in use, pretty close to 24 hours a day, grabbing music off the Internet. I’d walk in once a day and burn everything that everyone else had downloaded onto an MP3 CD. I managed to download so much stuff that, to this day (4 years later), I’ve still yet to listen to it all.

Now, over the last couple years I’ve not had the cash flow to be going out and buying a new CD every week. I also only have dialup, so downloading music is pretty much out of the question (plus, it’s illegal and immoral and just plain wrong!). My music listening habits have pretty much settled into a routine that I’m not very happy about. I don’t want to be one of those people whose musical knowledge stops at high school or college, and 30 years later is still listening to Steely Dan and Jethro Tull.

Which brings me to my point. Yesterday, the “On this day” feature reminded me that I once participated in a project called “Burn Baby, Burn.” Someone had the brilliant idea of getting together a group of webloggers and having them send each other mix tapes (I refuse to say “mix CD”). I put together a collection of songs, burned them to CD, and sent them to five complete strangers. In return, I got five CDs in the mail and had the chance to expand my musical experience to bands I’d have never have heard of otherwise.

I happen to know that a lot of the people here are very diverse. Different ages, races, nationalities, regions, and personalities. I also happen to believe that anyone who’d make it a point to read a website like this probably likes music. I personally believe anyone who doesn’t like music (or boobs) have something seriously wrong with them. Would anyone be interested in a Bad Samaritan CD Exchange?

comments (54)

Put me on the list.

by MrBlank at April 21, 2004 2:08 PM

i'm in.

by Ezy at April 21, 2004 2:17 PM

i like boobs. i'm in.

by lajoie at April 21, 2004 2:23 PM

I definitely want to be a part of this

by Lucy at April 21, 2004 4:17 PM

Me too!

by jean at April 21, 2004 4:47 PM

Oh yeah. I've got the Jim Carroll Band's Catholic Boy, Robbie Robertson's first solo effort and most obscure of all, Les McCann and Eddie Harris' smoking rendition of Compared to What. Try to make it real, compared to what?

by anna at April 21, 2004 6:28 PM

How about the Bad Samaritan VD Exchange? (BTW- this post was a SUPER LAME Part III. What a letdown.)

by Eviltom at April 21, 2004 9:33 PM

tom brings up a good point, namely: tom, please don't hold the spare discs on your lap as you burn them, because you know...wait, can you mail pubic lice?

by lajoie at April 21, 2004 10:06 PM

I'd like to participate.

by andrew at April 21, 2004 11:34 PM

Me too. Hell, with anal-retentive use of the iTunes star-rating system, I'm halfway to making a mix tape already. Relatedly, audioscrobbler.com has been fun the past while. You might like it, especially if you listen to a lot of music on your computer.

by Andy at April 22, 2004 2:38 AM

Tom, just because your penis can fit through the hole in the middle of a CD doesn't mean you have to take your anger out on everyone else.

by mg at April 22, 2004 9:23 AM

I don't have the ability to burn mix CDs. I can, however, copy the all-female artist awesome mix CDs my dad makes for me. But then, I'd never mail them. Forget it. I can't be in. I'm too lazy. (MG can testify since he never got a cd from me... yet)

by Linz at April 22, 2004 10:55 AM

Linz, if you can copy a CD, you can burn your own. It should be the exact same software.

Anna, maybe you should have Ian make your CD for you, he seems a little, eh, hipper, than you, and, you know, he probably actually knows how to use the computer.

Andy, audioscrobbler looks like what Launch.com does. I used to use Launch all the time (before they got bought out by Yahoo). After I'd rated even just a few things, the ratio of good to bad songs was something like 5:1. Even the stuff they recommmended from out of my usual genres, I almost always liked.

by mg at April 22, 2004 11:06 AM

I know, but I don't have time (here at work, where the burner is) to make mix CDs. Copying is much easier & faster.

by Linz at April 22, 2004 11:17 AM

Plus the software doesn't mail stuff for me. I have enough trouble mailing out press kits. In a simpler world, I'd be in. But instead, I'm out.

by Linz at April 22, 2004 11:18 AM

I'm in.

Not too updated on my musical tastes, but I probably have some stuff that people here haven't heard.

by chuckwoolery at April 22, 2004 11:39 AM

Linz, all the time spent on the cd is your own spare time, granted, but really it only involves one trip to the post office to mail all the packages at once. See what i'm getting at?

Get your ass in this thing.

by lajoie at April 22, 2004 11:52 AM

i'm in. get this thing rollin' mg!

by JC at April 22, 2004 12:34 PM

hell yeah, I'm in.

by Katie at April 22, 2004 12:49 PM

however, i pity the fool who gets whatever cd i make.

by Katie at April 22, 2004 12:50 PM

One quick suggestion would be that we get twelve people in, and each person has their own special month....

by lajoie at April 22, 2004 12:53 PM

How about everyone who wants in drop me an email with your home address (muhwahahahah!), and I'll put together a list. What I was thinking was having it bi-monthly (does that mean twice a month, or every other month? whichever, I mean every other month), and each time having a specific theme for the mix. I thought every other month because monthly might be a ton of work. If there gets to be a lot of people, maybe I'll split it into two groups, so we all don't have to be sending out 20 CDs. Sound reasonable?

by mg at April 22, 2004 12:57 PM

wait does that mean that each person has to put a mix together every other month? that could be prohibitive.

i'd be in for whatever, but in this one cd club that some friends are in (for instance), they each take a month which means that they only make one kick-ass cd a year (theme self-chosen, but themes are definetely good), and the other 11 months they just kick back and let the tunes roll in. the nice thing about that is that it only involves one real time commitment per year, and some of them really get into their mix, package design etc. becasue they have one shot a year to impress people...heh heh.

and if there are more than 12 we can split in two, the groups to be re-arranged over time, OR just pile it on an bathe in new/old music. whatever works for all peeps involved.

by lajoie at April 22, 2004 1:56 PM

Sounds good, but one request: Can we require a list with each CD that has a track listing with song title, artist and album? I don't want to get CDs with mystery songs, incase I want to go get more stuff from an artist/album.

Also, letís try to not make this an obscurity contest. The local college radio station DJs do that all the time and end up playing a bunch of crap.

OK, another request: If we decide to do themed mixes, letís make it a ďpot luckĒ thing because it wouldnít be very fun to get 10 CDs of sad songs all at once.

Linz :) You can do it! Pick out your songs at home and bring them to the CD burning computer and make the CD, then later make a bunch of copies. Put one in an envelope and take it to the post office to find out how much shipping costs. For each one after that, if you use the same envelope and one CD, you can put the same amount of postage in stamps and drop them off in your mailbox. No hassles. You make one mix and get 10 back. Itís worth the effort. // Or you could do it the super-easy way and just post a tracklist on BS and make us all use eMule to download the songs ;) //

by MrBlank at April 22, 2004 2:00 PM

Blank reminded me of one other important thing... it might be easier to absorb and appreciate music if we're not getting 10 cd's at once. Keep in mind, that's really a lot of semi-dedicated listening for most people...possbily me included.

C'mon Blank, obscurity is a good thing if it's done selectively. How else to get into new things?

Track/artist lists is a good idea.

by lajoie at April 22, 2004 2:27 PM

Okay, okay. My only concern with something like that whoever gets stuck first has to wait a year until things "even out" in terms of receiving as many CDs as they've sent out. What about a six month turnaround instead of a year. Within the course of 6 months I think most people should be able to find 12 - 15 songs that they'd like to share. I know when I'm listening to music, I keep a list of songs I like, and what kind of mix they might be good on (peppy, break-up, etc). The hardest part about it is keeping track of where the list is.

Since we've only got about 12 or so people so far, that'd end up being only 2 new CDs to listen to each month. Which, now that I think of it, is probably much better than getting 12 over every two-month span.

Does that all seem less prohibitive? Also, if I remember from when I did this, the cost for mailing was about 80 cents, plus CD sized envelopes (about 15 cents each), plus the cost of a blank CD (negligible). All in all, it shouldn't cost more than a dollar for each. That is easily as good a deal as 12 cds for a penny, if you factor in you'll have nothing more to buy over the next three years.

by mg at April 22, 2004 2:48 PM

I think every 6 months would be perfect. I'm in if that's your plan. You are right: bi-monthly equals every other month. We are looking at semi-annually which is 2x per year. 2 CDs a month would be a lot of fun.

Katie, why don't you comment more girl? Help Jean & me in this sea of testosterone.

Blank, I think we would all put on stuff we really dig. I don't think this is something where we'd try to be obscure for the sake of obscurity. I prefer obscure, as long as it's good, only cuz it's less likely that I've heard it before. I am planning on putting one of my own songs on my cd, and that's as obscure as it gets. = )

by Linz at April 22, 2004 4:03 PM

But people call us "radio friendly country"...

Everyone go listen to Lindsay!

by Linz at April 22, 2004 4:04 PM

Sorry Lucy, I didn't see you were up there in the comments too. Whoah, four whole girls!

by Linz at April 22, 2004 4:10 PM

...because half a girl would be gross.

by lajoie at April 22, 2004 4:17 PM

...but three quarters of a girl would be hot.

by mg at April 22, 2004 4:28 PM

But Linz, isn't radio friendly country what you were going for? I like these reviews much better. Better recording=better reviews it seems. Now they will all bow before you. Mwaaaaahaaahaaahaa!

by Ezy at April 22, 2004 4:37 PM

um.. depends which three quarters.

feet to chest? interesting, but gross.

knees to head? now that's what i'm talkin' about!

by lajoie at April 22, 2004 5:31 PM

You so funny MG but I'm a step ahead of you. I got ahold of one of those newfangled rewritable discs and had Ian do just that. This tape is unbelievable, I think. Actually I've only heard parts of it because of all our stereos, only the system in my wife's car can read it. WTF?

by anna at April 22, 2004 6:37 PM

No prob Linz, I'm glad to see you might be in on this and I am definitely looking forward to listening to one of your songs if that's truly the case. So when do we get this thing started? I'm all for the six-month plan and including the artist/song name. Themes, well I'm not too good with themes but they can be challenging which is fun. Obscurity-wise I can't promise much, but rest assured my mixes would not consist of 12-15 Top 40 hits.

I'm very excited about this project! :)

by Lucy at April 22, 2004 7:29 PM

Anna, don't use the rewritables for music. Stick with CDR disks.

by MrBlank at April 22, 2004 7:39 PM

is speed metal a theme?

by lajoie at April 22, 2004 8:05 PM

Lucy, if you go to the link I pasted above, you can listen to 2 of my songs right this second.

by Linz at April 23, 2004 10:13 AM

me me! i want to do it too!

i did something like this a while ago and made the mistake of sending actual tapes. i thought it was a good idea at the time but, boy howdy, did i get in trouble.

by capitalj at April 23, 2004 2:45 PM

Okay, remember to email me your address so I can compile the list and put together the schedule.

by mg at April 23, 2004 2:47 PM

If it's over a long period, I think I'm out. I get thrown out of America in August, and international postage kills me. ($4.50 for a DVD sent home a couple of weeks ago...).

by Andy at April 24, 2004 10:53 PM

I want to do it too! Can I take Andy's place?

by Shannon at April 28, 2004 12:20 PM

sorry that you're leaving andy!

by Shannon at April 28, 2004 12:21 PM

I'll help Linz. Linz, silly noos, you can use my computer!

by Shannon at April 28, 2004 12:23 PM

Thanks Shan! It'll only take about 5 hours...

by Linz at April 28, 2004 12:30 PM

Can we spice up the CDs with some porn?

Eesh, jokes like that are what you get when you get the sleep deprived making jokes. Here's a question of protocol: if one has the ability, are crossfades a yea or nay?

by snaggle at April 28, 2004 12:41 PM

Snags: I dunno. Some pleople hate breaks between songs, others don't even notice.

Andy: If you don't mind going first, and then not getting any CDs after you move, then you can still participate. I guess it all depends whether you are a sadist or a masochist.

Sorry to anyone who emailed me and I didn't respond. Its getting towards finals time now, and I'm dying. If you are still interested in participating and HAVEN"T emailed me, please do so - I'll be putting the list together over the weekend, for sure.

by mg at April 28, 2004 1:23 PM

I'll email you my home address once I know what that is.

by anna at April 29, 2004 7:52 AM

HEY!! Where's Elfy Pants been!!!


by Autumn at April 29, 2004 12:17 PM

Wasn't Pantera the girl we wanted to post something about her career? MG, check your email.

Well there, a 50 comment post.

by anna at April 29, 2004 7:09 PM

Pantera, where ya been? Eff hasn't been around for a while.

Yea Anna, thats her.

by Ezy at April 30, 2004 12:12 PM

Just leaving a comment to reiterate my interest in participating. Oh, and Andy, if for some reason you're leaving the U.S. for Mexico I can still send you a CD.

by Lucy at April 30, 2004 2:30 PM

sign me up! i feel a deep need to inflict my bizarre taste in music on complete strangers.

by lizard at May 5, 2004 11:20 AM

The first time I came across this page, about six months ago, I was doing a research paper and found mg's personal page by accident. I remember thinking "oh, how neat and strange, a group of strangers strewn about the country and communicating through the internet! I wonder whether anyone else does such a thing!" Don't ask what kind of a box I was living in, I don't know, but suffice it to say I have since accomplished these two things: 1)lost HOURS surfing around this crazy parallel universe, in awe or envy or disgust or stitches at the confessions of anonymous strangers, and 2)discovered that BadSamaritan did not, in fact, coin the term "blog', as once I thought. And for a while now, I've had a couple of goals that keep getting put off. One has been to figure out how to post comments on this site (turns out it's pretty easy!) The other is to buy a CD Burner. So, I know I'm really late, and maybe too late? But if it's at all possible, I'd love to share music with you all. Let me know!

by Rebekah at May 18, 2004 9:39 PM

comments are closed