My friends know me as an inveterate mix-tape maker and frustrated DJ. I've put together mix tapes and CDs for more than three decades for friends and acquaintances, sometimes thematically assembled to mark certain events (weddings, birthdays, etc), or holidays (I made an Xmas music compilation for seven years). I even compiled a CD to mark the publication of my novel GONE 'TIL NOVEMBER.
A recent FaceBook exchange with author David Corbett got me thinking about this "15 Song" chain e-mail making the rounds. The rules of the game are simple: "(1) Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer. (2) Go to SHUFFLE mode. (3) Write down the first 15 songs that come up - title and artist. First rule - be honest! Don't keep shuffling forward for "cooler" songs. This is a 'getting to know you' exercise. NO editing/cheating, please."
So here's the idea: Go to my official FaceBook page and Like/Join it (if you haven't already), then post the title and artist of the first album you ever bought. In return, five respondents will get a free personal mix CD from me of 15 random songs automatically generated by the "Shuffle"function of my iTunes library, with a unique cover and complete track listing. In keeping with the spirit of it, the five winners will be chosen at random as well, and each will get a separately generated mix. In this case, iTunes will play DJ, and I'll adhere to the rules above. Everyone's eligible.
The selections will be suitably eclectic. However, be advised I have a huge CD collection. There are more than 4,000 songs in my iTunes library at the moment, and I'll be adding more this week. The selections may range anywhere from rare live Springsteen to Tom Waits outtakes to Ennio Morricone and Philip Glass film music, Wynonie Harris jump blues, Charlie Haden jazz and surf guitar instrumentals. In short, they could be anything. But I guarantee it'll be a fun listen.
I'll choose the winners next Thursday (12/16) at 5 p.m., burn the discs that day and mail them out shortly afterward in time for the holidays. Happy listening.