Mefi compilation album idea April 16, 2006 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Various artists: Feelin' Blue (Metafilter Records, 2006)
Given the response to cortex's excellent music post, and given the range and quality of music on offer, I have an idea that will make us all rich and famous* [follow me inside...]
posted by nylon to MetaFilter Music at 12:26 PM (81 comments total)

It seems that the music makers of Metafilter could put together an excellent compilation album. Maybe even a 2cd set. It's all very well and good folks putting up mp3s on their own sites and getting people to download them, but I'm a great believer in PRODUCT. A Metafilter compilation CD would be a great idea to raise a bit of cash for either a) Metafilter, b) the artists involved, c) some charity somewhere.

In the UK you can get 1000 glass mastered CDs pressed and put into transparent jewelcases with a 4 page full colour printed insert for around £650. I suspect that in the US it's far cheaper. Sell all 1000 for even just a quid each and you make £350. The only possible downside to this is that if no-one buys a single CD, you're left with a box of 1000 drinks coasters/mini frisbees and you're £650 out of pocket. But given the readership of MeFi, it seems that 1000 wouldn't be an impossible amount to shift.

How this could work: someone (not me, I'm in the UK) sets themselves up as The Compiler. Musicians submit original non-copyright-violating CD-ready material to The Compiler, The Compiler compiles an album, The Designer designs the sleeve, The Compiler sends the lot of to A Pressing Plant, The Pressing Plant makes some CDs, then someone (?) sets up a paypal driven shop to sell them for a small fee. Of course, for those not interested in physical product, we could even set up a download site where you donate cash for downloading the tracks.

This requires:
1. an initial investment from somewhere, whether it be some one person who pays for the pressing on the (legal) understanding that their costs are immediately recouped once enough CDs are sold, or whether we collect a number of microinvestments from a number of people (either donations, or loans).
2. some music. I'm happy to donate new exclusive material and waive royalties for this release; hopefully others will too. Someone might want to go as far as drawing up a contract, if they feel it's necessary, just saying that this is a goodwill project and no-one is going to sue anyone for anything or get greedy or whatever.

We could even send a copy to our very favouritest review site, Pitchfork Media!

Who interested? Is this a goer? As I say, I'll happily contribute new music, but it's kind of impractical for me to get involved with production. Hands up if you're in!
posted by nylon at 12:27 PM on April 16, 2006

Oops, actually, it appears to have been jack_mo's idea. But Calculus was invented independently by Newton and Gottfried, so I'm still going to make joint claim on this...
posted by nylon at 12:39 PM on April 16, 2006

One slight thing that I'd add to this... there really should be an extra step in the middle of it all: getting the CD mastered. If everyone submits their tracks, they might all be at different levels, etc. If someone were to go through with this, I would strongly encourage them to spend a bit extra (money, or time) and get the CD mastered.

Other than that, judging by how much good music seemed to be there... it's probably a pretty good idea.
posted by vernondalhart at 12:41 PM on April 16, 2006

I think this is a good idea. I'd donate a few bucks for the initial investment, and I would certainly buy a copy.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:46 PM on April 16, 2006

The initial investment could probably be taken care of with pre-orders from members. That'd give you a good idea of general interest too.
posted by ferociouskitty at 12:54 PM on April 16, 2006

Sure, why not. I'd probably buy one if it shipped with some nice artwork and, as vernondalhart mentioned, was properly mastered.

We could have pre-orders in order to raise the money for pressing the first batch of discs. (On preview: What ferociouskitty said.)

Ooh, ooh, and a contest a la Projects where the artists could submit their work and get picked for the final product.
posted by sveskemus at 12:57 PM on April 16, 2006

I would buy one and chip in for initial investment some if that was helpful. I could also help on the US mailing side if it was easier to ship them in bulk to the US and then out from here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:09 PM on April 16, 2006

Yeah, I could get on board with this too. I can offer amatuer mastering/production efforts, but if we have a pro among us or a reasonable price to have it done, that's probably a good plan.
posted by cortex at 1:18 PM on April 16, 2006

I forwarded this thread to my wife (turtlegirl) to see if she has any interest (read: time) in doing the mastering.
posted by terrapin at 1:20 PM on April 16, 2006

Sounds exciting. I'd certianly be keen to submit a track.
posted by nthdegx at 1:27 PM on April 16, 2006

please tell us that "matthewchen is spamming" will be the hidden bonus track.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 1:51 PM on April 16, 2006

I'd be willing to pre-buy and throw in some money to get it started.
posted by generic230 at 1:59 PM on April 16, 2006

I could do the mastering for the project. (For whatever nominal fee that participants vote to pay themselves out of the pofits, or simply for credit if this is going to be a fundraiser for something - arts/music programs for children?) Should we email this thread to the other artists in Cortex's post to see if they'd be interested? (The ones who haven't posted here, that is.)
posted by turtlegirl at 2:05 PM on April 16, 2006

i'd love to chip in a few quid, buy a copy, and help with copy writing for liner notes and/or website. Liner notes with original MeFite art would be great, too. Seconded on matthewchen is spamming bonus track and various other easter-eggs in the liner notes. Would be happy to help with UK distribution, if required.
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:07 PM on April 16, 2006

Ooh, ooh, and a contest a la Projects where the artists could submit their work and get picked for the final product.

MeFIdol? (Mark me down for a copy, too.)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:08 PM on April 16, 2006

MeFIdol, awesome! Another vote here for pre-order and chip in, whatever. I'm sure plenty others would step up to the plate with contributions if anyone in the original thread pulls out. Would be great to get this done with some real high quality artwork and some nice production values, all "in house" to Mefi, as it were.
posted by fire&wings at 2:11 PM on April 16, 2006

Oh man, I would totally submit a song to MeFIdol and/or buy a CD.
posted by danb at 2:18 PM on April 16, 2006

Just point to torrents.
posted by furtive at 2:19 PM on April 16, 2006

This is brilliant. Put me down for the boxed set.
posted by LarryC at 2:22 PM on April 16, 2006

I'm in. Count me in for a copy and a share of the up-front, just post a new metatalk article when you're ready.
posted by hardcode at 3:09 PM on April 16, 2006

I'm up for this, both in offering up a track, and in purchasing the result. Nice idea.
posted by Jimbob at 3:17 PM on April 16, 2006

Put me down for a track/MefIdol spot and a presale.
This is a super idea.
posted by krix at 3:25 PM on April 16, 2006

I would buy it.

And when it sells big, I'll tell everybody that I knew you all way back when...
posted by kamikazegopher at 3:30 PM on April 16, 2006

You can do it through cafepress, actually. So the initial investment would be minimal. Advertising it on the front page of MeFi should get plenty of sales.
posted by delmoi at 3:36 PM on April 16, 2006

Count me in; pre-buy, small investment and tracks. This is a really cool idea!
posted by snsranch at 3:45 PM on April 16, 2006

Yes and yes.
posted by drezdn at 3:45 PM on April 16, 2006

The 23rd Century would happily contribute a track. Who's going to organize this project?
posted by tcobretti at 3:56 PM on April 16, 2006

Regarding Jessemyn's point about int'l shipping, I'd strongly suggest going through CD Baby and letting them handle the particulars of international shipping. It's a mildly spendy ($3.50/disc, IIRC) way of handling fulfullment, but it's very much worth it. Shipping internationally sucks.
posted by stet at 3:59 PM on April 16, 2006

I'd rather see preorders and an initial investment than the cafepress route, if we have any broad base of interest—cafepress will eat $9 off the top for each CD, whereas we can do even a small run for considerably less privately.
posted by cortex at 4:00 PM on April 16, 2006

Totally frikkin' in!
posted by 31d1 at 4:21 PM on April 16, 2006

I'll contribute a track and do whatever else I can do to help.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:26 PM on April 16, 2006

I suggest DiscMakers for duplication. Fast turnaround, $1.39 per CD if you get 1,000 (with printing on the CD, and a 4-page full-color insert, and the insert that goes in the tray to make the back, I think).

I have clients who have used CD Baby and have been very happy with them, so I second stet's idea of using them for international distribution, considering the high cost of international postage.

Also, I personally like the idea of letting any MeFite participate that wants to, with a limit on the initial number of artists, and a time limit per song (knowing that there could be albums 2, 3, 4, etc. in future).
posted by turtlegirl at 4:30 PM on April 16, 2006

You can do it through cafepress, actually

I don't trust cafepress to know too much about audio. Plus their base price for a CD is $9 - doing it ourselves, the base price is $1-$2. That's a huge difference.

As fire&wings says, this is something that should really have high production values - given that we're you're a talented and creative bunch of people, there's no reason why we can't pool our resources and produce something wonderful entirely ourselves.

For pressing, I have warm feelings towards CD Forge, based in Portland OR - they've done some cool stuff, and Mike, the CEO seems like a nice guy. Plus they do a CD Baby voucher where they pay the $35 set-up cost for CD Baby for CDs they've manufatured. There's an online quote facility, and I've just done some quick ones: a super-duper full colour 8 panel foldout matte digipak with clear insert tray will cost you around $3000 for 1000; standard clear jewelcase with full colour 4 page insert is around $1700 for 1000, but only $2500 for 2000. The economies of scale are significant.

I guess we're all shiftily glancing around with our hands in our pockets hoping someone will jump in and organise everything - I think that given the demographics, it should be someone in the US? Maybe we could set up a pre-order fund? Would that work? Or if not necessarily a pre-order fund, then some kind of drop-cash microinvestment fund. I'm really reluctant to get involved in financial stuff, because, well, I don't know what I'm doing. But I'd happily be involved with compiling/tracklisting/designing. In fact, let me hereby officially offer my services as A Compiler - I'm happy to receive all submissions, and then come up with a great tracklist/running order that can be sent to A Mastering Expert. Unless, of course, the popular vote is that all submissions should be put to the popular vote? Turn this into a competition, as sveskemus suggests?

If this works out, Volume 2 should be a matthewchen tribute album.
posted by nylon at 5:12 PM on April 16, 2006

A really good mix would probably be better achieved by an individual (or small, endlessly bickering team) than by voting. I'd rather see each artist submit one or two good tracks and have the human touch go from there.
posted by cortex at 5:17 PM on April 16, 2006

Let's separate the finance from the sales. There is need for money to get the project started, regardless of the demand. If there is enough cash to cover the costs, money from sales will be extra (contribution to your favorite cause), or make everything available to everyone for free. If you wish, money contributed can be subtracted from the price when you buy the CD (or use any other scheme you like).

Now, back to finance. I suggest we make use of "Street Performer Protocol", or one of its variants. Use PledgeBank for promises or Fundable for money guarantees (before submitting your info to any of these sites, read the disclaimers/faq/etc).

My contribution:
I pledge $20 dollars to the MeFIdol project if the total amount of money pledged by all other MeFites is $1000.

Thus, if we are, say, 40 people and our pledges reach $1000, we all send the money to ... (by the way, who is in charge?) and the project gets started.

The copyright stuff should be settled at this stage too, before the artists submit their songs.
posted by MzB at 5:17 PM on April 16, 2006

The copyright stuff should be settled at this stage too, before the artists submit their songs.

This may well vary from artist to artist. I consider my works to be public domain. I really don't care. But I doubt others would be so relaxed.
posted by Jimbob at 5:22 PM on April 16, 2006

I seem to have been in a coma for the last hour and neglected to see turtlegirl's last comment. Ok, so Discmakers are cheaper than CDForge.

Also, I personally like the idea of letting any MeFite participate that wants to

Agreed, but are we happy to forego quality control? I ask genuinely. What if I contribute a track that's absolutely terrible? Is that part of the appeal of this venture?
posted by nylon at 5:25 PM on April 16, 2006

I hate to be the dissenting voice here, but I think a simpler idea might be the cafepress/cdbaby route. Everybody emails/mails a song of two to a gmail acct. Then the songs are uploaded to cafepress/cdbaby. Somebody contributes cover art after the songlist is finalized and voila! we have a record. No financial outlay/details, and we don't have 1000 cds waiting for us to find a home for them.

Cafepress does give large discounts if you buy in quantities over 15. However, I haven't used cdbaby; it may well be superior for all I know.

I am willing to handle the details if you guys like the idea. I also can master all the songs. However, I am not a pro, so don't expect Andy Wallace.
posted by tcobretti at 5:56 PM on April 16, 2006

CDBaby will also make the music available on iTunes and other pay-download services, but it won't be for a long time after you first sign up with them. For every physical CD you sell on CDBaby, they keep $4. For digital sales, they keep 9%.

I would be interested in contributing tracks.

My question is, do you folks want all the tracks to be exclusive? Or am I correct in assuming it would be ok if they're also available on my web site or on an EP?
posted by ludwig_van at 6:15 PM on April 16, 2006

I like the idea, and I'm in for pre-sale at the very least. I do think editors are needed though...since jack_mo, nylon, cortex (and goodnewsfortheinsane I think, in another thread) have all talked about doing this I'll nominate them to do editing. This nomination is a completely off the top of my head so anyone could volunteer/bowout, but I wanted to get the ball rolling on a decision.
posted by cali at 6:17 PM on April 16, 2006

tcobretti, cafepress may well be simpler, but with all due respect, it seems like an amateur solution - for a start, they're selling CD-Rs, not proper glass mastered audio discs. You're selling yours for $8.99, so you're not making any profit whatsoever, regardless of how many you sell. If we go the DiscMaker route and sell for $8.99, we only need to sell 180 to break even - every other sale beyond that is pure profit. I know that we're split into two camps here - those that love the tactile thrill of a nicely packaged CD and those that don't give two hoots about cover art or card stock as long as the music's good. I personally think it'd be a shame not to pull out all the stops and produce an all-round Nice Thing. Something we can all be really proud of, that'll compete with the best of the professional stuff. For me, it's not just about the music. Considering the wealth of talent we have here at MeFi, we shouldn't have to do something simple, if simple = not as good as it could be.

ludwig_van: I certainly wouldn't expect everyone to produce exclusive stuff, no, as for a lot of bands that would require expensive studio time. It'd be nice, sure, but by no means necessary. The only issue would be if the label were happy for you to put the track out elsewhere. Most small labels allow the musician to retain rights to the songs, so it shouldn't be a problem, but best to check first. We don't want to have to pay licensing fees if we can help it.
posted by nylon at 6:38 PM on April 16, 2006

1) If you're charging good money for it, it does need to be mastered. It's the difference between a demo and a proper release.

2) Morphius in Baltimore will price match. My band is going with them and getting 1000 CDs (an 8 page insert booklet plus CD) for $1320 or somewhere around that.

3) My band would be willing (and wanting) to contribute a song. This could be really cool.

I think this could be a series with different volumes, like Windham Hills, etc.
posted by visual mechanic at 6:39 PM on April 16, 2006

I can contribute: one electronic track - CC or public domain. I'm pretty sure I still have the uncompressed master file around here, somewhere.

I would like to stipulate that whatever my theoretically tiny share is of any theoretical proceeds go to either A) Metafilter or B) Funding future music releases or C) a local, deserving radio public station - in that "deserving" is defined by radio station's independence, openness, publicness and quality, in that order.

Or something along those lines.
posted by loquacious at 6:54 PM on April 16, 2006

I also second the call for a mostly proper mastering. It doesn't have to be RIAA specs with a gazillion layers of dynamic range compression to make it pop for radio play, but it shouldn't just be a collection of varying-quality MP3s on a disc.

We should have enough skills, hardware and software between us to do a decent mastering. It's dirt simple to do on computer these days, compared to older studio analog or analog+DAT mastering methods. It just needs a good ear and a light hand.

As for sequencing and editing, this should also be lightly done. If anything, a MeFi audio comp should be a smorgasborg and an odd amalgam.
posted by loquacious at 6:59 PM on April 16, 2006

And finally, if "matthewchen is spamming" is going to be a bonus track, "jingle bell rock" needs to be on there as well. This is a mandate.
posted by loquacious at 7:00 PM on April 16, 2006

I am game for whatever. Cafepress is certainly not cheap, but it is extraordinarily easy, which I have found to be helpful when dealing with large numbers of people.

But, like I said, whatever's cool with me.
posted by tcobretti at 7:16 PM on April 16, 2006

The second release on Metafilter Records has to be cortex singing every FPP over the course of a week.

Then I'd like to do some sound art based on signal processing everyone's usernames. And loquacious' feedback behemoth needs to be recreated.

Then maybe a Clavdivs spoken word album?
posted by nylon at 7:22 PM on April 16, 2006

The title should take the form of a tagline snark.

e.g., "Metafilter: Music from Quonsar's pants"
posted by planetkyoto at 8:07 PM on April 16, 2006

Or, you know, just post the tracks somewhere for download. Maybe some sort of paid download without DRM?

I'm a big fan of a professional mastering job. I don't need the physical CD at all, but I'd love to have a coherent collection of mefi music.
posted by JZig at 8:28 PM on April 16, 2006

As for the track selection, here's a proposal:

Mefi's submit tracks to a centralized repository somewhere. All tracks submitted must be licensed in a way that they could be sold in a final product, to get the legal stuff out of the way early.

After a suitable amount of time has passed, anyone with an interest can create virtual cds with tracks pulled from the repository. After some of those have been made, the MeFi members as a whole vote on the best compilations. This allows both an individual's artistry in crafting a full disc and the influence of the rest of MeFi on the result.

Then, we take the x cds that were voted the best, and submit them for professional mastering and burning. We then sell them to ourselves and others. Money goes somewhere, probably a mix of paying off costs and some sort of charity.
posted by JZig at 8:33 PM on April 16, 2006

I'm in too. Can do a song with Mefi-related content if need be :)
posted by First Post at 8:40 PM on April 16, 2006

Well, I doubt my stuff, such as it is, would make the quality cut for the MetaCD, though I would probably submit a couple of the best tracks for kicks.

But I have put very many hours of (I frequently fear utterly pointless) thought into the potential dynamics of collective production, particularly of musical content. Here's your problems.

1. Who does things. Who solicits files, opens a bank account to collect money, calls CD producers, coordinates with the engineer, solicits cover art, gets the same in shape for a printer, gets the master delivered to the manufacturer, gets a thousand CDs listed, and arranges distribution?

2. How do the decisions about any of the above get made? How do the tracks get picked? How is an engineer chosen? How is the art picked? How are the production and distribution methods as well as the specific vendors selected? How formal do you get about rights, legally, and how do you manage that?

3. Think about how many people the above really entails, at a minimum, remember that you either gotta give the middleman a shot or lick a stamp and mail the damn thing yourself, and then start divying up what's left of that £350, however the hell much money that is (it's about 615 USD).

4. Read the posts above this one looking for the following pattern:
a. how many people saying "cool I've got a song."
b. number of people saying "cool I want to buy this."

5. What is the protocol for discussing all these questions and getting them answered?

Until somebody at least says "okay, I'm in charge of this, email me if you're interested in participating and tell me how" it won't be anything other than a thought experiment. And once all of the above gets sorted, somebody drop me a line, I want to get in on the ground floor for the Metafilter Feature Length Direct to DVD movie, the Metafilter MMORPG, I'm particularly excited about the Metafilter Mutual Fund.

BTW cool I want to buy this. Who's going to keep track of me and how? Or am I supposed to keep track of myself to make sure I get around to paying money for your CD?
posted by nanojath at 9:16 PM on April 16, 2006

You speak much wisdom nanojath.
posted by tcobretti at 9:29 PM on April 16, 2006

Hey guys, I write music too! Guys? Guys?

I guess I'm saying that I'm down with submittin' tracks, buyin' albums, or other tasks delegated to me. Just not so good with the delegatin' itself.
posted by speicus at 9:44 PM on April 16, 2006

I've done this before, actually.

I had the CD mastered by someone local, and then had CDMan do duplication. They were great to work with, and very competitively priced...

I'm willing to help out if you'd like someone who's done it before to maybe bring some experience to the table.
posted by twiggy at 10:28 PM on April 16, 2006

I'll contribute a track.
posted by fake at 11:13 PM on April 16, 2006

Feeling Blue/Yelling Grey/Asking Green/Pimping Red
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:16 PM on April 16, 2006

Metafilter: the Heroic Saga of the commons.

This sounds awesome, I'll definitely buy one.
posted by Ryvar at 12:09 AM on April 17, 2006

"A really good mix would probably be better achieved by an individual (or small, endlessly bickering team) than by voting. I'd rather see each artist submit one or two good tracks and have the human touch go from there.

I was really pleased to see someone suggest this. The idea of a vote-out doesn't appeal at all: that's one cultural trend we should consign to the trash. cortex - is this something you'd be up for because all the evidence points to you being the man for the job.
posted by nthdegx at 12:54 AM on April 17, 2006

I can totally see the good reasons to not have public voting and I was also only half serious in suggesting it.

I do, however, think the track selection should be done by more than one individual. Possibly a group of 3-5? Maybe more, maybe less.

I'd vounteer to be a part of the compiler group if you'd trust me with it (I've been a college radio dj for some years and I consider myself a bit of an expert in the fields of indie rock, electronica and, to some extent, hip hop).
posted by sveskemus at 1:23 AM on April 17, 2006

I would be more than happy to assemble and master the CD.

I have been a musician for 28 years, worked in radio for 17 and have run a studio in Tennessee for the last decade.

This is what I do everyday.
posted by Duncan at 1:30 AM on April 17, 2006

cortex, jonmc, quonsar and loquacious would make a great judging panel. And maybe mathowie too, since he's the boss. But that's just my opinion.
posted by Jimbob at 2:12 AM on April 17, 2006

I'd pre-order one. I think pre-orders are the way to cover costs. This is a great idea.
posted by MrMustard at 4:13 AM on April 17, 2006

Another title suggestion: Music from Big Pink Blue.

I'd like to contribute something. Even collaborate with someone.
posted by emelenjr at 6:30 AM on April 17, 2006

I think that the album has to be compiled by 1 person, or all the people. All or nothing. And I feel quite strongly that it'll be a better thing if it's just 1. A small committee just won't work for this kind of thing. Given that the original post was cortex's, I'd be very happy for him to be responsible for compiling, collating, choosing what goes on and in what order. If you'd be happy doing that, cortex? This way, not only do we get an objectively better overview, we also open the possibility for future volumes to be curated by other members, like the DJ Kicks/All Back To Mine series. Which would be doubly excellent, because we'll get subtly different flavours in each volume - for instance, empath's compilation could just consist of a big megamix of everything, jonmc might choose to focus on 80s hair metal, etc. This, of course, will involve people mailing CDs to cortex, and cortex wading through them all and picking the 'best bits'. How you'd do that, and whether you offer a first-come-first-served system, or whether it's initially invite only based on the response in your thread/this thread, would be totally up to you. If you'd rather not do that then I'll gladly step up to the plate and offer my services.

Matt, do you have an account/fund that you'd be willing to use as a receptacle for pre-orders/investment? I hope I speak on behalf of everyone here in saying that we trust you not to steal it and run away to Brazil, where you'll spend the rest of your days napping in hammocks and drinking pina coladas from coconut shells while we all die of ennui waiting for exciting new music to fill our ears. If we're accumulating upwards of $1000 we need some degree of security [looks around furtively, checks pockets].

If we have an idea of who/how the initial investments will be made, I can set up a pledgebank pledge - I guess something like 'I'll put $20 into the pot if 100 other people do the same', which would give us enough to pay for 1000 copies of a really nice 6-panel digipak straight away. And we can work out the details of investment/returns collectively. I'd personally be happy to get back my initial stake of $20 once enough copies have been sold to break even, if the profits are to go to a good cause.

One thing we should do en masse, I guess, is a design competition. Have people submit design proposals for a front cover and then vote on them. Then once we've chosen a designer, they become the design authority and what they decide is what happens? This makes sense to me, rather than having a 100-comment thread of 'no no, move the text left a bit'.

So, getting the disc compiled, mastered and manufactured is easy, and between us we have plenty of experience here (looks especially to twiggy). The only real problem I see at the moment is with distribution - someone somewhere has to physically receive the discs from the pressing plant and then send them somewhere. Whether this means individually posting them to purchasers or mailing boxes off to third party distros, I dunno. Again, if Matt was interested in using a MeFi account, I'd be happy for payments to be collected there, but someone still needs to mail the discs off to the music-hungry public (or money-hungry third parties). Without this link in the chain, we're kinda sunk. Any volunteers? I can act as a UK hub, sending off individual discs, but it'll likely be cheaper for everyone if non-US copies are posted directly from the US, rather than paying for shipping twice (plus, importing a box of x-hundred CDs will mean we get stung with duty and import tax).
posted by nylon at 6:49 AM on April 17, 2006

cortex - is this something you'd be up for because all the evidence points to you being the man for the job.

I'd absolutely be up for it, but I agree with the folks who've suggested a team; I think three sets of ears is about right, and ideally three markedly different sets.

And in fact, listening and comparing and compiling is one thing we can start on without waiting to figure the rest of the details out. I'd be happy to start compiling and stockpiling submissions—I've got plenty of hosting at the moment to handle it. So, well:


Please send one or two tracks in mp3 format to joshjosh atta gmail dotta com .

I may go ahead and start a fresh MeTa thread later today with more explicit requests and suggestions. I have thought about it and I am increasingly willing to spearhead this thing and do the organization/delegation/etc.
posted by cortex at 7:00 AM on April 17, 2006

I think three sets of ears is about right, and ideally three markedly different sets.

I don't know, that sounds like one of those "better in theory than in practice" things to me, but I'm of the "only trust my own ears" type anyway.

Sending tracks!
posted by ludwig_van at 7:03 AM on April 17, 2006

(And for those rending their flesh and shrieking about fidelity—I want mp3s for listening, not for final construction. We'll use the best goddam uncompressed master track you've got for the CD.)
posted by cortex at 7:03 AM on April 17, 2006

I have no fundamental objection to doing a narcissistic one-man editorial job, really. nylon's comment hadn't been posted when I wrote mine; the idea of different single editors per volume isn't bad.
posted by cortex at 7:05 AM on April 17, 2006

I'd be interested in helping compile it/write liners. (I'm late, but that's because I've spent all morning listening to all the different sites...)
posted by klangklangston at 7:58 AM on April 17, 2006

I may go ahead and start a fresh MeTa thread later

Please do; you'll be able to crystallize the agreements and structures that are emerging from this thread and give us a clear game plan for going forward. Very exciting idea.

I'm going to go with those who are looking for a committee of compilers, say, three people. If that's not pragmatic, though, then what I'd hope to see is a really open-minded and representative sampling of the wildly varied genres that MeFites are producing. I know it can be hard to sequence albums like that, but it can be done very well by someone with a good ear.

I too would love to see this as a series of volumes. There are seemingly a great many people who want to contribute.

Also, I agree that decent packaging would make this much more of a delight to own, and more appealing for purchase by people who aren't personally invested. If this were something lurkers and readers wanted to buy and own, it would be a much better venture than if the only buyers were people who worked on the CDs in some capacity and don't care how it looks.
posted by Miko at 8:06 AM on April 17, 2006

I'd buy a copy. It'd be cool if we could get some of the stuff from the MeTa Poetry Assault thread set to music.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:10 AM on April 17, 2006

A-postin' a new thread in a moment. Brace yourselves for text.
posted by cortex at 8:20 AM on April 17, 2006

posted by cortex at 8:22 AM on April 17, 2006

Also, I have a PayPal account that is practically dormant (but set up to take CCs etc) if someone needs a trusted escrow account.

Should there be a separate set of interested folks for packaging/art?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:23 AM on April 17, 2006

That's my thought too, jessamyn—open submissions for cover/liner/CD art, with someone(s) acting as editor to pick either one great & consistent art submission or meld several good ones into a single coherent & attractive package (front cover by user A, inside cover by user B, liner bed by user C, CD art by user D).
posted by cortex at 8:32 AM on April 17, 2006

And finally, if "matthewchen is spamming" is going to be a bonus track, "jingle bell rock" needs to be on there as well. This is a mandate.

If copyright is an issue Jingle Rock Bell is out: while the instrumental track is no longer commercially available as far as I know, it is not in the public domain.

BTW, the performer, Lenny Dee, just died in February.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:07 AM on April 17, 2006

It shoud be marked as Volumne 1.

Maybe it should be a boxed set too, including: Music for Surfing, Music for Spamming, Christmas Music, etc.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:22 AM on April 17, 2006

PinkStainlessTail—do you know the copyright status of the composition itself, irrespective of any particular recording? Because I have no doubt we could rustle up an original rendition of the background track for you, if that would be in the clear...
posted by cortex at 9:31 AM on April 17, 2006

For distribution, while it might cost a little more overhead - what about shipping the CDs to CDBaby?

They'll sell them online for you, and cut you a check... They're very well known in the indie music world...
posted by twiggy at 9:37 AM on April 17, 2006

I've used CDman for disc duplication and CD Baby for selling. I recommend both.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:10 PM on April 18, 2006

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