MeFi Swap February 4, 2007 7:36 PM   Subscribe

It's that time once again. Please feel free to sign up now for another round of the MeFiSwap. (And yes, the security glitch that plagued a subsection of the site for a few days last time around have been addressed and solved.)
posted by Dreama to MetaFilter Music at 7:36 PM (156 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I'm in. Last round was tons of fun.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:48 PM on February 4, 2007


I thought about this last time but decided my musical tastes were too narrow. But I since realized solving that problem is the whole point of this!

I'm in.
posted by aubilenon at 8:08 PM on February 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm in !
posted by seawallrunner at 8:26 PM on February 4, 2007


By security glith do you mean the thing where our real names were listed in open with our usernames, were indexed by google and attempts to contact you about it got no replies? I really enjoyed the last swap (although I only got one CD) but would need to be really really sure that wasn't going to happen again and that any issue that do happen will be dealt with in a timely manner before I sign up.
posted by shelleycat at 9:02 PM on February 4, 2007


I'm still waiting to receive two comps from last year.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:53 PM on February 4, 2007


Sing the song about the bicycle, cortex.
posted by Tuwa at 10:04 PM on February 4, 2007


Cool, I'm in
posted by TheDonF at 10:48 PM on February 4, 2007


shelleycat, I have in my archives an e-mail reply sent to you within 5 hours with regard to the about the security issue, caused by a problematic robots.txt which coincided with a spidering, and I worked quite diligently to remove the index and passworded the surveys. But you know, let's don't let the chance to be sensationalist get in the way of the facts.
posted by Dreama at 11:22 PM on February 4, 2007


I'm in again, after missing the past couple due to my inability to stay in one spot for more than two weeks. The entire timespan of this round has be staying put for the longest time in a year and a half.

What up to TheDonF and shelleycat, for their mixes from the past.
posted by myopicman at 12:06 AM on February 5, 2007


From the website: "[Your information is] protected from all web spiders which obey robots.txt."

What about spiders that don't? I think a lot of people would like a bit of reassurance that security mishaps won't happen again before sending in their real address.
posted by matthewr at 2:34 AM on February 5, 2007


What kind of punishment could be meted out to one sided receivers?

I did a side swap a few months back, that only had a 50% return rate.

I'd be interested if there was a blacklist maintained that omitted past slack fuckers (hey, I have their physical addresses, too!! - enjoy that second package, motherfuckers?)
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:12 AM on February 5, 2007


Just password protect the site.
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:13 AM on February 5, 2007


I'm in. If you'll have me.
posted by Famous at 4:09 AM on February 5, 2007


Ah signed me up, thanks Dreama!
posted by carsonb at 4:29 AM on February 5, 2007


if there was a blacklist maintained that omitted past slack fuckers

I am a past slack fucker. This past go-round, the swap deadline was 4 weeks after my son was born. When I signed up, I didn't figure on those four weeks (eight or ten weeks, actually) being so hardcore that I couldn't find enough time or energy to put together one little CD and burn it five times.

I presume I'm banned, correct?
posted by anastasiav at 4:40 AM on February 5, 2007


"[Your information is] protected from all web spiders which obey robots.txt."

I'm out. Hell, I don't even obey robots.txt.
posted by loquacious at 6:08 AM on February 5, 2007


I'm in again, though two people in my set never did send anything - not even an apology for flaking - I found that sad.

But the swap did jump start my fledgling love of Tom Waits, so I am looking forward to this new one.
posted by Julnyes at 6:38 AM on February 5, 2007


He's out. You're out. I'm not even sure if I'm in either...

No gang!

I'm definitely considering this, but it's disheartening to read that historically there has been a low return rate.
posted by defenestration at 6:54 AM on February 5, 2007


Definitely IN!
posted by mds35 at 7:03 AM on February 5, 2007


I'm in.
posted by empath at 7:07 AM on February 5, 2007


And thank you, Dreama!
posted by mds35 at 7:09 AM on February 5, 2007


You guys should just do what I did: fake name and fake address. That way, no security problems! but where are my mixes!!!???

I'm in again. Unbelievably, by the grace of Hashem, I was not stalked/blasted by robots/signed up for bestiality magazine subscriptions during the horrific breakdown in security.
posted by kosem at 7:19 AM on February 5, 2007


Sure, I'm in.
posted by Plutor at 7:27 AM on February 5, 2007


Count me in.
posted by Kattullus at 7:46 AM on February 5, 2007


I signed up for the first time .... should be good, thanks for the heads up!
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:59 AM on February 5, 2007


I'm in too, but I better get more CDs this time!

And don't harsh on shelleycat -- she and I were the only ones in our group to send out CDs, and hers was fantastic!
posted by Rock Steady at 8:03 AM on February 5, 2007


3 out of 5 and 4 out of 5 is my record so far, which I guess isn't bad considering 2 of the CDs I've gotten have blown my mind. So I guess I'll jump in again.
posted by spicynuts at 8:49 AM on February 5, 2007


This is an awesome idea. Count me in.
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:58 AM on February 5, 2007


I would like to give it a go. Count me in please.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:07 AM on February 5, 2007


I'm IN!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:09 AM on February 5, 2007


Heh. The last swap I did with y'all, I got a grand total of one CD. And yeah, I slacked too. I feel bad for the poor motherfucker in my group who sent 'em out in order to recieve a sack o' nothin'.

Something I'd seen discussed before, but not implimented, was a virtual swap, where Rapidshare or YouSendIt was used and people uploaded mixes with art. That'd cut out a lot of the "Oh God, I gotta buy more stamps, where'd I put the envelope, my burner's fucking up again, how come I'm one song over" shit that derailed me (and as such, I'm out. I'm not gonna burn people's goodwill again on this).

Oh, and not to impugn y'all, but every swap I've been in since middle school has sucked in terms of return. Like, even when I get the CDs, I always feel like "Christ, I slaved over making the perfect mix only to get back a bunch of goddamned Bush radio singles and Air Supply?" (or having to sit through the excruciating jazz taste of the Monkeyfilter member who shall remain nameless, but sent, like, the most boring standards album imaginable. I already have Kind of Blue, thanks.)

Maybe I should just make another website and do a swap through there with virtual swapping and groups by taste or something. I don't want to be all Fuck You Crew, but taste that aligns with mine (hereafter refered to as "good taste") but is off enough for me to find new things seems pretty rare. And I'd imagine that people getting mixes from me keep going "Fucking skronk jazz and buttrock. I'm never listening to this again!"
posted by klangklangston at 9:41 AM on February 5, 2007


I want to register. How do I find my MeFi user #?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:52 AM on February 5, 2007


benny: 19055. Hover over your name in a comment.
posted by matthewr at 9:53 AM on February 5, 2007


God help us all, I'm in.
posted by boo_radley at 9:56 AM on February 5, 2007


matthewr:

Thanks.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:57 AM on February 5, 2007


Heh. The last swap I did with y'all, I got a grand total of one CD.... Oh, and not to impugn y'all, but every swap I've been in since middle school has sucked in terms of return. Like, even when I get the CDs, I always feel like "Christ, I slaved over making the perfect mix only to get back a bunch of goddamned Bush radio singles and Air Supply?"

The food here sucks, and the portions are too small.

I would appreciate a more digital distribution system, though. Perhaps make that an option for swappers?
posted by Rock Steady at 9:58 AM on February 5, 2007


"The food here sucks, and the portions are too small."

More like, the specials are good but the menu sucks.
posted by klangklangston at 10:13 AM on February 5, 2007


I'm in...
posted by drezdn at 10:29 AM on February 5, 2007


Is it too late? I'm so in if not.
posted by scrump at 10:36 AM on February 5, 2007


scrump: be sure to sign up at the link Dreama posted.
posted by boo_radley at 10:40 AM on February 5, 2007


Can I ask a probably-stupid question? From the swap homepage:

"If you don’t have every reasonable expectation of being able to actually follow through and send out five mixes..."

That does mean five copies of the same mix, right? If so, I'm way in!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 10:46 AM on February 5, 2007


Everybody realizes it's not enough to just say "I'm In!" right? You gotta click that there linkydink up in the main post and sign into the system.

I'll give it one more try, the first time I tried to participate the official swap site was sort of a train wreck for a bit too long (sorry for being such a bitch about it, Dreama, it had been a hell of a month), and then I got into some side-project swap where the participation was complete BS except for a couple of people (hey there, seawallrunner!), one of which was me. I'm going to let bygones be bygones (and hope it goes both ways) and see what happens.
posted by nanojath at 10:49 AM on February 5, 2007


Unofficial, vestigial virtual swap board.

I mean, I'd have done it all in MeTa, except that I think Matt might be skeeved by the copyright violation aspect...
But anyone interested is highly encouraged to join over there and help me hash things out.
posted by klangklangston at 11:37 AM on February 5, 2007


Dammit, klang, I was about 5 minutes from launching my own board.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:59 AM on February 5, 2007


Regarding swaps: I almost enjoy making comps and sending them out as I do getting them. I won't claim to have the most extensive music selection, but it is pretty good, and I like the idea of turning people onto new music. So, if I get one or two back, yes I am a little disappointed, but not majorly so.
posted by edgeways at 12:04 PM on February 5, 2007


Maybe I should just make another website and do a swap through there with virtual swapping and groups by taste or something.

The problem I have is that my LP collection is more diverse than my CD/MP3 collection, despite my CD collection being about 5 times as large. So I guess I'm screwed unless we go back to swapping tapes.
posted by spicynuts at 12:10 PM on February 5, 2007


loquacious writes "Hell, I don't even obey robots.txt."

It's not so much that I ignore robots.txt; I use them to find the good stuff. It's amazing what people will "hide" on their sites by not linking to the directory/files and then out the directory by lisiting it in robots.txt.

klangklangston writes "Something I'd seen discussed before, but not implimented, was a virtual swap, where Rapidshare or YouSendIt was used and people uploaded mixes with art."

We've been doing this in Mecha. Minus the Art.
posted by Mitheral at 12:11 PM on February 5, 2007


Monju— So c'mon over there and help me run it! (I'd also be fine with ceding to you if you wanted to run it. I just got sick of wanting something and having other people go "yeah" and never having anything happen).

Spicy— So is mine, but my tapedeck sucks. I just tend to rip things from vinyl to mp3.
posted by klangklangston at 12:13 PM on February 5, 2007


Dammit, klang, I was about 5 minutes from launching my own board.

This calls for a knife fight!
posted by cortex at 12:13 PM on February 5, 2007


Damn you Mitheral, posting before me!

Yeah, maybe I should hit up MeCha to get more folks interested.
posted by klangklangston at 12:15 PM on February 5, 2007


Yes, a knife fight by monkey proxies!
posted by boo_radley at 12:15 PM on February 5, 2007


Fine. It's a knife fight. Here's mine. You have to be a member to view the forum, so sign up and I'll approve your membership. I don't really have anyway of enforcing it, but please sign up with your MeFi, MeCha, or MoFi username.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:49 PM on February 5, 2007


monju wins, for using Vanilla.

Is there an extension, or a preference, in Vanilla that would allow you to automatically approve people?
posted by matthewr at 12:55 PM on February 5, 2007


I don't really have anyway of enforcing it, but please sign up with your MeFi, MeCha, or MoFi username.

Sure you do. Require that a user add a randomly generated string to their mefi user page to verify their control over the account. It's been done before.

Of course, that won't fly with oldschoolers with fancy userpage content, since they won't want to change it. I suppose you could require folks to leave a comment in this thread with their secret string, instead.
posted by cortex at 1:01 PM on February 5, 2007


(substitute mecha/mofi accordingly)
posted by cortex at 1:02 PM on February 5, 2007


matthewr, I can make it automatically approve people if I want. I'm not yet convinced I want to do that. Of course, I can always ban accounts later. Mwuhahaha!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:07 PM on February 5, 2007


klangklangston's attitude really riles me up. If you're going to be pissy about receiving music that you don't like, why participate in something where the whole point is to be exposed to a very random sampling of music, with few if any guidelines or restrictions?

Case in point: I don't think I've never heard anything by Bush or Air Supply, and six years ago Kind of Blue would have been brand new to me. In fact, it was someone buying that album for me back then that opened my eyes to jazz. Clichéd, I know, but no less true for it.

I know there's fun to be had in out-obscuring each other in pre-assigned genre corridors, but I don't think that's what MeFiSwap was ever about.
posted by chrismear at 1:17 PM on February 5, 2007


I participated in the MeCha virtual swap way back. 'Twas fun.

I signed up for Monju's.
posted by dobbs at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2007


klangklangston's attitude really riles me up... I know there's fun to be had in out-obscuring each other in pre-assigned genre corridors, but I don't think that's what MeFiSwap was ever about.
posted by chrismear at 1:17 PM PST on February 5

I think that is why he is starting his own thing, which is probably a good idea. I don't think that there is anything wrong with saying "I don't like x for these reasons, now I am going to start y". More power to him. I wish everyone that didn't like x would just go and start y rather than bitching constantly about why they don't like x and ruining it for the rest of us.

I have enjoyed the MeFiSwaps that I have participated in, but I think that I will sit this one out, mostly because I am not feeling anything enough right now to want to send it to people.
posted by ND¢ at 1:32 PM on February 5, 2007


Monju— Yours looks spiffy so far, so I just signed up for that. So far, people seem to be gawkin' at mine, but not signing up. So t'hell with it! (Heh).

"klangklangston's attitude really riles me up. If you're going to be pissy about receiving music that you don't like, why participate in something where the whole point is to be exposed to a very random sampling of music, with few if any guidelines or restrictions?"

Well, first off, I'm not participating in this round of MeFi swap. Second off, you're confusing genre with quality. I listen to all sorts of things, and am continually finding new stuff that strikes my fancy. In fact, I like a really broad spectrum, especially when I get things from people who are experts in a smaller field and are doing a good job with it (like Methylviolet's bhangra and item song mixes), but I can also love a freeform set done well.

The problem comes not from not being obscure enough, but from being fucking boring. Being mundane. Being predictable. Being obvious.
And sorry if I have a broader frame of reference than you do, but that means that putting something that's either on the radio all the goddamned time or a touchstone of the canon on a mix has to have a pretty heavy justification for it. It's not my fault that you only found out about jazz six years ago— it's been around for, what, nearly 90 years?
Think of putting Blackbird on a mix like linking to Zombo.com. Sure, you may not have seen it before, but that's kinda because you weren't paying attention.
And, again, that doesn't mean that you can't slap a track on there, but there has to be some greater reason (it's quoted by the song before, there's a theme you're exploring, you need something to break up the acts in the mix... etc.). When I spend time making a mix pretty damn perfect and don't get that back, yeah, I get snarky. Just like I used to on tape swaps when somebody has clipped off the beginning of a song because of the leader tape, or when they've rerecorded so many times that the sound gets muffled, or they've left five minutes of blank space or there's bleedthrough or whatever.

You may not like my attitude, but I guarantee that I can find something that you've never heard before and will love. If I thought that would go the other way, I'd be more willing to put up with your blazing defense of the mediocre mix.
posted by klangklangston at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2007


Hurrah, I'm in.
posted by greycap at 1:40 PM on February 5, 2007


I agree with both Klang and NDC--I don't mind getting music that I'm somewhat familiar with but one time I got a disc that was literally all top 40 stuff--as if someone just recorded that week's countdown. Another time I got one filled with classic rock--50 minutes of songs that no one ever really needs to hear again. :)

I think part of the point in the mixes is to hear music you can't or won't hear on common radio stations. For some people I'm sure that's hard to pull off and I understand that, but at the same time it's pretty easy to understand how people who go out of their way to not be exposed to radio will be disappointed with such a mix.
posted by dobbs at 1:41 PM on February 5, 2007


klang, it may be that your position is rubbing people the wrong way not because of what is but because of how you express. You can, in theory, be passionate and expert about something without being so goddam brusque, neh?
posted by cortex at 1:42 PM on February 5, 2007


You must be new here.
posted by ND¢ at 1:44 PM on February 5, 2007


Heh.
posted by cortex at 1:46 PM on February 5, 2007


The clueless people (and I'm in that category) are the ones that could benefit most from a swap with more expert listeners. I'd like to encourage the participants who feel they get nothing but radio top 40 pablum back to continue to contribute as a way of educating and converting the music neophytes.
posted by Mitheral at 1:52 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


"You can, in theory, be passionate and expert about something without being so goddam brusque, neh?"

Bitch, I just got challenged to a knife fight! This shit's hardcore!
posted by klangklangston at 1:53 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


After the robots.txt incident, the native passwording of WordPress was put into play, and will be used from here on out with everything on that side of the site. (It was actually the post-swap surveys that weren't adequately protected, not the original information that included names, e-mail addresses and mailing addresses.) The extra layer of hassle involved* is worth it to protect everyone's privacy. No one was as mortified by what occurred than I.

And mind you, using your real name is only as necessary as your mailing address makes it. If your mail carrier will deliver anything to your address of choice and it will get to you reliably no matter what name is on it, then you can use whatever name you want. Make one up, use your username, use a portmanteau of it, call yourself Keyser Sose or Super Hoopyfrood or whatever you want. I'm not investigating, so long as it works for you.

As for the reported slackers, yes, they're banned unless they have a really good explanation. So far I haven't heard a good explanation, though I'm inclined, per my own prejudices, to give a pass to anastasiav, because I've seen that kid (on Flickr) and that kid is cute. I've never publicized the slacker list, but the (very) few times a slacker has tried to sign up again, they've simply been told "no." It's been pretty self-policed thus far. I can't jump up and down on people to get them to send mixes, and I'm not interested in acting as an escrow service, because you're all adults. Get your own crap together.

So anyway, we're already at 50 signed up and counting for the non-virtual swap. Choose what works for you, come and play if you're inclined. That's about all I can say.

*[seriously, people, when you get an e-mail that tells you the password to access important information, for the love of all that's holy, keep it!!]
posted by Dreama at 1:57 PM on February 5, 2007


Bitch, I just got challenged to a knife fight!

I was actually imagining a knife-fight between the two forums. Like, you and monju would take turns posting animated gifs in your headers, illustrating the latest feint or parry in the fight, until eventually one of you would post a stunning 23-frame coup de grace and the other would post a bloody corpse and delete his own admin account as a final act of submission.

And then we'd all argue about whether or not James Dean was overrated, and how weird it is that he was trying to get nasty with the little girl from Miracle on 34th St.

posted by cortex at 2:07 PM on February 5, 2007


While the topic is music... any emusic users have something to recommend that's there? I just renewed my annual and am looking for new sounds.
posted by dobbs at 2:21 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm ignorant but intrigued. Are there rules about what kind of music it should be, or is it just whatever each person is enjoying these days?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:37 PM on February 5, 2007


FWIW, I participated in the last round and it was tons of fun, not only to make a mix and design a sleeve but also to receive and play the great CDs from others (ShawnString and pocams and a few others I don't recall right now). As far as I remember everyone in my group mailed their disc out just fine. Sure, some of the stuff was obvious to my music snob ears, but I also discovered some great new, wacky, exciting music too. And to be honest I liked the "obvious" stuff as well - I find it really touching to receive a disc of one's (a stranger's at that) favourites, but maybe that's just me.

I really think klang is being needlessly harsh on MefiSwap and Dreama. Or maybe they are just the type that find it difficult to just give without expecting anything in return, who knows. Sorry about the snark but I find this kind of attitude destructive to the wonderful initiative that MefiSwap is.

So as I said, I'm totally in, and keep up the good work, Dreama. Pony request: I would love to see more functionality for "aftercare": I for one would love to see the designs or even just the tracklists from participants, even the ones outside my group: even just a Flickr group would be a huge improvement IMO. We tried to do that last time, but it might invite a lot more interest if it was better advertised or more encouraged.

Call me a dork, but I love receiving stuff in the mail, and I love the artifact that is a CD. An online swap would surely get my enthusiasm, but I consider it a completely separate endeavor altogether.

Oh, and I said it before and will say it again: MeFi Cassette Tape Swap.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:44 PM on February 5, 2007


Stacked colons: the future: today!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:46 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm a penniless student, so before I sign up, can anyone tell me approximately how much it normally costs to send a CD-sized package from the UK to the US?
posted by matthewr at 2:57 PM on February 5, 2007


Okay, no one is going to read this comment since it appears so late in the game, but might I suggest setting this swap up on Swap-bot.com as well.

Once you set up a swap on the site, it allows each member to notify the swap administrator (Dreama) when the objects have been mailed out, and then allows the receivers to rate their senders on a scale of 1 to 5, with comments. You don't find out who your senders are after the deadline, so everything is secret until then, but if someone flakes, then you leave them negative feedback.

In addition, swappers can use the site to create profiles that include real names, addresses and likes and dislikes (such as musical tastes — please don't send me any techno) and can be reassured that their information is protected from robots or nefarious zombies.

I like the idea of a virtual swap but part of the fun is getting the package in the mail, having something tangible to unwrap and look at and seeing the covers and reading the playists.

Just an idea. I've used Swap-bot for other swaps before and liked it.
posted by Brittanie at 3:09 PM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hi Dreama, I never received that email. I did, however, get emails from other members asking if I heard back from you because they didn't get replies either. I wasn't trying to be sensationalist, but you were being kind of coy and I wanted to be sure this was the issue you were talking about.
posted by shelleycat at 3:56 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm a penniless student, so before I sign up, can anyone tell me approximately how much it normally costs to send a CD-sized package from the UK to the US?

I think it's been costing me about $3.70 to airmail a padded mailer from US to UK. I'm assuming it costs the same in the other direction. So if you're in, you're in for about $20.
posted by cortex at 4:27 PM on February 5, 2007


Okley-dokley.
posted by matthewr at 4:33 PM on February 5, 2007


Or whatever $20 is in your crazy biscuit-and-tea funny money.
posted by cortex at 4:48 PM on February 5, 2007


please don't send me any techno

Oh, let's not let people pick and choose. I don't like techno either, but what appeals to me about this is the unpredictability of it.

This is my first time participating, though, so if there are already traditions, please ignore me and my suggestions.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:48 PM on February 5, 2007


Librae, solidi and denarii, no less.
posted by matthewr at 4:50 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


anastasiav:

I presume I'm banned, correct?

Hey, congratulations on your new addition, I had another one 5 months back as well.

Of course you're banned - but I don't make the rules, and I'm with KingKlansMan - unimaginative indie frathouse rock sux, so you needn't worry about my scorched earth approach to dealing with slack fuckers ;).
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:36 PM on February 5, 2007


klangklangston: I've never seen zombo.com before. Thanks! :)
posted by Kattullus at 5:47 PM on February 5, 2007


"I really think klang is being needlessly harsh on MefiSwap and Dreama."

No, I'm speaking broader than that. I really have no complaints about Dreama, and the MeFi swap was just one of the dozens of swaps I've done over the years (including several that I've organized). So, yeah, I've given since middle school, and have gotten back a handful of great mixes, and probably on the order of 60 to 70 shitty ones.
I do far, far better when I know the people involved, and they know me, which is arguably because I hang out with a bunch of music nerds.
I would posit that one of the problems with the MeFi swap that I participated (and, again, I think I got only one cd) was that it was a bunch of people I didn't know, even in the MeFi context.

(And I'll go further here— anyone who has a genuine interest in swapping 1:1 with me, feel free to email me. I can think of 15 to 20 people on here that off the top of my head I'd be delighted to swap with).
posted by klangklangston at 6:04 PM on February 5, 2007


(And I'll ammend that to be "the last MeFi swap that I didn't participate in, since I never got around to sending out my CDs, and instead ended up trading them with friends locally).
posted by klangklangston at 6:04 PM on February 5, 2007


klangklangston: I'd love to mixswap. I've sent you an e-mail. Hopefully you won't get deluged.
posted by Kattullus at 6:35 PM on February 5, 2007


hmm yeah the worry that my music was/is not cool enough made me really nervous about this last time. However, I did get a really great mix that I love so I'm trying again. If it is I who you are complaining about as having pedestrian taste in music, I'm sorry. And bite me. Music snobs irk me a little bit.
posted by yodelingisfun at 6:43 PM on February 5, 2007


matthewr: if being broke is literally the only thing keeping you from participating, I'll gladly chip in for your postage.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:49 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's up with losers who sign up for a swap and then don't have the courtesy to send something out? You can't even send an email to let the other swappers know they won't be getting one?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:54 PM on February 5, 2007


(And I'll ammend that to be "the last MeFi swap that I didn't participate in, since I never got around to sending out my CDs, and instead ended up trading them with friends locally).

Wow, you couldn't be bothered to send your CDs out and you still feel entitled to bitch about the quality of music that people sent you?
posted by jacquilynne at 7:00 PM on February 5, 2007


"Wow, you couldn't be bothered to send your CDs out and you still feel entitled to bitch about the quality of music that people sent you?"

Yep. Got one mediocre mix. But, assuming that you were reading along at home, you'd have noticed that I'm bitching about the quality of nearly all of the group mix swaps I've participated over the last, say, 15 years. That, again, includes the five or so that I've run personally, the ones on MoFi, the ones on the Yo La Tengo message board I used to run, the ones that I've done through my magazine column...
But hey, you couldn't be bothered to read what I was saying and still felt entitled to bitch, so I guess no one's perfect.
posted by klangklangston at 7:20 PM on February 5, 2007


No, I read all that, but given the choice between a crappy mix and a welsher, I'll take the crappy mix every time. I think you lose the moral authority to comment on other people's participation in these things as soon as you just can't even be bothered to send anything at all after committing to do so.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:36 PM on February 5, 2007


OH NO MAYBE I WILL SIT OUT THIS SWAP THEN.
posted by klangklangston at 7:56 PM on February 5, 2007


Please.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:58 PM on February 5, 2007


dobbs: I think emusic has Eleni Mandell, if it does check the albums Thrill and Snakebite
posted by edgeways at 8:09 PM on February 5, 2007


Dobbs: I think my dad pulled Louis Moholo (township jazz stuff) offa eMusic. I'll have to tell him to come comment.

Bookhouse: Duh. Or was yours supposed to be an erudite reprisal of the Wayne and Garth friendship-trouble-on-the-car-hood scene?
posted by klangklangston at 8:18 PM on February 5, 2007


By "please" I meant "thank you."
posted by Bookhouse at 8:26 PM on February 5, 2007


edgeways, Thanks! I can't believe I never searched for her before. I already have Thrill and it's excellent but I've never been able to find Snakebite.... just downloaded it!

klang, I almost had a little heartattack there. Been looking for Spirits Rejoice! for a while but have never found it. It ain't there, nor is any other Louis Moholo. Thanks, though.
posted by dobbs at 9:14 PM on February 5, 2007


I have Bra Louis, Bra Tebs if you want it. (He gave it to me after an eMusic binge, and I thought that it all came from there).
posted by klangklangston at 9:27 PM on February 5, 2007


It's like watching people fight over the merits of a potluck versus the gourmet food fair. I'm glad klangklangston is not participating in the primary swap, however, if he was in my set I'd get performance anxiety. The man has a fucking mix tape website, what do you expect?
posted by nanojath at 9:38 PM on February 5, 2007


OH NO MAYBE I WILL SIT OUT THIS SWAP THEN.

DAMNIT! And I just finished ripping The Best of Roxette in anticipation.
posted by dw at 10:03 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm glad klangklangston is not participating in the primary swap, however, if he was in my set I'd get performance anxiety.

You wouldn't have to worry, nanojath, because he wouldn't actually send out the mix. He might still criticize yours, though.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:08 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm a penniless student, so before I sign up, can anyone tell me approximately how much it normally costs to send a CD-sized package from the UK to the US?

Assuming you're using the thin CD cases, a padded mailer, and small packet rate, Royal Mail will charge you £1.46. So, £7.30.

Which is around $14.
posted by dw at 10:10 PM on February 5, 2007


"DAMNIT! And I just finished ripping The Best of Roxette in anticipation."

You can always go for a virtual swap. And say what you will about '80s synthpop, but it's rare to hear it these days and is often worth a second listen (he says while jamming out to Martha and the Muffins).
posted by klangklangston at 10:29 PM on February 5, 2007


(I'm much more likely to enjoy that than another round of Postal Service/DCFC/Wilco yawn jawn)
posted by klangklangston at 10:30 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm not sure if you want one of my mixes, virtual or otherwise. I've been on a quest of late to find covers, preferably bad ones.
posted by dw at 11:09 PM on February 5, 2007


dw, as a fellow covers geek, we should trade. :)
posted by litlnemo at 2:04 AM on February 6, 2007


Wow, jessamyn. Thanks for the kind offer. $20 is not a problem, though. I didn't know how much sending parcels to the US cost, and was pleasantly surprised that it was much cheaper than I had thought.
posted by matthewr at 3:37 AM on February 6, 2007


Yeah, actually, that's kinda my little brother's bag, not so much mine. I have a soft spot in my heart for some odd covers, but it gets to be too Dr. Demento for me to make a steady diet of. Though I will recommend The Mighty Mighty Bosstone's version of Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion. If you've ever thought "I like this song, but I don't have the time to listen to all six-and-a-half minutes of it. I've only got a minute and a half!" that's the song for you.
posted by klangklangston at 5:59 AM on February 6, 2007


I'm in!, btw.
posted by matthewr at 6:36 AM on February 6, 2007


jacquilynne writes "I'll take the crappy mix every time. I think you lose the moral authority to comment on other people's participation in these things as soon as you just can't even be bothered to send anything at all after committing to do so."

I can picture it, K and K' are on each others lists. Both are acknowledged music mix experts. Both are sitting around bitching that the mixes they receive are crappy compared to what they were thinking about sending out but never quite got around to.
posted by Mitheral at 7:18 AM on February 6, 2007


dobbs, I wish you'd swap with Dreama's set. I really dug that 4-cd set you sent out for the holidays a while back.
posted by mds35 at 8:29 AM on February 6, 2007


Given the choice between a crappy mix and a welsher, I'll take the crappy mix every time.

I'll take bupkis over a crappy mix every time. Don't get me wrong, I think the person who actually put in effort is (in the context of the CD exchange) a better participant, but I much prefer having no CD to wade through with no bad music on it compared to having a CD full of bleh music to wade through.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:51 AM on February 6, 2007


I'm in!
posted by suedehead at 9:33 AM on February 6, 2007


I want to participate, but what if my mix is crappy? I don't exactly have a CD collection filled with obscure music no one's ever heard before. Do you guys just pick your favorite songs, or what?
posted by peep at 10:38 AM on February 6, 2007


Yeah, I'd consider participating, but do klang and 23skidoo represent the majority of swap participants? Will everyone involved think my favorite music sucks and then complain about it the next time MefiSwap comes around?
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:39 AM on February 6, 2007


My previous experiences with Dreama-run MefiSwaps have all been pleasant and snobhole-free, Roger. Folks seem mostly to have fun with it.
posted by cortex at 11:41 AM on February 6, 2007


mds35, glad you liked that 4-disc set. I simply can't afford the time to burn/do art/mail. I used to have a post office across the street frome me by now it's a fair hike in a direction I never otherwise go. Sorry!
posted by dobbs at 12:09 PM on February 6, 2007


Jesus, I didn't mean to precipitate such performance anxiety.

Couple of hints for novice mixers— A theme can often help a lot. Most of my favorite mixes are freeform, but that can be a lot harder. A theme gives you a way to think about things when you're searching through your collection, desperate for the perfect next track. And when it was tapes, it was, what, like only three minutes to find and cue that next great song!
Second, I tend to like mixes that balance out. I've described it before (facetiously) as thinking about having a nerd cred account that you want to end up at exactly zero when you're done. It costs "cred" to put Bananarama's Venus on there, slightly less to put Cruel Summer on there, and you might even earn some by putting, say, that You're The Best track off the Karate Kid soundtrack on there next to it (noting that Cruel Summer was the background for the earlier training montage on the soccer field).
But a lot of the fun can be found in creating context through the songs. Think about mood and length, think about what you'd like to do.
Oh, and something else to remember: While a perfect party mix is damned hard to make, a pretty good party mix is pretty easy to make, and a lot more likely to be listened to than a schmear of Coldplay/Keane/Starsailor/Travis mopery. Keeping it upbeat (though not relentlessly Abba and Boney M) is a good way to get listened to more than once.

Another point— A lot of what makes for a bad mix is a failure to commit. It shouldn't just be your favorite songs in a jumble, because what tends to happen is that people have certain eras (and sounds, etc) that they lean on far more heavily and then splice in some filler. So, if you want to go only with things you liked in high school (which is the unstated assumption of probably about 60% of mixes), try to pare down everthing that's not of that era and not of a specific sound. You can either go super-tight, or super-broad, but commit.

Final thing— All anyone hears are the songs. They don't know that you got kissed while Every Rose Has Its Thorn wafted in the background. One of the biggest flaw of theme mixes is that they forget that the song is the primary focus. Sure, I get tempted to lay in a clever pun from band name to band name, or whatever, but THE SONGS have to connect.
posted by klangklangston at 12:13 PM on February 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Now that's the good stuff, man.
posted by cortex at 12:26 PM on February 6, 2007


One more thing - you are then going to want to take that mix and actually burn it onto CDs and then mail those burned CDs out to the people that you said that you would send them to. That part is pretty important too. That way they can then hear the songs that you picked out. Music is less effective when not heard.
posted by ND¢ at 12:31 PM on February 6, 2007


Couple of hints for novice mixers— A theme can often help a lot.

Last exchange I did (not on MeFi, it was a CD o' the month club) I e-mailed everyone involved and asked them to vote -- Christmas (in July) or covers. They chose covers. And that made it a lot easier, since I could easily go oh, here are 20 covers that would work together, versus hmm, should the next song be DCFC or Postal Service?

It also helps you plot out order a lot easier. I have 14,000 songs on my computer, which means that I have 13,999 options for song #2 on a mix. Whereas with a theme my choices are more limited, and thus I only have to chose between 50 or 100 options -- or even 5.

Themes really work.

And when it was tapes, it was, what, like only three minutes to find and cue that next great song!

MP3s have made it a lot easier and harder at the same time. It's a lot easier to work from a list (versus scrounging around trying to find your copy of Front 242's "Welcome To Paradise" and was it on CD or tape and wait didn't you loan it to the industrial-loving hottie down the hall oh she's having loud sex with her boyfriend so I guess that idea's shot no wait the door's open I think I just saw too much).

OTOH, so many damn choices.
posted by dw at 12:53 PM on February 6, 2007


dw, as a fellow covers geek, we should trade. :)

Heh. That can be arranged.

Sorry about not e-mailing you about the blogging contest. One of the other authors was going to do a press release and e-mail it but flaked out.
posted by dw at 1:01 PM on February 6, 2007


Will everyone involved think my favorite music sucks and then complain about it the next time MefiSwap comes around?

Oh, I think lots of music sucks, but I won't complain about it. To me, putting together a good mix is like putting together a good outfit. You don't have to be wearing clothes from designers that no one has ever heard of to look good. But it does take some time to not look like you just pulled random shit out of your closet, threw it together and walked out of the house.

I don't think that a CD of your favorite songs makes for a very good mix, even if I happen to have the exact same musical tastes as you. I do think that a CD worth of songs that sound like they belong together, and that sound like they belong in that exact order (regardless of genre) do make a good mix.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:28 PM on February 6, 2007


I like to really put a lot of effort into the CD swaps when I participate, so I make audio recordings of myself having sex with each of the other participants in my group's mom, sister, wife or girlfriend. I then burn those onto a CD and send it to them.

Followed by either a Postal Service or DCFC song.
posted by ND¢ at 1:35 PM on February 6, 2007


One more thing: do you make an audio CD, or data CD w/ mp3s? If mp3 (which is what I assume) do you fill the whole CD, or still make it more like normal CD, containing 10 - 20 songs? OK, that was 2 things.
posted by peep at 1:51 PM on February 6, 2007


An audio CD.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:53 PM on February 6, 2007


Here's a good thread for those who fear failure.

I agree with Klang on the themes idea, but I'll take it further ... don't go for a mood, go for a function. While some folks strap on headphones and close their eyes while they listen to music, mostly it gets listened to while you're doing something else. So pick something that people do, and make a soundtrack for it ("Music is the soundtrack of our lives," Dick Clark says, which is either Zen or idiotic). For instance, music for people to walk through the city to, or write to, or even sleep to are all themes of mixes I have made.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:57 PM on February 6, 2007


My favorite mix from a mefi swap was based around a space theme, and had cool sound effects between tracks.
posted by drezdn at 2:06 PM on February 6, 2007


"so I make audio recordings of myself having sex with each of the other participants in my group's mom, sister, wife or girlfriend."

Having sex with the other participants, in your group's mom? That is a lot of effort.
posted by klangklangston at 2:12 PM on February 6, 2007


"For instance, music for people to walk through the city to, or write to, or even sleep to are all themes of mixes I have made."

Eh. This, in my experience, tends to dillute the focus and lead to a lot of sonic wallpaper.
But if it works for you, go for it.
posted by klangklangston at 2:13 PM on February 6, 2007


tends to dillute the focus and lead to a lot of sonic wallpaper

I'm not sure what you mean by dillute the focus. As for the sonic wallpaper part, well, yeah, that's the point of these kinds of mixes.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:29 PM on February 6, 2007


klang, before you make another comment in this thread, you need to go make 5 copies of your most awesomest best mix, mail them to the people that you bailed on last time you joined a swap and didn't follow through.
posted by mds35 at 5:32 PM on February 6, 2007


Jerk.
posted by mds35 at 5:33 PM on February 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Really, klangklangston, take off that little musical expert sweater you knitted for yourself and fulfill your obligation to your swap partners.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:11 PM on February 6, 2007


Jerk.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:13 PM on February 6, 2007


I really enjoy spicy Jamaican sauce.
posted by cortex at 6:21 PM on February 6, 2007


Jerk.
posted by cortex at 6:21 PM on February 6, 2007


Signed up yesterday. Pulled together two different mixes, so people are either going to get a delicious buffet or something slow and dark. I'm leaning towards slow and dark, but not a downer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:37 PM on February 6, 2007


I am so most totally IN! Woo! Go team!
posted by rhapsodie at 10:20 PM on February 6, 2007


Ah.

Jerk.
posted by rhapsodie at 10:20 PM on February 6, 2007


I really like sudden changes in my velocity.
posted by chrismear at 12:22 AM on February 7, 2007


Jerk.
posted by chrismear at 12:23 AM on February 7, 2007


Cool.
posted by Brittanie at 12:31 AM on February 7, 2007


Jerk.
posted by Brittanie at 12:31 AM on February 7, 2007


Hey cortex — what's your favorite Steve Martin movie?
posted by Brittanie at 12:32 AM on February 7, 2007


I really enjoy a sudden tug.
posted by ND¢ at 4:06 AM on February 7, 2007


Pull.
posted by ND¢ at 4:07 AM on February 7, 2007


Dammit!
posted by ND¢ at 4:08 AM on February 7, 2007


I like measuring ft/s3.
posted by cortex at 6:43 AM on February 7, 2007


Oh, "Cheaper by the Dozen 2", easily.
posted by cortex at 6:43 AM on February 7, 2007


smartass
posted by Brittanie at 9:58 PM on February 7, 2007


I signed up for the MeFiSwap and all I received in return were a dozen photographs of myself, taken with a telephoto lens. In each picture there's a red "X" over my mouth and my eyes have been cut out with scissors.
posted by blag at 4:15 PM on February 8, 2007


I WORKED HARD ON THOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by ND¢ at 6:39 PM on February 8, 2007


I signed up for the first time. Hope you guys like Modest Mouse!!
posted by !Jim at 1:44 PM on February 9, 2007


I had to google DCFC to find out what it was. First result was Derby County Football Club, but I don't think that's what you all were talking about.
posted by dogwalker at 6:50 AM on February 11, 2007


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