"A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to hold the attention. Then you have to take it up a notch, but not blow your wad, so maybe cool it off a notch, and you can't put the same artist twice on the tape, except if some subtle point or lesson or theme involved, and even then not the two of them in a row, and you can't woo somebody with Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" and then bash their head off with something like GBH's "City Baby Attacked by Rats," and... oh, there are a lot of rules....."
Call me a sucker for punishment, but I've been thinking about running another Shuffleathon this year. A couple of people have asked me about it, and as I've broadly enjoyed doing it for the last couple of years, I was thinking of giving it another go in the next few weeks.
If you're not familiar with the concept, it's basically a compilation CD exchange. I collect the names and addresses of any people interested in taking part, put all the names into an actual hat, and draw them out one by one, so that each name from the hat is paired with a name from the list of all participants. I will then email everyone individually to let them know who they've drawn, and you then make a compilation CD for the person you've drawn. You won't know who is making a CD for you until the moment that it arrives through your letterbox.... but that anticipation is pretty much the best part of the whole damn thing.
What you put on the CD is entirely up to you. You may know the person you've drawn, or you may be able to deduce something about them from their blog (if they have one). You may decide to make a CD that says something about you, or you may simply decide to put together the most kick-ass compilation you possibly can. Whatever, as anyone who has ever made one will be able to tell you, the act of making a compilation for someone is an intensely personal thing, and absolutely the most important part of the Shuffleathon is the sacred duty of each person receiving a CD to put up some kind of a review of their compilation onto the internet - on your blog or wherever. I don't ask that the reviews are completely uncritical - you are allowed not to like the CD you've been sent - I just ask that you are sensitive to the fact that someone may have poured their heart and soul into the compilation you have received, and that you write your review with that in mind.
I'll keep a big table on here somewhere linking to everyone taking part, and keeping a track of when the CDs have been posted out, when they have been received and link out to the reviews as they start to appear.
Not having a blog (or having a secret blog) does not need to be a barrier to participation - I will happily publish as many reviews here as are necessary. I am also happy to act as an intermediary for anyone who is a little wary of having their postal address revealed to a complete stranger.... as long as you will trust me with it, I will receive and post on CDs to as many people as need be.
So, does that make sense?
Before you volunteer though, please bear this in mind: once you agree to take part, you are committing to both post out your own compilation for someone, and also to reviewing the CD that you will receive. One or two people last year didn't ever get round to reviewing the CDs that they received, and that was a real let down and disappointment for everyone involved..... so please, if you want to take part, I need you to take your commitment to this seriously. Post your CD out promptly and get your review up in good time.
In theory the shuffleathon is open to anyone and everyone, but I may try and keep it manageable this year, as I don't want to spend months chasing after this and sending out replacement CDs and so on... so please don't be upset if you ask to get involved and I have to turn you down. I'll try and include as many people as I can, but I have to be honest that it is likely to help if you have some track record around here, or if you can at least persuade me that you're going to take this seriously.
.... but it's fun, honestly! It's about making and receiving complilations and about sharing your love of music. What could be better than that?
Once you've agreed to take part, and you're happy to commit to writing up a proper review, then the only rules are those outlined in the quote from "High Fidelity" at the top of the page (and you can pretty much ignore them too if you want).
Your only limitation is your imagination....
If you're interested, drop me a line here and we'll take it from there.
I don't know about you, but I'm thinking of my track#1 already. It sets the tone, doesn't it?
Here's the first incarnation of that big, stupid table that we've all come to know and to love....
Let's get this show on the road, eh?
|1. Me ||er... yes? |