Friday, April 24

I Got The Shakes! I Got 'Em Bad!



If you’re reading this, it means I’m already gone. In a figurative sense, of course.

From Thursday, April 23 at 4pm Central time, to Thursday, April 30 at 4pm Central time, yours truly will be taking part in Digital Detox Week; a full seven days of absolutely no online interaction of any kind. No checking Twitter every two minutes, no constant Facebook updates, no e-mail banter, not even theCDP.net will be spared from a proper shunning. It’s high time I cleansed my system, as gut-wrenching as it’s probably going to be for my brainball.

I shall make my return to the Wired next Thursday afternoon to write next week’s (no doubt, hilarious) Lost Friday, hopefully well-rested, fresh and lemon-scented. Over the next seven days, I’ll probably clean the house, meander around in my boxer shorts a little bit, read a book or two and have the Missus take my iPhone and modem with her to work every day. My hope is that Digital Detox Week rekindles my love for the non-connected world, and maybe- just maybe- reminds me that I don’t always need it every waking moment.

Now, a few ground rules.

1. I work in an office that utilizes networked computers, so if it needs to be done as part of my job, I’ll need to access online information. Also, Outlook Express is a must if I don’t want to get fired, but this is allowed is it’s not enjoyable or informative to me in any way.

2. My iPhone will continue to be used to make phone calls. Of course, anyone who knows me understands that I never make or willingly receive phone calls, so this is a wash.

3. Digital Detox Week includes my Wii connection, too, so no epic MarioKart or Guitar Hero tournaments while I’m on the wagon.

4. I shall continue to watch as much television as humanly possible.

Bear in mind, I’m not doing this because I’m anti-Internet, anti-Social Networking and anti-Checking The Same Page Every 30 Seconds For Nineteen Straight Hours. The web and it’s many facets are a part of our lives now in an extremely necessary way. I’d probably equate it to going a week without your car; it’s seriously going to hinder you in some specific avenues. Truth of the matter is that I’ve had the web since 1994, and I’ve never gone a week without it. So why not now? Why not at a time where my dependence is at a fever pitch?

Besides, I’ve got plenty of other things to do. Like…well, there’s…um…

I MISS YOU INTERNET!!! I LOVEZ YOU AND AND I WANT TO COME BACK TO U!!1

I’ll return to the Internet in seven days, and I’ll be bringing Lost Friday with me, so be ready. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 23

CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #5 - Wrap Party 8.



Finally, after two weeks of sifting, listening, drinking, typing and deciphering handwritten track listings, I've managed to make it through all of the Mix-Tapes that were so generously sent to me for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 5. Thank you very much; I appreciate it.

I wanted to take a brief moment to spotlight all of the great mixes that were sent to me, as a small way of saying thank you. Therefore, for the last two weeks, I've been doing just that. Today, I'll be spotlighting the 15th and final Mix sent to me this time around, along with drawing the winner of the Free CDP Mix-Tape T-Shirt!

Mix #15 - Smedley.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Smedley for dinner here in Madison. As I sat there, nursing my second Spotted Cow of the evening and watching SportsCenter on the bar television, my mind began to wonder; just who exactly was it that I was about to meet?

Who I met turned out to be a ridiculously-motivated, sharp-as-a-tack, Midwestern family man and virtual musical library of obscurity that never ran out of conversation or interesting things to say over the next two hours. I’ve had the pleasure and fortune to meet a lot of CDP readers from around the nation, and I never tire of seeing the different ages, generational gaps, personalities and walks of life that they all seem to come from. Smedley was no different.

Anyone who’s paid attention to the Mix-Tape Trade knows that Smedley doesn’t screw around when it comes time to burn a CD or two (or six). For our Cover Songs Mix last year, he sent me well over 100 different cover songs, exactly none of which I knew existed, including a bonus disc of covers that were made more famous by the artist doing the covering. Some people send me liner notes; this dude sends me Excel spreadsheets, and it’s always a treat when they show up in my Inbox. Spanning every decade, every genre and every corner of the record store, Smedley’s latest Mix was equal parts personal and behemoth; the Top 100 Most-Listened To Songs On His iPod.

For three days, I poured through this compilation, mixing pop, folk, metal, novelty songs, sunshine pop, classic alternative, tremendous indie and what I could only accurately describe as ‘Modern AM Gold.’ It was all here; the true listening patterns of a modern man with varied tastes for the pre and post-modern, and everything in between. Every time I get a Mix from Smed, I almost feel like I should send the guy a check for all the free music. I guess I really should have just bought him a beer instead.

NOTABLE TRACKS:
(Disc 1)
#99 - Portions For Foxes - Rilo Kiley
#94 - The Ballad Of El Goodoo - Big Star
#92 - I'm Free Now - Morphine
#86 - Static - Jawbox
(Disc 2)
#73 - Passing Strangers - Ultravox
#70 - Our Sweet Love - The Beach Boys
#66 - Big Take Over - Bad Brains
#61 - Gotta Know Right Now - Smoking Popes
(Disc 3)
#58 - Never Say Never - that dog.
#52 - Tomorrow Night - Shoes
#50 - Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
#44 - Whole Wide World - Wreckless Eric
(Disc 4)
#40 - I'd Run Away - The Jayhawks
#38 - When My Baby's Beside Me - Big Star
#35 - Jumpers - Sleater-Kinney
#26 - Flavor Of The Month - The Posies
(Disc 5)
#16 - Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass? - Buck Owens
#10 - Oblivious - Aztec Camera
#4 - This Whole World - The Beach Boys
#1 - Happiness - The Anita Kerr Singers

Okay kids, the time has finally come to draw the winner of the FREE CDP MIX-TAPE T-SHIRT! Here’s how it’s going to work:

1. I reviewed all 15 Mixes that I received in the mail. Those 15 names are put into a hat, one of which will be drawn at random by yours truly.

2. The name I draw will be contacted by me via e-mail, and asked to pick out any Mix-Tape-themed t-shirt of their choosing from the CDP Webstore.

3. I ship it to their doorstep, as a way of saying thanks for participating in the Trade.

And the winner is....the same person that I was chosen to make a Mix-Tape for, Fiona! Fiona, expect to hear from me shortly, and start looking for a Mix-Tape themed shirt that you dig.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day; Digital Detox Week begins tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22

CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #5 - Wrap Party 7.



Finally, after two weeks of sifting, listening, drinking, typing and deciphering handwritten track listings, I've managed to make it through all of the Mix-Tapes that were so generously sent to me for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 5. Thank you very much; I appreciate it.

I wanted to take a brief moment to spotlight all of the great mixes that were sent to me, as a small way of saying thank you. Therefore, for the remainder of the week, I'll be doing just that. Please enjoy.

Mix #13 - Caitlin.

Judging by her taste in music alone, I think that me and Caitlin would get along just fine. An intelligent mix of catchy and mellow, poppy and emotional, serious and lighthearted, light but never empty. Her Mix, titled 'Top 10 (Plus Five) Songs I Can't Seem To Stop Listening To,' boasted beautifully-handmade liner notes consisting of track descriptions and an absolutely adorable hand-drawn cover (I cherish one-of-a-kind stuff like this), gently taking the listener by the hand and leading them through a whimsical, comforting and beautiful stretch of solid music.

I know that I've been saying this every day, but this is a tremendous Mix, essentially par for the course when it comes to all of the good stuff I've received this time around. It's beautiful for both a rainy afternoon drive or just a dark room with headphones (I did both).

NOTABLE TRACKS:
#15 - Decatur, Or Round Of Applause For Your Stepmother! - Sufjan Stevens
#14 - Passing The Hat - Cold War Kids
#11 - Billy Brown - Mika
#4 - Maps - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
#3 - Opportunity - Pete Murray
#1 - Tiny Dancer - Elton John


(I included this shot, not just to show off Caitlin's cute-as-a-button cover art, but to prove that I indeed sit here and listen to every Mix sent to me.)

Mix #14 - Emily Mills.

It's no surprise or secret that I've been enamored with Emily Mills since we first crossed paths. I like the way she dresses, I like her undying committal to anything and everything creative, I admire her writing and I think she's more than a little cute. Therefore, it would stand to reason that my review of her latest Mix, 'Top 20 Songs To Kick Righteous Ass By,' may be a little...biased.

Well, not the case. True to form, Emily once again brought the pain with a deep range of genres that has become a staple of a Miss Mills Mix. Industrial techno, punk rock, Gypsy punk, ska and legendary singer/songwriters all come together somehow to create a non-stop barrage of attitude adjustments and sexy fist-clenching. Seriously, this Mix starts and never stops, and I freaking loved every second of it.

NOTABLE TRACKS:
#20 - Kick Out The Jams - MC5
#19 - Irish Drinking Song - Buck-O-Nine
#16 - I Would Never Want To Be Young Again - Gogol Bordello
#14 - Defiled - New Bomb Turks
#7 - Tasmanian Pain Coaster - El-P
#1 - Rasputin - Turisas

It should be noted that for most of the tracks I reviewed, I only spotlighted six tracks per album. I did this to adopt some sort of uniformity for everyone, but I can assure you that every one of these albums was chock-full of winners that would take forever to list properly. If you're interested in getting a copy of anyone's Mix-Tape, I strongly recommend contacting them.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day; the Wrap Party concludes tomorrow, along with the announcement of the winner of the Free CDP Mix-Tape T-shirt!

Tuesday, April 21

CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #5 - Wrap Party 6.



Finally, after two weeks of sifting, listening, drinking, typing and deciphering handwritten track listings, I've managed to make it through all of the Mix-Tapes that were so generously sent to me for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 5. Thank you very much; I appreciate it.

I wanted to take a brief moment to spotlight all of the great mixes that were sent to me, as a small way of saying thank you. Therefore, for the remainder of the week, I'll be doing just that. Please enjoy.

Mix #11 - Mike Hoss.

Mike Hoss is a neat guy. Computer nerd. Die-hard family man. Tremendous taste in music, which seems to be the case with every Nebraskan I've ever spoken to. When it comes to Mixes, he's as reliable as a foreign car; you're always going to get solid tracks from superb singers and songwriters, and myself and the Missus always look forward to getting his disc in the mail.

This time around, Hoss' theme was the cryptically-titled 'Top 10 Songs Mike Hoss Legally Downloaded For Free,' which is clearly a winking nod towards the piracy side of song collecting, as driven home by the cover art, featuring a Dollar sign with a line through it. Hey, pilfered or otherwise, this Mix is fantastic, bringing guitar rock, acoustic pop, electro and radio rock. Without question, there are more than a handful of tracks here that have comfortably burrowed their way into my weekly rotation.

NOTABLE TRACKS:
#10 - True Affection - The Blow
#9 - Listen Up! - The Gossip
#7 - Rockin' The Suburbs - Ben Folds
#6 - The Story - Brandi Carlile
#2 - When The Summer's Gone - Derek Webb & Sandra McCracken
#1 - Criticism_As_Inspiration (Live) - Pedro The Lion

Mix #12 - Regan Jacobsen.

First-time Mix participant Regan brought yet another supremely creative Trade theme, crafting her Top 10 songs that set the scenes from some of her favorite movies of all-time. She took into consideration not only the song itself, but the magnitude of the film scene it enhanced, crafting an intimately personal Mix that also resonates deeply with anyone who has ever experienced and enjoyed the films themselves. I swear, you all have really outdone yourselves this time around.

I should also note that I would love to settle in for a movie night with Ms. Jacobsen, as her tastes in film seem to be similarily close to my own. You know where to find me.

NOTABLE TRACKS:
#10 - Don't Stop Me Now - Queen (Shaun Of The Dead)
#9 - Paper Planes - M.I.A. (Pineapple Express)
#7 - Head Over Heels - Tears For Fears (Donnie Darko)
#3 - Hotel California - Gipsy Kings (The Big Lebowski)
#2 - Plainsong - The Cure
#1 - Hardest Geometry Problem In The World - Mark Mothersbaugh (Rushmore)

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day; Part 7 arrives tomorrow.

Monday, April 20

CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade #5 - Wrap Party 5.



Finally, after two weeks of sifting, listening, drinking, typing and deciphering handwritten track listings, I've managed to make it through all of the Mix-Tapes that were so generously sent to me for the CDP Worldwide Mix-Tape Trade 5. Thank you very much; I appreciate it.

I wanted to take a brief moment to spotlight all of the great mixes that were sent to me, as a small way of saying thank you. Therefore, for the remainder of the week, I'll be doing just that. Please enjoy.

Mix #9 - Carrot Duff.

Duff was certainly talking a big game prior to him sending his Mix my way. Our only International participant this time around, he was making plenty of allusions to 'The Best Mix Ever,' and whatnot, so I was very surprised to see a CD consisting of the 'Top 10 Rock Instrumentals' show up on the doorstep of CDP Headquarters. I mean, was he aware of the current, collective attention span of the modern American music fan? Did he honestly think we could hack such mind-blowing musical prowess in one sitting? And what was up with these lyricless, 9+ minute tracks, anyway?

Of course, Carrot Duff brought the pain, and in a good way, with a Mix that was significantly more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. Throwing in Brit Pop, good old-fashioned thrash, funk and acoustic numbers, this was an absolute pleasure from start to finish. Good flow, good back-and-forth, and good intuition to somehow make an hour of instrumental music seem constantly fresh and enjoyable.

NOTABLE TRACKS:
#10 - F***in' In The Bushes - Oasis
#9 - The Gargoyle - Paul Gilbert
#7 - Nun Chuka Kata - Buckethead
#5 - Friend Of The Night - Mogwai
#1 - Threads - This Will Destroy You

Mix #10 - Wigglycito.

Wigglycito's Mix was the first that I had received in the mail, and it was also the Mix that I was most looking forward to listening to. From the first moment I laid eyes on the fantastic, 8-Bit inspired cover art, I knew that 'The Top 10 Songs From Video Games' was going to be right up my alley. Much like Carrot Duff's Mix, these tracks were largely instrumental tracks, so I was looking forward to the ebb and flow of a Mix that relies on maintaining the attention span of the listener.

Bear in mind, that this wasn't just Atari 2600 and NES music, here. This was a tribute to the modern masterpeices that have accompanied the most current generation of gaming titles, an art that somehow goes unnoticed amongst all the leaps and bounds in technological advances. Music makes or breaks a game, and Wigglycito's ear is varied and understanding of this fact. From symphonic epics, bouncy Wii themes, hip-hop background tracks and a classic tune sung by a robot, this Mix was a triumph in that is brought to light a fantastic idea for this Trade, showing a ton of creativity and respect for the gaming genre.

NOTABLE TRACKS:
#10 - Main Theme (Fallout 3) - Inon Zur
#8 - Max 300 (DDRMAX) - Omega
#6 - Princess Peach's Castle (Super Smash Bros. Melee) - Tadashi Ikegami
#3 - The Vengeful Spartan (God Of War) - Gerard Marino
#2 - Otherworld (Final Fantasy X) - Bill Muir
#1 - Still Alive (Portal) - GLADOS

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day; Part 6 arrives tomorrow.