I have had several opportunities to exchange music, with individuals and groups throughout the years.
My first experience was a mutual album buying club (of only 2 people) when I was in junior high. A neighborhood friend and I pooled money and were going to buy a record every month, his choice/my choice and so on and so on. The first (and last for some reason that I can’t remember) selection was “The Doors – The Doors”
We took it to my house, recorded it on a cassette for me and celebrated our first purchase in our record exchange. I listened to Jim and the boys and tried to really get into it, “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” and “Back Door Man” are all great, but in the end The Doors just were not my go to band. They have come in and out of my consciousness for many years, but I still don’t think I own any.
When I started at Erdman I did strike up a musical exchange with my friend Kris in the Engineering department. One day he revealed that while most in the department had their cabinet drawers filled with old paperwork and manuals, he had a drawer full of CD’s. I was in awe of some of the cool stuff he had and he opened my ears to a bunch of bands I had never heard of. He turned me on to DJ Shadow. I remember vividly grabbing a handful of CD’s to listen to on my CD-Man while I was watching Abbey’s swimming class. DJ Shadow’s “Entroducing” blew my mind. I was hot and humid from the room and tripping on the music. The moment is burned in my memory. We exchanged music and still do once in a great while after I ran into him after we both were done working at Erdman.
Of course there is always Dalton. We regularly scour each others hard drives for nuggets, or things we think the other should hear like Steel Pole Bathtub. Sometimes I grab something like the Ween discography after hearing a song I liked and want to find out what the rest sounds like. We have traded music in about every form imaginable. We love making different collections and I have posted many pictures of stuff we have made for each other over the years. I remember making cassettes of stuff for him. Making covers and liner notes, and he would make DVD collections of a band’s discography. Ah, good times.
Lately, I have also been exchanging with Otis.
We trade music on a flash drive housed in a Tabasco flavored chocolate tin.
It seemed so mundane to just hand it off without packaging. After getting this from Cindy for Christmas one year,
I kept it, added some foam and cut out a spot for the flash drive and viola.
The perfect mule for our exchanges.
Along with trading the music, we also review and introduce our selections. Sometime a little context helps, why you picked it, have you seen them, picked this as a reply to your pick of… that kind of stuff.
Picking out 4 to 6 selections that you think the other may like is an interesting process. Do you pick things that you want to expose the other to, or go safe and pick things that you think they will sure to like even if they might already have. Sometimes there is a theme (all girl bands, all local) or albums from bands we have seen recently, or just what is in heavy rotation for us at the time we put together a collection.
It has turned me on to a lot of stuff. Black Angels for one, whom we eventually went to see together later on. Wayne Hancock, whom I later saw twice. We have divergent tastes, but overlap in a lot of areas. It’s great to exchange with someone who loves music as much as you do.
I have had some hits on things Otis has liked. Not everything of course and I’m sure he has been kind on some selections, but the fun is never knowing what you’re gonna get, but being happy to see the tabasco tin on your desk and knowing it is your turn. We have kept all of our selections on an external and have cataloged all of them.
Nerds who love music.
We started in 2013 towards the end of the year. Last year I created a DVD with all the selections of 2014:
and soon we will be doing a 2015 collection.
I like to put everything we have exchanged on random and turn it loose. It’s a great way to treat your ears to some fine music.
A big shout-out to all those I have exchanged music with in the past, and continue to even now. I have a peace sign held aloft on one hand and the rock on horns on the other.
“Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche