I got my mix cd from my swap partner in the mail yesterday, and I'm having a good deal of fun listening to it. I have a bit of a routine, and in this routine I get just as much entertainment from observing my gut reactions as I do from actually being exposed to new music.
Here's my routine.
Step 1: Put cd in, listen to first 20-30 seconds of each song to see what immediately grabs me. I also do this to see if there are any songs on the cd that I have heard before.
(During Step 1 I make some immediate snap judgements about the cd, mostly concerning how superior my music taste is and how shoddy this cd is. This is a very bitchy judgement and it gets overturned pretty much immediately, but I also giggle at myself because I can objectively watch myself make these judgements knowing that I know I'm wrong. So meta!)
Step 2: This step occurs over the next day or so...I keep the cd in my car's stereo and listen to the songs that jumped out at me immediately. In this cd's case, The Lime Tree by Trevor Hall and Sweet Thing by Van Morrison are my instant favorites. In fact, the Van Morrison song might be a new favorite song in general. Can't believe I've been sleeping on this guy for so long.
(During Step 2 I start to feel bad that I judged the rest of the cd so harshly, and I resolve to start the cd over and listen to it from the beginning with no skipping. This brings us to....)
Step 3: Ok. Here's where we get down to business and Bitchy-Keri gets told to shut her mouth. So by now the cd has been in my stereo for a minimum of 24 hours, and I'm just now getting to the part where I listen to the whole cd in its entirety. This is where I find wonderful nuggets like breakdowns that happen halfway into the song (so therefore would have been passed over on my 30 second intro), or postludes at the end of each track. I also like to evaluate the transitions between songs, and find my 'secondary favorites' (yes I am a geek).
It's kinda bass-ackwards, but that's my routine....and I love it. I love mix cds.
There's nothing like getting not just an assortment of random unknown songs, but an assortment of songs that mean something to the creator. In a random match up like on Reddit it's not as meaningful, because it's more like going through an antique store (a bunch of items that meant something to someone you'll never know or meet, and they'll never know or meet you) but getting a mix cd from someone close to you is like getting a glimpse into their soul. These are the songs that they would choose to represent themselves, these are the songs they listen to when they are alone and don't have to worry about what anyone else thinks.
It's like being invited into someone's head for 50ish minutes, and I cherish every moment of that.
One of the things that immediately told me that Corey was the one was that he started making mixes for me almost as soon as we met, and that he shares my fascination and romantic adoration of the mix-making process. I fell asleep many nights listening to his mixes, to music handpicked just for my ears.