Archive for June 2009

June 29th, 2009

Shootin’ Clay

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  • 1920×1200 (works at 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, and 1280×800)
  • 1920×1080 (works at 1920×1080, 1600×900, and 1280×720)
  • 1600×1200 (works at 1600×1200 and 1024×768)
  • 320×480 (works on the iPhone and iPod Touch)

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June 18th, 2009

30 Rules for Making a Mixtape

30. Keep it between 10 and 14 songs.

29. A mix that you make for one person should be accessible enough that you could later give it to 15 more people. A mix that you make for 15 people should be special enough that you could later give it to just one person. Never actually do either with the same mix.

28. Sad as it may be, “mixtape” is basically a figure of speech now. Suck it up and burn a CD.

27. If you want to be extra-classy, get the song names, artists, and mix title on CDDB so they come up automatically when the recipient(s) put(s) the CD in their computer.

26. There are four good reasons to make a mixtape. Those, in order from most to least appropriate, are: because someone asked you to make them a mixtape, to give a person or persons as a small birthday or Christmas gift, to help yourself recover from a breakup, or to give to someone you have a crush on who you are pretty certain likes you back. If you are planning out a mixtape for a scenario other than those listed, cease and desist!

25. If you’re looking for a challenge, try working in a bit from a stand-up comedy album or some other piece of spoken word. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

24. Never demand that someone play your mix immediately after giving it to them.

23. If someone does put on a mix you’ve made them while you are still around, quickly make yourself scarce.

22. Pay attention to the dynamics, sound textures, and lyrical themes of everything you’re putting on the mix. If two songs are practically identical in any of these respects, you’ve got to cut one of them.

21. If two songs are similar to each other in any of the above respects, place a uniquely different song between them in the track order.

20. Cute mixtape-titles are great, but something pragmatic like “Best of 2009” is just fine.

19. Likewise, elaborate artwork is great, but something pragmatic like the tracklist written out by hand or printed out via iTunes is just fine. (And yes, you must include a tracklist, with song titles and artists, somewhere on the package.)

18. Not every cut has to be adorned with layers of hidden meaning. Throw in a few things that are just plain fun to listen to.

17. That being said, many people will search for layers of hidden meaning in every track, so stay away from stuff that could send an overtly incorrect message. (Good examples might be “No Children” by Mountain Goats or “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.)

16. When presenting a mix to someone, exactly six words should come out of your mouth. “Here, I made you a mix.” No litany of which songs you put on there and why.

15. Give the thing some staying power. Avoid too many “flavor of the month” artists.

14. Somehow, a track by Johnny Cash will round out any mix nicely.

13. Nothing over 5:30 in length.

12. If you absolutely have to include something that’s over 5:30 in length, stick with convention and make it the last song.

11. Exercise good judgment when considering the inclusion of a song by your band, or the band of someone you know.

10. Putting an instrumental into the pot is ok, but never more than two. Same goes for songs sung in foreign languages.

9. When you’re finished, play the mix you’ve made for yourself, from beginning to end, before you release it into the wild.

8. You could tinker with the sequencing for the rest of your life. Unless there’s a glaring mistake, stick with your original song order.

7. Make the last track something unexpected. Well-aged hip-hop or cheesy ’70s pop work particularly well.

6. Don’t use more than one track by any given artist.

5. There’s nothing wrong with creating some parameters to work in. (I consider writer Joshua Allen’s “2:42” — comprised entirely of songs that clock in at 2:42 — to be pure genius.)

4. Or starting with one perfect song and adding 2–3 tracks before it and 7–9 tracks after is a solid formula.

3. “You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch.” — Rob Gordon (John Cusack) from High Fidelity.

2. Put a song or two that you know the recipient(s) already know(s) somewhere on the mix.

1. There are two types of music that will destroy even the most masterfully-constructed flow: traditional jazz and classical. Other than that, genre-hop all you want.

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June 9th, 2009

Egg-Sighting Developments

  1. Gladys laid her first egg for us yesterday afternoon! A large brown one. I was considering having it bronzed, but we made an omelette with it instead. We had to supplement it with several other (inferior) eggs of course, but the important thing is we split it so we could both partake of our chicken’s offering. In my humble opinion, the egg portion of that omelette was tastier than the egg portions of any omelette that has come before. Ever.
  2. Steph has named the middle chicken. From here on “Chicken.com” shall be known as “Darcy” “Lulu.”

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