Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sorry, Underground Mixtapes Happened 10 Years Ago

Busdriver, influencial alternative hip-hop artist, has issued a challenge to his fan base. Recently back from a short tour in China, Busdriver is reviving the lost art of mixtape.

With mp3s and ipods completely redefining the way we listen to music, there stems the feeling of mixtapes being apart of the Great American Past. As if mixtapes, their culture, popularity and charm are part of a generation of folk art. As a child of 10 I remember sitting at home making mixtapes to listen to on the bus to school. I went so far as to create my own personal "radio station" where between songs I would spout off fake news and weather reports. As I got older and the technologies permitted me to make mixed cds for friends, my ambitious mixes gained more depth. Sure I could make a playlist and give it a fun and ironic name, but where are the creative covers? The descriptions of the songs that I included so my friends could get that little glimpse of my soul? And trying to decorate the CD itself the best I could with a sharpie. I can't do that to my ipod. Or my laptop. Well, maybe I could, but chances are I would regret it.

I'm hoping those fond memories of childhood creativity is what inspired Busdriver to issue this mixtape challenge over on his blog. Certainly the reward would be enough to get those 20-something hipsters off their ass and do something truly creative! But we'll get to the reward soon enough.

Busdriver lays out some basic rules of engagement:
- Your mix must be presented on an audio tape, that's kind of the point.
- The mix must be done by the person(or persons) who presents it.
- No DJ mixing software should be used to execute your mix.
- You are only able to submit one tape, once.

What you will be judged on:
- Content: Your song selection and merit of your choices. Whether the songs are rare, from out of print records, random, timely, etc.
- Cohesion: The pace and continuity of your mix. If you begin with a theme, stick to it.
- Packaging: How you dress up your J-card and actual tape. Whether you insert a graffiti piece in sharpie, a picture of you dressed as a Subway sandwich, it all contributes to the aesthetic value of your mix tape.

Grand! It's something that will appease my sensitive creative talent, and my overwhelming urge to crush everyone else with my knowledge of hip and indie music.

And what will be the illustrious prize? Busdriver and crew will come out and throw a kickin' house party. At your house. Ah, imagine all the hipster cred I could gain from having Busdriver perform at my house.

Contest runs October 26th thru December 1st. Full details can be found at the blog.

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