Saturday, May 17, 2008

3 Doors Down '3 Doors Down'

I got an email from Jaclyn this week. She sent me an article about how mix tapes are making a comeback. Hmmmm…

I wasn’t so surprised.

We’re in the infancy of the truly digital age. The digital technology marketplace is turbulent and cannibalistic. Blu-Ray beat out the HD-DVD. The public is ripping off musical artists and their hard work without so much as tossing them a single dime. The record labels are dying… Not only because they’re getting ripped off, but the artist is getting smarter in this digital age and striking out on their own. It’s a dog eat dog world in the digital domain and the causalities are mounting as things right themselves.

The digital domain still sees a ghost from time to time… The vinyl record hoisted its dusty little bones out of long forgotten grave and now they’re merely used for decoration. The album covers may be kept in frames upon the wall. They may be shelved with a record player near by. The hipsters accumulate and present a collection for coolness sake. It doesn’t represent a whole life’s worth of dedication for their passion. It’s just something to talk about and play for others to disguise the fact they’re actually not all that interesting.

I’ve never really given up on the LP. I still have 5,000 or so in my collection, but I have long since stopped adding more. I’m tired of moving them around. Those jokers are heavy and it’s much easier to manage digital files on a device about the size of a deck of cards.

Yeah… I can put a BUNCH of my collection on my Zune and I’m good. I love my old vinyl records, but dammit… I love the convenience of this MP3 digital technology. I love setting that mofo on random and seeing what kind of mix my Zune player will make. And while I’m writing this update… Its making a damn good mix! The songs have great flow and there’s a theme moving underneath its surface that may not be heard by the casual listener.

That’s the mark of any damn good mix tape.

It is an art.

So in a sense, you can call me an artist in the same way that Mrs. Hand down the street is good with watercolors.

I’ve always loved making mix tapes. I took it to a different level back in the 90’s with a quarterly mix given out to my friends. I also posted them on a website called The Art Of The Mix .

I would take a movie and rip out the main storyline from the film by lifting the pertinent dialogue. Between the bits of dialogue, music was used to fill the holes and continue the storyline with lyrical content or the mood of an instrumental. I called the series “A Slacker’s Day Off” and there are six of them.

I sent those tapes all over the country at my expense. I got tapes in exchange from my artistic friends and other members of The Art Of The Mix. I enjoyed picking a movie apart and creating an alternate soundtrack to it.

The films that I chose to recreate sonically were Reality Bites, The Conqueror (one of the worst films ever made), Zero Hour (a labor of love that not many folks liked), Bride Of Chucky, Great Expectations, and Leaving Las Vegas. The last one is my favorite in the series, but I think The Conqueror mix is the most entertaining.

I will continue my art tomorrow… I must have a glass of brandy.

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