Wednesday, August 20, 2008


There are a number of ways to share your music in the digital age. Regrettably, this is increasingly resulting in litigation being pursued by some multi-national corporations looking to assert some power over hapless music fans.

One low-fi (and safe method) includes stapling CDs to telephone poles, as illustrated recently by Toronto Indie band The Craft Economy, engaging in some good old fashioned DIY promotion (the band also included a statement criticizing the proposed federal copyright bill, C-61).

Personally, I find this idea to be very inspiring, especially in light of the recent undemocratic process initiated by the Canadian government of negotiating an international copyright treaty (ACTA) behind closed doors, without consultation or any parliamentary accountability.

So with slightly subversive motives, and in the name of sharing beloved music and promoting low-fi "file sharing" I think it would be a grand idea to make some mixed CDs of my favourite songs and leave them for free in various public spaces. I love the potential randomness of this, plus there is no IP address to track it back to!

Who knows, it may start a revolution, or at the very least it may result in someone being inspired by Galaxie 500's version of the Joy Division/New Order classic Ceremony, or hearing for the first time some obscure b-side by The Cure or a Big Star tune that I threw in for good measure.

Let the low-fi file sharing revolution begin!

"Once again, we're being told that home taping (in the form of ripping and burning) is killing music. But it's not: It simply exists as a nod to the true love and ego involved in sharing music with friends and lovers. Trying to control music sharing - by shutting down P2P sites or MP3 blogs or BitTorrent or whatever other technology comes along - is like trying to control an affair of the heart. Nothing will stop it." -Thurston Moore (Wired Magazine April, 2005)

(Note: Picture courtesy of Boing Boing)


Allison said...

I think you're onto something, leaving mix cds in random places! I've made a couple of playlists recently that could very well use more exposure, I may have to leave some in my wake before I leave England.

Anonymous said...

have you read thurston's book on mixtapes? it captures the spirit of the times nicely. i used to make several mix tapes a week and it was certainly a labour of love. a mix cd takes about thirty seconds to compile and can burn while you're in the shower getting ready. it's not the same grand gesture.


i got into G500 from their cover of Listen the Snow is Falling.

Randal Graves said...

I don't make mix tapes - well, CDs - all that often, but this is a supremely cool idea.

Allison said...

thought you might find this interesting, going back to your Paul Westerberg post...

Liberality said...

Galaxie 500!!! Cool :D

Westcoast Walker said...

Allison - I do hope you brighten the word with your own blissful mix - and thanks for the Westerberg link, I wasn't aware of the recent drama!

Hi Dave - Thurston's book sounds great, it's a topic I could wax poetic about for as longs as anyone was willing to listen

Randal - thanks for dropping by - I would recommend making a mix even for its therapeutic value, perhaps you could make a mix representing the best damn music in Ohio

Liberality - more and more I appreciate your fine taste in music, and of course you always remain my favourite librarian!

Comrade Kevin said...

I think the government should mandate that 30% of the music on the radio comes from lo-fi sources. :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love this idea so much! I think my corner of the world needs a few mix cds stapled to posts. And bless Thurston Moore for understanding the need to share something we love.

mellowlee said...

I love your idea Walker. In fact I think I will start doing this. Do you ever watch The Hour on CBC? Last season George asked veiwers to take part in Operation Disk Drop; making a mix cd of music we think people should hear, and leaving it in random places. On the cover we were to write the hour website, Operation Disk Drop, then go to The Hour website and post the track list, and where we left the disk.

I think we should definitely do our own Operation Disk Drop :O)

Westcoast Walker said...

Kevin - I agree whole heartedly!

Hi Barb - I think that Calgary would be a much better place if exposed randomly to a few of your sublime mixes!

Mellowlee - I like your idea - we should team up since we are both local. I just need about a week or so to get my ailing Powerbook G4 repaired, and after that I can burn a few dozen discs. We can track via a shared blog - I'll get back to you about this. woohooo

Dr Zibbs said...

That's a friggin' great idea.

Splotchy said...

This is nifty. Also, a nice blog.

I love the idea of CDs stapled to telephone poles (as long as they are music and not 1000 free hours of AOL).

I love mix tapes as much as the next music freak -- I don't know if you saw it, but I was doing some collaborative ones online here.