Category Image Meshuggah 4 Anelew 


Making mix CDs is fun, right? Early in my UCLA graduate school career I worked with a professor named Jim Westby, and he was very into the idea of making mix tapes (we didn't have recordable CDs back in those days). In fact he'd often make it part of a class' final project. In other words, the students, in addition to doing whatever else was part of the final project, had to make a mix tape for him. The contents of the tape could be anything, related to the class or not, but the point was that they were an individualized creation. Now that I think about it, he was basically including a "composition" component into a music history class. From what I could tell, the students liked this part of the final project and Jim had hundreds of mix tapes sitting in his office before he left UCLA. I wonder what happened to them...

Anyway, so Andy asked me if he could borrow some Meshuggah (Swedish "alternative" metal band). Sure, I said. Time goes by for a bit and then I remember that Andy wants to hear Meshuggah. Rather than lend him Destroy Erase Improve (which he might not return as in the case of my Somewhere In Time album, Andy), I decide to make him a mix of Meshuggah (the later stuff is very different from the DEI album). Andy's a drummer and he'd heard Meshuggah does some pretty weird stuff rhythmically, so I felt it important to give him a guided listening experience. And that's another interesting thing about mix tapes/CDs (aside: I still can't get used to saying "mix CD." It's not as smooth to me as "mix tape." Dunno why.): when made for friends they can be tools of education. Kinda like that Frasier episode where Frasier uses Christmas gifts to enlighten his family -- giving Martin the expensive robe, for example. Except with Frasier, he was giving the gifts he did because he thought the receiver should have them, rather than giving his family gifts he knew they themselves would really like.

So, mix CDs (<-- I'm trying) can be tools of enforced education. Thus, for Andy's Meshuggah mix, I included the first three tracks from DEI, the first two from None, and then found two tracks each from Chaosphere and Nothing. Now, here's where the enforced education comes in: I then included three extra tracks that are by other bands: Dimmu Borgir, Opeth, Fates Warning. *I* really like all three of these bands (I also like Meshuggah a lot), and I included them on the mix CD because I think the drummers are pretty amazing. I don't know what Andy will think of the music (he'll probably listen quickly once), but with a mix CD it doesn't matter because it's enforced education. Brilliant.

Now to take over the rest of the world... 

Posted: Friday - October 17, 3 at 03:11 PM