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Thursday, September 16, 2010

NEW FORMAT: All Requests (starting with #184)

So, half a year into and halfway through this fairly enormous undertaking, I've decided to make a few changes. Well, one, really.

The songs I'll be covering will still be chosen randomly, but now they will be chosen randomly from a daily pool of requests from readers of the blog. (Details on how to request songs here.)

So why the change?

Well, I've noticed something that should've been obvious from the outset, which is that more people are more likely to listen to a cover when it's a cover of a song they know, or, moreover, love.

Which has frankly been the source of some mild frustration for me, because I've done some of my best work when spinning off of truly obscure source material. But realistically, I can't expect an unknown song (or commercial or experimental piece or audio fragment) to catch a lot of interest. The dustier corners of my music collection have given me some great challenges, yes, but in addition to not being that popular, those selections might be though of as extreme navel-gazing. And I've become aware that some people don't quite get the random-selection part of the process anyway... I often get asked how I choose the songs and why they're so weird. That's partly my fault because I've never posted anything laying down the 39-40 manifesto, other than the very first post, which is totally buried in the way that first blog posts inevitable are. So.

It seems that I've gotten comfortable with the random stuff from my own collection. It has, by definition, a certain safe familiarity for me. So moving to what moves the listeners and readers is redefining and increasing the challenge. Frankly, I don't think I would've been ready to do requests at the outset of the project. It's taken a lot of trial and error and casting about in the dark to get my abilities up to their current level.

And honestly, I hope this will make the project a little more fun, open, entertaining, and even more social than it has been. I was probably expecting too much when I envisioned the level of reader involvement the project might garner-- well, not really; I was fully aware that there was a fair possibility that absolutely nobody would be reading or listening after a month. In any case, this format is predicated on at least a bit of a dialogue with the readers, so I hope I get one!

Thanks for listening and I look forward to serving you again in the future.

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