Friday, April 20, 2012

It's on for 2012!

Looks like the Summer Mix competition is back on for 2012. We have all the regulars back so looks to be a good summer for tunage. Lots more info and details to come. This is just a quick note to let y'all know "the boys are back in town."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nobody Said That It Don't Come Easy

After a brief post last night, hopefully I can get my playlist and backstory posted today.
Here's the set list for my summer mix.

  1. Skateaway - Dire Straits
  2. It Don't Come Easy - Ringo Starr
  3. Cocaine - Eric Clapton
  4. I Thank You - ZZ Top
  5. Love Is Strong - The Rolling Stones
  6. I'm Not Drowning - Steve Winwood
  7. Stay With Me - The Faces(Rod Stewart)
  8. Lonely Road - Paul McCartney
  9. Tempted - Squeeze
  10. Thing Called Love - Bonnie Raitt
  11. Nobody Said That It Would be Easy - Alan Jackson
  12. Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen

I started working on my mix sometime in April. My original concept was "Guilty Pleasures". It was mostly 80s pop, which was the music of summer for me growing up. I had the idea that we could take the mix contest global and that anyone could be a judge. When I learned we'd have mostly the same judges as before, I sweated and rushed to make the mix more grown-up sounding. Less "guilty" but just as pleasurable. It wasn't working, but I couldn't think of a better idea. Finally, about a week and a half before the deadline I had the idea to do a blues-rock mix. After all, Lazy Acres mixes were mostly blues-rock and it figured heavily in Timmay's mixes as well; and they both did better than mine. I really surprised myself with how well I knew the genre (thanks in part to my "education" from Tim and Tom). I had five songs lined up within an hour and the rest came within 3 days. I went against Tim's advice of not hitting people over the head with the same genre over and over. The way I see it I'm putting people into groove that they won't want to get out of. I made a couple winks at the judges in the mix as well. For Jack, I included "Glory Days", which he played over Adelphia's last conference call. I also hope Julie appreciated the hint of Texas twang. The effort payed off with my first ever second place finish.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Our official distributed the results of our 2008 Summer Mix contest.

In Selection:
1) Timmay's Woodside with 4.33 points
2) Senor Blanco with 4 points
3) Ol' Lazy Acres with 3.33 points
3) The Monkey with 3.33 points

In Sequence:
1) Timmay's Woodside with 4.66 points
2) Senor Blanco with 4.33 points
3) Ol' Lazy Acres with 3.66 points
3) The Monkey with 3.66 points

Overall Mix:
1) Timmay's Woodside with 4.33 points
2) Senor Blanco with 4 points
3) Ol' Lazy Acres with 3.33 points
4) The Monkey with 3 points

The obvious winner is... Timmay's Woodside with a combined average of 4.44 points. Senor Blanco comes in second with 4.11. Ol' Lazy Acres finishes third with 3.44. The Monkey in his first attempt will buy the next round of pie with a combined average score of 3.33 points. The full tally of results can be found here.

Track listings for the mixes can be found online at each contestants web home:

The Woodside
Lazy Acres North
The Monkey

(We'll add Monkey and Blanco once they post)

Monday, June 23, 2008


I understand from our official that the judges have started to submit ratings. Still no official word on who has won but we know it won't be long now.

Please note that I have not let the cat out of the bag one bit in providing clues of my mix. However, if you surf the web you may find information related to the mix done in the LAN studio. Don't want it said that I broke any rules or anything like that...

Looking forward to hearing more soon... Can you feel the suspense?!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We're postin' away here tonight at LAN. And so how could I pass up the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Panovec once again on a superior Summer Mix?

No! We haven't gotten the judges tally.

But I've heard the mix and it's stout. It's so stout Guinness filed a law suit charging copyright infringement.

Alright so that's a stretch. But it's still good, possibly great.

I can't say much about my mix because the judges still have the tunes and have not submitted their ratings. So all I can say is that Panovec came as close as anyone could possibly come to capturing the essence of summer.

So where are the judges? No comments or postings here on the blog. No emails hinting at their selections. No winks over the text messaging giving insight into the process. It's too quiet.

Hey maybe I'm over reacting? Wouldn't be the first time. Yea, that's probably it. I've run away with this year's contest and it's deathly silent because of the shock of it all.

I think I'll grab another beer to celebrate...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer Mixes - The Beginning

Reading Mike's post made me recall creating my own mix tapes, which goes back to somewhere around the early 1980s.

Music for me then was typical rock radio stuff of the era – Van Halen, Billy Squier, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, etc.

As a kid, I was a huge KISS fan up until their disco album, "Dynasty." I'm showing my age, but I had all the KISS albums on 8-Track tape.

The summer of 1983 I experienced a sort of renaissance. I started working as a lifeguard at Spruce Run State Park near Clinton, N.J. At 17, I was one of the youngest lifeguards on the 12-person staff. Most everyone else was in college.

Additionally with Round Valley State Park literally down the road, that made for a crew of 24 lifeguards that would get together almost every weekend for a party at someone's house. These were full-blown BYOB and keg parties that sometimes ended up on the beach at Spruce Run. Yes, I can proudly say that I've been "skinny dipping" in Spruce Run Reservoir. I realize this probably is not a shock after my recent streaking incident :~) These are stories for another post, watch the blog!

Anyway... Almost every weekend at these parties I'd hear about and listen to songs, bands and albums that I had never heard before.

Suddenly, my musical taste included The Ramones, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, New Order, Black Flag, Talking Heads, The Replacements, R.E.M., The B-52's, Joe Jackson, English Beat, Thompson Twins, Squeeze, The Cure, Buzzcocks, Violent Femmes, Dead Kennedys, Elvis Costello, and the emerging lead singer formerly of Generation X, Billy Idol.

Even artists I had heard of, such as David Bowie and The Police, I was introduced to songs and whole albums of music I had never heard.

This is also where my appreciation for live music and concert-going began. While my first rock concert may have been The Cars with Wang Chung* in 1984 at the Philadelphia, Pa., Spectrum arena, one of my other early shows was The Replacements at City Gardens in Trenton, N.J., in August 1985. This was back when guitarist Bob Stinson was still with the band, but didn't show up until halfway through the 4th song in the set. I remember Paul Westerberg asked the crowd, "If anyone sees Bob, tell him we're on." Later after the show, while driving out of the parking lot, we passed Bob walking on the side of the road. A couple of us yelled out, "Great set," but Bob just kept on walking.

* When Wang Chung opened for The Cars, this was when they had a little known hit "Dance Hall Days." It would be another two years before "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" appeared.

It wasn't always easy to find punk and new wave music. They didn't play this stuff on the radio, so you would hear about it and then have to search it out. You'd have to go looking for it in out-of-the-way record stores or borrow someone's album and tape it.

Many times, I'd be at a friend's house and go through their collection taping a song here and there, creating a mix on the fly. Mixes then were thrown together songs that were new to me, but could have been out for years.

It would be some time before I started to hone my mixes so that songs were placed strategically rather than haphazardly. This started slowly after I began to acquire a lot of this new music and discover places where it was easily available.

Back then I had a Panasonic all-in-one stereo. This was my first mixing machine. I remember I could use the pause button to carefully arrange similar sounding songs right next to each other. Being in the days of analog, if I made a mistake, I would have to redo my live pause-button edit again taping over the mistake.

I remember spending hours in my room listening to music and coming up with story and movie ideas. Sometimes I'd make music mixes to go along with my story ideas. I've done this with almost every written story or movie idea since.

Music for me has always been something very special. Sometimes I'm almost disappointed when I find out what a song is really about, because it may have meant something entirely different to me. To this day, I will not read the lyrics of a song unless I have a real need to know what it's about.

One song I hope to never read the lyrics to is Dave Matthews' "#41." I like the abstractness of it and what it means to me. To put it another way, it's like seeing a Van Gogh up close and in person. I see the colors and these wonderful images, and it doesn't matter what the artist was going for, or whether he was bonkers crazy or not. There is just this masterpiece to soak in and engulf your senses.

I had put together a few mixes by the summer of 1986, but I feel this was the first true "summer mix" for me that I titled "E.G.T." (Estimated Gig Time).

To give some background, earlier when I mentioned the party blow outs above, let it be known we danced at these parties. I mean we threw down, we had a damn good time playing music and dancing or "slamming" (slam dancing before it came to be known as "moshing") depending on the song, but we had fun!

I remember back in those early years at Spruce Run on this one particular rainy day, a bunch of us gathered at Alvin's place. His parents had a hot tub in the basement, so naturally we picked up a bunch of beer and headed straight there.

Rainy days at Spruce Run were infamous for mischief, I'll say "ice bong" and leave it at that :~)

Back to the story... so we decide to grab a bunch of albums, take them to Alvin's, and mix them into a classic party tape for our next "big gig." We did this and the tape was stellar! It was one great song after another. We reviewed our work and needless to say there were many empty beer cans left floating in Alvin's parents' hot tub.

Maybe a few days after, Jon the owner and holder of this classic tape, got into a car accident. The tape was never recovered, but he was fine.

When I created the "E.G.T." tape, I believe in 1986, this was the first time since then that a tape of our classic party tracks had been created.

If you saw the playlist now it would read like a list of oldies, but back then these were fill-the-dance-floor classic tracks.

The tape has long since gone, but I do recall the mix started out with "What I Like About You" by The Romantics. This was followed by "White Lies" by Jason and The Scorchers. After that, all I know at one point or another the mix included "So Lonely" by The Police, "Jean Genie" by David Bowie, "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol, "Mystery Achievement" by The Pretenders, "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel, "What You Need" by INXS, "Radio Free Europe" by R.E.M., "Train In Vain" by The Clash, "Rock Lobster" and "Private Idaho" by The B-52's, "Rockaway Beach" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones, "Burning Down The House" by Talking Heads, "Mystery Dance" and "Pump It Up" by Elvis Costello, and "Add It Up" by the Violent Femmes. I'm sure there were more, but that's all I can be sure were included.

Many years have passed since then along with countless mixes. Hopefully I've learned something along the way, I can only hope. One thing I know for sure, while mixes can fill a dance floor or be entered into a contest, I'd much rather share a mix for and with a woman who touches my heart.

- Salud!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mixin' Memories

The Summer mix contest is the first and only office contest of it's type I've ever been involved in. I usually avoid these things like the plague, but I jumped at this one beacuse making mix tapes (and CDs) has been one of my favorite hobbies since 1988. I didn't keep a diary, so my music mixes were my main way of keeping a record of what was going on in my life and what was important to me at any given time. Now the songs didn't literally describe what was happening in my life (I'd have a really missed up life if they did), but I "encoded" each tape or CD with certain mental connections that I would remember each time I played the mix.
When I first heard about this competition, I had just finished a mix of new songs which I was very proud of and planned to enter unchanged. Somewhere along the way I got nervous and padded it with a bunch of songs that weren't as good as the original material. It scored poorly and I've disowned it, I no longer have a copy of or the playlist for my 2005 summer mix.
I consider my Summer 2006 mix to be my masterpiece. It was a Jazz/Soul compilation that worked on many levels. Each song dealt with some aspect of summer, and the sequence of the songs formed a love story. Tom called it "deep," Timmay called it "melancholy." Deep down, for me, it was about finding peace in a difficult situation. I thought maybe that idea would resonate with the other Adelphia employees who were all facing a potentially life-changing job loss.
My Summer 2007 mix was a much more optimistic affair. It predicted a summer road trip that I didn't really end up taking. I believe that had I come up with that mix for the 2006 competition it would have won.
I just finished 2008 a couple days ago. Can't say much except that I had come up with my first concept for this mix in mid-April. After lots of track-shuffling and indecision I decided to trash that concept and go in a completely different direction. This final mix is the result of a 4-day fit of inspiration. I don't even know what deeper meaning, if any, it has. I'll have a lot of fun over the next few weeks trying to figure that out.