A Mindless Proposal
WHAT IS IT?:
Well, an “album” used to be this thing that you “paid” for, containing “music”; and then you “listened” to it, more-or-less “front-to-back”, often with “friends”.
We’re going to do that, except for free!
HOW IT WORKS:
On the final Friday of each month, participants will join a Google Hangout at 9:00 PM ET. Google Hangouts has an integrated YouTube interface, and many, many full album uploads are available on YouTube (see below for more info). It also has an IM/chat function.
We’ll be listening to music, so we can keep our mics and/or cams off – since I plan to be drinking, this is probably for the best anyway.
Anyone who attends, can listen and discuss. Just show up!
Anyone who has an album they want to share, needs to come a little bit prepared – locate a full-album upload of your choice on YouTube in advance, and write a brief introduction of the album (a few sentences or a paragraph is fine, though obviously if you want to wax rhapsodic about it, you can.) The introduction can be factual (about the record), personal (what you like about it, or what it means to you), or whatever you wish.
The album choices, and the album Selecter for the night, will remain a surprise until each party starts.
For everyone that brings an album that night, we will plug their names into this to draw straws to see who will be the Selecter.
Whoever gets chosen as Selecter, introduces their album via text chat (paste your intro in), and then it gets played, for everyone at the same time.
And we all close our eyes and listen.
We can use the live-chat function to discuss it as it is playing; afterwards, the YouTube album video, text introduction and chat get immortalized as a Mindless Diversions post.
Albums can be old, new, obscure, or mainstream music, of any genre.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
1.) Obviously, you are limited to albums that are fully-available on YouTube*. Just search “Album Name (Full Album)” and you will often find what you need. If there are several available, check each for sound quality and pick the best one, then bookmark it, so you can easily identify that upload again if you are chosen as the Selecter for the night.
2.) Let’s limit the albums to a single-disc (archaic as that is now) length – so no more than 80 or so minutes max. Even that may be too long to keep people’s attention in 2014, so an hour or under is even better.
3.) Participants should plan to use a semi-decent set of headphones or speakers in a private space, so you can listen at higher volumes to OK-ish sound quality (I mean, it’s STILL YouTube streaming) – that is, no half-listening on crappy laptop speakers while you are also watching TV. We want participants to be focused on the music, (man,) giving it as much of their attention as possible.
4.) Cocktails are encouraged, but not required.
5.) You may discover you like something you thought you’d hate. Or that you hate something you thought you’d like. Or hate something you knew you hated, but now hate in an entirely-new and better-informed way. Voice your opinions by all means, but please be thoughtful, open-minded and kind. Sooner or later, it could be your beloved record that’s up there on the block.
Get in on the ground floor on Friday, 4/25! What do you have going on on Friday nights anyway?
If you are interested in participating, say so in comments below. We’ll use the e-mail address on your comment to send you the Google Hangout invite.
*If the full album isn’t there, but its individual tracks are all available in YouTube, the individual tracks can also be assembled into a playlist matching the album sequence within the Hangout/YouTube interface. However, you only want to do this if all uploads are of equivalent quality (ideally all from the same uploader/source), and if the album flow won’t be damaged too badly by a brief gap between each track.