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I belong to Raindogs, a mailing list for Tom Waits fans. Even though Waits is perhaps my all-time favorite muscian, I would normally have a hard time being obsessive enough to join a list about a single artist, even him. The thing that keeps me subscribed to the list, though, is that it's a great resource for discovering other music. It's filled with people whose tastes fill all kinds of nooks and crevices of the musical spectrum. Bands that I've either discovered or decided to explore thanks to the Raindogs list include the Dresden Dolls , the Dead Brothers , and Gogol Bordello.
Recently, one of the members instigated a mass CD exchange project called An Armful of Boxcars. The rules of the exchange were as follows: there were two different kinds of disks that could be sent out. The first was called a One-Eyed Jack, the second a One-Eyed Myra. The Jack is a regular mix of songs, much like you'd put together for any of your friends, with no restrictions other than there couldn't be any Tom Waits on it. The Myra is the same, except that the music had to be a little more obscure, even by Raindogs standards. I felt too intimidated to do a One-Eyed Myra, thinking that I couldn't come up with that much obscure music, but signed up to send Jacks out to nine people. Three of the people that I was assigned to send disks to were overseas: England, Denmark, and Japan.
Yesterday I received my first package: a Jack and a Myra from a guy named Greg in Massachussets. They're fascinating mixes, and most of the stuff on each is unknown to me. I'm going to post the playlists as they come in. Here's Greg's: