Sunday, September 23, 2007

Listening Party... Take 1

A long time ago I told you guys about the great story I read about "Listening Parties". Well, it took me and my buddies a long time to finally get off our asses and have our first one.

Last night, at Casa de Herskowitz, I put the family to bed and squirrelled away in the basement with 3 other music loving friends. We threw in a variety beers (some homebrewed, some new experimental purchases, some old favorites), some barleywine, some vodka (I do love me some Grey Goose), and even some scotch for those that partake (I am *not* a fan). Throw in a half eaten bag of pretzels and we were good to go.

I just hooked up a mini-jack to RCA cable to my stereo and we just round-robined songs with each of us just plugging in our respective MP3 players when it was our turn. The basics... don't say who the song is before you play it. Let people discuss, guess and make comparisons while it plays. With the four people at our inaugural listening party we each got threw about 7 or 8 songs. I had a hard time narrowing my playlist down to a manageable size - in fact, I got it down to 12 songs even though we didn't hear them all. The bonus? I burned a CD of that playlist for each of my buddies. Next time, we swore we would make that standard operating procedure.

All in all, I was much enjoyed by everyone and we all swore that we would make this a regular event.

Here's my playlist: Listening Party #1


Anonymous said...

Care to share your playlist(s) with we who aren't fortunate enough to live near Casa de Herskowitz?

Anonymous said...

My buddies and I used to do this in college (CDs and Vinyl only, kids) and we called it "The Game."

The most fascinating part of it was when you had your next song all planned out, and all of the sudden the guy in line in front of you would play something that would totally derail your original plan, but remind you of something else that would totally fit.

The downside was that we needed to do it at somebody's house that had a massive music collection, and if you had the perfect song in mind but the CD was back at your apartment, you were screwed. I can see how MP3 players would totally solve that problem.

jherskowitz said...

Yeah, another option would be for everyone to use some remote access product and then just use a computer to play them back. But my friends are decidedly more low-tech than me (generally speaking), so even to get them to install a cool helper app like Simplify Media ( at times appears to be an exercise in futility.

I think the real payoff comes in the aggregation of the individual playlists so that you then have an archive of everything that was played (and who played it) that everyone could revisit/relive at any time.

jherskowitz said...

Also...if you did that (above) then other friends could participate in real-time from afar. :-)

Anonymous said...

This would also be fun to do in conference mode over Skype, maybe... but yeah, nothing beats digging on new music with your friends.