Remember Mix CDs? Those things that replaced Mix Tapes, because damn it if it wasn't a lot easier throwing 20 songs in an iTunes playlist and hitting the "Burn" button? Well, Spotify playlists are a lot like Mix CDs—except they're just super evolved and totally on steroids and you don’t need to burn them onto physical discs in order to pass them on to somebody else.
For example, every week I update ‘THE HI54 WEEKLY SHUFFLE’ with a fresh selection of 54 tracks/artists, all pulled from a library of years spent music blahging instead of ladder climbing. Now, I still put a Spotify playlist together like I would a mix CD—which is to say I probably spend too much time making sure each track selection sounds good after the other + other random things that effect #peak song order—but instead of checking how many CD-R’s I have available, I just swap out the old songs on Spotify and auto-magically there’s a new HI54 Mix CD sitting in the back pocket of anyone who is following along.
And that’s sort of the idea behind this whole #HI54MIXCDS / MIX CD RADIO thing: I metaphorically burn a bunch of ‘playlists-as-mix-cds-as-radio-programs’ that I keep updating on the regular, and people can tune into any one of those mix cds whenever they want, wherever they are (and hopefully pass them on to friends because I have an unproven theory that passing on good music leads to more good things happening). It sure beats lugging around a folder of scratched silver discs or putting on the radio and having to hear a bunch of commercials in between the radio still playing the same songs over and over again.
So have a look/listen through some of the many HI54 MIX CDS available for you to tune into…
…and if/when you come across a HI54 MIX CD you like, give it a follow on Spotify so you’ll get future song updates + you’ll be able to easily throw the latest version on shuffle whenever you find yourself in one of those “there’s gotta be something better to listen to right now” moments.
And if you don’t use Spotify but would still like to listen to the music featured on HI54’s MIX CD RADIO, you can find different listening options (ie. Apple, Youtube, Soundcloud, etc) for all the #HI54MIXCDS over on Soundsgood.
Now, I 100% agree that streaming is currently not working properly for the artists. Like most things in capitalism, the wrong hands got into the pie and now the group that should be earning the most (ie. the creators) are only getting crumbs. This, like most things in capitalism, sucks and is stupid that we let it work that way.
But this is also way too big a topic to try and get into on a page where I am actively promoting streaming playlists. The conversation is important and we can do better, but also:
I grew up pre-internet in a small town where the only access to “new music” was what they played on the corporate radio station. So as imperfect as streaming is working right now, on a whole I think the world is a better place the more accessible music is. Like, as broken as some things are, it really used to be way worse before the internet.
So, while we wait for better/fairer streaming options (still have my fingers crossed that Bandcamp will make some moves in this area), we have to at least use the streaming we have now to discover/listen to/share as much good music as we can and not let the Al Gore Rhythms decide who gets all the $treams.
Because the world needs more human-generated shit and a hand-picked playlist done right (like the kind you'll find on #HI54MIXCDS / MIX CD RADIO) beats the hell out of the computer and payola generated versions you’ll find on the mainstream home pages. So if you hear something you like while checking out the Mix CDs on this site, hit the follow / subscribe buttons and tell a friend to do the same. And then go track down and support the artists outside of the streaming garden (ie. buy their music on Bandcamp, go to a live show, follow on socials, etc).
And now here is a playlist that is 420 different songs from 420 different projects, which you can carry around in your pocket and pull out whenever you’re in need of a shuffle that will not repeat a track for 24hrs straight:
If you’d like to submit your music for HI54 consideration, you can drop a track off in my Submithub queue. If you have any requests for playlist / Mix CD themes or anything else, you can holler at me on the socials.