Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Throw Down: CD Mix Swap

There are few simple pleasures as satisfying as a hand-crafted music mix. I pity the lonely copyright lawyer who has never experienced the joy of music swapping at the start of a new relationship, or the excitement of designing a cover at midnight on Christmas Eve for his brilliant stocking-stuffer compilation. 

If you and your friends love sharing new music, you can throw a CD Swap party in a snap. Your guests will show up with one CD and go home with another. It's like a key party . . . for your ears.

Here's a Bashionista playlist you can download and swap at your next event, and here is our first downloadable playlist by a guest DJ!
Getting Started

This party works best with no more than a dozen people - more than that and swapping can get unwieldy. As your guests arrive, have them display their CDs so people can decide which ones they most want. Right before the actual swap, gather the group together and read through the tracklists aloud. Then . . . SWAP!

The Yankee Swap 

I've been throwing an annual swap for the past 6 years, but I'm not the only one to come up with this idea. A friend of mine has a holiday party every year where 10 people make 10 CDs each, distribute them around the room, and then everyone gets to spend the holidays on a fantastical 12-hour musical journey.

The only trouble with this plan is that you need to know exactly how many people are coming well in advance of partytime - this is tough if you have friends who like to play things fast and loose. The solution I've come up with is the Yankee Swap.

Called "Dirty Santa" in the south, this swap allows you to ride the wheel of fortune and steal mercilessly from your friends or co-workers, as the case may be.

To get the swap rolling, simply write numbers on slips of paper, and have guests draw them out of a hat. #1 gets first pick. #2 gets to pick a new CD - OR he gets to steal the CD from #1, and hand #1 the CD he's holding. And so on, until all your guests have chosen their selections. The very last person to pick is #1, who has the opportunity to steal from absolutely anyone.

Suggested Menu

Keep things informal, delicious, and most importantly, hand-held! If you want to be a bit cheeky, make or buy some Chex Mix. Also consider:

Featured Cocktail: Strawberry Daiquiri
Stick with the mix theme and drag out your blender. All you need for this drink is 2 oz spiced rum, 4 oz sour mix, 6 oz frozen strawberries, and 2 cups of crushed ice. Give it a whirl and enjoy! Makes two lip-smacking daiquiries.


  1. I will be popping my Liz CD Swap cherry this weekend! (And my mix is awesome!)

  2. I have no doubt! So psyched you can make it!

    -The Bashionista