UPDATE: After reading some of the comments below, I'm inclined to think this guy is trying to pull a fast one.
Swan Fungus of WFMU's Beware of The Blog writes about a strange CD-r he found while hiking in Joshua Tree a couple of years ago. He writes, "I have played this CD for record scum collector friends and pop culture junkies in the hopes that someone might recognize something about it, from a riff to a clip from some television show or movie. The only constant is that no one knows what to make of it." You can listen to the tracks here.
The last place I ever expected to find an unlabeled CD-r filled with music would be in the middle of the fucking desert. But nearly two years ago I was hiking in Joshua Tree and I came across a completely surreal sight: an old-school 5 1/4" computer floppy disk. It appeared to have been tossed casually near the side of the trail I was on, housed in a simple plastic baggie. I reached into the bag and pulled out the floppy disc. I noticed that the magnetic tape inside the plastic case had been replaced by a recordable compact disc. The disc had a creepy message scrawled on it which read, "A silvery female voice breaking through onto the airband sang in German, 'We are from another world, but you have cut us out". I don't believe in ghosts or extraterrestrials or anything, but standing in the middle of nowhere reading that line was enough to send me into a miniature freak out. What's more, a folded-up piece of paper was also buried inside the plastic cover. A treasure map. Browned edges and everything. It featured a pirate ship (?), a series of footsteps through mountains and palm trees (?), one red X, and ten blue X's. One of of the X's appeard to be floating in the middle of a body of water.
I listened to the recording on my drive back to LA that night. It was indescribably weird. The dedication to the floppy disk case, chicken scratch message, and treasure map implied that someone with way too much time on his or her hands crafted it. The insanity of the recording -- with one or two kind of pretty moments -- mirrored the obsessively constructed feel of the package. I didn't know if I was listening to the work of a mad genius or a deranged psychopath. The sounds are a combination of heavily processed human voices and schizophrenic space music. The 11 tracks are very short, with only four "tunes" lasting longer than three minutes. Most are in the thirty-second to two-minute range in length. I wouldn't call it "rock," but it's guitar-centric. I also wouldn't say that it is very good, but it made for an interesting listen.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.