My friend Colleen started Pantone 292 in 2005. It's a CD club where membership is limited to 20 or fewer. Once a year, you make a mix CD and send it to everyone in the club. The rest of the year, you receive mixes from everyone else.
This kind of thing is hit or miss. But Colleen is a professional DJ and she's friends other pro DJs and one-time DJs and music lovers in general. The mixes are always interesting. I have to go through and scan the cover art from CDs I've received over the last four and a half years of Pantone 292. The music is great. Sometimes there are lyrical themes, sometimes genre themes, and sometimes great songs get shoved together for no rhyme or reason. But no matter what, every mix exposes me to a piece of music I wasn't familiar with. I don't always love the new stuff, but it's so nice to have a group of people saying collectively, "This is what we listen to."
Here are some of the CD covers I've made in the past:
2006, "Now That's What I Call Pantone!" Vol. 10
2007, "Friends of Mine"
2008, "Anatomically Yours"
My month isn't until October this year, but I'm feeling inspired. I think I'm going to make a mix for my new boyfriend. ("I miss you, but I haven't met you yet," Bjork.) Or maybe I'll make a mix for the Somali Pirates. ("Left my soul there, out on the sea," Morcheeba.) Or maybe I'll make a mix for Jessica Delfino's cat, Miss Puss. ("I'm gonna pounce! Pounce!" Nellie McKay.) It's like scrapbooking. But less embarrassing.