The Daily Adventures of Mixerman
By Mixerman (Mixerman Multimedia Inc.)
by Brian Varney
The Mixerman diary phenomenon is justification alone for the existence of the Internet. Here’s a brief summation of the back story: A professional engineer/mixer/producer in L.A. about to begin a new recording project with a major-label bidding war band decides it might be enlightening to chronicle his experiences in the studio. He posts daily diary entries on the discussion forum at www.prosoundweb.com, making sure to changes the names of everyone involved, himself included, so as to protect the guilty. The diary’s popularity explodes, and a couple of weeks in, it’s getting 25,000 hits a day. The Daily Adventures of Mixerman simply compiles all of the diary entries, plus a couple of things that were never posted, into a single hard-backed volume.
It doesn’t take very long to realize why this diary was so popular. The sessions get off to a bad start, and the misfortunes – and along with them, the laughs – immediately multiply. The enormously disagreeable members of the band (named Bitch Slap, for the purposes of the diary) hate one another, don’t play well together, and spend more time arguing about the split of their future royalties than they do actually recording anything that might afford them those royalties. Things are no better on the other side of the glass as Mixerman and the album’s producer, Willy Show, scramble to get something usable from the band. What results from all of the chaos is absolutely nothing. The sum total, after almost 50 days in the studio, constant band fights, personal meltdowns, broken limbs, parts re-recorded while the band is away, and no doubt an obscene amount of money, is one completed song.
It may seem counterproductive to read 300 pages where nothing happens, but the beauty of The Daily Adventures of Mixerman is in the details. I have no idea how good Mixerman is at making albums, but he is an awfully good writer. The source material is great (the story of the band amiably passing a joint amongst themselves while in the midst of a vicious screaming match is only one of the many moments of comic gold to be had) and Mixerman’s dry-witted presentation of such nonsense will leave you clutching your aching sides and gasping for breath with laughter throughout the book.
As the book progresses and the band’s fortunes begin to dwindle in the face of increasingly ridiculous, sometimes almost surreal developments, the diaries begin to take on a This Is Spinal Tap quality. Yeah, I know, one’s a satire and one’s a diary of real events, but by the end of the book, they’re not that far separated in terms of believability. And, of course, they are certainly very similar in terms of revealing the sillier aspects of their chosen field.
Currently, the book is only available for purchase from www.mixerman.net, but hopefully, this will change in the near future. You can also check out a few of the original diary entries online at the ProSoundWeb site (there are links on the Mixerman site), but trust me, you’ll want to own this baby in hardback form once you get a taste.