At my neighborhood Christmas party I had a CD of random Christmas MP3s from some years ago. I wasn't too sure who the artists were, but it sure sounded great.
In fact, I'm listening to it now. In working with the MP3 tags since the party, I notice some of the artists include 101 Strings and Andre Kostelanetz and Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and some just called Various. There's some really nice things there, seemingly made better by having no idea who they are.
When I have a CD by a particular artist, I'm thinking of its quality in terms of that person or group. And you can picture the particular artist in your mind's eye. But when it's Whoever and the Whatever Orchestra, it seems that it's just pure pleasure, no prior conceptions lurking about.
Maybe I need more random music in my life. I've always been so selective, but maybe the real joy is just letting it be unknown. Or fairly so.
The party went great. Everyone had some treats, some coffee, cider, eggnog, summer sausage, candy, Ritz crackers and cheese, etc. I had a table loaded down with goodies and kept putting out more. I ran out of summer sausage, but I think everyone basically got enough.
Then there was my random MP3s playing in the background, sounding like a million bucks.
I might carry that through to the rest of the year. Find some random rock, random country, and random everything!