While Cary Clarke takes a much-deserved vacation traversing the globe, I'll be filling in for him here at the local music news desk.

—Ezra Ace Caraeff

My obsession with music was initially sparked by the free CMJ CD samplers. Those bonus discs that came alongside the CMJ magazine were a fantastic introduction to so many artists—some of which I still follow to this day (Hayden), while others I'm a bit embarrassed to still own records by (Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments)—of the '90s and beyond. Perhaps this is why I was so excited to find out about Echolocations, a subscription-based series of CD compilations locally run out of the apartment of Alice Hacker.

The bimonthly series features a wide range of artists, from big-name indie acts on established labels (Nada Surf, Black Mountain), to local favorites (YACHT, Sandpeople), plus even a few unsigned gems as well (Beat the Devil, Birds & Batteries). The discs are sequenced less like those CMJ samplers of old—this is due to the fact that unlike most magazine-related compilations, the artists on Echolocations do not pay for placement. Instead Hacker's personal touch is throughout, and the discs are tastefully designed and feature the cover art skills of local artist Keegan Wenkman.

The six-disc yearly subscription will set you back a measly $30, money well spent on this eloquent love note to the disappearing art of a quality mixed CD. As Hacker explains, "I have always made mixes. I made mix tapes when I was younger for car rides with my parents and I still make mix CDs for friends, crushes, and dance parties." She continues, "I know that the listener is not going to like every track I put on a CD, but if they really like three of them and go see that artist, or buy their CD, then I think that I have done my job."

In other news, Portland's insatiable desire to keep pushing the envelope continues with the baffling 24-Hour Concert. Held at the Hippodrome (315 SE 3rd), this all-day, all-night, continuous performance will be held from Saturday at 7 pm until Sunday at 7 pm, within a 12-foot geodesic dome, and will feature Strategy (the show is the release party for Music for Lamping, plus the Ambient Not Not Ambient compilation), a Tokyo live-feed from the Lucky Dragons, plus an expansive Jamm Squad, with members of the aforementioned Strategy, White Rainbow, Plants, Panther, Nice Nice, and tons more. It's a free, all-ages show too, so there is no excuse not to visit the homemade geodesic dome, plus see a day's worth of music as well.

And in the best news of all, Cary Clarke returns from his global travels next week. My reign of terror within this column box has finally come to a merciful end.