In 2006 I toured Australia. It was great fun, people there are shockingly nice and while some shows were better than others, the experience was overwhelmingly positive. We had three days off in Sydney in the middle of the jaunt, which would ordinarily be great for sight seeing but this pause was not in our favor. The joint where we were staying seemed really far from any kind of action (though it probably wasn't) and it had bugs that made it impossible for me to sleep inside (I'm pretty chill about that kind of shit, I'm just allergic to fleas...and there were a lot of them). But there were plenty of people who offered to take us to see shit; scuba diving, sight seeing, Chinatown, camping, delicious food, historical sydney - the whole city was going to be ours. Except that one by one, the people flaked...and every day we waited at the warehouse for that day's saviour, only to be left hauling our sad asses to the market for another round of dinner supplies. I'm making it sound dreadful (it wasn't) and pathetic (we actually had a great time and did hang out with some absolutely ace people), but it all lead up to our surprise when Nina came to pick us up. She had offered to take us camping outside of town, and after feeling abandoned by one empty promise after another (I'm being melodramatic to achieve literary effect here...), we didn't imagine anyone would make good...but someone did. Jensen stayed behind to get some records, and Yeap joined our journey into nature - we were fukkn camping. By camping, I mean we drove to the store, bought a ton of food, two tons of booze, and we drove into the forest where we made a fire and got plastered. I don't think we even bothered to make a tent, we just burned shit and got wasted and blasted this tape and took ridiculous shirtless pictures of ourselves.
I'm sure that Nina told us what the "Room Challengh" was (or why it was spelled this way), just as I can assure you that I most certainly do not remember. I do recall that the tape was a part of an exchange with a friend and I can promise you that I have never heard a better getting-shitfaced-in-the-forest-with-some-of-your-best-friends (and some people you hardly know) mix tape. Some tracks (3 and 15 specifically) were already cultural sensations but we heard them for the first time that night with no warning and no context and our minds were blown (moments from these tracks are still a part of our world of inside jokes). Some tracks (7, 18-20, 25, 26) are stone cold classics and would be appropriate for virtually any mix tape ever while others (2, 12, 13, 16) have no business being on any mix tape ever, which might be why they are so perfect. There are songs that make you shake your head (4, 10, 21, 24) and others that kick the party into high gear (6, 9, 11) even if you have no idea what the fukk you are listening to. There's nothing cool about the tape, but everything about it is awesome...and Nina let me take it home where it still gets occasional listens and never fails to bring back excellent memories. Everything is presented to you without artist or song info, so you can listen with the same wonder as we did that night. Might I suggest a flaming stick, no shirt, complete darkness and the smell of eucalyptus?