A&E’s third mix-tape competition ends today!

Ah, the beautiful mix tape-a collection of songs that have been gathered and unearthed from one’s music collection in order to achieve any number of purposes. We say: Mix-taping isn’t just a skill, it’s an art. Dare to disagree with us and we’ll send you to the High Fidelity School of Hard Knocks. But assuming you (like any good-natured, intelligent, semi-conscious music listener) should know and understand the value of setting a variety of songs in a distinct order in lieu of manifesting something greater, we’re putting out a call to arms. Starting this month, we’re holding a contest (whenever we feel like it, really), testing our readers’ skills in mix-taping and stretching horizons. We give you a theme, you send us your list of songs in the order you’d want them mix-taped.

The winner gets his or her mix tape (and DJ pseudonym) published in Friday’s A&E section, along with a nice $15 gift certificate to Graywhale CD Exchange. The first week’s entries toward a football pump-up mix did OK (football players pumping up to Pink? We laughed too.), but last week’s double-sider on Halloween and political rock got competitive-check out last Friday’s issue online to see for yourself.

Maybe that’s because we upped the ante: Seeing as how there are two sides to a mix tape, we figure that individual sides are worth one of our precious little $15 gift certificates from Graywhale, thus giving two readers each week the chance to win. Then again, if you nail both sides on the nose, come Friday, 30 Graywhale pesos are yours.

So without further ado, this week’s theme is “I Guess The Winter.” Adam Duritz had it right: makes you laugh a little lower/makes you talk a little slower. We know how it works-less sunlight equals fewer endorphins equals less happiness, et cetera, et cetera. Then again, snow means riding, and flying down a mountain is a lot better than being stuck to the ground sometimes. Get creative and find themes relevant to the the tone of winter.

We don’t want a mope-fest, but “Frosty The Snowman” is an automatic DQ. This week’s tape is 16 tracks, two sides. The split of the sides doesn’t have to be even, but it’d be wise (i.e., in order to win) to give each side its own distinct feel. Think you’re up to the challenge?

Mail your entries to [email protected]. All entries are due by today at 5 pm. Good luck!