|Posted by Kristen Geil on April 11, 2011 at 3:30 PM|
Kristen Offers a "How To"-
The Art of the Mix
So I spent a large portion of this past weekend in a car, and somewhere in between Lexington and Myrtle Beach, I realized (not for the first time) how much I love and rely on my iPod and collection of mix CDs I keep in my car. Without my "March" playlist keeping my sane, I might have driven my car off a North Carolina mountain yesterday.
Many people fail to utilize the "Playlist" function of their iPod. Too often I creep on someone's portable music device only to find that their only playlists are "Top Rated," "Recently Added," "90s" (why is that even an option?), and occassionally "Work Out." My friends, you are slackers. With very little effort, you can have your own personal soundtrack playing while you go about your every day life (and let's be honest, isn't that something we've all kind of fantasized about anyway?)
In fact, that's a great place to start. One of my former professors often relied upon that very question as an ice-breaker on the first day of class: "If you had a theme song that played every time you entered a room, what would it be and why?" Trust me, you don't want to give a stupid answer to this question. I have witnessed people giving stupid answers to this question- "Wannabe," "I'm Too Sexy, "Friday"- and I have judged them as a result.
So, my first suggestion- start with a playlist theme you know very well. Yourself. Make a soundtrack to your life. Choose songs with lyrics, titles, and subject matter that describe your personality and/or lifestyle. Throw in a couple that refer to specific life events or especially memorable moments. Some can be goofy, some can be serious- it's your life. Have fun with it.
Another fun playlist genre is one that I honestly think I came up with myself. I've looked on all my friends' iPods, and no one else has a "STRMOOP" playlist. Baffled? That clever acronym stands for "Songs That Remind Me Of Other People." Yes, your friends have theme songs too. More than that, you have songs that you associate with that friend- a particular happy time, a ridiculous adventure (shoutout to Ally Tucker and "We Belong Together"), or a Not Safe For Work spring break. Making a playlist centered around this theme is a guaranteed way to improve your mood.
My last innovative playlist suggestion is pretty simple- your favorite songs/tunes that you've been listening to the most this particular month. I have playlists for August 2008, December 2010, March 2011- and all of them instantly transport me back to that particular time. A musical time machine, if you will. This kind of playlist is fun because there's a lot of room to experiment. The songs can be old, new, opposite genres- just whatever you liked the most at that time.
Other fairly basic but useful playlist ideas- Sleep, Study (in my case these are combined into one playlist, which I think is perfectly acceptable), Most Played (I think it is hilarious to look at this and realized that Keke Palmer's "Bottoms Up" is the second most played song on my iPod- so revealing), 5 Star (your highest rated songs- sort of like a greatest hits of your iPod), and something that just plain psychs you up (to work out, pregame, cage fight, whatever).
Not all of us can get the real thing.
Last note- out of playlists, mix CDs are born.
I can't even count how many of these I have floating around in my room and car.
I can honestly think of no better gift to give or receive than a mix CD. In fact, a couple of playlists on my iPod are just all the mix CDs a certain friend has made me, compiled into one convenient location (shoutout to Cole and Connor). I love making CDs for my friends' birthdays, or just for a fun occasion (I recently made a "SEEEENYAZ" playlist/CD that I gave to my closest friends after choosing a song to represent each one of us and our group's friendship as a whole- big hit). Mix CDs give you a glimpse into someone else's mind and what they think of you. It's a great way to get turned on to new music as well (I vaguely remember last year Transy students attempting some "Mix CD Exchange," can anyone expand on that?)
Plus, they are cheap, easy, and inherently thoughtful. Any boy looking to get a certain girl- make her a CD.
Great gifts. Can't go wrong. I look forward to receiving many Mix CD's in the mail from my loyal readers after posting this blog.
What about you guys? What are your go-to playlists or mix CDs that get played on heavy rotation?