Polka Dot Cottage: Summer road trip music

Summer road trip music

Posted July 9th, 2013 by

Summer road trip CDs by Polka Dot Cottage, Boring Office Guy, and I am Flufy

I’ve told you before how picky I am about the process of making a mix CD. Well, in some ways, I have rubbed off on my kids.

The three of us made new CDs this weekend, while thinking about upcoming road trips, and while the contents of each disc are pretty dramatically different, there is one thing we have in common: we all got creative with our covers.

Summer road trip CDs by Polka Dot Cottage, Boring Office Guy, and I am Flufy

Flufy made his first. He fed his track listing to wordle.net in order to generate the word cloud. Wordle takes whatever text you give it, and generates a word cloud, with the more frequently-mentioned words being bigger than those that appear less often. In this case, Flufy knew he wanted “The Flufian” to stand out and be bigger than the other words, so about half of the 31 tracks on his list included the words “The Flufian” tacked on to the front. He spent some time tweaking the setting and regenerating the cloud until it was to his liking.

There is probably a way to download the resulting wordle, but we didn’t notice it. So, we screen-captured it, and Flufy edited it in Paint Shop Pro, enlarging the image to square size, and adding relevant information under the word cloud.

Summer road trip CDs by Polka Dot Cottage, Boring Office Guy, and I am Flufy

Once his cover was complete, he added it (and his track listing) to a template document I created, and printed it out to be slipped into the CD case.

This CD is probably the most unique of the three because it contains all original compositions. He wrote, performed (a capella), and edited all of the tracks in Audacity.

As his mother, I can say this music collection is going to be really, really cool. As a passenger trapped in the car with it for an hour, I might have another review. Time will tell.

Summer road trip CDs by Polka Dot Cottage, Boring Office Guy, and I am Flufy

Boring Office Guy‘s CD is a mix of video game background music, and tracks he’s heard (and liked) from his parents. He got the good songs from me. The tracks sung by angry Germans with broken hearts are from Neil. (I jest! There’s only one of those, and it’s really not that bad…)

For his cover, BOG took a route similar to the one I usually take: photograph + text. He styled his Boring Office Guy Suit on the dining room floor and asked me to take a picture of it for him. He cropped it down to a square and added text in Paint Shop Pro, and then filled in the template.

Summer road trip CDs by Polka Dot Cottage, Boring Office Guy, and I am Flufy

I probably will like this CD, since most of the tracks (see earlier comment re: Neil’s tracks) are melodic instrumentals, or songs I can sing along to.

Summer road trip CDs by Polka Dot Cottage, Boring Office Guy, and I am Flufy

Lastly, there is my CD. The image is one I took at my parents’ house last week – that is their pool thermometer clocking in at a yummy 83 degrees. The cropping, the effects, and the text were all added with Picasa.

As for the playlist, usually I try to either go with a theme, or use all new-to-me music. But I didn’t have enough appealing new-to-me stuff this time around, since my last mix of new stuff was so recent. So I kind of went all over the place with this one: new stuff meets cheesy 70′s music meets songs I’ve liked for a while but haven’t used in a mix in a long time (or ever).

Despite the, uh, diversity of styles, I still tried to ensure a decent flow from track to track, keeping in mind both subject matter (sometimes) and how each song sounds leading into the next. And, of course, the start and end tracks each had to be catchy and happymaking. I feel like I succeed reasonably well in that regard.

Summer road trip CDs by Polka Dot Cottage, Boring Office Guy, and I am Flufy

Here’s a link to my playlist on Google Music. If you have their new All Access service, you can listen to the whole darn thing. If you don’t, it may not even show up for you (not entirely sure how that works). Here it is on Last.fm. That might work better for some of you.

That last track, by the way? Can’t stop singing it for anything. Love it.

The CD that doesn't exist

Next step is to get Neil to get in on the fun and have him make one, too. I’ll even let him use this snazzy cover I designed for him. :-)

How about you? Listening to any good Summer mixes?

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  • music says:

    There are many theories and ideas about what has the greatest impact on a child’s learning as they grow – perhaps the most interesting of which is music. Singsongs have always been a popular way of teaching basic communication, language and responsive skills from children, but more recently the idea of music having much larger impact on a child’s learning has started to become prominent. Many researchers believe that music can help hone creativity and improve learning functions by stimulating a developing brain.

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