Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An annual glurp

Way back when, I used to have a cassette in my stereo all the time ready to record songs I wanted when they played on the radio. The resulting tapes were a big mess of songs in random order, with their first few seconds cut off, and sometimes with DJs talking on their ends; but often that was the only way I had those songs at all. I started calling those "glurp tapes" because they were just a random assortment of stuff, and for some reason "glurp" seemed to fit that.

Later, when I made what people might call a "mix tape", I adopted that name for the same purpose. The main time I made these would be burning CDs full of MP3s to play on the car stereo. At any given time, we might have about 30 CDs, each full of 100-200 MP3s, in the car. (When a disc is meant to play on a car stereo, on not-so-great speakers and competing with engine and road noise and the heater, high bitrates are kind of a waste. Even 128bps MP3s sound better than FM stereo.)

And yet, it still gets to feeling like we don't have enough choices. Part of that is how half of them we can't ever play. A lot are the complete works of a band, but that's usually too much of any one band for Siobhan to want to hear. Some are for moods that don't come up often. Some are collections of a genre, and those get played more, but even those sometimes feel like too much of a single thing. The two kinds of discs that get played most often are album-discs (which are around 8-12 albums on a disc), and glurp discs.

Usually I make a glurp disc by just using my MP3 software to make a random playlist of songs that both Siobhan and I like, and then burn as much of it as will fit. However, I just recently decided to make a new one and used a different approach. During January, I made a playlist of just the things I had added to my library in 2010. To my surprise, it was almost two CDs worth of MP3s, but that also included too much of a few things (some artists I'd added one or more albums of, while others I'd only added a song or two) so I decided to winnow it down to one disc, removing all but the best few songs from most of the artists, particularly artists of styles that either I didn't think Siobhan would like as much, or that I had too much of. I also did a lot more work hand-massaging the order of tracks: I started with a random order, but then moved things around to create better contrasts and spread out single artists more. I labelled the disc Glurp 2010.

It came out so good, so full of enjoyable music that feels fresh, with such a great variety of stuff, that I've listened to it as a playlist a few times in addition to mostly playing through it in the car, and enjoyed it each time. I wonder if, by 2012, the 2010 disc will be feeling too familiar, and if I'll have enough material for a new Glurp 2011 disc. I have a feeling that I've just started a new annual tradition.

1 comment:

Siobhan said...

I like it. There are only a few songs I'm iffy about, but I think with replaying I'll come to enjoy them, as well. :) A new annual tradition sounds fun!