Mashups

I have just discovered Mashups; take elements of two different songs and combine them into a whole new animal.

Here’s a handful of the highest quality mashups, IMHO.

Nine Inch Nails vs The Beatles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM7tdWRkBp0

Led Zeppelin vs Snoop Dog
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFg5q2hSl2E

The Killers vs Gorillaz
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jpz6Wf9IWA&feature=related

Green Day vs Oasis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES2NGj_fYjs

I also issue a request/challenge to mash up Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” with the Police’s “Every Breath You Take”

That Someone Told Me/Feel Good mashup was excellent. I need to look into these some more.

The closest thing I’ve done was editing together a couple different demos of some They Might Be Giants songs to create “new” versions of the song

They Might Be Giants - Put Your Hand Inside the Puppethead (2007 Greenpoint Mix) - if they’re any TMBG fans reading this, lemme know what you think.

Here’s a good source. Be sure to get both the most recent album (2008) as well as the older ones. It’s free and legal. Link broken because the name sounds risque, not because of the actual content of the site.

www. bootieusa.com/bestofbootie2008/

That should be pretty easy to do, if I could find vocal only tracks of those songs (or otherwise be able to extract the vocals). Part of the fun of a successful mash-up (in my opinion, although I kinda hate mash-ups) is to pick two disparate and unexpected songs and throw them together. Stand by Me and Every Breath You take have the same chord progression (I-vi-IV-V) and won’t make for an interesting mash-up, being pretty obvious (once again, in my opinion.)

I’d say the classic mash-up is probably this mix of the Strokes and Christina Aguilera (A Stroke of Genie-us):

circa 2001.

Look up the work of 2ManyDJs/Soulwax if you like this sort of stuff. They’re one of the more interesting artists to work in the mash-up/bastard pop genre. My favorite work in this genre, though, is DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album, which is a 12-track album of mash-ups combining the Beatle’s White Album with Jay-Z’s The Black Album in non-obvious ways.

Lil Jon vs. Lazytown is hilarious (and NSFW).

Disturbing disturbing imagery.

You also have Collision Course, a mash-up of Linkin Park and Jay-Z tunes.

This is why I hate mashups. Every time I hear one, the tricks used to match the songs are utterly simplistic. And now one has been pointed to as a classic, one that exhibits what can be good in a mashup–and (apologies) it still turns out to be utterly simplistic.

The Strokes use long, droning repetitive segments in their music, and it is always easy to sing a melody over a drone if the melody is in the right key.

The mashup cuts and pastes these droned segments to create the right chord progression.

And the Strokes song is in the major key whose tonic is a minor third above the tonic of Aguilera’s minor keyed song. This is a very easy (and if you’re trying to be clever, then cheap) way to turn a minor melody into a major one.

That’s it. That’s how they did it. There’s nothing particularly clever about it, and as far as I can see, nothing particularly profound about the very idea of playing the songs together.

Down with mashups!

(Of course, I couldn’t sit down and make one myself right off the bat because I have no idea how to do things like isolating tracks etc. But that’s not the “clever” part. There is no clever part. That’s the point I’m trying to make.)

It’s a classic in the sense that it was probably the first really popular one out there. I dislike mash-ups much for slightly different reasons. To me, they feel more like novelty songs than anything else. Once you get to the musical punchline, the power of the joke is lost. (To me, of course. There’s a lot of people out there who love mash-ups.) However, I think the tricks you discuss are actually clever enough to make it interesting the first time or two you hear it.

However, if you want to hear mashups expanded in a direction I really think is interesting and perhaps even brilliant, listen to DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album. It’s the only mash-ups I could listen to more than once. The sampling/mashing behind the rap track is really put through a blender. However, it might not be as interesting to you, as the vocal tracks are rapped (no melody), so there’s no intertwining of disparate melodies or anything going on.

And, having briefly played around with them, it’s a bit of a bitch to get all the element of a song to line up together well. The hardest part is finding two songs disparate enough in genre, but close enough in form to work well together. That’s why I said “Stand By Me” and “Every Breath You Take” is not so interesting a mash-up. It’s exactly the same chord progression (different keys, tho), with a similar tempo. You can hear the beginning of “Every Breath You Take” and sing over it with “Stand By Me” in your head. It’s pretty easy to imagine. The Strokes-Aguilera mash-up is not so obvious and I doubt you can easily mash the songs up in your head (especially with the difference in tonality of the two songs) without having heard the 2ManyDJs/Soulwax version first.

Another one I think is pretty cool is:

Soulwax’s Eleanor Rigby vs. Tour de France (Beatles vs. Kraftwerk.) Sure, the basic tracks are simple chord and rhythm progressions, but one of the problems you encounter with mash-ups is if the song is overly complicated, you just get a terrible, incoherent cacophony of sound.

And that’s probably the most you’ll ever see from me defending mash-ups.

Tag Team and (I believe) Marlyn Manson?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EAKaApKRQA

Dunno why, but I’ve liked this one since I first saw it. Video’s fun for RoD fans, too.

Seeing as part of that imagery comes from a show about a grown man who lives in a blimp that constantly hovers over a village whose population is mostly underage, that isn’t surprising. (Maybe that sort of thing is legal in Iceland?)

http://www.bootieusa.com/blog/2009/01/best-of-bootie-2008-released.html

A must hear is dj - ToToM’s mashup of Robert Palmer and Radiohead, titled Every Kind of Creep.

The result is like something you’d hear on The Love Boat at 3am.

Seconding msmith. Collision Course is great, though it’s a little different from most mashups in that Linkin Park and Jay-Z actually collaborated (rather than being mashed together by a basement DJ without their knowledge).

For the ultimate ADD mashup goodness, any track by Girl Talk is damn fun.

By the way, this exists:

Link.

I am amazed at how well this mashup works- Nirvana gets Rickrolled

Hah! That’s a pretty damned good one. Perfect example of combining two very different tracks together in an unexpected way.

:eek:
:D:D:D

Works with Jacko’s Billie Jean, too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMhnFoq0TpE

My two favorites -
My Life would suck without you mashed with Ozzy’s Crazy Train and a Pink SOng - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrVm4nsJkMg
and I’ll be watching you and chasing cars - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChlIYAJExxQ (be aware, this video is terrible.

My favorite one: Yes + Sir Mix-a-Lot = Owner of a Lovely Butt