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Guest Post from Matt

Today we have a guest post from Matt G. (’07). Matt brings us a list of mashups that are “genuinely clever, cool or generally mind-warping”.

For those unfamiliar: a mashup is when you take the vocals from one song, sans instrumentation, and put them on top of the instrumentation, sans vocals, of a totally different song. A really good mashup is basically a musical joke, and an astoundingly good mashup can even be better than both its original components.

Some of these are nifty enough that I wanted to share, especially since almost all mashups are available for free download. Check them out!

Clever Juxtapositions

“Monty Python’s Killer Queen”
Theme from Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Queen – “Killer Queen”

“If I Were a Free Fallin’ Boy”
Beyonce – “If I Were a Boy”
Tom Petty – “Free Fallin'”
I’d never heard the Beyonce song, either. It’s not important to “getting” or enjoying this mashup.

“Don’t Cha Want Me”
Pussycat Dolls – “Don’t Cha”
Human League – “Don’t You Want Me”

“From the Heart of Glass”
Blondie – “Heart of Glass”
Philip Glass – “Glassworks” (combination of Opening and Closing)

Wow, That’s Really Cool / How the Hell Does That Work?

“Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up”
Rick Astley – “Never Gonna Give You Up”
Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
video available here

“Black Butterfly Busters”
Ram Jam – “Black Betty”
Smashing Pumpkins – “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”
Ray Parker Jr. – “Ghostbusters”
The Pumpkins song is the “rat in a cage” one — you probably know it, if not its title.

“Mia Freaky Mamma (On a Leash)”
Korn – “Freak on a Leash”
Abba – “Mamma Mia”
This one, in particular, is hysterically funny.

Just Plain Awesome

“Hotel California Must Go On”
The Eagles – “Hotel California”
Queen – “The Show Must Go On”

“Toxic Starlight”
Britney Spears – “Toxic”
Supermen Lovers – “Starlight”
Give this one a try even — or even especially — if you can’t stand the Britney Spears original. The new background completely harmonically recontextualizes the song.

Pure, Jaw-Dropping Magnificence

System of a Down – “Toxicity”
Coldplay – “Fix You”
SoaD is a scream-into-the-microphone-while-playing-heavily-distorted-chords metal band. “Fix You” is one of Coldplay’s slower, more boring songs, and that’s saying something. The intersection between them is nothing short of epic, in all the senses of that word.


Mandelbrot Set

Students from the Cornell Summer Animation Workshop have produced a fantastic and suitably quirky animation for Jonathan Coulton’s “Mandelbrot Set”:

You can find out more about Jonathan Coulton on his website. I actually don’t know much apart from his most popular songs, but perhaps someone will enlighten us (with further song recommendations, for example) in the comments or with a follow-up blog post?

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Swing dancing in the Jungle Book

It’s nothing new, but this clip from the Jungle Book might brighten your day a bit:

If you’re interested in film or music history, you’ll also enjoy this brief clip describing the recording of this song.

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Music for the Independent Mind

Emerson College in Boston runs a great radio station, WERS, which you can listen to online (as well as via honest-to-goodness old-fashioned radio, if you’re in the Boston area). Their programming includes a wide range of genres, but my personal favorites are the weekend programs: Standing Room Only (Saturdays 10am to 2pm and Sundays noon to 2pm) plays a great selection of Broadway music, including lots of recent or lesser-known shows, as well as the classics. All A Capella (Saturdays and Sundays 2pm to 5pm) plays exactly what the name suggests, mostly from college a capella groups. The shows will also keep you up to date on musicals and a capella concerts in the Boston area.

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