Super Mash Bros. : All About the Scrillions

super mash bros.

Sophomore expectations suck. While the freshman album is a clean slate with little to no hype, the sophomore effort is all about how the new work matches up with that of the previous effort. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the biggest enemy of the young mash-up duo, Super Mash Bros., is none other than themselves. It’s been a year since Dick Fink and Nicholas Fenmore hit up the DIY LA music scene with their debut album Fuck Bitches, Get Euros. A healthy mix of 90s hits and MTV rap staples, Fuck Bitches, Get Euros was an accessible record with eclectic mash-ups of recognizable tunes and non-stop genre crossovers (e.g. Blink 182 to Lil Wayne). Case in point, Super Mash Bros. proved their worth and the ability to be placed in the same category as Girl Talk.       

 A year later, after selling out The Roxy, Super Mash Bros. are back at it with All About the Scrillions. On first listen, the album doesn’t seem quite as enthralling as last year’s surprise hit. Whether it be the samples or the over-use of dirty rap over guilty pleasure pop hits, the album just doesn’t seem to stick right away. On tracks, such as “Adler Girl Pt. 2,” the formula of mashing pop and rap seems to become redundant to the point that the album as a whole may be a failure. Though I really dug and respected Fuck Bitches, Get Euros, so I decided to give the new album another listen.

With less of the mind set of a critic and more of that of a fan, I sat back and listened to the album straight through. From the opening track, “Boom Boom Pau,” which samples the intro of Van Halen’s “Right Now” to the concluding tune, which features the victorious stadium chants of “Zombie Nation,” Super Mash Bros. easily deliver the epic set ups needed for a successful dance party. Between this epic backdrop, the Bros. succeed in what they do best: pleasing the audience. With the Super Mash Bros.’ mash-ups, it doesn’t matter when the song came out and whether it was approved by Pitchfork or not, because in the end it’s all about how the songs can be reformatted to get the listener to dance their ass off. Take “Livin’ the Dream (I’m on a Float)” for example. The first half of this deep cut consists of a simple blend of Twista’s “Overnight Celebrity” and the intro to Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida;” both being songs you wouldn’t expect to be played in the midst of a wild dance mix. Though put together, the Super Mash Bros. use their magic to create a track that showcases these two tunes as perfect matches for each other. I hate to use another Girl Talk reference, but I feel I must. While Greg Gillis uses bits and bits of individual songs to create his own work, Super Mash Bros. seem to work more with their chosen material to find elaborate, yet appropriate ways to mash the tracks; a true testament to the DJ duo. Hence, while All About the Scrillions may not necessarily have the same lasting power as Fuck Bitches, Get Euros, it’s still a fun and wild album that will leave you with many “Oh no they didn’t moments!”      

Download the Album here: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?mwxzbjv2imj

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Remembering Michael Jackson

michael jackson

It’s sad to see a legend, like MJ, unexpectantly leave us at such a young age. Say what you will about his personal life, but don’t diss his ability as a pop star. MJ is up there as one of the biggest stars to ever grace the face of the Earth; up there with Elvis and The Beatles. Whether it be his dancing or memorbale music videos, MJ left his mark on music. He will be missed.

I want a YouTube video of MJ and James Brown dancing together in heaven!

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Reflecting Upon the Lakers’ Championship Parade

lakers celebrate at stadium

Some thoughts of mine after watching today’s victory parade for the Lakers:

– It’s funny how when the Lakers began to board their respective buses, the reporters played it out as if it was akin to a red carpet entrance (“What is that dress that Vanessa [Bryant] is wearing?”).

– The championship hats are pretty lackluster this year. However, where can I get one of those four ring shirts that Kobe and Fish were sporting?

– Josh Powell was hiding back! His afro could take on Ben Wallace’s fro any day.

– I was glad to see that Magic and Kareem came along on the bus ride to the Colliseum. Laker fans, both yound and old, still embrace the Laker legends more than appropriately.

– Twitter is officialy taking over the world of journalism. During the broadcast, the reporters had to be informed (via Twitter) about Phil Jackson’s whereabouts.

– While the new parade route is not the most scenic, the decision to hold the rally at the Colliseum was spot on. No way could the Orlando Magic fill up a giant football stadium on a Wednesday!

– The beginning of the rally was too stretched out. The Laker Girls can perform a routine for one song, not three!

– Having the players enter on a purple carpet through the famous peristyle arches with the roar of 95,000 fans in the background was fucking epic!

– The speeches were nice. Jordan Farmar (the hometown boy) connected to the fans, Pau snuck in a few lines of Spanish for the Latino fans, Fish had a giant smile on his face (“What’s up, LA?”), and Kobe was Kobe. Would have liked to see Lamar Odom and/or Trevor Ariza say a word or two. 

– It was Kobe’s time to shine, but I still must say Shaq is still the man when it comes to entertaining the crowd off the court.

Final Thought: At a time of recession and economic turmoil, there is not much to cheer about. Hence, it was very meaningful to see how such a diverse city, like Los Angeles, could come together for one day and find something to cheer for. It was quite inspiring to see exuberant fans running along Figueroa with the team buses and the monstrous Colliseum completely filled with purple and gold. Knowing that there is something that can bring hope and joy to such a large city, is one of the many reasons why I love sports. It’s time like these that make me proud to be an Angeleno and a Laker fan.

Here’s to a great summer and hopefully a repeat performance!

laker fans stadium

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Congratulations Lakers!

lakers celebrate

I just wanted to give a proud shout-out to the 2009 NBA Champions: the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe finally got his first ring in the post-Shaq era and it definately feels good. Though let’s not fool ourselves, this is not that big of a surprise. Ever since the Lakers lost to the Celtics last June, it’s been pretty obvious that the Lakers and a healthy Andrew Bynum would be back to settle the score. Anyways, while it was a bit anti-climatic to win on the road, it’s still a championship and the city of LA will take it! Congrats!

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Book Review: Illmatic by Matthew Gasteier

nas-illmatic

In an age where music journalism has come down to 140-word tweets and abbreviated blog posts, it’s refreshing to see someone take the time to write a complex literary analysis of a great work of hip-hop. Such is the case with Matthew Gasteier’s latest addition to the 33 1/3 book series: a collection of books focusing on one great album per book. Gasteier uses his contribution to the series to focus on Nas’ 1994 debut album Illmatic. Widely considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, Illmatic is an album that both took account of where hip-hop was and where it was heading. A product of the Queensbridge housing projects in New York City , Nas raps of the pressure and stress that comes with living in the inner-city. His lyrics are a startling portrayal of a lifestyle previously ignored by the popular American media. Gasteier spends a great deal of time praising and evaluating Nas’ poetic talent and the message of his music. Additionally, Gasteier traces the development of Illmatic and the impact it has made; using excerpts from previous reviews and new conversations with those involved with the production of the album. Whether you are a fan of Nas or not, Matthew Gasteier’s Illmatic is a complex ode to a classic album that helped hip-hop transcend gangster stereotypes and juvenile lyrics, and be appreciated as an intellectual art form.  

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Friday Night Plans: $2 Show

$2 show

Looking for something to do tonight? Couldn’t get tickets for Passion Pit tonight at the Echo? Well then, you should definatey head out to Encino and check out the $2 Show tonight at 7! 

The $2 show series is a nonprofit organization that is set on supporting community arts and local organization by throwing awesome shows consisting of independent bands and artists in a suburban backyard. Basically, it’s DIY at its finest. 

For only the mere cost of $2, you are donating money to PepLA (a local charity) and are being treated to a handful of good music in an intimate environment. Can’t go wrong with that!

For more info, check out the official website: http://web.me.com/e.dawes/$2_Show/Welcome.html

or the Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=96815494864

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Some Good New CDs

I got a lot of free CDs during my internship these past two weeks. However, I haven’t been able to give all of the albums equal listenings yet, due to the fact that I can’t stop listening to these two CDs during my commutes and time at home.

Passion Pit – Manners

manners

So by now, it’s become pretty well known how Passion Pit got their start. Michael Angelakos originally created the Chunk of Change EP as a Valentine’s Day gift for his girlfriend, which then somehow spread throughout his college campus (that being Emerson College in Boston), and next thing you know, Manners (Passion Pit’s first full-length) is one of the most anticipated releases of 2009. You could say Passion Pit is this year’s MGMT, except for the fact that they have more than a few catchy singles to match their hype. With a high falsetto that makes high voices almost as cool as Barry White’s low tenor, Angelakos leads his fellow Boston-buddies in a debut album that definitely meets the hype. Thanks to a brilliant composition of electropop beats and colorful synth lines, Manners is not an album that preview’s a hip new band’s potential, it’s the glorious feature length. Even with the appearance of a few lackluster tracks, Manners is still a consistently entertaining album that has kept me engaged through multiple listens; whether it be due to the appearance of a children’s choir or just Michael Angelakos distinct voice: the new voice of rock.

 Other Lives – Other Lives

other lives

After seeing this upcoming band nail their opening performance for The Decemberists last week at the Palladium, I had to check out their CD. Sounding somewhere in between the likes of Radiohead and The Decemberists, Other Lives could best be classified as indie-folk rock with a classical influence. Additionally, coming from Oklahoma, there is also a Midwestern edge to the band’s music that gives it that extra spin. Amid the beautiful orchestrations and lead singer Jesse Tabish’s expressive vocals, Other Lives’ debut album is able to convey both heartbreaking and uplifting emotions throughout the course of the tunes. The final result is one of the most eloquent album I’ve heard in a while and a shoe-in for my “Best of 2009” list.

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