Thursday, July 28, 2005

Some Assembly Required

In general, I'm not a huge fan of sound collages or sample-based music. By which, I don't mean rap songs that incorporate samples, but rather artists who make music composed almost exclusively out of samples. However, I've been hearing a fair amount of the stuff on Radio K and two songs have piqued my interest lately. First is Favorite Things, a track by those master appropriators, Negativland. The song consists of samples of Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things (from The Sound of Musicc) reassembled into a rather amusing ode to "girls with blue whiskers tied up with noodles" and the like. It will be interesting to see if Julie Andrews is thicker-skinned than U2, who sued Negativland many years ago. The second song is a mash-up, which is when you combine elements of two or more songs to form a new song. It's by an artist called Freelance Hellraiser and is called Stroke of Genius. The "stroke" of genius in this case is that it consists of the backing track of Hard to Explain by The Strokes paired with the vocal track of some awful song by that skankstress Christina Aguilera. Surprisingly, it works very well. While I wouldn't say that it's better than the original Strokes song, it would almost have to be better than Christina Aguilera's song, wouldn't it?

Beyond the novelty of these songs, I have to admit I really don't understand the appeal of this kind of music. Sure, it's an interesting artistic experiment and is usually entertaining on the first few listens, but I can't imagine listening to it repeatedly. But obviously, there's a niche for this sort of thing: Radio K has a show devoted to it called Some Assembly Required, which appears to be nationally syndicated as well. I'm glad it exists and that I get to hear it occasionally, but I probably won't be buying any albums...


Post a Comment

<< Home