Saturday, November 20, 2004


It's samizdat, and you can dance to it

Two of the best records of the year aren't available in stores. In fact, they're banned and (even more subversive) they're free. Musicians? Naw, we're the hammer that knocks the nail in. DJ Dangermouse's Grey Album is another case of rock and roll math. JayZ (Black Album) + Beatles (White Album) = Grey-tness. If you haven't heard it you are missing out on, if not the best, then at least the most talked about mash up of all time (and a record that will certainly be on dozens of critic's top ten lists this year despite never being in stores). In fact, getting a C&D from the Beatles' lawyers may well have been the best thing to ever happen to tha Mouse (real name Brian Burton). Since then, he's been named the Hottest Hip-Hop Producer in the World by NME, one of the music industry's 100 Most Influential People by Q Magazine and one of the coolest people in music by Spin. He's probably also had more groupie love than he can handle despite his tendency to dress like an extra at a Flaming Lips show. You see the strangest things on the D train. Speaking of the Flaming Lips, the mysterious Kleptones' first project was a full scale lift/tribute of Wayne Coyne and the boys. That said, Yoshimi Battles the Hip Hop Robots, though cool, didn't come close to the vastness and, it must be said, brilliance of the currently banned Night at the Hip Hopera (a mash up featuring Queen, a who's who of hip hop - Busta Rhymes, KRS One, Eminem, The Beastie Boys and the ODB - and clips from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Big Lebowski and Peter Jennings). Kleptones it's not just the lyrics, it's the beat In short, rather than just pissing off two sets of lawyers like Dangermouse, Eric Kleptone has created something that will invite the wrath of the RIAA the MPAA the American Broadcasting Corporation and every other lawyer in copyright land. They supposedly haven't found him yet but they have tried to force others to take down links to the files. The funny part of all of this is that the more the lawyers get involved, the more popular the downloads will become. I hadn't even HEARD of the Kleptones before I read about the ban on, now I can't stop playing it.

The music world is changing. Change is a funny thing though; like a train, you can either be on it, or under it.

Guess where the lawyers are.

Wanna actually HEAR the records? You can get the Grey Album here and the Kleptones here.
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