90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Art of Music Mashups
Jon Nelson

Jon Nelson (Photo: Kate Iverson)

Mashup music isn’t new. All the way back in the ‘60s, fans were remixing Elvis and “Blue Suede Shoes.” Eminem — Slim Shady — laid his vocal track over AC/DC and Vanilla Ice.

But we’re living in a mashed-up musical world right now. From the mainstream to the underground, songs are being sampled, pulled apart, remixed, mashed up. If you’re a fan, you know that Girl Talk does it. Danger Mouse. DJ Spooky. Negativland.

And it’s not just music. My guest today, Jon Nelson, mashes music and found sound — from old movies, laugh tracks, the news — to make what he calls the audio dreamscape of the media age.

This hour, On Point: Music, dreams, and the mashup.

You can join the conversation. Are you a mashup fan? Do you mix your own? What does it say about our era that we’re so into the recycling, layering, mixing of sound? Tell us what you think — and what you’re listening to.

Guests:

Jon Nelson joins us from Duluth, Minnesota. A pioneering sound collage/mashup music artist, he’s hosted the radio show “Some Assembly Required” for the past ten years. Most everyone in the underground world of collage and mashups has come through his show, from Evolution Control Committee to the current mashup phenom Girl Talk. His new album, under the name Escape Mechanism, is called “Emphasis Added.” You can listen here.

And joining us in our studio is Tim Riley, music critic and editor of the Riley Rock Index, a new music site. His latest book is “Fever: How Rock Transformed Gender.”

More links:

U.K. sound artist Vicki Bennet records and remixes tunes, often with a surreal twist, under the name “People Like Us.” California-based sound collage artist Jon Liedecker, a.k.a. “Wobbly,” has a long record of creative tracks. And Turnstylz, an emerging act from New York City, is mixing up a wide variety of genres, with a hip-hop focus.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. (AP)

Netanyahu’s speech. Hillary Clinton’s email. Obamacare back at the high court. A stunning start to the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 6, 2015
"The Sellout" is novelist Paul Beatty's new book. (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

Author Paul Beatty’s novel “The Sellout” is a satirical look at race relations in America. He joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

 
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: March 6, 2015
Friday, Mar 6, 2015

Weasels, woodpeckers and a whole bunch of sassy McCall’s dress patterns. Oh, and thoughts on the provenance of caller and guest quotes when and where we post them.

More »
Comment
 
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment