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
Oct 1, 2014
Pro-democracy protesters hold umbrellas under heavy rain in a main street near the government headquarters in Hong Kong late Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The protesters demanded that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them on Tuesday and threatened wider actions if he did not, after he said China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub. (AP)

China, democracy and Hong Kong. They’re in the streets in Hong Kong with their “Umbrella Revolution.” What now?

Oct 1, 2014
Actress Eva Longoria, center, Henry R. Munoz III, co-founder of the Latino Victory Project, left, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, are seated at an event launching The Latino Victory Project, a Latino political action committee, at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, May 5, 2014. (AP)

Latino America. It is very large and growing very fast. How will it move the country?

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

 
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Transcript: Peter Thiel Wants Us All To Go From ‘Zero To One’
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel on innovation, technological failure and humanity’s uncertain future.

More »
Comment
 
Transcript: Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

A transcript from our September 25, 2014 conversation on the Islamic State and sexual violence.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment