mash it up part II

Beyoncé turned into Nina Simone so gradually, I did not even notice.

Ms Simone could have warned her, though, to anticipate the backlash blues.

Heck, the morning after her dancing-dancing-dancing Black Lives Matter homage, the front page of one of our city’s free birdcage-liners was headed by an ad for a local radio station that boldly declared: “Beyoncé free!” The smirking tagline accompanied what is presumably the international symbol for ‘No Beyoncé.’

Oh for the days when a radio station would encourage us to listen based on what it does play.

It is early days, but that station’s anti-Beyoncé stance appears to place it on the wrong side of history. Or, at least, the wrong side of the present. And to pop-culture people it is, after all, the present that matters.

I will confess to not having paid much attention to developments in the world of entertainment as of late. From what I can gather, though, Kanye West is taking some heat over interrupting Nelly Furtado’s rendition of O Canada to ask Taylor Swift to finance his line of puppybabymonkey products.

Is that about right?

Good. I was worried I might have missed something important.

Something like, oh I don’t know, the return of the mashup. This time, in video form!

Now that, I did not see coming. And, between you and me, I find it beyond baffling how the mashup, which was mildly amusing for a week or so back in the early part of this millennium, has endured even as a cultural treasure like OMC continues to struggle to find that all-important second hit single.

It ain’t fair, I tells ya.

I once had the pleasure of chatting with one of the Dewaele brothers, the men widely credited with spearheading the unfortunate mashup craze of the early 2000s. Asked for an opinion on the monster he had co-created, he admitted too much of it had become, “Taking one bad song and putting it together with another bad song to make a really bad song.”

That, too, sounds about right.

Hey, kids, check this out! Find a classic-rock vocal in the same key as another classic-rock tune and whaddya know — You’ve got yourself a mashup! The point? None, really. But who wouldn’t enjoy hearing (and now seeingBack in Black transformed into Hotel California, or whatever?

What an age we live in.

Sadly, this creatively bankrupt concept knows no bounds. Patsy Cline meets Def Leppard? Why not? Or, uh, Bob Marley singing along with Phil Collins?

Now that’s the sort of art even a Beyoncé-free radio station could learn to love.



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