What The Mashup

03/16/10 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: Music

Hope your breaks are going well, err, well at least mine is! Anyways, I thought I'd take a second to utilize the music category I made for the blog and haven't ever used. Recently, I've become a huge fan of the mashup genere. Like most other music I listen to, you could say I'm a mainstream mashup fan. Nevertheless, I want to share some of my favorite mashups I've discovered thus far.

If you want to start checking out the mashup genere, you have to go to http://www.whatthemashup.com . The best thing about mashups is that they are all free! So you can go download all the music I'm going to be talking about and get listening right now!

As a quick intro there are two sub-genres to the mashup genre. There's a "Versus" style, which is usually 2-5 songs mashed together into one average length song. Like the one below:

D.M.F. - My Life on the Crazy Train Sucks (So What?) from CjR mix on Vimeo.

Then there's the heavily sampled mashups. This is the style I mostly prefer. The best example of this style is DJ Earworm with "United State of Pop 2009" - This is where he mashes up every #1 song of 2009 into one song. Check it out:

Now to get right into the reviews.

Girltalk

If you're new to the genre, the undisputed king of mashups is Girltalk. He has performed at Yale three years running now and has a number of albums out, all of which are extremely well done. He has a pretty good variety of samples, and the songs are well mixed, interesting and fit pretty well together. His albums are entirely continuous meaning the whole album is like one big song.

Super Mash Bros.
Partially because their name is a play on a popular video game title, but mainly because their music is awesome, this is my second favorite mashup group/artist. Super Mash Bros utilizes a better and wider variety of samples than Girl Talk. (Tenacious D is on there!). They also have a very engaging mixology, staying away from heavy rock more than Girl Talk. The only downside to them is that a few of their tracks have slient endings, meaning they do not mix immediately into the next track (Although the songs still fit very well together). This could be good or bad depending if you are just slipping one track in on a party playlist or trying to go straight through. There are also a couple sample transitions that are a tad awkward. Definately download both of the Mash Bros. albums!

E-603
Also a very good artist. They are as good as Super Mash Bros., but they utilize less "pop"-y samples, so I don't usually like them as much. Although they are also a fantastic group and you should definately check out both their albums.

KnoxBox
I just downloaded his debut album today, nothing special here. I hate saying music is bad, but this is just not terribly good. Artists frequently have an intro track on their mashups where they have their name in the music. Unfortunately "KnoxBox" was still interrupting my music about 6 tracks in. It just got annoying. The samples were standard, but very poorly mixed, the vocals seemed too loud and there were a number of very awkward transitions. Missing flow, skip it!

DJ Blah
Blah. His debut album sounded like it hadn't been finished. He seemed to get bored with his own songs in the middle of a track so he just stopped it and started something totally new. There wasn't any real flow to this one either. Instead of letting vocal phrasings finish out, he faded them out, which is mega awkward, it makes it seem like he couldn't find anything more interesting to do with them. Skip it.

DJ Skarface
I listened to his album Skar Talk 2 and having never heard of him before, was pleasantly surprised. There are a few rough spots in comparison to my fav 3, but he compensates for this by using a great selection of samples. I cracked up when he set "99 problems" to "Still haven't found what I'm looking for", it works! In fact there are a number of times where the songs just seem to fit together naturally. This album isn't as much of a party mix as my Fav 3, but it's really a pleasure to listen to. Definitely worth a listen.

DJ E-fect
Listening to Factor Theorem was quite fun. It's an all around solid mix, certain mixes such as "Come Sail Away" with "Get Low" were great. The album has good party potential and keeps a pretty solid beat and good flow going throughout. Sometimes the tracks seemed to be a little A.D.D. or had too much going on at once, but overall a fantastic mix. (Bonus points were awarded for sampling "Captain Jack")...Check it out!

DJ Fergie Ferg
AHHH!!! They sampled the theme song to Doug and a song from Aladin! But besides that, this album was also pretty solid. The samples were the most varied of any DJ I think. In addition, I literally cried in ecstasy when "My Dick" was mashed up to "Love Story". You gotta check this out, it might not be the best done mashup album ever, but it's extremely creative and a lot of fun to listen to. Download it!

So that's a bit of what I've been checking out on the mashup scene. All the albums I've discussed are available at http://www.whatthemashup.com so go get mashing!

ZooElite AI Development: R&R

03/01/10 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: TTD AI

Rest and relaxation...oh I wish...nope, this time it's RAILROADS!!! Last time I showed you how we placed bus stations, this time I'm going to give you an inside look at where ZooElite decides to put railroad stations. This is all subject to change, but the general idea will stay the same. Full info after the jump!

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Mid-Week Rant

02/23/10 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: The Life

Two things that have come to annoy me recently that I want to bring up.

First, I was trying to find flights today to go abroad. Naturally I started with Delta which has its hub in Detroit and which I know (when it was Northwest) had about 6 flights daily to Amsterdam. Northwest literally used to have 2 flights to Amsterdam within 15 minutes of each other.

Anyways, so I got on Delta and the first thing that comes up is some random flight connecting through Toronto. Come to find that the direct flight which is about 20% booked cost $1500 one-way. Are you kidding me? This is for something still 3 months out too. I want Northwest back. Needless to say I will be flying an alternate airline, although the DTW terminal still rox my sox.

Second, the RPI Men's Hockey Team. I've been waiting to rant about this one for awhile. During hockey games, the teams traditionally line up on their blue lines during the national anthem. Well there I am listening to our nice national anthem when the line, "And the rockets RED glare" comes up. Suddenly the entire team/audience decides that they are going to scream out the word red. Maybe they had a random vocal spasm, or maybe they just got so excited that they heard their school's color red in a song that they couldn't contain their enthusiasm. Apparently the RPI team/audience thinks it's cool to make the national anthem all about them. Whatever the reason, they might as well be screaming out "TOOL", because that's what the whole stunt is, toolish. Congrats RPI on having a school color that coincides with a word in the national anthem. Glad to hear your enthusiastic about the red WHITE and BLUE. (Oh hey, we're two for three!)

Can you tell that it's one of those little things I really hate? Anyways, that's what's currently bugging me. I'm de-bugging (nice segway) the train building portion of our AI: ZooElite right now, so look for a post about that later this weekend!

ZooElite AI Development: Bus Stops

02/11/10 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: TTD AI

So ZooElite, our AI for Transport tycoon I mentioned earlier is now in full development. One of the first things I've been working on is determining the optimal placement for a given number of bus stations in a given city. This little info bit will explain how I'm choosing station placements. Read on for details!

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Superbowl XLIV and Commercials

02/08/10 | by Charlie [mail] | Categories: Current Events

So today, I'm adding my 2 cents to the discussion, and reviewing the Super Bowl. First, I'm happy to say that the game itself was pretty fantastic. But who watches the game for the game?

Fox ticked me off early by over-using their super high-speed camera. Really guys, it is not necessary to show a super slow mo clip after every play. Review the video, if it's interesting, show it to me. Otherwise, I don't want to see a guy getting arm tackled in slow mo. To their credit, the 2-point conversion review was very well shot, there were 3 very conclusive angles, and it was a baller play to watch.

Moving right along, the halftime was superb. Probably the best part of the whole production. Despite the fact that they didn't let people up close, they compensated well by making an INCREDIBLE stage. The lighting configuration of the stage was absolutely stunning. Add to that the laser light show out of nowhere (Where did they put all those lights in the stadium!?), and it was a really good show. Oh and it was the Who.

Most importantly though, are the commercials. Admittedly, they were a bit lack luster this year. I think there were only a couple very good commercials. Jump to read and see more!

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A collection of musings from my time at Yale along with some thoughts about my "Freshman year of life" in San Francisco.

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