Sound engineer John Stewart has never fallen out of love with DJ Danger Mouse's genius 2004 Grey Album, a mashup of the Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album (and neither have I). He's got a golden ear, and over the years, the little audio infelicities in his copy have been niggling at him, so he undertook a complete, crisp, and beautiful remaster of the album. You can download the tracked-out album from MediaFire, or listen on SoundCloud.
It’s got plenty of advantages too: Revisiting The Grey Album with an expert ear gave Stewart the ability to pinpoint its audio flaws, and his professional experience gave him the agency to do something about it. Stewart says he first got the idea to remaster The Grey Album on Wednesday, Nov. 21, but it didn’t really click until that Saturday. On Sunday he set out to improve the album’s audio, tinkering with various faders in ProTools until he achieved the desired effect: “I just kind of put the sonics on steroids,” he says. Stewart knocked out the entire project that day and uploaded The Grey Album (Remastered) to SoundCloud and MediaFire on Monday. In the few passing days since releasing the updated version of The Grey Album it’s been covered by sites such as The Source and FACT Magazine, and a swarm of fans have reached out to Stewart to thank him. “A lot of people have thought that it needed to be remastered,” he says. “So it worked out.”
Stewart says he’s seen people from around the world flock to him—he said his website received about 200 hits from Hungary on Tuesday alone—though personal fame wasn’t the goal. “I wasn’t putting it out to be discovered,” Stewart says. The digital artwork for The Grey Album (Remastered) does include his name on the back cover (“I’ve always enjoyed seeing my name in credits,” he says), but that’s also part of what he considers a pragmatic move. “I wanted people to be aware it was something different,” he says. Among the subtle changes Stewart made to the artwork is a bold border, which also covers up the lower half of his name. It’s more or less a reminder that this is Danger Mouse’s original product, just with a new polish.
EMI mercilessly censored the original release, chasing down people all over the world for having the audacity to share what Danger Mouse had freely given, and which Paul McCartney and Jay-Z had endorsed. I wonder if they'll do it again?
Here's a freebie you won't see again any time soon: a gigantic head of Digital Underground's Humpty Hump, available free to a good home, and Shock-G himself will deliver it to you, and promises to rent it from you for cash money if the band ever does a reunion tour. It's big enough to live in, which is just what its former owner was doing when he got caught living illegally in a warehouse storage unit and abandoned it. Here's some details from the AV Club's Marah Eakin:
The enormous noggin was made both as a stage prop and as a set piece for the group’s 1993 music video “Return Of The Crazy One.” According to the person who alerted everyone to its existence on Tumblr, whoever last owned the head (not another member of Digital Underground, hopefully) had been evicted from his or her apartment, and was actually living in the head for several weeks before being discovered. And while that might sound uncomfortable, the head is actually big enough to house a full dressing room and an electronic elevator that would lift Humpty out through the giant nose and onto the stage. Also featuring sunglasses that would light up and lips and chin that double as steps, the head originally cost $50,000 to build, and required an 18-wheel truck to transport and a four-man forklift team to move—although it splits into three convenient pieces.
A remix of the Snoop Dogg/Kid Cudi song "That Tree". The idea for this sort of remix was born when I became aware of the great similarities between the lyrical themes of rap and the lyrical themes of pirate music (Self-aggrandizement, the quest for money and treasure, romantic view of violence, sexism etc..) In spite of this "serious" description, this remix was really just a hilarious idea that I somehow managed to finish. Enjoy!
Scott Matthews shared a photograph with me, and I'm sharing it with all of you, with his permission. His daughter Sasha
handed him this note yesterday. Sasha is a pretty special girl, in no small part because she's already been on Boing Boing once before.
What, indeed, does it really mean?
Photographer Glen E. Friedman, widely known for his work chronicling the intersection between punk rock and hiphop in the 1980s, has posted some beautiful shots of MCA, Ad-Rock, and Mike D from that era: "why A you see H".
The first time I heard them, and Adam Yauch, was when a friend from middle school handed me a home-copied dupe of this cassette tape EP [YouTube, and you can still buy copies on Amazon]. I played it over and over until that little black ribbon wore right out. Some of you may not know that the Beasties were a hardcore band before they became a hiphop band. Now you do.
I've embedded some Beastie videos from that era below. Fuck you, cancer.
Video Link to a short feature on the very popular "human sound machine" Hikakin, who has a growing following within and beyond his native Japan. His YouTube channel is here, and well worth a subscribe. Below, his take on the Donkey Kong theme song.