DECEMBER 30, 2005
SIXX MIXX SAYS GOODBYE, WORLD CONFUSED;
GOD ANGRY, SMITES BAY AREA WITH FLOODS
Come to think of it, that might be for the sodomy. Yes it's true, if you listened to the Sixx Mixx today (Fri 12/30) you heard me announce that the show has come to an end. With all the new features on LIVE 105 in 2006 (a "mashup of the week," a new Friday night show, and of course launching a new morning show), ultimately there just wouldn't be time for me to do the Sixx Mixx as well, so I've decided to quit while I'm ahead. Or at least not behind, so much. Anyway, more details coming soon, and I'll be posting the recent shows on the Sixx Mixx page, as well as the last show and my sniffle-inducing announcement. I do plan to post long-form mixes here at Partyben.com sometimes, and you'll still be able to hear some Party Ben fun stuff on KJEE/Santa Barbara and 91X/San Diego.
Thanks of course to all the producers and bootleggers whose work has graced the airwaves, the guest mixers who took over the show, and the Yay Area and worldwide listeners.
DECEMBER 30, 2005
PARTY BEN'S BEST OF 2005 FINALIZED, WORLD REJOICES
DECEMBER 23, 2005
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM YOUR TEAM OF WEB PRODUCERS AT PARTYBEN.COM ENTERPRISES
I think Debbie was my secret Santa. 2005 was quite a year here at PartyBen.com; we went to France, made some bootlegs, got on the radio, and got misquoted on MTVNews.com to make it seem like I'm calling my own work "amazing" (I in fact said that Team9 was amazing) and that I was serious about Damon Albarn calling, which was actually a joke, and then that story got picked up around the world, with those embarrassing misquotes intact. Good times! So, with so many good tidings coming our way, it seems only fitting to give something back.
So, here's a little Christmas present for everyone: previously unavailable anywhere, it's the bootleg I've been playing in live sets and on the Sixx Mixx for a few months now: The White Stripes vs. Eric B & Rakim: "Pump Up the Doorbell." I was calling this "Paid for My Doorbell," but I decided that's not as funny.
Also, up on the Sixx Mixx page, check out the most recent Mixxes, #s 108 (12/02/05) and 109 (12/16/05), for your listening pleasure. Don't forget, a special Christmas themed Sixx Mixx airs Friday 12/23/05 at 6pm on LIVE 105 radio, with assistance from Christmas mixmaster DJ Riko; if you get to Metreon Friday 12/23 at 6pm, you can catch the Basic Project dancers popping and locking to the holiday jams. And then next Friday, 12/30/05, I'll be counting down the Top 10 Sixx Mixx Mashups of 2005, drop me a line to vote for your favorites.
And finally, many people might ask: what's next for PartyBen.com? Well, gee. Howabout I maybe redesign the site so that it's actually kind of functional, then maybe start making mashups again, and possibly have some ideas that aren't completely creatively bankrupt. Also, look for Party Ben's Top Songs and Albums of 2005 on the Top 10s page sometime next week; I know it's a little late for assisting you with Christmas gift CD suggestions for the teenagers in your life, but still, indulge me.
In any event, Happy Holidays to everyone. I'm off to Nebraska tomorrow to see my family, but on the way I'm going to look around for a Jake Gyllenhaal type I can take on a quick, er... fishing trip, since I guess it turns out that's what all those hot cowboys were doing when I was busy driving a tractor for my dad all those summers, who knew.
DECEMBER 14, 2005
GRAY TUESDAY: FUN TIMES
We'll have to do it again someday. The "protest" organized by Noisehead and other fans of American Edit went off almost without a hitch yesterday, with possibly 200 sites hosting the mp3s of our little mash-up album thingy. So far, no cease-and-desist orders for myself at least, and I haven't heard of any trouble, but will update here if I get any news.
While both Team9 and I continue to insist that we threw together this goofball album as a bit of a "let's see what happens if we do this" sort of laugh, and find the arguments about its merit a bit silly, we are deeply humbled by the effort put in by people like Noisehead to spread the word, and by everyone around the world who hosted the files. Part of what I find so compelling about the whole bootleg scene is the way creative work can spread to all corners of the globe, quickly and organically, without a giant corporation swinging into action or a CEO giving the go-ahead. Yes okay maybe a giant corporation helped me get on the internet and built the power plants that made the electricity and blah dee blah, but still, here we are in that world, and we did something that seems pretty cool even if we didn't change the world or impress some snotty German goth chick. Who of course has a right to her opinion, and to be honest I listen to Pixeltan and Sonic Youth way more than stupid Green Day anyway so I see where she's coming from. But, American Edit makes me laugh, at least, and a few of Team's moments even give me the shivery-wowsies, so I stand by it.
The press on American Edit has been a bit anemic, not to mention random (Birmingham, Alabama?!?) but, some, er, press packages went out on Friday so perhaps there is more coverage to come. Send me any links you find if you could please.
American Edit Press Links - Updated 12/15/05
Globe and Mail (Canada) 12/15/05: Mashup Bash is a Star Online
TPM Cafe 12/14/05: Matthew Yglesias column
KTCL 93.3 Denver, Colorado 12/13/05: Hourly Music News report (MP3 download)
Spin.com 12/13/05: Bloggers Unite Behind Green Day Mashup
NBC 13 / Birmingham, Alabama 12/13/05: Music Fans Launch Net-Wide Protest
Boing Boing 12/13/05:Save American Edit
Cooltech iAfrica 12/11/05: Steal This Album!
Toronto Star 12/3/05: The Anti-Hit List - "Dr. Who on Holiday" at #6
Soulshine 12/2/05: RIAA Clamps Down on Mashups
Boing Boing 11/29/05: Warners Censor Mash-up Album
SF Gate Culture Blog 11/23/05: Green Day Gets Mashed in American Edit
DECEMBER 13, 2005
(Secret links to secret files deleted). I mean, seriously, what are you going to do, Record Company, sue me for your share of the profits? We're like Kanye Freakin' West here: $600,000 in debt on this thing (or thereabouts), so we better win that Grammy, or, um, else. We did this out of love, and a desire to hang with Jamie Foxx! What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Record Company! You're probably too busy issuing C&Ds to lyrics sites, or loading up your CDs with destructive software, to pay attention to little old me. Jeez, Record Company, you're on such a roll lately, you'd have to eat a basket of kittens to look any worse, although maybe you're following the Dick Cheney school of "shoot-the-moon"-style absolute shameless evil, where you're practically putting a Darth Vader mask on and saying "Just try and stop me!" ...Not that I'm Luke Skywalker or anything. Team9 is maybe. Me, I'm Party Ben Kenobi: Hey Record Company! These aren't the mp3s you're looking for.
NOVEMBER 30, 2005
VIVE LA FRANCE!
Except that dude in the cafe who gave me a hard time because the price for a coffee is different if you sit down. The Bootie crew returned from a (mostly) wildly successful trip to Paris on Monday, jet lagged and exhausted but full of tasty cheese. The highlights of the trip are too extensive to get into here; for some impressions and photos head to this thread over on GYBO, or this link on Payroll's site.
Unfortunately my spanking-new Samsung mp3 FM recorder turned out to be a piece of shit, with pops and drop-outs every few seconds, and so I don't have usable copies of any of my broadcast interviews. Thanks Samsung. Also I haven't made an attempt at editing the home video yet, but that will hopefully come soon, and the TV crew promised to send over a copy of whatever they come up with (and their filming was much more extensive than mine).
Top 10 Amusing Moments of Our Trip to Paris:
10. DJ Zebra meeting us at the airport with a sign that read "ZUT ALORS"
9. Me trying valiantly to swallow the last bits of duck foie at a restaurant on Thursday night, like an episode of Fear Factor
8. Adrian bonding with some crazy dreadlocked dude at a techno party at Club Rex
7. Laurent Lavige being very nice and speaking very slowly in my interview on France Inter so that I was basically able to follow along
6. Oui FM staffers jumping up and screaming "MC Solaar!!!" when finally figuring out what the secret French song was in my Zebramix on Friday night
5. Mysterious D, sick in Marco's place, calling only for "fritas"
4. Zebra's 3-year-old son Romain hollering "Zinzin! Zinzin!" ecstatically after Adrian's repeated attempts to pronounce the name of the club
3. Me pandering to the crowd on Saturday night with a shouted "J'aime Paris"
2. Sightseeing at 9:45pm on a rainy Sunday night, the only time we had available
1. Adrian, after being forced to turn the music off with Mysterious D at 5am at Zinzin, saying forlornly into the microphone to the crowd of stragglers, "Desolé, desolé..."
I was unable to get to a computer after Thursday and so only made two entries into the blog here: http://partyben.blogspot.com. But there's a bit more detail on the first days of the trip there if you're interested.
Merci to Loo and Placido, Comar, Payroll, Oui FM, France Inter, Le Trabendo and the folks at New Attitude, the staff of Zinzin, and of course to DJ Zebra without whom none of this would have happened.
(Photo above: Mysterious D, Party Ben, Adrian, Zebra, Payroll)
NOVEMBER 15, 2005
CLUB BOOTIE 11/12: IT'S GETTING HOTT IN HERRE
And by "hott" I mean "a nearly unbearable combination of humidity and stifling heat so overwhelming I'm surprised there weren't casualties."
The unbeatable combination of five (five!) guest DJs (two of whom are currently #29 on the UK charts) proved such a draw that Bootie 11/12 broke all attendance records by like a kazillion. Mr. Dog had a bit of a technical flub, most likely thanks to the heat, his laptop mixer got a little wonky; but even a couple dropped tunes could not bring down the crowd. Thanks to Phil & Dog, Supercollider, Lumpy and Strangely Familiar. Pics of the night and its aftermath over here.
NOVEMBER 5, 2005
UPDATE: PARTY BEN HITS #2 AT C89.5
That's 59 spins a week, thank you. So it was this summer that I found out C89.5, a Seattle Public Schools "educational" radio station run by Nathan Hale High School, was playing my mix of Tegan and Sara & Mylo. I was suitably honored. But by this time I assumed it had fallen off their playlist, as a summertime novelty or whatever.
How wrong I was. I open Billboard Radio Monitor this week to see my little track coming in at #2 on their playlist (missing the top spot by only 1 spin!!). It's down to #4 now, so it might have even been #1 at some point... but i have no proof of this. In any event, I'm flabbergasted that a station I found so charming on visits to Seattle is now banging the Party Ben choons. Er, "choon." But it sure would be nice to get a "thank you" from Sanctuary, Tegan & Sara's label...
NOVEMBER 5 , 2005
I AM AWFUL AND SHOULD BE FIRED
So say local alt-weeklies. What is it with the New Times? Their Bay Area papers, the SF Weekly and East Bay Express, seem to have a beef with me. First, last spring, there was the Weekly's (admittedly amusing) rendering of me dead and naked, floating in the bay, apparently in retribution for creating Fugazi vs. Destiny's Child. A subsequent two-sentence e-mail from the piece's writer, Nate Cavalieri, was far creepier, though: "No offense: I just hate your show." (See story below).
Now comes another even more brief but far less amusing dis from the Express. Rob Harvilla's "Hangin' Out In the Street" column (apparently a quick-scan list of random stuff that's, um, happening on the street) makes reference to LIVE 105's unpredictable future post-Howard Stern, and offers a bit of advice: "Do whatever you want, just leave Party Ben and his awful mashups out of it." Gulp.
So, I take the bait, and e-mail Mr. Harvilla. And yes, I was kind of sarcastic, referring to myself as a "musical abortionist" and saying how great it would be if my radio station cancelled my show and just played Papa Roach songs instead. Unbeknownst to me, however, any e-mails to Rob Harvilla apparently get automatically cc'ed to the whole music staff of both New Times papers, and within minutes, I had a reply from none other than good old Nate Cavalieri himself: "Hey guys, he finally gets it!" Funny.
You know, I really would appreciate actual criticism of my show: what would people like to hear more of, what mashups didn't they like. But these one-line jabs just don't make any sense. I can't believe that people who like music enough to become music writers hate a whole segment of the musical universe: remix culture, dub tracks, segues?! My show isn't made up of only my own work, and you can't hate Go Home Productions. Can you? So it all ends up reminding me of a posse of jocks in high school who would call me "fag" and then high-five each other. Reasoning with them isn't going to do any good, so I guess I should just ignore them, and hope that someday, when they're, you know, nervously blowing the UPS delivery guy in the copy room at the office, they'll remember, and feel bad for what they've done.
OCTOBER 30, 2005
PARTY BEN: THE ONLY PERSON WHO MAKES MASHUPS
Like, in the world, I guess. I don't mean to seem unappreciative of publicity, but a mashup-related article making the rounds of some Midwestern papers (the South Bend, Indiana Tribune, the Fort Wayne, Indiana News Sentinel, the Witchita, Kansas Eagle, and the Manatee (!) / Bradenton / Sarasota, Florida Herald, which is not in the Midwest I guess but if you took away the manatees [mmm, manatee steak!] and the Jewish retirees and added a winter, you'd basically have the midwest) gives short shrift to, well, everyone except me. I give the writer credit for actually including some instructions on how to muck about with music on your own personal computer system, which is kind of nice. But, jeez, if you've only got room for one bootlegger in your article, I think we all know who it should be. But more to the point, it'd be nice to mention maybe two or three of us, especially considering I'm clearly on the downtrend, career-wise, and there are others who are most definitely on the way up.
OCTOBER 25, 2005
PARTY BEN ACTUALLY MAKES A MASHUP
Or, more accurately, extracts a segment of a Sixx Mixx and pretends it's something new. If anyone remembers a year ago, that little Green Day mashup was originally the finale of my radio program, and it was only the overwhelming demand after its airing that made me clean it up and post it on its own. I've kind of stopped doing that since I've been so busy, but now the desperate feeling that my 15 minutes of fame are ticking away is, um, inspiring me to get back in the habit.
So, here's a good place to start: the finale of the August 5th Sixx Mixx: a slightly overdue combo of Coldplay and Kraftwerk called "Computer Talk." The original version of this was recently featured as "Mashup of the Day" on Indie 103.1 in LA.
Coldplay vs. Kraftwerk - Computer Talk (4.6MB 160kbps mp3)
For comparing and contrasting purposes, why not check out Mr. Fab's own version of this same concept (which he made on the same day I made mine, neither of us knowing what the other was up to, which is weird), on his website here or the GYBO thread here.
OCTOBER 18, 2005
NEW SIXX MIXX
Hey look over on the Sixx Mixx page! It's an all-singing, all-dancing Sixx Mixx featuring lots of uptempo jams and remixes, plus double-extra Depeche Mode for the kids. Good times.
OCTOBER 4, 2005
BOOTIE L.A.: DA BOMB
And I mean that kind of literally. So, I'm driving up Sunset towards the Echo around 7pm on Friday for our little club, and a block before the venue, I can't go any further: police are diverting all the traffic onto side streets. Confused, I follow the cars, and I immediately spy Adrian & Mysterious D walking along. They inform me that there has been a bomb threat of some sort, and that the whole neighborhood is closed off. Jinkies. We manage to sneak around to the back entrance of the Echo so we can get in and start to set up. As the minutes tick down to our 9pm opening, we sneak occasional peeks out the front door, and traffic is still being diverted. This means no-one can get to our club, and more importantly, I really wanted to go across the street to the Happy Tom's and get a snack, but there was a really mean policewoman chasing down pedestrians, even though there were already people in the Happy Tom's, probably eating their own snacks, since I guess being in the Happy Tom's was somehow more safe than walking across the street to the Happy Tom's. Finally, around 8:45pm, the helicopters, police cars, and big trucks labelled "BOMB SQUAD" left the area, thus allowing people to attend our nightclub, and me to get some shrimp ceviche, which was like $3 and totally hit the spot.
We never found out what the deal was. While we suspect the threat might have been called in by an old-school turntablist, bitter at the sell-outs playing mash-ups on (shudder) CDs, we have no evidence to support this. But, since I do know of someone who called in a bomb threat on an airport just because they were going to miss their plane (I know, I know: not funny!) I hope it wasn't someone worried about being late for, you know, Party Ben's big DJ set. For future reference: you can just call me directly, I'll save "Snoopers" til later!
Anyhoo, despite the nail-biting intro, Bootie LA #2 went off swimmingly, with sets from Paul V, Adrian & Mysterious D, and myself. In fact, our club appears to be doing so well in LA that... (let's enlarge the type size for this)
BOOTIE L.A. GOES MONTHLY!
That's right, starting Saturday, November 5th, and most 1st Saturdays after that, Bootie brings the mash-up love to the Echo. We'll start featuring special guest DJs and maybe even an appearance by Smash-Up Derby. Unfortunately due to prior commitments I won't be able to make the Nov. 5th date but I'll definitely be there on December 3rd. Check the official Bootie LA website here.
And thanks to everyone who came out! Some pictures and wrap-up on GYBO here.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2005
TEGAN & SARA SPONSOR MASH-UP CONTEST, DON'T TELL ME
Can the guy who gave them the idea enter? You know, I'm kind of starting to get the feeling these two don't like me. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of their charming new wave-y harmonies as well as their friendly banter on their visits to the LIVE 105 studios. We've met, we've chilled, we've talked Terrance and Philip. So, you know, i thought we were, like, cool.
But first, there was the article in an Australian magazine where Sara kind of dissed my bootleg of "Walking with a Ghost." They stopped by the radio station recently and I asked them about it (half-jokingly, saying that Tegan was now my favorite); rather than laugh it off, Sara froze and denied it ever happened: "I never said that."
"Erm, okay, it's really no big deal anyway," I said. "Ha-ha."
Then comes word courtesy of internet sleuth Matt Hite that they are sponsoring, along with Sony, a mash-up contest, with a grand prize of software worth over $3000, plus 1st and 2nd prizes, even, for remixes of their singles "Walking with a Ghost" and "Speak Slow." Hey wait a minute, I could use $3000 worth of software! Or, um, did they not like my mash-up enough, and now want something, ahem, better?! Well the least they could have done is called. Moreover, if they were planning on giving away some of the songs' original samples, maybe they could have given some to me?
Anyway, Miles and everybody at the radio station are suggesting I enter my mix multiple times under a variety of pseudonyms: "Party Bob," "Party Bill," "Party Betty," just to be onery. Now, clearly I'm too busy to play such a prank. But if anyone feels like getting themselves some free software, there's a wee mp3 right up there under "Newish Items" that could get you there.
Of course, if somebody really does make a great mix of "Speak Slow" I hope you send it to me too.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2005
SIXX MIXX SATURDAY DESTROYS THE INTERSCHNITZEL
It started so innocently. A little idea, inspired by Danger Mouse's "Grey Tuesday," whereby all the Sixx Mixxes would be available for 24 hours only, right here on the old website. Little did I know the kind of insanity this would cause.
The special page went live at midnight, featuring about 30 mixxes hosted by volunteers around the world, and the rest hosted by me. By 12:45AM the site was shut down: the number of downloads made my hosting company think I was under some sort of "Denial of Service" attack. (Perhaps I was?) They reluctantly brought the site back up around 3AM, only to have the number of downloads crash their server at 8 or 9AM. At around 2PM I got them to bring the site back up with reduced capacity, but even that didnt help -- around 6PM, someone from the hosting company called to ask "What are you doing, we're getting 100 hits per second on your site, and we can't handle that kind of traffic." Even the deletion of most of the Sixx Mixx files didn't help matters, and they were unable to bring the site up for the rest of the night.
I'm amazed and humbled by the attention and very sorry I hadn't planned this out better. In all honesty it was probably a little too ambitious for a disorganized, overworked geek who can barely even change the font in Dreamweaver. Hopefully most of the mixxes got out and about on the magical matrix of the Internets and perhaps concerned individuals will start sharing them themselves. I mean, sheesh, Danger Mouse didn't have to do all the work himself, did he?
Now where's my drink.
SEPTEMBER 2 , 2005
PARTY BEN: SPIN.COM BAND OF THE DAY
And I can barely even play the guitar. Despite the embarrasing fact that I dissed their website for not carrying the actual articles from Spin magazine, the apparently forgiving folks at Spin.com have decided to make me their daily featured artist, putting me in the company of Party Ben faves Engineers, the Shout Out Louds, LCD Soundsystem, and M83. Gulp! Turns out that Spin.com is not even supposed to be an online version of the magazine, but a separate webby-style companion to the venerable rag, and I stand corrected, and humbled by their attention. Their little story about me is quite complimentary as well. Shucks.
Just being featured apparently puts me in the running for "Band of the Month," which gets the winner an "ad" in the actual glossy magazine. I'm not sure what I'd advertise, seeing as I have yet to create anything that could actually be, you know, sold, for money, or whatever. But perhaps I can use the space for a good cause. Anyhoo, I think Spin.com readers can vote on this, so if you're a Party Ben apologist, and you think I deserve to win over, say, Thursday's "Band of the Day," Kid Carpet, head on over and show some love (or you can post comments here.) Or vote for Kid Carpet, what do I care, he's pretty good too.
AUGUST 28, 2005
PARTYBEN.COM WEBHOSTING COMPANY TOTAL DORKS
And we all benifit from their dorkitude. I've recently moved over to a new host for this little website. Long story. The new company is pretty cheap and allows 500G of bandwidth/month. When I first signed up, they informed me the bandwidth counter on their control panel wasn't functioning, and indeed, even as my own counters showed I had blasted through the limit this month (using at this point about 600G), their counter shows a paltry 1.9MB. Which is, like, not very much.
I even took it upon myself to write one of their (most likely outsourced to India) "customer service" reps. I tried not to act suspicious and asked, "uh, if I go over my bandwidth limit, what happens?" He wrote back "Your site has used 1.9MB for the month so it is not problem." Great! Thanks! Not problem!
So what does this mean for you? More Sixx Mixx mp3s is what!! 8/19's All-Coldplay Special, and 8/26's Regular Old Mixx that Wasn't Very Good but Had Some Cool Moments, both available on the Sixx Mixx page. This offer valid only until one of you e-mails my webhosting company to rat me out, so let's keep this between us, kay?
...God, with apparently unlimted bandwidth, I could start, like, a porno site. Or some sort of amusing flash-based cartoon.
AUGUST 15, 2005
BOOTIE 2-YEAR ANNIVERSARY GETS RETARDED
Thankfully only after the party got started. The Rickshaw Stop was the scene of some madcap mayhem on Saturday night as nearly 550 people helped celebrate Bootie's birthday. The evening saw amazing sets from Earworm, (dressed as some sort of crazy Hamburglar descendent) Tripp, Jay-R, and Dada, plus a triumphant performance by Smash-Up Derby, (with a couple heroic last-minute backup-singer fill-ins) and then of course me and Mysterious D playing the hits.
First off, apologies to the people who stood in line for up to an hour to get in. We really weren't expecting the crowds that turned up, and door staff and security weren't entirely prepared. If it was too much for some of you, I highly encourage your attendance at Pop Roxx in two weeks or Bootie itself in four (back at Cherry Bar of course) where things should be back to normal. Major thanks to the staff of Rickshaw Stop who helped pull off the event, especially to sound guy Waldo who endured my continual exhortations to make it louder.
Highlights of the night, personally, included Jay-R's dancefloor-creating set full of hot electro jams, and the mosh pit during the Derby's cover of Smells Like Billie Jean. Apologies and thanks as well to the like 20 guys in line at the restroom who let me budge in front for an emergency pee during my DJ set.
More photos coming soon at the Bootie site here.
AUGUST 8, 2005
NEW SIXX MIXX
The art police haven't deterred me. Someday I might make this site, like, actually useful, but until then use this link here to get to the Sixx Mixx page or gee, why not just grab the whole 27MB kit and kaboodle playlist-unseen? You know it'll be chock full of '80s jams and probably Beck or something anyway, and that the Team9 mashup in the middle will be way better than any crap i came up with. Same as always. What can I say. I've made 96 of these, people, even 2manydjs started repeating themselves after like Radio Soulwax 7. Although I'm basically just copying all their mixes anyway, come to think of it, so moping about repeating myself is kind of moot, since I have no claim to creative originality in the first place, and in contrast to them my whole career is based on giving this stuff away for free, so I'm basically like that guy who gets people to hang around him because he just hands out free drugs or has a hot tub, and everyone's gurgling "you're so great!" from where they're all high in the hot tub, but it's not like he's going down in history as, you know, a good DJ or anything. See, no way out from the maze of self-hatred!
JULY 20, 2005
PARTY BEN: MAKING OTHER PEOPLE LOTS OF MONEY
I'm keeping America's economy strong! Lots of radio stations have posted links to my bootleg creations, some even hosting the files themselves. However, this is the first time I know of that a Party Ben mash-up has been dangled in front of radio listeners as an enticement to a paid online, uh, "service." Jack/San Diego (100.7FM), one of a crapload of "whatever"-format stations popping up around the country these days, has some sort of subscriber-only site for $4.95 a month, and one of the things you get for your skrilla is an "Exclusive Download" of "Boulevard of Broken Songs" (see screen grab at left). Hope you make lots of money guys, you'll need it when the format flips again in a week.
It is heartwarming to know that "Boulevard" continues to pick up airplay around the world, and we can add two more far-flung stations to the list: 95.8FM Inselradio Mallorca has "Green Day Feat. Oasis" at #8 on their playlist, which is neat because German radio on a Spanish island is neat. Closer to home, Magic 97, Marquette, Michigan has put "Boulevard" in rotation after hearing it on... yes, John Garabedian's Open House Party.
Sadly, all this attention to Boulevard, nearly 10 months after its first airing, proves I'm basically a one-hit wonder, something confirmed by Audioscrobbler, a website where people can tally up what they listen to on their iTunes or whatever, for others to see. Look, Party Ben has a chart, and "Boulevard"'s ratio of spins to every other bootleg or long-form mix I've ever made combined is, uh, at least 3-to-1. Party Ben: the Rockwell of mashuppery.
JULY 16, 2005
PARTY BEN, JOSH HOMME AND TRENT REZNOR IN HOT 3-WAY BOOTLEG ACTION
I have a rich inner life. In celebration of the upcoming tour featuring Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails, I've put together a little mash-up item featuring NIN's "The Hand That Feeds," and not one but two QOTSA numbers: "Medication" and "Everybody Knows That You Are Insane." Check check it, yeah: Nine Inch Queens - "Insane, Medicated Hand."
This of course creates an epic rock 'n' roll fantasy: imagine if you will, that Trent and Josh hear this bootleg, like it, and decide to perform it live. During the first performance, in front of a stadium full of fans, Josh will trip over a guitar cord and fall into Trent's arms, where they'll proceed to make out. It's like the Seinfeld "Cat Fight" episode. I haven't quite figured out how this fantasy will include me, but, you know... as long as they're happy.
My apologies to fellow tour-mates and Party Ben faves Autolux whom I was unable to include in this mash-up, but if their crazy-brilliant drummer ever wants to make out I'm totally down.
PLUS: Check out the Sixx Mixx where this boot made its first appearance on the Sixx Mixx page.
JULY 12, 2005
PARTY BEN BACK IN THE CHARTS
Well, a chart, at least. One of my favorie radio stations in the world has jumped unexpectedly on the Party Ben bandwagon. C89.5, aka KNHC, is a Seattle Public Schools "educational" radio station run by Nathan Hale High School, otherwise known as "The Luckiest Bunch of Teenagers in America." Whereas most college and university stations operate at 10 to 100 watts, allowing sparse coverage within a few-mile radius, C89.5 has somehow acquired a 100,000-watt signal, allowing them blanket coverage of the whole Seattle metro area. Even more unlikely is their apparently student-chosen somewhat-progressive dance-pop format, with a playlist that some commercial dance stations would do well to imitate. Listening on trips up to Seattle, I never cease to be charmed by the combination of spanking-new tunes and the nervous young DJs who repeat an auctioneer-speed "seeayninepoifive" about 12 times a break.
It's hard for me to imagine the complete inversion this high school experience must be from mine, in late-'80s small-town Nebraska: imagine, a high school where being a fey, geeky anglophile into dance music makes you the cool kid. The mind reels.
So, it's all the more heartwarming to see something of mine playlisted. The recent controversial bootleg item, "Walking with a Ghost in Paris" has reached #1 on their "Most Requested" chart, and currently stands at 25 spins a week. As always, I'm not exactly sure how they found out about it (although their playlist assigns it to Sanctuary, Tegan & Sara's label, making me think that perhaps they gave it to them?), but however you found it, thanks, kids, and keep up the good work.
JUNE 28, 2005
PARTY BEN MAKES DYADS?
Don't you need a license for that? Smart vocab isn't even the most exciting part of a recent review in Remix Magazine for the unauthorized compilation The Best Mashups in the World Ever (Are From San Francisco), which features a few of my little mixes. The review heaps praise onto the comp, although if one more person calls me "gloriously slutty," I'm going to have to start, you know, thinking about that. See the full review at right.
The aforementioned comp features other Bay Area bootleggers like Earworm and Tripp, and turns out to be pretty good. In case you're wondering: no, i'm not involved in its distribution or whatever, and I'm unable to say who I think might be behind it. Besides, most of the included mixes have been featured on the producers' own web pages as free mp3s for a while, so I guess this CD is for collectors only, or people who don't know how to right-click. If you're one of those, you can apparently buy it here and here, or if you're in the Euro Union or New Brittania, you can get it here. Of course these links are offered for informational purposes only and are not an endorsement.
Also I seem to have made it into the hallowed pages of Spin Magazine, but only obliquely, and since their website sucks, you can't see it online. It's in the article about "Podcasting," which term still makes me think of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," but whatever. They mention a certain podcast dedicated to these new "mashup" things and say that if you tune in you can hear "M.I.A. mixed with metal, and a crafty mix of The Clash and The Killers." Hey, I made that! Hey, I'm crafty! ...Crafty, and gloriously slutty.
And finally, the local magazine-for-rich-folks, 7x7, which I can't decide is better or worse than San Francisco magazine (if that tells you anything), has given some props to Club Bootie in their "Best of San Francisco" issue, although their description is kind of bonkers. When I get a new scanner I'll post it, but it says:
BAR TO HIT WHEN YOU WANT TO... MASH IT UP: The Cherry Bar. Some of the city's best DJs mix righteous dance floor mash-ups--of opposites like Eminem and Travis--the second Saturday of each month.
A couple things: first, the club is called "Bootie." Second: "Eminem and Travis"?! They must mean "Boulevard," which does in fact contain Eminem and Travis, but also some other songs, and moreover isn't exactly a "righteous dance floor mash-up," since it's kind of slow. Makes you wonder how much else they get wrong. Not that I'm unappreciative of the press, but these two magazines have such a crazy perspective on San Francisco, like going anywhere south of Broadway is "slumming," and the endless parade of ads for diamonds, Maseratis, and private jets are a little alienating. Clearly this magazine is not aimed at me, though, not like, say, Cargo.
Like any of this has been expected. Well, you know, "Boulevard," being a rock/alt mix, seems to have easily fit right in at Alt Rock Radio, but lately I'm getting word some of my little mixes are showing up in odd places. First off, Brian writes from LA to say he heard Somebody Rock Me on Power 106, the hip-hop station, during a megamix on Thursday 5/19 -- they apparently even gave me credit. What's a Clash/Killers mix doing between Houston and Chingy, is what I wanna know. Then, I find out KCRW (the Santa Monica-based public station that I adore, and have listened to on every LA/Palm Springs trip, desperate to hear one of my creations) has finally jumped on the Party Ben train, spinning "Boulevard" at like 2:45am, during "Pop Secret." Sorry to tell you this KCRW, but it ain't that much of a secret any more. Ha, ha. Anyway. Then, Steve writes from Flagstaff Arizona's KFLX/The Eagle, like an Active Rock or something, saying "Boulevard" is "their top requested song of the last two months." Yee haw! Finally, word keeps filtering back that my boots are being featured (along with other fine producers' work) during Giants games at "SBC Park". Setting aside for the moment my usual rant about selling naming rights David Foster Wallace-style ("Year of the Depend Undergarment") -- do you think they could hook me up with some steroids?
PS: A recent vanity search on Google turned up this Amazon.com search results page. I'm not sure why that's on google but it's still the funniest thing I've seen all day.
MAY 10, 2005
NEW BOOT ITEMS
Well, not really that new. I'm always making stuff in the Sixx Mixx and people say "hey make that a mashup, like, by itself," and then I'm like "sure," but then I get distracted by, like, Wonder Showzen or something, and it takes me months to just extract the dumb things from the Mixx. Sorry. Anyway here's two of them from recent Mixxes: Gorillaz vs. Cake, and Adamski vs. Killers, which brings my total of Killers boots to 2, which I think constitutes an EP.
Soon to be an ABC miniseries starring James Van Der Beek as Party Ben. Turns out DJ Zebra isn't just a fine mashupper, superstar DJ, and all-around nice guy; he's also an aspiring documentary filmmaker. Check out this hilarious approx. 7-minute video of his trip to San Francisco, including his interview on LIVE 105 and his set at Bootie April 9th. Apparently my attempts at some French-talking in this thing are so awful that my mis-statements have become comedic catch-phrases amongst Mr. Zebra's, er, Paris coterie. Happy to be of service, hope you're enjoying all that socialism and cheese.
And not in the Personals! Just when I think the egg-timer on my 15 minutes of quasi-fame is about to ding, I get a last-second reprieve, a well-written and error-free article in the SF Chronicle (or their webby distillation called the "SF Gate"). The writer, Chron Music Critic Aidin Vaziri, didn't have to be prepped on what a "mash-up" is or who made the "first one" or anything, and was very enjoyable to talk to. Moreover, he didn't feel the need to insert snarky "I'm over this" style commentary to belittle the whole bastard pop concept, which seems to be happening a lot lately (see the latest Spin and every issue of the SF Weekly). The only unpleasant part of this article is the mega-closeup of my dumb head plastered over the left three columns above the fold (!) of the Datebook section. Talk about a way to kill off the mash-up trend.
UPDATE - LATER ON 5/3: Jeez, who knew this many people read the Chronicle? I've had calls from NYC and Chicago, and pb.com has quintupled its previous "daily hits" record, and it's only 7pm. Gulp -- extra charges! But it's all worth it to hear this, a phone message from my friend Jen to my friend Mary, upon seeing my head in the paper. [WARNING: LANGUAGE!
From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: "What do you think of mashups, kids?" "That Green Day / Oasis one is kind of cool" (see article here)
From the Rockford Illinois Register Star: "What's in your CD player?" "Party Ben!" (see the article here)
From the Seattle Stranger: "Party Ben at least complicates the textures a little bit..." (see the article here, scroll down)
APRIL 11, 2005
BIGGEST NON-ANNIVERSARY BOOTIE EVER!
And who doesn't like big bootie? Not to delve too much into nightclub logistics, but Bootie is our baby, and our only goal has been to have enough attendees to pay the bills and keep the club going. Until now, (excepting the August '04 1-year anniversary party), our biggest Bootie was the February '05 Bootie featuring Lionel Vinyl, with around 350 people. We went down slightly in March; and not that I'm competing with them, but my friends Aaron and Omar's new classic-britpop club Leisure, running 4th Saturdays also at Cherry, had a fantastic March night, and we were feeling a little... behind.
So, expectations were high for Saturday (April 9th), with the most excellent DJ Zebra all the way from Paris for the occasion. Things started slow. I was in the DJ booth starting around 10:30, making the lights flash, and then actually playing CDs, until DJ Zebra's set at midnight. I leave the DJ booth to go to the bar... and it's so crowded it takes me 10 minutes to get there. The place is packed. An amazing, up-for-it crowd of party people had their hands in the air all night long, and the final numbers gave proof: over 400 in attendance. I don't mean to gloat or brag, but after nearly two years of hard work, it's an amazing feeling to see your baby grow up. Snif.
It was so hot in the DJ booth that I did, as rumored, remove my shirt at one point. (Pictures here.)
Party Fun Facts:
Biggest crowd cheer-inducing track of the night: DJ John "It Takes Two to Kiss"
Most underwhelming response of the night: my Mylo vs. Tegan & Sara track
Amount of Time DJ Zebra had to Hold the "Cue" button on the CD player because he had started playing the track with his finger on it, and removing it would cause it to stop:3 minutes
The one Party Ben track DJ Zebra played: U2 vs. Lyrics Born
Big hits we avoided playing because we think we might be overdoing it, since we play them every time: "99 Luft Problems," "Closer to da Club"
Amount of Weight I Probably Lost due to Sweating: 5 pounds?
Big ups to everyone involved, thanks everybody who came out, and see you next month.
APRIL 5, 2005
PARTY BEN CONFRONTS Z-TRIP ON THE RADIO!
Gets homophobic death threats from genius Z-Trip fans! As some of you may remember, turntablist and now album-producer Z-Trip made some derogatory comments about the mashup scene when he was last in San Francisco. I've always been a fan so it was disappointing to read stuff like this SF Weekly article where he dismisses the whole concept of using computers to make mashups, or something. This causes a bit of a commotion in the bootleg world for a little while, and then it died down.
Fast forward to Thursday 3/31; on the eve of Z-Trip's appearance in the LIVE 105 studios to do a live on-air mix, filling-in evening DJ Marco Collins gives him a call, and then puts me on and lets me ask him about this. Entertaining radio, perhaps; but Z-Trip's attitude remains arrogant and dismissive. He seems to believe there's people out there using computers to make mixes and then "calling themselves DJs." I wasn't able to say everything I wanted to since he was a bit of a jabberjaws and we were pressed on time. But I think I made a few good points - like, that DJing and mashup creation are different things, and just because I can't afford to press vinyl records of all my self-made remixes, does that mean I shouldn't play them? Take a listen to the segment here (Windows Media file).
People around the station are making fun of me for taking the argument so seriously (Jared!) but Z-Trip was really insulting and hypocritical. Why couldn't he be more like DJ Shadow, whose easygoing attitude extends to making mixes of Keane and Radiohead (using computers, I bet?) as well as being a blindingly great turntablist. Perhaps it's because Z-Trip has made a career out of playing AC/DC records for crowds full of frat boys, and is starting to feel a little insecure?
MARCH 30, 2005
MASHUPS I MADE THAT AREN'T "BOULEVARD" ACTUALLY GETTING ATTENTION!
Could my "Sophomore Slump" be over? Grant writes from New Zealand to say that George FM (National Top 40-style radio) have played "Chic Franzie Boys." Huzzah. Also, Sarah, AKA Ultragrrrl, writes to say she played Clash Killers "Somebody Rock Me" for a bunch of people at Winter Music Conference, without even knowing it was me who did it. These people included the legendary Junior Sanchez who apparently liked it. See, I'm not just a one-hit wonder... really.
MARCH 30, 2005
BOULEVARD: THE MASH-UP THAT WOULDN'T DIE
It's like that movie, with the people, who... wouldn't... die. "Boulevard of Broken Songs," my Green Day/Oasis/Travis/Eminem thing, debuted on the Sixx Mixx over 5 months ago, and yet I still get e-mails from people hearing it for the first time, from around the world. Got a funny "Boulevard" story? Did it pop up on a Telenovela? A VOA broadcast to Iraq? A Shibuya nightclub? God, if only. Let me know via the Contact Page.
RECENT RADIO ADDITIONS
ANTENA 3 - Portugal (National) - Fabio writes from Lisbon to say they've "replaced" the Green Day original with mine
94 WYSP - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! - Holy crap, Philly's gone cuckoo for Party Ben
WMMR 93.3 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! - Played at around 5pm Mon 3/28/05, with DJ Jaxon (?) giving out my website address and everything
93 KHJ - Pago Pago, American Samoa - Their General Manager Joey e-mailed to say they got "malo lavas" (major praise) for playing it!
Virgin Radio 105.8FM - London, England - Dan writes "they played about a minute of it and said they'd been 'inundated' with calls"!
OUI FM - 102.3 - Paris, France - Just added to regular rotation (4 spins/day as of 3/14/05); thanks DJ Zebra!
PERFECT 10 - 98.7 FM - Singapore...uhhh, Singapore! - Heard on the "Morning Madness" morning show!
K104 - Poughkeepsie, New York - Somebody heard it!
Somewhere in Winnipeg, Canada! - - Somebody says they heard it on like 3 different stations. Awaiting confirmation
JOHN GARABEDIAN'S OPEN HOUSE PARTY - Nationally Syndicated - Heard on a Top 40 outlet in Pennsylvania, but apparently on lots of other radio stations
Music Choice? - The Teevee! - Someone said they heard it "on Comcast," and that's what I have in order to watch Aqua Teen, and Comcast's music channels are done by Music Choice, so I'm going to assume it's that.
94.7 THE BUZZ - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Somebody wrote to say it was #1 requests - unconfirmed
LOS 40 PRINCIPALES - Spain! - Somebody heard it!
105.9 O-ROCK - Orlando, Florida - Recent #1 requests, although they take credit for it and call it something else! Thanks guys!
RADIO 101 - Zagreb, Croatia - Radio 101 DJ Tomislav aka "King Boy'd" e-mailed to say they added it!
THE UNDEAD Y100 - Philadelphia/The Internet! - Put in rotation on the internet station that was started after Radio One blew up this longtime Philly alternative last month!
SOMEWHERE IN MONTANA - Somebody e-mailed to say they heard it on a road trip at 3am somewhere in the middle of nowhere!
For more places "Boulevard" has been played, see below.
FEBRUARY 23, 2005
PARTY BEN, NAKED IN THE SF WEEKLY!
But, it doesn't even look like me! The always-snarky local alt-paper has produced a mocking "board game" all about local music festival Noise Pop, of which LIVE 105 happens to be a sponsor. Apparently they weren't able to think of anything else to make fun of about our radio station other than myself and Disco Shawn, co-host of Subsonic and Soundcheck. (See the section of note at left).
A couple things: good use of "tits" as an adjective, but it's weakened by the somewhat repetitive use of "boob" (as a noun) to insult me. More importantly, me and Disco have in fact been known to fight about who has the worse DJ name on the air, so he stole that idea from listening to us; and I've only played a short segment of the Fugazi/Destiny's Child mashup on the radio once (Sixx Mixx 49 - 7/09/04), so how did the writer know about it?!? Did he (shudder) come to this very website, and download it?! What does that make him? ...Hmmm, is there a "breast"-y slang word for "hypocrite?
UPDATE, 28 Feb 2005 - I get a creepy, two-sentence e-mail from Nate Cavalieri, the board game's "author," with the subject line "Sad Sack":
Hey Ben -
I'm psyched that the game has started a little dust up.
Nothing against you personally, but I actually do hate your show.
Okay, Nate. First of all, spare me the image of you whacking off in front of a mirror in self-congratulatory ecstasy that we actually read the newspaper you intern for. You're a real muckraker, that's for sure. Secondly, what the fuck do you mean, "nothing against me personally?" What could be more personal that saying you hate my show? Moreover, since you're apparently Journalist of the Year for this little comic, where does an e-mail like this fit in the Journalism Handbook? Do they advise sending the subjects of your writing weird, stalker-y e-mails saying you hate what they do, especially when it's quite clear that's not the case, since you seem to spend so much time thinking about it? You exemplify everything that's wrong with local alt-weekly type publications: covering up your lack of actual knowledge by adding a layer of anti-everything pseudo-hipsterdom, you end up being a voice for reactionary conservativism, do you realize that? What you're arguing for is that instead of the Sixx Mixx, we play more Linkin Park and Foo Fighters for a half-hour. You're right, Nate, daring to mix artists of different races together and then play M.I.A. on the radio in prime time, that's bad, it's corporate, and it must be stopped. Fuck you.
I touch myself when i read it. A lot of the time, the only way I find out if some station's playing it is if a kind listener e-mails me to say so. I have no idea how half these stations found out about it to be honest. So, if you hear a Party Ben production on your local jammin-oldies soft-rock hot-talk frequency, please let me know via my e-mail address on the Contact Page.
89 A RADIO ROCK - Sao Paolo, Brasil! - From their website, translated by dictionary.com: "Voce ja heard to speak in mash-up? E a type of remix of the two or musicas ones, that sao amended in a unico sound. E the legal one and that, they alem to roll in the tracks, the musica tambem burrow in the radios and ties leaves in COMPACT DISC. Now mash-up that it caught in the United States and "Boulevard." The productor Party Ben mixed Green Day, Oasis, Travis, e Aerosmith. In an interview, the Billie Joe, of the Green Day, said that it approved."
La Mega 106.9 - San Juan, Puerto Rico - A mega-mix for a mega-station!!!
Mix 106.5 - Cleveland, Ohio - Somebody heard it!
Q 95.5 - El Paso, Texas - Somebody heard it across the border in Mexico!
Star 102.7 - Salt Lake City, Utah - Somebody heard it! Go Mormons!
102.1 The Buzz - Anchorage, Alaska - Somebody heard it! Go Eskimos!
Q98.5 - Omaha, Nebraska - Finally: loved in my home state of Nebraska! Take that all you bullies!
The Edge 102.1 - Toronto, Canada - Someone heard it!
K106.3 - Sarnia, Canada - Someone heard it! Also includes Port Huron, Michigan
92.3 K-ROCK - New York, NY - On the Ben Harvey show!
93.7 KRQ - Tuscon, AZ - Somebody heard it!
107.7 The X - Birmingham, AL - Two e-mails from Alabama so far!
NOVA 96.9 - Sydney, Australia - Courtesy of GYBO member pflext
101 X - Austin, TX - Somebody heard it!
91.8 RADIO GALGALATZ - Tel Aviv, Israel - Somebody heard it and e-mailed me!
106.7 KROQ - Los Angeles, CA - Finally (1/10/05), as confirmed by my source at R & R, I have broken through to the Roq. I can now retire.
95.5 K-ROCK - Geelong, Victoria, Australia - On the "Konkoktion" (sic) mashup show!
106.3 Bridge FM - Bridgend, South Wales - On the Adam Court show!
Z103 - Idaho Falls, ID - This is the Top 40 station, DJ John Riggs gives it a spin - listen to the hilarious air check (complete with homophobic listener hate call!) here. Thanks John for sending that.
106.7 Z-ROCK - Chico, CA - Finally: CHICO!
98X and/or 96 Wave - Charleson, SC - Somebody heard it!
91X - San Diego, CA - Somebody heard it!
105.1 The Buzz - Portland, OR - Somebody heard it!
Delta Radio - Hamburg (and other cities), Germany - First heard on Melle's "Mashup Mixtape," now in regular rotation!
101.3 KJQ - Salt Lake City, UT - Somebody heard it!
XM Channel 47 "Ethel" - Outer Space! - Somebody heard it!
XM Channel 202 "High Voltage" - Outer Space! - Opie and Anthony, playing it at the end of their show!
94.5 The Buzz - Houston, TX - Somebody heard it at lunch!
94.7 NRK - Portland, OR - Heard on the morning show!
Star 101.9 - Honolulu, HI - Heard on the DJ Maleko show!
KFMA 92.1 & 101.3 - Tuscon, AZ - Somebody heard it a couple weeks ago!
Today FM - Dublin, Ireland - Somebody heard it!
WFNX - Boston, MA - Update: #1 Requests!"
BBC Radio 1 - UK (National) - On the Jo Whiley morning show, twice I think!
Indie 103.1 - Los Angeles, CA - Update: just added to regular rotation!
The Edge 103.9 - Phoenix, AZ - Somebody heard it driving through town!
Q101 - Chicago, IL - Update: #1 Requests!
99.3 The Fox - Vancouver, BC - Update: currently #18!
The End 107.7 FM - Seattle, Washington - Now playing!
Power 103.1 FM - Ballarat, Australia - Just added to irregular rotation!
The Edge, KDGE 102.1 FM - Dallas, Texas - #1 requests (a while back)
KWOD 106.5 FM - Sacramento, California - #1 requests (at one point)
P3 Radio - Denmark (National) - Somebody heard it while getting his car serviced
Z-104.5 FM The Edge - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Big on the "Mashup at 6" show!
99X FM - Atlanta, Georgia - Just added to regular rotation!
DC 101 - Washington, DC - On the Saturday Night mashup show!
Eye Weekly - Toronto, Canada - It's a newspaper, not a radio station, but it put me at #1!