Every year I look forward to the new Bootie mashup. This annual mashup is, real truth, the reason why I am able to sing along to any song played at any convention dance (I’m looking at you Grace Hopper) or bar (and looking at you, Black Cat-which-plays-Doctor-Who-every-Friday-night-at-7:30pm). It is a mashup of the most popular songs of the preceding year.
This does mean that, since my first interaction with many of the year’s pop songs is through a mashup, I’m confused when “Cosmic Love” doesn’t faze into an Imogen Heap song.
Every time I download the year’s Bootie mashup, I wonder if this is going to be the time I get caught up in a dragnet of copyright theory debates conducted via the criminal justice system. Are mashups fair use? The creators of the source material certainly get material benefit from me. This particular annual mashup has certainly introduced me to a number of performers I had not listened to before, and of the presents Matthew gave me for Christmas/my Birthday 3/4 of them were legal downloads of music I fell in love with through fan videos and mashups:
Most of the songs on this mashup are dance songs, but they provide the theme music for nearly every day of my work week. When I walk to the bus or, having missed the good bus and unwilling to wait for the bad bus, I take the longer walk to the Metro. Whether it’s Third Eye Blind’s beat under “Call Me Maybe” or “The Cave”‘s stark lyrics thrumming along to Kei$ha’s techno beats, I’m never disappointed and never bored.
Much of pop music is formulaic; much of it uses the same chords:
But that sameness is a blessing in a way–it means that when creators like the DJs on the Bootie mix go to work, they know their songs are playing in the same field. The result of combining bland sameness with other bland sameness can be provocatively engaging.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.'”–Stephen Covey