Monday, January 03, 2005

Gray Areas

I was asked by a friend of the Advanced Theory whether the "The Grey Album" by DJ Danger Mouse is Advanced. That is the project that combined Jay-Z's "Black Album" with the Beatles' White Album. He also wondered about the Easy All-Stars' reggae version of "Dark Side of the Moon." This seemed like a blog-worthy topic so I'll share with you the answer:

"The Grey Album," while a good idea, is not Advanced. One reason is that almost everyone loves the Beatles and Jay-Z. And while it might seem like Danger Mouse is treading on sacred ground by messing with the White Album, just about everyone thinks the idea of combining it with Jay-Z is a cool idea. Plus, he's not redoing his own beloved material, it's someone else's. If Ringo Starr were to release "The Grey Album" (or even initiate it), that would be Advanced. If would have been Advanced for Danger Mouse to combine some recent Paul McCartney (or something similarly unhip) with Jay-Z. If Paul McCartney loves "The Grey Album" and says it's better than the White Album, then that would be Advanced.

As for the reggae version of "Dark Side of the Moon," that is almost definitely Advanced, as long as they aren't making fun of the record or reggae music in general. Here's why: I don't think there is any less cool weirdo band than Pink Floyd. Of course, I love some Pink Floyd, but the band has become synonymous with idiot stoners. They are completely out of fashion among weirdos. (Side note: People who say they prefer the Syd Barret version of Pink Floyd are almost always being Overt.) And doing a reggae version of anything is about as outdated as you can get. If they love Pink Floyd and reggae, this project is Advanced. If they are just being ironic, however, the whole thing is just Dread Zeppelin II.

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