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Monday, April 12, 2010

The Hood Internet @ MSOE’s Todd Wehr Auditorium

April 9, 2010

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Rappers and indie rockers seem destined to collaborate. Lately, hip-hop artists have enlisted the help of commercial rock acts—The Roots and Fall Out Boy, for example—and in some cases churned out their own irascible rock (ahem, Lil Wayne), but as indie goes mainstream there's no doubt the genre will also collide with rap.

The Hood Internet is taking this matter into their own hands—err, laptops. The Chicago mash-up duo splices indie-rock and rap samples, usually drawing from one track that is a cappella while using another to provide the beat. It's music designed for the club scene, but thanks to a little buzz from blogs like Gorilla vs. Bear and Stereogum, The Hood Internet is taking their mash-ups to music halls. For the second time in five months, the DJs known as ABX (Aaron Brink) and STV SLV (Steve Reidell) spun at MSOE's Todd Wehr Auditorium, turning the room into an all-out club-thumping dance party.

Watching a DJ can be boring, so in an attempt to spice things up The Hood Internet projected a visualizer onto a screen to the left of the stage, which ABX occasionally warped. The projector's highlight came when Super Mario Bros. game play was shown to "Floating Paranoia" (Modest Mouse vs. Kanye West). ABX manipulated a tripped-out Mario—too many mushrooms, probably—similar to the way a DJ scratches records.

The mash-ups were the main attraction here, of course, and the catchier, the better. No tune was as crowd-pleasing as "Girls Just Wanna Fix Up" (Dizzee Rascal vs. Cyndi Lauper)—though it was a Hood Internet anomaly, since the "Celebrity Apprentice" oddball Lauper isn't considered indie in any music circle. It's not far off to think the duo might try their hands at Miley Cyrus’ "Party in the U.S.A." to get a crowd going in the future, but what makes the DJs intriguing are mash-up pop gems like "Great! There It Is" (Tag Team vs. LCD Soundsystem), which combined ’90s jock-jam kitsch with James Murphy's calculated cool. The night’s only misstep was on "Can You Hear My Kids Now" (Lil’ Kim vs. MGMT). Some songs can't become more danceable. Keep your hands off "Kids."

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