Mix It Up: Danger Mouse At The Hammer
D.J. and producer Danger Mouse, a.k.a. Brian Burton, made musical waves two years ago when he layered music from the Beatles' White Album with vocals from rapper Jay-Z's Black Album — and then sent about 3,000 copies of the resulting Grey Album out as promos. Before long, critics were gushing, and collectively minded Web users had posted the album onto free-download sites. EMI, which owns the rights to the White Album, was less enthusiastic: The mixing Mouse had not asked, nor received, permission to use the Beatles' songs. But a few cease and desist orders only served to rally free-loading fans. They organized a event called Grey Tuesday during which 170 Web sites hosted a full copy of the album.
Danger Mouse vaulted into headlines again this year thanks to Gnarls Barkley, a new pop collaboration with Atlanta singer/rapper Cee-Lo. It's been getting a lot of big-time press — Time named it one of its top five albums for May. But this time, sadly, you have to work a little harder to find it for free.
You can hear Danger Mouse explain pricing and splicing this Monday night at 7 p.m. at the UCLA Hammer Museum. Jason Bentley, the velvet-voiced host of KCRW's Metropolis, joins. It's part of the up-coming Los Angeles Film Festival. Entry is free.