I hadn’t heard of DJ Earworm, actually, before my colleague Emmet Sullivan interviewed him about his “United State of Pop” mashup, or as I think of it, “what my neighborhood grocery store sounds like.” He’s not the only Chicagoan/Chicago expat (DJ Earworm, aka Jordan Roseman) grew up in Evanston, but lives in San Francisco) to put together such a mix—for the Hype Machine, the Hood Internet did their own, and it’s a neat contrast. Unlike the Hood Internet party-masters, who string together the songs into a long, danceable mix, DJ Earworm put together an actual pop song (coming in under four minutes) out of the year’s most popular songs, reassembling the lyrics into a surprisingly coherent new order (by pop standards at least, which often sound like mainstream cut-up lit).
The result is a bit bland, but inevitably so—it’s like when you were a kid and mixed up all your paints to get a really awesome color but ended up getting brown. But it’s kind of a neat listening test, pitting a year’s worth of earworms against each other and seeing what actually jumps out. It gave me a new appreciation for Fun.’s “We Are Young” and its ability to jump out of your headphones (instead of just being disappointed that it’s not Supergrass’s “Alright").
Here’s DJ Earworm:
And the Hood Internet:
Bonus: DJ Earworm’s “Music for Sport,” mixed for the 2012 Olympics and which does unnatural things to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
Photograph: Stephan Morais