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Mashes to mashes, dust to dust …

By Alex Norris

Section: Arts

February 18, 2011

PHOTO BY Andrew Rauner/The Hoot

I breezed into Levin Ballroom Saturday night feeling confident. “I’m on the list,” I said airily to the ticket-takers. They showed me in and I examined the room. There was about a third-of-a-Pachanga of people there —one Pachanga being defined as the number of people you can fit into Levin Ballroom before you immediately want to go take a shower. That number would increase to about half-a-Pachanga later on, but for now it was just the opening act. DJ Sensation was a consummate professional on the turntables, or whatever less-cool alternative to turntables we use in the digital age. So far this was basically a dance party, which is a perfectly acceptable use for Levin. However, I looked forward to seeing the musical virtuosos with whom Student Events had set us up.

I should probably mention at this point that I don’t really know anything about the art or science of mash-ups or, as it is known in the field, “putting a bunch of songs together.” Therefore, it is difficult for me to evaluate Super Mash Bros. on the skill or quality of their mash-ups based on what is ideal or possible. So let me deliver my damning critique based on what I heard and what I thought of it. Beware, it is quite harsh.

They were OK. Basically, they took a bunch of ’90s music and combined it with a bunch of hip-hop. But, honestly, I’m not sure what quality makes Super Mash Bros. a band and DJ Sensation just a DJ, sensational though he may be. There were a couple of times when I thought, “Oh, this is a combination of songs that works well,” but most of the time I just omitted the last three words. It was a little like hanging out with that one friend who switches songs every 30 seconds and listens to two radios at once. It is possible that only I have that friend, but you get the idea.

One of my friends allowed me to borrow his Super Mash Bros. music collection before the concert so I knew what I was getting myself into. A lot of the time I just found myself wondering why they felt they needed an album full of other artists’ material. The existence of their albums also made me wonder whether they were doing anything up there on stage. We wouldn’t have known the difference.

That’s not to say it wasn’t fun. Once people realized that it was not a concert per se, they started dancing, and a good time was had by all. The one mood killer was the miscommunication at the end, which led to the band coming on for an encore and the lights immediately coming on. We all stood there for a second, thinking that everything would get figured out, but the Brandeis police took that as their cue to get everyone out of there. It was especially awkward for me, because I could now see all of the people with whom I had been hooking up. Then we all went to get our coats at the same time, leading to a human wave that the Levin coat room was not designed to sustain. A brief 50 minutes later, everyone was out. It was like some sort of miracle of coordination. So ended my Super Mash Bros. experience, which will live on in my heart for another two weeks at least.

Also, those guys were Lakers fans. They shouldn’t be, because the Lakers suck.

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