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Music from the Cube: What Am I Listening Today?

What happens when two mash-up artists — San Francisco-based Party Ben and Australian-based Team 9 — combine forces under the nom de guerre Dean Gray to mash-up Green Day's American Idiot?

You get 11 tracks of awesome that is American Edit, one of the best CDs that you can't buy and the one that Warner Bros. doesn't want you to buy. This despite the fact that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong likes 'Boulevard of Broken Songs,' perhaps the most famous track off American Edit.



I'm going to do something a little different this time around. I'm going to provide links to all tracks to American Edit. Note that you'll have to right-click and save to download these tracks since they're pointed directly at the server with the MP3s.

Then, I'll choose the the best songs off American Edit and match them up to the corresponding songs from American Idiot, via SaveFile.


Green Day, American Idiot Rating=$$$$$
[Support the Artist]
How I Got the Tracks: Bought during my Bordersverse Daze using the employee discount

It's no secret that I love Green Day and have since Kerplunk. Yes, I know that makes me uncool in the eyes of some you lot out there. Don't care. Still dig these guys. I know that there is some minor backlash against both Green Day and American Idiot, but it's still a damn fine CD that has been constructed along a tight plotline.

Yes, the "rock opera" is not new and harks back to those heady days in the '70s when AOR (album-orientated radio) made making rock operas worth the effort for everyone from The Who, to Queen, to Pink Floyd to create. And yes, American Idiot can be just a tad emo, a tad too politcal, and occassionally lacking in subtlety. But Jesus, people, it's a rock opera. By the standards of the genre, it's practically low-key.

For additional information about American Idiot, go here and here.



Dean Gray, American Edit Rating=$$$$$
[Support the Artists]
How I Got the Tracks: Downloaded them for free from the Internet

American Edit highlights why Party Ben is considered one of the premier mash-up artists on the scene. Party Ben and Team 9 via the Dean Gray (exchange the D and Gr at the beginning of both names to get the joke) personna put together an excellent mash-up album where the tracks flow easily from one to the other. What makes American Edit especially extraordinary is that it follows the American Idiot plot precisely, except there's samples from just about any pop genre you can name enhancing it along the way. The main difference between the CDs is that the political message of American Edit is more in-your-face than American Idiot.

The roots of American Edit lies in Party Ben's 'Boulevard of Broken Songs' (some of you might remember that I'm using this for the Water Hold Me Down soundtrack) where samples Oasis, Travis, Aerosmith, and Eminem were mixed in with 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams.'

From there, it just kind of spiralled out of control.

Party Ben and Team 9 claim they started hearing all kinds of similarities between the riffs on American Idiot and other great pop/rock tunes. Since they found it rather funny they decided to start mashing. Next thing they knew, the joke got out of control. The end result was American Edit, an 11-track virtual CD that includes an all-new version of 'Boulevard of Broken Songs' (Missy Elliot has been added to the roster of samples and Eminem has been removed in favor of straight Aerosmith) as well as a dance version of 'Boulevard of Broken Songs.'

American Edit isn't just a re-imagining of American Idiot. Many of the tracks sound like completely new songs. The best example of this is the track 'Bad Homecoming (Waiting)' which turns the Green Day original tune into something that truly soars with help not just from U2, but also Green Day's 'Are We the Waiting' off of American Idiot.

The online album went live on November 8, 2005 and all and sundry were allowed to download the track for free. Ten days later, Warner Brothers issued a cease and decist order. In protest, the online mash-up community took a page from a similar protest to support Danger Mouse's Grey Album (another mash-up classic) and organized "Dean Gray Tuesday." Like in the Grey Album protest, numerous sites mirrored the tracks for download for one day to ensure its survival in the Internet wilds.

And just like the Grey Album, the tracks from American Edit officially went dark after the day of protest, but with a little detective work you can still find the virtual CD online.

Like the Grey Album, American Edit is very much worth finding and having.

For additional information on American Edit, go here and here


Instructions for Dowload

Because I'm linking directly to the download site for the American Edit tracks, you'll have to click on the track name to get to the site. When you get there, right click and save to get the download.

I've also decided to include 5 tracks from Green Day's unadulterated American Idiot so you can compare and contrast. Those tracks will be uploaded to SaveFile and will require you to click through to that site.

I'll indicate which is which in the list below.

If you want to know what samples are used in each American Edit track, please go here.

1. American Jesus by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day songs: American Idiot (click link to open SaveFile and download file from there), Jesus of Suburbia

Samples include: Bryan Adams (Summer of '69), Johnny Cash (Ring of Fire), John F. Kennedy ("Ask not what your country..."), Smokey Robinson (Tears of a Clown)


2. Dr. Who on Holiday by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: Holiday (click link to open SaveFile and download file from there)

Samples include: George Bush (polical speech), The Daleks (old skool), Dr. Who television theme, Gary Glitter (Rock and Roll), The Timelords (Doctorin' the Tardis)


3. Boulevard of Broken Songs (new version) by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day songs: American Idiot (click link to open SaveFile and download file from there), Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Samples include: Aerosmith (Dream On), Missy Eliot (American Life — Missy Eliot remix), Oasis (Wonderwall), Travis (Writing to Reach You)

Bonus Dowload: Boulevard of Broken Songs (Original 2004 version) by Party Ben (right-click and save)

Green Day song: Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Samples include: Eminem (Sing for the Moment w/ Aerosmith Dream On sample), Oasis (Wonderwall), Travis (Writing to Reach You)


4. Bad Homecoming (Waiting) by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day songs: Are We the Waiting (click link to open SaveFile and download file from there), Homecoming

Samples include: U2 (Bad, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own)


5. St. Jimmy the Prankster by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: St. Jimmy (click link to open SaveFile and download file from there)

Samples include: Bryan Ferry (Let's Stick Together), Bill Hicks (1992 monolog), The Offspring (Original Prankster)


6. Novacaine Rhapsody by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: Give Me Novacaine

Samples include: Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody), U2 (Bullet the Blue Sky)


7. Impossible Rebel by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: She's a Rebel (click link to open SaveFile and download file from there)

Samples include: George Bush (political speech), Deep Purple (Smoke on the Water), Dire Straights (Money for Nothing), Sex Pistols (God Save the Queen), Theme from Mission Impossible


8. Ashanti's Letterbomb by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: Letterbomb

Samples include: Ashanti (Only You), Buffalo Springfiled (For What It's Worth), The Who (Who Are You?)


9. Green Day Massacre by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: Wake Me Up When September Ends

Samples include: The Beatles (Blackbird, A Day in the Life), The Eagles (Lying Eyes), Depeche Mode (Can't Get Enough), Nelly (Over and Over w/Tim McGraw), Talking Heads (Road to Nowhere)


10. Whatsername (Susanna Hoffs) by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: Whatsername

Samples include: Bangles (Manic Monday)


11. Boulevard of Broken Songs (Dance Mix, 2005) by Dean Gray (click through and then right-click and save)

Green Day song: Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Samples include: Aerosmith (Dream On), Oasis (Wonderwall), Travis (Writing to Reach You)
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