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The Apolitical Irony of Generation Mash-up: A Cultural Case Study in Popular Music by Michael Serazio

Although this article by Michael Serazio covers majority of the topics discussed in previous blog posts and readings, the author does raise some interesting perspectives related to the purpose and role of mashups in today’s society. Serazio discusses various pivotal case studies such as Danger Mouse’s Grey Album saga and Christina Aguilera and The Stroke’s mashup by Hellraiser. The article then discusses the validation of the mashup art from the perspectives of lawyers, artists and music business personnel.

One of the most interesting points made by Serazio is the idea that mashups are to create elements of “irony, empowerment and reappropriation.” Although this point isn’t described explicitly in the essay, it is a very relevant and valid point. Many artists may or may not have a reason for creating mashups except for entertainment purposes and to imitate famous DJs throughout the world. However Serazio’s explanation of mashups creating irony in a piece of music is highly true. Irony in the sense that the two or more piece of music combined in the mashup would probably never be featured on the same physical stage and therefore the bringing together of these pieces of music is relatively ‘ironic’. The idea of empowerment in mashups I believe could be described as a new music enthusiast being given the power to produce their own music, even though they aren’t working with the original artist directly and they’re not working from a recording studio. Finally, appropriation seems like a fitting way

comparison to mona lisa and Marcel Duchamp moustache (respect for self or expose secret)


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