SXSW is here and that can only mean one thing for A Plus D the Bootie Mashup pioneers!!! Yep, they’re hitting Austin for 2 monster mashup parties in March (SXSWi for Mashable and their own showcasing party for SXSW Music). We simply cannot wait to catch them in action doing what they do so well.
You know when mashups are done well when you listen to the original ‘unmashed’ track and wish it was the mashed version. We had that same experience only a couple of weeks ago when we caught Kanye West live and he played ‘Gold Digger’ (sorry Kanye). It just wasn’t the same when it wasn’t mashed over the Beethoven’s 5th track taken from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (check it out here).
So, what do you know about A Plus D and Bootie Mashup? If you are scratching your head, here is a little background info.
San Francisco-based DJ duo A Plus D – aka Adrian & Mysterious D, have forged a hard-earned reputation as crowd-pleasing selectors who not only shamelessly bridge the gaps between genres, but between the alternative and the mainstream. As tireless torchbearers of the mashup artform, the colorful duo spin a bootlegged blend of pop, electro, indie, hip-hop, rock, ’80s & ’90s retro, and whatever else moves a dance floor. No matter what it is though, they know how to bring the party.
Their first mashup bootleg party in the United States and the biggest one in the world was launched in San Francisco in 2003. Since then, after starting a sister club in Los Angeles in 2005, they’ve since launched regular Bootie parties in New York City, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Boston, Rio, London, Hong Kong, and many more – not to mention various one-offs around the globe from Brazil to Beijing.
We did a Q&A with A Plus D before they head to Austin to see what else is in store for Bootie Mashup in 2012:
We first got into A Plus D a few years back with one of our favourite mashups of yours, the Robyn vs. Cure ‘Close To Konichiwa Bitches’ track. We know all of your mashups are pretty awesome but is there one favourite mashup that you’ve done over the years that you come back to time and time again?
It seems like our rap/disco/classical mashup “Beethoven’s Fifth Gold Digger” (Kanye West vs. Beethoven vs. Walter Murphy) just never quite goes away. It’s a perennial favorite, and for a DJ, it’s one of those “In Case of Emergency Break Glass” tracks — it never fails for the dance floor!
Which mashup has had the best reaction from the crowds you’ve played at your Bootie Mashup Parties (either one you’ve done or one you’ve played)?
The answer to that question changes from month to month, depending on what current songs are hot at the moment, or new mashups that we find or make.
Classic tracks like DJ John’s “It Take Two to Kiss” (Prince vs. Rob Base vs. Junior Senior) stand the test of time, and always fill the dance floor. And there are tracks like “Party & Bullshit (In The USA)” (Notorious B.I.G. vs. Miley Cyrus) that always make the crowd giggle and people can’t help but enjoy the guilty pleasure of it.
Of course, we also have electro-bangers from our favorite thumpy bootleggers DJs From Mars. And there are so many great “hands in the air” tracks, often using current hits. Another big Bootie “all-time hit” is our own A Plus D “Don’t Stop Believing in Planet Rock” mashup, which is Journey backed by Afrika Bambaataa, an epic sing-along at Bootie every time.
Again, this is a hard question, because there are so many “Bootie hits” over the years!
Have you ever had any of the artists you’ve mashed give you compliments on their tracks or even said that you’ve made the tracks even better?
Le Tigre absolutely LOVED our “Decepta-Freak-On” — our second mashup ever — which mashed them up with Missy Elliott. They posted it to their web site, and whenever they would do guest DJ sets, they would play it. Supposedly, it got them into talks with Missy Elliott’s people to work on a collaboration (which unfortunately never happened).
More recently, Bay Area buzzworthy up-and-comer Kreayshawn apparently loved our mashup featuring her debut hit “Gucci Gucci,” a track that we mashed up, backing it with five other female artists from the past 30 years — including her mom’s old surf-punk band, The Trashwomen! She re-tweeted it and big-upped it to her followers. We’re perhaps the first ever producers to mash up an artist with their mom!
With all of your Bootie Mashup Parties around the world, is there anywhere you want to get out to over the coming months that you’ve not listed yet?
Bootie Antarctica! No seriously, we would love to throw a party at a scientific research base there! But more realistically, Tokyo is somewhere we’d love to throw a Bootie party, but we just haven’t made the connection with the right promoters there. Closer to home, we’re also working on a Bootie Las Vegas.
At this point though, we’ve got more cities that want Bootie than we have time and resources to do it. We get at least one email a week from somewhere around the world asking us to bring a Bootie party there. We wish we could do them all!
But for now, we choose very carefully, city by city, depending on the opportunity. We’re very much a “mom and pop” organization that has been blessed to finally grow to pretty epic heights. However, the “mom and pop of mashups” currently need a bigger team in place to help us run things, so we can continue to spread the Bootie gospel around the globe!
There are a lot (a lot lot lot) of people who have been putting mashups out there online. Some are golden nuggets of ear joy that work so well and some are definitely not a treat for the senses. What’s the best advice you could give budding mashup DJ’s to help them get their mashups right?
There are three bits of advice we can give budding mashup DJs:
First off, don’t make a “what’s the point” mashup. Sure, those two current pop songs may mash up together. But who cares? There’s nothing clever, genre-clashed, or interesting about it. It misses the entire point of mashup culture.
Secondly, don’t just learn to line up beats — learn some music theory as well, so your two (or more) songs are in the same (or complimentary) musical keys. Anyone can learn to beatmatch, but that skill is only one small part of a successful mashup creation, a fact lost on many (many many many) DJs who create bad-sounding, out-of-key tracks — including some famous mashup artists, whose names we will not mention.
And lastly, cramming more and more tracks and parts and samples into one mashup often doesn’t make it better — it makes it less song-like and usually has less impact than a more traditional mashup (unless your a master like Titus Jones or DJ Earworm who both understand song structure implicitly).
You’re scheduled to play two SXSW mashup parties at Austin in March. How does it feel to be playing SXSW, where some of the big names in the music industry have showcased and been keynote speakers over the years?
We’ve been forging our own path for so long, and doing things so D.I.Y. — and not relying on traditional music industry protocol — that somehow we ended up skipping SXSW every year. But it feels awesome to be going to Austin this year … finally! And not necessarily “hoping to be discovered,” but to bring our own party to the table. And being invited by Mashable to spin at their annual SXSW party is just so much bonus. So we’re excited!
When did you find out that you had been officially listed to play? (We saw that some acts only found out the very day the full schedule was released & some even found out on their Twitter feed from fans)
We actually added the Mashable SXSW gig soon after we played their CES party in Vegas. They’re an awesome company, and we just instantly vibed with them really well, and some of their audience were Bootie fans, so it was a great fit, and they invited us to play their SXSWi party.
While our Sunday night Bootie mashup-style DJ gig with Mashable is an official SXSW event, our own Thursday Bootie Austin party is “unofficial” (no badge required!) Yes, the Bootie D.I.Y. aesthetic remains true, even at SXSW.
Are you going to be able to mix business with pleasure at SXSW and catch any conference sessions and gigs when you’re there or will your working commitments mean it will be a fleeting trip to Austin?
We ALWAYS mix business with pleasure! Not sure of our full schedule yet, but we plan to hang out and schmooze like everyone else … and we’ll be hanging out with our friends in local Austin mashup rock band More Cowbell … and eating some great Tex-Mex! We also anticipate perhaps adding a DJ set here, or a live vocal mashup performance there, if the opportunity arises.
Which bands and DJs on the schedule will you be trying to catch?
To be honest, we need to go through the schedule with a highlighter, which — given our current schedule — will probably be happening on a flight from San Francisco to Austin! I think we’ll just go where the wind, and our friends, take us most of the time.
As you’re listed as a SXSW artist, do you get a guaranteed Willy Wonka’s golden ticket to catch Bruce Springsteen play or are you in the same boat as every other attendee that is hoping to get to catch ‘The Boss’ in action?
Bruce Springsteen is playing? See above answer! I guess we’ll see if there is any SXSW magic!
What’s next after SXSW for A Plus D and the Bootie Mashup Parties in 2012?
The day after our Bootie Austin SXSW party, we fly to New York to do our Bootie St. Paddy’s Mashup Party, then two days later fly to China to do Bootie Shanghai and Bootie Hong Kong … all while making sure our parties back home in San Francisco and LA go off without a hitch in our absence! After that, we are doing a tour of Europe, playing our Bootie partners’ parties starting with London (our 3rd Annual Party), then onto France, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, and doing Barcelona for the first time, as well as opening a Bootie in Budapest (Bootie-pest?!).
Our plans for 2012 should really involve us trying to clone ourselves in order to bring Bootie to more cities, but if cloning technology can’t keep up with our career ambitions, then perhaps we’ll simply resort to delegating! Between all the parties we throw now, we have an amazing crew of mashup DJs and producers to pimp out!
We can’t wait for all the great things that 2012 has in store for A Plus D and all things bootie in 2012 and beyond. If you are heading to SXSW and are there for the interactive and/or music sessions, we seriously recommend you get along to some of the action that A Plus D will be giving out at either the Mashable SXSWi party on Sunday March 11 at Buffalo Billiards or their official party on Thursday March 15 at the Hangar Lounge. We definitely will be along for the ride at their official party on Thursday and you should be too!!!!
In the meantime, if you want to check out all things A Plus D and their Bootie Mashups, get your fix at their official site here.
Check out the Best of Bootie 2011 below and one of their fine mashups too.