Why DJ Earworm’s ‘United State of Pop 2011’ mashup mix goes BOOM — in a bad way

He’s back. DJ Earworm, who has famously released a USOP (“United State of Pop”) mega-mashup mix of the year’s top 25 Billboard hits for the past four years, has released his epic 2011 mashup, titled “World Go Boom.” And it really does go boom — in a bad way.

First of all, I give credit to him for trying — the timeliness of the mix is a lot of pressure on a DJ (he basically has the last three weeks of December to really put it together or else it’d be 2012 and no one would care about 2011 anymore). Plus, the task is heavy. His USOP mixes 25 completely different Top 40 songs into a 5-minute song with accompanying music video — it’s hard to represent 25 songs in such a short amount of time, and it’s especially difficult considering the source material ranges from pop, rock, dance, hip-hop, R&B, and soul music, all at different tempos.

But while the first mix in 2008 had the element of surprise to it (I instantly loved it), criticizing Earworm’s mixes gets easier each year. This year’s mix is much more listenable than 2010’s “Don’t Stop The Pop,” but it fails to live up to what the mix’s goal is — to mix the year’s top songs into one mega mashup that resembles the year in music. DJ Earworm himself admits that he ignored Billboard’s actual top 25 songs of 2011 list (he cut Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” and Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” for example) but the real problem is this: His mix doesn’t sound very much like the year in music 2011. There’s a lot of Katy Perry and Rihanna, sure, but Adele is barely included and she’s easily the #1 artist of the year (her two singles sold more than 8 million copes in the U.S. alone). I didn’t even notice a few of the songs Earworm claimed to include, either, like Jeremih’s “Down On Me” and Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough.”

Here’s the list of songs he included in this year’s mix, released Christmas Day 2011, and you tell me if you really hear all of them:

Adele – Rolling In The Deep
Adele – Someone Like You
Black Eyed Peas – Just Can’t Get Enough
Bruno Mars – Grenade
Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song
Britney Spears – Till The World Ends
Cee Lo Green – F* You
Enrique Iglesias – Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)
Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks
Jennifer Lopez – On The Floor
Jeremih feat. 50 Cent – Down On Me
Katy Perry – Firework
Katy Perry – E.T.
Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Lady Gaga – Born This Way
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It
Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On
Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger
Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
OneRepublic – Good Life
Pink – Raise Your Glass
Pitbull – Give Me Everything
Rihanna – S&M
Rihanna – We Found Love

Instead, all I hear is a fun dance beat with a lot of “Boom boom” that would’ve been better suited for a year when Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” came out. There’s some fun snippets of 2011’s most popular songs, sure, but I think Earworm’s biting off more than he can chew with each subsequent year-end mix and should consider trying something new. After all, I’ve listened to the song once — and I don’t feel any desire to hear it a second time.

Click here to download the United State of Pop 2011 (World Go Boom) mashup mix mp3 from DJ Earworm and analyze it yourself. Feel free to disagree.

Deaf The Halls: DeafGeoff’s hilarious album of Christmas songs and holiday parodies, revisited

Deaf The Halls, DeafGeoff's holiday parody album

'Deaf The Halls' is a holiday album featuring Christmas and Hanukkah songs, plus parodies sung and rapped (badly) by DeafGeoff. Be careful when listening in the car, you may drive off the road laughing.

In my radio days at HOT 107.9, I recorded songs as DeafGeoff on my own holiday albums called “Deaf The Halls.” I sang and rapped so badly that everyone seemed to get a kick out of it (and I enjoyed having fun with it), so I couldn’t resist doing it for four years straight. I did my own versions of some Christmas classics, a couple tunes for the Hanukkah crowd, and even wrote a few parodies of popular songs by Kanye West, Mystikal, and Bing Crosby. I put together a sort of “greatest hits” in 2008, and for those that would like to hear it again — or have never heard it! — here’s the track listing, a free .zip download of the mp3 files, and four music videos from Deaf The Halls. Enjoy!

Deaf The Halls: The Deaf-initive Collection
1. Toy Lockdown (parody of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown”)
2. Deaf The Halls, Part 1
3. Deaf In A Box
4. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
5. Party Like Santa Claus (parody of Shop Boyz’ “Party Like A Rock Star”)
6. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
7. I Have A Little Dreidel
8. Ho Ho Ho f/ Marty & Sugarcane Chris (parody of Hurricane Chris’ “A Bay Bay”)
9. Jingle Bell Rock
10. Deaf The Halls, Part Deux (parody of Mystikal’s “Shake Ya Ass”)
11. The Chipmunk Song f/ Marty & Shannon
12. Deaf Christmas
13. Santa Baby
14. Do You Hear What I Hear?
15. Cholla At Ya Boy (Happy Chanukah) f/ Jus Mic
16. Baby It’s Cold Outside w/ Marty the One Man Party
17. The Christmas Song
18. Last Christmas
19. Silent Night
20. Auld Lang Syne

» Click here to download the “Deaf The Halls” collection in mp3 format [.zip file]

Deaf The Halls, the music videos:

Merry Chrismukkah and Happy Festivus (for the rest of us)!

All I want for Christmas is the ‘DeafGeoff’ poster from a Garbage Pail Kids tribute art show. Seriously.

Deaf Geoff by Ryan Brinkerhoff

This is a poster by Ryan Brinkerhoff from a Garbage Pail Kids tribute art show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles

Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles hosted an awesome Garbage Pail Kids tribute art show in September. It consisted entirely of GPK-inspired art, including remakes and reinterpretations of the famous trading card set (and TV show, and movie) that grossly parodied Cabbage Patch Kids, with characters like “Adam Bomb” and “Dire Rita.” The Hundreds posted photos of the gallery’s opening, which featured celebrity guests like Hayley Williams from Paramore and Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory.

My favorite was a piece by Ryan Brinkerhoff, an electro-inspired remake of “Deaf Geoff,” which was an actual Garbage Pail Kids trading card in 1986. (Yes, I have the card.) His design is similar to the original, showing a character literally blowing his ears out by blasting music from a boom box on his shoulder. But Brinkerhoff changes up the colors for a funky interpretation that would have looked cool on the walls of any ’80s dance club.

It’s currently on sale as an 18″ x 24″ poster for $30 on the Gallery 1988 website.

I want it. I want it for Christmas, my birthday, “just because,” whatever — and I’ll totally frame it and hang it in my apartment. It’s too awesome not to have it, especially since it’s a modern art twist on the GPK card inspired my namesake*.

» View a slideshow of the best art from Gallery 1988’s Garbage Pail Kids tribute art exhibit

Here’s what the original “Deaf Geoff” Garbage Pail Kids card looked like, No. 206a from the 1986 set:

***Final Update: Someone wonderful got me the poster. :) Thank you to everyone who offered. Happy holidays!

*A few people have asked me over the years where I got my name “DeafGeoff,” and if it has anything to do with the Garbage Pail Kids card or the ’80s rapper Def Jef (who later produced Shaquille O’Neal’s first album). There’s also an obscure ’80s movie called ‘Plain Clothes’ (starring Arliss Howard, who played grown-up Scotty Smalls in ‘The Sandlot’) that had a character named Deaf Jeff, but my name came from none of those. No, I simply came up with the name myself when I was 12 years old — before I know about any of the other versions of the name — and made it my first screen name on AOL. It’s my DJ name, too, and it’s an easy introduction to the fact that my name is Geoff Herbert and I’m mostly deaf.