Summer School of Rock: The White Panda

Yesterday I had a shocking revelation. Fortunately, although gasp and panic-attack worthy, it didn’t even get into the same bathroom as Hank’s toilet realization on “Breaking Bad” (seriously, guys, get on that.). This one was slightly more hygienic and less obsession-causing.

I’m leaving for BC in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.

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Not nearly as shocked as this guy, but close.

Initially I was all like “Whoohoo! Huzzah! Boston, here I come!” but then, yada yada yada, I ended up like “WHAT AM I DOING WHY DID I WASTE SO MUCH TIME THIS SUMMER I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO DO ARGHHH!!!” And yes, I do tend to ressemble a pirate when I freak out.

Fast forward to this morning and my room has become To-Do List Central, home of the famous Post-It Note Mountain,  the Community Aid Clothes Piles Canyon and the circus freak star formerly known as Pen-Stained Girl Who Didn’t Sleep All Night And Is Still In Her Bathrobe at 3 p.m. Because It’s Easier to Move In Than Pants. Wow that was a mouthful. And not a pretty sight.

As I’m sure you can all imagine after that graphic description, I’ve been bouncing off the walls since 10 p.m. last night, trying to attempt to get myself decently ready to move in and appear like a normal, organized, mentally stable person. As much as I’d love to open up my car outside of Walsh and carry trash bags and laundry baskets full of clothes inside, I’m not sure my new neighbors would think very highly of me after that. I’m trying to convince people that I'm somewhat classy.

I’m the kind of person who has to listen to music while I work, and no, singing like the dwarves from Snow White doesn’t suffice (sometimes). My dream would be to have a house-wide speaker system, but gracefully running up and down the stairs with my laptop in hand will have to do while I’m still on a non-existent salary.

As I scanned through my newly decorated music library (I just got Spotify… no need to tell me about how long I was stuck in the dark ages), I knew that I needed a playlist that could match my “Caffeine and anxiety are an unbelievable combination” mood. I don’t know if listening to mashups all day was a smart decision and maybe I should have chilled out with some Lumineers or classical piano music instead, but here’s the deal:

Lesson #12: Mashups are AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME.

I must admit, I’ve had a little bit of an obsession with mashups ever since I was forced to watch that God-awful addicting movie Pitch Perfect once eight times. Anna Kendrick is a total rockstar and adorable and my God can she sing/dance/DJ/just stand there and look pretty. Yeah forget the speaker system. The real dream is to be Anna-esque and bring my own turntable to college. Adds “Learn how to DJ” on To-Do List #6.996922_558860130847261_1031577457_n

Unfortunately, the thing about mashups is that they’re often discredited for being unoriginal. It’s true, most of the songs are pre-produced and are taken from other artists. But the fact that there is an inifinite amount of music in the world, and therefore infinite combinations, validates that mashups are, in fact, original. Mashups and DJing weren’t around 30 years ago, and if anything that makes them even more innovative and inventive.

You can be tone deaf and have no instrumental talent whatsoever, but the truth is that mashup artists and DJs have to have the same ear and taste for music that traditional musicians have. They have a knack for patterns, for layering beats that can work together and even for working a club or a crowd of thousands. DJs deserve the same respect and credit that instrumental artists are given, especially because I’m pretty sure most of us can admit that there’s no way in hell we could ever do what they do with a computer.

Since Anna was busy and couldn’t come directly to my house, I was forced to move on to Plan B. 379989_10150455647207192_1455640244_nPSYCH. Let’s be real, these guys are the real kings of mashup. I can bearly get enough of them (laughs at own joke). They started out independently as college students trying to avoid being productive and have grown to become a superstar duo that has played alongside big names like Tiesto, Steve Aoki and Benny Benassi. Cuddly and hardcore at the same time, they are The White Panda.

Made up of Procast (Tom Evans) from Chicago and DJ Griffi (Dan Griffith) from LA, the two have managed five full-length albums together and 27 #1 singles on Hype Machine. Having graced the stages of festivals like Lollapalooza, Electric Zoo and Firefly, these two are doing big things even though they still may be considered "up and coming" in the music world.

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Even if you’re not freaking out about heading back to school like I am, their mixes are perfect for that end-of-the-summer party, bonfire or just dancing around the house with your best friend who you won’t see until Thanksgiving. Luckily for you, the entirety of their music, as well as daily mashups and mixes, are available for streaming and download on their website, thewhitepanda.com. Wow, talented and generous. Interesting combination.

Check out some of their most killer mixes, “Midnight Life,” “Stereo Hands,” “Mo Free Mo Fallin’,” “Cashin’ Dreams” and “Firefly,” the official song for the Firefly Music Festival this year!

Lesson 12.1: There is no such thing as being too hyped. And that’s the truth.

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