The Internet is chock-full of awfulness. It’s everywhere you turn. If you don’t believe me, simply scroll down after watching any YouTube video — seriously, ANY YouTube video — and you’ll encounter the very bottom of humanity’s communicative barrel. Just ask Josh Tillman, who recently sat down to respond to a few of the thoughts posted below a Father John Misty video (it’s worth watching — he kicks things off by aptly comparing YouTube comments to “shitting on your own face”).
But things aren’t all bad. There certainly are some Internet good guys out there, and I count Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij among their ranks.
Just a few days ago, Batmanglij marked his birthday on Twitter thusly:
It would be an awesome gesture regardless of where that Soundcloud link went, but his gift to us on his birthday — AHEM let me repeat that… his gift to us on his birthday — turned out to be a characteristically outstanding morsel of mashed-up pop reinterpretation. He’s just too damn good at this. It’s not fair. I still haven’t gotten over his “Call Me Maybe” vs. “Walking On Broken Glass” concoction, which, for me, stands head and shoulders above the horde of opportunistic remixes Carly Rae Jepsen unwittingly unleashed upon the world.
So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at how masterfully Batmanglij weaves Katy Perry’s unavoidable “Hot N Cold” in with Beirut’s beautiful and melodic tune, “Scenic World.” I should have known that clicking on the link in his birthday tweet would take me to a track that snatches an overplayed song from the jaws of pop triviality and gives it a new lease on life, with the help of shifting context. It really is a gift to encounter someone who can so deftly harness the newfound malleability of recorded music, and that fact that he shares this gift as a way of showing appreciation to his fans places him squarely in the You Hear That Internet Good Guy Hall of Fame (est. 11/30/2012).
Check out his “Scenic Cold” mix below, and if you dig it, click here to hear more of his handiwork.