The 'Shroom:Issue 125/Palette Swap

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Director's Notes

Written by: FunkyK38 (talk)

Shroom2017 FunkyK38.png

Hi, everybody!

First off, I'd like to apologize for last issue's mishaps. We had a few problems with the staff wiki, so some sections were trapped there and we couldn't get to them. Everything is fixed now, so please enjoy all of the sections we have to offer you this month! Additionally, I forgot to mention last month that Hooded Pitohui will be writing Mario's Boombox bi-monthly, starting this month, so you won't see it next month. Unfortunately, this month, Yoshi876 (talk) is writing his last Ongoing Fan Projects. You'll still see him in What's on the Box?, though, and if you'd like to write Ongoing Fan Projects, send us an application!

As I always say, if you'd like to write for us, we'd love to hear your ideas! Send a completed application to Tucayo on the forums, or if you have any questions, you can send them to me on the forums as well.

With that, please enjoy this month's sections! ~FunkyK38

Section of the Month

This month, Hooded Pitohui and the return of Mario's Boombox take first place in Section of the Month! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who voted, and please keep it up for this month, too!

Palette Swap SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Mario's Boombox 8 38.10% Hooded Pitohui
2nd What's on the Box? 6 28.57% Yoshi876
3rd Featured Character Artwork 5 23.81% Marshall Dan Troop
4th Ongoing Fan Projects 1 4.76% Yoshi876
4th Packy's Songs of the Month 1 4.76% Palkia47
Art Sections

Yoshi876 looks at the box art for the upcoming Rabbids crossover!
[read more]

Yoshi876 updates his list of fan projects!
[read more]
Music Sections

Read up on some Pokemon music!
[read more]

Take an inside listen of Bowser's Inside Story!
[read more]

Packy's back to school you on music!
[read more]



What's on the Box?

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

MarioRabbidsCover.jpg

Hello readers, and welcome back to What's on the Box.

I'll be honest with you, never in a million years did I ever think that I would be writing what I'm about to write. I'm ncredbily open about Mario merging with other game series, but this isn't one I ever imagined would happen. I thought an actual Nintendo crossover, baring Smash Bros. would be more likely, but still here we are, about to look at the boxart for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

There is a lot going on in this boxart, and features Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Rabbid Mario, Rabbid Peach, Rabbid Yoshi, Beep-O and Rabbid Kong in the background. And I presume, looking at the scenery that this takes place in the game's first world of Ancient Gardens. All of the hero characters are firing their weapons, apart from Rabbid Peach who is focused on taking a selfie, a word I genuinely never imagined would appear in literally any of my sections.

Something to note with this boxart is that half of the main characters featured on it are using their official artwork, and yet the other half aren't, although I can't say much for Beep-O, as I haven't seen any solo artwork for him. This brings the question as to why these characters are in different poses. For Luigi, it could just be that they wanted to show him in a combat situation, although why this hasn't applied for Rabbid Peach I don't really know. Another question is why is Rabbid Mario so far away from the others? It doesn't look like he's fighting the Rabbid Kong in the background, nor does it look like he's been thrown by the enemy.

For some improvements to the boxart, I feel like the artwork poses should have been standardized, as opposed to half have new poses, half keep their old ones. Also, perhaps have Bowser Jr. and Spawny in the background as opposed to the generic enemy, or boss, as they seem to be the main villains of the game.




Ongoing Fan Projects

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Hello guys, welcome to the Ongoing Fan Projects.

After an idea an Anton, it has been decided that the Ongoing Fan Projects will now cover all threads within the Fan Creations board, be it artwork, stories, or even 'Shroom section plugs. I hope you enjoy this new format. However, despite the new changes and freshening up of the section, I have decided that this will be my last Ongoing Fan Projects section. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope that this section returns to our newsletter soon enough. Thank you!

User Thread Description
Harold Roxby Super Mario Odyssey: Mario and Friends Edition Fan Comic Book (Fan Comic Review) A thread where Harold Roxby shows off a fan comic they are designing based around Super Mario Odyssey. The recent update introduces a fair amount of new characters.
Anton Anton's Half-Baked Reviews / Dear Anton A thread where Anton plugs his 'Shroom sections, and asks for feedback and ideas.
Magikrazy Magikrazy's song mashups A thread where Magikrazy shows off some song mash ups that he has created.
Super Mario Pink Gold Hi Guys, Check the New Mario Plushies Serie A thread where Super Mario Pink Gold shows off a video they have made using Mario series plushies.
PrinceLarryKoopa88 PLK88 Drawing/Music/Story Emporia A thread where PrinceLarryKoopa88 plugs the various platforms that he's active on, including YouTube and DeviantArt.
Subaru lord bowser's random art thread A thread where Subaru shows off some art that they have created. The recent update is a drawing of various Mushrooms that have appeared in the Mario series.
Niiue Niiue's Sprites A thread where Niiue shows off some sprites he's created. Taking a break from Paper Mario ones, this time we've got what he describes as a "parody shoot 'em up."
AintMyFault Hot Records (Reboot)-First Public Veiwing A thread where AintMyFault shows off what Hot Records might look like if he wrote it.
AintMyFault Super Mario Stories-Season 1 Trailer/AMA A thread where AintMyFault writes a Riverdale-themed story, but with Mario characters instead.
Hobbes Take Cover! (Cover songs 'Shroom section) A thread where Hobbes plugs his 'Shroom section, and asks for feedback and ideas.
K1-B0 gbatoad's gb-art-thread A thread where K1-B0 shows off some art that they have created.
Music Video 123 Super Smash Bros. Customs A thread where Music Video 123 plugs their DeviantArt, and shows off potential Smash Bros. matches if they allowed characters from everywhere.
Monster FTG's fan stuff A thread where Monster shows off some art that they have created. Recent updates include an altered Tubba Blubba, and SpongeBob SquarePants in a Paper Mario style.
Stargazing Stargazing's Art A thread where Stargazing shows off some art that he has created. The recent updates include Star's first attempts at digital drawings.
Turboo turbs chair thread A thread where Turboo shows off drawings that are currently not of chairs, although they are pretty good.
Snack Rideable Minecart High School, and other short stories A thread where Snack writes a variety of short stories.
woah Freakworld's Let's Plays A thread where woah shows off their Let's Plays. The recent update is of Touhou 16.
Meta Knight Meta Knight's stuff A thread where Meta Knight shows off some art that they have created. The recent updates sees himself, and other MarioWiki users as superheroes.
nico's #2 fan TPG's Art Thread (Current project: KG Aftermath A thread where nico's #2 fan shows off some art that they have done. The recent updates include their entries to the Art Contest, and some Killing Game aftermath.
NanoRim Nano's Drawings. A thread where NanoRim shows off some art that he has created. The recent update is of Mario's face.
Alex95 Alex95's Power Master Thread (Demo available!) A thread where Alex95 shows off some artwork from a game he's created. And now, the game is available for to play, check the thread for more details.
Koops Koops' Fanmade Paper Mario: plot twisted thread. (Sprites and explanations too). A thread where Koops shows off some sprites and writes a Paper Mario story. In the recent updates, it's been all story and no sprites.
Lakituthequick Lakituthequick's occaisonal art A thread where Lakituthequick explains how he made his fantastic awards presentations.

Mario's Boombox

Written by: Hooded Pitohui (talk)

First off, I would like to express my hope that the readers of The ‘Shroom are having a wonderful August. Secondly, I would like to give a proper introduction to this section. This is a bi-monthly section which, as readers saw last time, is going to present a video-game related song and analyze some aspects of it. I apologize for the fact that the first edition of this section was a bit rough, with some poor wiki-coding, obviously missing images, and other issues. I do appreciate the opportunity to write this section and continue to improve, and I hope to make this enjoyable for our readers. This being said, I’ll jump into this month’s featured song.

Seeing as how many of our North American and European readers are returning to their classes, I thought it may be a good idea to take a look at “Pokémon University” by the gaming musical group, Random Encounters. This is a wonderful musical in which Random Encounters’ ability to create pleasant songs which are chock full of references to their source material stands out. It’s always clear with this group’s videos that they have done their research, and their videos are full of references (to both the well-known and the obscure) which are sure to make fans smile. “Pokémon University” is another shining example of this dedication to research.

“Pokémon University” seems to be based around the fact that the title of “Professor,” which every region’s local Pokémon expert holds, would indicate that these experts are doing some amount of formal teaching. I must wonder if this video would have been created had the localization team stayed closer to the Japanese script of the games, where the title is “Doctor” rather than “Professor” (Professor Oak’s name in Japan is Dr. Okido, for an example). I suppose holding a doctorate implies that you perform or have performed some level of formal teaching. Either way, the Trainer’s School already exists, so this is a simple logical extension. Enough of my speculation, though; it’s time to jump into the analysis. As I noted earlier, this video was built around the professors, so, rather than try to document and detail the multitude of references and in-jokes featured in the video, I’m going to focus this article on analyzing the portrayal of the students and professors featured in the video.

After Professor Oak’s brief introduction to the “World of Pokémon” we get a rapid introduction to the students of Pokémon University. The four students shown here identify themselves as “Junior Trainers,” indicating that they’re members of relatively weak trainer classes with common Pokémon. A perfect fit for this song, these trainer classes are generally depicted as rookies who are working to learn the basics of being a Pokémon trainer. The students specifically identify themselves as a “Youngster, Beauty, School Boy, [and] Lass,” four trainer classes which fit the criteria of a junior trainer and are often found in or around Trainer’s Schools in the main series Pokémon games. Ultimately, the video does a great job of answering the question of how a college student might behave in the Pokémon World. The students perform mundane and relatable tasks like sitting around to discuss assignments and grades, but also remind viewers of the unique nature of their world as they discuss technical machines and berries.

Of course, the first professor the video introduces is the Kanto Region’s Samuel Oak. Oak may be an iconic part of the franchise, but he has never truly developed much of an interesting personality. Of course, fans have taken to portraying Oak in a variety of ways, ranging from an odd old man who can’t identify people’s genders to someone who monitors everyone, wherever they might be, to ensure that they’re not riding their bicycles indoors. Random Encounters seems to have mixed Oak’s legacy with the more humorous portrayal of Oak which circulates in the fandom. While Oak starts off the video with the standard “World of Pokémon” speech which starts off every main game in the series, he’s later shown as dangerously forgetful and a blunt photo critic. “Pokémon University’s” Oak ultimately provides a few references that dedicated fans of the franchise may enjoy, but doesn’t provide quite as much to discuss as the five other professors featured in the song.

The next professor featured in the song is Augustine Sycamore, the professor from the Kalos Region. Sycamore introduces himself by noting that he has a “course on fighting / It’s pretty darn exciting!” This portrayal of Sycamore as a researcher of Pokémon battling fits well with his characterization across the franchise. Sycamore studies Mega Evolution, a phenomenon which only occurs during battles, so it makes sense that he would have gained quite a bit of knowledge on how Pokémon fight. Viewers learn more about Sycamore’s battling course a bit later on in the video, when he assigns his students “papers judging Dragons versus Fairies,” a reference to the Pokémon franchise’s type matchups. A second look at Sycamore’s course comes from his last solo line in the song, where he informs his students that “There’s a test on battling Ghosts,” followed by a helpful reminder to not “forget the Silph Scope.” This is a reference to the key item from the original games which was required to battle the Ghost Pokémon in Pokémon Tower, and again ties nicely into Sycamore’s characterization as an expert on Pokémon battling.

The next professor introduced (more informally than the others) in the video is the Sinnoh Region’s professor, Professor Rowan. The two most notable aspects of Rowan’s personality in the Pokémon games are his curt attitude and his focus on researching Pokémon evolution. These characteristics are not quite carried over into Random Encounter’s portrayal of Rowan. Instead, his stern demeanor is used as a basis to portray Rowan as a sadistic professor who revels in failing his students. It’s not necessarily a faithful portrayal, but artistic liberties excuse it, as it adds a bit of additional humor to the video. The line “I hate every color but red!” sums up “Pokeémon University’s” Rowan quite well. Before leaving him completely, one other aspect of Rowan must be mentioned. At about two minutes and twelve seconds into the video, the professors are gathered in a teacher’s lounge-like area. During this scene, Rowan runs off with a large stock of food. While this could just be a simple gag, I would guess, based on Random Encounter’s track record of doing detailed research for their videos, that this is actually a reference to Rowan’s sweet tooth, as shown in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Examining Rowan’s fridge in these games, players find it to be, as Bulbapedia notes, “full of nothing but sweets and candy.” If nothing else, I suppose this part of Rowan did carry directly over to “Pokeémon University.”

Immediately after seeing Rowan for the first time, the students introduce viewers to the Johto Region’s professor, the hopelessly absent-minded Professor Elm. Now, in the Pokeémon games, Professor Elm is both a brilliant researcher of Pokeémon breeding (in Pokeémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, he’s credited with having discovered the Pokeémon Egg.) and a nerd who gets so caught up in his work that he ends up disorganized and forgets to eat. Elm’s personality is faithfully carried over to this video and is used as a tool to satirize some of the stanger aspects of the Pokeémon World. The students first introduce Elm with the statement that, “Professor Elm / became confused.” Elm shows of his awkwardness as he asks where his primary subject of study, Pokémon Eggs, come from. To be fair to Elm, it is repeatedly stated that no one has actually seen a Pokémon produce an egg. While that issue can be waved away as Game Freak having to keep the games appropriate for children, recent games have presented the possibility that Pokémon Eggs are not eggs at all, but some sort of cradle. The nature of eggs aside, viewers get to see the clumsy, absent-minded Elm drop his lecture notes and get attacked (presumably by a wild Pokémon) when he accidentally steps a bit too far into the [https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Tall_grass tall grass. Elm’s later appearances in the video aren’t quite made to show off his personality and don’t require much discussion, but it’s still a bit of fun to watch Elm excitedly lecturing about Mega Evolution in front of his crude illustration of the process. Elm’s awkward personality fits this musical video perfectly and leaves the Johto professor with some memorable scenes.

After Elm’s introduction, viewers first see Unova’s Aurea Juniper. Juniper has little screen time in the video, so her personality doesn’t receive much exploration or reference. All that can really be noted is that she seems fond of surprising the students outside of class by casually walking up and interrupting their other activities, whether that be playing a Game Boy or fighting. Although, her interruptions may benefit the students, as she seems to constantly be reminding them of upcoming due dates. Unlike her personality, Juniper’s focus of study is well-represented in the video. Juniper’s speech in Pokémon Black and White’s Chargestone Cave reveals that the focus of her research is “the origins of Pokémon and the era they appeared.” Immediately it becomes clear as to why Juniper is reminding students that their “Origin theses are due.” Juniper’s first line about a “Pokédex project” may seem, at first glance, to be a general reference to the franchise’s electronic encyclopedia, but further research reveals that the line is actually closely tailored to Juniper’s research. As conversations about Chargestone Cave and Celestial Tower reveal, information on Pokémon distribution over time is quite important to Juniper’s research into Pokémon origins. With the Pokédex providing location data on caught Pokémon species, Juniper would certainly benefit from the device’s data. Juniper’s appearances in the video may be short, but they do accurately convey the focus of her research. A similar situation occurs with the final professor featured in the video, Professor Birch.

Hoenn’s Professor Birch has one solo line in the song, but it does represent his personality and research interests. At one minute and thirty seconds into the video, Birch appears and advises a student in the field to use apples, rather than a Pester Ball in order to get the desired image of a wild Pokémon. As Birch is well known for studying Pokémon habitats and for doing hands-on fieldwork, it’s perfectly sensible for him to be out in the field showing students how to work in an open setting.

All in all, “Pokémon University” is a clever and light-hearted parody which uses and shows of the personalites of the professors quite well. The song is so enjoyable and full of references that even realizing how well the professors are actually integrated into the song is difficult without actively analyzing their roles in the song. In any case, it’s a clear love letter to Pokémon series, and any fan will appreciate it.



Game Soundtrack Reviews

Written by: Lord Bowser (talk)


Greetings, 'Shroom readers! This is Lord Bowser here with a new edition of Game Soundtrack Reviews for you all! Today, I'll be reviewing the soundtrack of one of my favorite Mario games; Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. It's a beautiful game in many aspects, and the soundtrack is definitely no exception!

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Bowsersinsidestorycover.jpg
Released USA September 14, 2009
Developer AlphaDream
Composer Yoko Shimomura

Yoko Shimomura, the game's composer, is actually the composer for the entire Mario & Luigi series, and as such is responsible for countless musical gems found within the series, Bowser's Inside Story of course included. She definitely earns my respect as a wonderful composer, and I'm glad she shows her talent so well within the series. But enough background information; let's get to the music!

Pictured: Me when I get to talk more about BIS

The first song you hear in the game is, as expected, the title screen theme. I like it because it just sounds like it's welcoming you to this fresh new adventure, which makes for a great opener in my opinion. Also early on in the game, you hear the themes for Toad Town and Peach's Castle; while I do like the theme for Toad Town, I'm not so much of a fan of Peach's Castle; the reverberating notes that play throughout the song just don't work well with me. I prefer the theme from Partners in Time by far. We hear Bowser's theme in the beginning of the game as well, and I enjoy it a lot; it really sounds intimidating. Afterwards, we hear the battle theme for Mario & Luigi; while right then it kind of kills the vibe set by Bowser's theme, it otherwise sounds pretty damn catchy with how silly it is. The battle victory theme is a cute jingle, pretty nice for such a frequently looping song.

After the intro, we hear the theme of Fawful as he tricks Bowser into eating a Vacuum Mushroom. I like the swanky feel they gave it, and I wish they did more with that sort of feel. After Bowser vores inhales the Mario Bros., they poke around in the Trash Pit within his body as the game's equivalent of the undergound theme plays, or at least the version inside Bowser does. That's actually a feature of BIS that I liked, how a lot of songs have different versions for the overworld and for inside of Bowser. The overworld versions sound more clean and natural, while the inside Bowser versions sound more muffled and... off, but in a good way, as if something was wrong.

The game's beginning actually debuts some of my absolute favorite tracks in the game, such as Cavi Cape's theme; I might be biased as this is what we hear when we truly play as Bowser for the first time, but I really like this theme, because it just sounds adventurous and gets you pumped. It makes for an excellent "first level" theme, though unfortunately a trek through here never lasts very long. We also hear Bowser's battle theme for the first time here. I like the military vibe it has; almost reminds me of the Shroobs from Partners in Time. When Bowser's flame pipe is blocked by a Scutlet, Mario and Luigi team up to battle it, while the game's boss battle theme plays. This is my favorite boss theme in the series, and it's notable for starting a trend for boss themes within the games; starting out fun and whimsical, then changing tone to a more dark and sinister song about halfway through. This is a genius idea, as it shows that the games can be lighthearted and serious simultaneously. My only complaint here was that this theme was used for every boss fight, bar the final boss; I wish some more bosses got their own original themes, because this song occasionally kills the mood of the fight.

Me when I'm in Blubble Lake

Moving on, we then hear Plack Beach's theme. It sounds pretty good too; reminds me of a beach party. Past Plack Beach is Dimble Wood, whose theme is one of the weaker tracks in the game. It sounds rather boring, and with Dimble Wood being such a large and frequented area in the game, it gets tiresome quickly. The same applies for the grassland theme, which plays in Blubble Lake and Bumpsy Plains. The song is just meh, and since it plays more often compared to other overworld themes, it can sometimes even get annoying. Blubble Lake is also where a potentially unpopular opinion of mine comes in; my dislike for the underwater theme. The notes in this song are very high pitched, and often annoy me because of it. I also don't like how this plays while you're controlling Bowser; if it was for Mario and Luigi, it'd be better, but as Bowser it just feels very conflicting, especially when his starkly-contrasting battle theme keeps playing as he battles enemies.

To make up for this, though, we're given Giant Bowser battles. These are the most hype battles in the game apart from the final boss, and the Giant Bowser theme makes it even better. It's a great remix of his normal theme, and helps to set the mood well. We then make it to Bowser's Castle, which has been overrun by Fawful and his army. The theme for Bowser's Castle illustrates this quite well, as it sounds more depressing and hopeless instead of the usual "alright let's DO THIS" vibe Bowser's Castle usually gives. It really exemplifies the dire situation Bowser (and in turn Mario and Luigi) is in, making it a nice tune. We hear more of this direness later in the game, with Fawful's secondary theme, also known as the Dark Star theme. It makes for some truly suspensful moments in the game. The most chilling tracks in the game, however, would have to go to the Peach's Castle Gardens theme, especially the inside Bowser version. They sound absolutely terrifying in comparison to the rest of the themes in the game, and would make good contenders for some of the darkest tracks in the series.

With how good these dark songs are, I can't blame him for humming.

At the end of the game, we have the Peach's Castle Interior theme. This sounds honestly very depressing, as if something close to you was lost forever. I love how they remixed Cackletta's theme in it, though. We then reach the Dark Bowser and Dark Star Core fight, with the insanely popular tune, In the Final. This is where another unpopular opinion of mine comes in; frankly, I find the final boss theme overrated. Don't get me wrong, it's a good song, but I think it gets lauded a bit too much at times. This is second to Partners in Time for me; the song that plays when fighting the final boss of that game outshines this. I did really like the game's credits theme; the medley of all of the common themes in the game was very well done. However, the game ends with one song after this, and it's almost tearful; the ending theme. This song, coupled with the final cutscene, make for a happy and emotional end for a fantastic game. I myself nearly cried at this part when I first beat the game, and I still do to this day; it's just so adorably done, and I can't help but feel really good inside while it plays.

Congrats, you made it to the end! Here's your reward!

And with that, my review of the soundtrack of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story comes to a close. It's a great game with (mostly) equally great tunes, and always worth a listen. Overall, I'd give the soundtrack an 8.5/10; mostly pretty solid, but with a few kinks that could be ironed out. Thank you for reading Game Soundtrack Reviews, and be sure to check back next month for some more rundowns of video game music!






Take Cover!

Written by: Henry Tucayo Clay (talk)

HI, everyone! I'm your nifty Statistics Manager, Tucayo, here with the August edition of Take Cover! It's been a very busy month so I won't bore you with a long intro and let's instead dive right into our covers.

Lollapalooza is currently one of the world's biggest music festivals; it started in 1991 as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction, and for the next six years it toured the US, mostly featuring artists that were not considered "mainstream". But the 1996 edition meant the demise for this inception of the festival; in it, Metallica was slotted as a headliner, which deviated from the vision the festival's founders had for it and caused the 1997 edition to be a flop. This "touring" format was tried to be resurrected in 2003 but it failed as well. It was until 2005 when the current format was adopted and "Lolla" made Chicago its home. In the next years the festival would expand as well to Paris, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Sao Paulo, but the Windy City remains home to the largest edition. The 26th official edition of the festival took place this August, with Muse set to headline the first day; however, severe storms in the area caused the entire venue to be evacuated (explicit) a few songs into Muse's set, much to the displease of the concert-goers. The rest of the festival would go on as planned, but tens of thousands were left wanting to see Muse live. The Killers headlined the next day, and paid a small tribute to the British band with a cover of Starlight, a staple of Muse's concerts. Brandon's and Matt's vocals are vastly different, so it would be unfair to expect an identical cover, but I dare say Brandon does a good job and it was a very nice gesture from The Killers.

We didn't have any video game music last month so let's look at a cover medley from one of my all-time favorite games, the 1995 masterpiece, Chrono Trigger. There are endless covers of the game's music, which is definitely to be expected for such a terrific soundtrack. It was hard to settle for one, but I decided to go with Kentaro "Prof." Sakamoto's piano medley. Aside from a kick-ass wardrobe, Sakamoto has a fair share of video game covers, such as his Super Mario Bros. 3 medley. Our medley at hand combines four of Yasunori Mitsuda's compositions for the game, a brilliant composer who has even worked in the Mario series (if only for Mario Party). Anyway, the four pieces in this medley are, in order, Battle with Magus, Boss Battle 2, Robo's Theme, and the magnificent Chrono Trigger (A.K.A. the Main Theme). Choosing a single cover/medley of CT's music to feature was extremely tough, the one that barely made it in but which still fully deserves to be listened is VGOOnline's orchestral medley. I could listen to the game's music for hours and hours. And just because I really like you I'll give you a bonus mashupt4FcZD2.png of Robo's Theme and a timeless classic.

Mashups are covers' awkward cousin, so to leave you with a bit of awkwardness this month, I give you a mashup of Drake's Hotline Bling and the Wii Shop music for something that works unexpectedly well. Enjoy.


Packy's Songs of the Month

Written by: Palkia47 (talk)

Issue100 palkia.png

Hey everyone, I'm finally back! My sincerest apologies for not having Songs of the Month in July's issue of the 'Shroom; with the staff wiki going down, I had no way of retrieving and finishing my work until the wiki came back up days later. But hey, I'm here now, and that's all that matters, right? Right?! ...help?

Either way, this section is going to be a super long one, similar to how June's was. This time, however, I have with me what was supposed to be July's section, along with August's section! The first ten songs listed below are my ten from July, and are written the way I had them back in July; nothing has been changed to them whatsoever. The ten songs below that, then, are for August's section!

I don't have much more than that, honestly, but I did want to showcase that I made a thread over on the Marioboards for this section in the Fan Creations board - here is a link to that topic! The OP basically features a listing of the songs from each section. My other intention with that topic is I would love for you guys to request songs for me to listen to, and to possibly feature in Songs of the Month sometime in the future - I'm always looking for new music to add to my Spotify playlists and, if I like them enough, to use for Songs of the Month. So please, if you have any songs that you would like for me to hear, please suggest them to me in that topic! Thank you guys! I hope you enjoy this month's section! <3

De La Soul - And The Anonymous Nobody.png De La Soul featuring David Byrne

So I'm kicking off this month's section with something a little different from the songs I've shown off previously - we're going to take a dip into the genre of hip-hop with one of the best hip-hop groups out there, De La Soul. A trio from Long Island, NY, that has been together since 1987, De La Soul's latest release was the Kickstarter-backed 2016 album and the Anonymous Nobody..., their ninth studio album. My introduction to De La Soul was from their collaboration with Gorillaz on "Superfast Jellyfish", but this is the first actual De La Soul song I've heard. "Snoopies", the eighth track from and the Anonymous Nobody..., features legendary frontman David Byrne of the Talking Heads. "Snoopies" is a rather strange song, and is essentially made-up of two parts: two very atmospheric, almost new wave-reminiscent bits by David Byrne, and two hip-hop sections by De La Soul that follow every Byrne verse.

and the Anonymous Nobody...
Snoopies
UnitedStates.png United States
Hip hop
A.O.I., Kobalt
2016
MisterWives - Our Own House.png MisterWives

So my self-adopted brother, MCS, and I have had a long-running project going on on Spotify where we regularly share "batches" of 12-13 songs with each other; MisterWives' "Reflections" is the first song from that project that I am sharing in this section, and man, it's a good one. It fits the feel of summer pretty well - it sounds like a traditional indie-pop song, and sounds like something you might typically hear in the summertime. The lead single from MisterWives' debut album, Our Own House, "Reflections" was written by lead singer Mandy Lee, and features some relatively basic and simple instrumentation. The real gem of the song comes from Lee's vocals, which are considerably... difficult to understand, truthfully, but the chorus in this song is brilliant and the song ultimately builds up to a climax where Lee absolutely lets loose, and it's incredible; it's some of my favorite vocals I've ever heard.

Our Own House
Reflections
UnitedStates.png United States
Indie pop
Photo Finish
2015
The Go-Betweens - Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express.png The Go-Betweens

The only pre-2000s song I have for this month comes from an indie rock group from Australia named The Go-Betweens. Formed by college buddies Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, The Go-Betweens released their fourth record, Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express, in March of 1986 with the lead single "Spring Rain" coming just a month prior. The songs sound reminiscent of something coming from the 60s, and features a fairly hollow-type of sound; Forster once stated that the song reminded him of Creedence Clearwater Revival, by way of, "just the music and the way that chorus is especially. And there's a simplicity to it; a beauty to it. It's one of those happy things where you really like something like a group and it might take you years and years till you write something in that vein and suddenly you see it. I've heard a couple of Go-Betweens tunes ranging from a couple different albums, but this one is easily my favorite.

Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express
Spring Rain
Australia.png Australia
Rock, pop
Beggars Banquet Records
1986
OK Go - Hungry Ghosts.png OK Go

Courtesy of both MCS and MCD's playlist, I've been able to dabble a bit in OK Go's music for the first time, and this is both my favorite OK Go song thus far and probably one of the catchiest songs I've heard since I've begun this section. The song has a strong disco-vibe to it; frontman Damian Kulash stated that it came from "evoking the style of Jackson Five and Diana Ross". It's pretty groovy and features, in my opinion, one of the neatest music videos I've ever seen; recorded as a one-shot in double time (which is apparently common for the band's music videos), and in this video, a multirotor aerial drone follows the band and several hundred dancers on personal transportation devices performing very complex and intricate choreographed routines. The ending, truthfully, is incredible, and is worth the watch as much as the song is worth the listen.

Hungry Ghosts
I Won't Let You Down
UnitedStates.png United States
Electronic rock, power pop, disco
Paracadute, BMG
2014
Caravan Palace - Robot Face.png Caravan Palace

This might be my favorite song that I've discovered from MCD's playlist as of yet. Caravan Palace is an electro swing band based out of Paris, and finally made their first impact outside of Europe in 2015 with the release of Robot Face, alternatively known as <|°_°|>, which charted at number 3 on the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums and number 5 on the US Top Heatseekers Albums. "Lone Digger", released as the second single from the album, features an almost... carnival-esque vibe to it, thanks to the wide array of instruments that some of the band member play; these range from the violin, vibraphone, trombone, saxophone, and the clarinet. The song goes through a few different phases before repeating - it begins with the circus-y intro, followed by a mellow and slow vocal by vocalist Zoé Colotis, before becoming a full-on vocal-fest that sounds reminiscent of something you'd hear in a hip-hop-type song. It's a wicked great song, and overall it might be my favorite from this month.

Robot Face
Lone Digger
Flag of France.png France
Electro swing
Wagram Music, MKVA, Le Plan Recordings
2015
The Chemical Brothers - Push the Button.png The Chemical Brothers

Keeping with the trend of moving towards different genres, I developed a love for another tune from MCD's playlist: The Chemical Brothers' "Galvanize", from their 2005 album Push the Button. The Chemical Brothers, an electronica duo formed in England in 1989, are widely considered as one of the pioneers at bringing the "big beat" genre to the forefront of pop culture. "Galvanize" was my introduction to the duo (not real brothers, by the way), and, next to "Lone Digger", it's probably my other favorite track from MCD's playlist. It's kind of an interesting mix of hip-hop/big beat and electronica music, and it features rapping by Q-Tip, a member of legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.

Push the Button
Galvanize
Britain.png Britain
Big beat, alternative hip hop, electronica
Virgin, Freestyle Dust, EMI
2005
Madaila - Traces.png Madaila

A local group from Vermont that I fell in love with over a year ago after being introduced to them by a friend of mine, Madaila released their second album, Traces, late last year, and man oh man is it a fantastic one. Madaila's kind of a strange bag, with a mixture of psychedelic pop and almost blue-eyed soul. After falling in love with this album last year and getting it for Christmas, I kind of left it alone for a little bit because it eventually became exhausting with how much I listened to it, but I finally revisited the album a few months ago and it's still as amazing as I had remembered. "Excelsior" is arguably my favorite song on the album - it's basically one of the tamest tracks on the record, but it perfectly captures the heavy-synth/psychedelic sound Madaila has built a foundation one with their first albums, and I sincerely hope that these records are only the beginning of a breakthrough band from little ol' Vermont.

Traces
Excelsior
UnitedStates.png United States
Psychedelic pop
Future Fields
2016
Marina and the Diamonds - FROOT.png Marina and the Diamonds

Can we please take a minute to recognize just how incredible and perfect Marina Diamindis is? Discovering this song came to fruition thanks to both MsRetroGeek and MCD; Geeky for introducing me to Marina and the Diamonds through "How to Be a Heartbreaker" and "Bubblegum Bitch", and MCD for having "Froot", among a couple other Marina and the Diamonds songs, in his enormous playlist. "Froot", probably my favorite Marina song so far, is a perfect mix of synthpop and disco music, and gives off a loud and bombastic sound that genuinely makes you want to get up and dance. Not that I dance. I don't. Don't take that advice from me. PLEASE.

FROOT
Froot
Wales.png Wales
Synthpop, disco
Neon Gold, Atlantic
2015
CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe.png CHVRCHES

I'm not nearly as big of a fan of CHVRCHES' The Bones of What You Believe as much as I am Every Open Eye, but Bones still has some incredible tracks that rank among the very top of their discography - "The Mother We Share", "We Sink", "Gun", "Lies" (my personal favorite CHVRCHES song), "Recover", and "Lungs", just to name a few - and this track, "Tether". "Tether" was the seventh and last single released from the album, in late March of 2015, and, honestly, it took me a little while to grow to like this song (which was annoying, because it's between "Gun" and "Lies", probably the two best songs on the album). Safe to say now, however, that I find this song absolutely incredible; it starts off very slow and is rather ballad-y for CHVRCHES, which isn't really something they do very much, but it escalates into a full-fledged synth-fest that's perfectly complemented by Lauren Mayberry's vocals and Iain Cook and Martin Doherty's backing vocals.

The Bones of What You Believe
Tether
Scotland.png Scotland
Synthpop, indie pop
Virgin, Goodbye
2013
East India Youth - Culture of Volume.png East India Youth

Another artist I've discovered courtesy of MCD's playlist, EAST INDIA YOUTH continues and wraps up the trend of heavy-synth songs of this month; "HEARTS THAT NEVER" is arguably the best of the lot that I've heard from the CULTURE OF VOLUME album, and boy, it's a long and complicated one. The synth-work is eerily reminiscent of something Kraftwerk would do, and it's absolutely beautiful. Although EAST INDIA YOUTH's vocals aren't particularly as strong, the synth work makes up for it, and there's an unexpected twist and change in the synths like every 30 seconds. It's pretty hard to describe this song, honestly, and I think it's best for you, the listener, to give it a go and come up with your own opinion on this one - it's a ride, for sure.

CULTURE OF VOLUME
HEARTS THAT NEVER
Britain.png Britain
Indietronica, synthpop, experimental, ambient
XL Recordings
2015

A friendly reminder: what you just read was supposed to be July's section, and the songs following this message are for August's section. I'm really happy with these batches, and August's section features the first time I've taken two songs from the same album in the same month! So, exciting stuff, I guess! Either way, I hope you all enjoy, and I'll see you guys next month! Love you guys! <3

Red Vox - Reno.png Red Vox

With Red Vox's upcoming album officially delayed for a few more months, fans will have to wait a little bit longer - but, the news on July 2nd also brought us a brand new Red Vox song! The third song released from Another Light, "Reno" features a heavier, edgier, and grittier sound than what's come from Vinny and Red Vox; the closest thing I could probably compare this to is "Hazy" on What Could Go Wrong, their first LP. The rumor is that there was supposedly a song they recorded while the band was completely drunk, and it is apparently this song; if that's the case, holy sheesh, they killed it. This is arguably better than "From the Stars" and "In the Garden", the other two songs released from this album, and it further builds my excitement and expectations for this album. Friendly reminder, as I mentioned in the very first Songs of the Month: this is the same guy that makes Teletubbies noises when he's angry.

Another Light
Reno
UnitedStates.png United States
Rock
Independent
2017
MisterWives - Connect the Dots.png MisterWives

The jump from MisterWives' first album and "Reflections", which was highlighted in the ten songs outlined up above, to their second record and "Machine" is absolutely astonishing. The production value has been upped considerably, the band has a completely different sound ("Machine" is a much heavier song and definitely more experimental than "Reflections"), and oh boy, Mandy Lee's vocals have definitely changed, just in the matter of two years. Released as the first single from Connect the Dots, "Machine" has a sense of a rebellious nature about it - the way I've interpreted it is the song stands for feminism as Lee voices her displeasure towards being part of a "machine" ("We're not, we're not part, we're not part of your machine"), before the song eventually reaches its climax: a rap-section by Lee that seems to perfectly summarize her issues: "'Cause I'm a tough girl, I run my own world; And if you don't like it there's the door, if you haven't heard; I ain't got no interest in your business; Just here for the music and there's nothing else to this bullshit!"

Connect the Dots
Machine
UnitedStates.png United States
Indie pop, alternative dance
Photo Finish, Republic
2017
The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.png The Decemberists

The Decemberists are one of those really unique and fascinating bands that I've been meaning to listen to more, but just have never gotten around to doing. Formed in Oregon in 2000, the group has widely become known for two significant characteristics: their lyrics focus heavily on historical incidents and/or folklore, while their live shows are absolutely unbelievable; they typically act out silly reenactments of battles and other centuries-old events. Released in January of 2015, "Cavalry Captain" is the second track on the band's seventh and, at the moment, latest album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, and it's a pretty nifty and catchy little tune. It's a relatively standard indie folk song, and features some fantastic instrumentation and vocals.

What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
Cavalry Captain
UnitedStates.png United States
Indie rock, folk rock, indie folk
Capitol, Rough Trade
2015
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid.png Elbow

When I first heard this song on MCD's playlist, I didn't realize just how well-known it actually was. It's not, like, worldwide, but it's definitely found its way into different media. The second single from Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid, "One Day Like This" has a very obvious anthem-feel to it, with lead vocalist Guy Garvey stating that the band believed the song sounded similar to Primal Scream's "Loaded" and The Beatles' "Hey Jude". "One Day Like This" has actually gone through a series of success: in May of 2009, the song won the Ivor Novello award for Best Song, in October of 2011, NME ranked the song at number 41 on its list of "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years", and the song was played live by Elbow during the 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony, and peaked at #4 in the UK shortly thereafter, a new high for the song and for the band.

The Seldom Seen Kid
One Day Like This
Britain.png Britain
Art rock, symphonic rock, baroque pop
Fiction
2008
Foster the People - Sacred Hearts Club.png Foster the People

Ohh, Foster the People... what am I going to do with you? I've been a Foster the People fan for awhile - Torches, their first album, is arguably one of my favorite records ever, and Supermodel is okay for the most part, and has some pretty strong tracks. After taking a few years off and going through a line-up change, Foster the People finally announced the release of Sacred Hearts Club, and we were given the three-song EP III as a preview of what was to come from the album; I covered "SHC", the best of the three songs, a few months ago in May's section, and I dismissed the other two tracks, "Doing It for the Money" and "Pay the Man". Eventually, July 21st rolled around and Sacred Hearts Club was finally released, and I gave the album a full listen shortly after midnight after its release... and my god, what an absolute mixture of amazing indie pop music and absolute GARBAGE. Prior to the release of Sacred Hearts Club, the first singles from the album were released: "Loyal Like Sid and Nancy", which might be one of the worst songs I have ever heard in my life, and "Sit Next to Me", which ranks as probably my third favorite song from the record. It's actually a surprisingly solid pop song, and probably the most beautifully-crafted track on the album. It's probably the most radio-friendly song on the album that I'd actually want to, you know, LISTEN to. Not the other garbage.

Sacred Hearts Club
Sit Next to Me
UnitedStates.png United States
Indie pop, indietronica, synthpop, neo-psychedelia
Columbia
2017
White Denim - Stiff.png White Denim

Alrighty, so ANOTHER band introduced to me via MCS! However, White Denim comes with a twist - just about every Nintendo fan has heard at least one of their songs, and they just don't realize it yet. White Denim's 2016 album, Stiff, features a song titled "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)", which was used for the Nintendo Switch reveal trailer back in October of last year. I've heard the first few songs off of Stiff since then, and the first single, "Holda You (I'm Psycho)" is easily my favorite. It's very Creedence Clearwater Revival influenced, and displays a very southern rock-inspired sound. "Holda You (I'm Psycho)" showcases some really slick guitar work, and this live version recorded for World Cafe is incredible. James Petralli's vocals are absolutely incredible.

Stiff
Holda You (I'm Psycho)
UnitedStates.png United States
Indie rock, garage rock, southern rock
Downtown
2016
Paul McCartney - New.png Paul McCartney

I can't lie, I'm a die-hard Beatles fan; I grew up on them, and they were the first group I REALLY got into back when I first dived into music in 2008. Safe to say, when SiriusXM unveiled The Beatles Channel, I was absolutely ecstatic, and, thanks to that channel, I've been able to experience some deep album cuts from the four Beatles' solo careers that I had never heard before. Oddly enough, one of those songs came from an album I own but I still have not heard the album in full: Paul McCartney's most recent album, New. The album features "Queenie Eye", which ranks as one of my all-time favorite Paul McCartney songs, and the title-track, "New", which I remember being absolutely infatuated over when that single was released; but the pick for this month is "I Can Bet", a tune I got to hear on The Beatles Channel for the first time a few weeks ago. "I Can Bet" is one of Paul's better recent tracks, and sounds like it could've come from the 1970s Wings-era. It's a bit strange describing this song - the instrumentation and vocals sound a little distorted, but that adds to the charm of this song.

New
I Can Bet
Britain.png Britain
Rock, art rock
Virgin EMI, Hear Music
2013
Foster the People - Sacred Hearts Club.png Foster the People

And then there's "Static Space Lover". Coming into Sacred Hearts Club, at least five songs had been released to the public, leaving seven songs to be discovered by listeners on July 21st: "I Love My Friends" (in my opinion, the fourth-best song on the album), "Orange Dream" and "Time to Get Closer" (both incredibly short, but good, songs), "Harden the Paint" and "III" (two slow, atmospheric songs that don't really do much of anything), "Lotus Eater" (literally an alt-rock sounding Foster the People song, and, again, not really anything special here), and "Static Space Lover". After giving the album a listen shortly after its release, three songs bounced around in my head as my possible favorite song from the album: "Sit Next to Me", "SHC", and "Static Space Lover"; eventually, I decided on this one as my favorite from Sacred Hearts Club. To my knowledge, it's the only Foster the People tune to feature a guest vocalist (an uncredited Jena Malone), and has sometimes been referred to as "Christmas-sounding music". Either way, it's catchy, and, after "SHC", probably embodies the typical, standard Foster the People sound that made them popular with Torches. Mark Foster's vocals are really nice and crisp in this song, and there are some genuinely nice harmonies given in this track. If only the rest of the album could've been like this, "SHC", and "Sit Next to Me", but alas.

Sacred Hearts Club
Static Space Lover
UnitedStates.png United States
Indie pop, indietronica, synthpop, neo-psychedelia
Columbia
2017
Electric Light Orchestra - Xanadu.png Electric Light Orchestra

Back in June's issue, I stated that the things that have been set in stone for me, for at least the past year, have been my favorite band, my favorite song, and my favorite album (which is CHVRCHES' Every Open Eye). Now, it's time to showcase my all-time favorite group for the first time in this section: Electric Light Orchestra. ELO has been my favorite band for at least the past 6-7 years, and my god, they're absolutely brilliant. Jeff Lynne, the frontman and essentially the mastermind behind the group (lead vocalist, guitarist, writer, producer; basically, Jeff Lynne is ELO) is one of my favorite people in the world, an idol of mine, and my favorite musician ever. For the last six years I've been hunting down every possible ELO CD I could find (essentially, I was amassing a collection) and I was able to hunt down physical copies of every CD entering 2017 but one - and that changed at the beginning of June. I finally found Xanadu, the 1980 soundtrack to a horribly-flopped musical by the same name; the movie and soundtrack heavily feature Olivia Newton-John, but the latter half of the soundtrack are chalk full of amazing, original ELO songs. Between the fact that the turn to the 1980s began to mark the end of one of the most popular groups of the 1970s, and Jeff Lynne disowning the material he wrote for Xanadu shortly after its release due to the movie's terrible showing, resulted in the material on Xanadu falling quickly out of the public's eye (although the title song was a #1 hit for Newton-John, and was written by Lynne), which is awful because ELO's songs are incredible, and showcase the transition from their disco-heavy Discovery album just a year prior to their progressive/synth-driven Time that would come out a year later. I had to think about this one for awhile, because "The Fall" is just as equally amazing as this one, but "I'm Alive" is so catchy and it's always been my favorite song from this album. Lynne's vocals are as stellar as ever, it's essentially the group's final dip into disco-styled music, and, hey, this song did actually chart at #16 in the US, and #20 in the UK, and the group was actually awarded a gold record in the US from the Recording Industry Association of America. Not bad for a song that's become buried in ELO's massive discography.

Xanadu
I'm Alive
Britain.png Britain
Pop rock
Jet, MCA
1980
George Harrison - Brainwashed.png George Harrison

My infatuation with George Harrison continues into August, and what more fitting way to wrap up this long section than with George Harrison's final song? The ex-Beatle made an incredible comeback in 1987 with Cloud Nine and a #1 hit in "Got My Mind Set On You"; unfortunately, fans would have to wait quite awhile for a follow-up. Business problems with Harrison's former manager, alongside his work with his supergroup Traveling Wilburys, Ravi Shankar, and the work on the Beatles' Anthology, resulted in progress being delayed regularly; Harrison then suffered through personal, health issues - he successfully battled throat cancer in 1997, was attacked, stabbed several times, and suffered a punctured lung by a crazed fan at his home, and then underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth from his lung in 2001. However, the cancer had spread to his brain and the situation was ultimately deemed irreversible. Harrison spent his final months working on Brainwashed, the follow-up to Cloud Nine, in conjunction with his son Dhani and his old friend, collaborator, and Traveling Wilburys bandmate Jeff Lynne (yes, the same Jeff Lynne mentioned above as the frontman of ELO). Harrison passed on November 29th, 2001, and both Dhani and Lynne spent months away from the project before returning and added the appropriate instruments, per Harrison's instructions and specifications that he left before his passing, and the album was finally released almost a year later on November 18th, 2002. Brainwashed is absolutely brilliant, featuring some of Harrison's best work ("Any Road" was nominated for a Grammy, while "Marwa Blues" won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 2004), but the one I'm going to highlight here is the title and closing track, "Brainwashed". "Brainwashed" essentially lists a bunch of things that people are brainwashed by and, well, it's really true and really sad. It's rather difficult to explain, and it offers even more of a sentimental feeling considering it's the very last song of Harrison's discography, but the song comes full circle and wraps up beautifully with a concluding prayer, the "Namah Parvati", a mantra dedicated to the Hindu goddess Parvati (Harrison followed Hinduism for a large chunk of his life, something that would become incredibly important for the Beatles during their time together). It's a really nice rocker of a song, features some quirky vocals from Harrison, and, again, it's kind of simultaneously a silly and sad song.

Brainwashed
Brainwashed
Britain.png Britain
Rock
Dark Horse/EMI
2002


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