Band name: The Hood Internet
Sound: The mash-up maestros are best known for merging indie rock backing tracks and hip-hop lyricists (Lupe Fiasco rhymes atop the Handsome Furs on one cut, while Devin the Dude mingles with Les Savy Fav on another) like a less frantic, more focused Girl Talk.
Claim to fame/need to know: Steve Reidell (a.k.a. STV SLV) and Aaron Brink (ABX), who first played together in the indie-pop band May or May Not, have worked in the studio with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan's GZA and Gary, Indiana-born rapper Freddie Gibbs. The Hood Internet, which recently released a free, self-titled compilation through its official website (thehoodinternet.com), plans to release a proper full-length, "Feat," sometime in 2012.
Interviewed: Steve Reidell, 32, Humboldt Park
Do you have anything special planned for these New Year's Eve shows?
We've sort of been spending this year stepping up our production game. There's a really cool light show. We've also prepared some special video content that's going to be projected during the show, and we're planning on building this impressive looking stage. It's just going to be a little more of an experience than your standard Hood Internet show.
Do you have a concept in mind for this stage you're building?
Well, in the past we've had this giant facade of an Apple IIe and now, this being the year of Steve Jobs passing, I think we're going to try and complete the vision of the computer. As a kid there was one scene in film that always fascinated me, which is at the end of "Superman III" with that giant supercomputer. This is me trying to recreate that.
Have you had any luck tracking down New Year-themed raps to mix for the show?
[Laughs] Are there any? Because I haven't. When we did Smart Bar a couple years ago we had that midnight moment, so we did drop an "Auld Lang Syne" remix. It ended up sounding like a New Year's version of Usher's "Love in This Club."
The cover image on this latest release was created with $465 worth of tacos from Taco Bell, and you recently posted to Twitter about your interest in a vintage Arby's sign. Why are you so fascinated with fast food culture?
There's just something about it. We spend a lot of time flying to one show, then driving between the next few before flying back, and a lot of times on the road fast food is what's available when hunger strikes. ABX and I both have a common interest in fast food. It's wild and amazing and disgusting. It's really a little bit of everything.
You guys do stray from the mash-ups this time around.
Yeah, there are no mash-ups. A lot of it is stuff that's already come out, so we've been referring to it as a compilation. We wanted to put it together for people as a primer, like, "Hey, in 2012 we're going to put out this new record we produced that has all these rappers and singers on there." It's getting people ready for that.
Can you tell me a bit about "Feat?"
We wanted to have that collaborative nature we imagine when we make Hood Internet (mash-up) tracks, like, "What if this person got together with this person and made a song?" Except it's actually happening.
Who have you worked with so far?
There's a new track where Tom Fec from Tobacco and Black Moth Super Rainbow sent us some unused stems from a record he's working on, and we messed around with those and then got in the studio with Psalm One here in Chicago.
It sounds something like a game of musical telephone.
Absolutely. That's the nature of it, and it's yielded some really good results. Overall, the whole thing feels kind of meditative. It's not a dance record by any stretch. I mean, I guess it could be, depending on how you dance.
Considering all the people you've worked with, I'm wondering who's the biggest name in your cell phone contact list?
I wish I could say Barack Obama, but I don't have his number. I do have Lil B the Based God's phone number, which is pretty huge to me.
So which is the better New Year's Eve: Hood Internet at Lincoln Hall or De Niro, Pfeiffer, Common and the rest of Hollywood in that terrible Garry Marshall movie?
Absolutely hands-down the movie. We simply don't have that kind of star power.
The Hood Internet
When: 10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Where: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $15 (Dec. 30), $25-$30 (Dec. 31), 773-525-2508
"Dirt (The Hood Internet & Zaid Maxwell Remix)" by the Hood Internet by redeye33
Steve Reidell (STV SLV) and Aaron Brink (ABX) personality test
What's the last album you bought?
ABX: "The most recent addition to my iTunes is 'Rated PG' by early-90s teen group Perfect Gentlemen."
STV SLV: "I purchased 4 Fugazi LPs from Dischord's website: 'Fugazi,' Repeater,' 'End Hits' and 'The Argument.'"
Song you've listened to on repeat recently?
ABX: Kanye West feat. Rick Ross "Devil In A New Dress"
STV SLV: The Kinks "Father Christmas"
Song you never want to hear again?
ABX and STV SLV: Chris Brown feat. Ludacris "Wet The Bed"
Best concert you've seen in the last year?
ABX: Nortec Collective from Tijuana playing in Rio De Janeiro in November
STV SLV: Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Metro in March
New band you don't know personally that deserves to be big?
ABX: Purity Ring
STV SLV: Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Favorite movie ever?
ABX: "Back To The Future 1 & 2"
STV SLV: "Parts: The Clonus Horror"
Chicago's best music venue?
ABX: The Hideout
STV SLV: Depends on the show you're seeing, but if it's a New Years Eve show this year I'd say Lincoln Hall.