[ | | | 16 interested person(s) ]

Bit embarassed to even admit this but I was dragged to the Girl Talk show last night at Congress theater. Luckily for me I was able to get to the Bulls game before and didn't end up showing up till around 10:30 PM. Its the first time I've been to the Congress theater. Pretty cool historic spot even though its totally in disrepair, would be fantastic to have seen it when it was nicer. The Girl Talk show was sold out so the person that dragged me their who will remain nameless had to get the tickets on Craigslist. Its criminal that it was sold out because I can't count how many great DJ sets at Sonotheque have gone without ever being close to selling out.

In my opinion mashups are way over done. I do enjoy the novelty now and then and showing up last night I was expecting something along the lines of a DJ Z-Trip set. Well it wasn't anywhere close and I feel bad even comparing him to Z-Trip cause I have been to some very well crafted sets by Z-Trip who I hold in high esteem as a DJ.

This mess last night, and it was a mess, was nothing more than a drugged out american apparel ad. I thought there would actually be some DJing and I'm not talking scratching or pulling out some rare funk record, I knew that was not his deal. He plays mainstream suburban hits that every average white kid can recognize and mashes them together. I thought since he was using a computer and I would assume some type of mixing software that songs would actually like you know blend together or somewhat go together, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Maybe I am too old or just too snobby (and I was accused of being a music snob when I warned some what to expect from the show).

I assumed it was going to mainstream hits, I assumed it would be the largest collection of hipsters assembled in Chicago...what I had not assumed was that he wasn't going to make an effort to actually put tracks together in some type of cohesive set. I also had no idea how many goofy white people enjoyed this stuff. There was thousands of people there, Gillis (Girl Talk) claimed it was his largest show ever.

I think I just don't get it. I remain taken back by how raucous the show was and how out of control people got over some kid with no shirt on stage randomly switching indiscriminately through tracks on his computer. I love DJ sets and stuff mashed up using computers but last nights show was just so wrong on so many levels.

I would really like to hear from people that were there at the show last night to tell me THEIR thoughts.

Maybe I hade made up my mind before I showed up. I tried to approach it with an open mind and get into it but I found it to just be random garbage with no skill involved what so ever. He butchered classics and made good songs hard to dance to. Maybe its the rave/warehouse scene I never knew or understood that I was missing. I just simply do not get it.

16 interested person(s)

jeej said... @ 11/09/2008 06:29:00 PM

Girl Talk is fucking junk.

He's only bout 15 years late on the whole mash-up tip. But oh no, here he is with a double kick to the groin; 1. He's shit and 2. He's dragged his shit to the mainstream so the trendy kids can go "OMFG mad skillz! This shit is amazing!"

Not that I'm old and bitter or anything...


pepperstchn said... @ 11/09/2008 09:56:00 PM

I got there while the opening acts were still playing. I managed to get to about the fifth row of bodies by the time Gillis hit the stage. Although the area around the congress is Hipsterville, I saw a pretty good blend of people. I saw a lot of younger people there (I'm 19), but that really didn't surprise me.

The Congress needs a lot of work. The bathrooms had broken piss-troughs, the ceiling was crumbling and the PA's on the entire left side went silent half way though the show and I saw no one even attempt to examine the connections for a good 10 minutes.

As far as the music goes, Girl Talk isn't by any means highly skilled at techniques you could use to critique a DJ with-- but his music isn't aimed towards a person who is looking for solid transitions and flawless mixing. If that's what you're listening for, you're missing the point. As cliche as it sounds, it really is just a dance party. You get as close to the speakers as you can and enjoy snippets of recognizable, mainstream stuff put together into something coherent enough to dance to. It's creative, and fresh for people who are tired of monotonous DJ sets. I personally hate Lil' Wayne and all that garbage, but in that kind of atmosphere, I can let my ego go and just have fun with it.


turboslapper said... @ 11/10/2008 05:56:00 PM


people that think vinyl was just something that their grandpa collected are into that shit.

Dany said... @ 11/10/2008 09:19:00 PM

I am glad someone else out there sees through this bullshit. Girl Talk is a gimmick, and a lame one at that.

Editor: Bryan Parnell said... @ 11/13/2008 07:12:00 PM

I thought Sam made a really good point of how it is important to just let go sometimes, to be overwhelmed by the beat alone, and not stigmatize oneself to the cultural context associated with a certain Lil'Wayne hook.
Although this is a healthy exercise, I could not imagine devoting a musical career to being the guy who plays music to crowds that haven't necessarily explored musical patterning, such as soul, or funk, or break, and are accustomed to genres that are readily available, and can be consumed with little to no effort.
Being a Dj myself, there is almost nothing more disappointing than realizing that the crowd which is present on that certain night would more than likely be dancing to the radio they are so drunk. Not sure where Girl Talk finds the strength?

jeej said... @ 11/13/2008 08:46:00 PM

Girl Talk isn't alone in that. I was eagerly anticipating seeing Mix Master Mike at a Festival in 2006. I was severely underwhelmed when he proceeded to play all the club hip-pop dancefloor favourites straight from his laptop for an hour.

It was Mix Fucking Master Mike! I wanted to see the full routine!

Still, in all fairness, most the braindead crowd seemed to be loving it...


troy. said... @ 11/14/2008 09:59:00 AM

Here's an interesting review of the show in DC that tracks with a lot of what k. is saying, but also what Sam is saying. I have no opinion whatsoever (other than it's not the kinda party I'd wanna be at), just happened to read these back-to-back.


FEEZY DUZ IT said... @ 11/14/2008 06:56:00 PM

I wasn't overly impressed at anything but the massive crowd, even in dallas the dude had like 2500 people there, i couldn't fucking believe it. An older friend who is a vet dj loved it for some reason, and i just heard what i do at bottle service clubs for wanna be's, rich dudes, d bags, stipper/fake tit chicks. Its a really strange time for music right now, but i believe in 20 yr cycles and bad economies makes good music(last time was 88-92), so we should be in for the paradigm to switch back to good music being good, and not culture cons making bad music.

I guess i can see the rave scene thing in it, certainly not music wise, but a large gathering of people of similar age.

Jeff said... @ 11/18/2008 02:09:00 AM

i actually liked his first album there are some pretty nice combinations, and i actually paid money (yes WTF was i thinking) for Feed The Animals- i couldn't believe how terrible it was. i am convinced it is all a joke and that the title of the album is a diss to anyone stupid enough (like me) to buy it.

i had tickets offered to me to the sold out vancouver show and i let someone else go.

Girltalk won't ever touch what Z-Trip has already done.

malaf said... @ 11/18/2008 09:29:00 PM

I actually went to his show in January also, where the show was 50 times better.

This recent show just showed how overrated he is. His set was terrible, i got to the front row, and i have to say it wasn't worth the fight to the front. I hope i don't offend anyone when i say that his his mash-ups were shit that night. The only good set was Hollywood Holt, which was the first set.

Artmonster said... @ 11/19/2008 09:48:00 PM

I think the main issue here is that people place him in the DJ performance model due to the fact that he's playing other artist's music. In a completely different way, it's just as ludicrous as titling someone playing off an iPod at a bar as a "DJ". Is Ableton easy as fuck to use for "performance"? YES. But what most people who are waging in on the more traditional side of the great 'vinyl vs. Serato vs. Ableton' debate is that it is an entirely new type of performing, requiring an entirely new type of preparation, and an entirely new type of mindset while even thinking about putting sets together. If you're looking for the artistry involved in the craftsmanship of our culture's most respected DJs, you will be gravely disappointed when attending any Ableton based performance. I see Girl Talk as a hype artist, leaving no room for detail or subtly. Is it mature, intellectual, or romantic? FAR FROM. It's a giant play on pop-culture, which often times can be confused with playing it safe or selling out. I respect GT for what he is actually doing. He is truly an mixtape DJ. The games that are played within his mixes are really best enjoyed when on your own time and in a car or at home. And though he obviously has been known to PACK venues all over, and kill them thoroughly in the process, I still see his stage presence as merely recreating the feel of his CDs... And that is not a bad thing if you know why you're walking in there.

As with any type of art, time will move forward and he will either need to evolve or retire. I'm hoping for evolve since I DO think he has vision.

You just need to see his music for what it is; a cleverly layered composition, toying with some of the greatest and worst materials of contemporary pop-culture.

Z-Trip owns. He is a DJ. GT is a composer who uses the freedom of his technology to create bittersweet mayhem in an often crude manner.

DJG33KD0UT said... @ 11/20/2008 07:16:00 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJG33KD0UT said... @ 11/20/2008 07:27:00 AM

I completely agree with you and Sam.

I don't "hate" Girl Talk... I've listened to both his albums, but only once b/c there was no craving to listen again.

I learned to DJ using turntables, now I mix using a mixer/MIDI controller/laptop. So I can't really hate on using a computer per se. However, I still have a strong appreciation for the art of mixing/blending/harmony... regardless of how your achieving it.

Since all of my friends know I DJ still to this day, everytime a new friend finds out about GT I get the proverbial text/phonecall: "DUDE! have you heard of Girl Talk!?!?" or when I'm DJing there's always someone requesting him.

Because of this I've become rather frustrated with GT's hype due to the fact that he is in fact, not a DJ, and not even using a semblance of MIXING software.... its just a clusterfuck of mashups. In the end, I think I'm most annoyed with the trillions of hipsters who worship him who have never heard of such great DJs like: Diplo, Z-Trip, 2 Many DJs (Soulwax). Guys that are actually DOING WORK behind the mixer.

2 EXCEPTIONS: I will say I thoroughly enjoy the 2 songs where GT actually "remixed" a song by itself, i.e. focused on 1 song:
Girrzly Bear - Knife
Peter Bjorn John - Let's Call It Off


k. said... @ 11/21/2008 05:25:00 PM

im glad im not alone on this.

MEGABLOG said... @ 11/22/2008 05:56:00 PM

As much as anyone expressing their "art" is a good thing, this fool is nothing more than an over-produced biter, that only wishes he could have done what The Avalanches did, as well as they did it, and as artistically as they did it-recorded or live...

They didn't need to use recognizable songs to make amazing collages and were world renown, award winning turntablists...

Unfortunately, Girl Talk's real fans are the same lame asses that request played out crap cuts from the likes of Katy Perry and Akon when they get up in the club that has no 1's & 2's, only iPod jacks...

Pitiful, really...

Unlike your blog that is always interesting and well written-Thanks for that!



Joel Saladino said... @ 5/11/2009 11:43:00 AM

I first heard of GT when a band i used to play drums for "partsandlabor" opened for him.I have always felt bad for" parts and labor"because they sweat and fuss over everything they do and compose their music and worry about what they are saying which is why they aren't as famous as GT .It`s painfully clear that music is going to suffer as technology eats the soul of art.
I can`t believe a band like "yacht" if you can call them a band even tours? again Parts and labor opened for them. unbelievable to see these posers plug an 8th inch cable into the earphone jacks on laptops and ipods and kids react to the lowest possible quality mp3s you can find . Fucking dance to ringtones you clowns. i`m gonna tour the world holding my cell phone up to a 57 and watch everyone pour beer on each other. no one cares anyway. records,cd(16bit,),mp3s,ringtones? that`s what`s up

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