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Story and photos by Andrew CorbisierIt was a sweaty one, a sweaty NYE Girl Talk set that is. Samples hacked apart with surgical precision, and the high energy stage presence of Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis) drove the dance floor to this damp state. The new LED screen combined with absolutely mad toilet paper blowers didn't hurt either. Needless to say, there was revelry. It was NYE after all!
Girl Talk's latest release All Day boasts an impressive 373 samples in a touch over 70 minutes. Some might consider this impressive sample list a performance danger, as I can only imagine I would lose track of all those sample options while mixing on my laptop, but Girl Talk juggles them like a center-stage pro-circus performer. And when he can go from Simon and Garfunkel to Skee-Lo in a couple short breaths all while providing a unique dance floor propulsion, then how can we not argue that he's a master "juggler" of samples?
Part of this juggling and mash-up of different musical styles is what makes Girl Talk so accessible to so many of his diverse fans. I couldn't help but be struck at how the crowd managed to avoid being pigeon-holed into a genre stereotype. It wasn't indie, it wasn't rave, it wasn't emo, it wasn't underground, it really was just a big group of people and an even bigger grab-bag of musical styles all masterfully mashed together. And with all the people dancing in the pit and on the stage, it was a reminder of why we all, at some point, love the radio and all its sugary pop center. It's a simple pleasure really, and one that Girl Talk was very willing to help us indulge in.
Honestly, it was a bit mind-bending to try and keep track of all the samples projecting out onto the dance floor, but I also believe that's what makes Girl Talk's shows such a unique pleasure to experience. As I mentioned above, it re-reminded me of why I loved radio, pop music, and just simply dancing, and of a time when wanting to hear a song wasn't as simple as punching it in on YouTube. A time when you had to tune into the airwaves and absorb all the aplomb of a not-quite-so fragmented music community, one distinctly lacking quite as much of the "I listen to cooler music than you"-vibe. Thanks Girl Talk for reminding all of us of the simple pleasures of live music.
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