Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

    Girl Talk ‘a damn good time’

    Top 5 things to do before you die:

    1. See Girl Talk

    2. See Girl Talk

    3. See Girl Talk

    4. See Girl Talk

    5. See Girl Talk

    Greg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, a native of Pittsburg, Pa., has been mixing music since he was in college and quit his day job as a biomedical engineer earlier this year in order to pursue his music career. He has developed a party/dance-obsessed cult following over the past few years. Prior to his most recent album and also what has proved to be his breakthrough, “Night Ripper,” he released two other albums, the first being “Secret Diary” and later “Unstoppable.” While his first two albums worked well, it was on “Night Ripper” that Gillis had undoubtedly mastered and refined his craft.

    His craft is often poorly described as being “mashup” artistry. Girl Talk is far more than just mashups as a mashup usually only samples two or three songs, while a Girl Talk song samples between eight to 20 songs and does it much better than the average radio mashup. Gillis ruthlessly plunders the popular audio vocabulary, taking songs that everyone knows in a heartbeat and makes something entirely new. Although he does sometimes pull samples from more obscure gems, he mainly sticks to the top 40. All the while he links hits from all genres with a meticulous and deft hand, ultimately making viciously joyous dance music that is recognizable as well as truly unique.

    Right from the start, Gillis’ ear is always finely tuned to the kind of songs that stay stuck in people’s minds. As I sang along to a ’90s rock song that was playing while Gillis was setting up, he instantly asked, “What music is this playing?” to which I confessed that I didn’t know, offering Fuel as the answer. To this he said he thought that it was Third Eye Blind, as Fuel had a rougher sound: the man knows his music.

    Although his only instrument is his laptop, this most definitely does not detract from him being a performer. When asked about his experience performing at larger concerts, such as festivals like Bonnaroo and Virgin that took place this past summer, he confessed that he always prefers smaller venues.

    “At music festivals like Bonnaroo and stuff, they always need you to be on stage, which I really don’t like,” said Gillis. “It’s always a really weird experience to me, being separated from the audience like that.”

    At the beginning of his performance, he addressed the audience about his lack of a stage by saying, “Some people like to see a guy play his laptop, and hey, that’s cool, but I think we should just make this a party.”

    His philosophy on interacting with the audience is a refreshing and somewhat necessary one. Although the music would be just as fun to dance to, being on a stage separate from the audience would turn Gillis into a kind of DJ, which he refuses to be called; just look at the t-shirts he sells, which explicitly say, “I am not a DJ.” On the contrary, Gillis is as much a performer as any musician. He gives a performance as he dances and sweats with the audience and occasionally does antics throughout his show. By the end of the night, he was half-naked and the table on which he performed was soaking with sweat and covered with hair.

    Gillis offers a different kind of entertainment that is different from anything else in the current music scene. He sincerely cares about the enjoyment of his audience, as he politely asks how everyone is doing as the crowd drips in the sweat of dancing extremely hard. While most musicians perform on a stage, meant to be observed and appreciated separate from the audience, Gillis negates this as he is both the performer and a member of the crowd. The energy of the show is thus spectacular, and it sure proves to be a damn good time.

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