Girl Talk directs dance party 

When Greg Gillis triumphantly took the stage, he told the audience “with this many young people in the audience, magic can happen.” After the hour I spent in anxiety, wondering if my pass into the show would stop fighting with her girl friend, it seemed only fair. It had been a rough crossing. But that's neither here nor there — it was magical, in the end.

Greg Gillis, or Girl Talk, is emphatically “not a DJ,” according to his T-shirt, but you wouldn't be faulted for thinking otherwise. He's a digital collagist and gleeful dance-floor populist, working in a genre (the mashup) pioneered on UK pirate radio and perfected by DJs like Diplo and Hollertronix. His recent and best album, 2006's “Night Ripper,” is a thrilling, if exasperating, spoof of a traditional DJ mix set. I say spoof, not because it aims for humor, but where a more traditional DJ aims for erudition and opacity in his samples, Girl Talk goes for the jugular. His “songs” are hook after thrilling hook, drawn from Top 40 and hip-hop radio (favorites include: Ciara, Three Six Mafia, and Notorious B.I.G.), all with beat and exhilaration as their MO. It's a bit annoying, after a while, no matter how witty his assemblage can be. It also seems to make for a terrible live show — without the sort of jazzy improvisation that turntablists like DJ Spooky rely on, what precisely, does Girl Talk do for 40 minutes?

He ignores performing altogether, and creates a mass bacchanal on and off the stage. The show began rather traditionally with a long set from Grand Serenade, a local drone-pop act, whose show resembled a long mashnote to the Walkmen (though, it could've just been the PA). But as Gillis took the stage, and played his overture (a collection of radio blurbs played over “Stay Fly”), the crowd slowly pulsed and then stormed the stage. As the night went on, the dancing got raunchier, and the beats got newer. Gillis may no longer strip down to his skivvies during performances, but a fertile pop summer has led to an invigorated new set — Rihanna, Clipse, and MIA shared the night with breaks from Elastica and 2 Live Crew. At worst, the new material sounded like any generic house remix of a pop song, notably, a boring tread through “I'm a Flirt,” and at best, like all of this summer's parties reduced to a powerful spell.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

Latest in Music Reviews

  • Cher in North Little Rock

    March 28, Verizon Arena
    • Apr 3, 2014
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 30

    The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago.
    • Oct 3, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation