Words By DJ Sorce-1
“This is some of the wildest shit I’ve ever heard,” an email from my friend said. “It’s from this dude named Girl Talk who I guess performs live half-naked. It’s some crazy ass mash up shit. I can’t really describe it, you just need to listen to it.”
Immediately when I read the words “mash up” I cringed. That phrase has been beaten to death like a baby seal. And most of the music that falls under the mash up umbrella sucks. But I trust my friend Matt’s taste in music, so I gave the Girl Talk album Night Ripper a listen one night while toiling away at my computer lab job this past summer (Previously reviewed by Ian M. “Never Has The Top 40 Sounded So Familiar”).
I immediately loved the album. And it was some of the wildest shit I’d ever heard. What surprised me the most as I kept listening was that I hated about 50% of the songs by themselves. But somehow Girl Talk was able to take a bunch of mediocre pop records and work them into something incredible. By the time I heard the Ying Ying Twins saying “Wait ‘til you see my dick” over The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, I knew this album was going somewhere I’d never been before.
It’s hard to really describe this album without using a bunch of cliché’s and overused phrases, but the most important thing I can tell you about Night Ripper is that it is fun to listen to. If you sit down with a pen and pad taking notes, you will find the album is very carefully put together and well crafted. Every transition and mix has a purpose. But that isn’t the point of Night Ripper. It’s not a CD to be discussed with some intellectual types. It’s the type of joint that’s going to make you want to take tequila shots and start a sweaty, half naked dance party in your basement.
It’s important to have albums like Night Ripper that remind us to stop taking ourselves so seriously and just have fun. Who cares if the some of the samples come from musicians we don’t like? It’s a cool idea that is well executed and fun to listen to.
I was lucky enough to get Girl Talk to take a few minutes to break from his busy schedule, which includes a recent performance at the Coachella music festival, and answer some questions about his musical tastes, performing live, and getting his teeth knocked out by peoples shoulders.
Shotguns: Ten Quick Questions with Girl Talk
1. How did you come up with the name Girl Talk?
Girl Talk: It’s a reference to an early Merzbow side project.
2. Name five of your favorite artists.
It’s really impossible for me to list my top 5 ever, but here are my top 5 artists I’ve been listening to on this Monday morning at work:
5. Elliot Smith
3. Public Enemy
2. Wu-Tang Clan
1. White Williams
3. What three recording artists do you want to produce or do remixes for?
2. Justin Timberlake
1. Lil’ Mama
4. I’ve noticed that a lot of your samples come from southern rappers. Can you explain the significance of southern rap in your live sets and studio albums?
I sample whatever I’m listening to. I try out a lot of different combinations, and whatever I’m into makes the final cut. It’s as easy of that. So for the use of southern rap music, it’s just what I was enjoying at the time.
5. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you about your music?
People have told me that they met their boyfriend/girlfriend at shows of mine. A couple also asked me to play their wedding. I can’t remember any individual quotes, but I’m really taken aback when the music really affects peoples’ personal lives.
6. You’ve done countless live shows. Is there one show that was
particularly memorable and stands out as your favorite?
It’s tough to pick a favorite. Back in around 2004, I did a show in New York City at Bar 169 (I think?) where it was basically a bunch of my good friends and I performing. There were maybe 100 people there. It just felt like a party amongst my buddies rather than show. Everyone got wild.
7. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen happen at a show?
I’ve seen a lot of flesh, just about as far as you can go for both males
and females. I guess that’s not too weird though. At one Pittsburgh show last summer, I jumped over my dad’s head and knocked my left front tooth out by knocking it off the shoulder of my sister’s friend. It’s weird to not have a tooth at the end of your show.
8. Tell the readers what to expect when they go to a Girl Talk concert.
I will party. It’s up to the audience on how far they’re going to go with me.
9. What is your favorite city or town to perform in?
My hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. I like being able to catch a taxi to a show.
10. When can we expect to hear your next release?
Within the year probably.
For more on Girl Talk, visit www.myspace.com/girltalkmusic.