By Xavier Saskatoon
Fuck You Juice Jam 2009. Fuck You.
It’s not that you’re featuring Technicolor electro-hop duo The Cool Kids or pian-emos Jack’s Mannequin, but Girl Talk, the least talented homosapien since Carrot Top. I mean Kelly Osbourne.
Bands like Jack’s Mannequin are superabundant, a dime a dozen, disposable. The Cool Kids are the show’s real draw, with a refreshing, gen-z polish all their own. Think Jurassic 5’s 24-carat hip-hop heart coupled with Kanye West’s or Lupe Fiasco’s cosmic aesthetic.
But trying to understand why Girl Talk (real name Gregg Michael Gillis) is so wildly appreciated among college folk is, to quote Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank, “like trying to have a conversation with a dining room table.” I simply have no interest in doing it.
Only in America could we applaud a “musician” specializing in a style called “mashup and digital sampling.” And it’s ironic that Girl Talk is signed to the record label Illegal Art. All of his “recordings” (don’t call them songs) use snippets of other artists’ copyrighted music, organized and layered to make all the girlies disco dance their pretty pants off. Basically, Gillis is a human iPod. No, worse, a human Zune. No, worse, a human DJ Skribble.
And how would he go about naming these songs? Surely “GirlfriendBigPimpin’ThrowSomeD’sTalkin’OutdaSideofYaNeck!SexyCanI” wouldn’t fit snuggly on the back of any 5.5 by 5.75 inch plastic case. Instead, Girl Talk opts for titles that were featured on The Most Generic Club Hits Volume 1. Case in point — “Shut the Club Down,” “Still Here” and “Hands in the Air” from 2008’s Feed the Animals.
I get you, Girl Talk. Your alias lances the very core of our generation’s ironic hearts. You’re a boy don’t you know? You sit at your shiny Mac. Copy this. Paste that. Export to iTunes. And those people with eco-friendly footwear and form fitting abstract torso-wear go nuts.
And it’s not that I hate you, Girl Talk. From the interviews I’ve seen, you come across as a swell guy with sometimes superfluous headgear. I pine for your poppy, sweaty schizophrenia. But I’d rather be gulping down a few brews in a damp basement while watching The Smash Brothers jizz all over your literally effortless stage show than shell out the ten bucks to see you give me an amateur tutorial in Garage Band.
I want to see long haired gentlemen shred on guitar. I want to bang my head to a particularly delicious bridge. I want to catch at least one eroded drumstick at the end of a show. Now, the only thing I can hope to see is nineteen and 20-year-old girls actually drinking a man’s sweat. And worse, not my own.
Image from Flickr courtesy of Tom Purves, licensed under Creative Commons