Should I learn to talk GirlTalk?
April 22, 2012 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Girl Talk is coming to town. I'm thinking of going. I'm not overly fond of a lot of modern rap, and it seems that is a common element in the samples he uses. Should I go to the show in spite of this, or will I generally end up being annoyed/disappointed by what he creates during his live set?
posted by hippybear to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What don't you like about modern rap?
posted by stoneandstar at 1:17 PM on April 22, 2012

I went to see Girl Talk a year ago and it was a pretty good show, but only if you enjoy going out dancing. It was pretty much a giant dance party filled with 19 year olds dressed up like stereotypical hipster kids. I enjoyed it but it was very very different from other concerts I have been too, as it was mostly just this guy DJing on stage. It felt more like a night at a club than a concert. If you really like Girl Talk, I would suggest going because it was a damn good show, even with all the ridiculous hipsters (this may have been because I saw him in Oakland, CA).
posted by ruhroh at 1:20 PM on April 22, 2012

What don't you like about modern rap?

Not that it's particularly relevant to my question...

I was in high school during the 80s, and really liked two styles of rap which were out at that time: the fun-loving party rap stuff, and the socially conscious stuff.

Today, the rap I'm most often exposed to seems to fall into two categories: gansta rap telling tales of guns and drugs and the street, or braggadocio about how much money the artist has and how he's spent it.

Neither of those interests me as subjects for musical art, whether it's rap or not.
posted by hippybear at 1:23 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think you should go see Girl Talk if you really like Girl Talk. You indicated that you didn't like modern rap in your question but not whether you like/dislike Girl Talk. If you don't really like Girl Talk, then yeah, I think it'll be a disappointing show. I would be pretty disappointed by a Jimmy Buffett or Garth Brooks show because I don't really like them.
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:35 PM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

Never mind the rap lyrics, you won't be able to discern any of them. This show is going to be unbelievably loud and intense, and as someone who doesn't like modern rap you are going to hate it a lot.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:41 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well, I don't really like Girl Talk. It's an act which is coming to town which I've heard enough of to know that I might enjoy the show, but I don't have any real drive toward the act in general. I know he does dance-oriented shows, which I'm pretty much in favor of, but haven't really steeped myself in the world of Girl Talk. (I don't have any of his stuff in my iTunes library, for example, but have listened to all his albums as they've been released.)

If I really liked Girl Talk, it wouldn't be a question. I go to shows all the time and dive willingly into any live performance by people I really like. I'm not over the moon with Girl Talk, but think it might be a fun show to attend. But don't have the money to drop on just every show that comes my way that I have a minor inclination to see. Thought there might be some good insight as to what the content of the show would be so I could make a quality judgement about whether or not this particular "maybe, maybe not" show choice would be worth my time and money for me personally.
posted by hippybear at 1:42 PM on April 22, 2012

If you don't really like Girl Talk, then don't go! Life is too short to waste time on concerts you are iffy about. If I had this advice I would not have seen Dave Matthews Band back in 2002.
posted by ruhroh at 1:45 PM on April 22, 2012 [5 favorites]

His live shows are exactly like his CDs. If you like his cd, you'll like his show and vice versa.
posted by empath at 1:58 PM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

Saw Girl Talk last year in NYC, and came in to say exactly what ruhroh said. The one thing that surprised me was that he plays basically the exact mixes off his releases; I think I thought it might be a bit more of a freestyle DJ show.
posted by lalex at 1:59 PM on April 22, 2012

If you like Girl Talk, go. If you don't, don't.

I don't consider myself a fan of rap either, but I really enjoy GT's music. For me, it comes in how he uses the rap samples and blends them with modern rock or other genres. I went to a show of his a couple of years ago, and it was very high energy. Everyone was dancing, and it was a hyper kind of environment. If you enjoy that, then go.
posted by bookwibble at 2:00 PM on April 22, 2012

The one thing that surprised me was that he plays basically the exact mixes off his releases

That's because his mixes are done on computer. He couldn't do them live.
posted by empath at 2:11 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your rap aversion seems wholly lyric-based; Girl Talk overwhelmingly does not preserve the lyrics of the songs he samples*. Based on that, I don't see a problem.

*however! GT also sometimes uses those samples to compose lyrics that may or may not align with your tastes. If some mashed-up lyrics like I want JESSIES GIIRRRLLLLbutI'drathergetsomehead is enough to make you regret listening.. then go ahead and skip the show.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 2:17 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the show is like the albums with the added bonus(?) of pot smoke, crowd-surfing, and fighty teenage boys. I had fun, but if you don't like his music, don't go unless that's SO your scene.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 2:24 PM on April 22, 2012

The one thing that surprised me was that he plays basically the exact mixes off his releases

That's because his mixes are done on computer. He couldn't do them live.

They're on the computer, but his transitions and such are done live. When he's away from the board, the same mix plays over and over until he gets back to it.
posted by xingcat at 2:46 PM on April 22, 2012

If you don't like the music that much, it's perfectly okay not to go to a live show.
posted by 200burritos at 3:44 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

To get a better idea of what the show is like you can watch the documentary about him; there is a lot of footage of his live show mixed in. It seems like it would be a great time to me, but I tend to like all night dance parties. Not with fighty teenage boys as i_am_a_fiesta brings up, though, more burner style.
Here's the doc, called "RIP! A Remix Manifesto" on hulu.
posted by newpotato at 6:12 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think it's worth experiencing once. As everyone else has said, if you like listening to his music normally, then go - the shows are basically him playing tracks from the albums verbatim.

One thing, though: I saw Girl Talk a few years back, and it was.. intense. If nothing else you should be prepared to be pushed around quite a bit. I seem to recall feeling rather claustrophobic (as compared to other shows I've been to where I at least have some breathing room). In retrospect I would have preferred to stand at the back...
posted by gchucky at 8:52 PM on April 22, 2012

I saw Girl Talk at the Congress Theater in Chicago last February and I thought it was a great show. His act isn't verbatim his albums; rather, he'll mix all of his songs the day of in new combinations that play differently from his albums. Yes, there are lots of hipster douchebags there, and 19-year-olds who dress like what they think the 80s looked like, but it's a fun show.

However, you've said you don't even like Girl Talk, so instead of bean-plating it, don't go and save yourself the +/- $20 bucks.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:06 AM on April 23, 2012

Girl Talk overwhelmingly does not preserve the lyrics of the songs he samples

Er, Girl Talk overwhelmingly does preserve the lyrics and they quite often are tales of guns and drugs and the street or braggadocio about how much money. Which makes it awesome but probably not for hippybear. Although he could easily listen to Girl Talk's entire output (which isn't very large and is all available for free on the internet) and come to the decision himself.
posted by ninebelow at 6:14 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Go to a different concert instead of Girl Talk. Check the listings of a venue near you!
posted by oceanjesse at 6:31 AM on April 23, 2012

I've worked with GirlTalk several times over the years, most recently in '09 or '10, I think. Hey, I'm an Old, my memory is like a sieve . . .

Nthing the opinion that his live show is (musically) essentially like his recordings - I'd guarantee that he does do a bunch of his remixing live onstage, but if you're not so into his music that you've got the shit memorized, I'd bet that your impression would be "pretty much the same only louder."

The documentary linked to by newpotato seems interesting, but the live bits (at least the ones in the first 15 minutes or so) were filmed in a small 400-capacity club here in Cleveland, and IMO his shows for larger audiences are a little different. Check out this YouTube clip of a NYE show at the above-mentioned Congress in Chicago from 2010.

From a, I dunno, "socio-cultural perspective", it feels like there's kind of an intentionally, almost self-consciously silly/goofy vibe to his shows (from both him & the audience), which I find . . . . . . interesting, but a bit mystifying. You're about my age - you might feel the same way. So my 2 cents would be that if I could get in free or really cheap I might go just to see what all the fuss was about, and if I felt like leaving early I wouldn't feel that it was a waste of money. But you seem to be leaning towards, "don't really have money to blow," so I think you can skip it without any guilt that you're missing anything Mind-Blowingly Amazing.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:39 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you think this hard about going to a concert, the other attendees at the show will be enough to make you not have fun, let alone the chance of Girl Talk playing Girl Talk songs.
posted by anildash at 6:39 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was asking what you didn't like about modern rap so that I could figure out what you might not like about Girl Talk? That seems pretty relevant to your question. But now I see that you already know that you don't like Girl Talk, so I don't know.

Anyway, I would just go. I've never not enjoyed a live concert. It might be fun and if not later when someone asks you whether they should go to a Girl Talk concert if they don't like Girl Talk, you can say no.
posted by stoneandstar at 6:32 PM on April 23, 2012

I didn't say that I don't like Girl Talk. I said that I don't really like Girl Talk. Meaning, I'm not listening to his work regularly and don't have a good working knowledge of it, but am not repulsed by it. If I'd said "I really don't like Girl Talk", that would be something else altogether.

So, I'm currently inclined to go to the show. It's not a lot of money, it sounds like it might be a fun dance party, and I do find what he does appealing without finding it fascinating. I'm always game for a show, even ones by artists I'm not overly involved with, and often am surprised by how great they are or even have the show springboard me into deeper interest in the artist.

I'll see how I feel come next payday. But I've gotten enough out of this thread to know that it might be a good time.
posted by hippybear at 9:40 PM on April 23, 2012

I have to say that The Biggest Dreamer is kind of off in his footnote. It's kind of rare in Girl Talk songs to hear him mash up lyrics from two different songs the way he does with Jesse's Girl and I'd Rather. He does it, but mixing lyrics is not a feature of his mashups, I don't think.

He does preserve the lyrics of songs he uses, but when you pull things out of context the way he does that might be less or more upsetting/grating depending on what it is exactly that bothers you.

Sorry to nitpick; this has just been bugging me for some reason.
posted by k8lin at 9:10 PM on April 24, 2012

I saw Girl Talk at a music festival in Australia a couple of years ago, and his set was just ginormously fun. I'm familiar with all of his releases, but the joy of hearing what he was mixing live was more than enough to boogie on down effortlessly for the entire set. He'd added quite a lot of Oz music in - leading to a hell of a lot of singing along as well. His set was packed: I'd never seen this venue so tightly packed, but the minor discomforts of being crowded in were balanced out by the fact that everyone around me had massive smiles on their faces and were clearly all enjoying the hell out of the music. The joy was infectious - hence the energy to dance the entire time. (In retrospect: it may have had something to do with the fact that half the attendees were high or drunk at 3pm).

Caveat: I'm a seasoned festival goer, so I'm okay with the occasional pushing and shoving and all-up-in-my-personal-space-while-i'm-dancing at crowded concerts. YMMV.
posted by chronic sublime at 9:08 PM on April 27, 2012

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