Girl Talk

I’m already getting shit over at Austinist for such a glowing review of Feed the Animals, but it will do little to change my mind. This record is as good or better than Night Ripper, and I am pleased to recommend it to anyone who enjoys the littlest parts of music just as fervently as the big ones.

Read it here.

In “No Pause” we get a section of Heart’s “Magic Man” that’s typically considered superfluous and self-indulgent, not to mention downright bad. The bizarre synthesized breakdown occurs at the tail end of a nearly 1:30 minute guitar solo, and accompanies some lilting yet ominous vocal harmonies between the Wilson sisters. All of this buildup in the song makes its end that much more fulfilling, as the song gradually pulls itself back into the chorus. Gillis uses this tiny bit of “Magic Man” as a bridge too, and cuts it off right before the payoff — its crescendo riding shotgun with Chuck D’s “Rebel Without a Pause” — then falling off a cliff, a cliff that leads to Len’s “Steal My Sunshine,” no less.

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5 Comments

  1. E

    you are right. this is better than night ripper. excellent review!

  2. libby

    paige, i agree. it is what it is, but i enjoy it.

  3. Ana

    People take music far too seriously sometimes, especially indie music. Girl Talk is hardly groundbreaking. I mean its mashups for Christ’s Sake. Why not just enjoy and have fun with it?

  4. Ana -
    I totally agree that sometimes folks take things too seriously, but I want to emphasize that in this piece I’m not so much saying he’s groundbreaking, I’m more trying to argue that what sets him apart from others who do similar things is his attention to detail. In fact, I’m trying to make the argument that it’s almost unfair to refer to him as a mashup artist.

    Aside from that, I think it’s bordering on snobbery to act as though a record like this isn’t worth some thought — there’s a reason he is as well-known as he is (in a climate where thousands of mashups appear on the web each month), and I think that reason is simple: he’s doing a better job at something by actually creating new songs from old ones. And on top of all that, there’s an invitation there for us to notice the subtleties within those compositions, not just “enjoy it and have fun with it.” Besides, why can’t you do both?

    I think he has a point he’s trying to make, and I’m suggesting what I think it might be.

    You’re a music writer though, so I’m sure you understand why it’s interesting to try and listen carefully to things, and attempt to make sense of a phenomenon that on the surface appears weightless.

  5. gack.

    i get absolutely nothing from it musically because i’m constantly playing “name that tune” and thinking “well, that was a clever bit of editing”. and it’s annoying. like “Stars On 45″ was, 27 years ago, it leaves me wanting to hear the rest of the sampled song – and it does that every 10 seconds.

    alternately, it’s like someone flipping through every station on the radio, while shouting at you.