By Matt Harper
Hardcore fans of pop culture have been waiting with baited breath for the latest Girl Talk album, Feed The Animals, which is like a musical spot-the-reference game. I am one of those people, so I was over the moon at the opportunity to spend a day hanging out with the man behind Girl Talk, Gregg Gillis, in his hometown of Pittsburgh.
Here’s a quick bit of background if you’re not familiar with Girl Talk:
· He’s not really a DJ — technically speaking, he’s a “laptop producer.”
· He uses music samples to create something completely new and amazing. Technically his songs are mash-ups, but that’s not giving him proper credit: At a rough estimate, there’s somewhere around 300 music sources in Feed the Animals, (which drove our James Montgomery crazy on a recent transcontinental flight), maybe more.
Anyway, we started the day off at the Coal Hill Steakhouse at the Grandview Saloon, where we had a beer, talked about his start in music, and reminisced about some of his more memorable performance experiences — my favorite being the time he brought $500 worth of Taco Bell to a show to give out to his fans.
Then we hit up the famous Pittsburgh sandwich establishment Primanti Brothers for one of their amazing sandwich creations. While eating our capricola and cheese sandwiches (complete with coleslaw and fries), we discussed some other awesome things to do while hanging out in Steel Town.
Finally, we wrapped up our day by heading over to Gregg’s apartment, where we talked about Feed the Animals and went through the album track-by-track. Hearing the whole thing for the first time blew my mind. I tried desperately to pick out as many samples as I could, but I’m sure I missed most of them (if you check out the Wikipedia page for the album, intrepid users are already hard at work trying to pick each track apart).
And here’s what he had to say …
“Play Your Part (Pt. 1),” “Shut the Club Down,” “Still Here,” “What It’s All About”:
“Set It Off,” “No Pause,” “Like This”:
“Give Me a Beat,” “Hands in the Air,” “In Step,” “Let Me See You”:
“Here’s the Thing,” “Don’t Stop,” “Play Your Part (Pt. 2)”: