Managed to slip into the Diesel jeans party last night just in time for Girl Talk's set. King of the mashup, Girl Talk (real name Gregg Gillis) sets up his laptop, invites onstage as much of the crowd as can fit and hits the "enter" key. The rest of his performance consists of tweaking his samples, whipping his head around, and enduring the overly friendly fans who just wanna get his white T-shirt off. The audience, plied with free vodka drinks, seemed evenly divided between those who wished to grind up on each other and those who wished to hang back and intellectually appreciate Gillis' talent with the DJ mix. Gillis' work has caught on with the Pitchfork crowd due to his habit of mixing almost every genre of mainstream pop music within one song, though he has also been criticized for making it safe for indie rock kids to shake their asses—always a risky proposition. Those who have grown up listening to the radio though will find much to enjoy playing "name that sample" as Gillis rips through the last thirty years of music in three minute increments. But Gregg, uh...have you cleared those samples? If the Verve can't get away with it, why can you? Check out his page here and listen to "Night Ripper Tracks..." He samples Phantom Planet's "California" (the theme song to The OC, if you didn't already know) to great effect. C'mon, it may not have a whole lot of replay value once you know what's coming up, but it's undeniably remarkable to hear his dextrous sample skills. I caught up with Greg after his set and asked him a few questions.
OC Weekly: You ever going to come to Orange County and DJ?
Gillis: Oh yeah, uh, where? I mean, I love The "fucking" OC, you know. What's the major city there?
OC Weekly: Uh, Orange, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana area.
Gillis: Man, I would like to. It's hard for me to get to places. I have a day job. How far is OC from LA or San Francisco or San Diego?
OC Weekly: It's about 25 minutes from L.A.
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Gillis: L.A. would be your best shot. I love playing L.A. shows. I'm not that familiar with the West Coast, so it's a weird place for me to go.
Well, once again, a day job gets in the way of having fun. Looks like Detroit Bar's going to have to wait.
Above: Girl Talk's Gregg Gillis tells everyone to settle down or he's going to turn around right now and drive us all straight home.
Below: While in Austin, Gregg Gillis enjoys Old Crow brand bourbon.