In Print: Girl Talk vs. Irony and the Eagles, Warpaint's Fleet-Footed Psychodrama, and More
Girl Talk: At the center of the stage is a sweaty dude leaning intently over a laptop. Surrounding him is a forest of half-naked young people writhing to a mix of Notorious B.I.G. rapping over Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." This is the spectacle at a Girl Talk show, where Pittsburgh native Greg Gillis recombines shards of well-known pop songs into something piercingly familiar, yet pleasingly new. If the music itself, a barely legal stew of three decades of Top 40 samples, isn't startling enough, there's the contradiction of a party atmosphere surrounding a skinny guy tweaking a laptop. Yet thousands of people love to get down while Gillis makes Girl Talk's controversial, not-exactly-mash-up-music happen onstage -- and thrashes his own body in the process. We recently spoke to the man himself for a window into this phenomenon.
Warpaint: As far as debut records released in 2010 go, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything as smartly woven and emotionally messy as Warpaint's The Fool. Its founding LP is a tightly plotted map of concepts: XX-esque postpunk hooks that are as sleek and fleet-footed as a deer, female voices peaking and falling in foreboding echoes, song structures writhing in decisive but unpredictable patterns. It's too inert an experience to simplify, especially since it makes an unsatisfying first listen. You have to wait for this demure, complex stuff to unravel at its own pace...