Arts & Entertainment

Girl Talk: Everything you love about music in a single album

My latest obsession has taken over the newsroom late Saturday nights. Shortly after we punch the button to send your Sunday morning paper to be printed, the lights go down, the disco lights up (not really) and I pump Girl Talk's latest album out of my tiny iMac speakers.

I'd call it a dance party, but head bobs and laughter don't really count. It's just a quick way to unwind after pushing another deadline to the brink.

Girl Talk is the moniker of Pittsburgh DJ Gregg Gillis and on Feed the Animals, he takes the mashup to a truly artistic level. Saying it's a fun listen doesn't even scratch the surface. It's like an audio encyclopedia of pop culture and it includes everything you love about music from the last 40-something years. One of my fellow weekend editors jokingly said she's going to drop the DJ and just put Feed the Animals on repeat at her upcoming wedding. And apart from some uncouth lyrics from some of the rap stars featured, there's really something for everyone.

Take a look at the samples contained on just one of the tracks on the album. This is from Here's the Thing: Chicago's Saturday in the Park provides the background to Quad City DJs' C'mon N Ride It (The Train). This flows into the oldie 96 Tears butted up against Kelly Clarkson and Nine Inch Nails. Then comes an unrelenting succession of MC Hammer, Blur, Elvis Costello, Peter Bjorn and John, Veruca Salt and Three Six Mafia.

Again, that was just one song with little pieces of these artists' work layered and blended to make something completely new.

The album has been available for download since last month using Radiohead's pioneering pay-what-you-want system. There are added bonuses for paying $5 or $10, but the hard copy won't come out until September. You also can listen to it in full at myspace.com/girltalk.

Catch Girl Talk at Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party on July 25. Showtime is 7:45 p.m.

This week's news

-- Bjork won't be performing in China again anytime soon. We all know this isn't the first time she's been in trouble -- i.e., red is to bull as camera is to Bjork. But during a show there in March she chanted Tibet during her song Declare Independence. That little outburst has paved the way for the government to declare all performances would have to secure prior approval.

-- Jimmy Hendrix is finally making his way to Guitar Hero. Purple Haze and Little Wing have been given the OK and may make the new edition of the game in October. Now I don't like to broadcast this, but I love a little Guitar Hero. I've even gotten my wife in the act with our recently purchased second guitar so we can battle it out. I know they say older folks are playing video games more these days, but I can't help but feel guilty playing GH with no mom around to tell me to shut it off and go to bed.

*Jeremy Dutton: 582-1525; jdutton@tricityherald.com

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