Girl Talk

Girl Talk

Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, has become an underground sensation by using other people's music. This week the sample-based collage artist joins Jim and Greg for a discussion about dance parties, biomedicine and running from the law.

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Music News

A couple of stories this week speak to the listening habits of kids — and the experts want parents to be worried. The first study, from the NPD Group, says that up to 70% of U.S. kids aged (ages 9-14) download music in a given month. Almost half use iTunes, but the remainder are engaging in (illegal) file-sharing. The research group blames parents for not monitoring their children's computers, but as dads, Jim and Greg can attest — that's a fairly impossible feat in today's world.

The second report, released by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, states that teenagers listen to nearly 2.5 hours of music per day. To Jim and Greg, that's good news. But, what's in those songs you ask? According to the pediatricians, the average adolescent is exposed to approximately 84 references to explicit substance use per day, or 30,732 references per year. That's a large figure, but rock fans have been defending their devil music for years. Jim and Greg think the best defense for protecting innocent minds is discussing music with them. After all, on Sound Opinions everyone's a critic — and that includes kids.

Americans don't have the monopoly on peer-to-peer downloading. In fact, it just got a whole lot easier in Italy. The Italian parliament passed a new copyright law that essentially legalizes file-sharing. But this may not have been their intention. The law creates a provision that allows music files to be shared as long as they are non-commercial and degraded. Well, the not-so-tech-savvy legislators failed to realize that most digital music files are degraded.

NASA is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and to mark the occasion they've decided to beam The Beatles' song "Across the Universe" directly into outer space. This would be the first song ever played“across the universe,”and Jim and Greg wonder if it's smart to start with such a friendly, welcoming song. They think death metal or Barry Manilow might fend off alien invasion better.

The Grammy Awards are also celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Jim and Greg don't traditionally like to give much airtime to the awards, which notoriously overlook deserving artists, but they thought it would be fun to honor one of their favorite Grammy winners. This is a man whose first album won three awards and shot him to the top of the charts-beating Elvis! That man is none other than Bob Newhart. Bob's first comedy album The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart won Best Album of 1960, Best New Artist and Best Spoken Word. It also went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time. The curse of the Best New Artist certainly didn‘t seem to affect the successful comedian. We can’t say same about the Starland Vocal Band.




Girl Talk

This week's guest is Gregg Gillis, known to his fans as Girl Talk. The biomedical engineer by day/DJ by night took the underground music world by storm last year with his album Night Ripper. Gillis composes avant-pop collages of hundreds of different songs-everything from Aerosmith to the Ying Yang Twins to Neutral Milk Hotel. The result is a new piece of original art stamped with the Girl Talk name, and it's putting hipsters in a frenzy at clubs and festivals all over the world. None of the samples on Night Ripper have been approved by the original artists, but so far Gillis hasn't been hassled. He represents a new generation of free culture proponents that will hopefully be embraced by the music industry, if not copyright lawyers.

reviewDetoursDetours available on iTunes

Sheryl Crow Detours

After an intense few years of that included a public breakup, battle with cancer and adoption, Sheryl Crow has a new album out called Detours. As Jim and Greg explain, this album has Crow returning to her Tuesday Night Music Club roots — much to their relief. The songs on Detours are breezier and more upbeat than they've been in previous years, despite heavy topics like heartbreak and global warming. Greg thinks the songs are more personal and bring Crow to a higher level. He gives the record a Buy It. Jim was also sucked in by the album, calling her catchy, hook-filled, bar-room sound enticing. He gives Detours another Buy It.




Night Ripper is one of Greg's favorite albums of recent years, but it wasn't his first exposure to sample-based music. There has been a long tradition of collage music, and one of the artists taking it to the“nth degree”is Osymyso. The UK DJ created a mind-blowing, 12-minute composition called "Intro-Inspection," which is completely full of unauthorized samples. The song isn't available for sale anywhere, but you can check it out on the web and on the Desert Island Jukebox.

Featured Songs

  1. Kim Wilde,“Kids in America,”Kim Wilde, 1981
  2. Peter Tosh,“Legalize It,”Legalize It, 1976 (0:26)
  3. The Beatles,“Across the Universe,”Let It Be, 1970 (0:20)
  4. Sons & Daughters,“Gilt Complex,”The Gift, 2008 (0:28)
  5. Henry Mancini,“Three TV Themes: Newhart,”Premier Pops, 1988 (1:15)
  6. Girl Talk,“Hold Up,”Night Ripper, 2006 (1:55)
  7. Beastie Boys,“Egg Man,”Paul's Boutique, 1989 (0:38)
  8. John Oswald,“Birth,”Plunderphonics, 1988 (0:40)
  9. Kid 606,“Straight Outta Compton Remix,”Attitude, 2000 (0:32)
  10. Aphex Twin,“4,”Richard D. James Album, 1996 (0:25)
  11. Girl Talk,“Smash Your Head,”Night Ripper, 2006 (1:36)
  12. Girl Talk,“Summer Smoke,”Night Ripper, 2006 (0:48)
  13. Sheryl Crow,“Shine Over Babylon,”Detours, 2008 (0:41)
  14. Sheryl Crow,“Gasoline,”Detours, 2008 (1:03)
  15. Sheryl Crow,“Diamond Ring,”Detours, 2008 (0:21)
  16. Sheryl Crow,“Make It Go Away,”Detours, 2008 (0:19)
  17. Osymyso,“Intro-Inspection,”Bootleg, 1999 (1:51)
  18. Calvin Harris,“Acceptable in the 80s,”Acceptable in the 80s, 2007 (0:34)
  19. The Drifters,“Answer the Phone,”I‘ll Take You Where the Music’s Playing, 1965 (0:23)
  20. Vampire Weekend,“I Stand Corrected,”Vampire Weekend, 2008 (1:33)
  21. Lou Reed, "Egg Cream,"Set the Twilight Reeling, 2008
  22. Louis Jordan,“Beans and Corn Bread,”Great Rhythm and Blues, 1973
  23. Neil Young,“T-Bone,”Re-ac-tor, 1981

Footnotes NPD Group Consumer Research Under the Influence of…Music? in the New York Times Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine homepage Whoops? Italy inadvertently legalizes some P2P music NASA homepage Beatles hit to be played in space“Across the Universe”on AllMusic The Grammy Awards Greg on the demise of the Grammy Awards Bob Newhart's homepage The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart on Amazon Best Album of 1960 on Wikipedia List of Best New Artists on Wikipedia Starland Vocal Band on MTV Download Night Ripper Night Ripper on Wikipedia Greg on Girl Talk Sheryl Crow's homepage Detours on Metacritic Tuesday Night Music Club on Wikipedia Greg on Detours Osymyso's homepage“Intro-Inspection”on