Girl Talk: All Day, Every Night

Gregg Gillis gets the upper hand over party fatigue.

The nonstop party is the subject of many a popular song, from KISS' "Rock and Roll All Nite" to Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time." It's also the implicit goal of any good DJ.

But the nonstop party is a mythical state, a confetti-cannoned Shangri-la that, the occasional Andrew WK notwithstanding, most mere mortals will never achieve. It's also kind of a sad, impossible dream to chase. Listen to the yearning in Murphy's reedy voice as he whines "My girl likes to party all the time/Party all the time/Party ALL THE TIME." Or as the Postal Service's Ben Gibbard puts it: "It's not a party if it happens every night." Eventually, everybody has to take a night off, right? Maybe Murphy would like to stay in and just cook dinner for his lady every once in a while.

The Beverly Hills Cop and the rest of us will get no respite from mashup wunderkind Girl Talk, though. The Pittsburgh laptop jockey known to his old biomedical-engineering colleagues as Gregg Gillis has made party-starting (and mixing more musical sources than I did in the above paragraphs) his full-time business for a few years now, breaking into the national consciousness with 2006's killer Night Ripper, an album that hyperactively chopped up the best bits of more than 150 pop, rap, and rock songs and recombined them into one big, raucous dance party: Biggie Smalls blowing up over Elton John singing "Tiny Dancer"; Paul Wall posting up over the OC-scoring pianos of Phantom Planet's "California."

Girl Talk's latest album, All Day, which "broke the Internet" when released for free download in November, announces its perpetual party ambitions in its title, its extended 70-minute run time, and its exploded list of audio sources (reportedly 373 different songs are sampled). And while it doesn't break any new ground for Girl Talk, it handily demonstrates the durability of his method, and, like previous albums, contains some truly inspired juxtapositions—mostly rap a cappellas over rock instrumentals, like Jay-Z's "Can I Get A . . ." over General Public's soft, pleading "Tenderness"—that shift or disorient the moods of the originals. Gillis' shtick hasn't really run out of steam, and his party—with its signature Saran-Wrapped laptop and open-invite onstage revelry—shows no signs of stopping or slowing anytime soon.

So jump onstage. Eddie Murphy will just have to cook you dinner another night.

music@seattleweekly.com

 
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