Never before has postmodernism inspired so much hipster nudity as when Girl Talk, the performing and recording alias of mashup artist/culture jammer/copyright-infringer Gregg Gillis, takes to the stage. Girl Talk does not merely spin a groove into a new song, but instead acts as a windtrap, catching everything in the breeze and letting it siphon out through his mixing board. His music is immediate, recognizable mostly because it is made out of us. And maybe that reflexive act inspires the artists and attendant twenty-somethings who work a lifestyle around the right outfits to shuck them at the sound of their own music, who knows. Girl Talk and spontaneous nudity have this in common - they are fun and require no greater explanation to join in. We caught him in a clothed moment about a week ago for the usual consumer rundown.
1) What was the last electrical appliance you bought?
I bought a new microwave a couple weeks ago. It's very slick looking, but I haven't used it yet.
2) How many shoes do you own?
I'm not sure, but I'd guess around 20 pairs.
Thinking about only what you are wearing now and including your watch,
jewelry and glasses if you wear them, how much would it cost me to get
dressed up just like you? And where would I have to go to get the look
I'm wearing a red bandanna to keep my hair out of my face, which cost around $2 from Gabrielle Brothers, which is only available in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virgina. But you can get bandannas anywhere. I'm wearing glasses that I got from Lenscrafters. I'm guessing that they cost around $80. I'm wearing a plain Nike t-shirt that Nike sent me for free. I'm not sure where you would get this or how much it costs. I've been traveling and at the beginning of this trip, my belt broke while I was in the airport leaving my hometown of Pittsburgh. I had to drop $30 on a new belt from one of those stands with tons of ties. I am wearing some black jeans, which I cut into shorts, that I got from a thrift store in Pittsburgh for about $3. You probably have to drop $3 for scissors from K-Mart. I'm wearing socks that I borrowed from my booking agent yesterday because I've had flight cancellations and ran out of clean clothes. I'm guessing this pair cost under $1. To top the outfit off, I'm wearing a pair of Starbury shoes, which a friend bought me from the store Steve and Berry's in New York City. They cost $12. You can only get these shoes from Steve and Berry's chain, but I'm not sure where they exist.
4) What are you going to be eating for dinner tonight?
I just ate a turkey breast sandwich from Potbelly Sandwich Works at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington DC.
5) What is the most you have ever spent on a bottle of wine or other alcoholic beverage and when and where was it?
A couple years ago, I bought a shot of Don Julia REAL tequila for $50 at a bar in Atlanta. That was the most I've ever spent in terms of alcohol amount to cash ratio.
6) What and where is your favorite shop?
I like Gabrielle Brothers, which I've mentioned earlier in the interview. That's where I get a lot of my gear these days. They sell slightly mismanufactured clothing for very cheap. You can get all of the basics there, but sometimes, you can stumble upon something amazing.
7) How do you get around town?
I drive a Honda Accord.
8) Where is your favorite place to holiday?
I got a chance to travel all over Australia for the past two Decembers. It's amazing there during that time of the year.
Girl Talk's latest album Feed the Animals is out on the appropriately named Illegal Art imprint, or pay what you want at Girl Talk's myspace page
(photo by Gwazda, from the GirlTalk Wikipedia page, used under Creative Commons licence)
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com
about Alex V. Cook »»
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