Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: 2010-11-14

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Girl Talk - All Day Review

Speaking of Rowan, here's my already published review of Girl Talk's All Day in the student newspaper, "the Whit." Here's the link to the review itself.

Girl Talk - All Day
8.6 out of 10

Two years after the release of “Feed the Animals,” Greg Gillis, more commonly known as Girl Talk, has become the unquestioned icon of a genre known as “mash-up.” Mash-up is, to be clear, a collection of giant song collages morphed into attractive dance floor singles. Gillis, with a sincere ear for timing and how to work a Macbook, has been making albums since the early 2000s behind Illegal Art, the label that supports what many would consider to be his illegal use of other artists’ work.

Gillis and the label have been facing lawsuits from various record labels and artists due to their notorious distribution – free for anyone. After Gillis started to gather a cult following in club scenes across the U.S., Illegal Art gave out copies of his 2006 album “Night Ripper” for free on their website. Since then, Girl Talk’s reputation for joyous dance gatherings with little more than Gillis, his laptop and a couple hundred dancers, has preceded him.  This has made him one of modern music’s soft-spoken icons.
“All Day,” released Tuesday, Nov. 15, was met with a rigorous fever of hungry fans trying to pry their download from the website. Word spread fast and many fans had to wait hours for a successful download, but for those who did, they experienced a similar unfiltered joy that came with Girl Talk’s previous two albums.
The 12-track album is a modern retooling of Gillis’s previous two entries, complete with well-recognized rap, dance, pop and rock songs with the occasional indie music twist. The best moments in “All Day” come when Gillis’ clever concoctions spool together in an easily recognizable, ushered pace, where neither music snob nor Top 40 fan is isolated. Instantly recognizable acts, such as The Black Eyed Peas, Ke$ha and Jay-Z are mixed in with roaming cycles of indie and classic rock, from The Who and Black Sabbath to Arcade Fire and New Order. Indeed, no popular music stone is left unturned after the album’s hour-plus playtime.
While “All Day” isn’t a clear departure from “Feed the Animals” or “Night Ripper,” the two-year layoff between albums has allowed Gillis to amass a new collection of material, effectively recycling the method that’s worked for years. At times, “All Day” shows deceptive emotion, parlaying emotionless songs in front of chorus’s from John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.” For every heartening turn, there always seems to be the overuse of certain artists, such as Ludacris and Beyonce. But even then, moments like hearing M.O.P’s “Ante Up” in front of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” erode any concept of boredom.
For a genre that has a severe disconnection from a massive audience, Gillis is an accessible bridge between the often bewildering dance club scene and somewhat unremarkable pop radio. “All Day” could be the decade’s first dance/pop montage, but two years from now Gillis will release a new record that will make fans forget about it. In a way, that’s what Gillis has been able to manipulate for years – a collective conduit of memories for every listener, who find their own joy with every 15-second change.

Thursday Bears: Rowan Rant

Generally, I keep my personal life separate from Bears and Bullets. I don't need to go into the finite details about my day, and I assume that no one cared about those details in the first place. But, this morning, I got word of something that has been daunting me for four straight years now, and I feel it may be in my best interests to rant about it (yes, it has to do with music).

I'm in my fourth year at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Rowan's a small-ish Division III school with about 10,000 students located 15-20 minutes away from Philadelphia. Every year, Rowan, like most universities in the United States, brings artists and comedians for a big show. The comedians, generally, are usually surprisingly good, with acts like Lewis Black, Zach Galifianakis, and Daniel Tosh, amongst others, performing at the school in recent years.

Two years ago, one of my professors asked what, if anything, I would like to change or address about the University. Other student's complaints ranged from parking, to tuition, to food - you know, boring shit that can't really be changed. My sole problem with the school, however, was the consistently woeful music billing we were given year in and year out. Forgive me for sounding like a bitter 14-year-old girl, but that's how I felt this morning when I heard that in my last college semester, I would be treated with Ke$ha, Ludacris, and LMFAO.

Ludacris, I have no problem with. And while I don't like Ke$ha's music and know she's atrocious live, she doesn't bother me so much because I know she has fans. But LMFAO? Really? Has anyone ever heard anyone else said they actually like or would like to see LMFAO? The group whose claim to fame is the "shots" song that people stopped caring about half a year ago is the third billing? Really?

LMFAO, so you know.

Prior to the announcement, students were e-mailed a list of "potential" nominees that also included the Roots, Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, and MGMT, among others (bad and good). Obviously the excitement of seeing these kind of artists must of confused me, because if you look back at Rowan's music billing history, this wouldn't be too shocking.

Sean Kingston, Third Eye Blind, and Reel Big Fish were last year's billing. So, thats two artists that were lost in the 1990s and Kingston - who didn't even show up. It doesn't even matter if anyone liked Kingston or not, he just didn't show up.

The same face Kingston made when he decided to stay home.

The responsibility of generating the music billing is in the hands of the Student University Programmers, who do a decent job of handling duties for the rest of the school year. When it comes to the music though, they flat out miss. The cynical me wants to ask why people with almost no pulse on music are controlling what the rest of students get to see, but I'm not on the inside - I don't know.

I assume, hopefully, that they're getting artists that they hope the "majority" of students will like. And while that's probably true, it also shows that they'd much rather make safe picks than one that could push some boundaries and get out of the radio-friendly norm.

Of course, this is my opinion, and a blatantly expected one at that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Bears: Arcade Fire on Jools Holland

After their second performance on Saturday Night Live last weekend, Arcade Fire made their trans-Atlantic trek to "Later ... with Jools Holland" to perform "Ready to Start" and "Month of May," a song I still consider to be among the weakest in the Arcade Fire catalog, both from The Suburbs.

Arcade Fire - Ready to Start (Live on Later ... with Jools Holland)

Arcade Fire - Month of May (Live on Later ... with Jools Holland)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Bears: Pogo's Wishery

Around this time last week, Pogo, the world's premier (and only) mix-masher of Disney movies into short remixed tunes, released "Wishery," a near-four minute concoction of sound bites from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

It may be no "Alice," but these videos are warm reminders of most of our younger years, even if you weren't too into Disney.

Pogo - Wishery

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Bears: Rejoice! New Girl Talk is here.

If you haven't already heard (surely, you must have already heard), but Girl Talk surprised us all with the release of his new album All Day. And just in case you forgot, Greg Gillis and Illegal Art hate charging people money for anything. So yes, All Day is free too.

However, since everyone is literally going shit-cakes over it, there have been massive downloading problems from the site, so only a few people have got it so far. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's slowing up anytime soon (I've been trying for upwards of five hours, off and on, without luck), so some of us may have to wait.

But, if you're feeling dangerous, you can try your hand at it here.