Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Girl Talk is my Stravinksy

Classical music is lost on me. I wish I liked it, and even tried “Classical Music for People Who Hate Classical Music.” In the end, I decided it was like playing Frogger in 2011 – you can say you enjoy it, but I suspect it’s either for the nostalgia, or you’re a curmudgeon.

However, the history of classical, and the connections to today’s music are interesting. One particularly fascinating modern influential artist is Igor Stravinksy. In addition to being afraid of the dark, marrying his first cousin, and creating the first mosh pit in 1913, he challenged the prevailing definition of music. Wikipedia calls it serial composition, but to me it sounds haunting, layered, and noisy. If I could stand classical music, Stravinksy would be my guy.

Flash forward 94 years – to when some of you tried telling me how grand Girl Talk was…OK skip that, flash forward 98 years, to when I hear Girl Talk on the current. After a quick sojourn to some terrible “Girl Talk” jazz muzak on iTunes, I find the website, name my price for the whole discography, and begin the experience. Girl Talk, aka Gregg Michael Gillis, challenges the definition of music again – laying Busta Rhymes on top of the Police background, or my favorite, Get Low on top of Cecilia. There is an art to not creating crap in this process. Hell, in art class I’d end up with brown every time I tried to combine 3 crayons.

Gillis also thumbs his nose at the system by using unauthorized samples, distributes without a formal label, and is subtly reversing the business model. After buying Girl Talk at a discount, I was reminded of several classic tracks I picked up at full price. Maybe artists should pay him for his sampling.

If you haven’t given it a listen, throw the guy a few bucks and download an album. Meanwhile, I’ll be listening to Girl Talk drop Gold Digger on top of Oh Oh It’s Magic whilst I play Dig Dug.


avk said...

Listening to pop music is like playing an 8-bit "devolution" of a current-gen game. You can say you like it, but I suspect it's for the novelty.

You analogy would hold if classical music had the complexity of Frogger, as compared to the richness of current popular music. To be fair, there's plenty of pop music that's challenging, but not due to it's complexity (generally speaking). At the end of the day, we've been listening to the same three chords played on the same four instruments over and over again for sixty years.

I agree that people who were alive in 1780 listen to classical music for nostalgia.

w1ndst0rm said...

"Hell, in art class I’d end up with brown every time I tried to combine 3 crayons."

I love you, man.

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