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Some summer days, the New York heat is maddening. And on those days, you just have to say, "fuggetaboutit," throw on your best Sunday headband, and head over to Brooklyn's East River Park. The latest installment of the ever popular Jelly Pool Party series featured a Pittsburgh-heavy talent pool: hip-hop crossover, Wiz Khalifa, and the one man dance party, Girl Talk.
The wiry 21 year old Wiz drew raucous cheers from a Pirates Starter cap-donning crowd. He said, "throw your hands up" and they corroborated. It seemed the sweltering heat necessitated Wiz to loose his shirt--many in the audience were already ahead of him--affording him the perfect segue to drop rhymes about his extensive tattoo collection. Wiz launched into his charted hit, "Say Yeah" and mugged for the crowd, seeming genuinely obliged.
Headliner, Girl Talk, likely brought the biggest and most diverse crowd to the "pool" yet. Gregg Gillis is not polished. He does not bring sleek Apple products with him on tour. In reality, Girl Talk consists of Gillis in last night's sweats and two taped-up Toughbook laptops usually reserved for Dirty Jobs type laborers. He would later stand atop one of said laptops, arms extended as if preaching to his eccentric congregation. Lending further to his down-to-earth, here-for-the-music vibe, Gillis, after being introduced, leaped over the photo pit and did his usual high-fiving lap around the periphery of the audience.
Meanwhile, a pair of Girl Talk sanctioned hellions took turns playfully terrorizing the already riled up crowd, toilet papering the pit, hurling (bad tasting) cookies, and dousing revelers with (hopefully) water. This scene was reminiscent of my 8th birthday party. Gillis, who typically performs in an audience pit of his own, invited a bevy of dancers on stage to offset the distant fans behind the guard rails. That's when the stage started to fall apart and a team of heavily boo-ed staffers ushered most off the buckling platform.
Mashing up hip-hop, R&B, electronica, and rock, Girl Talk is a pop culture time capsule. Consider Gillis the cool older brother of the music industry: providing snippets and samples of popular music from the past 30 years and, like a sweaty prophet, passing on lessons from Biggie, Jeff Mangum, MJ, Missy, Thom York, Billy Corgan, and Elton John...illegally. After the hour plus set--Gillis' endurance is superhuman--a light rain brought a calm to the waterfront. In the end, there was only sweat, cheese doodles, toilet paper, and confetti. My god, the confetti.
PHOTOS (click for larger image)
SEE ALSO: www.myspace.com/wizkhalifa
SEE ALSO: www.myspace.com/girltalk
Lara Longo is a writer and photographer from Brooklyn, NY. In 1989, Lara received her first CD player and album, Appetite for Destruction; ever since, music is something she has fawned over, hated on, and played loudly. Her work has also appeared in Relix and New York Cool. Lara’s interests include sharks, European television, and the Hammond B3 organ.
See other articles by Lara Longo.
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