Girl Talk / Dan Deacon
Satellite Ballroom; Charlottesville, VA
Dan Deacon was scheduled to open this show as a supporting act that has arguably become larger than the headliner, Girl Talk. In truth, I was most excited to witness a performance from the man whose shows are increasingly mythologized in exclusive circles of quirky hipsters and Magic: The Gathering enthusiasts. As it turned out, Mr. Deacon failed to show (due to the now infamous "coughing up weird chunks of yellow+blood" incident), and the only indication of his slated appearance was a gigantic green spider placed on the right of the small stage.
While most in attendance seemed understandably disappointed, the energy in anticipation for Girl Talk was incredible as the crowd bided time before the dance party that would eventually erupt. Thankfully, Girl Talk’s Gregg Gillis did apparently drop by that night, though I don’t think I ever saw him above the many craning heads and cool haircuts. I might have heard him say something through the sound system, but I can’t be entirely certain of that, either. All I really noticed was the crowd pressing toward the stage, mounting it, and then dancing convulsively. I’ll concede that I, too, engaged in a bit of ironic dancing — it was nearly impossible not to, given the club-like atmosphere and the conveniently empty bars.
While all the familiar elements of Girl Talk’s mash-ups were present, including the tendency for tracks to jump from one to another with little or no transition beyond those linking samples several times per song, the pieces of tracks were assembled differently than they were on the last record (Night Ripper), a fact that contributed a novelty to the show that also made it feel more like a rave than I maybe would have liked. Considering the emerging feeling that I was at some sort of indie rave (and yes, glow sticks were twirling) and the presence of that giant green spider, I felt that drug use was likely all around me. It had to be, now that I really think about it. What else could possibly explain hundreds of hipsters getting crunk to music that they would never listen to without an über-cool DJ who makes the effort to splice “Juicy” with “Tiny Dancer”? When I see kids in skinny jeans and high tops go apeshit for the detonation of Top 40 hip-hop, I can’t help but wonder if they do the same on the weekends in the clubs downtown. My guess is no, but I suppose that’s one of the beauties of indie culture: neither consistency nor rationality ever seems to have found its place.