"youre #22 best album according to rollin stone." That's quite a text message to get from your best friend while plugging away Clark Kent-style at your day job. "I wrote back, 'Seriously? Is that out yet?' and he didn't even reply back," says Pittsburgh-based mashup artist Girl Talk, whose album Night Ripper indeed landed at 22 in Rolling Stone's list of the year's best. "I searched online and didn't see anything, so I thought he was messing with me. A couple days later, people started to e-mail about it, so I knew it was legit," he says. "I still haven't seen it yet!"
This comes on the heels of local rapper Wiz Khalifa's "New Artist to Watch" profile in the Dec. 14 Rolling Stone; he's since appeared in Mass Appeal and Vibe.
Hopefully, this mainstream exposure won't make Girl Talk more vulnerable to copyright-infringement lawsuits (his music is largely comprised of unlicensed samples). "When you release music like this, you always have to question how far you want it spread," says Girl Talk. "It's bizarre how you can work with and manipulate pop music and culture from afar and then somehow make a small dent in it."
Girl Talk's next area show is March 30 at The Warhol.
Despite frigid temperatures inside, Thursday's Sound Kitchen at the Brew House drew fiery performances from spoken-word poet LaKeisha Wolf and emcee Jasiri X (who proved surprisingly mild-mannered offstage). Poochie La Fever did his best to warm up the small crowd with the turntables, but the coats stayed on throughout the evening. A stripped-down Mandrake Project (with only two drummers!) closed out the night, melding percussive intergalactic grooves with esoteric guitars and sax wizardry.
Starting out five years ago in the Pittsburgh suburbs, punk/hardcore band Clearview Kills has had a good run, but, for all the usual reasons, recently decided to kill itself off. Earlier this year, the band released Wrap This Around Your Neck ... on Orange Peel Records, and embarked on a substantial national tour. The band plays its last show on Fri., Dec. 22, at Mr. Small's Theatre, with headliners The SpacePimps (fresh off a Japanese tour) and Nothing Unexpected (releasing a CD at this show). Hope on a Rope and Three Sided Circle will round out the bill.