A Girl Talk concert is just as chaotic. The crowd swarms around Gillis and his laptop as he mixes songs and beats like a mad-scientist DJ — he creates an egalitarian environment where the wall between performer and audience breaks down. This can lead to unsafe conditions and shuttered shows. (At Girl Talk's last St. Louis show, an attendee was tased.)
In the hope of preventing a repeat occurrence of this incident at Girl Talk's sold-out Pageant show, B-Sides asked Gillis for some concert rules of etiquette.
Give yourself a little bit of space.
"It's not like going to a dance club, it's not like going to a concert. At the same time, it's still dance and celebration music to me. You can do that in a crowded room, you can do that shoulder to shoulder. But a lot of time at shows, everyone's pushing forward, everyone's trying to get onstage, everyone's trying to be involved so much — and again, I really respect that enthusiasm. But you should take a step back and realize that it might be really fun to have an inch of breathing room, so you can dance with someone and enjoy it. Sometimes the shows where the crowd is actually spread out a little bit, it can be very conducive for the show, and everyone can get a lot more insane — rather than being smooshed together for a half hour."
Respect the interest of everyone else around you.
"When the people next to you are having a good time, the people next to them are going to be having a good time, and it's going to be spread throughout. And everyone can kind of do their own thing. Everyone has a different style at the show. So you have to respect that. A lot of times, people complain to me that people are pushing by them. Maybe there might be a crew of your friends who like to do a sort of mosh-like activity — and that's cool, but other people there are going to be dancing, other people there are going to be watching."
Be comfortable where you're at.
"If I was attending a show like mine, I would probably be chilling in the far back, just enjoying myself. It's not going to get better based on change of position. You should really just enjoy your space that you have. Getting a few feet forward — or getting close to the computer — doesn't mean it's going to be better in any way. The whole concept of front or back would be completely dismissed at an ideal show."
Celebrate and practice your dancing at your house — be comfortable with it.
"A lot of people come out to the show, and they don't typically go to a show where they might be dancing with strangers. Because of that, they have a fear — [and] they need to get completely wasted to go dancing. I'm all for getting drunk and having a good time, but a lot of times...I see it every show, people definitely overdo it, people [are] being dragged out of the show before it gets started, just because they drank so much for fear of dancing, basically. You're gonna enjoy yourself more if you're comfortable with your moves."
— Annie Zaleski
8 p.m. Thursday, January 8. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. Sold out. 314-726-6161.
Fresh From the Oven
St. Louis may have a wealth of local talent, but when it comes to hip-hop production, the area doesn't boast many household names. However, locally based company the Bakery Productions is poised to get on the short list of go-to guys.
The Bakery scored its biggest hit to date with Huey's "Pop, Lock & Drop it" in 2006. The track hit No. 6 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 2007 and scored them a feature in the acclaimed Scratch magazine. B-Sides spoke with one of the Bakery's core members, D Scorch'd, about what else he has cooking.
B-Sides: What made you choose music as your profession?
D Scorch'd: My inspiration really came from Mannie Fresh back when the Hot Boyz were big in the late '90s. I've been playing instruments since I was eleven years old, and since music was something I've always loved to do, I figured I could apply my knowledge of instruments towards composing.
What instruments do you play?
I play the trumpet, trombone, a lot of brass instruments.
Do use your instruments in your music?
I haven't done much live recording yet; I'm mostly working with MIDI. I use a Triton LE [keyboard] with some VST plug-ins, and do sequencing in ProTools or Cubase.
Who's a part of "The Bakery Productions"?
Other than myself, there's three other producers: Po-Po, Krazy Jay and Marco. Then there's my manager, Dodie. I'm in the audio production program at Webster University, and Marco's down in Florida going to Full Sail [Universoity] for audio. The company started back in 2005, and we basically make hip-hop and R&B music. Sometimes we get into alternative hip-hop or alternative pop.
Do each of you have a specific role with the company?
Well, I would say that I'm usually involved with the R&B projects we get. I guess you could say that's my specialty. Really, all the producers work on every type of music we handle. Dodie does most of the networking as far as finding talent to work with.
Besides Huey, who else have you worked with?
We all got a chance to work with Potzee, and right now our artist Ray Da Kidd has a single out called "Jump Stupid." We've sent tracks off to other local artists like Ebony Eyez and Joka, but nothing's really came of it yet.
What other projects are you involved in?
I just finished a track for Interscope artist J. McCoy featuring Mims called "The World is Yours," which could possibly be a single. I can't say too much about it now, but we're talking with a major producer about doing in-house production for his label. If it all works out, we'll be able to bring our music to a bigger audience, and we'll have access to major talent like Rihanna.
Who are you currently influenced by?
I like anybody who's innovative. Producers like Timbaland have a real unique style, and right now I'm trying to find a style of my own. I like a lot of older music, because it seems like music used to be more intricate than the simple stuff that's out now.
— Calvin Cox