Live: Catalpa Offers A Little Bit Of Everything To The Soggy Masses At Randall's Island

Snoop Dogg at Catalpa.
PHOTOS: Sunday at Catalpa

Catalpa NYC: Snoop Dogg, Black Keys, Matt & Kim, Matisyahu, A$AP Rocky, Hercules & Love Affair, TV On The Radio, Girl Talk, et al.
Randall's Island
Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29

Better than: Arguing over an iPod's shuffle function.

Music festivals without a historical following or a known brand identity can employ many strategies in their inaugural year, one of which is "Appeal to as many prospective demographics as possible." Catalpa NYC, which debuted this weekend at Randall's Island, decided to combat this problem by throwing together a bunch of popular-ish acts and some quirky attractions—art, fire, a chance to "elope" with a fellow Snoop Dogg fan.

Results were mixed; the lineup succeeded in having a broad appeal, but lacked a coherent musical aesthetic. Many of the non-musical attractions were spoiled by rain on Saturday and, faced with the prospect of surviving on its artists alone, Catalpa became a referendum on its performers' current positions within the musical landscape. Many attendees claimed to like "everything," so Catalpa became a chance to find out what the new "everything" is.

More »

A SOTC Flowchart: Should You Get Married In Catalpa's Church Of Sham Marriages This Weekend?

via Catalpa NYC
We'll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to get married in a sorta-bouncy castle.
"We have the Frisky's Church of Sham Marriages going in, which is a 60 foot inflatable church, and we have a pimp pastor marrying people. We actually have two couples getting legitimately married at the festival - the wedding dress, the whole family coming in. I'm trying to get Snoop Dogg to actually do the marriage. That'd be ridiculous, right? It's elements like that. Of course you had a great time seeing the Black Keys, but you're going to talk for a lot longer about the day you saw the Black Keys and got married to some random person."
Catalpa founder Dave Moran on one of the attractions at this weekend's inaugural Catalpa NYC festival. Should you take the plunge and make The Most Important Day Of Your Life an outing at Randalls Island where you could conceivably get hitched by a fake pimp/Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion/a member of Umphrey's McGee? With candy rings and everything? A flowchart to walk you through the decision-making process below.

More »

Live: Girl Talk And Matt & Kim And A Whole Bunch Of Suits Take Over Terminal 5

Girl Talk/Matt & Kim
Terminal 5
Wednesday, August 24

Better than: Shuffling through Pandora while making spreadsheets.

Stories of Girl Talk's shows are legendary, passed down from one generation to another of college kids like Biblical messages from on high, hallelujah. They are the Bill Brasky of concerts, tall tales amplified in adjectives with each telling: onstage free-for-alls that recall a rave version of Plato's Retreat, a drug-fueled Technicolor Animal House, a life-changing balloon animal zoo with a Napster soundtrack. Feathers falling and glitter flying, sweat and drugs and rap and rock all smooshed into a Play-Doh container.

And so it's a shame that last night's Girl Talk show—my first—was as boring as it was. (It's my own fault for attending a heavily sponsored Girl Talk show, where the clientele arrived with shirts and lips buttoned; where a 45-year-old man in a blue plaid shirt stood in the middle of the hubbub and clapped so off-beat that after a while he was almost on-beat.) There were other problems: volume was low, as was attendance—the cavernous Terminal 5 has never felt so vast. The toilet paper, balloons, glitter bombs and inflatable pool toys thrown at us couldn't fix the lack of people, not even if we started molding them into trash snowmen.

More »

The Story Of This Weekend's Governor's Ball, Told In 35 Tweets


Australia was borne of the idea that it would be a holding pen for criminals, the unwanted and the insane, a dumping ground for human garbage. Govenor's Ball, held this weekend on New York's refurbished Governor's Island, was more of a technicolor Alcatraz or a synth-laden Ellis Island. Droves arrived on these shores seeking life, liberty, and the pursuit to stand on line for hours.

A festival is a hard thing to cover. Moments are missed while standing on line for $5 waters or $24 meals; entire acts, while watching the members of Das Racist hooliganize the VIP area. Sometimes, other perspectives need to be counted on. As such, here is the narrative of the Governor's Ball—the details small and large—as told by the Twitter-ers who were there.

More »

Penguin Prison on Touring With Girl Talk: "I Would Like 15-Year-Olds to Like My Music Too"

Categories: Girl Talk

Todd Owyoung for the Riverfront Times
Penguin Prison opening for Girl Talk at the Pageant

Girl Talk shows are the sorts of underage blitzkriegs in which everyone gets hit with more ass than a toilet seat, so one would have to imagine that touring with Gregg Gillis and his neon busload would be, uh, memorable? Penguin Prison, the nom-de-synth of Washington Heights resident Chris Glover, recently returned from a 24-date Southern tour as Gillis's warm-up act, so when we visited the native New Yorker's Sylvan Terrace place a few weeks ago, he told us a little about the trip. Fun fact: prepping Girl Talk's toilet-paper launchers and balloons is a two-man job.

More »

The Ten Worst Moments On Girl Talk's All Day

Greg Gillis in Williamsburg, summer of 2009. Photo by Sam Horine.
By now you've heard All Day, the fifth full length LP from Pittsburg's Greg Gillis--or, as he's known on chaotic, fan-filled stages around the world, Girl Talk. The record was released to minimal fanfare, at the low price of free, early Monday morning. There is a wealth of good criticism out there about this guy, from the adulatory to the extremely, mercilessly skeptical. We must confess here that we tend toward the latter, though we tried ("Flava In Ya Ear" mixed with "Liquid Swords"!), honest. It was just too grating. Doubt us? Follow along below, as we count down the ten worst mashed-together moments on a record whose entire premise we are, frankly, coming to doubt:

More »

Girl Talk's New Album, All Day, Is Available For Free Download

Yes, Girl Talk, mash-up artiste extraordinaire, unwitting inspiration for award-winning think pieces, and famed regaler of more topless women than non-topless women down at the ol' Williamsburg Waterfront, has dropped another free album on the Internet today. And why wouldn't you start your week with a "War Pigs"/"Move Bitch" construction? The zeitgeist!

More »

News Roundup: R.I.P. Brendan Mullen, Kia Motors Hearts Girl Talk, Daniel Johnston, Chris Taylor

brendan mullen.jpg
--R.I.P. Brendan Mullen, who was one of the first DIY promoters of punk and independent rock and the first regular booker of punk bands in Los Angeles. The Masque, a venue that became home base for all that is first-wave L.A. punk--including the Germs and the Weirdos--was in essence his baby and brainchild. The venue's Monster Island-like proportions (10k square feet) became famous as a cheap place to have shows and rent out rehearsal space until it was shut down by local authorities in 1978. Mullen, an otherwise completely healthy 60-year old, died of a sudden stroke. "Sometimes, your number is just up," said one of his neurologists.

More »

Photos: Girl Talk's Williamsburg Waterfront Pool Party with Max Tundra and Wiz Khalifa

Sam Horine
So, yeah-- 8,500 people, three bands, a broken stage, and a Chuck Schumer sighting. Just another day at Williamsburg's East River Park, where things got well and truly out of hand for Greg Gillis' Girl Talk, a band pretty much made for the mayhem, nudity, and bare feet that are the hallmarks of Jelly NYC's weekly summer pool parties. Gillis drew well over the park's maximum and, in the now obligatory participatory scrum, actually broke the stage when too many people got on it at once. Reports are unclear as to whether Schumer, who was spotted by ASSME gladhanding hipsters before Girl Talk went on, was among the marauding stage-killing dancers. Anyway, ball of screaming naked chaos is in your court now, Grizzly Bear! More topless women than non-topless women here, at our slideshow.