In 1839, an American writer and explorer named John Lloyd Stephens was sent to Central America to serve as Special Ambassador. He traveled around the continent during his time there, and, after happening upon Mayan ruins at Copán, visited almost 50 other such sites, gathering material for a travelogue that has long been credited with enlivening modern interest in Mayan culture.
Almost one hundred and seventy years later, that interest persists. In fact, as years tick closer to Dec. 21, 2012 (the date claimed by the Mayan calendar to be the End of Days) fascination nears a fever pitch. Daniel Pinchbeck recently published a psychedelic-philosophic hypothesis called 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. Next year brings 2012, a film about dealing with increasing natural disasters as that Mayan apocalypse approaches, starring Amanda Peet, John Cusak and Danny Glover.
And now Gregg Gillis, AKA mash-up artist extraordinaire Girl Talk, says he plans to play a round-the-clock, millennial-anticipatory, dance-like-the-world's-gonna-end-tomorrow set on that fated Dec. 21, four years from now.
"I want this to end when I'm on top," Gillis told MTV at Lollapalooza. "So I'm planning my final show on December 21, 2012. It's when the Mayan calendar ends. It's the day when solids become liquids and liquids become plasmas."
Although Girl Talk sets generally last about one frenzied hour, Gillis said the 24-hour show will be less of the usual paroxysm and more of a "an endurance test." His plans sound near-maniacal—which is, of course, fitting for an event marking the potential end of humanity."I want it to be a stage production, but one where the lines become blurry between reality and complete stage me...I want it to be miserable and equally fantastic. I want the best of both worlds."
With such a worldly farewell already in the works, questions necessarily abound with regard to future Girl Talk releases. Feed The Animals' online, pay-what-you-want release garnered the artist more mainstream press, but Gillis said he has no current plans for a new album, even as he continues to produce for his live show.
To gather a day's worth of material, he might actually need all four of those years. But we hope, at least, that Gillis' plans include a sizable venue for this last-night-on-Earth performance, as he's talking some avant-audience game that's sure to bring a curious crowd. "I think [in] too many shows, people are too aimed at pleasing the audience," he said. "If you want to do a really great show—which I haven't fully done yet—you have to really make it bad for them for like 20 hours and then you can kill it for four hours, and everyone will be really excited."
Sounds like a recipe for aural ecstasy—a pretty good way to go, really, if Mesoamerican prophesy turns out to be true after all.
Review: Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
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