Full Circle

Full Circle

When Feedback saw Circle a year and a half ago at the Tea Bazaar, they blew our minds. Hailing from Finland, the band packed onto the stage and let loose a barrage of floor-shaking riffs.

On Wednesday, September 19, the Nordic rockers will return to the teahouse, and we expect to once again walk home from the Downtown Mall with our brains fried. Circle, though, is likely to have a whole new sound for this visit, as they are a band that morphs into something new with each year (they’re in their 16th) and record (going on 28).

"At the moment I’m inspired by death metal, Mali-blues and Grateful Dead," founder and singer Jussi Lehtisalo tells Feedback. In the past, he says, Circle has been influenced by everything from free jazz to the Incredible String Band. But naturally, Lehtisalo’s most lasting inspiration comes from the godfathers of heavy metal. "My biggest influence for the past 20 years has been Led Zeppelin," he says.

What’s the Finnish phrase for head banging? Circle will shake the Tea Bazaar on Wednesday, September 19.

Does Circle’s music merely channel Zeppelin and other influences?  Maybe, but in a way that’s almost mystical and revelatory. "We play whatever comes our way," Lehtisalo explains. On their latest record, Katapult, many different sounds come their way, including heavy riffs, kraut rock repetitions and spacy noodling. "On [the record] we have created a carefree sound in which vaguely confusing playing crystallizes as an abstract, primitive and psychedelic pulse," Lehtisalo says. He’s talking about the mind blowing, we think. "Katalpult confuses its creators as much as their audience, I hope." Sure, it’s bit confusing, but in a good way!

Video of Circle performing in Holland.

Circle only makes it to the States (much less our dear Charlottesville) every couple of years, so don’t miss out on their visit this time, or you’ll likely have to wait many moons for your next chance.

No gossip, just dancing

We hope you have your tickets for the Girl Talk show at Satellite Ballroom on September 20, because it’s already sold out. Yep, you heard us right. What? You didn’t get a ticket? Well, there’s still hope. Satellite’s Danny Shea says that more tickets will be released the day of the show.

Take a listen to "Hold Up" from Girl Talk’s Night Ripper:
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Courtesy of Girl Talk – Thank you!

If you haven’t heard Girl Talk (a.k.a. Gregg Gillis), you’ve probably heard a lot of the songs that he samples. The one-man dance party mixes and mashes just about any piece of pop music that you can imagine. Hall & Oates? Check. Busta Rhymes? Check. Neutral Milk Hotel? Check.

"The mixing of Elton John and the Notorious B.I.G.—people seem to get the most excited when I play that one," Gillis told us. And rightfully so. Somehow Sir Elton’s "Tiny Dancer" and Biggie’s "Juicy" fit together perfectly.

Gillis started Girl Talk in 2000, but it wasn’t until this past year that things really started blowing up. This summer Gillis finally quit his day job as a biomedical engineer in Pittsburgh to do music full time. "It’s great. I liked the job, but I was really stressing out for that year," he says. "I played about 100 shows along with that whole other job. So I was playing shows really every weekend."

We’re totally psyched to see Girl Talk, who’ll keep it fresh by mixing up material from his latest album, Night Ripper, along with new tunes. "As I go on with shows, things get boring for me, and I wanted to change it up," he says, "so I’m always taking things out and putting things in."

You can dance if you want to: Girl Talk’s Gregg Gillis will get a sold out Satellite crowd dancing on Thursday, September 20.

And, rumor has it, Gillis often strips at shows. "I’ve kind of slowed down on that a bit recently," he says. "But a lot of times I have the audience come on the stage, and it gets really hot, and at many of the shows people take off their own clothes, and if everybody else is doing it, I don’t want to be the only nerd there with my shirt on."


Gillis’ music relies on hundreds of unauthorized samples (his label is, after all, called Illegal Art), but another Greg (this one with only one ‘G’) has quite a different perspective on copyrights. Local musician Greg Allen, who runs the nonprofit community music group SongSharing, was perturbed by our online guide to illegal downloading ["Piracy Guide," September 4] and told us so.

We talked with him and he described his own experience with getting proper permission to record cover songs (including REM and Dolly Parton) for an upcoming SongSharing benefit record. Is it hard to get permission? "It’s really not," says Allen. "In my experience, most of the artists that you want to cover your songs, they’re real gracious about it, and they appreciate that you are covering their songs." Of course, for Girl Talk, securing permission for every single sample would take ages. Luckily, though, Gregg Gillis has yet to face any lawsuits for his music, so the dance parties just keep on coming.

New Waive

Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees went out to Rod Coles‘ Esmont studio last week to record their second album. It’ll be the last with fiddle player Anna Matijasic, who’s heading off to Philly for new adventures. So, if you’re handy with the fiddle, you might want give the Divorcees a holler. Jim says they hope to have the album out sometime in November. It’ll make a nice Christmas gift, don’t ya think?

Got news or comments? Send them to feedback@c-ville.com.

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