Upon seeing the Gaslamp Killer for the second time I decided it was time I begin using his pet name. I saw him flutter from the bar to backstage, shouting to my friend over the noise, "There goes the GLK, probably drinking maté and champagne again". The GLK fits this artist nicely. The acronym refers to a man with a wicked record collection and copious amounts of hair, or wicked hair and copious amounts of records - whichever way you spin it. The acronym is reminiscent of The BFG (Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant). Body types aside, the GLK is also a sort of BFG. The BFG was known for his giant ears and subsequent great hearing, as well as his vocation, dispensing good dreams to kids. Might we say the same about the GLK? If you ask me, his sets are full of wondrous dreams made reality, and as for the kids part, I for one don't ever plan on growing up. Dancing keeps you young, right?
The Gaslamp Killer, both a DJ and producer is originally from the bay area. William, the GLK, gets his name from a club called The Gaslamp, which he used to frequent. He is a founder and resident of Low End Theory, a weekly music showcase at The Airliner in Los Angeles. He was recently in an iPad commercial, because he often uses the iPad in his sets. Turntablism seems to be the base of his sonic dishes, but he uses the iPad like seasoning. Just this year he also began performing as The GLK experience, a full band. Needless to say he's a busy man, but he always makes time for us Coloradans on his tours.
As the show began, I danced to his vibes, perfectly curated for the dark and stormy May evening in Boulder. I also listened intently. A couple songs in, with a Darth Vader-like voice mod he says, "Gaslamp Killer mother fuckers", capped by an ominous laugh. The mood is set. The GLK shouts out who he is playing often, and I don't take this act lightly. It's a uniquely engaging experience to learn about new music live, from someone who believes in it enough to play it. The expression seem to be as much for the audience sake as for the artists that he wants to put on at every chance he gets.
On this particular evening he sampled artists like...
Great Dane x Promnite
LTGL (living the good life)
some Japanese footwork
Run the Jewels
It was a magical music buffet fit for a bass and beat-loving princess like me. With the GLK, however, it's not all turn-up and booty shaking. He tends to utilize the stage as a social platform, encouraging cultural awareness, a key ingredient to art appreciation. Somewhere near the middle of his set he bluntly said, "The law enforcement in this country have gone out of their minds". For a moment he shatters illusions. I cheer like a dumb idiot, meaning to cheer his honesty, not the atrocious fact. He doesn't miss a beat however, and I continue to dance, sweat, think and feel feelings.
At some point I lose count of which encore we are on, but at long last when he sparks up a joint on stage, we all simultaneously realize how much work he just put in. The Fox and its employees let him billow in smoke with no qualms. The GLK tells us to meet him at the merch booth, thanks everybody, and finally pays his respects for Los Angeles and Low End Theory.
The GLK is a particular kind of performer, certainly an experience creator as much as he is a man of the music. To me he represents the kind of art I really believe in - art with social consciousness that I can dance my ass off to.