For people of a certain age -- namely millennials -- MTV's Total Request Live was a fixture of their after-school routine. The Carson Daly-hosted video countdown show was the biggest musical tastemaker for teens and twentysomethings of the era, helping build the careers of the 2000s biggest pop stars, like Destiny's Child, Christina Aguilera and the ubiquitous boy bands of the time. Now, thanks to local R&B singer Larry g(EE), we can bask in the glory of TRL nostalgia this Thursday night at Three Links.
For g(EE), TRL holds a special place in his heart in his development as a musician. That's why he's planned a TRL-themed party to celebrate the release of his latest single, "Days Like This," and the accompanying video. "The idea came from my love for the show," says g(EE). "I was the kid who was watching too much TV and destroying my brain with TRL. I'm still a pop culture junkie."
g(EE) has long been considered one of Dallas' premiere R&B singers, but that's depsite the fact that he's never released a full-length record. In fact, "Days Like This" is his first release of any kind since 2011, and g(EE) says the new single will be different than just about anything else he's ever recorded. "I thought, what a cool way to usher in this whole new sound," he says. "No better way to do that than throw a party that brings that fun and nostalgic feeling of music and videos together."
Mark Schectman, recently announced as the host of The Ticket's new local music show, "The Local Ticket," will also be on hand providing the "countdown" portion of the evening. What that will in this instance will be counting down Dallas' 10 best Red Bull Sound Select performances. And we can all agree that Schectman is a much better host than Carson Daly.
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To help him put together that totally authentic TRL vibe, DJ Enzo will be spinning TRL faves, and their music videos will be projected on the walls of the venue. According to Larry g(EE), Enzo plans to play everything from "Nookie" by Limp Bizkit to "I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys. He also hopes that Enzo will throw in some late '90s and early 2000s hip-hop, even though that time was pretty heavily dominated (somewhat unfortunately) by Bad Boy acts like P. Diddy (then Puff Daddy, of course), and Ma$e. Of course, the videos for these songs will be the backdrop to everyone who chooses to relive their youth with the Macarena.
As for his own video for "Days Like This," g(EE) worked with director Chip Tompkins to create the perfect look for this track. Tompkins caught g(EE)'s attention when he saw Ronnie Heart's Tompkins-directed video for "Tasty Destination." "That video really caught my eye, and I emailed him randomly and he wanted to meet up," says g(EE). "Come to find out, he had just shot Leon Bridges' video, so immediately I was like, 'Dear Lord, let's do this.'"
The TRL party is just the first of a series of events that g(EE) has to promote singles from the album that he's working on. Instead of throwing an EP release party, he'll host a series of themed parties that fit in with the new sound that he's working on. The video component will continue to be a strong feature in these themed parties, but he's keeping mum for now on what future themes will be.
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Unfortunately, '90s attire isn't required -- Larry g(EE) says "come how you are." How very Nirvana of him. "Who wants to dress up like the '90s?" he says wih a laugh. "That wasn't a good time [for fashion]." Then again, maybe if you decide to dress up in your favorite all-white ensemble a la the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" video, he'll give you some kind of special prize for being such a devoted dweeb.
Larry g(EE)'s Total Request Live party is Thursday, March 5th. Admission is free.
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