Friday, November 13, 2009

Listening Post


There's nothing I enjoy more than defying expectations, particularly when it comes to the music I like.

This is one of those choices that people will either love or hate, mostly because the singer herself is someone it's tough to be ambivalent about. To be honest, I go back and forth over whether I really like or completely fucking abhor Lady GaGa. On the one hand, she's pop music's answer to Marilyn Manson -- a really savvy artist who blends bits and pieces of just about every form of modern pop and arthouse culture and shoves the whole thing right down the throat of the audience; she's the new musical Andy Warhol and the perfect face and voice of a unique point in history -- a sort of ground zero era where the sounds and visuals from the past are easily accessible as never before, thanks to the internet, and therefore can combine with the present to create the feeling of a perpetual "now."

On the other hand, she's friends with that idiot Perez Hilton -- although that in itself could be an example of the sly joke she's playing on the world: both reveling in and mercilessly mocking our obsession with the shallow, vain and vacuous.

Regardless of what you think of Lady GaGa, though, her new song is damn catchy -- and the video, helmed by I Am Legend and Constantine director Francis Lawrence, is astonishingly cool.

Here's Bad Romance.

27 comments:

Web Dunce said...

It would appear that Leigh Bowery and Dale Bozzio did indeed produce a love child...

kanye said...

The dancing albinic Slim Jim was an interesting choice.

jb said...

When she's not trying to look like a freak, she's sort of cute. She's probably an animal in the sack, too. Not really my cup of tea musically, but there's talent there, though. Can't deny it.

Alice said...

*sigh* I liked it in spite of myself.

Anonymous said...

I am glad I am not the only one who thinks that her whole schtick is a very clever, well crafted dig at pop culture in general.

Id Molotov said...

Awkwardly Arty would be my choice of words.

It always amazes me when pop stars adopt the style of Contemporary Art and leave out the substance... thus assuring what people once thought was weird and pretentious is now "amazingly cool."

Sorry to be a grump, but this is one of my pet peeves. I really enjoy your writing Chez, but Lady Gaga can suck my overly-educated, pretentious ass.

Kevin Davis said...

I guess I will have to be the lone dissenting voice. Chez, I totally dig your musical style and agree with many of your choices, just not today.

Alex said...

A dig? Are you serious? Yea she certainly doesn't take herself seriously when doing the things she does...asinine, boring lyrics (that she probably doesn't even write) with a mediocre singing voice set to played out beats. Andy Worhol she is not.

VOTAR said...

Phew! Glad I'm not going to be the only one to disagree.

Talk about "lipstick on a pig"....

Jadine said...

Honestly, I think I'd rather listen to the Christmas carol cats.

kanye said...

Here's the thing...If you take a look at her bio, you discover that she is in fact a very talented, highly trained musician. At the age of 17, she was accepted into (but ultimately turned down) Julliard to study piano. She's no slouch.

My guess (and that's all that this is) is that she realized early-on that talent and excellence in the music biz just isn't that valuable of a commodity. Not because those attributes aren't desirable but, because there's an overabundance of both in this world. A day spent hanging out at your local Guitar Center makes that crystal clear.

Again, just a guess but, I think that she decided to go the Liberace route. Go big, get right in their face and make them notice you. Seems to be working out so far.

Of course, I have been wrong before.

Once. :)

Anonymous said...

If you didn't know what she looked like, if you didn't know about the persona, the classical training, the artistic mission statement she presumably has, etc... she'd sound like everything else on the radio.

Like Bluth Company stock, Lady Gaga is a Don't Buy.

playabound said...

Also, the plot of the video:

She's an innocent young thing, washing away her sins, when she is drugged and kidnapped, and auctioned off to Russian men.

(no, really, it is)

I love the horrible choreography. I hope it's intentional.

Lisa said...

I'm with you here. I can't decide if I love or hate her, but either way I'm fascinated. I think she might be brilliant in the way Madonna was at the beginning of her career.

Kevin Davis said...

kanye imma let you finish... but despite her musical ability she still just puts out songs that are overproduced, shallow, and somehow make fergie sound like she's singing the ave maria in comparison. If she's pulling a The Darkness or R. Kelly (c'mon, he can't be for real), then props to her for stumping us all.

Anonymous said...

So does that mean Joaquin Phoenix is actually a rapper for real?

Michael said...

Yowtch. One of the subtler pleasures of reading DXM is the idea that there might actually be someone out there that shares (most of) my taste. Not today, though. That was painful to watch, so bad that it should have been the soundtrack to "Dr. T and the Women."

Pirate Bunny said...

I don't know about the song, but I have learned that Gaga's songs take a few times for them to grab me... but then they are stuck in my head.

Anyway, the video looked like something from David LaChapelle, who is one of my favorite photographers. I enjoyed it.

Lord Benne said...

Count me in as one of those who can't decide whether to love or hate Lady Gaga. On one hand, her songs are just as bland and interchangeable as anything you hear on Top 40 radio nowadays. On the other hand, I hear she writes her own music, and makes up her own dance moves for the music, which is something I have to give a lot of credit for, given how shallow and manufactured the pop music scene is.

So....Lady Gaga: latest "Barbie-doll-pop-music-flavor-of-the-month", or "misunderstood genius way ahead of her peers"? I can't decide yet.

brite said...

Meh.In the end...just...meh.

Anonymous said...

This is one of those choices that people will either love or hate, mostly because the singer herself is someone it's tough to be ambivalent about. To be honest, I go back and forth over whether I really like or completely fucking abhor Lady GaGa.

So you're ambivalent about her Chez?

Chez said...

Fair enough -- ambivalent was probably the wrong word to use. My point, which you're of course arguing over the semantics of (once again, fair enough), is that among those who know who Lady GaGa is and have seen and heard her stuff, there's a lot of extreme love or extreme hatred. She's the kind of artist who wants you to notice her, and because of that she inspires either devotion or loathe.

9H2Os said...

Why does this video remind me of something Eddie Arcadian from "The Last Dragon" would of made?

playabound said...

Ah, I just blogged myself earlier that day, that give up, I'm a fan.

http://playabound.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/sigh-2/

She does want you to notice her, her philosophy - and that of Haus of Gaga - is 100% Warholian (she freely admits this).

I (as I noted in the blog post) haaated the first song, but many interviews (and early footage of her, actually singing and playing piano) later, that dumb ass song is now my ringtone. She makes shiny pop cliches look gooood - and has the intellect to back it all up, too.

Turns out she isn't some cookie cutter label rat, at all.

Anonymous said...

The girl has a shlong. I've googled it, I've watched the youtube video, I have the proof... or perhaps it's all part of a very clever but somewhat perverted marketing and pr campaign...

I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

This is just the kind of shit that the gays love, overproduced, overtheatrical but poor singing, poor dancing and poor drag queen performance.

Is there a closet you need to come out of Chez?

Anonymous said...

I generally thought Lady Gaga's stuff was the same old pop stuff, perhaps refined toward a certain end, but the same when all was said and done.

Having said that, I've been unable to stop watching this video. The song mixed with the video is quality entertainment to me, and I can't really explain why.

It's surely much better than Just Dance While You Poke Her Face In This Love Game.