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  1. Citizen Taqueau permalink
    August 17, 2010 11:31 am

    That video was so triumphant. I’d forgotten she was ever funny! Thank you.

  2. evmaroon permalink
    August 17, 2010 11:31 am

    Ha ha, I don’t get Lady Gaga, either! http://ifrymineinbutter.com/2010/06/21/i-dont-get-lady-gaga/

  3. August 17, 2010 3:16 pm

    The discourse surrounding Gaga has been far more interesting – to me, anyway – than anything about her artistry. In some ways, I find her wildly exploitive, but at the same time I question whether or not some of the backlash she receives is largely due to the argument you’ve expertly laid out here: her fanbase’s inability to place her musical contributions in a larger context. Unlike Gwen Stefani, I’m not entirely convinced this is something Gaga actively encourages, I mean she did reach out to Grace Jones, though I’m pleased that Jones rebuffed her advances. That said, there’s nothing in Gaga that I can’t find in Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones, Cher, Bowie, Daryl Hall, Tina Marie or hell – even Madonna. Therefore, I’m not especially interested in investigating her music much. She’s not like Xtina, who corrected those who sought to align her legacy with Madonna’s; she rightly aligned herself with her talent musical godmother – Cyndi Lauper.

  4. Lyrik permalink
    August 17, 2010 3:17 pm

    This is so awesome! lol

  5. August 17, 2010 4:26 pm

    I’m with Snarky’s idea that its her fans that make the phenomenon more obnoxious than she is. I think it is the nature of pop culture to cycle around though, the energy and interest happens no matter what, and some artist who happens to be near the top of the wave gets all the attention (and derision), when really it’s everything underneath them, those shoulders they stand on, as well as just pure chance and blind luck. This metaphor can continue into the driftwood area for some lost pop culture souls who’ve washed up on beaches over the years.

    Lady GaGa has one talent the same as Madonna — they know how to pick people with creative talent and have them work for them.

  6. August 17, 2010 5:09 pm

    I’m with Snarky’s idea that its her fans that make the phenomenon more obnoxious than she is. I think it is the nature of pop culture to cycle around though, the energy and interest happens no matter what, and some artist who happens to be near the top of the wave gets all the attention (and derision), when really it’s everything underneath them, those shoulders they stand on, as well as just pure chance and blind luck. This metaphor can continue into the driftwood area for some lost pop culture souls who’ve washed up on beaches over the years.

    She thinks she’s like Bowie, but she’s more like Mick Jagger in the sense she’s an expert bidness person, though not as fun as Mick!

  7. August 17, 2010 5:22 pm

    “None of her music’s reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is. She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music…She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic.”
    M.I.A.

    First sentence is so bang-on. Someone who looks like she does should spit out Captain Beefheart/Frank Zappa/Parliament Funkadelic musical weirdness not semi catchy dance music.

  8. August 17, 2010 9:00 pm

    @Snarky: Yeah, I thinks he rides really far on so many people thinking she just fell from the sky fully formed like a creature of myth as opposed to her image being strategically overhauled to maximize her appeal. It was interesting watching that Madonna video I posted because, of course, it led me to look at others from that era and there’s almost…I don’t want to say “DIY” because Madonna had way more money and people behind her than that. But there’s a feel to it that is more human I think due to the different technology of the time. It wasn’t possible for people to look like glassy-smooth glambots then like they can now. I mean, Madonna’s hair used to look bad. Like she might have colored it herself. And maybe that was on purpose, but it seems like an impossibility in this day and age for someone to look that mortal.

    @raymond: I think another big common thread between her and Madonna is their penchant for borrowing from other people. I think the thing with Madonna was she tended to borrow from more marginalized groups (gays, people of color) whose work was lesser known to the general populace. I mean, how many folks in middle America knew about the vogueing houses of NYC? And yes, she did the Marilyn Monroe thing for a minute, but that was a moment in time for her. Gaga references so many artists that people know of or can find out about more easily, so she is less “safe” in people not realizing who she’s lifting from. I also feel like Madonna was constantly morphing, whereas Gaga is just doing the ultra-weird fashion/stage show thing. I wonder if she’ll evolve past that? Or last.

    @sharkguy: I love that quote!! And coming from someone like M.I.A. who takes musical risks that reflect her edgy image it seems doubly apt. Gaga’s music really doesn’t stand on its own as being unusual or remarkable in any way. I could imagine it coming from Gwen, Britney, Christina or any of the other poplettes out there and it would scarcely be different.

  9. August 17, 2010 9:00 pm

    @raymond: I think another big common thread between her and Madonna is their penchant for borrowing from other people. I think the thing with Madonna was she tended to borrow from more marginalized groups (gays, people of color) whose work was lesser known to the general populace. I mean, how many folks in middle America knew about the vogueing houses of NYC? And yes, she did the Marilyn Monroe thing for a minute, but that was a moment in time for her. Gaga references so many artists that people know of or can find out about more easily, so she is less “safe” in people not realizing who she’s lifting from. I also feel like Madonna was constantly morphing, whereas Gaga is just doing the ultra-weird fashion/stage show thing. I wonder if she’ll evolve past that? Or last.

    @sharkguy: I love that quote!! And coming from someone like M.I.A. who takes musical risks that reflect her edgy image it seems doubly apt. Gaga’s music really doesn’t stand on its own as being unusual or remarkable in any way. I could imagine it coming from Gwen, Britney, Christina or any of the other poplettes out there and it would scarcely be different.

  10. hsofia permalink
    August 17, 2010 9:43 pm

    I have only heard a few Lady Gaga songs on YouTube, and I’m not a fan (although 2 of them I think are incredibly catchy), but I know so many people who are HUGE fans. And they are not people whose musical tastes are fairly disparate … a friend who loves techno-trance loves LG, a friend who loves Bollywood loves LG, a friend who is heavy into musical theater loves LG, a friend who sings classical loves LG , and so on. I’ve heard some of her songs sung by amateurs and the songs hold up really well, so there might be something to her songwriting abilities.

    The very fact that she appeals so much to people in the 30-50 age range is pretty interesting, but I can’t even begin to speak as to the reasons why that might be. Well, except to say that she might be filling the Madonna, Cher, Celine Dion (yes, her, too) void. I mean, how many pop stars are there that don’t act/sing/dance/dress like they’re 22 years old anymore? And apparently, she puts on an incredible show.

  11. hsofia permalink
    August 17, 2010 9:44 pm

    Ugh. Should read: “They are people whose musical tastes are fairly disparate …”

  12. August 17, 2010 10:38 pm

    In some ways the transformation into Gaga follows more of a Tori Amos trajectory rather than Madonna.

  13. August 18, 2010 12:18 am

    Oooooh, good prediction Snarky.

  14. August 18, 2010 1:23 am

    I think we’re stuck with Gaga the way people who don’t like Bjork (wtf is wrong with them) feel they’re stuck with Bjork. She’s carved out a place for herself (Gaga) and while she probably won’t be able to sustain this level of fame, she’ll have her place; keeping both her fans and critics busy.

  15. August 19, 2010 10:21 am

    Tonight, half of Portland will be at the Rose Quarter to see Gaga. I will be playing Pinball at Free Play tonight, anxiously awaiting Sept. 01. When I get to see Cyndi Lauper shut it down for the 3rd time. Oh yes.

  16. hsofia permalink
    August 19, 2010 11:34 am

    Well the upside of all this is y’all got me listening to my own tunes more often. My child doesn’t share my taste in music (she likes classic rock, gospel + Barney). She whined the ENTIRE time, but I spent 30 minutes this morning listening to MY music. By the way, she also likes Lady Gaga. I played a few vids on YouTube and it was the only time she was quiet. Figures!

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