Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lady Gaga, Let's Dance... I Mean Let's Talk

Toronto is aflutter with activities downtown this weekend. Taste of Italy food festival, Luminato arts festival, Much Music Video Awards featuring ... Lady Gaga. I watched Lady Gaga's performance of her new single "Edge of Glory" and as usual, was unamused. What a terrible song. Seriously.

The thing I don't get about Lady Gaga is that her brand of eccentricity is what sells people on her, yet there's nothing eccentric about her. Her music is just stale pop, nothing unique or complex about it. She just masquerades as an eccentric with her crazy make up, hair and costumes.

People seem to identify with her because she is the voice of the weirdo, the alienated teen who nobody understands. But it's just so... contrived. The probable irony is that Lady Gaga's brand is manufactured, or at least pushed constantly, despite little substance or quality to back it up, but her brand is also about fighting against norms and being yourself. Ha!

Look, I like some Lady Gaga songs and I don't have a problem with her fans. I just can't stand people masquerading as something they aren't, especially to make money, perpetuating misunderstandings about what unique artistry is. Just take it for what it is: cheesy pop music with a a flamboyant shell.

I've heard people compare Lady Gaga to Bjork, a true original and a musical genius, and I laugh and puke a little inside.

8 comments :

  1. You know, I have thought the very same thing.

    With the videos of hers that I have seen, the visuals have been so striking and singular that when the music kicks in, it is kind of startling - the juxtaposition of such odd visuals with such, well, pedestrian music.

    No worse and possibly marginally better than most of the dance stuff out there, but doesn't hold my attention...

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  2. If LG were normal she wouldn't be as big. It might be hyped and contrived but it seems to work in today's world. "Art" comes in many different flavours. You're right though, she should be compared to Bjork ;)

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  3. Oh boy, have you hit a nerve with me! Talk about star-making machinery?
    There is no art here. But great food for those who aspire to similar pretensions and think she is 'it'. She's not. If her themes were of social or political import, it would be different. It could be guerilla theater, but it's not. Wasted talent for the sake of a buck. gag....ga...

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  4. I don't really listen to her music because I'm more of a rock type of girl (I've literally heard like two of her songs), but I think her fashion sense is what people care about for the most part. She almost doesn't even have to make good music because people are so fascinated by her presence.

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  5. typo fix: I meant to say she shouldn't be compared to Bjork.

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  7. I agree with you completely!

    Jane

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  8. KatyDid - Yes, Gaga's performances are a startling disconnect. I don't get it... Thanks!

    Lynda - I kind of disagree. Normal IS big. Well, not necessarily normal, but unoriginal is. And Lady Gaga is unoriginal. Thanks! I wonder what Bjork thinks of her...

    Mythopolis - Fantastic point! Original
    and revolutionary art is ABOUT something. Lady Gaga's is not.

    Holly - As much as I think people are fascinated by her fashion, I think her music is a big factor in their love for her. Little do so many people realize that it's just mediocre pop music.

    Fishhawk - Thanks for including my site!

    Jane - Woo! Thanks.

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