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April 03, 2009



You know, at first I absolutely hated the performance - maybe because I was still angry that she postponed her D.C. show, which I had tickets for. But your post changed my mind. She's awesome.


I think she's gonna be one of those artists (like NSYNC and Hoku etc) that I hate when they are actually having their career but I like once nobody cares about them. Like she's not worth anything until she becomes nostalgic.

Dennis N.

She's just so fascinating. After reading her EW interview, I was hooked. I thought initially that she was just a novelty, but after hearing the litany-esque explanation for her chainmail glasses in her "LoveGame" video, you pretty much just have to sit back and love her deluded commitment to her sacred art.

Plus, the stringed arrangement was pretty freakin' awesome. And she actually can sing! (The coarse GooGoo version notwithstanding)


The "shocking" arrangement at the beginning is what's finally convinced me she's a real musician. Bravo.


I like some of her songs. My problem is with so many blogs on the internet treating her like she is the wholly unique, never-before-seen force in music, as if everything she's come up with is so NEW. She's ok, but let's not fool ourselves for one second: her musical (and personal) style is wholly derivative of other sources. I mean, Gwen Stefani much? Not that she is terrible for this. I just don't think she should get all this credit (and I'm not saying it's coming from you Rich) for being so shockingly original. She is "a breath of fresh air" in the literal sense that she is a new artist making new music, but it's not like we haven't seen this stuff before (maybe just on better looking people that don't dress as wacky).

That said, I admire the devotion she has for her artistic craft, even if the music she makes feels like harmless fluff. I like that a lot.


i'm on board, for sure. what i find so fascinating about the "love her/hate her" back-and-forth is how it only increases the likelihood that she could have a lasting career (as much as popstars can, these days). provoking such disparate yet passionate response means she's resonating. of anyone trying to claim the "next madonna" tag, she's come the closest, in my opinion, of melding bubblegum pop with WTF drama. i could also be delusional.


I thought you had edited the Goo-goo GaGa video the first time I watched it- It's soooo your style. Look at you, all influental and stylistic and everything!


Oh i missed your blog Rich!

I love that you call them as you see them. It is rare on this side of the country.


I loved her last year when I first found her CD. Her album was the soundtrack to my spring/summer 08. Sadly I feel pressure to hate her now that EVERYONE suddenly loves her.

Is that bad?

chelsea g.

I think she's a subversive genius and anticipate her every next pants-free move.


It is my greatest hope for Lady Gaga that she only gets weirder. Its a rather natural progression actually for pop artists who have more artistic inclinations - they hook an audience with a catchy, infectious debut, and then whip out the really crazy stuff later on. There will undoubtedly be backlash, but if she really wants to make great lasting art, she should be expecting and embracing that.

Lolita Hazed

Well, at least she'll never get bored with any of her songs!


Drunk. That's the only explanation. And laugh out loud funny, something Madonna can't even begin to be. Madonna is just *sad* right now. Remember when she was the shit? I digress. I usually have zero tolerance for this nonsense you posted right up in here but God help me, I love Gaga's music. Just love it. I usually don't watch her on TV - I FF'd thru her performance on AI, but then again I FF thru all the boring parts of that show anyhow. Which means typical AI viewings are no more than 15 minutes long. But "Just Dance" is undeniable. And I always think she's singing "Poke Her Face". Ya know, like with a penis. Maybe that's just me. At any rate, Adam Lambert (the only person daring to entertain on AI right now) needs to do this. I think he might!


Ok, I know I can ask this here . . . . Is Lady GaGa a drag queen? My sis and I were arguing it all night after her performance on Idol. I think no; my sis thinks she is.


You forgot by far the best part of this video: Paula Abdul and Kara whateverhernameis's shadows dancing in the pull away shots. HILARIOUS!


Gaga will follow in David Bowie's footsteps and create new personas for each release.Easy enough at the start of a career when the public don't have a handle on you but more difficult later like the Beyonce/Sasha Fierce setup.

Driver B

I got on board the Lady GaGa train early and I still like her. I'd only ever heard her recordings though, so I was pleasantly surprised by her musicality and piano playing at the beginning of the clip. Sounds like she should not try to dance and sing at the same time though.


I have to agree that you're giving her a little too much credit. She's got a screwball quality that's endearing, but it's no more original than Gwen Stefani on the pop end or Nellie McKay on the performance art end.

It's the incongruous nature of putting her on American Idol - home of the stalest version of pop music - that makes it seem so refreshing.


She just rubs me the wrong way. She seems to think that she's better than everyone else simply for knowing how to play the piano. A lot of people can play the piano, and better than her. Great pop is its own art form, so this self-conscious, undeserved presentation of herself as an artist is unnecessary. Just write good songs.

yr momz

come on, this shit is so douchey.

the only good thing about this bitch is when you chop and screw her single, 'just dance', it sounds like an swv, 90s jeep jam.

the sickest part about this ho, is that people think she's unique when she's really just biting other douche, neon, wanna-hip poseurs.

whatever, some people like their vanilla ice cream


Although that American Idol performance was quite entertaining, I still find all the hype about her extremely annoying. She's basically a low rent Gwen Stefani or Roisin Murphy, so it's hard to listen to people praising her as "original" or "unique". Then again, a low rent Roisin is still better than most pop stars.


please please please, tell me you are obsessed with Adam Lambert as I am, he was the only Idol to get up from his seat to go meet her after her performance. i flove him


ewww. she's terrible. wow. i'm shocked. i've always been impressed by your taste.


I don't know if GaGa is finally the thing that separates me from the young'uns, but it's like I cannot see her without seeing behind the curtain and ergo cannot fall under her spell.

Not to say she doesn't have talent or that she's not entertaining and worthy of pop stardom. More that I look at her and see the acting-and-singing east coast girls I knew when I went to NYU. Through the blond hair and leotards, I just see all those husky-voiced brunettes running to auditions, with their kind of scrappy hunger and drive to make it and how worldly they were about it.

And ergo I see her quirkiness less as an art project and more of a decision to capitalize on what she might have to separate her from the other talented singer/songwriters out there. She seems smart enough to be writing/making more than fun dancey pop tunes (not that there's anything wrong with that), but that doesn't get you famous. But she also doesn't seem like the kind of girl who could be effective doing the sort of bimbette sexpot pop star thing. And going R&B/hip hop might just not be her musical style. But this highly-styled oddball thing, that works.

Maybe I need to watch more interviews, but I just don't get the sense that there is quite the level of...textural depth behind it as there was with, say, Madonna. Her music/lyrics were never groundbreaking, but her image-making, i think, did show a truly fertile imagination that did bring a lot of...I don't know, extra stuff to bear. Like I always felt like there was artifice and manipulation, but also that she was genuinely obsessed with whatever aesthetic she brought out now. But who knows, maybe that's generational loyalty speaking.

Again, I'm not a-hatin', I can admire pop artifice, and am more interested in what this gal does next than say...Mylie Cyrus. Maybe this is all just to say: I am old.


Lady GaGa really is something different and new--at least in the last few decades. (She often says that she's not doing anything revolutionary--that she's doing what Andy Warhol did, but in a way updated for the times.) Your rumination on whether this is a "social experiment" already has been answered by Lady GaGa in an Entertainment Weekly interview in which she said something like "GaGa is the greatest experiment of my life." I don't think she was referring to herself in third person, really, but to this GaGa concept, which she just happens to be animating with her body and her voice.

Like the first person who commented, I resent Lady GaGa a bit for bailing out on her D.C. concerts with only 24 hours notice, and with the excuse that she is very ill. She didn't appear ill on Idol, so she's either amazingly able to overcome her illness for the sake of performance or she is just using the most convenient excuse in the book. I expect the latter, but in the end, oh well.

My greatest curiosity is what GaGa will do next. I don't mean what she'll do next to shock us a la Madonna or Britney; I actually think she's a lot more kinetic than either of them. I wonder if she'll keep this ironic artistic integrity she has. She said in her apology to D.C. fans that her concerts will be rescheduled at "larger venues for more dancing room!" Clearly, this translates to "now that I have two number ones and was on Idol, I can sell a shitload more tickets." So is she going to compromise her quirkiness to keep this upwardly mobile pop momentum? Is she going to eventually outpace herself and lose her fickle mainstream fans by continuing the weirdness beyond the current incarnation of GaGa? Or is she actually going to keep evolving in an intelligent way and never run out of ideas? In a way, it all seems too pretentious and preposterous, but I can't deny my curiosity.

"Just Dance" is a great dance song, and "Poker Face" is a great new-sounding pop song. "Paparazzi" is a lot more mainstream, but it comes at the perfect time so that she can use it as the basis for her explanation of her GaGa concept in more and more news reports.

What's most interesting about GaGa is that she is barely 23 years old and yet, despite the put-on affectations (She's now talking on and off with a faux-Madonna-not-quite-British accent, completely self-seriously in such a way that comes across as informed self-parody, saying things like, "people say GaGa is not real, but they're right, and they're wrong; they think this can't be me, but I am; you see, I have lost my mind."

GaGa is preposterous--but the young woman behind the pop star is convincing me that all of it is so carefully and intelligently constructed that it is, in a way, a kind of conceptual performance art that works. The music and lyrics are among the best available today, the "fashion" is new and different, and GaGa's interviews so bizarrely but sensibly and articulately explain and act out this Warhol-inspired GaGa concept.

I'm rambling but, just like you, Rich, I can't stop thinking about and trying to parse this GaGa thing.

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