This blog will not die like all the others. Rather, I’ve been momentarily pre-occupied. And in the interim there have been some significant shifts in the landscape of pop. Mostly, I no longer hate Lady Gaga. As much. And I’m late to the party here: it’s not just me. I don’t quite know what it is, but something has shifted, as if she’s now got some meat (as in, substance, not c***) to back up her constant references to Warhol and pop as art which have always irritated me, mostly because they implied this concept was something new. As if she was not aware of KylieFever2002.
For me and many others, the tipping point has been her amazing Jonas Akerland-directed clip to Paparazzi which is the most exciting piece of pop imagery I’ve seen in a long time. It makes me as excited as I used to feel waiting for Frozen to arrive on Video Hits when I was a young thing, and sadly, makes me realise how unadventurous everyone else is being. Come on Madge — this ghoulish look you’re working up could really be used in an interesting way, if you had the courage.
I’m increasingly liking GaGa’s look too, now that she’s removed those irritating lightning bolt things. What I particularly like is the sense of fragility she seems to be evoking in each outfit — glasses you can’t see out of, umbrella to keep the sun away, tea cup etc. Very decadent, as in the bit where the over-ripe grape starts to rot
. And she’s always being clasped
and propped up by big beefy guys, looking slightly dazed and confused. This is so different to the normal stardom protocol which is to appear even more strong and in control
as your star ascends, papering over the inevitable breakdowns and benzo addictions. Intentional or not, it’s as if she’s acknowledging how chaotic it is inside the whirlwind she’s created. I like this a lot.
Of course, I still understand the rage that she seems to tap into — all that Haus of GaGa stuff is a bit twee. And I still maintain she’s not as in on the joke as she insists she is, somewhat like the 19-year old Arts undergrad who’s not quite the socialist they think they are. And there are some duds on her album which, interestingly, reveal the various other artists she could just have easily been (Xtina, Pink). But annoying as she is, she is doing such interesting stuff that I can no longer call myself a hater.
Other things I’ll get around to, in no particular order:
- Make a case for the transformative power of B*Witched’s Blame it on the Weatherman and The Corrs’ Breathless
- Reassess Madonna’s American Life.
- And finally, I’ll do a bit of Kylie housecleaning, to keep track of her completely *bonkers* touring schedule (do you really care about Poland, Ms. Minogue?)
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