Lady Gaga – Defended… and then deconstructed

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I blasted Lady Gaga in the “Sexy Done Right” post, and got lots of replies in agreement. One guy, however, came to LGG’s defense.

John McM wrote:

Why all of this hatred toward GaGa? I saw her in DC last Thursday, and as someone who has been going to music performances of all genres since 1973, I have to say that was one of the top 3 shows that I have ever seen and heard. LGG is a virtuoso musician and song writer, mixes an amazing number of cultural forms and references together, and can rock like a hurricane. Imagine Jerry Lee Lewis doing his thing on a piano, that is incidentally ON FIRE, with 13″ heels on, and that is only one number. I dearly loved Jane Russell (especially in “Macao”), but she became a star chiefly because of her physical attributes. It is also quite possible that is not even her voice singing in the films. GaGa never lip syncs on stage and you can tell. Jane didn’t choreograph the scenes shown here, design the costumes or write the music. With all of that being said, “Born Into This” is not LGG’s strongest stuff, but give her time…she’s only 25. Folks, lighten up and enjoy the NOW.

OK.

I have noted on my post and elsewhere that she IS talented, and as a musician myself, I do respect that. No, she’s not an Ashley or Jessica Simpson. She CAN flat-out play! She’s definitely much more respect worthy than the collection of the Kardashians… what-ever they do. John said: “Jane didn’t choreograph the scenes shown here, design the costumes or write the music.”. This is true, and it brings me to the point where I express myself and explain why I have such great disdain for Lady Gaga.

I think my biggest problem is that Lady Gaga is a total creation of marketing over artistry. Everything stinks of a exquisitely calculated money making venture, based not on originality, but on a shtick that reeks of a stench of the micromanaged media rot left over from other performers. Her talent is going to waste pursuing a career and image that is such an obvious copy of one artist that has come before – Madonna – with some Cher thrown into the mix.

You like the choreography. OK. Lady Gaga’s imagery can be interesting at times, but the choreographed moves and action / interaction of the dancers… not exactly complex. I mean, come on, what precisely is SO SPECIAL about the choreography in her videos? Take “Bad Romance” for instance:

She choreographed this?

Big Deal!

Other than some of the costumes (the polar bear train is awesome!), is there anything in here movement-wise that stands out? No one appears to be doing anything but flailing in unison to the lead dancer, LG. The choreography, when compared to all the movement and interactions of the dancers in the Russell video from my earlier post, where people are moving in all sorts of different directions, doing all sorts of different stuff, is boring and stale in comparison. And it’s been done before, mostly by Madonna. The dancers, they’re all doing the same thing, kind of like the zombies in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, but without the exceptional lead dancer that was Michael Jackson, who was so mesmerizing to watch! He could do more with a little finger than all the Madonna / Paula Abdul clones combined. Can Lady Gaga dance? Kind of. But are you going to tell me her moves are that much better that Pat Benatar’s in the Love Is A Battlefield video?

Ouch! OK. That was low. She’s definitely a better dancer than the non-dancer Benatar (I’ve read that she HATED doing that video). But let’s consider Pat Benatar. She is not only a supremely talented singer, but she had certain style that you can’t fake, and was referenced in several movies for such – Fast Times At Ridgemont High comes to mind. Granted, her look wasn’t exactly original, but she wore it with style, and it became a part of her, named after her – The Benatar Look! Can Gaga get over her marketing instincts and settle on something? Even when she’s trying to speak out about issues that are dear to her heart, the manufactured image that is Lady Gaga just will not surrender to let Stefani Germanotta, the person buried behind the facade, have a human moment (The Prime Rib Of America).

And as far as having her piano on fire… Well, that’s an old parlor trick. It’s not hard to do. Pete Townsend from the Who did it. Hendrix did it, and played his guitar WHILE it was ablaze! Why, here is my guitarist for Chris Plays Guitar, walking across a bar set ablaze by the bartender!

tweed on fire

OK… It’s his feet. I can’t find the other picture I wanted to post, but you get the point. It’s been done.

I think to summarize my disdain for Lady Gaga would be that exact phrase….

It’s Been Done And been done better.