Join 3,554 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Ga ga over Gaga
May 22, 2010 3:12 PM   Subscribe

"I am a Gaga supporter. I’m Team Gaga. She’s my girl. My pop Arsenal; my dance Red Sox; my fashion England." Accompanying her from her back stage dressing room to a Berlin sex club, Caitlin Moran interviews Lady Gaga. And yes we do get an answer to THAT question.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (133 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
I hope the "It's never Lupus" rule holds true
posted by Mick at 3:20 PM on May 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


“For f***ing.” Also bonus points for using 'mardy', but I don't know Lady Gaga well enough to say if that's fair comment.
posted by Abiezer at 3:26 PM on May 22, 2010


Given that one of her props is a 6ft-high hybrid of a cello, keyboard and drum machine, with a golden skull nailed to the side of it

Okay, I need to see this. Does anyone have a picture?
posted by Gordafarin at 3:32 PM on May 22, 2010


"And yes we do get an answer to THAT question."

The "Did you know that every time you fart someone posts it to Metafilter?" question?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:40 PM on May 22, 2010 [34 favorites]


I am a Caitlin Moran fan much more than I am a Lady Gaga fan, but I have to say that this article is just brilliant.
posted by sueinnyc at 3:42 PM on May 22, 2010


I came here to snark about YET ANOTHER GAGA POST, and yet, the linked article has actual substance, so I won't.
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Awesome article. My admiration for Gaga just keeps growing.
posted by New England Cultist at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, upon actually finishing it, I'd say this is the best Lady Gaga article I've read. Who wouldn't want to get drunk with Gaga?

Metafilter: "For f***ing."
posted by Gordafarin at 3:45 PM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


She's just so fabulous I can't stand it. Caitlin Moran.

Oh, and Lady Gaga is awesome, too. I would totally let her get drunk and lie down at my knees and share all my theories about her with her.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:49 PM on May 22, 2010


Its such a lovely piece of writing, I really am most jealous
posted by Jofus at 3:51 PM on May 22, 2010


Now that Joanna Newsom has come out as anti-Gaga, who will Metafilter represent? There is a civil war in the offing.
posted by painquale at 3:59 PM on May 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


I thought this was fantastic, despite initially going "Great, another profile about the writer rather than the actual subject." Moran made me feel I knew both her and Gaga, and now I can't help thinking of how Didion said "writers are always selling somebody out," and worrying that Moran feels guilty and Gaga betrayed.
posted by sallybrown at 4:07 PM on May 22, 2010


Joanna Newsom

Who?
posted by oddman at 4:19 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


A musician.
posted by Anything at 4:23 PM on May 22, 2010


Okay, I need to see this. Does anyone have a picture?
She calls it 'Emma.'
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:26 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


She calls it 'Emma.'

There's a Gagapedia? Wow.
posted by grouse at 4:30 PM on May 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Another photo
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:31 PM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Someday it will be discovered that Lady Gaga and Sarah Palin were twins separated at birth, and everything happening today will begin to make sense (not to mention all those MetaFilter FPPs).
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:32 PM on May 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, that article was fantastic. thanks. Also, "going jackson" might be my new phrase.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:35 PM on May 22, 2010


Joanna Newsom

Who?


Search Google. Or wiki. Or even MetaFilter. Unless, of course... *dramatic pause* ...there was some other point to letting everyone know you hadn't heard of her.
posted by hermitosis at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2010 [28 favorites]


Gaga's growing on me, but Gagafilter isn't. Nonetheless, it's a clever article and well worth reading.
posted by blucevalo at 4:40 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This has inspired me to actually find some of her music and take a listen. It's rare that writing can do that to me.
posted by Hactar at 4:43 PM on May 22, 2010


Unless, of course... *dramatic pause* ...there was some other point to letting everyone know you hadn't heard of her.

I think the point isn't as much "Who?" as it is "Who cares?" Although she and Gaga both seem to have a vocal fondness for tea, so there's that point of unity.
posted by blucevalo at 4:44 PM on May 22, 2010


I've been in love with Caitlin Moran ever since she used to write for Melody Maker. Articles like this justify this 20 year crush. I also have a newfound corner in my heart for Lady Gaga.
posted by arcticseal at 4:44 PM on May 22, 2010


I usually can't make it past the first three paragraphs of a profile like this. Incredibly well written and cements my respect for Lady Gaga for what she does, even if I don't care for all her music.
posted by meinvt at 4:47 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a huge Joanna Newsom fan. Like, enormous. She's my absolute favorite musician in the indie scene, she's light years above anything anybody else there is doing. But she's kind of an idiot with some things, and that comment about Gaga is one of them.

I mean, it's pretty obvious Joanna hasn't got a clue about the world Lady Gaga's a part of. She shows up in MGMT videos, she goes to Dirty Projectors shows, but her idea of music is so focused on melody, so avoids rhythm, that of course Gaga's going to fly over her head. Gaga's a performance artist; Newsom's a music obsessive who has essentially no personality when she's not talking about music. She's such a bland person when she talks about her background, her fashion interests, even literature.

Don't get me wrong. That's what makes her music terrific. She avoids a lot of modern stylings in her music, and focuses on things that modern musicians don't focus on so much. But as a result she's so not an authority here that I'm a little irritated by the fact that she did.

But we'll call it a draw. Gaga's music is pointedly bland, but she puts on a hell of a live performance and she's got a marvelous character. Newsom's music is uplifting and divine, but I saw a live show of hers and nearly walked out. Talk about a waste of a gathering of people.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:51 PM on May 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


*dramatic pause filled with BS*

Did you mean to imply something more than a bit of info on search? Let's not play holier than thou, alright?
posted by oddman at 4:51 PM on May 22, 2010


Great article. Thanks.

I think the point isn't as much "Who?" as it is "Who cares?"

I do? The many people in the thread that have expressed their enjoyment of the interview?

If YOU don't care, why are you here? Do you really not understand how this works?
posted by Dennis Murphy at 4:51 PM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


So maybe I'm being dim here and I'll admit that I don't really pay much attention to all things Gaga but what was THAT question? I read the article but I must not have the background to know which question was the one we were all waiting for.
posted by octothorpe at 4:56 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


octothorpe: "So maybe I'm being dim here and I'll admit that I don't really pay much attention to all things Gaga but what was THAT question? I read the article but I must not have the background to know which question was the one we were all waiting for."

SPOILERS: She doesn't have a penis.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:01 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


My new boss is obsessed with lady gaga, and so when ever it's my turn to pick the music in the office (i work in his rather small office) I don't know what to say because i know there is probably no real intersection between his taste and mine. So i usually say nothing until he says "oh, you love lady gaga too?" and puts her on. Less confrontational.
posted by djduckie at 5:04 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


If she has a penis. You see, so many people are shocked at how out-there her outfits and performances are that she must be a hermaphrodite.
posted by flatluigi at 5:04 PM on May 22, 2010


Okay, I'm sold. Ziggy Stardust lives, and his her name is Lady Gaga.

I suppose that means we've got five years left to cry in, then.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


octothorpe - "the question" was referring to the rumors that Lady Gaga has a penis. I first learned of Lady Gaga from a post here on MeFi which was about those rumors, actually.

On preview: what djduckie and flatluigi said.
posted by ooga_booga at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2010


The idea that Lady Gaga is fighting through lupus (or even an unrelated chronic health issue) to do everything she does makes me love her even more even as it makes me feel like a giant slacker.
posted by immlass at 5:10 PM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought I should probably pop my head in this thread. Hi.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:16 PM on May 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


Thanks for the article, fearfulsymmetry. I like it when my warm feelings toward a celebrity are validated instead of mercilessly ground to sawdust.
posted by biddeford at 5:18 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I’m just going to pee through my fishnets!"

Where everyone else sees impediments, Gaga sees possibilities.
posted by hermitosis at 5:23 PM on May 22, 2010 [35 favorites]


God, before I was moping to myself about how I'm sliding through life with depression and no college degree in sight, while Lady Gaga is off, only 3 years older than me, being one of the most famous and successful women in the world. To know that she's doing that while fighting lupus makes me feel even more awful for letting a disease kick my ass. Bravo, Gaga.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:28 PM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Given that one of her props is a 6ft-high hybrid of a cello, keyboard and drum machine, with a golden skull nailed to the side of it

Does this thing actually play? It seems to leave a lot to be desired in terms of functionality, I have to wonder if it's more a prop. But I'd be impressed if Lady Gaga was manipulating her drum machine on the fly and playing keyboard and bass at the same time. Still, if it works I think this is up there with the 7-necked-guitar-with-stick combo used by the Boredoms
posted by Kirk Grim at 5:29 PM on May 22, 2010


BTW, I meant, most famous and successful people period, really. Makes the comparison direct and less tortured. Argh, semantics are kicking my ass, too.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:31 PM on May 22, 2010


I don't care much about Lady Gaga's songs (and even less about her genitals; are we rehashing glam rock territory?) but I'd love to see her going on tour covering the music of someone else like Beyonce did with Etta James.

Also, nice writeup.
posted by ersatz at 5:38 PM on May 22, 2010


You have no idea how much it depresses me that this is the most substantive piece of journalism I've seen in ages.

(Also, here's a video featuring Emma. She starts playing it around 2:20.)
posted by schmod at 5:40 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been pretty skeptical of the whole Lady Gaga phenomenon, but this was a good article.
posted by limeonaire at 5:42 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like what she said about, if you spend enough on security, you can disappear (in other words, not get hounded to death by paparazzi.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:46 PM on May 22, 2010


this is a really good article.
posted by The Whelk at 5:53 PM on May 22, 2010


I actually have a ticket to see her perform in the Fall, I should probably listen to one or two of her songs before then. Not really my thing but I've dragged my wife to dozens of rock-n-roll concerts over the years, I should be able to survive one pop concert.
posted by octothorpe at 5:58 PM on May 22, 2010


The idea of Lady Gaga holding court in her dressing room like a heroine out of a Brunner or Gibson novel, right down to the black fabric draped over the walls and complete tea service lit only by candlelight, sold me. She's science fiction come to life. No matter what I think about her music, I like the way she lives her life and admire her as a person.

Which is to say, I'm sorry I ever hated her now. Thanks for posting this.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:01 PM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't listen to her enough to know whether I would like her music enough, but I know enough about her to know that the single most exciting sentence to be put into a profile in the last decade is "Come party with Gaga!"
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:02 PM on May 22, 2010


I. Still. Hate. Her.
posted by jonmc at 6:07 PM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hey, not everyone can be Springsteen.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:12 PM on May 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


She isn't even Linda Rondstadt, but that's beside the point.
posted by jonmc at 6:13 PM on May 22, 2010


I don't know why you would hate her, Jon; she's everything Lou Reed was trying to be during his rock 'n' roll animal phase.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:14 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Except that Lou managed to produce the live 'Intro/Sweet Jane' during that period which is better than anything Gaga will ever do.
posted by jonmc at 6:16 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jonmc hates her for consistency. If he changed his mind, things would fall out of balance. It's like if I changed my haircut or stopped making crappy posts.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:16 PM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is the first thing I've ever read that made me like Lady Gaga.

No, not the article. This:

Now that Joanna Newsom has come out as anti-Gaga...

posted by 256 at 6:44 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lupus? Come the fuck on. She uses e and cocaine, she drinks, doesn't eat enough and is in the middle of a huge tour where she sings and dances in sweltering heat.

She is 24 and partying like a fucking rock star. Having spent my entire 24th year partying like that 3 or 4 nights a week, I can confirm that collapses, anxiety and heart palpitations come with the territory.

Hopefully she calms down somewhat before she burns out.
posted by empath at 6:45 PM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I enjoyed the writing in this article, but I got the distinct sense that much of it is largely a... skein of lies? Is that the phrase I'm looking for? The interesting thing, though, is that we won't know for years which of the things that seem like lies are lies and which are true.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is the worst day of my life that hasn’t involved an episiotomy.

I can't wrap my head around this statement.
posted by toodles at 7:02 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Earlier this evening I was horrified by aguilera's not myself tonight, her attempt at handling Bad Romance-ish themes and visuals. It's just embarrassing. Not everyone can be Gaga.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:13 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Woops, fucked up the link.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:14 PM on May 22, 2010


* jubbles lips *

Pblblblblblblblbllblblblbllbllblblblbllblblblblblblblb
posted by everichon at 7:20 PM on May 22, 2010


I'm with JNews.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 7:49 PM on May 22, 2010


[comment removed - don't just threadshit please]
posted by jessamyn at 7:50 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


What I love about jonmc isn't that he's a grouch, it's that he's a grouch from the Minimalist school. He doesn't just hate things, he hates things with a constant rhythm that varies very subtly. He's the Philip Glass of being a grouch.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:51 PM on May 22, 2010 [12 favorites]


I love the part at the end about her music never being a come on, as sexual as it is. News flash: she doesn't want to fuck you, she wants to fuck with you.
posted by Tesseractive at 8:03 PM on May 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


"I hope the "It's never Lupus" rule holds true"

I hope she gets to be the patient in the final episode of House, where House and Cuddy tie the knot and she's diagnosed with lupus.
posted by markkraft at 8:37 PM on May 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


She uses e and cocaine, she drinks, doesn't eat enough and is in the middle of a huge tour where she sings and dances in sweltering heat.

She is 24 and partying like a fucking rock star. Having spent my entire 24th year partying like that 3 or 4 nights a week, I can confirm that collapses, anxiety and heart palpitations come with the territory.


Didn't she just say that she doesn't use cocaine anymore? Anyway, I had my share at that about that age of partying like a rock star too. Fuzzily-remembered taxi rides home, terrible morning breath and a lame job, sure. Collapses, anxiety and heart palpitations, not so much.
posted by desuetude at 8:40 PM on May 22, 2010


Bonus points if they do the House/Cuddy marriage scene at the end of the episode, live on stage at Lady Gaga's farewell public performance, with Wilson, Foreman, and Chase joining Gaga's backup dancers for the festivities.

Thirteen, who starts the episode increasingly wracked and depressed by the gradual process of her Huntington's Disease, is inspired by Lady Gaga's attitude to her disease... The episode ends with a massively intense makeout scene between the two of them, who take off in Gaga's jet to a private tropical island together.
posted by markkraft at 8:55 PM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Article pulls up a Malware warning in Google Chrome.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:04 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Didn't she just say that she doesn't use cocaine anymore?

That was something I never used but my friends did, and almost without exception 'i don't do it any more' = 'i'll do it if someone puts it in front of me.'

Maybe she's not, but either way, her symptoms sound like someone over doing stimulants and alcohol and not sleeping/eating enough, not someone with a disease.
posted by empath at 9:06 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


W-ow. Joanna Newsom has always been fairly a-ok and cool in my book, but what a disappointing display of Not Getting It, or reading deeper. Alas.
posted by ifjuly at 9:19 PM on May 22, 2010


tl; read it 2x

I think I've finally settled on my one (post-MJ) person in pop culture to follow intensely. This was a great start.
posted by The Potate at 9:23 PM on May 22, 2010


Earlier this evening I was horrified by aguilera's not myself tonight, her attempt at handling Bad Romance-ish themes and visuals. It's just embarrassing. Not everyone can be Gaga.

I always figured that a lot of the debt ran the other way -- I think Gaga owes as much to the out-there raunchiness of Aguilera's Dirty as she does Madonna.

Anyway, count me as not that thrilled by the article. Too much about the writer, not enough about anything or anyone else. And I've read the "wow, I'm partying with a rockstar!" articles enough to not feel that excited by it.

That said, there were moments of really good writing buried in it, where she grabbed onto a detail and made something of it. The above-mentioned peeing-through-fishnets scene is a good example, where you read it and learn more about Gaga in that one sentence than you do in most of the rest of the article. If only she could have kept the focus on Gaga, and less on herself, it would have been a fabulous article.
posted by Forktine at 9:31 PM on May 22, 2010


When you’ve been named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World”, this is, traditionally, where you are expected to start going a bit… Jackson.

It’s incredible I was ever granted access at all – and now, unbelievably, I’ve stood her up.

I will be genuinely, tearfully grateful if I get even a ten-minute Q&A from a piqued monarch in a gigantic huff and answering all my questions with monosyllabic “Yes/No” binary tetchiness.

This is the worst day of my life that hasn’t involved an episiotomy.

“Hi!” The sun room, facing the gardens of her estate. With the walls and ceiling draped in tapestries, it resembles a Gothic seraglio. There is a table, laid with beautiful china. There are flowers, growing in the dark. And at the head of the tea table, among the flowers: QE2.

Two things strike you about her immediately. First, that she really isn’t dressed casually. The effect is one of having been ushered into the presence of a very powerful queen: possibly one who has recently vanquished Gordon Brown.

The second thing you notice is that she is being lovely. Absolutely lovely. Both literally and figuratively; what’s under the formal clothes is a diminutive, well brought up English lady from a wealthy royal family, with twinkly eyes and a minxy sense of humour.

“So glad you finally made it!” she says, with a casual wave of her hand. “What a terrible day you’re having! Thank you so much for coming!”

So when QE2 says, with warm good manners, “This tea is for you,” gesturing to a bone-china cup handpainted with violets, I can’t help myself from replying, uncouthly: “What’s the nearest you’ve ever come to death? Do you have any recurring illnesses?”

She says essentially nothing for the next hour.

We spend a relaxing afternoon with the corgies, watching the sun set while sipping a sherry. For an old lady, she can throw them back surprisingly well.

She goes oddly still for a moment, and then says, “I have heart palpitations and… things.”

“Yes, but it’s OK. It’s just from fatigue and other things,” she shrugs, before saying, with great care, “I’m very connected to Prince Philip. He keeps on saying the most embarrassing things to the common people, and he can't seem to control it. It’s a very personal thing. I don’t want my public to be worried about me.”

Her eyes are very wide.

“He's suffering from royalty, right? That’s genetic, isn’t it?” I ask.

“Yes.”

“And have you been tested?”

Again, the eyes are very wide and steady. “Yes.” Pause. “But I don’t want the commoners to be worried. Although she “can’t talk about it yet”, she is strangely anxious. She keeps trying to tell me things about it, then claps her hands over her mouth, going, “I can’t! But everyone’s going to f***ing know about it sooner or later, I guess.”

"Oh."

“You should come out with us tonight,” she says, warmly. “Actually, I’ve never had a journalist come out with me, so you’d be the first. We're going to jet off to dine with the Pope. It’s going to be fun. You'd like the Vatican.It’s like an sex club for old men. Come party with QE2!”
posted by markkraft at 9:31 PM on May 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


And yes we do get an answer to THAT question.

Once or thrice I've thought of taking that to AskMe. I've seen THE FOOTAGE and it's nothing. Hardly evidence.

But the only time I've seen her attempt to answer the question she was awfully evasive. ie. She didn't answer the question.

I'm not sure if the above spoiler alert was a piss-take, but [SPOILER ALERT!]

So she definitely doesn't have a dick? Or she says she definitely doesn't have a dick?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:33 PM on May 22, 2010


There is a lot of truth in lady gaga being a lot of presentation without any musical depth, but I guess there's more to music than the actual music?
posted by aesacus at 9:37 PM on May 22, 2010


I've never heard her music (get off my lawn!), so I just came here to say that there's something about her lack of a chin that really bothers me.

Also, nice piece!
posted by Slothrup at 10:10 PM on May 22, 2010


If she's got lupus, that full-throttle lifestyle is going to kill her.
posted by emeiji at 10:23 PM on May 22, 2010


One could tinkle sitting down through fishnets via a penis.
posted by rainbaby at 10:43 PM on May 22, 2010


One could tinkle sitting down through fishnets via a penis.

I'm glad you pointed this out and not me.

Also, eponysterical.
posted by hermitosis at 10:49 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm still trying to figure out how connected she can really feel to an aunt who died ten years before she was born.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:50 PM on May 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


I've been to that Berlin club, and I can't imagine anyone wearing couture there. It's... grimy. I could've used a hazmat bag for my shoes afterwards.

There also were no women there. It was 100% gay men. Upstairs was mixed, but that was a different club. It wasn't the infamous Lab.o.ratory.

There was also no VIP anything. They were very clear about that. You went to participate, to dance or screw, not sit in a booth.

Wait. There were no booths.

Sigh. I enjoyed the article. I'm just not sure how much of it I believe.
posted by kanewai at 11:00 PM on May 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


One could tinkle sitting down through fishnets via a penis.

Yes, but your penis would be visible. Even if you think she's got the most awesome tucking technique ever, she'd still have to unfurl her hypothetical penis to piss with it.
posted by desuetude at 11:16 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't really think she has a penis, but the article (which I enjoyed, thank you) did have some ambiguity to it. Writer did not say exactly what was seen, just implied. That's all. It allows the possibility that there was masking or shadowing, I guess. I think the writer wanted to preserve a bit of mystery/myth, and not say I Saw The Ga's Suff (either/or) to help her mystique.

I don't have a penis, but I've peed with drags who executed well done lady pisses, is all. Just a minor data point. Didn't mean to derail.
posted by rainbaby at 11:49 PM on May 22, 2010


Did you want her to write "I looked at Lady Gaga's crotch while she was peeing"?
posted by LogicalDash at 11:57 PM on May 22, 2010


visible how? if the toilet was made of glass?
posted by cell divide at 11:58 PM on May 22, 2010


I finally went and checked out a couple vids. Not even that good a singer, but sheesh, they must spend a mint on those video sets.
posted by telstar at 12:27 AM on May 23, 2010


telstar check out her acoustic performances

here's one:
Paparazzi

Keep in mind, she writes the music, too.
posted by empath at 12:45 AM on May 23, 2010


That was one of the best-written articles I've read in a long time. Cheers.
posted by Xany at 1:10 AM on May 23, 2010


OF COURSE her outfits don't go with RED CARPET. This makes complete sense.
posted by dabitch at 1:11 AM on May 23, 2010


I'm going to risk it all and say I wish her legs weren't so short
posted by A189Nut at 3:20 AM on May 23, 2010


"OF COURSE her outfits don't go with RED CARPET. This makes complete sense."

So, you're saying that the drapes don't match the carpet, then?!
posted by markkraft at 4:13 AM on May 23, 2010


I love what I've encountered about Gaga so far, but I keep hearing about anti-sex stuff like this, which I find cruel and disturbing and deeply informed by conservative Catholicism. This sort of thing could be merely rumor, gossip, slander, etc, and I hope that's it what is.
posted by treepour at 4:21 AM on May 23, 2010


er, "that's it what is" should have been "that's what it is"
posted by treepour at 4:28 AM on May 23, 2010


POP star LADY GAGA has tested NEGATIVE for potentially fatal disease lupus.

There was speculation she may have the tissue disease after she said she'd been checked out by doctors because her aunt died from it.

But I've been told those tests were not positive and her recent health difficulties have been caused by minor illness.


Michael Jackson: The King of Pop
Lady Gaga: The Queen of Drama?!
posted by markkraft at 4:35 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Re Caitlin Moran's writing in this article. It's serviceable journalism; a little bit above par for a fairly conventional hanging out with a rock-star type article. But certainly not brilliant writing in my opinion. Second sentence in we have As flight BA987 knifes off the runway. Ugh.

Re Lady Gaga. I like and respect her and this article reinforced those feelings. I like her playful approach to fashion, respect her work ethic and I think she is a talented performer. I particularly liked this quote:
She explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free, “because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music – then tour. It’s just the way it is today.”
Re Joanna Newsom. I play her music a lot while I never play Lady Gaga. Newsom has the real talent for creating music which Gaga lacks. But I don't think it is really wise for one artist to opine critically on a contemporary of theirs and I think Newsom is showing some naivety and lack of tact in doing so.
posted by Pranksome Quaine at 4:36 AM on May 23, 2010


I think Newsom is showing some naivety and lack of tact in doing so.

I think she also may be sorely underestimating how much her audience overlaps with Gaga's.
posted by hermitosis at 6:43 AM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rory Marinich: Newsom's music is uplifting and divine, but I saw a live show of hers and nearly walked out. Talk about a waste of a gathering of people.

Honestly though, what did you expect? She's not going to gyrate or grind her bottom against her harp. Lady Gaga can prance around and wear gimmicky costumes because she doesn't have to worry about playing an instrument. Obviously this spectacle makes for a better show, but subtract the visuals and all that's left is the shallow thump-thump-thump.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 6:44 AM on May 23, 2010


Honestly though, what did you expect? She's not going to gyrate or grind her bottom against her harp. Lady Gaga can prance around and wear gimmicky costumes because she doesn't have to worry about playing an instrument. Obviously this spectacle makes for a better show, but subtract the visuals and all that's left is the shallow thump-thump-thump.

Well, Gaga's show's are part piano performances, and I'm willing to bet her piano pieces are livelier too.

But the problem with Newsom, especially with Have One On Me, is that I feel she's divided as to how exactly her music's affected fans. You're right that hers is not the music for a crazy moshpit, but even among quieter sorts of music there are different ways to put on a show. I was expecting one of two: She could either put on a more classical show, where the focus is entirely on producing a terrific quality of sound that the crowd could lose themselves in, or she could put on the more traditional "solo songwriter" kind of show where for all the band behind her the focus is on her expressing herself as honestly as possible.

The funny thing is the Moore Brothers, who opened for her, did exactly this. They were just standing and strumming guitar and singing but they were putting themselves into their music like crazy. They engaged everybody. It's possible to play a guitar into a crowd in a way that makes them all feel like they're part of something; none of us knew their music, but it still kind of brought the place together. And I'd thought that was nice, since I'd been to a wave of concerts where the opening acts blew and kind of fragmented the crowd.

But Joanna really wasn't much of anything. She doesn't have a personality on stage; she doesn't act like she's particularly enthused to be there, she just kind of woodenly sits and plays songs. And the attitude among the band changed wildly between songs. On Have One On Me it felt like there weren't enough people there and the sound was really sparse; then the whole band played a cover of Inflammatory Wit and completely sapped the life out of it with their orchestration.

I think the problem is that Have One On Me isn't exactly a directly emotional album. With Ys every song but one hooks you almost immediately with some kind of an emotional plea, both melodically and lyrically; the one that doesn't (Rabbit and Bear) makes up for it with a thriller of a finale. Have One On Me has a handful of songs that accomplish this, but the lyrics are denser and more indirect. As an audience member you can't listen and receive the same kind of emotional bond that perhaps you get hearing her play older music. And she and the band don't play well enough for it to have that classical feel, where you can just sit and admire the details of the music. Truth be told the details were pretty crappy.

Damn shame. Ryan Francesconi did a terrific job arranging Have One On Me; Neal Morgan is one of my favorite back-up vocalists and his percussion style really gets to me. But live it didn't mesh or really give me any ins.

So when Joanna then gives an interview like the one she did, a part of me thinks she should piss off. She might be a damn good songwriter but she can't play a live show to save her ass. MIA is allowed to diss Gaga; Joanna Newsom has no right.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:22 AM on May 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


“Do you know what that girl at the bar said to me?” she says, sipping her Scotch, and taking a single drag off a fag before handing it back. “She said, ‘You’re a feminist. People think it means man-hating, but it doesn’t.’ Isn’t that funny?”
No.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:39 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interesting interview. Definitely not what I expected, but a good read.

Oh, and for anyone interested in the performance mentioned at the beginning, Poker Face, Live at Glastonbury 2009. Enjoyable, and kinda neat in a cross-genre sense, but IMO not really quite as impressive as Moran made it sound.
posted by pla at 8:14 AM on May 23, 2010


Rory Marinich: So when Joanna then gives an interview like the one she did, a part of me thinks she should piss off. She might be a damn good songwriter but she can't play a live show to save her ass.

I understand now where you're coming from. However, when I judge a musician, I don't consider how compelling he or she is as a performer at all. I don't typically care for live music, so the performance aspect is lost on me. Lady Gaga's music is probably fun to dance to and she probably has an entertaining stage presence, but it bothers me that she gets so much credit when she's indebted to songwriters like any other pop star. Joanna writes her own songs and plays the piano and the harp quite well (as you know), so I cannot blame her if she's a little bitter that the media praises Lady Gaga even though Gaga's music is bland and not solely created by her.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:15 AM on May 23, 2010


Houyhnhnm : it bothers me that she gets so much credit when she's indebted to songwriters like any other pop star. Joanna writes her own songs and plays the piano and the harp quite well (as you know), so I cannot blame her if she's a little bitter that the media praises Lady Gaga even though Gaga's music is bland and not solely created by her.

C'mon, the "derivative" argument just doesn't carry much water. No one can claim to write "original" music - You can rewrite just about anything composed in the chromatic scale in terms of 4+ note snippets of works already old 200 years ago. The only people really writing original music largely suck, because we as humans latch onto the familiar in music more than the new - Newness gives it a kick that we enjoy, but only within a rigid framework of subtle violations of what we expect to hear.

Lady GaGa writes pop/dance music, which you apparently don't like, simple as that. That doesn't make her worse (or better) than Newsom or Flo&TM or Madonna, just not your bag.

As for the media attention angle - Stardom amounts to optimally whoring yourself out. You can't praise someone for not whoring themselves out in the same breath that you complain they don't get enough Johns.
posted by pla at 8:48 AM on May 23, 2010


I'd still pay lots of money for a Gaga, PJ Harvey, Bjork team-up, even just two of the three would be great.

I've always thought of Gage as a performance artist and not a pop start. This leads me to wonder about something: don't performance artists getter weirder and more obscure as they mature? Their need to push the boundaries of performance and art seem to push them father out into the fringes as they explore new ground. If that's right, then the potential of Gaga's future is really exciting.

Basically, I can't wait for her to get really weird.
posted by oddman at 8:49 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, one of the things I like about Gaga is that she started off as a producer, and wrote songs for other musicians. "Telephone" was initially a Britney Spears song; a demo's floating around online. And while she collaborates with other producers, she's had a song each album that she wrote/produced entirely on her own, and those songs hold their own. ("Speechless" from Fame Monster is arguably the best song on the album. All her.)

Here's another way to look at it. Joanna Newsom was 22 when The Milk-Eyed Mender was released; The Fame was released when Gaga was 22. I love The Milk-Eyed Mender, but it's not exactly a mature collection of songs; even Ys, which I love dearly, has got a lot of immature aspects to it. Ys was released when Newsom was 24; Gaga only just turned 24 two months ago, and is expected to release new music shortly.

Gaga's not a composer and Newsom's not a producer. Each one works with other musicians. (Remember that Van Dyke Parks orchestrated Ys, and Steve Albini recorded, and Jim O'Rourke produced. Three enormous names in music were essential for that album.)

Gaga's origins are her work with producers writing Top 40s pop. Newsom played with the likes of Will Oldham and Smog, whose music certainly influenced her own style.

They're both young musicians, they both have an extraordinary talent; they both have passionate fans. Hell, they're both obsessed with fashion.

So when a 28-year-old smacks down a 24-year-old in such a petty fashion, it reeks of Newsom's own immaturity. For all she carefully crafts an image of sophistication with her work, she's still young enough to say stupid things. (And comparing Gaga to Madonna unfavorably is even pettier; Madonna, for the record, was 25 before she released an album.)

Young people. Utterly ridiculous. I hope I'm not like that when I turn 20.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:53 AM on May 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


“But you know what I spend most of my money on? Disappearing. I hate the paparazzi. Because the truth is – no matter what people tell you – you can control it. If you put as much money into your security as you put into your cars or your diamonds or your jewellery, you can just… disappear. People who say they can’t get away are lying. They must just like the… big flashes.”

The conversation turns to the music industry. Gaga has an endearingly schoolmarmish belief that most acts are “lazy”.

“I hate big acts that just throw an album out against the wall, like ‘BUY IT! F*** YOU!’ It’s mean to fans. You should go out and tour it to your fans in India, Japan, the UK. I don’t believe in how the music industry is today. I believe in how it was in 1982.”


i think that has to be part of why she gets under our skin the way other artists don't. most often now, it is the fans holding up the mirror so the celebrities can appreciate themselves, and it's so easy they just stop making an effort; with lady gaga, she's holding up the mirror, so we can see ourselves enjoying it along with her. she's generous in what she gives back to her audience, and i'm fascinated as to how she can make that come across, even for those who just see her in, say, a single live performance or video, as opposed to hearing it stated directly in an interview (which she also does well). she exudes artistic good will, and i wonder if she knows exactly how she's doing it or if that aspect somehow comes naturally.

i think the industry today owes her a lot, and i thought it was pretty cool on the grammy show, for instance, how a few performers seemed to get off their creative asses and step it up a bit.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 9:36 AM on May 23, 2010


I'm sorry, very sorry for her, but if someone works this hard, and plays this hard, then she's bound to go "a bit Jackson" sooner rather than later. Especially if all her friends come from the notoriously balanced, well-adjusted music and fashion industries. Put me also among those less than convinced about her declaration that she doesn't do cocaine "anymore". If I got a dollar for each celebrity that doesn't do coke "anymore", while sniffing their way through truckloads of the white stuff, I'd as rich as Lady Gaga.
That article describes somebody who, lupus or no, is fated to a full mental and physical meltdown before thirty. And not a small one, but the Full Britney. Which makes me feel very sad, especially as the article also hints that the one aspect in which she probably can't measure up to Madonna is La Ciccione's legendary financial acumen. I do wish Lady Gaga was putting a bit more money aside for a rainy day.
posted by Skeptic at 9:42 AM on May 23, 2010


Adding to that that it's much easier to have a full-on public meltdown nowadays than it is during Madonna's prime. You can have the meltdown, go to "rehab" or whatever it is that melted celebrities do, and be on Oprah or Ellen or Good Morning America within a few weeks to talk about the meltdown and how living through it has made you so much stronger than you were before. And ..... profit!

"I don’t believe in how the music industry is today. I believe in how it was in 1982.”

Well, it ain't how it was in 1982, dear Gaga, and it never will be again, and like it or not, you're part of the reason.
posted by blucevalo at 10:12 AM on May 23, 2010


Rory Marinich: "Actually, one of the things I like about Gaga is that she started off as a producer, and wrote songs for other musicians. "Telephone" was initially a Britney Spears song; a demo's floating around online. "

Here is Britney doing Telephone, by the way. Very interesting. Her producer confirms it's legit.
posted by Gordafarin at 10:21 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


pla: the "derivative" argument just doesn't carry much water

I didn't say Lady Gaga was derivative. I said I think her music is bland and I criticized her because she didn't write most of her songs on her own. The fact is that there is more than one name on the writing credits for most of her songs, which is typical of pop music in general. Arguing about an artist's "originality" is ridiculous. You must have me confused with M.I.A.

pla: Lady GaGa writes pop/dance music, which you apparently don't like, simple as that. That doesn't make her worse (or better) than Newsom or Flo&TM or Madonna, just not your bag.

No shit. I never said that Lady Gaga is better or worse than Madonna or "Flo&TM" (whatever that means). I implied that I think Newsom is more talented because she is a competent instrumentalist and writes her own songs, but that's my opinion and it doesn't necessarily mean that I believe she's unequivocally "better." Don't put words in my mouth and then be condescending.

Rory Marinich: Gaga's not a composer and Newsom's not a producer. Each one works with other musicians. (Remember that Van Dyke Parks orchestrated Ys, and Steve Albini recorded, and Jim O'Rourke produced. Three enormous names in music were essential for that album.)

Jim O'Rourke only mixed Ys (and a few songs on Have One on Me). Newsom produced the album, with Van Dyke Parks credited as co-producer for his orchestrations. However, Newsom is the only producer credited on Have One on Me, which I think is miles ahead of Ys, so I consider her a producer, albeit only of her own work. Whether Newsom is as indebted to the men who orchestrate her albums as Lady Gaga is to her songwriters is a debate I don't have the will to get into.

Rory Marinich: So when a 28-year-old smacks down a 24-year-old in such a petty fashion, it reeks of Newsom's own immaturity.

Definitely. However, M.I.A. is 34 and you said she is allowed to criticize Lady Gaga, so she must be even more immature. If I recall correctly, M.I.A. actually had the chutzpah to accuse Lady Gaga of ripping her off. Now that is hubris! Anyway, I don't blame Newsom for what she said, but I won't continue to be forgiving if she begins regularly trashing other musicians.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 11:17 AM on May 23, 2010


"Flo&TM" (whatever that means)

Florence and the Machine, m'Lud. They are a beat combo, popular with the young people and respectable bourgeoisie of the British Isles.
posted by Grangousier at 11:21 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks. I have never heard of them, and a Google search didn't yield any explanation.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 11:25 AM on May 23, 2010


Its not lupus.
posted by seanyboy at 11:36 AM on May 23, 2010


It's never lupus.
posted by seanyboy at 11:39 AM on May 23, 2010



I'd still pay lots of money for a Gaga, PJ Harvey, Bjork team-up, even just two of the three would be great.


No Gaga, but...
posted by juv3nal at 11:50 AM on May 23, 2010


You must never read this thread. You must never see it.
posted by tehloki at 2:57 PM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Houyhnhnm : Arguing about an artist's "originality" is ridiculous. You must have me confused with M.I.A.

My apologies, I see on re-reading that I mistook your saying "indebted to songwriters like any other pop star" as meaning it in the historical sense, rather than the "work for hire" sense. No offense intended.


"Flo&TM" (whatever that means).

Already clarified, but Florence & the Machine. I actually thought her fairly popular among MeFites (I even first heard about her on the Blue).
posted by pla at 3:47 PM on May 23, 2010


So she's ONLY a time-travelling bisexual alien, then. Through the amazing powers of pseudo-Gonzo rock journalism, the Great Gaga Weenus issue is resolved, huzzah! Carry on, then!
posted by KingEdRa at 4:34 PM on May 23, 2010


Yeah, that was awesome.
posted by oddman at 5:58 PM on May 23, 2010


Personally, I'd like to see a Gaga-Janelle Monae-Pippettes supergroup.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:07 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


However, M.I.A. is 34 and you said she is allowed to criticize Lady Gaga, so she must be even more immature. If I recall correctly, M.I.A. actually had the chutzpah to accuse Lady Gaga of ripping her off. Now that is hubris!

If mefi collective wisdom thinks that that's immature, they should check out the anti-Gagaesque stylings of Grace Jones, who's all of 58 years old! What an immature person she must be!
posted by blucevalo at 7:53 PM on May 23, 2010


Actually, she turned 62 on the 19th.

Grace Jones: 'God I'm scary. I'm scaring myself'
posted by homunculus at 9:56 PM on May 23, 2010


This piece leaves me with more questions than answers.

Gaga is clearly a genius but I'm still not sure in what department. I'm not familiar with the writer and though she can turn the odd phrase the article smells like something cooked up between her and the Gaga PR machine.

Why was she granted SUCH unprecedented access? And given such why come away with a BJ of a piece if she's some kinda hotshot? One example would be, if you even suspect you might have lupus or even if you keep suffering "exhaustion", why not take better care of yourself (i.e., eat and control your schedule)

Why not give the scoop to Rolling Stone or another major media outlet? They wouldn't take the deal?

Jackson-esque.
posted by raider at 9:58 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


First off, blucevalo, I speak for myself and not for MetaFilter. If you're going to be snarky around here, at least be gentleman enough to snark specifically in my direction and not at the Blue in general.

Second: I never said musicians weren't allowed to mock Lady Gaga. I specifically said MIA had a right to diss her. However, I then said Joanna Newsom specifically was a little silly for doing so, and I gave reasons.

Furthermore, the reason I wanted to discuss Newsom's comments was that Joanna Newsom is a role model for me — I must have listened to Ys 20 times the week I got it — and I'd like to make music that affects people as powerfully as hers affected me. So when she says something I disagree with, I find that it helps me to ask why I disagree with it.

I also really dislike people who go around denouncing music. I used to go around doing that until I decided it was more fun to like things. Now I stock Justin Bieber and Ke$ha along with my Haydn and Atrium Musicae and the latter records don't seem to complain. When I don't like music, I go out of my way to find people who'll help me enjoy it. And so it bugs me that Joanna (and MeFi members, of course, though y'all aren't my role models) has to be a downer. You know?
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:16 AM on May 24, 2010


it bothers me that she gets so much credit when she's indebted to songwriters like any other pop star.

I think she actually writes all of her songs herself.
posted by caddis at 9:06 AM on May 24, 2010


I find her thoroughly uninteresting.
posted by HumanComplex at 1:27 PM on May 24, 2010


Fantastic article, homunculus. And yes, Grace Jones can certainly call Gaga whatever she wants to. But, then again, there's is very little that Grace Jones can't do.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 2:13 PM on May 24, 2010


MeFi members, of course, though y'all aren't my role models

hear that? that's the sound of 100,000+ fat, old hearts breaking.
posted by jonmc at 2:50 PM on May 24, 2010


caddis: I think she actually writes all of her songs herself.

She doesn't. She is the sole credited writer of these three songs: "Again Again," "Future Love," and "Speechless." All the others have at least one other person credited alongside her as songwriter/composer. But at least she has a hand in each one, which I bet is rare among pop stars.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 7:09 PM on May 24, 2010


I like Joanna Newsom. However, I occasionally find her a bit po-faced. I'm happy to admit that that's more about me than about her.

Now, I like Lady Gaga. I like Joanna Newsom. But which is better? There's only one way to find out....
posted by mippy at 9:54 AM on May 25, 2010


I didn't realize getting trashed and peeing through tights was something to publish about.

I really missed my calling.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:04 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The NYTimes Magazine has an article about M.I.A.: M.I.A.’s Agitprop Pop
posted by homunculus at 7:39 PM on May 26, 2010


« Older Are teacher's unions the enemy of reform? DISCUSS...  |  Once in a generation, there co... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments