A Song That I Hear Often On The Radio | If It’s Not Rough It Isn’t Fun

18 Jul | 30 days of music / art / music / personal | one comment

I resisted the pull for as long as I reasonably could. I’d heard the name, in whispers and shouts, but dismissed her as another pop tartlet whose 15 minutes of fame would be up shortly.

Only she kept getting more famous. Creeping further into my consciousness. Gaining purchase in my mind.

It turns out Lady Gaga might be a genius.

I once heard her dismissed offhandedly as someone who appears to believe she’s the only one who ever heard of Madonna. I laughed. It is, after all, a statement built on a kernel of truth. But that’s overly reductive. Of course she’s taking from Madonna. I think that she is trying to be that for this generation.

I like glamour in my pop stars. I like imagination. I like seeing revelry purely in the name of decadence. No matter what one thinks of her, no one can argue that Gaga does not have these qualities.

I don’t think a pop star has entered my consciousness since the late ’90s, when I was working at that big box retailer and absorbing everything because I had to do so. Since then, I have essentially divorced myself from the broad music culture; if you are a mainstream musician who has hit it big in the past half-decade or so and I know you beyond a cursory knowledge of your name, you are almost certainly really fucking famous.

Lady Gaga is really fucking famous.

All that said, I’d still not heard much of her music. I had heard more of Eric Cartman covering her than I had of her performing her own songs. One day, though, I was in the deli awaiting my lunch, and the radio playing overhead commanded that I listen.

That was the first time I truly heard “Poker Face”. And I was on my way to being converted.

I still don’t love all of her music. It’s just frankly not to my taste. I am not one of her “Little Monsters”. (Yet.) But I love what she represents.

There’s a lot to say about her. Amanda Fucking Palmer wrote a great post about Gaga after seeing her show in early July in Boston. I don’t agree with Palmer completely, but the issue is complex, and her opinion is well worth reading. You know, if you are so inclined.

Mostly, for me, it comes down to this: I look forward to what comes next.

One comment

  1. Adi

    GOD I hate Amanda Palmer. I find everything about her to be forced and self-indulgent.

    As for Lady Gaga, her music is okay. It’s pop, and some of it is kind of fun, but I wouldn’t put it on. Her personally, I like. I saw an interview with her and Cyndi Lauper where they were on to promote Planned Parenthood, and the interviewer kept trying to ask her personal/music questions and she kept referring back to PP, which I thought was great. It seemed like she was doing it because it was really something she wanted to promote, not something she wanted to promote HER further.