Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Defense of The Gaga

Everyone's panties are in a bunch after Lady Gaga's VMA performance last week - even her former teachers, the nuns at Convent of the Sacred Heart in NYC are seeing red. Let's forget the nuns for a second, and do a little reality check. When did we forget that pop music doesn't always have to be manufactured garbage? Although Lady Gaga's first two singles ('Just Dance' and 'Poker Face') were international number one hits, people just don't get what she's really trying to do. Yes, she's a singer/songwriter extraordinaire who's been playing the piano since the age of four, but unlike most celebrities she isn't easily digestible. She's said it before, and I'll say it again: Gaga is a performance artist. It's not just about her voice, her songs, or her flamboyant fashion choices, but rather the entire picture. Her performances are the gel that hold it all together, and often her performances are what confuse people the most. There's nothing confusing about the following clip of her performance on Good Morning America earlier this summer. This is Gaga at her best: her voice soaring, her dark aura swirling around crisp pop inflections. Her music may be catchy and accessible, but that doesn't mean we should expect her to be a typical pop star. Her aesthetic is wholly her own, and I hope she keeps it that way. I mean when was the last time a musician made you think of a neck brace as a fabulous accessory?