I think I have a knack for either making great discussions or just starting shit storms. Today is no different, and teeters that fine line of most dramatic news/opinions/editorials I post on the front page. The person in question: Lady Gaga. If you don't know who Lady Gaga is, then you either a) have been living under a rock that's covered by a mountain located on an island that has not been discovered by any other human except for you or b) see choice "a" on this one as well.
My thoughts on Gaga is simply this: It's commercial pop music with mass appeal. We saw it with Leif Garrett and the Osmonds. We saw it with disco. We saw it with Corey Hart and those damn sunglasses. We saw it with Madonna, Britney Spears and so many other acts that have come before it. So why does anyone care whether Lady Gaga is successful? For one, I don't really give a shit. In fact, if Lady Gaga keeps producing sub par albums and this whole neoncore bullshit fest thing is dragged out back and shot in the face - tomorrow morning would be a great day.
I think what Gaga fans and haters are at each others' throats about is the fine line between art and entertainment. Then it's "What constitutes as an artists?" or "What is a true musician?" and so on. The bottom line is this: Stefani is just another pawn in the corporate cycle. Sure, she is being artsy (which is argumentative, and believe me, after living in Austin for a year, I've seen my fair share of this discussion...) but at least she's got the gull to do it. What has she done? She's stirred talk. Did you look at that thread? Am I not sitting here writing this instead of doing something way more important? She has succeeded in creating controversy and conversation.
What's the final verdict here? Does Gaga deserve a place in music history? If so, is it because of her work, or the way she shows it off and is outspoken both off her tongue and what she wraps herself in? When it comes down to it, it's what you pay attention to that will effect the outcome of her legacy. If she puts out a really great solo album and tours in jeans and a t-shirt for two years, would you re-write your opinion that she's a talented artist, or would you write her off because she's too "plain" or "conformed" in the next act.
I just know punk rock. What Gaga is doing is...well...it may be punk rock. In the end, there's nothing shocking about any of her actions. It's been done before by the Coopers, Reznors and Mansons of rock. Rob Haltford shocked fans when it was revealed his studs were for studs. Iggy Pop would mutilate himself on rednecks at bar shows. Madonna and Neil Young were pulled from MTV for some of the dumbest reasons ever.
We all watched. We're all looking to be entertained. Honestly, I don't give a fuck. I'm going to listen to post-hardcore and sing "Telephone" at karaoke night. I'm not persuaded by Gaga's fashion and swagger because my history lessons have taught me it's been done before. As for her music, whether she wrote it or not, it's not anything beyond commercial pop to me. Enjoyment when I'm drunk, but I won't go out of my way to listen to it.
The real winner in all of this...Stefani herself. She did something. We (and a columnist) reacted to it. There's NO arguing that action.