Lady Gaga's latest dalliance in directing clocks in at seven minutes of dancing and grinding and Kanye West-style sacrificial bird-fallen-to-earth mythology, plus five minutes of rolling credits. Michael Jackson gets resuscitated. And Gandhi, too!
In a stunt that was debatably art and definitely pop, someone threw up all over Lady Gaga during her set at SXSW Thursday night.
"...We are an organization that conducts our charitable activity directly, and we fund our own work. We are not a grant-maker that funds the work of other charities, and were never intended to be." - Lady Gaga's mom, Cynthia Germanotta, hitting back at criticism on the allocation of Born This Way Foundation's funds
News has emerged that Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation could be a mere vanity project. Have you ever? Can you even? (No, you can't. You either already tweeted or are just about to tweet, "I can't with this," about this.) We all can collectively gasp while secretly saying, "Yaaaaaas," in our heads regarding Gaga's latest endeavor in hot messery.
The words "pop" and "art" can be confusing. We use "pop" to describe a piece of music from within and without—it can speak to music's genre, its sensibility, and the reaction to it, sometimes simultaneously. When we use the label "art" to describe what's already evidently art—music, for example—we do it as a way of describing a particular expressiveness or originality or difficulty. We use it to distinguish "artful" art.
Earlier today, Lady Gaga graced the stage of Good Morning America to perform a Wizard of Oz-styled spin on "Applause," complete with several costume changes. (This era, she's really intent on wowing us with how many times she can change her costumes in one song, and I will admit that it is a nice distraction from the actual song.) During some down time, she supposedly talked to her attending "Little Monsters" about part-time rapper, full-time Twitter troll Azealia Banks. Banks was once rumored to appear on Gaga's upcoming ARTPOP album. Banks also recently attacked Gaga on Twitter for adopting and advocating a mermaid-inspired style, as Banks has also done. "Hey! No fair! You stole my mermaid style!" is an argument an actual 22-year-old woman made to another grown woman.
Last week, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga released the first singles of their respective upcoming albums, Prism and (my fingers groan a little bit louder with old age every time I type this) ARTPOP. The ensuing battle to the top of the charts was like a taste test between a Saltine and a Saltine piled with sprinkles, truffle oil, caviar, gold flakes, Madonna's post-True Blue eyebrow pluckings, and lead paint chips from the walls of Andy Warhol's Factory. Both songs are meta-noise — Perry's reggae-lite "Roar" is about working up the nerve to cause a ruckus ("I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR"), while Gaga's aggressively ugly "Applause" is about having the nerve to declare how life-affirming ruckus directed at you can be ("I live for the applause, applause, applause"). If you play "Roar" and "Applause" simultaneously on stereos facing each other, the songs solve each other while opening up a black hole of infinite vacuousness.
After today's Good Morning America premiere of her music video for "Applause," the real hero of cosplay, Lady Gaga, told George Stephanopoulos, "I really felt like I could be myself in this video." In it, she plays over half a dozen characters including a jester, an apparent emulation of Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, and a swan with a Gaga head.
Multi-genre dance producer Diplo's typically loose lips have suggested that Beyoncé has scrapped work she's done on her upcoming album, the creation of which she's been talking about forever (or at least, since January). "Fuckin' thing sucks!" is how I like to imagine King Bey regarding this rejected body of work, but the truth is that she's probably just nodding and grinning serenely about it.