Re: Change clothes and go.

1

You have a certain je ne sai quoi, heebie.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:03 PM
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Aw, you do.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:05 PM
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Your spelling has a certain je ne sais quoi, ari.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:09 PM
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I have a soft spot for Lady Gaga. A lot of people who hate pop music are pretty much music fascists, as far as I'm concerned. It's a subjective preference and, as a result, dumb to argue about but fun to talk about.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 9-09 11:17 PM
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I also like her a lot: the costumes, the music, the schtick. It's a great individual pop package.

Musically (and stylistically, even) the influences are pretty transparent. Bits of 80s Madonna/Lauper and LOTS of Europop circa 2003-2005-ish. Especially Goldfrapp during that period, and some of Xenomania (and others such as Richard X)'s productions for Kylie and Girls Aloud from the same time. It's still good/fun stuff, though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wn9ETvfIRFQ
[Even the masks and the backing dancer's costumes, dammit]



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:35 AM
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I like the LG video a lot, but the song is forgettable. On the other hand, I'm old.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:47 AM
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The cartoony fashion thing reminds me a little bit of Bowie. Although even a fantastic video like "Paparazzi" is certainly no Labyrinth.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:50 AM
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A lot of people who hate pop music are pretty much music fascists, as far as I'm concerned.

I believe the preferred submerged indictment is racism, rather than fascism (see "rockism").


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:59 AM
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#5 gets it right. Add to that an art student's knowledge of Warhol and a Harajuku-scene fashion sensibility, stir, and you have Gaga. Hail, Gaga!

LOTS of Europop circa 2003-2005-ish.

(It's sort of shame that Rachel Stevens was such a flash-in-the-pan. Come and Get It is at the top of my list of pop records that should've been bigger but weren't.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:36 AM
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I am interested in listening to the Grey Album. Is it worthwhile? Is it still available to download?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:39 AM
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Is it worthwhile? Is it still available to download?

Yes and yes.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ZNOLTK24


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:44 AM
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If you like that, djBC's Beatles/Beastie Boys mashups (The Beastles and Let It Beast) are also a lot of fun.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:57 AM
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How long has Lady Gaga been on the scene? I feel like I only heard about her for the first time a month or so ago, but I don't know if that's because of something in her musical career or some quirk of the media culture, assuming those two things are at all different.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:05 AM
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Quirk of the media culture, plus she has her first huge hit (Poker Face). She's been around for a couple of years, I think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:19 AM
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But Poker Face is a year or so old, not a month or so, right? I don't know much, but I know I've known who she was for at least a year, or close to it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:27 AM
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If nothing else, I approve of Lady Gaga's commitment.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:29 AM
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I doubt she's really a threat to others or herself, JM.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:38 AM
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I first heard the name about a week ago, when I heard that some friends attended one of her concerts (which they loved). I'm not sure whether I've heard any of her music--assuming it's played on the radio, I'd bet I have without realizing it was her. (When I'm not at work, I'll click the links in the post.)

I must admit, the combination of this post and her wikipedia page has me intrigued.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:38 AM
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Didja see her with The Queen?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:38 AM
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"Poker Face" and "Just Dance", her two big hits from 2008, are completely generic-sounding songs when you come across them on the radio. It was a while before I realized I had heard this visually groundbreaking person, too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:43 AM
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18: I'm pretty sure that heebie and I (much, much later) have both previously posted about "Poker Face". Maybe you're just not reading the blog closely enough.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:44 AM
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Wait, now I watched the video (even though I'm at work), and I'm totally confused. What are the distinguishing features that make her "deserve" to be famous, or even come across as a "famehound"/"outlandish"/"electric", compared to other recent young pop starlets?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:49 AM
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I think you need to read interviews or something to figure that out. I too would appreciate greater detail.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:50 AM
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RTFA.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:51 AM
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completely generic-sounding songs

Yeah, it wasn't until Josh linked to a video of her doing an acoustic version of one of her songs that I noticed that she actually had some chops.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:53 AM
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OT: Did you know you can be "of color" and fashionable this holiday season?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:55 AM
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20: I can't place Poker Face, but Just Dance is at least catchy. I don't know if I'd listen to it on purpose, ever, but the times I've come across it listening to the radio in the car are enough that I can hum bits of it, which makes it unusual in terms of songs I've heard once or twice on the radio.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:06 AM
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25: She was some kind of NYC child music prodigy -- on retainer with a record company to write songs while she was still a teenager. And I think trained as a concert pianist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:17 AM
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The music isn't all that. Catchy, sure, but it's your basic pop. I am much more interested in her determination to present herself as 24/7 performance art. IOW, I am impressed by the clothes.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:18 AM
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Also, I love that she calls her whole entourage and creative incubator the Haus of Gaga.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:20 AM
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28 - I think she was writing songs for Akon, wasn't she?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:02 AM
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Okay, now I've watched the video for Just Dance (in the name of science). Everything I said in 22, squared.

Also, I've only listened to two songs (neither of which I'd heard previously, as far as I know), and I'd call this much more "dance" music than "pop" music. It's driven by dance beats, rather than catchy hooks.

Lastly, a warning: if you don't have safesearch on, and you accidentally leave the last "a" off her name, google turns up some pretty vile results.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:07 AM
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I think we're way past "generic" with Lady Gaga. Musically, that is. Visually, yes, her Gibson/Gauthier aesthetic works very well, although as much as Lauper and Madonna, I'd argue she's referencing Lady Miss Keir (hence, the name). While I do think that "Bad Romance", like "Single Ladies" has a pronounced Bollywood influence, it is simultaneously so exceptionally an artifact of the current state of industrial popular culture that I couldn't be surprised by it, the first time I heard it. It's like seeing a brand new Porsche drive by -- you can take pleasure in the viewing of it, but you can't be surprised that another car, substantially fungible with 50,000 others, has been produced.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:08 AM
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Whoops, 33 was me.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:09 AM
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of qualities like those observed in 5 and 9 are Tarantinos made. I tend to agree that her talents are more in the visual presentation than in the aural, but the latter is totally solid and that's a specious distinction when it comes to pop music these days.

Also, this.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:12 AM
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Also, for those who prefer the acoustic "Poker Face", here's a song that has even more fun with it.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:16 AM
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33: Many argue that Lady Gaga basically skinned Roisin Murphy and wears her.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:24 AM
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37: Well will ya look at that. Is her music any good?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:29 AM
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I'd argue she's referencing Lady Miss Keir (hence, the name).

She took the "Lady" from fellow performer Lady Starlight (or so she's said). I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there was homage to Lady Miss Keir in there somewhere, but remember, Germanotta was only a small child when Lady Miss Keir was on the scene.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:35 AM
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11: Thanks, apo. I've been wanting to hear that for years, but my torrent efforts have been futile (it said that it had a source for the music I sought, but Transmission never actually grabbed any files).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:53 AM
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Many argue that Lady Gaga basically skinned Roisin Murphy and wears her.

Christina Aguilera's also claimed (warning: Daily Mail link) that Lady Gaga has ripped off her style.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:06 AM
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Torrents are dicey. When I go looking for music, my first stop is captaincrawl.com. If that doesn't work, googling various permutations of the artist/title along with [one of rapidshare/megaupload/mediafire/sharebee] usually does. If there are still no hits, I can sometimes find it on Spanish-language blogs by replacing the fileshare service name with "descargar". It's pretty rare that I come up empty, and I don't bother with anything encoded lower than 192k.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:12 AM
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||

The new Clash of the Titans looks awful. Like they thought 300 was too much straight history, so they really had to amp it up for mythology.

Grumble.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:16 AM
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43: There's a new one coming? I keep thinking I need to track down a copy of the old one to watch with Rory . (Was the old one actually good, or do I just remember it being good because I was young and impressionable?)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:18 AM
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If your internal sense of 'good' includes 'deeply ridiculous stop-motion animation', then it was very good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:21 AM
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44: It's on Youtube in about 9 parts. Search for "Furia del Titans" or similar.

I've watched it a number of times with Iris. It's sort of campily enjoyable - Laurence Olivier plays Zeus - but it's certainly not "good" in any refined sense. The SFX, by old stop-action master Harryhausen, are cheesy but wonderful.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:21 AM
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45: Dammit! Shouldn't you be working or something?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:22 AM
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If your internal 12-year-old sense of 'good' includes 'deeply ridiculous stop-motion animation' OMG TITTIES!!!, then it was very good.

Clash of the Titans and Excalibur held special places in my adolescent, um, heart.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:25 AM
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Yes. That only increases commenting frequency. (Actually, last weekend and the beginning of this week, I was freaking out about a brief, which unexpectedly doesn't seem to actually need any changes from my first draft -- the guy reviewing it changed a 'frankly' to 'patently', and added an 'of' that I'd dropped.) So I'm feeling a little free and cheerful.

I should be cleaning my office, though. I actually dreamed that I'd tidied it up and gotten everything filed last night.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:26 AM
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1. I think Maggie Smith plays Thetis.

2. It's on in the background in an episode of Veronica Mars, basically so the characters can roll their eyes at the film career of the father of Logan Echolls (Veronica's star-crossed love), movie star Aaron Echolls (played by one Harry Hamlin).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:27 AM
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48: Excalibur was pretty sexxxay! (I loved it too.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:27 AM
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I agree that lady Gaga is, essentially, likable. As long as you assume that her entire presentation is tongue in cheek, which I do.

But, I have to say this whole thread makes me less embarrassed by my affection for Pink (specifically the album I'm Not Dead)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:28 AM
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48: I should note that the titties breasts in Clash really are/were spectacular. Nice work, God.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:32 AM
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50.1: She does indeed. I was actually going to check, because there's 1 or 2 other big names, but Olivier's all you really need to know to get just what an old-school hamfest* it was.

* in the sense of truly accomplished actors hamming it up, not hammy actors *cough*Pacino*cough* hamming it up


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:34 AM
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48: I'll also note that, although it appealed to my preadolescent perv, my Classical snob was affronted on a lot of levels. And, TBH, part of my objection to the new version is that they seem to have ramped up, rather than corrected, the fake mythology.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:37 AM
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COTT involves OMG TITTIES? I've seen it a half-dozen times and don't recall that (which is, um, highly improbable).

Now that I think about it, I've probably only ever seen censored tv versions. I should really find a copy of the original.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:38 AM
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COTT involves OMG TITTIES? I've seen it a half-dozen times and don't recall that (which is, um, highly improbable).

IIRC, it's like a half-second shot of Andromeda before she goes to bed.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:51 AM
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51: how the heck did he do that without taking off his armor, is what I want to know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:53 AM
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Also, reading back, Ray Harryhausen's not ridiculous! I mean, he totally is, but in such an awesome way!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:55 AM
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||

Gnome Chomsky

|>


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:58 AM
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I second 56. Watched many many times as a Sunday afternoon movie on broadcast TV. Come to think of it, the same is true of Porky's, which makes no sense whatsoever.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:06 PM
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Torrents are dicey. When I go looking for music, my first stop is captaincrawl.com. If that doesn't work, googling various permutations of the artist/title along with [one of rapidshare/megaupload/mediafire/sharebee] usually does.

I find that usually one can just google search for the album title, maybe followed by the year...and then in google image search, look through all the appearances of the album cover, and if something appears that looks like a blog, it's probably hosting the album for download.


Posted by: Wilfrid Laurier | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:09 PM
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56, 57: I don't recall Andromeda's, but those aren't important. What's important are Danaƫ's, which are shown nursing baby Perseus in like the third scene.

Available on YouTube, y'all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:14 PM
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I agree that lady Gaga is, essentially, likable. As long as you assume that her entire presentation is tongue in cheek, which I do.

Don't you know that Lady Gaga is just a front for a deeper and more sinister agenda? Obviously you need to consume this essential background information.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:15 PM
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Lady Gaga is Christina Aguilera meets Matthew Barney, and balances interestingness with enough-already-ness in roughly equal proportion to the latter.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:21 PM
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Am I correct in thinking that I sure as hell should not be signing up for any sorts of file sharing services?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:22 PM
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Why not?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:26 PM
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I've never signed up for any of them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:27 PM
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Vuze has a good built-in search engine.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:27 PM
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But that's 100% about money, not fear of the music police.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:27 PM
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69: Seconded.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:28 PM
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They cost money? What services are we talking about, here?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:29 PM
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I assumed he was talking about premium memberships to Rapidshare, etc. Maybe not?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:31 PM
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Hmm, some -- where you have to earn credits by seeding -- will let you buy extra oomph with cash, if you need it to start.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:32 PM
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73: I assumed he was talking about signing up to private torrent sites, like those mentioned in 74.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:33 PM
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I use Chewbone as my mp3 search engine, which I like because it mostly goes to themed blogs, some of which have regular commentary and other stuff.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:33 PM
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75: Even those don't require cash -- maybe an invite, and usually seeding, but not cash.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:37 PM
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Sifu probably has access to secret illegal black arts servers that demand blood offerings.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:43 PM
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58: I have met one of the people in that scene. I wish I'd had the guts to ask about it. Instead, we talked about Hitler.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:48 PM
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Lady Gaga is Christina Aguilera meets Matthew Barney, and balances interestingness with enough-already-ness in roughly equal proportion to the latter.

Where's the Matthew Barney? Has she been filling all her orifices with Vaseline on camera?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:50 PM
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The link in 64 has an unusual combination of high-grade crazy and normal, subdued graphic design.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:52 PM
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79: !!!!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 12:58 PM
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Excalibur doesn't get nearly enough love. If only all Commanders of the Order of the British Empire got their kit off as much as Helen Mirren. I'm looking at you, Christopher Ondaatje!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:09 PM
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Basically, I'm worried about disrepute. I'm certainly not interested in paying money, and not afraid of the police, either (I've mentioned that I'm a white homeowner, right?).

2 votes for Vuze does it for me, and it already appears to be working.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:12 PM
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80: No Vaseline, but bodily fluids occasionally figure in and there is elaborate, improbable, and psychologically unsettling costumery. See, for example, "Bad Romance".


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:33 PM
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and not afraid of the police, either (I've mentioned that I'm a white homeowner, right?).

Part of my home is white, but the roof is green. Am I safe from the police?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:41 PM
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85: I have an odd feeling I've seen that video before, somewhere.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:41 PM
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The video for "Paparazzi" -- which I really like; all her songs are kind of generic dance-pop to me divorced from the video context -- is quite genuinely perverse in bits (for a big smash MTV song; Lady Gaga didn't hire Ballard to make Lady Gaga's Atrocity Exhibition).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:42 PM
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87: You know, you get down here in the 80s and the OP doesn't seem worth checking.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:46 PM
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The last three seconds of "Bad Romance" are perhaps the most disturbing.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 1:57 PM
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89: It is remarkable that the thread is on-topic.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:04 PM
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What I don't get are the persistent rumors that Gaga is a man. Many of those outfits simply don't have any place to hide a penis.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:07 PM
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92: I believe I've stated it here before, but the first time I encountered Lady Gaga (in possibly the least cool venue ever, the Times Square New Year show for 2008, I think), I just sort of assumed she was a drag queen (the name, the dance - she just looked like a Cher impression to me). But yeah, past that first assumption, once you see a picture of her, where does that even come from?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:13 PM
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...place to hide a penis.

I'll show you a...

Oh, never mind.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:17 PM
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She has a fairly strong jawline and broad shoulders. But I also think that when people see someone projecting that much power (and actually having that much talent) they feel like they must be looking at a man. Its just patriarchal programming.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:21 PM
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95: No, I believe she has claimed to be a hermaphrodite for vavavoom factor, which I found pretty annoying. And there is a . . . actually faked or just misleading? video of her cock supposedly popping out.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:28 PM
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64: It's interesting that conspiracy theorists have been able to transition so seamlessly from "the government is censoring the real story" to "just google it! the real truth is right there in plain sight on Wikipedia!"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 2:28 PM
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Many of those outfits simply don't have any place to hide a penis.

You can do amazing things with duct-tape, Rob.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:09 PM
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98: I have to admit, I have never tried anything involving duct-tape and a penis.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:20 PM
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96: I believe she has responded to rumors about being a hermaphrodite with carefree encouragement--sure, for the vavavoom of it all, but more fun than claiming it in the first place.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:31 PM
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Huh. I am sort of pleased that, as Scalzi put it, science fiction is mainstream now; but I don't get the Lady Gaga love... thinking of Bad Romance as SF makes the costumes not-very-original, and jeez, those dancers aren't very competent.

I went back to Paula Abdul (the snake one) and then the Nicholas Brothers for that proper wintery reassurance that standards are just going to hell.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:33 PM
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95--I think any woman in performance who isn't simply trying to look like as fuckable as possible all the time will get called a drag queen sooner or later.....femininity as performance=drag queen.

Gaga's originality is that rather than make the kind of dancepop that gets used in runway shows, she's making the dancepop and the runway show at the same time.


Posted by: lurker | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 4:41 PM
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any woman in performance who isn't simply trying to look like as fuckable as possible

I'm not sure Lady Gaga is such a good example of that theory.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:10 PM
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I just went back and listened to the song again and, I have to say, it doesn't hold up. Once I was no longer focused on, "wow, that's a neat visual image" I am inclined to say that it really isn't a good song. It has some good elements, but not enough.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:28 PM
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"Femininity as performance" is the opposite of "trying to look as fuckable as possible"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:33 PM
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106

Hell, I'm old and I like her, too. Good voice; I could see [hear?] her doing torch and jazz.

It impressed my son that I recognised "Bad Romance" after three notes. [Hmmm, there's a game show in that, isn't there?] He immediately tweeted this to his friends.

The Offspring waited in line all night to get a bracelet to be one of the privileged 250 to get their CDs signed. He then waited in line again for the signing itself. Gaga sent out pizza to everyone waiting. He also noted that, when a fan was overcome and began crying, Gaga stepped out from behind the table and gave the girl a hug and did the 'there,there,there' thing to calm her down. [She also hugged The Offspring, but that's because he asked her to. He says she's sweet.] But did he offer me the extra concert ticket he had? Noooo, he thought he'd take his sister.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 5:37 PM
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107

106 makes me happy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:02 PM
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I am inclined to say that it really isn't a good song. It has some good elements, but not enough.

I'd be delighted if you expanded on this. I'd like to know just how many "good elements" a song needs to be a "good song."

(Ha. Ha. I'm writing this from my favorite bar where, at the other end, there's a pro/anti-Gaga discussion going on RIGHT NOW.)


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:09 PM
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100 and 106 make me happier about LG being the kind of celebrity that gets more famous for being famous.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:18 PM
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I'd be delighted if you expanded on this. I'd like to know just how many "good elements" a song needs to be a "good song."

Oh, I was deliberately being vague because I didn't want to think about it.

I really like the "Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah Roma-roma-ma ga-ga ooh la la" bit, that struck me as really funny. Admittedly, that is reminiscent of the Ra-Ra-Rasputin bit in "Rasputin" but that's a case in which she ups the theatrical ante.

I don't like how many affects there are on her voice, it makes it hard for me to feel emotionally involved in the song at all. The repeated, "we could write a bad romance" line doesn't do much for me.

*shrug*

As for the question of how many good elements it takes to make a song -- the answer is clearly "one" if you have something great. I don't mind songs that are built around one idea as long as it's a great idea (I'm trying to think of examples of songs that make me think, "he had one great riff, but it was worth building a song around.")


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:24 PM
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The beginning of the song reminded me of The The's "Infected".

THAT IS ALL


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:40 PM
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Boy, I've just had my annual experience of pop music. From my hinterlands of nerd:

1) The mechanics of these videos are getting down to what a really determined crew of baristas could put together with no outside funding. Hunh; think what that did for publishing.

2) I like Pink a lot more than I'd have expected to, and also it seems to me her /oeuvre/ could be redone very effectively as country & western. Especially _Sober_. And _Please Don't Leave Me_.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:53 PM
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I can see "Jesus won't you fucking whistle / something but the past and done" set to a tasty pedal steel lick.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:54 PM
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Ever since reading dom's 106.3, I can't help but read the OP thus:

I feel like Lady Gaga Sarah Palin deserves to be famous. I just think she is awesome. She is such a famehound, but it feels outlandish and electric instead of Paris Hiltony. Perhaps because she's talented and wears wild outfits.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 6:57 PM
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any woman in performance who isn't simply trying to look like as fuckable as possible

I'm not sure Lady Gaga is such a good example of that theory.

To my mind "fuckable" is a balance between "sexy" and "approachable." Jennifer Aniston projects the "fuckable" image because she is both smoking hot and you can imagine her talking to you. Lady GaGa, and celebs like her, decide to focus only on the "sexy," and to hell with the "approachable."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:12 PM
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114: I'd love to see Sarah Palin wearing a red leather outfit with weird puffy shoulders to meet the Queen of England.

Caroline likes Lady GaGa (The songs. I'm not letting her watch the videos.) I'm planning on pushing GaGa while quietly throwing away Kids Bop 16.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:15 PM
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(I'm trying to think of examples of songs that make me think, "he had one great riff, but it was worth building a song around.")

Satisfaction. You Really Got Me. Shit, Chuck Berry got an entire career out of one great riff. CCR had a bit more than a single riff, but not much. To be really extreme, you could argue that much of the best rock n roll is nothing but an exploration of the Bo Diddley beat. These are all kind of cliches, but nonetheless truthy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:41 PM
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Where would Led Zeppelin be, but for the riff? Or Metallica's "One"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 7:57 PM
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#114. But Sarah Palin isn't talented and she doesn't wear wild outfits.

As for the question of how many good elements it takes to make a song -- the answer is clearly "one" if you have something great I like.

Which is, admit it, what you're saying. A song is "great" if there's something about it that you think is great. If so, that's all it needs. Which is fine, really, but let's not pretend that the phrase "great" here means anything more than that.

Your key criticism seems to be that "Bad Romance" doesn't move you emotionally. And that's fine, too, though it isn't perfectly obvious to me what that demand means, either, since to me "Bad Romance" is funny, sexy, thrilling, and melodically pleasing, emotional qualities all. It doesn't move you. Which may be true, but which is far from your original assertion that it isn't a "good" song because it doesn't have enough "good elements" in it.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:06 PM
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On first listen, "Bad Romance" doesn't seem to be as interesting as the video is, on first viewing. Time will tell: we'll see if it's stuck in my head tomorrow.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:09 PM
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we'll see if it's stuck in my head tomorrow.

You know what damn song's been in my head all day? This one.

Make. It. Stop.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:46 PM
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If one seeks to find out who 'likes' a commercial piece, one cannot avoid the suspicion that liking and disliking are inappropriate to the situation, even if the person questioned clothes his reactions in those words. The familiarity of the piece is a surrogate for the quality ascribed to it. To like it is almost the same thing as to recognize it. An approach in terms of value judgments has become a fiction for the person who finds himself hemmed in by standardized musical goods. He can neither escape impotence nor decide between the offerings where everything is so completely identical that preference in fact depends merely on biographical details or on the situation in which things are heard.


Posted by: Theodor W. Adorno | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 8:51 PM
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To like it is almost the same thing as to recognize it

This is, frequently, distressingly true.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:09 PM
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the answer is clearly "one" if you have something great I like.

Which is, admit it, what you're saying. A song is "great" if there's something about it that you think is great. If so, that's all it needs. Which is fine, really, but let's not pretend that the phrase "great" here means anything more than that.

I freely concede that my judgments are subjective, personal, always provisional, and more than occasionally wrong-headed and arbitrary. I don't concede, however, that there is no generally set of standards that we can use to share and compare our judgments.

I feel like in my own life, I have the experience that occasionally I do something in which I feel like I have completely realized my intention in the action, and most of the time I do things that approximate my intention. I also feel like when reading somebody's writing, or listening to a song, there's a difference that most people can agree on between something that really clicks, and something that is approximate.

Look at the various lists of great first sentences that are floating around -- they're inevitably subjective but, at the same time, I don't see anybody arguing that there's no such thing as a great sentence.

I admit to being cursory in my evaluation of "Bad Romance" but I just think that, other than the "Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah Roma-roma-ma ga-ga ooh la la" bit there's nothing that seems like it clicks and convinces me that it is exactly what it is supposed to be, and couldn't be anything else.

That's a different standard than the one I gave originally -- which was more or less "I just don't find the song compelling" and I don't want to defend it as the ideal standard for evaluating the song, but I do claim that I can say something, however slight, that is more than just "I don't like it."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:10 PM
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preference in fact depends merely on biographical details or on the situation in which things are heard.

And Adorno again mistakes a basic feature of human nature for an abhorrent feature of late capitalism.

Normally, the mistake goes the other way: people mistakenly assume the idiosyncrasies of their position are the human condition.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:10 PM
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121: hey, I forgot how good that song is. Nice.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:22 PM
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The worst thing about this thread? Natilo mentioned "Single Ladies", so I've had it in my head all day.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 9:27 PM
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Man, that's one weird earworm for an English speaker.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:13 PM
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128: Wow. That sort of makes sense. I never got that song.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:27 PM
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Just watched the music video of the original on Youtube. Um. What the hell was that?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:38 PM
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This may help, essear.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:41 PM
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This was linked here before, right?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:42 PM
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Oh, that hurts. Damn you, nosflow.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:42 PM
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Thanks, both of you. That really clears everything up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:50 PM
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I thought it would.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 10:54 PM
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134: It's about how hot boarding school boys are. Right? Especially when they're ninjas?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:01 PM
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May I enter comment No 33 in "Private Eye's" Pseuds corner?


Posted by: Herr Torquewrench | Link to this comment | 12-10-09 11:48 PM
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re: 37

Good point. I *love* Roisin Murphy. The last but one album -- the Matthew Herbert produced one* -- is something I listen to all the time, although the last one has more of the big pop hooks (reminiscent of the remixed Moloko singles that were hits).

'Overpowered' is just fantastic: 'your day-ta, my dah-ta' ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlFjf1pWk2c

* A Matthew Herbert/Roisin Murphy collaboration is pretty much like one of the little gods of music listened to my prayers ... if Marc Ribot had played guitar on it ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 12:39 AM
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131, 132: Mostly quite well done, but I thought the instrumental interlude was pretty crappy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 7:17 AM
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One of my prayers was answered two nights ago when Craig Ferguson spent two or three minutes of his show talking about "Oor Wullie". They even showed an example.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 7:39 AM
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117: "You Really Got Me" is a great example. Especially because "All Day and All of the Night" is also great and its the same damn riff


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 9:37 AM
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117, 141: This is very true. That riff is the first thing I ever learned to play on a guitar.*

*I cannot actually play the guitar.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 9:39 AM
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It's not really the same riff, of course, but yeah, very similar. And nothing wrong with that!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-11-09 5:20 PM
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More on the original post:

The premise of "Bad Romance" (directed by Francis Lawrence) is human trafficking, and with it Lady Gaga makes literal the unspoken plight of the pop star--being transformed into an empty vessel and reshaped into a commodity to be put on display for her audience. Metamorphosis is key; Gaga and her dancers emerge from cocoon-like coffins and are covered from head to toe in pupa-like full body suits. Elements recalling avant-garde art film such as the Cremaster cycle (and which were hinted at in "Paparazzi") come out in full force here; Gaga and her cohort take on animalistic and alien form-distorting costumes, and their dance moves are not acrobatic but both hyper-precise and off-kilter. They take on bestial aspects as they perform for their half-human, half-mechanical all-male audience. (The main antagonist even looks like a cross between Matthew Barney and an Eastern Promises Viggo Mortensen.) White-clad captors shepherd Lady Gaga through the "Bath Haus of Gaga"; the stark and empty white cube resembles the final destination of Dave Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:35 PM
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143 and prev.: mmm.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:06 AM
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