Monday, March 15, 2010
Lady Gaga - Telephone
I often receive grief for my perceived snobbery. While its true that I have little interest in most movies that gross more than $100,000,000*, I have an undeniable weakness for a catchy pop song. This is why I know/sing all those songs I have no business knowing/singing in bars. This is also why I drunkenly stuffed a dollar into a Jukebox to hear 'Semi-Charmed Life' Saturday night.
Lady Gaga is one such artiste** that I simply cannot resist. I remember hearing Pokerface over the summer and being so completely entranced that my girlfriend at the time probably considered it a cry for help. It was an absolutely behemoth of a pop song, and it deserved to be blasted from the rooftops. So I did. If by rooftops I mean in my car and at any party in which I could gain control of the stereo. 'Bad Romance' very nearly captured the same magic a second time, and the world was Gaga's.
So imagine my surprise/delight when Ms. Gaga released a 9 1/2 minute music video Saturday for her newest single 'Telephone' that includes Beyonce, a Kill-Bill homage and prison-themed dance numbers. I haven't even begun to talk about the Diet Coke curlers and the lit-cigarette glasses. Nor have I mentioned the 'Let's Make A Sandwich' detour in which Gaga instructs the viewing audience on how to engage in a mass-homicide. The entire thing is such an epic spectacle that it completely fuses with the song. It will do for 'Telephone' what the music video for 'Thriller' did. Take an otherwise forgettable pop-song and make it a cultural phenomenon. The video has been out for nearly two days and it 15 million views and 1,082 video responses and countless parodies***.
Gaga is the virtuoso to fill the power-vacuum left by MJ. Beyonce has the voice but not the flair. Taylor Swift has crossover appeal but lacks any discernible edge. Gaga pushes every boundary beyond anything that has happened to pop-stars or pop-music in the last 10 years. Fashion, music videos and pop-music have been reinvigorated in the months since Gaga stormed the scene. She tapped into the spectacle that made pop-stars of yore such larger-than-life characters. It may all be a hastily built house of cards, but for the moment it is truly a sight to behold.
By most accounts this isn't technically NSFW, but there is a lot of strategically placed caution tape, etc. Oh I think Gaga says the F-word too. Earmuffs!
*Seriously, LOOK at this list. I have seen seven of these, and am almost ashamed to admit to that much.
**No, not a spelling error.
***Many of which ALSO have over a million views.