Celebrité, Music

Gaga vs Perry: Life is better when two pop stars reign at the same time

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Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP” 11.11.13

vs.

Katy Perry’s “Prism” 10-22-13

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There seems to be a special alignment of the planets (or corporate music industry strategy. whatevz) when a huge pop star releases an album.  Madonna vs. Cindi Lauper, Britney vs. Christina, and now Gaga vs. Katy Perry. What would be the fun in releasing a major diva studio pop album without some healthy competition?! GOD THIS FALL IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

Lady Gaga and Katy Perry rose to fame together, both have two albums under their sparkly belts and are slated to release their third albums this fall, respectively titled “ARTPOP” and “Prism”. I have no idea which one I’m more excited for. Dare I say I’m excited for both? Pop blasphemy! Pop music tyrant! To the VMA stakes!

I’m excited for Gaga’s “ARTPOP” because:

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Single art for Gaga’s “Applause”. Me gusta.

  • I like all of the aesthetics so far. Her first single titled “Applause” has a fresh look to it. I’m digging the white a lot. It’s a whole lot better than her “Born This Way” album art, that’s for sure.
  • Gaga lives for art. She puts a lot of effort into her artistic process. “ARTPOP” is said to be a journey through collaborations with famous artists like Inez & Vinoohd (worked with Björk in the music biz and a lot of fashion photography), Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic (famous performance artist and recently in Jay Z’s latest video release) and Jeff Koons.
  • Girlfriend ain’t afraid to get a little weird, which is always makes for an interesting time.

I’m excited for Katy Perry’s “Prism” because:

  • She is a quintessential pop star. I get the vibe that Katy Perry will (and does) do everything she is directed to do by her label. I like her music a lot, but it is very cut and dried classic pop music. It will be like 200 feet in front of new trends, but won’t stand anywhere near what would be called innovative. She is here for one purpose: Sexy. Hot. Pop. Star. And we love her for that.
  • You know she’s gonna have the best pop song of fall on her new album. She works with the best pop music producers in the business (Max Martin, Dr. Luke) and the best pop music songwriters (Sia, Bonnie McKee). She gets the best of the best of the BEST to help produce and write her music.
  • Her fashion sense is good, even though it’s completely fucking commercial “I’m a sexy lady! Gee whiz! Boobs! Firework!”

“Born This Way” and “Teenage Dream” were both great sophomore releases but totally pandered directly to “troubled” and  “bullied” teens and less towards an artistic, grown up sound. I think both of their upcoming albums will show long overdue maturity, however Gaga probably has more freedom to grow up in the limelight than Katy Perry. Katy Perry is the pop music, number 1 hit maker slave, and Gaga is the weirdo artist but still has to appeal to a wide audience. Life is hard in Pop World, y’all.

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Pop Predictions

All things considered, I think Gaga’s album will be way more interesting and creative than Katy Perry’s. It’s like if Madonna from 30 years ago (holy fucking shit it has been THAT long) split in half, birthing two opposing pop star molds: with Gaga you get the edge, the art, and the cravings for controversy. With Katy you get the “I’m the Queen of Pop now” who releases really great but kind of predictable #1 hits that are about as stimulating as a cold Diet Coke with a really great sandwich. Sure, everyone loves Diet Coke and good sandwiches, but it’s no orange San Pellegrino with a side of classical piano training and a penchant for performance art. Only time (internet leaks) will tell which album will prevail. BRING. IT. ON.

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Celebrité

Celebrité: Amanda Bynes is getting annoying

Everyone knows Twitter is full of useless information: jokes about dying alone, endless/useless fights about politics and details about strangers’ day to day lives. But once in a while, some fairweathered tweet about a useless celebrity sets me on fire.

Amanda Bynes erratic behavior is becoming a bore

Image via People

Image via People

It’s sort of beating a dead horse at this point to say “Why do we CARE about these people?” Is it because our love lives are stale? Our cubicle is depressing? We don’t have enough interesting things going on it our lives? Probs a combination of the three and a BAJILLION others, but I digress.

My problem with this tweet, and most gossip columns tweeting about AB, is that her crazy weird behavior is something we care to know about. Wearing crazy wigs to court because she shaved her head to wear bad wigs? SHOW ME THE PIC. Mumbling to herself all over NYC? YOU GOT A SOUND CLIP? Throwing a vase/bong out of a high rise window? I LOVE GLASS CHIPS. Entering stores and locking herself in bathrooms to “apply makeup”? DAMN THAT GURL IS HIP. Sure, calling Drake ugly and everyone else ugly is kinda funny and entertaining. But seriously, what the hell is her game?

I will dissect this in three ways:

  • Amanda Bynes is having a mid life identity crisis. Not legit crazy, which would explain why she has never been held by a court for incompetence. It also explains why her friend Drake Bell (granted I don’t know anything about him besides he starred on her show “The Amanda Show” in the early 00′s) said in an interview with OK! magazine that “She’s a sweetheart. I had lunch with her yesterday, and she’s brilliant. She’s good, and she’s healthy.” Without actual mental issues, there’s little anyone can do just because she’s acting weird and rude.
  • She is uneducated and starved for attention. At least Joaquin Phoenix’s weird year was for art. Unless Amanda Bynes is writing a dissertation on the absurdity of post-modern media, or planning to compile a book of tweets that mirror modern life in the era of useless information, I’m gonna continue to think she’s acting out for attention.
  • She thinks acting erratically and getting media attention will bring her career back to life. She’s not wrong, which is even sadder commentary on modern American pop culture and how to be successful. Be a dick! Be crazy! People Love it!

No matter what, the Amanda Bynes news is getting old. Either she’s going to continue to spiral into even more erratic behavior for more and more media/twitter attention, resulting in who knows what, or the public is gonna get bored of her weak attempts at staying relevant. Only sweet time will tell whether our fave semi-crazy B is gonna take it too far or reign herself back in. Oy. Vey.

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Gross, Music

Gross: Demi Lovato sells cars now

Demi Lovato, Car Saleswoman

EW. WHAT? Excuse me? Demi, are the first lyrics to your new song “Made in the USA” (PUKE TITLE) Our love runs deep like a Chevy? And is your chorus really cuz our love was made in the USA? Jesus. Nice try on the “Party in the USA” rip off, but no. Just… no.

Image via broadwayworld.com

She’s so edgy. Image via broadwayworld.com

How much do you think Chevy paid to have Demi Lovato, singer, actress, judge on The X Factor, to put a line referencing Chevy’s slogan in her song pukingly titled “Made in the USA”? Probably a lot. Oh, did I mention yet that Chevy is also the official car sponsor of The X Factor where Miss Lovato just happens to be a judge? Interesting! Transparent. And disgusting.

It’s like the mainstream music industry isn’t even trying to creatively cross promote anymore. Sure, Britney Spears made a couple of songs for Pepsi (and this AMAZING commercial that is my favorite commercial of all time), but she NEVER had a line in one of her albums about how good Pepsi is. It’s one thing to endorse a company and their product, but it’s another to bring it into your art or music and still call it art. It’s not art honey, it’s an ad. You make ads now.

Mental illness marketing is IN

The other thing that pisses me off about Demi Lovato is that she used/currently uses her mental illness(es) as a marketing tool. Come one, come all, o dearly afflicted teens! GROSS.

On one hand, she IS bringing awareness about mental illness into the homes of middle America. On the other, it seems a bit exploitative and confusing to talk about mental illness so much, and then release songs like this empty crap that have nothing to do with anything besides bringing brand awareness to said afflicted teens. Sort of like, Hey guys! I’m bipolar and depressed too. It really sucks, but you should check out this new 2014 Chevy. They are cool now. Skip the therapist to go for a test drive, cuz this shit runs DEEP. 

She's totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com

She’s totally upset about the growing wealth disparity, you guys. Image via depotpicture.com

Demi Lovato is the epitome of an uneducated, blank industry pawn. It’s not like she’s the first one ever, but she’s definitely the most obvious this year. It hurts me to know that these young stars, Miley, Justin, Selena, T-Swift, don’t have college educations, because I think a lot of them would be woken up to just how shitty of an influence they are on the world. It pains me to think about what’s going through their heads when they think of the world, life, entertainment, capitalism, commercialism, sexuality etc. *Shivers*

All in all, Lovato’s career is kinda doomed. She’s not ever going to be taken seriously as an ‘artist’ because of shit like this. There’s not really any coming back from corporate shillings. Cuz honestly, what’s next? A song about using Veet on your vag because boys think pubic hair is icky? “I love to Veet my vagina/it makes all the boys say ‘Hey Demetria!’” Wait that’s pretty good, actually.

I pray for my country.

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Artiste, Celebrité, Music

Music: New Order live and my problems with live electronic music

First of all, New Order is one of my favorite and most influential bands of all time. I’m an electro-pop artist (Dennis) and a DJ, and “Bizarre Love Triangle” is one of my favorite songs of all time. ALL TIME. This song is fucking beautiful. This band is fucking beautiful. BUT.

As an an electronic artist myself, it is incredibly difficult to translate the emotion and excitement of electronic music into a live performance setting. As I watched New Order perform one of my fave songs on Jimmy Kimmel Live, I was completely underwhelmed and saddened due to the lack of electronic musical stage translation. New-Order-256e4

I think the lead singer, Bernard Summer, was great vocally; he sounded just like the record did nearly 30 years ago. However, the guy standing in the back of stage perhaps playing a drum machine is the reason this performance wasn’t as good as it could have been. Plus these people are old now. There is something so hard about watching old rock bands perform. I really hate to say it and even admit it to you and myself because these bands are idyllic. But their bodies have grown old. So much of being an alluring artist is a sexual appeal of some sort. Their spirit has changed too. Not worse or better, but different, which naturally causes their performance art to change.

(But then again you can watch modern day Stevie Nicks perform and she still has the passion necessary to keep an audience interested. It’s all a crapshoot.)

I’m not sure how many live DJ sets any of you readers (thank you for reading, i heart you so much) have ever been to. But they are fucking BO-RING. This has nothing to do with the fact that many DJs are SUPER talented DJs and know how to mix some insane, genius-level beats. It has to do with live show translation: it is simply not exciting as an audience member to watch anyone push buttons. (Exception: DJs mixing and pressing buttons for a dance room setting. As openers for other bands DJs tend to always run stale because nobody is drunk and dancing to openers, especially if the set is lacking visual excitement)

This is where electronic bands get into trouble. A drum machine is awesome, but you can’t FEEL a drum machine like you can feel a live drum kit. It gives the audience a mandatory heart beat to the pulse of your music that can’t be recreated through speakers.

Demands of the Modern Audience

Having been to a ton of shows throughout my life and most recently in the Minneapolis area, stage performance is a big part of why many shows are so underwhelming. Where is the creative lighting? Projectors of slideshows put together by the band to represent their aesthetic and therefore their performance art? Anything to keep the audience intrigued?

I don’t know if many artists have gotten the memo, but consumers/audiences are demanding as fuck in this modern age. They want all their senses taken care of. Being a musician isn’t just about making music anymore. You’ve got to give the audience something good to look at, something to feel, something to be, something to strive for. ladygaga-1

Why do you think pop stars dress so wild? That’s how they get attention. Being successful is about how much attention you’re getting. Good, bad; it doesn’t matter. And if that means you have to wear a piece of shit on your face so all the blogs are linking back to poor style choice *AND* your song, so be it. That’s how you get famous. That’s the world we live in now, and it’s not changing anytime soon.

Consumers want to be sold a lifestyle (Ke$ha, The Strokes, Lil Wayne, LMFAO etc.), and if your band- new or old- isn’t able to sell that, then sorry! That’s why you see so many pop stars and celebrities selling fragrances or clothing lines (not to mention the fact that music doesn’t make nearly the kind of money it used to): it’s all about the lifestyle brand. Buy this and be like this person. Buy this and you will be accepted by this group of society. Maybe it sucks, but whatever. That’s life. That’s entertainment. A lot of things suck more than pop artists slingin’ perfume. Its the most cliché shit ever, but LEARN THE FUCKING GAME ALREADY. *drops keyboard and walks off stage*

 

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Fashion, Hit Miss Mess

Hit Miss Mess: 2013 MTV Movie Awards

EW. Holy shit. The 2013 MTV Movie Awards were not a great compilation of fashion this year. Not to mention the fact that I know I’m getting older, but who the fuck are most of the people on the red carpet?! My guess would  be B-list “teen” celebs from MTV original shows (lol) and the CW.

Hit

Taylor Hanson

Legit, the only person I say who looked amazing head to toe. He’s so fucking handsome. And you can also tell he’s not a total piece of shit because he A) dresses himself and has great personal style or B) has enough brains to have a stylist. A+ Taylor!

Taylor Hanson

Miss

Macklemore

Okay. So, if Macklemore is going the pop artist route in mainstream society, then I owe him a congratulations. He wore something weird that will get the media talking. If I may deconstruct the outfit a bit, it feels as if the black tie and shirt underneath the blue suit is kind of grounding him, or serving as a reminder that he’s a “regular guy” with an eccentric shell. The cape is kinda fun, the hair has a style and shape, and he doesn’t look like a total hot mess. The shoes are horrid though.

I feel for men because there aren’t a lot of options or opportunities to be really creative with fashion without looking like a jag. He gets a B+ for effort.

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Mess

Hayley Williams

She is definitely a cute bitch. Her hair looks fun and she’s got a pretty smile. But overalls are not okay. EVER. And oh lord, that bag. Is it underwear? Is she carrying lipgloss inside of theoretical old butt stains around on a red carpet? Honey, no.

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Honorable Mess

Hana Mae Lee

What the fuck is that? OH! It’s a cigarette butt. Cuz people should PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!!!!!!!! stop smoking? Woulda been a cute look otherwise, but then nobody would be talking about it or her. Clever publicist, but stupid, stupid outfit.

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Celebrité, Music

Justin Timberlake’s ragtime “Sexyback” is fucking great

2690069-justin-timberlake-2013-suite-tie-617-409 JUSTIN TIMBERWEEK ON JIMMY FALLON RAGTIME “SEXYBACK”

Justin Timberlake is such a great performer. Everyone likes him so much. I’m just so proud of him for getting out of the rut it is to be in a defunct boy band. I mean, look at all the other boy bands of his era and before. Justin is the only really successful one with music, seeing as JC Chasez, with his holy-shit VOICE, kinda fucked his career over by writing/choosing terrible fucking songs.

I don’t even know what the fuck the boys of 98 Degrees are up to, and who cares. Nick Lachey just recorded some lullabys bc he had a kid with former MTV VJ Vanessa Manilo (who are his adult fans lol?! Seems like a decent chap but blegh, boring). And no one in the Backstreet Boys had any kind of a majorly successful solo career seeing as they are on tour with NKOTB and maybe some other people. THAT IS 10 MEN WHO SING. What a weird backstage probably.

Anyways, JT is awesome. I love his artistic self-worth (not putting out an album just because he could) and his dedication to performing, whether it’s on a stage singing or in his movie career. He’s a true performer and artist who is dedicated to authenticity, which is something you don’t see as much on the mainstream stage. Maybe his dedication to authentic music stems from his teens and early twenties in a boy band where everything was chosen for him by a bunch of gross, overweight suits in a tall, scary building somewhere.

JT, WE LOVE YOU. I can’t wait to see the rest of his Justin Timberweek performances on Jimmy Fallon. I’m holding out for “Like I Love You” cuz I really want him to do the dance from it. And bring back the stage from his first solo MTV performance in 2002. EEEEEP!! 2013 is so ballin’. It’s like 2003 all over again.

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Fashion, Hit Miss Mess

Hit Miss Mess: Oscars Fashion 2013

OSCARS 2013

People-wise I loved: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence, Shirley, Adele, Hugh Jackman, Bobby Deniro, and J HUD.

Fashion-wise: WHAT WERE YOU PEOPLE THINKING.

I’ve gotta say, Oscars fashion totally disappointed me this year. I was not really impressed with anybody’s total look. Which sucks, because it’s so fun to love the glamourous outfits of the uber riche and talented. But alas, if you have to choose, you have to choose. Here are my hits, misses and MESSES (THERE’S A LOT OF MESS).

Hit

Sally Field

I think Sally Field had the best look of the night. I don’t even want to say “for her age” but I feel like I have to because it’s part of why I think she is best dressed. The entire dress has an interesting part that compliments her body shape while giving us something interesting to look at. I especially like where all the fabric meets at the waist. It’s such a cool focal point. Plus, the color is vibrant but not too in your face.

Her hair is done up, but not in a “I’m an old lady” fashion like Meryl Streep does (come ON meryl, you are hot as fuck. get some rad hair styles goin on!) Her bangs are chill, the updo is loose, makeup is light but good. All together, the best look of the night.

Love it. Image via the huffington post

Love it. Image via the huffington post

Renee Zellweger

Yeah she’s got a cray cray face sometimes. But she looks fucking GOOD in this dress. Sadly I think it’s the most fun dress of the night.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Jennifer Hudson

J Hud’s look is good. The dress is interesting and her hair, pose and makeup all looks great together.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Daniel Radcliffe

He looks great. Hair looks real, not a fuckton of foundation to sweat through. Well done.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Naomi Watts

Rad.

naomi watts

Image via buzzfeed

Charlize Theron

She’s just cool as fuck.

charlize theron

Image via buzzfeed

Hugh Jackman

Because he rocks.

hugh jackman

Image via buzzfeed

Robert Deniro

ITS BOBBY DENIRO. NUFF SAID.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Miss

Nicole Kidman

I like, don’t love. It’s cool but it’s really fucking shiny and not really fitting with her public persona. I did like when she twice critiqued the shitty producers of this years show. Once for heavily cutting off a guy who was clearly not finished with his speech by mouthing her disappointment, and once when she was presenting and they were trying to rush the crowd’s applause. Surprisingly, she wins in personality!

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Norah Jones

Good fucking lord! The hair! WHAT was she thinking? NO. Never, ever wear your hair like this. Anyone.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Kelly Rowland

At first you’re like “Fuck yeah, Kelly Rowland is at the Oscars!” And then you’re like “Wait, that is some ugly dress.” What a horrible dress. She’s young and pretty enough to not look like a total mess in a bomb like this, so kudos to her. But ICK!

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Mess

Kristen Stewart

Oh dear lord. I am totally biased because I don’t like her very much. But good god, put a fucking comb through your hair if you’re going to be on tv. It’s so basic. Like, no effort. The dress kind of looks like vertical layers of a wedding cake. BO-RING. And the dark circles under her eyes… what, was she been sniffing undies all morning and didn’t have time? Get it together gurl. You can do better than this. CARE ABOUT SOMETHING. FEEL.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Helena Bonham-Carter

Did your mother teach you to stand like that? Jesus Christ! You know it’s no shock that she dressed like this. If she ever ends up on a best dress list, she’s having a stroke and should be immediately taken to urgent care. But come on, the dead arms, the smirk, the dress and jewelry you found in a box in the basement of Deb headquarters? Not working and totally predictable.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Quvenzhane Wallis

Just because she’s a kid doesn’t mean she has to dress like the child of an overbearing 80′s parent on prom night. There are cute, stylish and tasteful clothes for kids out there. Someone get her a stylist so her star can soar. This outfit ain’t gonna get an endorsement deals! Cute puppy bag though, and the arm pumps were awesome. Take that, elementary schoolers!

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

Helen Hunt

GET A STEAMER.

Image via buzzfeed

Image via buzzfeed

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