Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All we hear is Lady Gaga Lady Goo Goo

Lady Gaga appeared at the Grammy awards red carpet in an egg...yawn. What would have been good is if someone cracked open the egg and scrambled the fucker. It was cool when Mork turned up at Mindy's house in an egg but this was just so contrived.

When Bowie was in full flight donning his various personalities I thought "Bowie is an artist. Even though it is Ziggy Stardust it is still an incarnation of Bowie (probably on a shit load of drugs)". When Elton John played Dodger stadium in a Donald Duck outfit I thought "There is an example of a sexually confused man who is an artist trying to express himself in the mad world he is in (probably on a shit load of drugs)." When Grace Jones lit up the stage I thought "There is one whack-a-doodle chick who is a scary mutha."

I feel like Gaga has a little playbook at home of Bowie, Elton and Grace (among others) that she studies consistently to create her image. It just doesn't feel organic to me. It appears very studied and applied. She says in interviews that she was always a freak and dressed this way but I have seen her pictures (and videos) when she was Stephanie and she is just a very ordinary looking girl.

If you are truly weird (which she keeps telling the press) you don't have to say it. People will know it. Did Michael Jackson go around saying he was weird? No. But you know that he was nuttier than a snickers bar.

I often wonder who actually falls for this and realise that she has quite a legion of fans (or her little monsters as she calls them). Perhaps they are so young that they don't know about Bowie and think that it is original.

Below is a piece from this week's Popbitch which makes some very interesting points. I thoroughly concur.

>> Just dance <<

Get off the soapbox, get on the floor

Lady Gaga's over-hyped release of her Madonna rip-off, Born This Way, seems to be backfiring. Acolytes and mainstream media may have lapped it up but many fans are complaining that it feels more like a cynical marketing tool rather than genuine piece of pop. It should never be up to the artist to anoint their own work as a gay anthem - that's for listeners to decide (and if there's one thing that The Gays should inarguably be allowed to adopt, it's their own anthems).

The problem Gaga has created for herself is that by making gay fans feel like they've been used as a promotional weapon, everything she does is coming under scrutiny. Her S&M video stylings, closely linking the concept of "being gay" with being a freak, or an outcast, for example. Even her previously well-received attempt to support the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is being questioned, particularly her use of the line"We are not asking you to agree with or approve the moral implications of homosexuality". What moral implications? No doubt she started out with good intention- she's possibly just a victim of her own hype -but Gaga might be advised to stop focusing on politics and start focusing on pop again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is how you sing the Star Spangled Banner...

Update 9/2/11 - I just did some research and Whitney was apparently lip synching this performance that she pre recorded (apparently this was done quite often with many artists so there are no stuff ups on the day). I can normally pick quite easily when people lip synch so they had me here. I still prefer it...live or not.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Curse of the Oversinger

I just had the misfortune of watching a clip of Christina Aguilera singing the USA national anthem at the Superbowl. I didn’t watch it because I am a fan, I merely took a look because it is in the news that she sung the wrong words.

First of all yes she should have got the words right. This isn’t the first time she has sung the anthem at a sporting event but this is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. There is really no excuse to get that wrong.

The thing that really annoys me is her singing. I can acknowledge that this girl can wail. She is a belter and prefers to take that approach when singing. She also is a fan of vocal “runs”. For those uninitiated vocal “runs” is where you sing notes outside of the actual melody line. This style has become particularly prevalent in the last decade or so due to singers like Mariah Carey who litter most of their vocals with “runs”.

Well vocal “runs” are giving me the runs quite frankly. It has simply become a measure of a vocalists worth if they can fit in as many notes possible between the actual melody.

Watching the clip of Christina Aguilera singing the anthem made me quite mad. It was purely an exercise in self-indulgence. “Let’s show everyone on the highest rated program of the year that I can sing.” She failed. Big time.

What I would like to know is what has happened to the vocalists who can sing the actual melody line and sing it well? I am talking about a pure voice that doesn’t feel the need for over embellishment.

I have done some searching and I found someone. I really wanted to find someone who was edgy and kooky that you have never heard of just so I could get cool points but really who am I kidding? Edgy and kooky doesn’t naturally lend itself to a pure vocal performance.

So here I am introducing someone I never thought I would admit to liking (her voice anyway) or putting on my blog. Though no longer a contempary artist she is the embodiment of someone who sings pure notes and sings them well.

Yes Barbra Streisand cops a lot of shit and you either love her or hate her. Southpark went to town on her as Mecha Streisand who was a giant Godzilla style robot who could only be defeated by Robert Smith of The Cure.

She has the reputation for being a diva which I don’t know if it is true or not. To me it doesn’t matter. Most artists are divas and have attitudes. That is just the nature of celebrity.

I watched her singing about 5 different live versions of the same song (Evergreen) and can honestly say that she nails it every time. No vocal boosting. No autotune. No over singing the notes. As a person who has studied singing I can honestly say that the notes are pitch perfect. The lyrics are a bit syrupy but I would prefer to hear a syrupy song sung well than some tarted up half assed growler anytime. Sorry Christina, but it is true.