In the 1950s and ’60s, ‘Pop’ art upended the staid world of fine art by incorporating elements from advertising, television, and consumer product packaging. It fundamentally shifted the public perception of visual art, redefined the acceptable subjects for the medium, and subtly exposed the supercilious pretension and meaningless market forces that governed the art world with shadowy power.
In 2013, Lady Gaga released ARTPOP. It has a track called “Sexxx Dreams,” and includes lyrics like, “Cuz that bitch, she’s so thin (oh la la la) / She’s so rich, and so blonde / She’s so fab, it’s beyond.”
This is not to discount her new album totally out of hand, (because, actually, her R. Kelly collaboration is pretty damn catchy) “ it’s just to say that Gaga’s self-proclaimed revolutionary pairing of high-brow art culture and pop music is actually very far from progressive, especially if you take her at her word about the motivation behind the project.
Gaga has stated that “the intention of the album was to put art culture into pop music, a reverse of Warhol.” So immediately it’s pretty obvious that she considers art and pop music to still exist in completely separate and non-overlapping spheres. This may be true, at least for the majority of serious artists who take on some projects for the sake of pure creativity, because they can’t not make art, and because even in a modern society that has devalued the role of the creators by overvaluing the distributors (ahem “ the Spotify model), they still see value in the process of making stuff for its own sake.
But Lady Gaga’s understanding of art culture seems a bit different. Her obsession and collaborations with huge art world names like Marina AbramoviÄ‡ and Jeff Koons feel a lot like her own admitted obsession with fame, a major, ongoing theme in her music and life. Coincidentally (or not), the artists that Gaga admires most are those that have been prominently in the public eye for years. They are the giants on the world stage. Koons, who designed the ARTPOP album cover, recently sold one of his statues for $58.4 million. It was a gigantic orange balloon dog.
Eminem and Jay-Z rock Yankee Stadium
Part one of Jay-Z and Eminem’s Home and Home Tour, which took place last week in Eminem’s hometown of Detroit, was a success (to put it mildly). And Part two, which took place this past Tuesday at Yankee Stadium in Jay-Z’s home turf, looks like it was just as epic, if not more so. Featuring repeat guest performances by Drake, Kanye West and Dr. Dre, the concert also featured surprise guests Swizz Beatz, Nicki Minaj and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who joined buddy Jay-Z for a medley that included snippets of Clocks and Viva La Vida. Check out the clip below”goosebumps on the house.
Ted Leo + Paul F. Tompkins = Bottled in Cork video
Lampooning the archetypal rise and fall of a rock star, this new video from Ted Leo is a real hoot, thanks to a comically rich performance by Paul F. Tompkins, who plays the part of Leo’s would-be manager, Reginald Van Voorst. Enjoy the LOLs.
Hootie and the Blowfish to get SC monument
It seems mean-spirited to throw this in the Bad section, but we didn’t have room for it anywhere else. Honest. And even if we were griping about the expense of funding such a monstrosity (your words, not ours), it wouldn’t change the fact that Hootie and the Blowfish are getting a big monument in Columbus, South Carolina. The band formed there on the campus of USC nearly 25 years ago, and went on to sell 16 million copies of their record, Cracked Rear View. The monument will be unveiled on October 21. Put that spray can down.
Weezer autotunes the news
If you have a sour Hootie aftertaste in your mouth, cleanse your palate with this video wherein Weezer autotunes current events. Catchy and informational!
George Michael sentenced to prison
George Michael was sentenced to eight weeks in jail and a five-year suspension of his driver’s license after he drove his Range Rover into a Snappy Snaps photo store (real name) on July 4th. Somebody won’t be singing Freedom anytime soon.
- Lady Gaga, Harry Reid talk politics on Twitter
- Will.i.am rocks Sesame Street
- Jennifer Lopez to judge on American Idol for $12 mill
- University of Nevada marching band takes on Lady Gaga
- John Mayer quits Twitter
- Courtney Love covers Bad Romance
- VMA performances for your viewing pleasure
- T-Bone Burnett unveils all-star lineup for Bridge School Benefit
- New PJ Harvey album to drop in 2011
Christian Bale dances to Gaga
Don’t know about you, but all that oil spill footage had us in a deep, greasy funk this week. So it’s nice to get some levity, especially when it comes from an unexpected source such as the perpetually cranky Christian Bale. Watch this clever mash-up of Bale circa the 1992 Disney musical Newsies dancing to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Yes, it’s another Gaga video. We promise we’ll stop. Right after we tell you about this one starring babies dancing to Telephone. There, done.
Chris Brown denied visa to UK
Days before his UK tour was set to begin, Chris Brown was notified this week that his application for a visa had been rejected due to his February assault conviction stemming from a fight with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. The UK Home Office reserves the right to deny entry to anyone guilty of a criminal offense. Brown indulged in a little pity party in the Twitterverse after hearing the news, writing, U ever feel like the storm clouds are too thick for any sunshine to get through? [sic]. We would feel sorry for him if not for, you know, that whole oil spill thing going on. And every other thing happening in the world.
Gorillaz and Pixies pull out of Tel Aviv music festival
First it was Elvis Costello, now Gorillaz and Pixies have canceled their appearances at a Tel Aviv music festival after Israeli forces attacked ships bringing aid to Gaza, resulting in nine deaths. Costello’s wife, chanteuse Diana Krall, is still scheduled to perform this summer.
Lady Gaga debuts Alejandro video, ruffles feathers across America
Remember that time we said were done with Lady Gaga videos? Kidding! This one is the latest from the woman herself, and it’s a doozey. The concept is sort of all over the place, but in a nutshell it’s about gay men in fishnets and bowl cuts simulating sex with Gaga. Oh, and she wears a nun’s habit and eats a rosary, too. If you listen closely, you can hear the message boards on Fox News screaming.
Kanye West’s car stolen, totaled
Looks like Kanye West’s black Porsche Panamera was stolen in Honolulu and crashed into a house shortly thereafter. We anticipate an explosion of caps on West’s blog in 3 ¦ 2 ¦ 1 ¦
- Big Boi releases Andre 3000 collab despite label dispute
- Flo Rida David Guetta team up forClub Can’t Handle Me
- Meet Greyson Chance tribute band Grey Skies with a Chance of Son
- Eminem and Rihanna deal with domestic abuse in Love the Way You Lie
- Miley Cyrus gets kissy
- Alanis Morissette marries rapper Souleye
- Courtney Love gets a new face
- Strokes first gig since forever in London
- Lollapalooza lineup is AMAZING, PEOPLE
- Paul McCartney thanks Americans for voting for Obama
Lenny Kravitz headlines benefit concert for oil spill
Almost three weeks after the explosion of a BP oil rig of the coast of Louisiana, New Orleans’ biggest names will join forces for Gulf Aid, a benefit concert aimed at cleaning up one of the biggest spills in the history of the area. With more than 210,000 gallons of crude oil now polluting the Gulf and threatening aquatic ecosystems, the situation is heartbreaking. Lenny Kravitz will join Mos Def, Ani DiFranco, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, George Porter Jr., Cyril Neville and more on May 16th in New Orleans at the Mardi Gras World River City to help raise funds to offset the damage of this disaster. Kudos to all for their efforts in fixing this mess.
M.I.A. releases XXXO, disses the Biebs
After attacking Lady Gaga and releasing one of the most violent musical videos in recent history, M.I.A. is back in the press this week, but this time it’s for debuting the first single off her forthcoming album. XXXO is another catchy dance floor hit for the British performer/politico and hints at good things to come. But it wouldn’t be enough for Ms. Arulpragasam to simply bestow an edgy pop gem upon us, she’s also gotta serve up a side dish of cheek, this time directed at Justin Bieber. Quoth M.I.A. to the folks at NME: I find the new Justin Bieber video more violent and more of an assault to my eyes and senses than what I’ve made. Touche! And, agreed.
Babies dance to Single Ladies, grown men sing to Bad Romance
What’s more disturbing ” a troupe of tiny girls popping, locking, twirling, strutting and grinding to Single Ladies for the World of Dance competition, or a gang of grungy grown men gathered on the street to sing an a cappella version of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Wait, don’t answer yet”watch the videos below and get back to us.
Ke$ha’s meow mix revealed
Ke$ha is sooo lucky. It’s just not fair for one human to hog all that musical talent. We’re kidding of course. Oh, you weren’t? Well then you might want to take a look at the video below. Turns out Ke$ha’s been squeezing cats in the studio to get that feline-in-heat effect on all her songs.
- Miley Cyrus lap dance scandal erupts
- Pete Wentz directs Train video for If It’s Love
- Kristin Chenoweth blasts Newsweek
- Christina Aguilera and Nicki Minaj join forces on Woo-Hoo
- Alicia Keys and Chad Michael Murray team up for “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)” video
- Brandon Flowers duets with Jenny Lewis on solo record
- Beck, M. Ward, more to appear on True Blood Volume 2 soundtrack
- Beach House pissed at new Katy Perry album name
- Gucci Mane released from prison
OK Go debut another expertly timed music video
On Monday OK Go debuted their video for This Too Shall Pass, and reaffirmed their status as music’s most synchronized video stars. This time around, they joined forces with Synn Labs in Los Angeles to build a large-scale chain-reaction machine to serve as the focal point of the video. The results include lots of funny, bizarre and often poetic effects, not to mention some pretty badass paintball action. Check it out here.
Kanye’s got a new blog
Well Kanye West is back at blogging, and his newly redesigned site has made his all-caps-stream-of-consciousness rants at least 10 font sizes larger. In this edition, Kanye laments the passing of Alexander McQueen and his mother, muses about the ancient Egyptians being robbed of their MTV awards and still finds space to remind us all that he is brilliant and sometimes his genius makes him cry. That and the booze. Read all about it here.
Mini Lady Gaga and mini Ke$ha prompt the question, What’s wrong with kids these days?
What makes you fear the future more “ a small child pretending to brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack to Ke$ha’s Tik Tok or a small child crawling pants-less across the stage to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance? We’ll let you decide. We have to go lie down.
- Bruce Willis stars in Gorillaz video
- Lil Wayne jail sentence postponed (again)
- Kelly Rowland and Michael Bublé cover the Bee Gees
- Gang Starr rapper emerges from coma
- Pavement reunion tour is under way
- Band of Horses announce new album
- LCD Soundsystem frontman scores Noah Baumbach flick
- New Black Keys album