So I haven’t reviewed anything in a while now and that’s not fair to readers. I at least owe someone who might care a review of the latest Lady Gaga album. Time has passed since I got my hands on it and my exposure to this pop persona has increased immensely. Same for most everyone, I think.
Previously, I used to be pretty mean to her. “Lady Caca,” I would call her. “Pure pop garbage” was my basic stance. I blogged about a website that was critical of the Illuminati symbolism she incorporates into her shtick (you have to admit…it’s totally there).
To the Illuminati blog, my [now ex] girlfriend mentioned something just as I had thought of it, too. The secret society stuff is a good gimmick. Indeed it is. Secret Chiefs 3, one of the most truly gifted bands of our day, uses the same gimmick. The difference is this, though: Secret Chiefs 3 own their gimmick…Lady Gaga seems to be a victim of hers. Granted, the mere thought of her as a tool for wealthy and powerful forces of old makes for an incredibly dark aura around America’s [generally] blond heroin. (Yes…like the drug.)
But hey. That can be a morbidly enjoyable thing, as well. I should be entertained, not sympathetic to a zombie pop star. Shit. I don’t even know her. Furthermore, most straight people that like her aren’t even worth knowing.
But then there are the gays. Gay people really seem to enjoy Lady Gaga. Not just gay people, but gay people with respectable taste. Sure, Lady Gaga leaves no second guessing of her affinity for gay culture. There is something deeper here, though. Homosexuals see something there that apparently strikes at the core of gay culture. In a nutshell, I presume it’s basically flamboyance. That weird, large stepping, up looking, blue light basking sex via feeling via driving electronic music (and maybe a little bit of cocaine or ecstasy back in the day…or bathroom).
As a mostly straight male, I have never really understood that whole thing and I probably never will. And being outside of that perspective, I have a really hard time discerning that which is a cultural imperative and that which is a stereotype. Pandering to homosexuals is great…especially if the artist truly respects their current civil rights struggle. However, keeping an air of 1990 doesn’t seem progressive enough, rendering Gaga to potentially be nothing more than a fleeting gag.
The costumes are fun. Great even. She can actually play a piano and sing, too. Awesome. But we have to ask ourselves…how is all this good stuff being utilized?
The music is the thing, so let’s just take it there for now. It has a beat. It has very basic keyboard programming. It has some gottdamned autotuning. Lyrically, it’s not saying anything that would make anyone think outside of themselves. Thankfully, it’s not the ego worshiping call to superficiality that her debut, The Fame, was. Instead, we have eight suffocating tracks about all those crazy feelings you get when you’re in love! Whoopity doo.
So this girl has a large platform now and this is how she uses it. Dressing up the typical and mundane as something greater than it is. I must give her credit, for it is so well dressed that it is difficult to turn away from. Until, of course, it opens its mouth. Then it becomes further evidence of who really controls pop music. Say it with me! Coked out rich guys and their demographic analysis!
And so, despite some crazy design work, we end up revisiting sounds reminiscent of unfortunately unforgettable acts such as Ace of Base, La Bouche and – I don’t know – Haddaway? Is this a sound that defines a generation…or a movement? I hope not. Yet, Gaga does show promise in a single song. Of course, I am talking about the album’s sole organic track, “Speechless.” Another stupid relationship song – one I’m sure will be the “last skate of the night” at roller rinks everywhere – but considering the music alone, it’s a talented stretch compared to all else she has released. Too bad it’s the token slow song in a wading pool of crack.
Frat boys can go to clubs, hear this music and like it because the girls will dance to it. Maybe a few of them will actually realize Gaga’s nod to homosexuality. Then they can secretly get really into it, fuck a few dudes, then get married to a woman and resent their lives. Sad and funny at the same time!
The true societal mess of all this exists in the viewpoint of those frat boys’ dads and all their political clout. Equal rights for homosexuals? Of course. America is incredibly late to the game on that. But these older, wealthier forces are going to need a hell of a lot of arm twisting to believe that. All Lady Gaga does is spook them deep into the safe, dark corners of their own belief systems. Their stereotypes become reinforced as it appears to them that perhaps gay has never changed. It continues to be read by them as something stagnant and specific. A shallow light show with cooties. (Re: Adam Lambert.)
Those kinds of people are simply not hip to the idea of an intellectual homosexual. All they have is MTV and the news. That’s as far as homosexuality reaches into their homes or psyches. Seeing as how inescapable Gaga the Symbol is in these things, I have to wonder if maybe she is that aforementioned zombie pop star – controlled by her handlers as an attempt at reverse psychology to reinforce the gay stereotype and prevent their civil rights struggle from being taken seriously enough to gain any real traction.
Yes. This is a delicate thing. Who the fuck am I to tell Lady Gaga to change her “message” and sound to appease some rich asshole I don’t even care about? So if I may, I would like to address Lady Gaga directly, as a friend. And to her, I say this…
Take this influence you have and transcend all that you have built in flaccid pop music. If you wish to be a political force, then use your message as political leverage. I believe in you, Lady Gaga.
Oh…and quit making music that sounds so fucking dated.
I haven’t been updating during this holiday weekend, obviously. However, I can’t leave people hanging, either. And so, please enjoy this insightful lecture from Lavoisier regarding fake rappers.
It gets the rare categorization of both good music and bad music. Good for Lavoisier…bad for radio rap. Enjoy!
I know. I know. I may as well just turn this into a Lady Gaga blog. But hey…I did so many good music reviews, it’s about time the bad music caught up.
This makes the Black Eyed Peas almost forgivable.
We have two ongoing wars. We have our first black president and subsequent racial tensions. We have an economic mess. We have health care debates. We have American soldiers shooting each other in Texas. All this crazy change is in the air and the best these two idiots can offer our country is a song about taking pictures with a cell phone? Where is your fucking sense of purpose?
Oh I know. Say it again. “We don’t care about society. We just want to have FUN!” Just dance, right? And this is the exact thing that leads to apathetic, disillusioned and isolated zombies. Focus on the jiggly girls and make sure you have your own camera phone so you can film your awesome friends getting coked up and drunk while they dance to this song, themselves.
So much can be done with the power of music. Prolific messages, set to creative music, can permeate minds enough to instill truly evolutionary and revolutionary thought. This, however, is neither prolific nor creative. It is not evolutionary nor revolutionary. This is business as usual for record executives that snort cocaine through hundred dollar bills. It’s status quo, bred from a fear of change, and a desire for excess.
Are these girls even people at all? Beyonce has apparently adopted the same empty, soulless appearance of Rihanna. Lady Gaga, it appears, is actually Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Funny how the more they pretty her up, the uglier she really is.
People, we have to fight this crap. It’s not just the point that this “music” doesn’t contribute to positive change. It’s not even the point that this “music” doesn’t say anything at all. The problem is that this music is turning people into stupid assholes. Open your eyes and realize that pop music has sounded about the same for the last twenty years. This is but a tool used by corporate interests to keep you sexually frustrated, mentally dull, ignorant of reality and, most importantly, returning to their product.
Do the world a favor and listen to real music. There’s a lot of it out there…and it’s not on the radio or MTV.
So today I got my hands on the yet to be released album by Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster. I intend to review it once I can bring myself to actually poison my ears with it. At the moment, I feel much more in tune with the immaculate Echo and the Bunnymen album, Ocean Rain, after getting into a little dialog about it with Kenny from Destroyed by Magnets. I didn’t want Echo or those Bunnymen to get in the way of my dirty task of doing my homework on Lady Gaga. And so I took to the internet and happened upon a conspiracy that actually seems to hold a lot of water for me.
It’s from The Vigilant Citizen and it’s an article entitled, “Lady Gaga, The Illuminati Puppet.” Of course it asserts the obvious: Lady Gaga sedates the masses by promoting mental emptiness and physical objectification. I don’t think a person on this planet could argue with that…except maybe Chris Crocker and the other idiots that used to request this crap back when I used to DJ at a coked out sports bar.
Okay. I don’t think a tactful, intelligent person on this planet could argue with that.
This article digs pretty damn deep as to how and why the whole facade works. The author points out a good lot of blatant Illuminati symbolism constructed around Lady Gaga, while picking apart the messages behind her videos and persona. He (or she) brings up Project MK-ULTRA, certain that Lady Gaga is both a product and tool of that strange but true government experiment. The whole thing makes me feel even more disturbed by Lady Gaga’s influence than I did before. I’ll save my rants for the review, but come on. The girl doesn’t actually sing about anything at all, you know.
So why do people keep giving her their money? Oh that’s right. Because “people” are actually robots who’s television dictated life experience all adds up to this sad, sad sedative.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out the article here: Lady Gaga, The Illuminati Puppet.
It’s a good read.
Enjoy your sleep, zombies!
UPDATE: There are now two additional Lady Gaga articles on The Vigilant Citizen! Collect them all…
“Must get boring for the other two guys in Black Eyed Peas. How many hours a day can one spend thinking up awkward dance moves?”
Back in college, I used to get together with my friend, Conan, for no other reason than sharing hip hop and rap music. To be honest, he would do the majority of the sharing, and as we smoked and talked in front of a computer, I learned a lot. Most of what he shared with me has since risen to higher heights. Perhaps none as much as the Black Eyed Peas.
I bought their 1998 release, Behind the Front, within days of my introduction to them. I was drawn to them for the same reasons as Conan. They were conscious, positive and completely against materialism and hype. They were real. They were part of the good side in the balance on which rap and hip hop teetered at that time. Would it end up there, embracing something earthy, unifying and mentally evolved? Or would the whole thing collapse into a racially degenerative, socially destructive, new age Amos and Andy dressed up as a fashion show?
I think we all know what the outcome of that was. In case you are fortunate enough not to keep up with such things, I present to you exhibit A: The Black Eyed Peas on last week’s Saturday Night Live.
Okay. Maybe I’m being too much of a hater. The Black Eyed Peas are fun, right? Sure! And so is Hannah Montana. So is Britney Spears. I’m not hating on the fun. I’m pointing out the absurdity. I mean, what the fuck is this? It looks like a bunch of kids singing karaoke.
Of course, it’s not just karaoke…it’s backwards karaoke! Where in karaoke, the vocals are real and the musical accompaniment is canned, with the Black Eyed Peas, the opposite is true! There are musicians actually playing their instruments (presumably), but the vocals, if not lipsynched, are certainly autotuned. Either way, it’s completely brainless.
Why is this cool to anyone? Shouldn’t the band be in the spotlight since they are the only ones actually doing anything creative? Who are these four jackasses jumping around and blocking them from the cameras? Is this really what entertainment has devolved to? Better ask a 12 year old, I guess. I’m sure that’s what a Black Eyed Peas focus group would tell you to do.
And look at those stunning and pricey fashions. So much for being real. I guess they are the kind of “rappers” that are only against luxury, so long as they are unable to afford it. Obviously, these worries have gone away from them now…and taken with them all sense of purpose, depth and imagination. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s call a spade a spade. This is pure pop…brought to you by Dr. Pepper. Just try to find a casual snapshot of the Black Eyed Peas anywhere online. You can’t. All that exists out there is glossy, air brushed and tightly controlled PrOPaganda.
Don’t get me wrong. Music and money can be a beautiful thing together. Look at all that this combination has allowed acts like The Flaming Lips, Beck and of Montreal to throw down over the years. A part of me even wants to believe that the Black Eyed Peas really do want to be tuned into that ultracreative wavelength. But you know, it’s pretty fucking difficult to have an interest in their confetti without some kind of parade or circus to back it up.
Here is their third and final song from SNL:
Deep shit, huh?! Not at all. Not even interesting shit.
There was another song they did between these two, but I can’t find it online anywhere. This is most likely because, as hard as this may be to believe, it was even more embarrassing than the other two. “Frontman,” will.i.am, even picked up a keytar (yes a fucking keytar) and pretended to play it. Thank God he had on his big, douchebag sunglasses so we didn’t have to look him in the eyes. Now that would be awkward.
So I get this email from this dude called freesoulJAH. He’s encouraging me to check out his 2007 release, Light Headed. Now I also put an album out in 2007, myself, and as far as the music reviewing business goes, that shit is dead. However, I can’t really resist mentioning this release for a couple reasons. First of all, you can download the whole thing, which is always a treat, no matter what it is. Second, I’m so conflicted on this release that it earns this strange categorization of being in both “Bad Music” and “Good Music.”
freesoulJAH signed his email to me, “with peace.” He doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy that seeks conflict, and maybe he’s trying to get on my good side in advance. I don’t know, but he doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy that deserves to have his feelings hurt either (unlike Buckcherry or Asher Roth). So though my case about this album could perhaps be more effectively made by presenting the evidence of “good music” before that of “bad music,” I’m going to cover the bad of it first. All in all, it’s because I’d rather freesoulJAH smoked his dope, read this review and came away saying, “Okay..that’s cool…that’s fair.” You know…instead of saying, “Those be some negative vibes, mon!”
I’ve got to poke a little fun at the guy though.
So okay. Bad news first. freesoulJAH initially comes across as a ridiculous stereotype and I cannot, in good conscious, argue otherwise. A visit to his website reveals a dread headed white Rastafarian looking dude. (“What does being white have to do with it, mon? Why you be such a racist? Jah’s love is for everyone!” Right?) His site decor is apparently fashioned in the colors of Ghana or the Congo, most likely. Maybe Bolivia, but I doubt it because Bolivia isn’t a very cool place to most enlightened Rasta homies.
“It takes a lot for me to really like modern reggae music,” I think to myself as I shake my head in a complete lack of faith in freesoulJAH. Then I read the titles to his music. Suddenly, a thought hits me…
“What is this crap?”
Here are but a small sample of song titles that make me sigh, roll my eyes and swear off weed forever so that I don’t ever act like this: “Peace to the People,” “Can You Feel My Love,” “Love Your Brother,” “Singing to the Birds” and the list goes on and on. (Those are just my favorite…to make fun of.) Alright! Peace and happiness and love and blah blah blah. That’s all fine and well, but can’t it be a little more poetic? A little more obscured? Of course love your brother. Of course peace to the people. Anyone that gives this album half a chance after looking at the album cover sure as shit isn’t hoping to meditate on Slayer.
What the fuck, freesoulJAH?
Okay. Then I gave this heaping pile of Jamaican wannabe shit a listen and was amazed to learn that it’s not actually a heaping pile of Jamaican wannabe shit! It’s just immensely misrepresented. Hence we move into that which makes this good music.
freesoulJAH is not another fly by night dumbass Rasta wanker and this is not a reggae album. Though everything this guy advertises is contradictory to what he actually does, he deserves some credit for throwing it back to a movement that everyone respects but few people attempt (or attempt well), the beat generation. On closer inspection, there is evidence that freesoulJAH may even be aware that this is his true niche, as he does have a song called “Next Beat Generation” tucked away among those other, more sterile titles.
Granted, his lyrics are still not all that prolific. Some of them are pretty much just the song titles repeated over and over again. Yet, I can forgive this because freesoulJAH is getting high and making shit. It’s minimal. It’s rough. It’s beat poetry…for better or for worse. That I can respect.
You listen to all this shit on the radio and you hear cookie cutter bullshit, formed to spec for the purposes of making more money and feeding more cocaine to superficial music executives. Focus groups and demographics testing can tell you that the beat in the new Miley Cyrus “song” should include a different kind of snare because children under the age of 14 will like it better. Then some guy gets in there with a computer and makes the change to make Billy Ray’s daughter a corporately constructed, achy breaky star.
Fuck all that.
I imagine freesoulJAH’s process to be something like this: He plugs his guitar and a mic in his 8 track, hits his bong a few times, then lays it the fuck down. It’s great to him because he’s stoned and his overdubs make it better. Then other people also like it because they are stoned, which is a much better reason than liking something because everyone else likes it, or because the sound is like everything else you listen to.
As for me, I’m not stoned, and I can still hang with this. Not repeatedly, mind you. Not at a party. Not in my car with a girl. But late at night, as the evening winds down and the politics of the day resonate around, it’s listenable because it’s real.
You’re a quirky dude, freesoulJAH (and “State of the Union 2007″ is, like, uhhh yeah…) but as far as I’m concerned, you’re still in the cool club. Sorry for the negative vibes, mon.
Download freesoulJAH’s beatnik bullshit here. (Then burn it to a CD-R, write “New Unreleased Hannah Montana Album” on the front with a Sharpie, and give it to the nearest 12 year old girl.)
Everybody knows about it, and here is the closest thing to it still available on youtube:
First of all, I don’t generally give a shit about any aspect of MTV, let alone their overtly metrosexual, excessive and excessively lipsynched, shitfest Video Music Awards. Their idea of good music was sold to a conglomeration of coked out CEOs a long, long time ago. So let’s be clear that the forum is insignificant. Kanye West is full of shit in any setting this could have possibly taken place in.
Taylor Swift. I have not seen her winning video and I don’t care what happens in it. I do know for a fact that she started out her career as a professional song writer with Sony AND she can actually play an instrument. Credibilitywise, this already puts her leaps and bounds above almost every other pretty face on eMpTy-V. However, even if she was as crappy as, say, Lady Caca, it’s still her damned award that she earned fair and square through backroom corporate deals. Kanye had no right…
…unless, of course his actions are a result of other backroom corporate deals. And would this surprise anyone? Look at how much attention it’s drawn to the Video Music Awards. I even heard Sean Hannity’s stupid ass talking about it. And who was on the debut episode of the Jay Leno Show the next night? Kanye! Of course! What convenient timing! It’s almost as convenient as the close-up reaction shot of Beyonce immediately after Kanye said her video was one of the best ever! (Remember…that Sacha Baron Cohen and Eminim thing was totally fixed.)
And what about Beyonce’s video for “Single Ladies?” One of the best videos ever, Kanye? I think he should of said, “one of the most underproduced and overrated videos ever.” Sure, it’s gimmick exploded all over the face of American culture, but come on. One of the best videos ever? Not even close. It’s just three girls dancing in front of a white screen. I would like to believe that one of the “best videos ever” actually took some time, perseverance and innovative cinematic artistry to conceptualize and produce. I guess it’s just one more symptom of America’s descent into mass mental retardation.
What the hell happened to this guy?
Of course, he was kind of wrong then. George Bush actually didn’t care about poor people. (He did do a few really good things for Africa during his presidency.) Regardless, at least Kanye’s opposition made sense then. How do you go from taking out your aggression on old white men who won political races under circumstances that were questionable at best, to taking out your aggression on cute, self-made, nineteen year old girls?
Fuck you, gay fish.
I sincerely love everything I have ever encountered by Nine Inch Nails. I sincerely believe that Trent Reznor is genius in the studio. However, there are two Reznor centered clips floating around the internet that keep returning to my head for some reason.
First is this Cleveland local news interview with Trent before his discovery of fishnet arm thingies.
Okay. Maybe Exotic Birds was totally fucking awesome back in the day. According to my vantage point, however, I’m feeling a bit disturbed by the new waviness of the whole thing. Thank God for godlessness. I couldn’t imagine Trent continuing on any other way. And thank God (or some derivative thereof) for shattering his dream that was Exotic Birds.
Also check out the Nine Inch Nails video from the “shreds” series. Anyone not familiar with “March of the Pigs” needs to know this is NOT the original audio track from this video.
You’ll have to click that link to watch since the guy who made it has selfishly disabled the ability to embed it from YouTube.
I’m not sure what the traditionally serious Reznor thinks of that clip, but I think it’s a hilarious antithesis of what Nine Inch Nails actually is. Well worth a watch or two.
A few nights ago, Chris Brown appeared on Larry King Live with his lawyer and his mommy. If you can bring yourself to do it, you can watch his stupid ass here…
Okay. Let’s discuss.
Now let’s be clear. Chris Brown is dancing for the white man. As a result, he’s very wealthy and also very young. New money breeds arrogance. And now it’s sitting in front of Larry King wearing a dumb ass baby blue bow-tie.
So he comes on the show to clear the air for beating up his pop star girlfriend, Rihanna. Fine. But as soon as Larry King asks him what happened that night, Brown says that he doesn’t want to talk about it…over and over again. So why is he on the show? (Maybe he should be doing Zack and Cody again, instead.)
We learn that this is not Brown’s first time roughing up Rihanna. There are, in fact, two other documented situations. The lawyer answers for those and, not surprisingly, Larry King lets him dance around it. Ultimately, he allows Brown to dance around the entire interview. Normally, I would think dancing is what Chris Brown does best (?) but here, it’s pathetic.
What’s his excuse? What are his feelings on what happened with Rihanna? Something like, “Shit was crazy! I don’t even know!”
“I had some help with the wording, but it was from my heart.”
Gee. I wonder who helped him with the wording? His publicist, perhaps? Isn’t all of this just a thinly veiled attempt to save his career by displaying to America that he is a nonthreatening, aw-shucks, all singing, all dancing black guy – perfectly safe for the children of the white guys that he’s making all that money for? A BABY BLUE BOW-TIE.
Playing the victim, Brown and his lawyer have plenty of blame to pass around for the media, “haters/bloggers” and, in the recent issue of People magazine, Oprah Winfrey. Yes. Oprah Winfrey. Oprah apparently did an episode of her show about domestic violence and she dedicated it to Rihanna. About that, Brown said this to People:
“I commend Oprah on being like, ‘This is a problem,’ but it was a slap in my face. I did a lot of stuff for her, like going to Africa and performing for her school. She could have been more helpful, like, ‘Okay, I’m going to help both of these people out.”
Wow. He went to Africa, sang and danced, and believes that to be a burdensome favor? What an ass…especially for someone who calls music his passion. Most people would be grateful for such an opportunity – even as tourists, let alone performers. Then again, most people are not Chris Brown. He’s young, wealthy and spoiled – very, very spoiled.
Now this being a music review site, I better mention something about Chris Brown’s music, which I used to have to give constant airtime to when I DJed briefly at a coked out, miserable, republican sports bar. I know it well enough to say that, just like that coked out, miserable, republican sports bar, Brown’s music can be described in the following terms: trite, white, and culturally regressive.
Fuck you, Chris Brown.
Don’t give your money to Chris Brown. Instead give it to someone who is actually saying something: