My hope was that I’d never have to address the legitimacy or even the existence of “Angela Cheng.” But I got a call today from a BuzzFeed editor who led me to believe that they were moving ahead with a story about “Cheng” that included me, with or without my participation. I always refrained from…
Short form for those who don’t follow music business politics: remember all those articles you probably saw saying that Interscope lost $25 million on Lady Gaga’s album? They are almost certainly outright lies, published by a fake sock-puppet account reporting to Perez Hilton.
Actual Music Journalist to the fucking rescue.
Cher, “If I Could Turn Back Time” (Top 40 debut: 8/5/89, chart peak: #3)
YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO WATCH THIS VIDEO BEFORE 9PM. SORRY, BUT IT’S JUST TOO SEXY.
(on Legends Of The ’80s!)
featuring a young Elijah Blue on guitar
I am pretty sure seeing this video on MTV in 1991 (age 9) turned me gay.
I have the seven-inch versions of these framed in my living room the way most people would hang family pictures. They are THE BEST.
Cliff Chiang ~ ’80s Album Homages.
Cool stuff. I have seen about half of these before, and posted the Pretty in Pink, and Breakfast Club covers before. Cliff has an awesome sense of design.
I will never get tired of seeing these in my dash.
In 1969 80% of MIT’s budget was underwritten by the pentagon
At first I misread this as “MTV” and I liked this factoid a lot more, especially since an anti-counterculture Pentagon-funded MTV in 1969 would’ve been HILARIOUS.
on the list of Shit I Lost In The Crash was my favorite write-up for projects/commercials/videos we never got to make at MK12 (99% of the time because the idea horrified the client).
My favorite music video idea we could never get traction for would’ve been a sequel to ROCK IT by Herbie Hancock — basically a where are they now style look at the lives of the disembodied robot parts, 30 years after their moment of fame.
basically it would’ve been the above in, like, Mrs. Havisham’s house, and out at the Bob Evans and shit.
This is the best idea in the world and now someone is clearly going to steal it.
Remember that time Britney Spears did a disco song with Nile Rodgers?
Wait, so the video for “Haunted” features the mansion from “Paparazzi” AND uses the same director?
Well, here’s an early highlight of 2014 already lined up.
*Management does not guarantee results.
That amazing AMAs performance from last night is a good reminder: Lady Gaga is a really enjoyable popstar! She just desperately needs someone around saying “Good idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Good idea.” (You’d probably say “Bad idea” about eight more times before saying “Good idea” again, but we’ll elide for brevity.)
Which is why I pretty much always find myself re-sequencing her albums to maximize my enjoyment of them. ARTPOP in particular is riddled with speedbumps, so I’ve done my best to smooth them out and create an album that’s actually a lot of fun to listen to, assuming you’re prepared to buy into the zanier shit she’s up to and assume she’s just laughing her ass off through the whole thing. Which, it’s worth noting, I almost ALWAYS assume she is; I genuinely believe she’s a lot less self-serious than most people figure.
Anyway. You have to cut the obvious stinkers — “Jewels n’ Drugs” is surely only on the album in order to recoup its guest-artist costs; “Donatella” is basically the dictionary definition of a b-side; and “Mary Jane Holland” was more musically compelling on the last album, when it was called “Bloody Mary.” What you’re left with is twelve songs that have at least one of the two key Gaga qualities: enormous hooks and productions, or intriguingly off-kilter (but half-realized) concepts. Some of them even have both! Shuffle ‘em around a bit for a better flow, and you get the following, which breaks nicely into four three-song vinyl sides:
- "Do What U Want" (feat. R. Kelly)
- "Sexx Dreams"
This playlist let me focus on what’s going right on this album, rather than the several things going weirdly wrong. And don’t get it twisted, plenty of things are going wrong. Ever since “Born This Way” she’s seemed to take an alarmingly first-draft approach to writing verses, for instance. I love the shit out of “Do What U Want,” but was that first verse really the best lyric she could come up with to succinctly summarize how the media’s gaze captures women? Are we sure? But one of Gaga’s gifts is the ability to just muscle past her weaknesses and still make it look like she did something worth applauding. (File under: her dancing.) When she minimizes the number of mulligans she asks you to let her take, the effect gets more pronounced.
Maybe this version of the album will get you the same results it got me. Or maybe you’re just sick of her shit! Valid! But I tend to think that Gaga’s never boring, only exhausting — so taking her in smaller, more refined doses is much more rewarding.
(This has been another installment of Chris Devoting Too Much Time To Things That Don’t Matter.)