SnappScenes: Lady Gaga – “The Edge of Glory”

Deconstruction, Pop Culture, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper

“The Edge of Glory:” It’s an edge, and it’s glorious – and that’s all we need to say about that.

I love this video. When I saw this video, some less fatigued part of me wanted to run across the Brooklyn Bridge and upload footage of said jog to YouTube #literally some more juvenile, bad tomboyish part of me #justcheesin #cake Gaga’s videos are like Matcha Green Tea ice cream – good, good for you, invigorating, a little unconventional, a lil’ left of west, undeniably delicious, but digest it too fast and you’ll get a brain freeze. There’s so much all the time, and it’s all so good, but there’s just not enough time in the day, week, month, or decade to digest any of it properly; which doesn’t stop you from eating it again, and again – and only intensifies her need to dish it out again, and again – until we’ve got a roadside diner full of dead bodies. That said, I couldn’t face the iceberg this time… I’m just a kid – even this bouncing baby brain needs a break #haveyouhadyourhappymealtoday – even still, I bowed to Atlas, and anticipated said final cerebral demise when watching said glorious film.

Put Your Palms Up Sunday: Lady Gaga – “Judas”

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, Soundtrek, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper, Vinyl Mind Flow

The monster hit-and-miss… and the Monster Hidden Miss…

+++

Aside from being an absolutely masterful piece of work – completely; Judas is an immaculate conception of the most divine du jour…

Betrayal runs through the track like bad romances through the veins of the Haus madam. There is a betrayal of comfortable pop song structure, the assault on the eardrums, the screams and distortion, the chord progression into further confusion… This song runs train on conductors… this sounds like Bad Romance’s bigger, badder, biblical older sister who just got back from Barnard – educated and disinfatuated – *that* older sister. Betrayal runs through the very being of Judas. Ju-da Ju-da-ah-ah… There’s a deep ingrained cohesion to every thread and theme of Judas. It opens with just vocals, flips to just instrumentation, then tandems to a crucifixtious climax – and that’s just the first three signatures #betrayals The verses go HAM on Sunday brunch…Thematically, from Mary Magdalene to Peter, from Judas to Jesus, channeling to Gaga – iconographies illustrating betrayals of biblical proportions… Anatomically, the inevitable unironic fist pumps betraying any sense of social decency… and yet being a product of the pre-eminent voice of a generation – the anthem of the slanderer becomes the cultural signature…

SnappScenes: Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, Pop Culture, SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper

I don’t know where to begin or end with this one… and I suppose that’s the best way to be – as there is no beginning or end to the perpetual renaissance that is Born This Way.

On G.O.A.T, a Government Owned Alien Territory in space, a birth of magnificent and magical proportions took place; but the birth was not finite – it was infinite. As the wombs numbered and the mitosis of the future began, it was perceived that this infamous moment in life is not temporal, it is eternal. And thus began the beginning of the new race, a race within the race of humanity, a race which bears no prejudice, no judgment but boundless freedom. But on that same day, as the eternal mother hovered in the multiverse, another more terrifying birth took place, the birth of evil. And as she herself split into two, rotating in agony between two ultimate forces, the pendulum of choice began its dance. It seems easy, you imagine, to gravitate instantly and unwaveringly towards good; but she wondered, “How can I protect something so perfect without evil?”

That… is the truth.

What artists do wrong is they lie, what critics do wrong is they try; I’m not going to try and pretend I know every conceptual reference here, nor analyze from a detached place of fault-and-fact finding – this isn’t about Pop cheat sheets and checklists… I’m just going to riff on what I know for me, and what I see when I watch that which the world will be.

I see George Clinton. I see One Nation Under a Groove, I see One Race Under the Hooves. I see Atomic Dogs reborn as Spearheaded Stallions. I feel what I felt when I lived in the eternal Funk of George Clinton’s 25th Anniversary show at the Apollo in 2005. I feel like a freshman again, caught in the unknown precipice that is Harlem’s heart with hippies and hipsters and blipsters and soulmen dancing together under the translucent kaleidoscopic gaze that is the pre-eminent Funkmaster’s view. Then, I witnessed the vintage funk future as George unearthed the mothership; here, I live the future as Gaga births the mother monstership.

SnapBakks: Christina Aguilera – “Beautiful” (World Hunger Relief PSA Acoustic)

SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper

Stumbled across a diamond-in-the-rough today… Christina Aguilera set up shop with guitarist Josh Klinghoffer to give an impromptu acoustic cover of the 2002 Stripped classic, “Beautiful.” Phil Joanou directed the :60 PSA for World Hunger Relief; and if nothing else, this brief trackback to Aguilera’s sophomore days stands as reminder that before and beyond Bionic, Christina is sheer stripped down soul at its paramount finest.

Sunday Best like a subtle sermon on the mount…

SnappScenes: Nicki Minaj – “Moment 4 Life” ft. Drake

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, SnapTrakks, Soundtrek, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper

Nicki Minaj aka Onika Maraj aka Young Money Mistress aka #yougetthegist released the video for “Moment 4 Life” yesterday, which is the third single from her debut album Pink Friday. The clip takes stage as a modern fairy tale, featuring Mr. Young Money himself, Sir Drake, as Minaj’s knight in sullen armor.

Once upon a time there lived a king named Nicki. One day, while sitting on her throne, she received an enchanting visit from her fairy Godmother. She would remember that moment for life.

The video is very Nicki Minaj, very “Moment 4 Life,” very Pink Friday, very Drake, very Young Money – very veneer.

We meet Nicki in the boudoir of her own castle, she is the everything – the King, the Queen, the fairy Princess, the Fairy Godmother, and her own favorite company even in a crowd of guests. Yet at the same time, she’s not entirely any of those things. What’s interesting is that Nicki’s fairy tale is void of struggle or hardship: there is only the eternal eleventh hour with no looming midnight fall. There is no fragile glass slipper, only an unbreakable diamond stiletto. There are no evil stepmothers or stepsisters, just the soft-spoken Aubrey Graham. There is no infernal blaze or funeral, only the fireworks overhead a royal matrimony.

BlinkkBeats: Lady Gaga – “Scheiße” (Mugler Remix)

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, Pop Culture, Soundtrek, TK:NYC

428 days later… Lady Gaga broke her notoriously extended hiatus, premiering her first mastered piece of “new music” since 2009’s The Fame Monster. Those two years of antagonizing anticipation culminated into the club-pulsing climax: the exclusive Thierry Mugler “Scheiße” remix – in a hashtag #discodemonic, in seven words: THIS is why my paws stay pilot. While this may just be a remix, be well aware it is the Wemix 2011 anthem for monsters-turned-zombies: ignite the living dead

Step back from the fact that this is “just a remix,” forget the fact that this may or may not be what you wanted to hear from someone about whom you may or may not give a scheiße – ether that; from start to finish, career and current track, no one – no one female Pop body – can produce: produce, what Gaga can. Line after line, time after time: perfection – the wait is always worth it.

Hold It Against Me, because I’m About to Go H.A.M.

Anthropopogy // Culture, Deconstruction, Pop Culture, Soundtrek, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper

Ello, good morning to music. 1/11/11 will go down as the day that music blazed forward by going back to basics, from Jay-Z and Yeezy to little Ms. Britney, the titans have returned – you can hold it against them, but you can’t hold them back: they’re about to go H.A.M. on this mother culture.

I want it more than ever now,
I realized that they ain’t listening,
Like a princess supposed to get it
That’s why I’m dusting off my fitted…

“Hold It Against Me” debuted, and with it, Britney Spears came back like a ray of light. Spears brought electronic dance music to the pop consciousness with reckless abandon – pop culturally-speaking. EDM grabbbed stranglehold of the underground in 2010 and Britney was right there to grab it back for the mainstream. In this moment, Spears defines her legacy by defying her career thus far; music culture in this moment, is being defined by defying the sound we’ve just heard, in stride towards something pronounced. 2010 saw “hints of this” and “allusions to that” when it came to pop + electronic music – from Justin Bieber to Far East Movement, we were all “almost there.” Ke$ha came closest to the core as the year waned, and then in walked Britney to blow the fuse.

HIAM is a perfect marriage between Pop and EDM; like Madonna’s Ray of Light solidified her iconic status – successfully spearheading a risky European/Electronic sound, and injecting it into the mainstream with her last ounce of perceived fading pop relevance – so HIAM ushers in a new sound, and sonic identity with Brit as the Dubstep Donatella and new mother matriarch. “If I said I need your body now, would you hold it against me;” simply: no, I’d oblige – because pop got too vague and cynical. Yes: the hook is a punchline, in this world of instant “I Love The 90s” pop referential nostalgia; but it’s also a simple plea to touch – you love The 90s, I need the 90s. We need literal, we need to stop scoffing when we see what we assume to be there, and look at what actually is – a face. “You feel like paradise, and I need a vacation tonight… so if I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me;” no, I’d oblige because I need a vacation from the digital tundra – and we need a vacation tonight from the night that was pop 2010.

Polaroid Grey Label: “… because I see myself living in GL20”

Pop Culture, re:brand, TK:NYC

Last year at CES, Polaroid unveiled Lady GaGa as their new creative director – which was all well and good, until the collective question became: “Alright, outside of having a business card – and a Papa Germanotta-approved ‘real job’ – what does she actually do?”

This year at CES, Polaroid unveiled the answer… in a word: this.

Meet the Grey Label GL20s: the call-them-sunglasses-for-lack-of-a-better-word-because-only-she-can-design-something-adequate-enough-to-properly-shineblock-herself.

These glasses are not only fly and functional – they are the future. GL20s are fully operational as UV-protecting eyewear, but also capture digital images and video – which are then saved to the detachable USB earpiece; they’re photosolarbifocals.

Of course the glasses are very exciting because they’re bridging fashion and technology together – we’re creating something that’s innovative and also cultural – but this is the product that kind of really made everyone angry when we were in the conference room

#mytwocents: We live in a world of #picsoritdidnthappen – where you don’t live unless it’s on film, where you are what you wear, where the USB is your aorta… when your scape and soul solely exist in the seen scene, your point-of-view has evolved into the “Polaroid You.” Grey Label: see yourself living in GL20 … while the blind shall perish.

#watchthisspace

All of the Lights: Nicki Minaj & Katy Perry – Fireworks

Pop Culture, Popisodics, Soundtrek, TGRI, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper

Turn up the lights in here, baby / extra bright, I want y’all to see this  / turn up the lights in here, baby / you know what I need, want you to see everything / want you to see all of the lights – Kanye West, “All of the Lights”

Once upon a rhyme two bubblegum nymphs lit up the pitch black pop sky with tales of teenage dreams and rose-colored weekends. Princess Katy Perry sang this year from atop her Golden Coast lollipop tower; while Dutchess Nicki Minaj led a brigade of bad Barbies across the hard candy-coated pop landscape. This year we saw the rise and reign of the psuedo-sexual siren; from adolescent dreams to Roman’s vengeful screams Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj exemplified both sides of Barbie – the pinup princess and the dutchess behind barbs. Amidst all of the flashing lights, these two were the fireworks that took fantastical flight.

Nicki Minaj opened the year launching feature after brilliant feature across star-studded tracks. She held court with the divas, the dons, and the du jours; throwing down with everyone from Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, to Rick Ross, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, Ludacris, Usher, and will.i.am. Co-sign after co-sign Minaj built hype and suffocated hearsay. Before long, it seemed as if the collective culture’s eyes were glued to Nicki’s rocketeering rise, awaiting with bated breath the halogenic blast of her solo debut; Pink Friday was the explosive result. The album is truly Minaj’s child, and capstoned her rookie year exceptionally well. It’s the pink hybrid hue between that clean white naive newness and raw red monstrosity; it’s the bridge between the come-up of the work week and the kick-back of the weekend, where Miss Minaj continues to blaze somewhere in between as the not-quite-a-babydoll-but-not-yet-a-boss.

Sunday Best: Florrie – “Introduction” EP

Soundtrek, TK:NYC, TrapperKeeper, Vinyl Mind Flow

Meet UK-native drummer, singer, songwriter Florrie. The ambassador of contempo-bossa-synth-pop dropped her debut “Introduction” EP this week; and well, needless to say, I haven’t heard music this poppin’ fresh from across the pond since I hopped off the Lily pad.

Florrie in three:

  • Florrie: as traditional a musician and performer as can possibly be, but at the same time a completely new type of independent pop artist.
  • Florrie’s bold, attention-grabbing pop music is at once robotic and human, chunky and svelte, big on ideas and not shy of explosive choruses.
  • Florrie is a 21 year old artist, originally from Bristol in the south-west of the UK.

The four-track EP is a warm welcome from the Bristol native. “Introduction” is an expansive sound board touching on disco, alternative, funk, and ska. Each track clings to a specific sonic aesthetic, and though brief, the debut is a broad-reaching soundscape that blends the best of Florrie’s wide-spread influences and contemporaries.

“Call of the Wild” comes in like the smoky haze of a surfer speakeasy as want you need you it’s the call of the wild, something animal more than physical; satisfy me ‘cos I’m fallin’ apart, synchronicity in our chemistry rides over subtle electric wet string reverb. Layered guitar and percussion build beneath breathy vocals as the woman-not-siren calls before a Misirlou-esque riff crashes onto a bossa beach. The track is a clear standout, with strong lyrics and oscillating instrumentation – one minute coasting through a mellow beatbox bridge, only to swell back into a sonic tsunami of bombast.