BlinkkIt: Grammy Week 2011 – Best Pop Vocal Album

Soundtrek, TK:NYC

Grammy Noms: the sweetest thing this side of Nana’s cookie jar #popnom. A nibble is all you need, so let’s blinkk the besties #getitgramms

Best Pop Vocal Album

My World. 2.0  Justin Bieber

I Dreamed A Dream Susan Boyle

The Fame Monster Lady Gaga

Battle Studies John Mayer

Teenage Dream Katy Perry

BlinkkIt

This year’s nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album are a nice cross-section of the general populous… we’ve got androgynous sixteen-year-old Canadians, Middle-Aged British women, guitar-plucking playboys, fruity pin-up California gurls, and a monster whose own greatest demon is disinterest.

Best Pop Vocal Album 2011: because welcome to the Bad Girls Club Season 7 #spoiler #dontyouwishyoucouldrollwithus

 

All of the Lights: Lady Gaga & Kanye West – Soular

TK:NYC

1200px-Fame_Kills

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”

Kanye West and Lady Gaga… beyond, beneath, within, and without the flashing lights these two remained suspended in infinite existence. Modern Pop has known no before nor after these two… 21st century children will live to recount tales to their grandchildren of crucial kreugers emanating from nothingness, beautiful dark twisted fantasies in the midst of a blissfully bleak reality, the climate-shifting global state of monstrosity where beasts reigned as belles of the endless ball… a world void of time and space… a post-apocalyptic period where two prophets destroyed their own made world, an archaic rebirth after the darkest decade known to warholian man, a cultural sonicscape perpetuated by the synergy of two sources of sheer energy… in 2010 amidst all of the flashing lights Lady Gaga and Kanye West were The Sun: the ubiquitous body cultivating the craft through their presence and, even more so, propelling secondary stars to shine brighter in the darkness of their absence.

Biorhythmic: The Fame Monster [Work Tape]

Soundtrek, TK:NYC

Pretense: I never really got around to developing this one (thus the “[Work Tape]”), but for the sake of the record… the embryonic riff

***

Off the heels of her spectacular 2008 debut, The Fame, Lady GaGa released 2009’s sophomore shadow, The Fame Monster. Whereas The Fame reflected an artist in the midst of a self-made world, The Fame Monster was the result of an artist facing the mirror of their own self – world dropped.

Welcomed with not simply “acoustic” or “electric,” but, rather, elemental sounds, we descend into an atmosphere; and for all of the assumed character ambiguity of the narrator, we are greeted with an emotional familiarity through sound and story.

I want your ugly, I want your disease… I want your everything as long as it’s free – I want your love.

Amidst strong synth, resonating, reverberating, escalating, and descending she strips it all away to acoustics; in so doing, she reveals her own voice, depicting desires and sorrows with a vulnerability hearkening to a bittersweet nostalgia… lamenting dreams faded, heroes fallen, and memories of a fonder time far gone.

As vain as she allows, lips glossed, eyes done and when she breaks and The Fame falls out of place she recoils, patiently waits with the monster, channels and revisits her deepest self before the rebirth and her return.

Cherry-Cherry-Boom Jailbreak: Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” ft. Beyonce

A.V Hub, TK:ATL

25890_393684709026_748594026_5188127_7629120_n
Chains, much like man, cannot hold nor stop Lady Gaga; they must only hope to contain her and, shortly thereafter, succumb to the reality of inevitable acceptance and reverence.

Down to brass tacks – and knuckles: this. video. should. be. illegal. If Lady Gaga wasn’t so original, she’d be criminal – oh … wait. This video comes off the heels of her iconic Paparazzi video, also directed by Jonas “Brother Please, I Use My Cojones” Akerlund.

After all of the hype, the question remained in the back of every monster’s mind: “but really, can anything make “Bad Romance” look bad, can Gaga even top herself at this point?” The collective answer was “yes… bxxch is bad.” “Telephone” takes the theme of “Paparazzi,” douses it in Tarantino cinematics – sets it off – and sends Gagaloo off to see the Wizard, the Wizard of HBO Presents: Oz; it’s Pulp Fiction turned Pop Fact. Welcome to the GrindHaus of Gaga

“Telephone” is a tale of three terrains: the pound, the pussy wagon, and the public.

The pound:

The hold is Gaga’s Haus. Rolling solo dolo in a sea of chain gang Cholas, Gaga owns the video and the prison just like she did Hollywood and Vine. Right from the jump Gaga turned the walk of shame into the walk of Fame. She comes through the Pen harder than Baltimore: when the guard says “I told you she didn’t have a dick,” half the American male population breathed a sigh of relief at the confirmation of their heterosexuality – the other half re-questioned their own, and wondered if she was packing more than they were. They say the clothes don’t make the man, but as Gaga said of her VMA Paparazzi performance:

People say I’m no more than the clothes I wear; that’s exactly right: if they bleed, I bleed.

So what do the clothes say about her now? She goes hard. Kanye would never rock a mink fur in the winter like Killa Cam, Gaga would never rock anything less than chains and haute couture with killas, man; Hov might rock Versace shades four years straight, Gaga rocks Newport shutter shades: all. day. Pain is beauty: Emphysema of the eyes is ballin’. The new thug misses takes rumors and throws them on the ground – she will not be a part of the system. People say Gaga’s a crackhead; well, the news called it crack, she calls it Diet Coke – cans… as curlers. She rocks Virgin Mobile phones in her pants: cherry cherry boom boom – you’ve been popped.

The Yard is her field of peerless competitors – the T Swifts, Rihannas, Ke$has and Katy Perrys. It is the L.A. Reids and Diddys. It’s the sharks with which she swims. She came in an assumed farce, and comes out a feared force. The prison is Gaga’s playground, she goes to the depths, mingles with the monsters, and moves on to the next one – but she’ll be back.

The Pussy Wagon:

A Gaga bailout from Beyonce made sense after “Video Phone;” after “Telephone” though it seems more audacious than the government bank bailout. Oh Honey B – Hov might want to guard his cookies because Gaga took a bite out of that Honey Bun like it was Bey’s bad girl meat.

One-on-one, Gaga at 23 can go toe-to-toe with any celebrity, artist, icon, or contemporary. Anyone who said Gaga didn’t bring it to “Video Phone”… said that because they didn’t know any better, and Gaga kindly brought it back. She rides shotgun, she plays the part of passenger – and still manages to upgrade the pilot. Whether in a pickup truck, or in the booth laying down tracks, Gaga is Pop’s deadliest partner in crime – and she is K-Slaying it right now. Gaga: unshakable; the game: shook like a Polaroid picture.

This is when the video shifts though: from the true garage grit of a prison flick to the pseudo-sugary sweet hypersaturation of a cracked-out candy la-la-la-land – from sharing the comfortable misery of monstrous mistresses, to shielding herself from the flashing lights of Hollywood and their Venusian trap death kisses. Here we go from killin-it-with-the-prison-campy to killing-me-with-the-uber-kitsch.

The public:

If the prison was Gaga’s Haus, the diner is her public – and she runs them both like a boss. “Paparazzi” saw the death of the celebrity, “Telephone” is the follow-up that turns the table on the viewing public. In a restaurant full of stars (Semi-Precious Weapons, I see you) and citizens – Tyrese playing the hybrid of “Hey, don’t I know you from?” – everyone is a starving roadside voyeur-exhibitionist.

The fiends either want to see, or be seen – but regardless, it’s all part of the scene. When Beyonce kills Tyrese it’s that redemption – whether it is one celebrity pulling at another like crabs in a barrel, or just a man holding down a good woman, it’s all about ambition – Beyonce bailed Gaga out to kill the beast. The fiends eyes had been sticky like honey on bees since Gaga was chillin’ with Wale in the DMV.

Inevitably, she “always knew you’d take all my honey;” Gaga knew it’d be like this when she was in the kitchen. Stylebiters, swaggerjacks, haters, that greed – it’ll kill you. The fiends want it though, they live for the celebrity rise and demise – and it will undoubtedly be the undoing of the public. Decked out in Americana from head to toe – it is almost too apropos.

Hidden-in-plain-view is the celebreality of our hyperconsumer country eating up entertainment to the point of amusing ourselves to death. While with one hand she liberates inmates and monsters; so with the other Gaga serves and satiates our insatiable appetites. That splendific poison that we simply cannot push to the side – she supplies that fatal fuel until we reach our own delicious demise. It is the celebrity-obsessed culture – not the celebrity itself – that is lead headfirst – and left heartless – on the diner dancefloor.

So, Gaga cooks up a feast like crackcake samiches and feeds the beast – til the world goes Pop. She’ll gladly return to the Pen, but to the pits of the prying, pleading, perverse public is a place to which she promises she’ll never return again: on to the next one.

All of this is to say that “Telephone” is living proof that Gaga is her own gauge. She creates and shatters her own standards – standards that no other artist can even fathom. Her hype recalls Williams’ name. She makes everyone get on Akon’s time – every artist should consider retirement after this. It means Pop will never be low brow – ever.

This video is not a game – she’s having tons of fun, but she’s not playing with you: this is real. Rome wasn’t built in a day – I can’t be expected to make coherent sense of this masterpiece within a few hours; besides, I left my head and my heart on the dancefloor.

Top 5 of 2009: Songs/Albums

Soundtrek

Thanks to Winstone over at The Couch Sessions I compiled my Top 5 songs/albums of 2009 (actually without Winston I wouldn’t have even considered the feat).

True Pop is self-contextualizing. My “best of” list reflects those works that built this year in pop culture, by reflecting the end of an era – of shallow celebrity veiled behind assumed artistry. Pop done right is cohesive, not fragmented, and neither are its masterpieces. Pop done right is an atmosphere – artists create their own world. Below are 2009 Pop best artists’ songs in relation to albums – not songs, or albums, and artists. My top 5 best reflect the year they dictated: 2009 – The Death of The Fame’s Fear.

“D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)”/The Blueprint 3 – Jay-Z

Hov on that new sxxt, like how come/ Want my old sxxt, buy my old album
Stuck on stupid, I gotta keep it moving/ Make the same sxxt, me I make the blueprint

 

“Bad Romance”/The Fame Monster – Lady GaGa

Got no direction, just got my vamp/ Take a bite of my bad girl meat, take a bite of me
Show me your teeth

 

“The Fear”/It’s Not Me, It’s You – Lily Allen

I don’t know much, but I know this for certain/ And that is the sun poking its head round the curtain
Now please can we leave? I’d like to go to bed now/ It’s not just the sun that is hurting my head now
I’m not trying to say that I’m smelling of roses/ But when will we tire of putting sxxt up our noses
I don’t like staying up, staying up past the sunlight/ It’s meant to be fun and it just doesn’t feel right

 

“Colourless Colour”/La Roux – La Roux

My reflections are protections/ They will keep me from destruction
My directions are distractions/ When you’re ready, come into the light

 

“Man in the Mirror”/This is It – Michael Jackson


A willow deeply scarred/ Somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream/ They follow the pattern of the wind, you see
Cause they got to place to be/ That’s why I’m starting with me