I’m not afraid to admit: I love mainstream music. Every week now, I plan on writing about a current song, and although I primarily enjoy pop, some other genres could be included as well. And just because it’s pop doesn’t mean it’s mainstream either.
My first pick is surprisingly not a Gaga, Rihanna, or Ke$ha hit. It’s Jessie J.
In case you don’t know who she is, she’s the one who sang “Price Tag,” another good song. And she’s British! (That gives her an extra point on my clipboard for some reason. It must be their charm… or their infectious accent.)
Anyway, the reason why I enjoy this new single, “Domino,” is quite odd actually. I like this song because it sounds like Katy Perry, but it isn’t.
And trust me, Katy Perry isn’t even featured on this track: it’s all JJ. Not original? Pfffft! Her vocals make up for it! Take a listen for yourself…
Bright, bouncy, quirky, and summery (it’s a word!), this song will help me though those winter blues and will definitely land on my summer 2012 playlists. For some reason, I can play this song on repeat with no problem; I usually can’t even repeat singles I really enjoy but it’s just a personal quirk.
Ms. J, “Price Tag” made me think you would be a one-hit wonder, but “Domino” made me interested for future singles and a new fan. Bravo!
As you probably already knew, I’m a BIG Lady Gaga fan Little Monster (and now it’s an oxymoron).
So last night, after we got home from Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house, the family kicked back on the living room couch and got to watch the ABC special “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving;” it was a like a showcase of Lady Gaga’s music and a little peek into her life and personality. Since I was already a fan, I already knew I was going to love it, but I was curious to see how my parents and aunt would react.
We start of with a duet of “The Lady is a Tramp” with Gaga and Tony Bennett. I personally liked it: jazzy and it really showed off Gaga’s vocals. Even though she is a pop singer, Gaga not only does well, but soars without overproduced autotuned tracks. I’m not really a Tony fan; not my generation I suppose. Tony doesn’t look bad at all for his age of 85, however. His vocals were okay. My dad’s opinion was “The song kind of sucked.” Opinions are opinions I guess.
So the song was kind of like a rocky start, but we did notice how low-key and elegant the show was. No outrageously insane outfits, strobe lights, or blood, but instead an upscale, mansion-like setting with candles and friends and family eating while Gaga sings. Seems fitting for Thanksgiving so far.
Another segment revealed the “mansion” as Gaga’s alma mater Sacred Heart in Manhattan. Gaga sat with 3rd and 4th graders as they had arts-and-crafts time creating Thanksgiving decorations. She really connected with the girls in the segment; she asks them what their families typically eat for Thanksgiving, and they struggle for answers, but then she references artist Jackson Pollock and all the girls in the room knew exactly whom she was talking about. Well now! Glad to see Gaga keeping the show very Mikey-appropriate so far!
Gaga then did a little “Let’s cook some stuff with celebrity chef Art Smith.” The deep fried turkey made me hungry, while the sound of salami waffles made us cringe on the couch. But as Smith and Gaga continued with the “waffles,” they looked utterly delectable. As soon as the segment ended and the commercials came on, my mom said “Mikey, find the recipes for me!”
Now for the performances. Gaga did indeed direct the special herself, but she went with a very different approach. A bit more classy and glamorous, but definitely with hints of Gaga throughout. And there’s just something about her presence that I can’t really put words to. I liked her balance of stripped-down, sit-down piano moments (Yoü and I, Edge of Glory, and Hair), her dance numbers (Born This Way and even Bad Romance), and her vocal performances (The Lady is a Tramp and Marry the Night). Let me point out some interesting things I noticed during some of these spectacular songs…
1) Born This Way – the portable egg vessel?
2) Hair – the 3 wigs and the powerful anti-bullying message; when she said “Would you join me Richard?” (Richard was apparently a dancer)
3) Edge of Glory – the background of the song’s connection to her late grandfather
4) Bad Romance – when she went to someone’s table and sang the last verse with a mouthful of food (and pulled it off!)
5) Marry the Night – she mentioned that it was her favorite song on the album
6) Yoü and I – the trumpet + piano version was quite good!
Gaga even included a performance of “White Christmas” with her inclusion of a verse she wrote herself since the song was “too short.”
At the last half hour of the program was the supposedly epic interview between Katie Couric and Gaga. As I was watching, I was saying to myself “You can tell this is the segment Gaga had very little influence over.” It was really bland on Couric’s part, but Gaga did expel more about her family and the like.
My favorite part of the interview, however, was when Couric attempted to get Gaga to speak of her love life. The dialogue kind of went like this:
Couric: “So Lady Gaga, how is your love life?”
Gaga: “My love life is the only thing I don’t talk about.”
Couric: “Even to me?”
Gaga: “Even to you…” PWNED.
Gaga then elaborates that she would not want paparazzi and helicopters flying above the chapel during her wedding day. A Hollywood wedding would not be a Gaga wedding. Oh look! It’s Sister Bayo! (Former Head of the Lower School).
After the performance of “Marry the Night,” the credits rolled with what was apparently the “sneak peak” of the official music video. It looked like choreography rehearsal, which was really good. Now the question is, was this footage part of the actual video or just a taste of the choreography to be seen in the video? Only time will tell!
In the end, even my Dad was a Gaga fan. Without too much makeup, sunglasses, gimmicks, and weirdness, she is extremely likable. I really enjoyed the performances and the message she wished to express. It was appropriate, warm, and fitting for Thanksgiving. Hopefully Gaga will return in future holidays to come with more specials! Perhaps “A Very Gaga Christmas” anyone?