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Old 01-03-2010, 06:32 PM   #91
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I'm afraid you don't quite have your finger on the pulse of the pop music world, Aygo, if you think Britney Spears is "irrelevant." You may not like her for whatever reason, and that's fine, but she's just as popular now as she ever has been. Unless maybe I'm missing what exactly you mean by relevance. If you mean record sales, Circus has sold a shit ton. If you mean radio play, her songs have been unavoidable on the radio this year. Add to that a hugely successful world tour and her still constant presence in the tabloid press...the girl's career is going strong.

And when I woke up this morning I didn't think I'd be defending Britney Spears in a Lady GaGa thread on a U2 forum. But such is life on the interwebs, I suppose.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:41 PM   #92
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Agreed!

But yeah, maybe he meant "relevant" as far as cultural impact, in which case I would agree - she doesn't really have that going on anymore.

Although, to be fair, you could argue that Madonna isn't really relevant in that aspect anymore, either. (Which of course does nothing to diminish the impact she's had in the past.)
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:28 PM   #93
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I'm not sure if we're at a stage where there will ever be anyone with a huge "cultural impact" again.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:12 PM   #94
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At least not in the way we've known. Would be interesting to see what evolves out of our current pop culture and media shenanigans.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:23 PM   #95
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I'm talking about cultural relevance. Britney Spears' relevance in the aspect starts and ends on what I wrote on my comment: she's the Lolita stereotype that was pushed by other people's interests and by parents who wished they were artists when younger. But since she's a mother now and reaching her 30's soon, this stereotype doesn't fit anymore and, besides the "Psychotic antichrist episode" a few years ago that was enough for the public to remember that she still existed, culturally and artistically, her relevance is near to zero. The "x factor" is that the media has always sold her very well. Today she's just another pop singer that still has some big hits and that creates some easy controversy to keep the mediatic attention.

Madonna did it too. She was one of the pioneers of our era to manipulate the media instead of the opposite, but as a control-freak she is, she has always done it in a very clever way and always with some sort of connection with what she was doing artistically at the time.

Is Madonna what she was in the past? No. She's in the same career stage U2 is: consolidation of the act and "crystalization" of an iconic imagetic represented in our culture. It's not Madonna's interest to make "Justify My Love" again - and not because of her age.

Madonna is one of the most mentioned names in books about contemporary cultural studies. She's even frequently mentioned in books about gender studies. Why is it? Easy, because of all that was mentioned above.
Madonna, like The Beatles, Elvis, Dylan, MJ and some other, will be remembered on the next 100 years.
Britney Spears... will she still be reffered in the media on the next 100 years? Yes, but only because of her hits... unless her career changes its itinerary on the next years.

...Same goes to Gaga.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:26 PM   #96
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Thanks for the clarification on Britney - I agree.

I'm still curious as to why people are so sure as to what GaGa's relevance/impact/status will be years from now when she's pretty much brand new?

Why not wait to see what else she does in a year or two before slapping the "irrelevant" and "forgettable" labels on her?

You don't like her songs? Fine! You think she's irritating? Great!

Guess she's having an impact already, if people are rushing to write her off so quickly.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:37 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Aygo View Post

Madonna is one of the most mentioned names in books about contemporary cultural studies. She's even frequently mentioned in books about gender studies. Why is it? Easy, because of all that was mentioned above.
Madonna, like The Beatles, Elvis, Dylan, MJ and some other, will be remembered on the next 100 years.
Britney Spears... will she still be reffered in the media on the next 100 years? Yes, but only because of her hits... unless her career changes its itinerary on the next years.

...Same goes to Gaga.
Yes, it is absolutely true that Madonna gets a HUGE amount of attention within cultural studies. Actually, to an annoying point, as someone who is deeply invested in cultural studies, and more specifically, popular music studies. In one class alone this past semester, we read 5 or 6 articles focusing on Madonna. In that class, Britney Spears was also, interestingly, one of the most brought up performers in discussions. Performer being the key word there. She was not brought up for her musical achievements (or her hits), but for the spectacle that she has become. If she is to be remembered in however many years, in my opinion, it will be for the extravaganza, not her hits or music.

I don't think it's necessarily true for Gaga, as it's far too early to tell what path her career will take. She could surprise us all, and in fact, I think she just might have more up her sleeve than we're giving her credit for. Then again, I might be completely wrong too. Only time will tell.

Also, it should be noted that I've heard many rumblings from my cultural studies friends that Gaga (the "Bad Romance" video, in particular) should be subjected to a Foucauldian analysis. So, I'd say, she's probably well on her way to being a culturally relevant performer, both in mass culture, as well as in academia.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #98
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I have no idea if this was been posted in here already or not. But just in case.

It's really worth the lengthy read.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:10 PM   #99
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I'll also say, that for whatever she is and is worth, I kind of love Lady Gaga. At least she's interesting. Plus, "Bad Romance" is kind of phenomenal.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:13 PM   #100
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Huh, that looks like a good read. Thanks for posting it!
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:15 PM   #101
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Yes, it is absolutely true that Madonna gets a HUGE amount of attention within cultural studies. Actually, to an annoying point, as someone who is deeply invested in cultural studies, and more specifically, popular music studies.
This is agonizingly true. She's like this generation's Marlene Dietrich.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Lancemc View Post
I have no idea if this was been posted in here already or not. But just in case.

It's really worth the lengthy read.
It hadn't, I don't think, but looks like it'll be great, thanks for posting. My favorite comment: "Stunned that you have dedicated this much time to analysing something as banal as a talentless singer's music videos." Reminds me of the time I brought home a scholarly book about hip-hop, and my grandpa reacted with: "Huh. I guess you can be an expert on anything these days..."

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This is agonizingly true. She's like this generation's Marlene Dietrich.
I, admittedly, had to look up who Marlene Dietrich was (I'm not big into films, weirdly enough), but after a short amount of reading about her, you're absolutely right. She was the film version of Madonna, even down to the ambiguous sexuality. And, in the '40s and '50s, no less! Of course, making her an analytical favorite in academia.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:37 PM   #103
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Dietrich was the bomb, and so was a lot of Madonna's stuff (to me, anyway...and like 20 years ago, now), but the academic fixations are grating, grasping, and grotesquely overdone. Half of that stuff is just hero worship by fanboys and -girls hoping to legitimize their obsessions, and while some of it is fucking fantastic, it is, by and large, AWFUL. I am sure that you can empathize, here. I am speaking both of Madonna and Dietrich, not to mention a thousand others. U2, too. Oh, I shudder to think...
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:39 PM   #104
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My favorite comment: "Stunned that you have dedicated this much time to analysing something as banal as a talentless singer's music videos."
Somewhere out there, there's an in-depth analysis of the Bad Romance video and supposed Illuminati references. I don't know if the person doing it was serious or doing it just for a laugh, but that was pretty funny.

Also, it's a huge pet peeve of mine when people throw around the word "talentless." It's one thing to not like someone's music, or voice, or guitar playing.

But save "talentless" for people like William Hung, who have no discernible music talent. Don't use it on someone who a) can sing; b) can play a musical instrument; AND c) writes music.

You might think their music sucks, but that does not make them talentless.

/soapbox spurred by some anonymous random jerk's internet comment
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:02 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by If you shout... View Post
Dietrich was the bomb, and so was a lot of Madonna's stuff (to me, anyway...and like 20 years ago, now), but the academic fixations are grating, grasping, and grotesquely overdone. Half of that stuff is just hero worship by fanboys and -girls hoping to legitimize their obsessions, and while some of it is fucking fantastic, it is, by and large, AWFUL. I am sure that you can empathize, here. I am speaking both of Madonna and Dietrich, not to mention a thousand others. U2, too. Oh, I shudder to think...
Oh, without a doubt, yes, I empathize with you. I respect Madonna a great deal and do love a lot of her music, but the academic writing around her work is frustrating. Even bell hooks, who I generally enjoy quite a bit, had one article called "Madonna: Plantation Mistress or Soul Sister?" in which she argued that Madonna was using her "blonde ambition" purely and solely as a way to both appropriate "black" culture, as well as remaining "white" enough for the mainstream. While there's probably some (or, more likely, just a hint) truth to that idea, I just can't believe that it was all a calculated, sinister move on Madonna's part, as hooks implies. I have a very ambivalent relationship to most academic work about popular music, as a good chunk of it is just terrible or average, at best.

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Somewhere out there, there's an in-depth analysis of the Bad Romance video and supposed Illuminati references. I don't know if the person doing it was serious or doing it just for a laugh, but that was pretty funny.

Also, it's a huge pet peeve of mine when people throw around the word "talentless." It's one thing to not like someone's music, or voice, or guitar playing.

But save "talentless" for people like William Hung, who have no discernible music talent. Don't use it on someone who a) can sing; b) can play a musical instrument; AND c) writes music.

You might think their music sucks, but that does not make them talentless.

/soapbox spurred by some anonymous random jerk's internet comment
I'll have to seek that out, if just for the laughs. Honestly, the things some academics (or pseudo-academics) come up with is hilariously misguided.

And, YES, I completely agree. Even Britney, whose music I generally despise, is talented and can sing, even if her voice is now buried behind Autotune and layers upon layers of production. I'll admit that I was not a Gaga fan, until someone whose musical tastes I respect sent me this video (which is no longer on YouTube, those bastards from UMG took it down) of "Poker Face" done acoustically, and she not only fucking rocks it, but throws her leg up on the piano and keeps playing. It's amazing. Clearly, she's talented, even if some don't want to admit it.
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