I have a two part confession to make.
First, I originally intended to publish this post on Monday after the AMA’s, but it didn’t feel right.
Something was missing.
So I waited.
The second part of my confession started on Thanksgiving when a family member pointed out some comments I had made about Lady Gaga in a recent conversation. My comments can be summed up by saying I thought her music was silly and hollow and not the kind of pop music that I’d take to the grave with me, and that if I had two minutes and seconds to live Lady Gaga’s music wouldn’t be my choice tunes to send me off to the eternal life.
I said that because, honestly, what I’ve heard and seen so far from Lady Gaga didn’t move or impress me. So I confess that I’ve apparently prejudged Lady Gaga before seeing her live performance–and explaining myself on Thanksgiving is what this post is all about.
But before we get to the meat of the confession, there’s something else I want to show you about social media behavior on Twitter and Facebook.
Besides her frankness on holding me accountable to my Lady Gaga comment, what was also interesting to me about my family member’s comment to me, was that she didn’t comment on my tweets/updates while I posted them during the AMA’s. Nope, like most do when reading blogs, Twitter and Facebook, she played the entertained lurker and decided to wait to question me face-to-face during Thanksgiving dinner.
And I’m thankful that she did.
Because now I can come clean with you and finish this post.
I can finally get this stuff off my chest and move on.
I can finally tell you how I’ve made ground on my quest to understand silly, yet highly addictive, music award shows.
And I can finally tell you why I now appreciate Lady Gaga and why I think Dick Clark made a terrible move that didn’t support live music or the fans.
Why I still get sucked into watching award shows
Yes, I’m still on a quest to understand the real meaning and purpose of music award shows. I want to know why I watch them when they consistently leave me feeling cheated, confused and let down.
More and more I’ve been wondering, are they really for the fans?
Or are they just another channel for different segments of the music industry to leverage power in the war to sell albums and boost egos?
Right now, unfortunately, I’m leaning towards the latter.
It’s a not a complete history, but I still suggest checking out the wiki because it does provide some of the history of the AMA’s (and other award shows).
Like I mentioned above, I decided to take in the show while offering up quick live review tweets as the show unfolded.
Like it was during the Grammy’s, tweeting was a different way to take in the show. It was fun tossing up my two-cents and tweet along with my fellow live music fans on Twitter as we all expressed our loves and hates during the show.
But little did I know that my tweets would move a family member to force me into a “confession” blog post and lead me to a better understanding and appreciation of Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga defines 2009 AMA’s
If you were to ask me what performance defined this year’s American Music Awards, I would quickly say it was Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and “Speechless” medley. I’m surprised that I’m actually typing that. But I can’t lie to you. Her performance demanded that I take a second look at her music because she upstaged and out-shined several of music’s top stars.
Sorry Eminem, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Whitney. You all gave worthy showings but Gaga topped you all.
Ever since her rise to fame in pop culture, I’ve had a hard time respecting and understanding her music and glitzy attraction. Her videos still don’t convince or move me no matter how hard I try to see past their glimmering gloss. And I don’t think she has the same appeal as Madonna though a lot of people seem to think so.
But Gaga’s performance at the 2009 AMA’s gave me a renewed sense of curiosity, respect and insight in to her music that her videos never will.
So, once again, a live performance has changed my perceptions of an artist. (I love when this happens!)
Besides her performance, it was her reaction that caught my attention as she sat in the audience awaiting the announcement for Artist of the Year. I don’t know about you, but when I saw that quick shot of her sitting in her seat I felt the kind of intrigue that tells me Lady Gaga is pulling her musical inspirations from a raw, dark and almost tortured place in her heart and mind.
And when I get that feeling about an artist (which doesn’t come across in her videos at all) my next step usually involves taking a deeper look at their music and back story because I want to know what makes me suddenly interested in their music when I had been previously so opposed to it.
But why does this happen? Why do I suddenly “see the light” and have a revelation about an artist like Lady Gaga?
Is live music that powerful that I can still have this type of transformation while sitting and wathcing a performance on my couch?
Is it because live music has allow me to to see a new side of an artist’s personality that escapes me when I watch a video or listen to a CD?
What is it about Lady Gaga’s live performance that gave me a complete picture and a deeper glimpse into what fuels her artistic vision when her videos or music failed to do so?
Live music is such a powerful experience because it does give us that chance to see a side of musicians that we can’t see in a video or hear on an album. This truth is one of the main reasons we go to see our favorite artists live and it’s one of the reason that I go to see an artist who I don’t quite “get” or I’m curious about.
That said, ever since the AMA’s (and that welcomed conversation with a family member), I’ve taken time to understand who Stefani Germanotta was before she became Lady Gaga.
Like others I’ve started my Gagacation with a popular YouTube video of a past performance from a talent show she did at NYU. I’d like to know what you think of it, too.
But I’d also like to know what you think of Dick Clark’s move.
Bad move Dick
On Monday there was a scarcity of Laga Gaga AMA videos because Dick Clark Productions had unfortunately pulled all the videos from YouTube apparently in response to Adam Lambert’s controversial antics and silly glam-rock strutting that actually covered up a sub-par performance. But as you can tell by the video above, either fans don’t care about the “copyright police anymore or Dick Clark has wised up and stopped policing YouTubers.
But really, why did Dick Clark pull all the artist’s performance videos in the first place?
I thought he founded the AMA’s because he was a fan of live music and the fans. Guess not. So sad.
Don’t worry, though, if you want to relive the AMA’s and see what made me confess on Thanksgiving, more videos, like the one above, have surprisingly surfaced on YouTube this past week.
And you can check out AMA photos via ChicagoNow’s Show Patrol Blog.
What did you think of the AMA’s and Gaga’s performance?