Lady GaGa and the “Disney Pop Princess”

I apologize for the brevity of this post in advance. My initial intent was to cover a few serious social topics of which I had already started to develop, but after repeatedly channel surfing to avoid celebrity gossip and skipping through my playlists comparing phenomenal artists like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Carol King to our most popular artists today something occurred to me. We are a society that idolizes and reveres mediocrity. Much like child athletes who all receive a participation trophy, we actually allow acts dripping with digital work and pyrotechnics to stand beside the true winners. Now I will be the first to say that I listen to nearly every genre of music, if I have not heard it–I will listen to it, (although it may not happen a second time.) I will even admit that I find myself “bopping” my head and shoulders to a little “Just Dance,” from time to time—so it does not entirely go without merit, however do I consider it revolutionary by any means? Absolutely not.

Perhaps the fact that marginally decent singers and songwriters are proclaiming themselves to be “revolutionary,” (even her poker face cannot pull of that statement,) should be considered a serious social issue. As I mentioned before, I listen to a variety of music. Just for a point of reference lets mention a few examples of artists/groups I might actually call revolutionary: BB King, Janis Joplin, Lynard Skynyrd, or Aretha Franklin; maybe revolutionary is not the word I am looking for here…The point is if you are going to claim to be a certain caliber of performer/musician, please attempt to have some real talent.

Which brings me to another curious tidbit, according to a recent interview I read with Lady Gaga–the glitter stricken diva has had classical training. At what point do you throw out classical training for beats and synthesizers? I assume it was probably around the same time she rebelled against her parents, moved out, and started stripping to really create a voice for herself. I completely support exploring your identity and some mild grade rebellion, but perhaps GaGa should have left the face paint and glitter for the pole. Seriously, the dance music/wild outfits have been done, (Madonna, Cher, Britney, Fergie–need I go on?)

Speaking of rebellious pop “sensations,” lets discuss the current reigning “mouskateers.” I am not even certain this new Disney brood could be labeled as mouskateers, but they are certainly not very different than their earlier counterparts, (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera.)  Although each one of them seems to think they have highly unique qualities. With Disney molding their appearance, sound, and looks–much of the existence is in fact cookie cutter. Unless of course you count miss country.
Miley Cyrus has only one advantage over her peers, (Billy Ray fans would say two,) her Disney alter ego actually offers her the opportunity to pull away from Disney. Miley is able to easily market herself seperate from Disney’s bubble gum character. However, the current Hannah/Miley pandemonium is not by any means justified. Again, marginally good talent, (think karaoke bars, county fairs etc.) with the attitude of a super star.

Sorry Miley, your songs about life and your upcoming memoirs will probably not actually save the world. Its a good thing your dad had all of that on the job experience from Doc. At least people have had sense enough to not let him  revive his career by peddling his daughter to every talent agency and booking agent $20.00 dollars could buy.

I think my rant needs to be wrapped up at this juncture. Essentially, I think it is important for tasteful minded individuals to avoid popular music, avoid the gossip columns, and avoid tabloids. Apparently what you need to sell records today is a really good gimmick and a little flash in the pan. The Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, and Akon’s of the world are making the local band scenes the place to be. Artists like The Jonas Brothers may be an easy sell to preteens and mini van mothers, but to call them revolutionary is sort of like saying Samantha Ronson is revolutionizing the art of the disc jockey. For the Northeast Ohio area,  I happily suggest Peabodys in the flats, the Spitfire,or The Carriage House Concert and Nite Club in Louisville.

Hey, media, yea you…cover someone who has talent, not someone who perfected the panty slip for your photographers.

eelliso1 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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9 Comments

Filed under Entertainment, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Lady GaGa and the “Disney Pop Princess”

  1. davidrsheehan

    I like what youv’e got here, E. I agree – there’s a lot of no talent, ass-clowns out there being called “revolutionary” (cough cough Zack Snyder cough cough). Music is no exception.

    Two quick thoughts. 1) Despite her silly roots, I actually think Christina Aquilera is pretty talented. I don’t listen to her music, but unlike say Britney, she can actually sing pretty damn well.

    2) I think we should distinguish between good and crappy “synthesized” music. I’m not familiar with Lady Gaga (I gave up listening to the radio long ago), but I assume she’s probably like Pink, Britney, or whatever other crap “stars” out there – lame music and lots of lights and dances to cover. This stands in sharp contrast to some VERY talented “synthesized” artists. I’m thinking, off the top of my head, of M.I.A. and Santogold (and even, to an extent, TV on the Radio). Some artists can embrace beat-based music as part of their art and produce some tremendous results.

    None of this argues with what you have above, I think, but just refines it, from my view.

    • eelliso1

      I completely agree with you Dave. Christina has similar vocals to some of those great female artists I mentioned. So there is truth to the statement that not every Disney child star will eventually feed themselves by selling photos to Star Magazine.

      As far as synthesized music goes, (a lot of the local groups/underground music I listen to utilize it,) but I think I appreciate them more because I know they are working hands on with the mix. Not…dancing around to it in some ridiculous getup with karaoke vocals.

      In fact, there is an artist who does a one man show with synthesizers. I have heard his work but have not yet had a chance to see him in person–and at the present time, I cannot remember his name. Maybe I will post it when I figure it out.

      Point well made Dave….on a side note, mentioning the former Mouskateers was not attempting to entirely discredit their abilities–merely a nod to Disney’s villanious ways. I do enjoy some J.T. from time to time.

  2. rxnzero

    There are people that are talented but because of the glamour and fashion that Hollywood requires, it all looks phony.

    Yes, they might come up with hits and everything, but are they really writing lyrics and content that is truly from their experience? I think I value more artists that share their personal lives and emotions more than just pop artist singing about the moment and their vulgarities of the moment.

    Lady Gaga and other artists are just figures trying to make money from their singing skills with no real meaning behind their music. And everyone that watches Disney, don’t, it’s like they are brainwashing you and turning your brain into smash material.

    • davidrsheehan

      Sorry, Disney has its own crappiness, I wasn’t aiming to open up that shitshow. Agreed that sometimes they’ve hit something good, but are mostly responsible for awfulness otherwise.

      Po: I’m not sure I entirely agree with you (although a good bit of me does). Ironically, as I was reading your post, Bob Dylan’s “These Times They Are A-Changin'” was playing. There’s a guy not singing about his personal experience or life – he was actively seeking to capture a moment and feeling (an era, if you will) in time in his song. So maybe it’s intent that matters? Like I said, a good part of me wants to agree lock-stock with you… but then, For the Benefit of Mr. Kite came from a poster John Lennon saw… and I wouldn’t like the world to miss that song even if it’s just about the elements of a show he never saw.

      I do agree, however, that meaningless dribble is pretty dumb. Incidentally, this is why I’m still a big fan of Eminem. Say what you will about him as a human, his lyrics and assortments of songs are really quite impressive (not all of them, but more than aren’t).

      In the end, people just doing something to try to make money… hard to really fault them. It’s the dipshit consumers’ faults, really, for supporting them.

  3. eelliso1

    I was so lost when I read the above commentary–primarily because rxnzero is an acquaintance of mine. His name is Paul.

    • davidrsheehan

      Yeah, my bad on that. Didn’t look closely enough at the name of the poster and just assumed it was Po. Dumb.

      Regardless, I find my point valid – substitute “Paul” for “Po” above and my response remains.

  4. Po

    I really don’t think popular music is getting any worse per say. If you listen to music from previous decades it’s all equally pretty awful (disco, hair bands, 80’s dance, etc…). I am however a bit disturbed that there’s literally nothing good to listen to on the radio anymore. In the 90’s at least we had some semi-substantive stuff in the name of grunge, today we’ve got…. Nickelback (puke).

    I also think it’s important to recognize that music serves a different function for everyone. In other words, different people enjoy music for different reasons. While people like you and I enjoy timeless music that provokes REAL thoughts and emotions, the majority of others prefer disposable crap that they can shake their asses to. Once they get sick of one track, there’s another top 40 hit to take its place. I do feel your pain though. At work I am subjected to some of the worst musical atrocities to ever fill the airwaves (Rick Roll anyone?).

    • davidrsheehan

      *chortles*

      Po, your point is both well-made and highly amusing to my sleep-deprived mind.

      You are right, though – there are different reasons I myself listen to different music (Chevelle, for example, when I’m mowing the lawn; Eminem when I’m angry; Fort Minor when I’m in an airport; Fightstar when I’m making a long drive; Neutral Milk Hotel in the early morning… the list goes on and on). Shaking ones ass seems as appropriate a reason as any. Of course, most of what I listen to tends to be a bit more thought-provoking…

  5. nice post, keep writing thanks for sharing

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