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Lady GaGa Atomic Erotic Symphonic Bi-Sonic Genius! (Part ONE of FIVE)






By Ann Powers

____December 13th, 2009

Los Angeles Times


____Part ONE of FIVE

____Links are in GREEN

Reporting from Boston –
Almost immediately after she deposited
herself in a corner booth at L’Espalier,
the restaurant at Boston’s Mandarin
Oriental Hotel on the December afternoon
after the first American date of her
Monster Ball tour,
Lady Gaga made
a confounding statement.

“I don’t see myself
as ever being like
anybody else,”
said the 23-year-old known
to her mom (eating lunch nearby)
as Stefani Germanotta.

“I don’t see
myself as an heir.”

Yet there she was,
in a blond Hollywood bob and black
tuxedo-bra combo much like the
costumes Madonna wore
20 years ago,
discussing a show that conjures
the spirits of Michael Jackson,
David Bowie and the punk-rock
drag queens of downtown New York
and promoting music —
the newly expanded edition of her
2008 debut album, “The Fame,”
greatly enriched by eight new songs
and repackaged as
“The Fame Monster”
that pays blatant homage to ABBA,
Queen, Eurodisco and Marilyn Manson.

Gaga doesn’t care.

She wants you to trace her references.
” John Lennon talked
about how with every
song he wrote,
he was thinking of
another artist,”
she said,
making a less expected
connection to a pop deity.

She’s yet to attain the
status of the Beatles,
but in the ever-accelerating pop cycle,
Gaga is a top sensation,
and many people’s vote for the
most exciting artist of 2009.

“The Fame”
has sold nearly 2 million copies
in the U.S. and reportedly double
that internationally;
her album and the single
“Poker Face” both made the top three
on the year-end tally of top iTunes

“The Fame Monster”
continues this sales sweep,
but it also considerably advances
Gaga‘s artistic project with some
of her strongest songs yet,
including the earworm-infested
“Bad Romance” and the sumptuously
emotional ballad “Speechless.”

The world is responding.

She’s made friends with Madonna,
been interviewed by Barbara Walters
and met the Queen of England at
the annual Royal Variety Performance.

The Monster Ball has sold out
multiple nights in major cities
including Los Angeles,
where it comes to the Nokia Theater
at L.A. Live for shows Dec. 21-23.

This is all happening not because

Gaga is cute or takes off her clothes
but because
(to use one of her favorite words)
she is a monster —
a monster talent,
that is,
with a serious brain.

During nearly two
hours of conversation,
she not only reiterates her assertion
of total originality but also finesses
it until it’s both a philosophical
stance about how constructing a
persona from pop-cultural sources
can be an expression
of a person’s truth —
à la those drag queens Gaga
sincerely admires —
and a bit of a feminist act.

“I’m getting the sense
that you’re a little bit
of a feminist,
like I am,
which is good,”
she said. “

“I find that men get
away with saying a
lot in this business,
and that women get
away with saying
very little . . .
In my opinion,
women need and want
someone to look up to
that they feel have the
full sense of who
they are,
and says, ‘I’m great.’ “

Gaga‘s casual use of the term
“feminist” was interesting;
like many female pop stars,
she’s rejected the term in the past.

But she’s evolving.

She is growing
“more compassionate,”
she says,
and focusing more on ideas
of community,
especially the one formed
by her core fan base,
a mix of gay men,
bohemian kids and young women
attracted by Gaga‘s style and her
singable melodies.





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