Friday, July 9, 2010


And the heavens opened up -- as if on queue -- and it rained on her stage, but Lady Gaga ran with it! The pop ingenue (yes...I said it! For all intents and purposes Gaga has only been around for 2 years) marked a milestone when she performed on day time TV to one of the largest audiences ever for a daytime talk show audience...and Lady Gaga turned it out in a way that few seasoned artists could have ever managed. But the music sensation that has been raising the bar ever since she made her debut, has earned all the attention and adoration that she's been getting since releasing The Fame.

Lady Gaga had emerged from the New York City art scene...some would say it was a dying art and not the Warholian epic that she was clearly evoking with her performance art, but none can argue that the ambitious young singer lacked talent and verve! She immediately started making a name for yourself in the downtown circuit for her punk-like style and over-the-top fashion. Making her name for yourself as a lyricist and songwriter, Lady Gaga perfected her craft and when the timing was right she immediately struck a chord with her first solo single, the club friendly "Just Dance". The pop-friendly track immediately endeared her to the club scene and especially to the hungry for a modern day anthem gay crowd. Similarly to her icon and inspiration Madonna, when the track was released there was little to be scene of Lady Gaga and with MTV no longer really toting TRL as a destination for new artist, by the time the video started making the rounds it's playability was limited to gay bars and YouTube -- which didn't seem to phase the establishing artist in the least.

As a matter of fact, it appeared that Lady Gaga's sensibility appeared tailor-made for the digital age; she immediately set out the popularize herself and has become one of the most downloadable acts of the last decade! All the while she worked to perfect her image and her performance -- as much using "shock and awe" to present herself as well as teasingly taunt with her sexuality and using the latest technologies to enhance her persona and solidify herself as a fashion plate along the lines of the artists she immolated: David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, sprinkling in some Sylvester for good measure and a dollop of Madonna's marketing skillz, Lady Gaga backed up with the package with a whimsical ability to create pop music that was catchy and memorable. Sure she aligned herself with some of the most gifted producers in the industry for her debut album The Fame but the relationship she sought to cultivate, to nurture to the extreme was her gay audience and the "freaks" who always felt out of place in society.

Lady Gaga was speaking to them. Embracing and taking in those disenfranchised Gaga created her legion of "little monsters". Madonna may have had "wannabees" but Lady Gaga's fan base fully connected with her outrageous look and daring ability on the stage! It wasn't long before pop's own royalty from Elton John, to Sting, to Madonna herself were giving the Lady their own blessed approval, all the while creating impressive collaborations with contemporary pop artist's like Beyonce and even Michael Bolton!

Cut to: 2 years and Lady Gaga is greeted by more than 20,000 fans at Rockefeller Plaza -- the most any artist has ever gathered for the Today Show's summer concert series. Gaga in her native town, performing to 3 sold out nights at Madison Square Garden only after recently selling out Radio City, performs her heart out under a summer shower that begins after her startling emergence from a fog of dried ice. The artist cheered for her audience and didn't hold back, giving the crowd that had been waiting over night exactly what they had come to see -- Gaga full on! If she is anything she is the face of showbiz -- of any artist currently on the scene she completely "gets it" and understands the art and manipulation of the performance, and embraces her audience at the same time she thumbs up her nose in rebellion to the fame she herself has created for herself. She is this generation's Madonna -- no other modern day act can lay claim to that similarity -- not Britney, not Beyonce, not Christina!

But at the same time that Lady Gaga climbs on the backs of all those that have paved the way for her own success, she clearly stops to slap the hands and give them their props understanding that without them she would never have realized and perfected her own brand of performance -- she would never have known what fierce determination would have in store for her, especially just at the start of her career. For Gaga the next bench mark is anxiously being awaited, but she will continue to advocate for those that made her what she is and celebrated her ability to be a "free bitch".

Thursday, July 1, 2010


In a more civilized time in human history (although I like to think not all that long ago) people actually spent the time and energy to get to know one another. Early relationships actually valued the idea of establishing friendships -- or a comparable intimate experience that would establish longevity and a more secure level of companionship between lovers. I know that it all sounds very clinical but somewhere down the line -- and I like to blame the 70's (I blame that era for a lot of things) perhaps it was the sexual liberation of the time and the pursuit of independent identity -- maybe there was a singular "cool factor" -- whatever it was, people weren't bothering to court an intended suitor. And it's a sad shame.

The funny thing about it is -- I'm not in the lease a hopeless romantic. I love and encourage romance and the experience that it inspires, but I learned about love by watching tv and movies so my idea of romance is a bit on tilt. Go figure. That doesn't mean that the idea of romance is dead on me. I've got my days...but what I sometimes think is really tragic is that often times gay men really don't partake in this ritual. For instance, I recently had dinner with two really old friends who had recently married -- they'd been friends all through high school and even grew up in the same home town. Interestingly enough, although there was an attraction between them they really didn't pursue anything while growing up as young people and only decided to pursue something romantic when the timing felt right -- which happened years later when they were both in college. The courtship which started years before, led to an easy romance years later -- but it was the sense of familiarity that eased and inspired the affection and love between them.

There's something to be said about those moments of stolen kisses and casual embraces, and in an even more chaste time of chaperones and parental permission. Now don't get me wrong, I'm extremely realistic about the fact that I'm well beyond any of that being a necessity in my life. I'm well beyond the years of needing (or wanting) to be chaperoned, and although stolen kisses are something that is very sweet -- I'm particularly aggressive and usually just take what I want -- Yikes! That sounds dangerously horrible, but I'm not a passive individual when it comes to getting what I want -- I just wish that we lived in an era where it was well worth the wait to want. Sometimes it just seems that would be enticing opportunity to increase the expectations between two new lovers.

I'm just thinking about the rest of you! I've not been in love for a very long time and I don't seek attention like that -- I'm not in pursuit of love and trust that it's something that occurs between people when the timing is right and when it's a special opportunity -- otherwise it's just a "trick". And tricks are for kids! And I mean that!

In an age where we tend to jump in the moment and the immediacy of a relationship whenever when crosses our paths and then quickly work our way through it looking beyond to where the grass is greener, perhaps as we continue to pursue marriage equality we can begin to think about relationships and the excitement of their longevity with fresh eyes. Also, I must admit that not all gay relationships go the way of drink-to dance-to bedroom-to brunch-to see you around the block sometime. There are a lot of like-minded individuals out there that would like nothing more than to settle in with someone special and more-so-than-often there are genuine relationship oriented people out there not out just looking for a fling -- not that there's anything wring with that! Sometimes a fling is just what one needs at least to get you through the haze.

It's just especially nice when the quality time that we choose to spend with someone can be just that -- quality! It's actually quite brilliant to sit in the breathe of knowing that it won't end as quickly as it's started, and sometimes it's even more special when you relent to any expectations whatsoever. The sands of time are not running out, and you've got all the time in the world. Really -- you do. It makes it worth the trouble to try to steal a kiss. It makes it all that much more sweeter.