Tag Archives: Lady Gaga

Who Is The Ultimate Woman?

-Marissa Tomko

Don’t lie to me—I know you all saw Beyoncé’s half-time performance at the Superbowl last month. Like many people, I found it to be electrifying, and have viewed it plenty of times since I watched it live. One thing that defines Beyoncé as an artist is her confidence. While it may border on egotism, I have never questioned it. So what if she is fully aware of the power she holds—it’s obviously working for her. In my opinion, Beyoncé is the ultimate woman and I worship at her feet. But her performance got me thinking—should I be doing that?

If you asked my girlfriends who they aspire to be like, you would definitely find evidence of their role models in their appearance. My New Girl-loving friend recently got the now-iconic Zooey Deschanel blunt banged haircut; my friend who has been a committed Britney Spears fan since she was 10 years old wears Brit’s standard fedora hat at least twice a week; Another friend tries to put together Rachel Bilson’s outfits daily. And me? You can usually find me lunging across my living room asking my roommates if my backside resembles my idol’s yet.

Role models are tricky because there is a definite line between aspiring to be like somebody and wishing that you were them. While I was watching Queen B perform, all I could think was “I would give anything to be her,” and it was true. In that moment, I would have sold my soul to have her body, her gorgeous curls, and her powerful presence; she embodies everything that I have ever wanted to portray as a woman. In that moment, I resented myself.

In the past few years, there have been so many different kinds of women for society to obsess over. As far as the variety goes, I love it. There’s the eccentric Lady Gaga and the free-spirited Jessa from HBO’s Girls. I even give reality star Khloé Kardashian some credit for her ability to speak her mind and take a stand. However, in my deep admiration for these unique women, I often forget that I am a person, too. In our quest to better ourselves, even the most confident of girls can confuse admiration with direct imitation.

Just because I will never wow the entire world while clad in leather at America’s favorite sporting event does not mean I will not make an impact. I can portray power and confidence in a different way, in a way that comes naturally to me. I know, I know—it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

Yes, it’s okay to steal fashion tips from the women you admire. It’s even okay to wish that you were a little more outspoken. But it’s also important to remember to apply the traits that you admire about others to yourself. With feminism and women’s issues being such hot topics as of late, we all deserve to have a voice—our own voice—in this crazy world.

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Image by José Goulão from http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3339/3546356301_c0c837afd0.jpg

Party Like it's 1990!

-Drew Dakessian

I am a child of the ’90s, and I am proud. I grew up in a decade when morality still meant something, and music that you could dance to was not automatically deemed uncool. Fortunately, in recent years my nostalgia for the culture of the ’90s has found an outlet.

If you had a pulse in 1997, you probably are still trying (and failing) to get the song “Barbie Girl” out of your head. For that, you can thank the Danish bubblegum/dance pop group Aqua. With 11 singles (including three you might actually have heard before), the dulcet tones of Aqua were with me through countless Harry Potter books and childhood dance parties.

In 2010, Aqua released a greatest hits compilation featuring three new singles, which was followed up last year by a new full-length release available as an import to us United States fans (assuming I’m not the only one). You can sit on your high horse and extol the political resonance of Lady gaga, or you can shake what your mama gave you and celebrate the ethereal beauty of life. If you prefer the latter, go with Aqua.

Without a doubt, one of the most seminal TV show of the 1990s was Boy Meets World, which ran on ABC from 1993 to 2000. Like many other children of the ‘90s, I was captivated by the story of Cory “Hey, I’m average” Matthews, Shawn, his sensitive best friend from the wrong side of the tracks, Topanga, his beautiful and brilliant girlfriend, his increasingly clueless yet profound brother Eric, and his ever-sagacious teacher/next-door neighbor Mr. Feeny. The show gave us such timeless pearls of wisdom as “Life’s tough, get a helmet,” and “Tears are the thank-you-notes of the soul.” It was dramatic; it was hilarious.

Recently, ABC Family has obtained the rights to Boy Meets World, airing it in 2.5-hour mini marathons most weekday mornings beginning at 7 a.m. Do yourself a favor: join me in watching them and picking up on the sexual innuendo and subtle class commentary that went right over my curly head way back at the turn of the 21st century.

The ’90s would have been nothing without the trans media marvel Pokemon. The TV show, movies, and trading card game were all well and good, but the true highlight of the Pokemon franchise was its original product, a series of Game Boy games. I can think of few things more thrilling in 1999 than setting out to defeat all eight Pokemon gym leaders while attempting to capture and train all 151 (and then 251 and then 386 and then 493) Pokemon. It was a hero’s quest set to lo-fi synth music (think early Rilo Kiley, but repetitive). We are all grown up now, but when our love interests fail to call, or we fail midterms for no apparent reason, wouldn’t it be nice to escape into the world of Pokemon, where we can save the game before an important life event, and go back and restart if things don’t work out the way we wanted?

If your answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ I have good news: you don’t have to wait until the next time you return to your childhood home to dig up your old, scratched Game Boy from under your bed (don’t try to pretend you ever actually parted with it). Every single Pokemon game has been uploaded in its original, authentic format to Playr.org, where I and innumerable other children of the ’90s with bad cases of arrested development can indulge our desire to regress. And you know what? I’m not even embarrassed. After all, there are few things more deliciously nihilistic than getting two Dittos to battle each other.

Flux Playlist: Cinco de Mayo!

-Flux Blog Staff

It’s Cinco de Mayo, which means it’s the second day on the calendar that has nothing to do with our country, yet gives us an occasion in which it is perfectly acceptable to binge drink (if you’re 21, of course). So we at the Flux blog couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than to dedicate our weekly playlist to the holiday. So enjoy our playlist as you set off to have a fun (and safe) Cinco de Mayo!


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Mike:

  • Spanish Bombs -The Clash
  • Cabron -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • El Manana -Gorillaz
  • Mexico -Cake

Diana:

  • Tequila -The Champs
  • La Bamba -Los Lobos
  • Oye Como Va -Santana
  • Shots -LMFAO ft. Lil Jon

Jamie:

  • Hips Don’t Lie -Shakira
  • Gasolina -Daddy Yankee
  • Pon De Replay -Rihanna

Sam:

  • La Camisa Negra -Juanes
  • Culo -Pitbull ft Lil Jon
  • La Copa de la Vida -Patrick Victorio
  • Macarena -Los del Rio

Jessica:

  • Vamos a Los Levels -Loona and Avicii
  • We No Speak Americano -Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP
  • Loca People -Sak Noel
  • She Wold -Shakira

Tamara:

  • Suenos -Diego Torres
  • Americano -Lady Gaga

Flux Playlist: It's a Celebration!

-Flux Blog Staff

If you are reading this blog post, congratulations! You have officially survived finals week! Now that you’ve turned in all of your papers and sold back all of your books, there’s only one thing left to do: Celebrate! This week, the Flux bloggers wanted to give you a playlist to help get your celebrations off on the right foot. So grab some friends, forget everything you learned this term and most importantly, enjoy your winter break!


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Mike:

  • One More Time -Daft Punk
  • DARE -Gorillaz
  • Going On -Gnarls Barkley

Hannah:

  • Moves Like Jagger -Maroon 5

Tamara:

  • Marry the Night -Lady Gaga
  • Call it What you Want -Foster the People
  • You Da One -Rihanna

Lizzy:

  • Sexy and I Know it -LMFAO
  • No Hands -Waka Flocka
  • You Make Me Feel -Cobra Starship

Jasmine:

  • Night of Your Life -David Guetta
  • Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay -Big Sean
  • H.A.M. -Jay-Z & Kanye West

Sam:

  • Caribou Lou -Tech N9ne
  • Boombox – The Lonely Island
  • Line & Sinker -Billy Talent

Waiting for the Grammys

-Mike Munoz

When the nominees for the 2012 annual Grammy Awards were released Wednesday night, my mind was bursting with questions. How many Grammys will Adele win? Will we actually get the Van Halen reunion we were promised? How the hell did Bruno Mars get six nominations? Here are some of the nominations that caught my attention Wednesday night.

Disappointing Album of the Year Nominees

Last year’s nominations for Album of the Year proved the Grammys were taking a step in the right direction. Nominees ranged from rapper Eminem to country-pop group Lady Antebellum, and Arcade Fire broke through as the first indie band to win the award. This year’s nominations, however, proved they took five steps back. The category contains only two realistic competitors in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Adele’s 21 (sorry Foo Fighters).  I’m not quite sure how Bruno Mars and Rihanna got thrown into the mix, and I know I’m not the only one asking, where’s Kanye?

Remembering Amy Winehouse

There’s no question that there will be some sort of memorial for soul singer Amy Winehouse, and it will probably come during the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award. Winehouse collaborated with jazz icon Tony Bennett for his album Duets II, where the two sing a rendition of “Body and Soul” that will give you chills. The song is one of Winehouse’s last known recordings before her untimely death and will most likely win the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Too Much Dubstep

I’m just going to flat out say it. I hate dubstep. I hate the noises, I hate the concerts and most importantly of all, I hate Skrillex. This year, Skrillex was nominated for five Grammys, including Best New Artist. If you ask me, that’s five nominations too many. I know dubstep has gained a huge following over the last couple of years. But for those of us who aren’t 13-year-olds wandering through a rave in our underwear, dubstep is just plain annoying. But maybe I’m being too hard on Skrillex. I mean, she seems like a pretty nice person.

Kanye vs Kanye for Best Rap Album

It’s seems pretty obvious that the odds are in Kanye West’s favor to win this year’s Grammy for Best Rap Album. The only question is, which one of his albums will win? West and Jay-Z prove to be a lethal combination in Watch the Throne; an entire album dedicated to the glamorous lives of West and Jay-Z. However, West’s solo album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has proved to be his masterpiece, with featured artists ranging from Nicki Minaj to Justin Vernon. I was stunned to see Dark Twisted Fantasy left off the ballot for Album of the Year, and I’d be really surprised if it didn’t win the Grammy for Best Rap Album.

Photo taken from billboard.com

 

When the nominees for the 2012 annual Grammy Awards were released Wednesday night, my mind was bursting with questions. How many Grammys will Adele win? Will we actually get the Van Halen reunion we were promised? How the hell did Bruno Mars get six nominations? Here are some of the nominations that caught my attention Wednesday night.

Album of the Year Nominees

Last year’s nominations for Album of the Year proved the Grammys were taking a step in the right direction. Nominees ranged from rapper Eminem to country-pop group Lady Antebellum, and Arcade Fire broke through as the first indie band to win the award. This year’s nominations, however, proved they took five steps back. The category contains only two realistic competitors in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Adele’s 21 (sorry Foo Fighters). I’m not quite sure how Bruno Mars and Rihanna got thrown into the mix, and I know I’m not the only one asking, where’s Kanye?

Remembering Amy Winehouse

There’s no question that there will be some sort of memorial for soul singer Amy Winehouse, and it will probably come during the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award. Winehouse collaborated with jazz icon Tony Bennett for his album Duets II, where the two sing a rendition of “Body and Soul” that will give you chills. The song is one of Winehouse’s last known recordings before her untimely death and will most likely win the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Too Much Dubstep

I’m just going to flat out say it. I hate dubstep. I hate the noises, I hate the concerts and most importantly of all, I hate Skrillex. This year, Skrillex was nominated for five Grammys, including Best New Artist. If you ask me, that’s five nominations too many. I know dubstep has gained a huge following over the last couple of years. But for those of us who aren’t 13-year-olds wandering through a rave in our underwear, dubstep is just plain annoying. But maybe I’m being too hard on Skrillex. I mean, she seems like a pretty nice person.

Kanye vs Kanye for Best Rap Album

It’s seems pretty obvious that the odds are in Kanye West’s favor to win this year’s Grammy for Best Rap Album. The only question is, which one of his albums will win? West and Jay-Z prove to be a lethal combination in Watch the Throne; an entire album dedicated to the glamorous lives of West and Jay-Z. However, West’s solo album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has proved to be his masterpiece, with featured artists ranging from Nicki Minaj to Justin Vernon. I was stunned to see Dark Twisted Fantasy left off the ballot for Album of the Year, and I’d be really surprised if it didn’t win the Grammy for Best Rap Album.

Born This Way Foundation

-Tamara Feingold

Lady Gaga announced on November 2nd that she is launching the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit project dedicated to youth empowerment. Gaga, a constant supporter of anti-bullying causes and an encourager of acceptance started the foundation with her mom, Cynthia Germanotta.

Although Gaga hopes the project will be “a place for Bravery, Love, Acceptance,” young people today could also find inspiration for individuality in some of Gaga’s most shocking moments:

  1. Showing up to the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards dressed as a man.
  2. Repeatedly incorporating fake dripping blood and deaths into her performances.
  3. Wearing a dress that looks like it’s made out of meat.
  4. Asking United States President Barack Obama to make a law against bullying.
  5. Referring to her fans as “little monsters.”
  6. Wearing a dress made entirely of bubbles.
  7. Announcing her celibacy in a Vanity Fair interview.
  8. Performing a dance routine in a wheelchair in her “Paparazzi” music video.

The Born This Way Foundation, in partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the California Endowment will launch in 2012. Check it out.

Weekly Flux Playlist: Remix Edition

-Flux Blog Staff

Grab your headphones, because it’s that time of the week for the Weekly Flux Playlist! This week, the Flux bloggers will be sharing some of their favorite remixes with you. Now we know nothing beats the original. But these remixes come pretty darn close!


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Mike:

  • Good Morning (Kickdrums Remix) -Kanye West
  • Electric Feel (Justice Remix) -MGMT
  • D.A.N.C.E. (MSTRKRFT Remix) -Justice

Jasmine:

  • Motivation (Remix) -Kelly Rowland ft Busta Rhymes, Trey Songz
  • Everyone Nose (Remix) -N.E.R.D. ft Kanye West
  • Cracks (Flux Pavillion Remix) -Freestylers

Hannah:

  • Mercy (Remix) -Duffy ft The Game
  • Ignition (Remix) -R. Kelly
  • Day N Night (Crookers Remix) -Kid Cudi

Tamara:

  • Til The World Ends (Remix) -Britney Spears ft Nicki Minaj and Kesha
  • Hide and Seek (Roksonix Dubstep Remix) -Imogen Heap
  • Bad Romance (Skrillex Remix) -Lady Gaga

Lizzy:

  • Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix) -Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Can’t Believe It (Remix) -T-pain ft. Justin Timberlake
  • Drop it Low (Remix) -Chris Brown, Ester Dean and Lil Wayne

Sam:

  • Birthright (Birthwrong Remix) -Celldweller
  • Ievas Polka (Basshunter Remix) -Loituma
  • Propane Nightmares (Celldweller Remix) -Pendulum

Ten Things You Shouldn’t be for Halloween

-Tamara Feingold

You only have a couple of weeks before October 31st is here, but that doesn’t mean you should be lazy with your Halloween costume. Here’s a list of ten people you shouldn’t try to dress up as because everyone else has already tried it.

1. Snooki

Although the Jersey Shore star can be pretty loveable, all of the fake tans/teased hair/huge pink slippers have been a little too much the past few years.

2. Famous Athletes

I know it’s easy because all you have to buy is a jersey, but most of us still won’t know who you are and will probably think you didn’t even dress up. Try being a celebrity that’s easily recognizable for those who don’t watch sports all day.

3. Black Swan

Although this may seem like a good idea at first, let’s think about the mess. No one wants to have to pick up your failed attempt at stick-on feathers, even though some fierce eye makeup and red eye contacts would look pretty convincing.

4. Lady Gaga

I know all of her little monsters want to pay some respect with a hair-in-a-bow headband and some fake bangs, but Lady Gaga herself is the only one who wears meat dresses and outfits made out of bubbles. Let’s keep it that way.

5. Anything Prepackaged

This year, instead of going to Spencer’s and buying a sexy police officer outfit, you should try to think of something clever. You can still look cute, but without spending $50 on something five other people at the party also bought.

6. The Cast of Twilight

Being pale and glittery is okay if you’re Edward, but if you try this at a party everyone will make fun of you so they can pretend like they didn’t see New Moon three times in theaters.

7. Spice Girls

A tempting costume choice for any group of five girls, the classic Baby Spice & Co. entourage should be avoided. It’s been done too many times and you never really turn out looking like Victoria Beckham.

8. Nicki Minaj

Don’t get me wrong I love a little Super Bass. But it’s just too easy to pick up a plastic Barbie necklace and a pink wig and call it good.

9. The Cast of The Office

Unless you wear a nametag (also forbidden) no one will know who you are and you’ll probably just look like a nerd who shouldn’t have been invited to the party.

10. Steve Jobs

It’s just too soon.

Gaga's Kampf

          – Jacob O’Gara

           When “Just Dance” first hit the scene, Lady Gaga appeared to be nothing more than your average, blonde, party-pop tart, albeit one with a little more glam inspiration. Two albums, several music videos (including a couple that clock-in at almost ten minutes), and one Kermit-pelt dress later, it is apparent that she’s something far crazier.

            Or brilliant, depending on where you think she falls on that line between genius and insanity. Perhaps no other musical artist in recent history, besides maybe Michael Jackson, has sparked as much discussion regarding her mental state. When talking about Lady Gaga, somebody inevitably asks, is she crazy or is she faking it? She’s neither. “Lady Gaga” is definitely an act, a calculated and postmodern put-on, but it’s a very real one.

            The music video for “Alejandro,” (from The Fame Monster) doesn’t do much to disprove the theory that she’s absolutely out of her mind. However, it follows the same formula that the video for “Telephone,” the previous single from the same album, laid out: take a song that is rather simple and straightforward in a lyrical sense, and stretch it over a nine-minute music video that bears no resemblance to what the song purports to be about. According to the video, “Telephone” isn’t a poppy track about ignoring your boyfriend’s endless text messages while getting your dance on with a bottle of Hennessy in hand, it’s about lesbian lovers/mass murderers on the lam, with allusions to Kill Bill and women-in-prison flicks thrown in for good measure.

Lady Gaga in her most recent music video, "Alejandro."

 

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Ke$ha In The Rye: Notes Toward A Theory

From Redding News Review

– Jacob O’Gara

I begin this post with only the most tenuous grasp on what about its subject I’m going to write. As suggested in the title, the purpose of this entry is to provide notes toward a theory on Ke$ha, one of the more bawdy pop acts in the post-Gaga musical age.

She lacks the faux innocence and self-destructive tragedy of Britney Spears or the post-modernism and wit of Lady Gaga, yet Ke$ha somehow managed to force herself, in all her lipstick-smeared and torn-leggings glory, onto the culture.

As one Facebook page asserts, Ke$ha seems to be like Taylor Swift—the current pop princess of wholesome, all-American innocence—if Swift started using crack cocaine. She’s the dark, demented flipside to the blonde, beauty pageant-ready look. Whereas a Taylor Swift uses makeup to enhance her beauty, a Ke$ha uses makeup to distort it.

When her breakout single, “Tik Tok,” was released, critics immediately compared Ke$ha to Lady Gaga, since they have both sung about clubbing and other nightlife activities. Such comparisons are cheap and demonstrate incredibly shallow thinking. Lady Gaga is more European and introspective in her sensibilities; Ke$ha’s all about, as she says, “boys, boots, beer, [and] boobs.”

However, the two singers do have a commonality: both have a surprisingly rigorous intellectual background. Gaga was admitted into the Tisch School of Arts at NYU at the age of seventeen, and her former gender studies teacher has said her essays regarding politics, gender, and race were brilliantly written and argued.

In high school, Ke$ha had “near-perfect” SAT scores, was involved in the international baccalaureate program, and would drive to the nearby university to listen in on lectures about Cold War history. A strange start for someone who would later sing about using whiskey as part of her dental hygiene plan.

What does this all mean though?

Does her intellectual curiosity during her high school days cast a shadow of a doubt over the authenticity of her “boys, boots, beer” manifesto? Perhaps after going west in search of fame and fortune, she fried her brain on Jack Daniel’s and crack cocaine, and now she’s this glitter-covered party ogre with sun-bleached hair.

Maybe, though, the true message of Ke$ha is that you can be both of these things. You can score well on the SAT and look like a “pimp in [your] gold Trans Am.”

You can know the intricacies of America’s relationship with the former Soviet Union and feel like P. Diddy when you rise from bed in the morning. There’s a little bit of Ke$ha in all of us, mainly because there’s a little bit of all of us in Ke$ha.

I’m going to let you finish, Taylor Swift, but Ke$ha is the best representation of today’s American society of all time. Of all time.