February 16, 2016

Gaga's tribute to Bowie.

At the Grammys last night:



The beginning is especially good. It becomes a medley that requires an immense amount of coordination, admirable in a live show if not entirely aesthetically sublime.

ADDED: The red carpet outfit — also a Bowie tribute — was better than the white jumpsuit in the performance. I don't really understand the jumpsuit. Why was it so baggy? When Elvis wore a white jumpsuit, he kept it tight even when he was unpleasingly plump. And that was more of an Elvis white jumpsuit, wasn't it? When I think of Bowie in a white jumpsuit, I think of the "Ashes to Ashes" costume:



Yes, it's white. Don't tell me it's blue. I've seen it in person.

28 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Talented lady. I am gaga at her energy and persona. Any hope she can replace Jeb as the establishment's candidate? Somebody ask Barbara.

Titus said...

fabulous!

dustbunny said...

She put way too much in it, costumes, makeup, special effects, the performance went off the rails when she was playing the swaying keyboard. She missed Bowie's key element-his elegance. Plus, no Young Americans!

Dave D said...

It felt like an ADHD support group video. Too much crammed into too little time. Not even and adequate sample of Bowie's hits, IMO.

Ann Althouse said...

No "Ashes to Ashes."

And I think the songs were in the wrong key or something. Too many low notes that felt undersupported.

hombre said...

One unique talent salutes another. Very entertaining.

David Begley said...

I'm beginning to apperciate Gaga's voice and dancing ability. The other stuff is too distracting. She's transitioning to the mainstream. Sacred Heart girl.

Bob R said...

Too many low notes that felt undersupported.

Really emphasizes how much punch the low end of Bowie's vocal range had. The flourishes at the top end were memorable (and Gaga pulls them off well) but the bottom end really had more guts.

traditionalguy said...

The defects being noted were all there, but that made Lady Gaga's performance carrying the day despite them look even better. She made David Bowie great again.

Char Char Binks said...

Blue

Limited blogger said...

I loved Bowie. Looks like Gaga did too.

Charlie Currie said...

I loved Bowie, saw Bowie, met Bowie and I agree with dustbunny, and for the most part, Ann. I also think Gaga is a genius, but her voice and phrasing were all wrong.

EDH said...

Meh. Lots of sizzle, little steak.

I always thought her voice is unremarkable and limited in range.

Michael McClain said...

May be white, but it sure looks blue.

tim in vermont said...

I put David Bowie right up there with Cole Porter as a composer.

Will Cate said...

Started off fine, but quickly became awful, like some cheesy medley you might see performed on a cruise-ship.

Browndog said...

Bowie is one of the all time great lyricists.

Blue.

Fritz said...

Sort of depends on which eye I use.

EMD said...

She's transitioning to the mainstream.

She's chanteuse-ing. See also, The Star Spangled Banner.

Marc Snyder said...

Just started liking Lady Gaga after hearing her duet with Tony Bennett.This was terrible.The fake English accent and trying to sing like man and the lack of any lead guitar made this painful to watch and hear

David said...

Gaga is one of the few performers around these days who has the combination of talent and outrageous pr and fashion sense that he had. We will see if she has the same staying power.

Marc Snyder said...

Should be sing like a man

Paul Snively said...

Lady Gaga is the best blues singer since Billie Holiday. Hopefully soon-ish she'll focus on that and leave the way-post-Madonna pop antics behind.

In the meantime, I think her charming tribute is exactly that—a charming tribute, not to be confused with what or who it's a tribute to.

Dave D said...

David:

I think LG is more over the top than Bowie was. Painfully so. I saw Bowie and thought "Wow!". I see Gaga and think "WTF". To far over the edge/in your face and too preachy. She's like part of Derek Zoolander movie, but then again, so was Bowie.

Fritz said...

Dave D said...
David:

I think LG is more over the top than Bowie was. Painfully so. I saw Bowie and thought "Wow!". I see Gaga and think "WTF". To far over the edge/in your face and too preachy. She's like part of Derek Zoolander movie, but then again, so was Bowie.


That may just be age. What seemed really novel when you were 20 seems sort of unnecessary when you're 60 and have seen 3 cycles of it.

EMD said...

What seemed really novel when you were 20 seems sort of unnecessary when you're 60 and have seen 3 cycles of it.

I think what really counts with Bowie is that he not only changed his look but drastically changed his sound many times over. The fact that he was writing and rehearsing pieces from Young Americans while still in Ziggy mode (desperately trying to kill off his creation) is very interesting.

Gaga has done less of this. Madonna changed her image many times over but the sound of her music was certainly mainstream pop for most of her career (outside of pure dance and the latin influenced music.)

Clyde said...

I'm not a music critic, but I know what I like. I like David Bowie's music, and I like Lady Gaga's tribute to it as well. I found myself smiling as I watched it, and ultimately, that's what music is intended to do: To make you feel something, whether it's joy or pride or sorrow.

coupe said...
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