[ There is, of course, a chance that this alleged document has been Photoshopped—that it's all a prank, that the track will get cut, that my panic & general despair are somehow all for naught. Still, this potential atrocity shocked me out of my nine-to-five delirium enough to write, & I miss that. So, enjoy. ]
Hell has frozen, pigs have flown, & David Bowie is collaborating with Lady Gaga.
It's over. I'm done. I can't do this anymore. I try & I try, & for all my incessant ranting into this most microscopic of megaphones, I can't seem to stem the tide of Public Opinion. The Lady has won. Mediocrity triumphs. This—tepid, repetitive shock-rocking over disco beats—is the best we can hope to receive from the "glam," the "avant garde." & it makes me want to scream.
I mean, Bowie has always, above all else, been interested in his own tenacity, hopping almost schizophrenically from trend to trend: singing on SNL with Klaus Nomi, joining an alt-rock band, duetting with Placebo. So, I guess this could just be one in a long line of 'Cause It's Popular decisions on his part—trying to stay relevant & whatnot (she says, trying not to step on the toes of her pages-long Bowie-athon, accumulating & soon to be posted...).
Still, I'm pissed. Because this is exactly what I didn't want to happen: that Bowie now becomes redefined through Gaga; that every camper who asked me what my shirt was about today will soon understand him only as "that guy who sings on 'Vinyl'" or "where her lightning bolt comes from." It's hilariously unfair—like defining water as "the thing they use to make soda." One so clearly trumps the other—in talent, influence, vocabulary—that it's painful to see him reduced to her footnote.
Moreover—&, more painfully—it feels like this is somehow the final word, that she's now been legitimized by the Gods of Glam. All we need now is for Marc Bolan to rise from the grave with a glitter-plastic wreath while Brian Ferry dances around in Iggy's silver pants to the strains of "All the Young Dudes." I mean, really—this is it. She's got the handshake; she's in the clubhouse; & I am livid.
Because Glam Rock was fundamentally about excellent rock 'n' roll mixed for the first time with gender-bending aesthetic—NEITHER OF WHICH GAGA DOES. She's a plastic pop artist, a shitty lyricist, & while she is an undeniably fantabulous dresser, her stylings are just simply not in the vein of glam. They're a modernization/rehash of 80s & 90s counterculture, à la Club Kids & Leigh Bowery mixed with Madonna. Crediting Bowie with her look is like crediting Alexander Graham Bell with the invention of the iPhone; it's technically correct, but it's a far & frustrating reach.
At least when he sang with Placebo—self-proclaimed Nancy Boys, lipglossed & cheeky—I saw the through-line, but even they just did covers. Bowie's recognition of Gaga—his collaboration, no less, on vocals, guitar, production, even the lead writing credit—represents a depressing compromise of principles, a vast & sloppy glossing of history to fit the lowest common denominator.
First Patti Smith denounces New York, now this; my heroes are deserting me, but quick. & so the walls crumble as skin does, by Time's fell hand defac'd & all.
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. —Revelation, 6:8
Today's Headphone Fodder:
Now, to offset the doomsdaying, a collaboration—or, well, combination—of which I absolutely approve.
Justin Bieber Death Remix (Justin Bieber vs. Wings)—El-P.
Because Wings is lame, & Justin Bieber is like a deadly virus to Musical Quality, but together, they're dissonant & haunting & hilarious. Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!, indeed.