I LOVE SIA! I love her videos just as much as there’s always something you don’t expect. Not even 1 minute in & you can feel so much. Not to mention The Amazing Maddie is the dancer & makes the interpretation that much more powerful & compelling. Sia was addicted to pain killers & alcohol. The video, lyrics & dance combine perfectly to show control, yet no control, neglect, invisibility, shame, abandonment, entrapment & loneliness… all which she experienced. And in the end, even in her crazed state, she takes a bow… even though she doesn’t care for fame. In fact, there’s a clause in her contract with RCA that says she doesn’t have to promote her music, tour or deal with the press. She’s not pressed, her music speaks for itself.
My thoughts on THE FOLLOWING… I actually watched most of the first season, as much as I didn’t want to get into another show, lots of my friends were watching, it was interestingly twisted & kept you guessing. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel this underlying sense of darkness, distress & modern day insanity, and how you can’t trust anyone. I would tell Andre I don’t know why this show is on but something about it is not right. It left you here & there & not a good mental mind fuck sorta way like some other shows where the acting is clear acting. This show was kinda too real & one could see this happening today in our fucked up society.
The new season just started & we saw the first 5-10 mins last night & Andre said he didn’t want to watch it anymore & I literally & physically got upset. I didn’t like the emotion it was tapping into. We couldn’t continue, from watching how they start off with killing his wife & then the subway murder. It’s sick, brutal & warped in an abnormal & mentally disturbing kinda way vs. entertainment. I’ve just been noticing the formula lately for lots of shows & movies & it’s bothering me. You might say it’s just TV but to me it’s clear modern day Torture Porn desensitizing millions. So with that said, I will NOT be following THE FOLLOWING!
AHS was all that & a bag of monkshood melons last night! We got a bit of history into Hank as a witch hunter. Fiona wants to talk terms & warns Marie at her salon that he’s coming but she laughs in her face & sends her away, while LaLaurie with her head literally in a box is still putting in her 2 cents. We get a look into The Initiative & learn there are more where Hank came from & his dad is the CEO. Myrtle serves up some of the fiercest human statue melon balls with power, compassion & uniqueness. Cecily’s fashion faux pas give her nightmares (haha) & she scoops out a pair of eyes for Cordelia, who can now see but no longer has the gift of deeper insight. Miss Myrtle is alive & well, she learned a few secrets in the flames, but Fiona still threatens to exile her to Paramus NJ, toxic waste & strip malls! LMAO. Fifi’s shady smile & should shrug is everything! Back at the hospital Madison is grossed out by sick ppl & Nan makes a connection with Luke & reads Joan directly from his mind. She’s worse than all the witches, a different kind of evil that hides behind religion. To think she was almost dead & now she finished off her son. You know she’s gonna pay! Poor Luke, he’s been through all that shit & back (no pun intended) Will he be resurrected too? Cause you know nobody dies on this show. And WTF happened to that dog that made Kyle normal? Queenie brings in fast food & Lala looking all hungry but she reminds her, “Bitch, you ain’t got no stomach!” LOL She proceeds to force her to watch old classic movies.. Mandingo, Color Purple (my favorite), Baps (LOL) & Roots, but she closed her eyes so she plays her some civil rights news & music. By the time she came around & changed with a tear, it was too late. Marie did some voodoo on Hank, who came back to wipe out the entire salon while “Freedom Over Me” played in the background. Queenie saves Marie & she’s history, what a precious moment. Marie showed her first vulnerable moment with taht shotgun in her face. She’s left with nothing so she appears on Fiona’s doorstep where they can now join forces. It’s funny how everyone comes together in times of need. Everyone seems to have the 2 sided nature of “good & evil” in this show, it’s pretty amazing the duality that lives in each character & how they can portray both sides of extreme witch bitch & basic empathy towards humanity. This episode was one of the most emotional as well, the music, the message, the scenery, the connections, the death & coming around of characters… I got a little teary eyed, a first for AHS. It was another legendary episode to go down in the books. “The Magical Death of Stevie Nicks” (& her premiere) is up next on JAN 8, ugh… talk about a long wait! – CJ
AURA – Sitting in the middle of a dessert with my banjo watching Kill Bill (slash that), starring in Machete Kills! Cool guitar intro into Terminator effects & edgy electronics. Do you want to me see me naked? It’s club ready, spacey, taking off to another planet. It’s perfect for the Robert Rodriguez film & I look forward to seeing the movie, as well as her acting debut. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6qXX82I-Hs
VENUS – We’re dropped off in Venus on Rocket #9 & I feel like I’m in an Austin Powers movie. I want to be taken to the leader; I hope it’s the Fembots! I love the changes in the track & the chorus. Gets a little cheesy when she’s saying all the planets, otherwise, it’s a little out there & I like it. And I do feel very Aphrodite in a seashell bikini while hearing it, or rather, a fierce spacesuit.
G.U.Y. – We’re now watching a live performance via Skype from the planet Eros, God of sexual desire… and the track is just that. Out comes the alien seductress who wants to be his GUY (Girl Under You), b/c she’s from another dimension, role playing & she wants to unearth you! It’s like an old freestyle track, with hyped electrodes & a sensual baseline.
SEXX DREAMS – Now we’re in a underground 80s house party, it’s hot & people are having naughty sex! It’s thumpy, humpy, RnB, dirty, doing nasty things & masturbating … then you’re making love to Optimus Prime… and then you wake up & realize it was all just a dream… or was it?
JEWELS N DRUGS (Feat T.I., Too Short & Twista) –ErrrrrrrrrrT! Featuring… “I’m not featuring it!” What’s this track doing here? Not Gaga at all. She obviously did this one to reach new audiences & compliment the RnB & hip hop aspect but it’s not really working… fast forward!
MANiCURE – It’s Grease & a little bit rock n roll. Is it a salon manicure, or having a man cure you? Oh it’s both? Ok, either way I’m boppin’ away & I’m addicted to love, feeling like a teen-aged cheerleader while rolling on my bed singing into my brush & kicking my feet up in the air, then trying on clothes back & forth in the mirror cause I’m feeling like a mannequin. I thought that was the name of the song & I think it would’ve better & made more sense with the cover of the album & tracks in general.
DO WHAT YOU WANT – I love the slow, deep baseline, simple, not over sung or overproduced & R. Kelly adds some flavor to it. I really can’t take him sometimes but who cares, I’m turned up in the club with a drink in my hand & taking shots in the back. This just hit the radio here in FL(we’re a little behind) & I’m sure it’ll be nice for the winter, time to make some babies. But, what was that performance on SNL?
ARTPOP – It’s grown on me & I’m really digging this Tetris track. It’s very much what she’s about & whatever theme or effect she’s giving really could mean anything if you pay more attention. Perhaps she’s becoming too artsy fartsy for some & losing a few along the way. She did a short film for this she just released yesterday & funny people ask, “What does it mean?” Well, she just told you, just like art, her art pop could mean anything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1jHhJavMik
SWINE – This one is a bit loud & obnoxious, like the message. I like the words but not the music. She supposedly they say she wrote this for Perez Hilton. On Howard Stern interview she says how Perez was trying to get a place to live next to her & just harassing her & being mean, and lots of people think he’s a pig.
DONATELLA – It’s an upper class, rich bitch runway track… nose in the air feeling fru fru, very Miami & LA. A bit shady, yet complimentary to Ms. Versace. It’s perfect for the next show, which brings us into…
FASHION! – A throwback to David Bowie, now turn to the left, now to the right. I love this track, more in the beginning than in the end. “I own the world, we own the world!” And let’s face it, when it comes to fashion, she really is on top!
MARY JANE HOLLAND –Amsterdam truly does have the most magical herbs, I know! The track is chill, smooth, relaxed & lit up! While everyone else talks about “smoking the best shit”, she’s taking a different approach& actually picturing herself as Mary Jane Holland, a star. It’s as if you were coming into a room with a bunch of the best weed for all your friends &was like, “Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you… MARY JANE HOLLAND!” And the crowd goes wild… cause you know now-a-days, weed is the celebrity everyone loves!
DOPE – Sounds like I’m sitting at the piano drunk as hell& I wouldn’t doubt it if she was when recorded this one, it’s pretty raw, melancholy, honest & out there. They say the references to drugs on this album prevented some moms from buying it. She pushes the vocals! She’s talking about how she needs her family, boyfriend & fans more than dope. She mentioned it on Howard Stern & I think it’s had some effects on her along the way. It explains the hurting low (inside) from being high for so long (fame& drugs). She lost lots of audience members on the YouTube Awards when she performed this live cause she got all emotional, but she sang the shit out of it, as sloppy, sad & drunk as she appeared, but in an artful &detached way. Then, she performed it again in Brooklyn at the iHeartMusic release after a few words on how she’s still dealing with things & wow, she can really fucking sing & had much more control… it was pretty dope! You can check it out here.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMyfd5w9kF8
GYPSY – She’s on a new path, out on the road, fresh, alive& looking on to the future from a new perspective. She no longer wants to be alone with the night. It also reminds me of one of my favorite movies, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” when the girls wanted to compete in the dance competition… a little flash dance & also reminds me of the studio dance scene in Marry The Night, which I keep hearing.
APPLAUSE – Now she’s back on stage & loving the applause, poking at both sides of it. She explained this one enough, it’s not about the ego of it all (but one can interpret it that way), more about how she does what she does to make people happy & that’s the end result. The video really enhanced the track & I appreciated it more after watching it. You can see the transition from leaving behind the Fame Monster & into a higher artistic form, lighter & more colorful.
Overall, she gives you a bit of everything, one track follows the other & plays along the themes of otherworldly, EDM, rock & RnB, sex, drugs & fashion, so it’s not that out there, just sounds different to lots of people b/c she’s trying to mix up so much. She admitted it was a little heavy but that was time she was going through, so you can feel the highs & lows on this album, as well as in some tracks. It’s my least favorite album from Gaga but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. It’s fun, upbeat, laid back & enjoyable if you give it a chance. I’ll give it a 6.5/7 out of 10 stars!
Carlos (CJ) Mendez