Archive for February, 2012

Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Say “Meat Dress!” Well, say something to get Lady Gaga to smile. The pop singer and country queen Miranda Lambert were seated next to each other at the 2012 Grammys earlier this month, and one photographer couldn’t resist capturing the priceless moment on film. Lambert leans in with a soft grin for the photo, but Gaga only gives the lens an icy stare.

As it turns out, Lambert and Gaga ended up having a terrific time together. They have a lot in common, like the same taste in alcoholic beverages. Blake Shelton was also nearby, and he too had nothing but nice things to say about the ‘Born This Way’ singer. Perhaps she’ll be the next pop star to give country music a real go, moreso than the countrified tease she gave us last year? Eh, maybe not.

Your job is to come up with a winning caption for this awkward moment in time. Leave your ideas in the comments section below. Use “Don’t say something Lady Gaga wouldn’t say” as a rule of thumb in how clean you should keep it. On second thought, use “Don’t say something you wouldn’t want your kids to hear Lady Gaga saying” as the rule.

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International pop sensation Lady Gaga will perform her first concert in Jakarta, Indonesia, promoters confirmed on Tuesday morning.

“After much rumors and anticipation, Big Daddy Live Concerts is proud to announce the coming of Lady Gaga’s The Born This Way Ball to Jakarta,” a news release obtained by the Jakarta Globe says.

“The public demand and media response in Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia and New Zealand have been phenomenal and unprecedented. Demand has been so overwhelming that additional shows have had to be added in almost all cities.

“The Jakarta show marks the end of the Asian leg of the Tour before Lady Gaga proceeds to Australia and New Zealand.”

Michael Rusli, president director of Big Daddy Entertainment, said the Lady Gaga – The Born This Way Ball show would be the third collaboration with Live Nation after the “hugely successful” Il Divo on Saturday and Roxette this Saturday.

The concert will be held at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on June 3.

Tickets for The Born This Way Ball go on-sale in Jakarta on March 10 and March 11th at 10 a.m. at FX Lifestyle X’nter and http://www.myticket.co.id.

Ticket Prices: Rp465,000, Rp750,000, Rp1,250,000, Rp2,250,000.

“For extra convenience, Big Daddy will also prepare a dedicated Ladies Only area with special entrance points,” the news release said.

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So for the Sports Issue of V, I suppose some of you wondered if I would vacation for the month. Perhaps I would come up with some benign excuse, or feign some sort of city-girl confusion: write about sportswear? Or sports where? When, in fact, I grew up a huge baseball fan. Google now “Lady Gaga at the Mets game,” and you will find a photograph of a not-so-sober version of myself flipping the Bronx cheer with my friends. Which deemed problematic, as we weren’t actually in the Bronx.* It was the first time in nearly two years that I was actually being scolded by my father—partly for misbehaving in public and partly for attending a Mets game. But that’s the beauty of baseball, isn’t it? I was able to drown myself in so much whiskey, beer, and Italian sausage that after two years of touring the world I: (A) completely forgot that I am famous, (B) was completely wasted indeed, wearing my costume from the “Telephone” video, and (C) am still confused as to how the paparazzi spotted me. What a lady.Well regardless, this story came to mind when my editor e-mailed me for article copy for this issue and I thought, What a revelation! What a challenge I could rise to and truly show my appreciation for this thing we call “the game.” So, ladies and gentlemen, V readers, this is a theory on competition. The integrity of ambition. A Winner’s Verite. Look out fashionistas, in this issue when talking about sports, even you may catch a few home runs. Yes, I said that, home runs. Let me just put on my sports…where?2011 was one of the most exciting and difficult years of my life. I made this internal pact with myself when I put out “Born This Way.” This time, when I “win,” I want it to mean something. How can every “win” be a force? Not a tiara, a pat on the back, or the cashing of a check, but how can I look out into the sea of fans and know that our “win” changed the industry and changed each other?I wonder how many thousands of years ago the first pearl was discovered. In fact, I wonder who discovered it. Was it a fisherman? Or did Cleopatra, on her yacht, summon a mollusk? Did her fabulous male makeup artist hang it on a tiny spear and say, “Oh dahhhling, on your ears!” I thought of the pearl during my exploration of “the game” because as an accessory, pearls are the most game-changing and timeless of them all. There’s no crime or conflict surrounding them, they are natural and perfect, and they are gifted as a gesture of elegance and womanhood. For thousands of years they’ve never gone out of style, and to this day no one knows when or how they were discovered. They have no sense of time or beginning. They are cyclical in nature and in existence.Christmas this year was the first time I really bought myself anything nice. I don’t equate money with style, nor do I equate it with happiness. I’m often content hiding in the back of places like Claire’s, schlooping costume jewelry into a basket.However, it just so happened I was in Japan, and I decided to buy myself a strand of Mikimoto pearls. Why wait for a lover to buy you jewelry, lover yourself! After the year Japan had, and the experiences I’d shared with the people there, I thought it would make for a beautiful memory. The staff from Mikimoto arrived, we cracked open some champagne, and my buddy Brandon and I tried pearls on and swooned. I quickly decided that I couldn’t only buy one for myself. I would feel terrible. So I made it about the girls: one for my mother, my gorgeous and talented sister, and Bo, my best friend. It was to be a sign of our womanhood, a thank you for fostering mine, for my sister a sign of things to come, and for my mother a strand of pearls to represent each of the blessings she had cultured for our family over the years.I lay down on the airplane back from Japan, tossing around some dashi, fondling my pearls. I watched the movie Moneyball for the first time. I began to laugh and smile as [Brad] Pitt talked romantically about the game. I suddenly imagined that my pearls were teeny-tiny baseballs. When a player hits a home run, the baseball is flung into an abyss of enigma and screams so great. It travels so far that only rarely is one caught in the bleachers. Where do these balls go? Where do all these wins get encased? Are they in a heavenly baseball land floating around for players who pass to acknowledge? Or do they disappear?By the end of the film, we discover the truth about winning from our hero. It only matters if you’ve changed the game. Being kicked in the teeth is par for the course for this kind of win, a win that not only pisses off the team you’ve beat, but every other team, their coaches, owners, and even some of the greatest baseball players of all time. You’ve made your own set of rules and gone so far on your own talent, no one can possibly crack the truth behind your wins. You were either lucky or were cheating. Nobody likes the game that they’ve won over and over again to change.Pitt expresses this as the central objective to his life, as we see a flashback to an old Oaks game. Batter hits and runs, doing what he does normally, running past first to take second, but trips, falls, and scurries back to first. He’s so focused on the game, so focused on the team winning, head so down into the dirt of the stadium, he doesn’t even realize he’s got a home run. The crowd roars, and he’s not sure why.In this moment I looked down at my pearls, and I saw all the teeny-tiny home runs I’d hit over the past year. I knew some of them were more perfect than others, but I knew only an eye trained in pearls would notice. The thing about music is you’re not in competition with anyone else. You’re in competition with the psychology of the industry as a whole. You’re in competition with you. You must delve deeper and deeper into your creativity, history, and modernity to change not just this moment, but every moment that came before it. How can I hit a home run that will make every player question every run that was ever scored? How can I round third to home plate and bewilder some of the greatest players of all time? How can I change the game, until 30 years goes by and someone changes it again?Sometimes my face is buried so deep in the work I forget to look up. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve won, because the stadium is either cheering or screaming so loud it doesn’t even matter. So this season, in the spirit of the Super Bowl and all things sporty, wear your pearls. Wild, cultured, real, or fake, wear them proud. And look up, or rather down, at all of your home runs. (Unless you’ve made them into a crown with a glue gun.) Then look up! In fashion and in life we all deserve more pearls, please. A moment of revelation to remember that we are timeless, we all matter, and every win like this is as important as the next. When you are changing the way people think, your life achievements are working toward the greatest accessory of all time: nerve. So collect your tiny baseballs, string your pearls, and remember that you are as timeless as the pearls on your neck. And if you forgot to be a lady and wear them, then shame on you.* The Bronx cheer is a double bird (or when one flips off anyone using both hands) and is a wonderfully typical sign of a devout Yankees fan. [return to top]V Magazine’s sports issue hits newsstands on Thursday. The issue features interviews with the Canadian synchronized swim team, the Chicago Bandits, and the U.S.A women’s water polo team team, as well as a feature on three-time gold medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee, and Q&As with Panthers QB Cam Newton, the world’s fastest woman, Carmelita Jeter, and tennis player James Blake.Related Stories Sorce

As previously reported, Google announced its list of February algorithm/search quality changes. The list had forty changes. One of them was “more locally relevant predictions in YouTube’.

The related part of the list says:

More locally relevant predictions in YouTube. [project codename “Suggest”] We’ve improved the ranking for predictions in YouTube to provide more locally relevant queries. For example, for the query [lady gaga in ] performed on the US version of YouTube, we might predict [lady gaga in times square], but for the same search performed on the Indian version of YouTube, we might predict [lady gaga in India].

Clearly better suggestions/predictions for YouTube users is an area of interest Google is very focused on these days.

Another example of evidence to that effect would be a letter the company recently wrote to Congress regarding its new (and widely publicized) privacy policy changes. In the letter, Google noted that the old policies have restricted the company’s ability to combine info within an account for web history (search history for signed in users) and YouTube.

“For example, if a user is signed in and searching Google for cooking recipes, our current privacy policies wouldn’t let us recommend cooking videos when she visits YouTube based on her searches – even though she was signed into the same Google Account when using both Google Search and YouTube,” Google said in the letter.

The privacy policy consolidation, and the merging of Google products into one larger Google product (for all intents and purposes) along with the new location-based recommendation adjustment indicate that Google is trying hard to keep people on YouTube for longer periods of time, which is really just a reflection of other YouTube announcements of late (the redesign being a primary example).

The connected living room is becoming a reality for more and more people, and YouTube is still the big kid on the block for online video. It’s going to be more important than ever for Google to keep users not only coming back, but keeping them on site for as much time as possible.

This other entry to Google’s list may be worth taking into consideration as well:

Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.

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OneDirection.jpgOne Direction, looking as much like the Beach Boys as they can.?Pop music is cyclical. With the absence of one niche pop artist arises another: Look at what Lady Gaga did when Madonna was absent from the scene for so long. What has pop music been missing recently? Boy bands.


‘N Sync, the world’s most revered boy band — bar the Beatles, pop’s first boy band, which pioneered the boy-band aesthetic and package for their generation — boasted one of the best sales weeks ever, with one million copies of their album No Strings Attached, in one day. The band said bye, bye, bye to the world two years later, in 2002, and there hasn’t been a boy band as big ever since.


Although the Backstreet Boys, despite also calling it quits in 2002, returned in 2005 with another boy band, New Kids on the Block, to form the megazord of boy bands, NKOTBSB, and claim best-selling boy-bander status of all time, their market was largely soccer moms everywhere, not pre- and post-pubescent music lovers like ‘N Sync.


No matter. Lacking male-drive pop since the rise of Gaga and Katy Perry only three years ago, the United States has ventured overseas to fill the void left by Justin, JC, Lance, Chris and Joey. Their replacements, who answer to the name One Direction, are just as effervescent, polished and boy band-y as their predecessors. They’ve got the whole pouty, introspective, look-at-the-ground-then-look-at-the-camera thing down to a science, too. Justin Timberlake would be proud (if he wasn’t so busy impersonating Bon Iver).


Take, for example, “What Makes You Beautiful” — One Direction’s playful ode to that girl that doesn’t know she’s beautiful, the one that usually sat next to you in homeroom, that you couldn’t stop staring at when you were supposed to be taking notes. “What Makes You Beautiful” is purely feel-good pop, without any underlying message.


The video, likewise, sees the boys, five of them — like all boy-band greats — running, jumping and singing beachside to a few fresh-faced girls whose post-acne skincare regimens makes their skin shine like their sun and their smiles radiate with a confidence that says, “Yeah, I know you know I’m beautiful, but I’m going to let you sing it to me anyways.” Basically, the video is a trip down early ‘N Sync memory lane in all of the right ways; there’s an undeniable Beach Boys, America’s first true boy band, in there, too. The only thing that is missing is the synchronized choreography.


“What Makes You Beautiful” picked up a Brit Award last week for Best British Single, beating Adele‘s “Someone Like You.” One Direction also saw the highest-charting debut for a British band on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1998, when “What Makes You Beautiful” landed at number 28 last Wednesday.


It may have taken ten years to produce a new boy band like One Direction for the masses, but the Brits did it, and somehow they did it twice. The Wanted, which is everything One Direction is not when it comes to pop — these older guys wear less clothes, encourage their ladies to drink alcohol and, most noticeably, are old enough to need to shave — is seeing an equal success in the States lately. “Glad You Came,” their big, Ellen-sponsored U.S. hit, is the song for the After Prom party, when One Direction has to retire because of an early curfew and when all the older, Wanted guys only want to get their girls alone. “Glad You Came,” packed with its unspoken double entendre, matches both of these sentiments together in a way that the younger lads of One Direction can’t even fathom yet. They’re like One Direction’s older, cooler brothers.


It’s almost as if One Direction and the Wanted, like ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, were imported simultaneously to fill the decade-long void in the 21st Century pop epoch. And “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Glad You Came” work well as a reintroduction to what we may not have even realized we were missing: boy-band pop music. These two songs serve as the perfect followups to where ‘N Sync left off with “Girlfriend” in 2002.


Will we see more boy bands spring up and cross the pond in the next year or so? Bet on it. Pop music builds on winning formulas — that’s why every song sounded like a Timbaland song in 2006, thanks to “Promiscuous,” and like a RedOne song in 2009, thanks to “Poker Face.”


Muppets Among Men: The Muppets scored last night at the Oscars, when “Man or Muppet” won Best Original Song for Disney’s The Muppets. It was a big win for Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Jason Segel, an avid Muppet enthusiast, but it was an even bigger win for Bret McKenzie, who collected the statue for his work as the song’s composer and lyricist. The song’s only competitor, literally, was “Real In Rio” from Rio.


Climactic: The anticipated new Usher single, “Climax,” dropped last week. It’s a sexy electro-R&B track, much like “Love In The Club,” but certainly more interesting. Sounds nothing like Diplo‘s typical production style, but “Climax” oozes Robin Thicke atmospherics. It’s a step in the right direction for Usher, whose bedroom songs possess more baby-making staying power than sellout jams like “DJ Got Us Falling In Love.”

Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music Mile Highlights: Denver/Boulder area concert news, local radio playlists and top album sales February 21, 2012 2012 Grammy Awards: Adele sweeps, Bon Iver surprises and Kanye West missing in action February 13, 2012 Adele breaks Whitney’s record, goes double-platinum on iTunes and flips off Brit Awards February 23, 2012 Ten pop music moments that defined 2011 December 21, 2011 Happy birthday, Rihanna — but no “Birthday Cake” for you, Chris Brown! February 20, 2012


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Scores of disappointed Lady Gaga fans left ticketing outlets empty-handed yesterday morning after her two Hong Kong shows sold out in 90 minutes.

Hundreds of professional queuers, ticket touts and music fans had lined up, many for days, outside 29 ticketing outlets across the territory to secure bookings for the pop diva’s two The Born This Way Ball shows set for May.

Many disappointed fans became rowdy, refusing to leave and demanding that staff at outlets give them tickets.

At the Tom Lee Mong Kok branch, more than 200 people queued overnight for the tickets, but about 50 of them left empty handed.

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“Those who didn’t get their tickets were very unhappy and a group of them were aggressive and insisted that we compensate them for the time they spent queuing,” a staff member said.

Most bought the maximum eight tickets per person allowed.

A 51-year-old woman in a queue outside a Tom Lee North Point branch was arrested early yesterday for slapping a man during an argument.

But the heavy police presence outside most outlets ensured there were no other incidents.

At the Tsim Sha Tsui branch alone, there were more than 40 officers on duty.

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Lady Gaga Nick Laham, Getty Images

With Adele and M.I.A. making headlines lately for giving the finger at public music events, lest we forget that Lady Gaga also flashed the single finger salute at a baseball game two years ago. Gaga was attending a Mets game in Queens, despite the fact that she is a Yankees fan. She caused an uproar for being scantily clad and by flashing the bird to photographers. It might seem like a long ago, dead issue, but it’s the Mother Monster who is bringing it up again and resurrecting the discussion, revealing that her dear old dad, Joe Germanotta aka Papa Monster, was more upset that she gave the finger and that she went to see the Mets than the fact that she wore a bikini.

In her column in V, Gaga revealed that Papa G scolded her after the incident. She wrote, “It was the first time in nearly two years that I was scolded by my father, partly for misbehaving in public and partly for attending a Mets game. But that’s the beauty of baseball, isn’t it? I was able to drown myself in so much whiskey, beer and Italian sausage that after two years of touring the world I: (A) completely forgot that I was famous, (B) was completely wasted indeed, wearing my costume from the ‘Telephone’ video and (C) am still confused how the paparazzi spotted me. What a lady.”

Could you imagine Papa G giving Gaga –er, Stefani- a hard time about attending a rival Mets game and flipping off cameras? She may be famous and an adult, but she’s not too old for Dad to tell her when she’s doing something he thinks is wrong. It’s an Italian thing.

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