Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and YouTube.

So the Beyonce ft. Lady Gaga video for Video Phone has dropped. That link is probably already taken down, but if you search for Video Phone and filter by newest results you should find it. I have so many opinions on this video that I don't even know where to start. You need to watch it for any of this to make sense (and really, because it's going to enrich your life. IT'S DIVATASTIC).

Just for the record, here's the edgiest music video Beyonce's made so far. Edgy for her is really leotards and weird metal accessories.

I need to organize my thoughts on Video Phone.

1. It has Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
2. There are some good outfits (Beyonce in skittles colored leotards, thigh high boots, and Prada waders).
3. There's Beyonce in an orange leotard with a matching cape riding a motorcycle like a fab pantsless superhero.

Cons (there are many:
1. THE SONG. OMIGOD. I think the idea of a Beyonce-Lady Gaga collaboration is genius. It's like a giant explosion of the biggest divas in the biggest diva industry of the world. With lots of pretty clothes and crazy dancing. But this song, really? It sounds like it belongs in an SNL skit making fun of a Verizon commercial. I didn't believe it was real. And it definitely implies some guy filming Beyonce doing dirty things on his video phone, which is weird and creepy and mildly inappropriate, even by my standards. It seems like Beyonce is featured on Lady Gaga's new album on a song called Telephone. I mean, seriously? They finally join forces and come up with two terrible songs about phones? Something is deeply, deeply wrong with the universe.
2. It has Beyonce and Lady Gaga. I realize this was also a pro (theoretically), but I feel like Lady Gaga was so under-utilized in this video that I was genuinely disappointed. She bounces around in Beyonce's shadow for a few verses, they do a chair dance (def the most normal part of the entire video), but she doesn't really do anything. I feel like there should have been a diva leotard dance off. Actually no, that's exactly what should have happened.
3. The clothes. Sure, a lot of the outfits were really fashion forward. Does that mean they made sense or were flattering? No. The tribal bikini? Awkward and ill-fitting. The '90s flygirl outfit? Totally random and weird. The nude bikini and the metal bikini? Odd, and not that interesting. We all know Beyonce can do better. I feel like Beyonce was trying to be Lady Gaga in this video, and Lady Gaga was dressed up as Beyonce. Their personal style is successful for a reason, although I did think it was refreshing to see Lady Gaga in such a simple, pared down outfit (as in, 'oh, that's what her face looks like!').
4. The premise/plot. Or lack thereof. She starts off doing her best gangster/Rihanna impression, and then goes into skanky dancing in that awkward tribal bikini surrounded by herself or guys with cameras as heads. The Blake Lively braid I can handle, the awkward lip-liner/'90s lip fiasco she's got going on, I cannot. The rapid cuts on this video are seriously going to give me a seizure. This is followed by more skanky dancing, and no plot, in various outfits, sometimes accompanied by a toy gun (???) and super-imposed shots of Beyonce's face. Lady Gaga finally steps in, does a little dancing with a noticabley smaller gun than Beyonce's (just saying). The lyrics of this song are really, really terible. I don't mind Beyonce's retro/short-bangs wig, but again, what's with the skanky dancing? Or the policeman hat? The chair dance is a serious highlight, but doesn't make sense in the context of the video at all (then again, neither does anything else). Then there's the godawful fly girl outfit (why is there a gun on her thigh? Why?). And finally superhero Beyonce comes out to save the day. But the video can't end on a total high note, so there's lots of random, mildly creepy moaning. There's no premise or plot, and it makes absolutely no sense.

I get that Beyonce wanted to be edgier and more in-your-face, but that's not really her thing. Bright colors, rapid cuts, and weird outfits don't make something edgy. Let's use Lady Gaga's Bad Romance as an example. The outfits were just as crazy, but not skanky, the plot was intensely ridiculous (she gets kidnapped by Russian supermodel vampires and sold as a sex slave to the Mafia???) but there is a plot that moves forward with characters that develop. In a weird way, the nonsensical-ness of Lady Gaga makes total sense here, and she's actually doing, not acting like a rap video backup girl.

I have to rave about Bad Romance a little more. I mean, in the first 5 seconds there are razor blade sunglasses and a metal mesh manicure. Gaga rocks so many different looks in this video, from all black with sunglasses to pink hair and crazy huge eyes to white pleather to minimal makeup (for her) to bejewelled undies to a birdcage (scary) to falling diamonds to a metal galaxy (yes, again) to Spring 2010 McQueen (the shoes!!!!) to a faux polar bear to a red leotard to a pyrotechnic bra (love the pirate bit at the end). That's a lot of looks for a five minute video, and yet it still seems cohesive because she wears the clothes, she doesn't let them wear her. Her videos just keep getting better and better.

Aside from Bad Romance, I have a new YouTube obsession: Pixiwoo. It's a YouTube channel for British sisters and makeup artists, Sam and Nic. Normally I don't watch YouTude makeup vids, or if I do it's just one vid from a person and then I move on. But Pixiwoo was an immediate obsession. First off, the British accents make everything 10x better, and are strangely calming. Second, these aren't just girls playing with makeup in front of a webcam, they're real working makeup artists (hello insider tips). They have a good range of videos, from basic to crazy catwalk looks, they update regularly, and they explain everything in such great detail that it really does seem like even I can do it. I can't even tell you how much better my eyeshadow application has gotten in the last two days of obsessively watching their tutorials. To start you guys off, here at the Pixiwoo tutorials on Blending, Contouring, a very fab/intense smokey eye, and my new everyday look.

And just for kicks, you have to check out this adorable stop-motion Chanel video at VMagazine.com.

Image/Video Sources:
Single Ladies video: mtv.com, Bad Romance video: mtv.com,

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