Monday, Aug. 29, 2011

Lady Gaga, 'Yoü and I'

There was a lot of speculation about what Lady Gaga might wear to the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. How could she top last year's meat dress? The answer: she doesn't even try. Gaga kicks off the show in an oversized white T-shirt, greaser hairdo and black slacks. That's right, she appears as her male alter ego, Jo Calderone, first seen in Vogue Homme Japan in 2010 and — for those of us who don't buy the Japanese version of Vogue — most recently in the video for her latest single, "Yoü and I." Jo delivers a monologue straight out of a high school theater class, complaining that Lady Gaga is hard to date because she refuses to be real. Wait, let me get this straight: Gaga dressed as a man is pretending to date Gaga as a woman? O.K., fine. At this point in the pop star's career, I'm willing to believe anything.

Gaga then breaks into a stripped-down version of "Yoü and I," one of her weaker songs that sounds like a half-hearted interpretation of a blue-collar anthem she imagines someone might listen to while driving a pickup truck across the American heartland. Tonight's version, however, isn't that bad. It's not Auto-Tuned, it's not computerized and when Gaga sings it live, I actually kind of enjoy it. Wait a second, is that Queen's Brian May on guitar? How many people in the MTV audience actually know who Brian May is? On second thought, let's not think about that.

Side note: Apparently Gaga took a tumble during part of her performance, but MTV cut away too fast for viewers at home to notice.

Grade: A-