Lady Gaga does acoustic on Howard Stern: amazing or expected?

It’s easy to grow tired of Lady Gaga’s constant shtick. She seems to have no “off” button and is constantly dressed in ludicrous outfits, spewing pseudo intellectual pretentious drivel about her “art” and touting how groundbreaking she is while she’s copying other artist’s acts. But after seeing her on Howard Stern, I have some new respect for this creature and the talent that exists under all that artifice. Gaga performed acoustic versions of her songs “Edge of Glory” and “Hair” and they were just incredible. Howard told her it was one of the best performances he’d ever had on his show.

Listen to this performance and tell me that this girl isn’t very talented. It’s hard not to get distracted by the faces she’s pulling though. (For comparison, here’s a link to the 80s style video for Edge of Glory.)

I doubt Rihanna or Katy Perry could sound that good singing acoustic.

In the interview portion with Howard, Gaga talked about how she did coke while she was waitressing in NY and called it “the devil.” The story sounded like most of the other crap she spews about her mythical hard knock life – exaggerated or a fabrication. “I did [cocaine] all alone in my apartment, while I wrote music. And I regret every line I ever did. So to any of the little sweethearts who are listening, don’t touch it. It’s the devil.” Is she talking about last week? She also joked that she didn’t have a boyfriend, since “it’s hard to find a boyfriend who doesn’t mind a good tuck.”

As for what she’s been spending her money on, if she indeed has any left after paying for her costumes, she said that her apartment costs $1,100 a month and that she paid for her dad to get heart surgery and a car.

Just for today, I’ll give Lady Gaga a pass for being insufferable since she seems to have some chops. That doesn’t explain her general existence though.

Here’s Lady Gaga doing “Hair”





Photos are from 7/18/11. Credit:

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43 Responses to “Lady Gaga does acoustic on Howard Stern: amazing or expected?”

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  1. Dorothy#1 says:

    I would pay good money to see her in jeans and flip flops. :)

  2. Boo says:

    Her performances on Howard were amazing. I’ve gone back and listened to them several times since the show–very moving. I am not–or was not–a fan before, but it’s really hard not to admire her work in that studio.

  3. katrin says:

    she is good, but i think she needs to put on something normal.

  4. gee says:

    What bothers me about her is that she can sing very well, but she instead wants us to look at her freak show. She isn’t doing avant garde, she is doing stupid.

  5. melangie says:

    Wow. Helluva set of pipes. That performance wiped away most of my snark re: Gaga.

  6. MsLib says:

    She must have been a kick to raise!
    From a mother who knows…

  7. Babalon says:

    Thank you, Dorothy#1, for creating a post that makes me long for a ‘like’ link. :)

  8. Addie says:

    Looks like she got herself her very own Lordes (the girl with the braces looks sooo much like Madonna’s daughter)

    If Gaga insists on wearing costumes, can they atleast be weather apropreate?

  9. Lady Satan says:

    I think the fact that she IS so talented is what irks people about her non-stop over-the-top-ness. It isn’t necessary.

    I wonder – is she insecure about her talent and thinks that her fans would lose interest if she wasn’t always “on”?

  10. locamochagirl says:

    She is so talented. I would like to hear another popular artist sing as well as her.

  11. MarenGermany says:

    @ babalon
    thank you for a post that also needs a like button. :)

  12. madpoe says:

    Amazing what surprises come out of Cracker Jacks these days. Its a billion degrees in NYC right now.

  13. Canada Guy says:

    After she so blatently ripped off Madonna, and now Bette Midler, I can’t wait for her to hit the stage in full KISS makeup and claim that as hers too!
    I dont even bother listening to the clips aymore because of my disdain for her and its a shame, because she CAN sing, but the whole “Look at Me” show has got to stop.

  14. GeekChic says:

    This is what has always annoyed me about Gaga — she is actually really talented, and doesn’t need the ridiculousness. Her “act” makes people think she must not have talent and so I see people say all the time that she can’t sing. But clearly she CAN sing and is a great singer/songwriter. I wish she would drop all the garbage and just sing. I’m sure I’m not alone in those feelings.

  15. RHONYC says:




  16. Tiffany says:

    @Dorothy, I concur. I’d pay a ticket price to see her in jean, flip flops and no make up.

  17. Laura says:

    I buy that she doesn’t do coke anymore, it does suck! Now she probably does lots of X lol. And I think she’s probably not secure in her looks, hence the costumes and pageantry, and if she looked normal she probably wouldn’t have gotten as big as she has because the music biz isn’t interested in average looking pop stars.

  18. gaby says:

    well anyone who’s ever taken the time to actually listen to her music (especially her live performances)and not just judge her by her fashion choices and the songs they play on the radio would expect that. she’s always been an incredibly talented singer. look up her performing “speechless” on the ellen show. people get too caught up on judging her character rather than respecting her talent.

  19. Trillion says:

    No other performer among her peers can touch her. None. I was a former Gaga hater and it was seeing her with just a piano on SNL a couple of years ago that converted me. I usually dislike her “look” and am embarrassed by many of her comments but there’s no denying her massive talent for singing, playing and songwriting. She’s only 25 or so with a long career ahead of her. I’ll be in the front row watching the progression. Through my fingers. But with ears open.

  20. orion70 says:

    Trillion, I was with you until you got to the songwriting. There is no denying that she can really sing and play an instrument. But her actual finished music leaves a LOT to be desired imho, and is no different than much of what else is on top 40 radio right now.

    What has always bugged me about all of this is that she is described as a “groundbreaking electronic artist”. I’m sorry, but I don’t think so.

  21. phlyfiremama says:

    Her actual talent is undeniable. I couldn’t stand her music until I heard this accoustic version of Poker Face on Japanese tv:

  22. Becca B says:

    Wow this performance surprised me! I am not a big fan of hers, but she really is talented.

  23. original kate says:

    “I did [cocaine] all alone in my apartment, while I wrote music.”

    wow, that’s deep, man.

  24. sassenach says:

    This fool is extremely talented. I wish she would understand that she would still have fame and fans even if she stops these shenanigans.

  25. Eleonor says:

    Gaga sounds much better in unplugged then when she comes out copying Madonna and declares she’s original.

  26. jover says:

    I’m with your orion70 – first, the lyrics to most of her songs, which by the way are predominantly co-written and co-produced, are not that much. Everyone knows the bar for pop stars is so low that anyone that can play an instrument and sing with some facility is accorded superlative rank. Please, as a live singer she’s average at best when the net is cast wider than what’s being shoved down our throats – lets see, Tina turner (today and in her prime), Adele, sade, Julieta venegas, Selena, Whitney Houston in her prime, Pat Benatar, Janis Joplin, Aretha, etc. – all could/can outsing this label created chick. Historical comparisons are appropriate and legit. She has a few good songs, average skills, a joke of a persona; in 1975the mighty zeppelin performed at Kings Earl Court 3 hours 40 min of music no tricks, gimmicks, costume changes no-one does that today. At best she’s a moderately amusing commercial popstar no more – the kool aid drinking needs to end.

  27. Justaposter says:

    I like Gaga.. even enough to ignore those wild outfits.

    Hubby on the other hand can’t stand her. Laughed the entire 15 minutes of her HBO concert she did (I booted him outta the room because he was totally annoying me) He was ‘old fart’ about her and never really bothered to listen to anything she has ever done. I tried to tell him that she actually has a great voice and can sing. But noooo..

    Then she pops up on Howard. Well guess who got all teary eyed during “Glory” on youtube showing me. And he loved the interview.

    I so agree with Dorothy. I would love to see her dressed like that. Now that would be cutting edge for her!

  28. Kristin says:

    Can we also give her credit for blatantly telling her fans to stay away from cocaine? Every time she discusses her drug-induced past she always follows with a statement saying no one should imitate her. I love that about Gaga.

    And she has always been an unbelievable singer. Gaga can sing!

  29. DethHammer says:

    “Everyone knows the bar for pop stars is so low that anyone that can play an instrument and sing with some facility is accorded superlative rank.”

    Pretty much, especially nowadays. I sign on to what Orion70 and Jover have said. She only co-writes and co-produces 99% of her stuff (read the liner notes to her albums, people!) and still, most of it sounds exactly alike.

    Gaga really is hit or miss when it comes to performing live; she can sound great, like her SNL performance of The Edge of Glory and her Stern performance, but other times, she has a weak, scratchy voice. In terms of piano playing, she’s decent, but there are many others better than her, such as Tori Amos (one of the best and who always FULLY produced her own material even when she was in her early twenties) and Amy Lee of Evanescence (not as good as Tori, but better than Gaga).

    And when copying other pop stars, Gaga, you would do well to copy those who are not well known! LOL

  30. gg says:

    Dudes, where ya been? She’s been doing amazing acoustic radio appearances like this since the beginning. She’s always incredible. Her outfits and lyrics, not so much. Makes me sad she chooses to do disco music to skull-shattering electronic rhythm.

  31. DesertRose says:

    I patiently wait for her to release an album in which all of her songs are beautifully produced jazzy standards with absolutely no trickery. Just her and a band. Please, soon?

  32. DethHammer says:

    Gaga is a good piano player, but in case you were doubting if many of her songs sound the same (especially her Born This Way era material), here’s just one example:
    simply take “The Edge of Glory”, where the key signature of A Major and the chord progression is A-E-F#-D, tune it down four keys to F Major (which is really easy to do and anyone with GarageBand or another music program can do with the click of a mouse), where F–C–Dm–Bb becomes the chord progression (but notice it still progresses the same exact way), and you’ve got “Hair”.

  33. KO says:

    deathhammer – i love you, someone who knows the talent that is amy lee!

  34. DethHammer says:

    @KO, well, Amy is a decent songwriter (better than Gaga, that’s for sure), but she can irk me too, because she notoriously used to pull the whole “I am the band, the band is me, I do everything” shtick.

    An interview came out on Spin in April 2011 about the new Ev album where it said the new band members actually moved in with her and re-wrote her songs because she was floundering on her own. She even said in the interview that this is the first time Ev is a real BAND and that each member contributed material to each song and they all wrote almost everything together:

    “Then Evanescence, the group of hired guns led by the vision of Lee, became a real working band. Lee, guitarist Terry Balsamo, bassist Tim McCord, drummer Will Hunt, and programmer Will “Science” Hunt (yes, both guys share the same name) moved in with Lee and began re-working her songs and writing new material together.

    “I’ve never felt so supported by my band members,” says Lee. “We’ve really relied on each other. And everyone being a part of this album, from the ground up, is an entirely new approach for us. There’s nobody that’s just coming in to play guitar. Everybody’s invested. We’re more truly a band now than ever before.”"

    I would advise you bookmark this interview cause I have a feeling that as soon as the new album drops, she’s gonna be spinning the interviews to where the guys BEGGED her to contribute with her and that she wrote almost everything herself. I really hope I’m wrong this time, cause she’s approaching 30 and I think she has matured in some aspects. Just be on the look out LOL

  35. Amanda G says:

    She is definitely talented and it’s a shame that her crazy antics overshadow it.

  36. ko says:

    @dethhammer – the stories i’ve read on amy are disheartening. she does have a gift, but the attitude is a major turnoff. such a let down. but it’s definitely tolerable over gaga’s overdone act.

  37. B says:

    She’s only mildly talented.

  38. Paige says:

    we get it!!! your hair is free!!! great voice, terrible lyrics

  39. Ashley says:

    She’s always had a good voice. I used to hate her because of Perez Hilton (anyone friends with that turd must be an idiot), but then I saw her BBC Sessions and I got mad respect for her. She has an AMAZING voice. Check them out. They’re even better than these.

  40. Ashley says:

    And where does she live in NYC that she only pays $1100/month? WT?

  41. Ashley says:

    Orion agreed. Her lyrics are atrocious. I could understand the avant garde if it was backed up with meaningful lyrics but if you take the words alone they’re incredibly juvenile. I can’t believe a 25 year old doesn’t have slightly more substance. Especially when you take in to account a singer like Winehouse who was much younger when she wrote “Frank” and didn’t come off like a silly 20 year old.

    I can’t buy the artsy fartsy crap when she’s singing about not answering her phone because she’s in a club or drinking to much again at a club. What she writes doesn’t jive with what she’s trying to present herself as. She needs to grow up in terms of songwriting. Comes back at us when you have something more mature to talk about or get a persona that is more in tune with your music.

    That said her new album isn’t great. I haven’t heard one song that I like more than or even as much as “Again and Again”, “So Happy I Could Die”, “Brown Eyes”, or “I Like It Rough”. Her first album is far and away better than this new one.

  42. DethHammer says:

    @Ashley, I think Gaga stays in that “tiny” $1100-a-month (yea, right) apartment in Brooklyn very little of the time, because she actually spends at least half of her time on the west coast and out of the country, and she does still have that mansion in Bel Air.

    Actually, her new material jives very well with the corporate-manufactured “rebellion, Inc” image she is selling. In one song “Bad Kids”, she actually sings that being arrested and having “issues” with the cops is something to be celebrated like a badge of honor. To reiterate, Miss daughter of two corporate bigwigs never got arrested for anything in her life. And on “The Queen” Gaga sings: “I can be the Queen you NEED me to be” LOL she loves to put herself on that gilded bejeweled throne, doesn’t she?

  43. gagagaaga says:

    omg, could that song be more horribly repetitive?