April 4, 2010

Unusable factoid of the week: The Gwen-Gaga connection

Like 10 zillion other people, I have a bit of a fascination with Lady Gaga at the moment. Oh, not for her music; I find it to be like mildly tacky aural wallpaper, though I'm hardly the target demographic. But I admire that the fact that Gaga has actual, veritable star power: You can't not pay attention to her. Sadly, this is shockingly rare in our current pop culture—take a "star" like Shia LaBeouf, about whom the most interesting thing is his name.

This is particularly remarkable considering that I really have no idea what Lady Gaga looks like—I recently saw her photo on a magazine cover and had no idea it was her till I caught a glance at the cover line. She's making hay off the whole "showbiz-chameleon" trope, but she's really, really good at it; she changes her look so often and so radically, she makes David Bowie look like Lawrence Welk. I'm really eager to see what will have become of her two, five, ten years down the road.

I just finished the cover story in the new issue of New York magazine, about Gaga's dizzyingly rapid rise from upper-middle-class New Yorker with dreams of fame to the world's biggest pop star; she was still a nobody in 2007, still a dance-music curio only one year ago. It's well written and balanced, and it gives nice peek into Gaga's mind without being insufferable. But it reminded me of a factoid I recently stumbled upon that I've been unable to form into a usable BQT question. So here it is, our second ever Unusable Factoid of the Week:

Lady Gaga's real name is Stefani Germanotta (mean girls at her high school called her "the Germ," New York tells us). And while she pronounces it like Stephanie, it's interesting that her first name has the exact same spelling as the last name of another A-list pop-music starlet, Gwen Stefani.
Perhaps Gwen (who I was kind of into 15 years ago) is on her way down, as Gaga is on her way up, though one could imagine a Billboard-charts Dr. Frankenstein constructing a hideously squeaky-voiced hybrid, Gwen Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady DoubtDoubt.
A meaningless coincidence, to be sure, but that's the stuff trivia question dreams are made of, after all. It just felt like too much work to elegantly form into the BQT-caliber entry. So enjoy it here.

And hey, after our three-week break, the BQT is back tomorrow night, 7:30pm at Crash Mansion. Not-So-Secret Secret Clue tomorrow morning!