Billboard Cover: Lady Gaga Is Woman of the Year

 

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READ IT AT BILLBOARD (in print too)

Lady Gaga had me over to her beachside Malibu palace to play some new songs on her old piano and chitchat a lil’ about being crowned Billboard’s Woman of the Year. Click through to read about how she bet big on her own talents, poured her rage into American Horror Story: Hotel, and did whatever it took to save herself from becoming, in her words, a “fashionable robot.” With input from Tony Bennett, Ryan Murphy, Diane Warren, and Matt Bomer.

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Breaking Out (Already Broke!): Lady Gaga Buddy Band Semi Precious Weapons

Semi Precious Weapons. They look douchesque, but they're just fabulous.

Being fabulous isn’t easy. I’ve never tried myself, but only because it’s such a commitment. Look at that photo up there — you’ve really gotta put it out there. Though I pride myself on the “open shirt look,” I just don’t have a good sneer, or bad hair. Damn me. You may think I’m poking fun (and I am, a little), but Semi Precious Weapons frontman/godhead Justin Tranter gives really great interview, and his story is a worthy read. Plus, considering his band’s been touring with Lady Gaga for about 90 years (exaggeration alert), he’s everywhere — which qualifies him as newsworthy. No more excuses. Just read it.

(“It” also happens to be in the November issue of Spin magazine.)

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Q&A: YouTube Phenom ‘The Napkin Holder’ on Covering Gaga, Wayne, Taylor and more

Napkin Holder plays "Single Ladies" using a single lady.

Weirder things have happened, but corresponding with a guy who calls himself “Napkin Holder” is medium-high on my long-running personal list of journalistic strangeness (doing the “Humpty Dance” with Digital Underground and going on a “groove cruise” with the Flaming Lips currently holding spots number one and two, respectively). Odder still, this piano-playing, pop-covers YouTube phenom is decidedly unweird as an interview subject — basically, your reserved virtuosic nerd type (with all due respect). He’ll be performing at the Space 15 Twenty, er, space across from Amoeba Music in Hollywood on Saturday evening. Read all about it via our Q&A on LA Weekly‘s West Coast Sound.