Sorry Lady Gaga—Katy Perry is more interesting than you'll ever be
As much as she’s not likely complaining about her lot in life, one has to wonder if Katy Perry sits around asking herself what the hell she’s doing wrong.
The artist known to her old Sunday school teachers as Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson is hands down the most fascinating creature currently working in pop music. You want crazy? That would be Perry”˜s upbringing, where her Bible-thumping parents evidently had a major beef with their kids listening to anything that didn’t fall under the umbrella of hypersanitized Christian music.
Sit back for a second and think about all the teenage rites of passage that little house rule caused her to miss out on. There was no giving herself whiplash banging her head to AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” while bombed on Gilbey’s Lemon Gin. No outraging Pepsi shareholders by acting like the whore of Babylon while dancing in front of burning crosses to the strains of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”. No torching Norwegian churches while a shitty ghetto blaster blared Bathory’s Under the Sign of the Black Mark. And no dressing up like Beelzebub’s mistress and road-tripping to Holy Land USA in a Gremlin, doing goat-blood shooters while playing air guitar to Cradle of Filth’s Dusk”¦ And Her Embrace.
And let’s not even get into the fact that, despite Perry looking like she’s ripped off everything she knows from the insanely foxy Veronica Lodge, Archie Comics were strictly forbidden fruit in the Hudson household. One of the downsides of being the daughter of evangelical pastors is, evidently, that you’re either reading the Bible for entertainment at the breakfast table or you’re reading the back of the Cap ’n Crunch cereal box.
The weirdness doesn’t stop there. How many other pop princesses—that horrid troll Avril Lavigne aside—started out targeting the shitkicker market? That’s right: Perry may spend her downtime smoking bowls with Snoop Dogg these days, but her first kick at the can had her taking aim at folks who aren’t happy unless a song contains a dead dog, a broken-down pickup truck, and a wife who—to the chagrin of her husband, children, dead dog, and broken-down pickup truck—just can’t seem to keep her cheating heart in her pants.
That”˜s not enough for you? Well consider that Perry finally broke through, to the horror of her Christian parents, with a song that celebrates slipping the tongue to another chick who tastes like Cherry ChapStick, which, admittedly, sounds more appealing that tasting like freeze-dried coffee, granulated garlic, and Rosie O’Donnell.
And that despite having “one-hit wonder“ stamped all over her forehead she’s followed that up with an album that’s cranked out four number-one hit singles. The fact that no Pitchfork-wielding beardo living within 10 city blocks of Main Street can name a single one of those songs—not even the one that inspired that righteously surreal "Candyland" video—is beside the point.
What matters is that Katy Perry is never less than interesting. She struts around in bathing suits that would have given Betty Grable a raging erection. She happily reports to Sesame Street only to be told afterwards that her knockers were in danger of giving all of America—including the show’s target audience—a raging erection. She somehow puts up with the walking raging erection known as Russell Brand, who not only has admitted in the past to banging anyone with two legs and a full set of teeth but also finds it funny to start the morning by snapping pre-war paint pictures of his wife and then posting them on the Intraweb.
And Kat Perry’s reward for all this? Well, let’s just say that all Lady Gaga has to do is re-enact Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion tour Down Under and she once again establishes herself as the most fascinatingly out-there performer since Wacko Jacko began turning into a white man and Courtney Love learned how to use Twitter.
It’s true—nice girls do finish second, and not always for a lack of trying. Has Lady Gaga ever played the Warped Tour and, more importantly, lived to tell about it despite having nothing even remotely resembling punker cred? Has Lady Gaga ever said “I do” to a man famous for boning complete strangers in hotel broom closets? Has Lady Gaga ever rolled over in the morning looking like a New Jersey sorority girl after a Purple Jesus bender at the frat house?
Admittedly, the answer to that last one is probably yes—every morning, in fact—but you get the idea. The inner beauty of Katy Perry is that she doesn’t have to strut around in dresses made of meat to make herself interesting.