Aaron Keller, Capsule

In the movie “Crazy Heart,” Bad Blake is asked about authentic country music and whether Tommy Sweet was “real” country. With his hatred for Tommy, he still gave him the authentic country nod. Kind words, but really what is an authentic brand when it comes to an individual star like Bad Blake or Lady Gaga?

If you’ve read Pine and Gilmore’s book Authenticity, you might view Lady Gaga’s authenticity as “Fake-Real.” We all know her costumes are designed to create a fake image of her, yet many (including myself) still love her and her music. Then, she gets herself in a situation on an airplane where her outfit doesn’t, well, fit. Would we expect her to fly in her “Fake-Real” world? Not really. Actually, in her “Fake-Real” world we’d likely expect her to have her own airplane. Plus, the “Real-Real” version of her would be hard to identify in an airport because she is so iconic. So, Lady Gaga is authentic until she gets herself stuck in a wardrobe situation and the result is a media gluttony party. Because almost more than blood, the media love an authenticity stumble. Lady Gaga, we’re still fascinated by the “Fake-Real” you.

Now onto country music star Bad Blake. He lives and drinks in a way that makes him iconic. Bad Blake would be considered “Real-Real” in my view. What you get on stage is what you would get if he was your neighbor, boyfriend or unfortunately, your father. He was authentically bad. So what happens at the end of the movie when he sobers up? Good to see, good sponsor film for AA, all good things. But, is he now a “Real-Fake?” He changes his name back to his birth name, cleans up his life and becomes successful. Now is he more or less authentic?

Perhaps he’s authentically average. What do you think?