...via a music-related internet discussion group consisting mainly of people I know in the Real World™ (i.e. 30- to 40-something white people, mostly male). Prior to today all I knew about Lady Gaga was the name. Based only on this information I thought Lady Gaga was either a children's music/puppet thing I was thankfully not yet exposed to, or some kind of British cross-dressing comedian a la Dame Edna.
But apparently Lady Gaga is something really big. Something like the “new Madonna,” which prompted this pithy analysis from one of my friends:
"The new Madonna" is pretty accurate. She's a media phenomenon that exists at the marketing nexus of fashion, celebrity and music. I'd argue that she's not as creative as Madonna, but that may be my age talking.
In the interest of education for anyone as tragically unhip as me, I just spent four minutes studying 30-second free clips of Lady Gaga tracks on iTunes. Based on this exhaustive research, I would amend my friend’s description a little:
Lady Gaga is what Electroclash thought it was going to be but it took pop culture seven years to get stupid enough to catch up.