Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Lana Del Rey
October 28, 2011 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Lana del Rey sings "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans" and just got signed to Interscope. But she's also known as "failed mainstream artist" Lizzy Grant, a "gangster Nancy Sinatra," and "the lie we like to tell ourselves." Here she is at the 2011 Q Awards.
posted by Avenger50 (47 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Are people actually complaining about pop stars reinventing themselves? Sorry Amy Rebecca Klein, but Lana Del Rey sounds more like a solution than a problem. You may not have the problem she's intended to solve, but then you're not her problem, are you?
posted by fleetmouse at 11:25 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


In 2011 is this seriously still an issue people over the age of 16 spend any amount of time thinking about?
posted by pmv at 11:27 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Video Games was okay. But I did like it better before I knew her past; not sure if that makes me shallow or not. Quite possibly it does.

To play the contrarian slate-y angle, two things that are interesting to me about this is that it shows the major labels have enough reach and juice to shove an artist through to prominence on the indie channel like this, and it suggest that the eternal authenticity/sell-out debate can still get people mad to a degree I thought it couldn't muster anymore. But then I don't follow any of this shit closely enough to be hip.
posted by Diablevert at 11:28 AM on October 28, 2011


Eh, I'm fine when I sense that the artist themselves has a firm grasp on the reinvention (see: Gaga), but my impression of Lana del Rey is that she's about as involved with her image as Britney was with hers back in her heyday. It's artificial pandering by a team of executives and managers to have a pretty girl sing some songs.

And hey, that's pop music, but I kind of resent the way she is being marketed as a genius indie kid.
posted by jess at 11:29 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish someone would call me "the lie we like to tell ourselves." Hell, that's going on my next business card.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


The lyrics give it away.
posted by penduluum at 11:33 AM on October 28, 2011


I watched the video for "Video Games" and I liked it. [I also liked the first YouTube comment: This song has nothing to do with video games.] It was sexy in that Hope Sandoval way. Which is to say: I can fantasize that she would have sex with me despite finding me unattractive because she's too indifferent to care.

As for the biz stuff: Yeah, not much movement on the outrage meter. Alanis Morisette started as teen pop. Pantera started as glam rock. Shit happens.
posted by Trurl at 11:34 AM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


And then the hipster grawring breached the bulkhead and spilled over into Metafilter!

This Lana Del Rey thing is turning into the brawl at the end of Blazing Saddles.
It keeps breaking through into other worlds online. Except its not as enjoyable and isnt likely to end in an awesome production number referencing sodomy (sadly, I just dont think Carles has the resources)

My only gripe with her is that she is boring.
If you want to listen to New Awesome and you want that New Awesome to come out of a girl, might I interest you in the rad-ass new Wild Flag record?

Ooh or the Kimbra record is fucking ace!

Thats right. You like wat I tell ya to like!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:37 AM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


She doesn't look happy in the 2011 Q interview. I hope she can handle the pressure - pop history has no shortage of people who could not.
posted by WalkingAround at 11:39 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


She doesn't look happy in the 2011 Q interview.

Maybe she misses her old lips.
posted by Trurl at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like Kimbra! Or, at least, I liked her duet with Gotye enough to go seek out some of her work. I haven't actually listened to enough to have a fully formed opinion on it yet. But I do not like "Video Games" enough to click on the "Blue Jeans" link handily provided above.
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate the collagen lip look in general, but that's an issue separate from the fact that I couldn't give the tiniest molecule of fecal matter about whether or not her image and sound have been massaged by her label.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2011


I just think she doesnt look happy period.
She may be goin for an alt.Betty Draper thing.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:42 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will Lana Del Rey continue to fool the indiesphere, or will blogs protect our tastemaking voice and rally against her?

And there you have the issue at hand: perceived power and influence, not "authenticity".
posted by immlass at 11:42 AM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


And there you have the issue at hand: perceived power and influence, not "authenticity".


To be fair to that link, it is satire.
It's satire that tells the truth of course but the site itself is satirical.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:47 AM on October 28, 2011


And there you have the issue at hand: perceived power and influence, not "authenticity".

To be fair, they're two sides of the same coin. Here, the pursuit of authenticity means that authentic independent blogs authentically determine the authentic popularity of authentic independent musicians. To corrupt this process turns that whole world upside-down.

Me, I'm basically over authenticity as a concept in music, or at least, I'm over the lo-fi, personal, exaggerated indie-chic that Pitchfork popularized and policed.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:47 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


A little while ago I played a ass-kickin', gut-bucket rockabilly track ("It's A Long Day" by Hank Davis) at a party, and when a friend asked who it was he was disappointed to learn that the singer was a professor of psychology at the University of Guelph instead of some grizzled mountain man who gets in bar fights.

My point being, when it comes to pop music, "authenticity" is overrated.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:48 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Where is the strangest place you've ever performed? Ever written a song?

LG: Strangest performance: Alone in a basement for a handsome record executive. Strangest ever written: Back at his office while I was making out with him.
posted by Jazz.bot at 11:50 AM on October 28, 2011


I don't have a stake in this (I am not part of any demographic that "Lana Del Rey" will make money from) but I used to write about music. Sometimes badly. But never this badly:

Lana Del Ray has a voice that reminds you of something burning

Come ON.
posted by pinky at 11:52 AM on October 28, 2011


Her voice oozed good like a melted malted.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:55 AM on October 28, 2011


> Lana Del Ray has a voice that reminds you of something burning

Well, when you isolate that line it makes me want to guess! Leaves? Candles in a trendy bar? Plastic? It's the candles, isn't it?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:57 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Her crooning oogle woogled like a biggle barge, the floogle turtling in the snog.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:58 AM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


disappointed to learn that the singer was a professor of psychology at the University of Guelph instead of some grizzled mountain man who gets in bar fights

Truly, it would be more impressive if the singer was a professor of psychology at the University of Guelph who is also a grizzled mountain man that gets in bar fights.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:59 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's like how when I found out that Tori Amos was in a crappy hair band before she got all indie, I sat in a dark corner for six years, thinking everything I know is a lie.

JUST. LIKE. THAT.
posted by jscalzi at 11:59 AM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really don't care for Lana Del Rey, because I don't like her music. I've gotten over the whole idea that music is the most important thing in the world, but I do understand why people are up in arms over her.

You know when Mitt Romney said that he was middle class? And then went and expanded his beach house? People just don't like it when somebody says they're one of you and they aren't.

The type of music that she is trying/tried to break in to has a whole lifestyle associated with it - the remnants of "riot grrrl" and "diy" of the 90s. Obviously not everybody subscribes to it. But seeing her birthed, fully formed out of the forehead of herself or some band manager, a la the Spice Girls and get immediate worldwide press, get signed immediately, and make it big, could feel a bit like she's encroaching on people's turf.

Back in the 90's, it was a HUGE CONTROVERSY when Sonic Youth signed with a major label, and then brought with them bands like Nirvana. This is sort of the same thing, but in the other direction. But hey, it worked for Zooey Deschanel and Jenny Lewis. I think that people are more forgiving when music is put foremost, but with her, it seems more like her "sex appeal" is what's being sold.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:10 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sticking with what has been my favorite response to the attempt at internet hype:
Quit trying to make Lana Del Rey happen.

we heard a lounged out remix of video games on kcrw (redundant?) last night and by god, it was even more boring than the original
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:11 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It keeps breaking through into other worlds online. Except its not as enjoyable and isnt likely to end in an awesome production number referencing sodomy

Says you.

...and 5-6-7-8-watch-me-faggots...

THROW OUT YOUR HANDS
STICK OUT YOUR TUSH
HANDS ON YOUR HIPS
GIVE 'EM A PUSH...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:31 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


That people don't see the seams on this laughable persona and hear the feces smeared all over their fucking eardrums is beyond me.
posted by basicchannel at 12:31 PM on October 28, 2011


My point being, when it comes to pop music, "authenticity" is overrated.

Agreed. Credibility cares far more weight than it should. Listen to a lovely rant by Chilly Gonzales at the beginning of his remix track, Pianist Envy. He expounds heavily in his interviews that being entertaining should come first.

The ratio of 'looks, lips, rebranding' vs 'music' comments shows just how shallow and responsive we are to a female performer's appearance.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:03 PM on October 28, 2011


I have some terrible news about Ministry's first album that might just ruin people's lives.
posted by Shepherd at 1:16 PM on October 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


I like the Lizzy Grant version of her a lot better.
posted by cmoj at 1:27 PM on October 28, 2011


I don't have a stake in this (I am not part of any demographic that "Lana Del Rey" will make money from) but I used to write about music. Sometimes badly. But never this badly:

Lana Del Ray has a voice that reminds you of something burning

Come ON.


Stoner dogwhistle.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:29 PM on October 28, 2011


Back in the 90's, it was a HUGE CONTROVERSY when Sonic Youth signed with a major label

I don't mind saying I still really enjoyed Goo and Dirty despite the controversy. This sort of controversy seems to have more to do with the audience's self-image with respect to "coolness" than the music itself.
posted by Hoopo at 1:37 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


>To be fair to that link, it is satire.
It's satire that tells the truth of course but the site itself is satirical.<>I have some terrible news about Ministry's first album that might just ruin people's lives.<

God forbid they ever find out about NWA or Pantera. Maybe younger music fans are just way more gullible? The Beatles and the Stones would have a hard time time today.
posted by bongo_x at 1:39 PM on October 28, 2011


>To be fair to that link, it is satire.
It's satire that tells the truth of course but the site itself is satirical.<

Something awful happened to my post, but it also said;

I can’t even tell anymore.

I’m completely confused by people’s reaction to pop music these days. The Lizzy Grant and Lana del Rey stuff sounds and looks almost exactly the same, only the newer stuff is more slick and she had her lips done; but the new stuff is Indie and the old stuff is sell out? What is it people are looking for in their pop? What the hell does Indie even mean?
posted by bongo_x at 1:41 PM on October 28, 2011


I think she got labelled 'indie' because she was getting so much exposure on blogs like Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan and Stereogum. Now that this whole thing seems kind of a big engineered corporate PR push from the start, it makes me even more cynical about the motives of those blogs - either they have totally given up the pretense of not being in the pockets of major label PR departments, or they were cynically posting about a musician who they knew would get people angry and thus increase page views to generate revenues. Both of those seem like pretty reprehensible motivations to me, but I guess if this whole episode serves to bring down the reputation of these blogs as standing above the corporate fray, then this mini-shitstorm has served some purpose.
posted by aiglet at 1:57 PM on October 28, 2011


ANYTHING that makes hipsters cry is pure fucking gold. Go, go, Lana, Lana!!!!
posted by moneyjane at 2:35 PM on October 28, 2011


So here's the thing. I like "indie" music, if by indie you mean "original, off the beaten track, and probably undersold and underbought." However, that doesn't stop me also liking, say, Adele.

That said, I do not like "Video Games."
posted by sonic meat machine at 2:43 PM on October 28, 2011


Also, for my money, the "weird, smoky voiced pop-songstress" award goes to Shivaree.
posted by sonic meat machine at 2:44 PM on October 28, 2011


fiona apple is great
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:18 PM on October 28, 2011


She looks very very spaced out in that Video Games video.
posted by addelburgh at 8:34 PM on October 28, 2011


I LOVE (am obsessed with) Video Games. The rest of her songs are simply meh to me... not sure what that means for her future album.
posted by tarbet at 12:44 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought Nancy Sinatra was the gangster Nancy Sinatra. Didn't anybody else see that Sopranos episode?
posted by box at 7:33 AM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


The songs are nice enough, but how anyone can take her seriously is beyond me. Look at her in Video Games, doing her best serious sexy face, slow blinks, tipping her head back and pushing those lips out like someone just activated the airbag.

I liked Literal Video Games.
posted by creeky at 8:42 AM on October 29, 2011


Barker & Taylor's Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music is a great book about the subject of, well, authenticity.

The short version: it doesn't exist as such, now please stop making such a fuss.
posted by dst at 10:16 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is she this generation's Chris Gaines?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:05 PM on October 29, 2011


Is anyone else getting a warmed-over Julee Cruise feeling from this? It seems like it was created in a laboratory, in order to make a song that sounds like it could be used in a David Lynch TV show.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:51 PM on October 29, 2011


« Older How To Dress Like Edward Gorey (And everyone he ev...  |  In October 1963, the Brazilian... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments