From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Lana Del Rey

The Lana Del Rey Effect

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What I will refer to as The Lana Del Rey Effect (TLDRE for short, although I doubt it’s an acronym that will catch on) has had me scratching my head and adopting a puzzled look with more and more frequency the closer it got to her debut album release. I can’t recall another artist that has had so much negative, and at times sexist, column inches bringing in the old saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” to question.

The music press have been writing about Lana Del Rey in the style of The Sun or Heat magazines celebrity tittle-tattle more than about the music. The reoccurring theme seems to be that Lana Del Rey is somehow defrauding us. We are all being duped by this siren, luring us on to the rocks with her ghetto gold and trailer park tales of tough times.

Hundreds of artists before her have adopted alternative personas, worn so closely to their own skin that it is all we see, not separating the character from the artist. I am certain Lady Gaga doesn’t wear high shine mint pleather talking in riddles every second of the day.  I also doubt Sid Vicious bowled up to his parents and called them *cunts over the Sunday roast, spitting expletives over the yorkshire puddings.

The likes of Lady GaGa, David Bowie’s Thin White Duke and Ziggy Stardust, Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce are all clearly  dress up, fantasy and creativity. In short, clearly an act. Perhaps the guise of Lana Del Rey is too subtle to the eye which is why a lot of people seem to obsess that she is faking it.

Of course, we then have to add her millionaire father into the equation, the bank balance seemingly adding insult to injury. Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Mick Jagger were all middle class boys. Was Mick Jagger literally a street fighting man? No, he wasn’t in the thick of working class riots throwing the punches but he was a voice for that disillusioned group, a call to arms, he gave them an anthem. That is the beauty of music.

Which finally leads me to the blatant sexism directed at Lana. The worst, the one that had me googling Germaine Greer’s telephone number and weeping that she didn’t lead us to the promised land after all comes from a female for Drowned In Sound

“But she gives off that certain air, you know, that she’d turn herself into anything for any man if that’s what it took.”

Wow.

I’ll just let those words sit there, feel your own outrage bubble up in your stomach and ask yourself ‘Would the same words be said about a man?’

Of course, if you lived with and loved Lizzy Grant all your life and suddenly she’s offended you by hiring a stylist and a PR company in order to sell records and the person you adored fell to the wayside like a dead relation no one is allowed to mention then I apologise profusely. It appears the offense is her father bankrolled the PR machine, or is it that she’s female, or is it that she’s singing about situations she has no personal experience of like a million other songs? It’s quite clear that for the press these factors override the record sales.

I’m not even writing this as a huge fan of Lana Del Rey. I’m writing this as a reminder that we’re meant to just enjoy music for what it is at times and there’s no denying Video Games is a belter of a song.

*Apologies for the C word to my parents!

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Written by Anon PA

January 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

2011 Definitive, J’adore, Batshit, Swoon Mixtape

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I first started compiling my picks of 2011 back in July and have intentionally not revisited the list, interested to see if the final list will be utterly and completely different given the multiple personalities that seem to tiptoe out of me through my music choices.

Twitter spoke when I asked how many tracks should make up this list, the majority said 50 so here they are (in no particular order as that would have been as painful as picking my favourite Rum)

You can play the mixtape via Spotify or YouTube. Enjoy reminiscing over 2011’s music and let me know what I’ve missed so I can kick myself! 

1 Slow Club – Beginners 2 Metronomy – She Wants
3 Little Scream – Boatman 4 Lykke Li – Sadness Is A Blessing
5 Ghostpoet – Us Against Whatever Ever 6 Brett Anderson – Brittle Heart
7 Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out 8 Sissy & The Blisters – Let Her Go
9 Hooray For Earth – True Loves 10 Beyonce – Countdown
11 Bjork – Cosmogony 12 Sleigh Bells – Riot Rhythm
13 Anna Calvi – Black Out 14 Josh T. Pearson – Country Dumb
15 Lana Del Rey – Videogames 16 Wye Oak – Civilian
17 Beirut – Santa Fe 18 Bombay Bicylce Club – Shuffle
19 I Break Horses – Winter Bears 20 The Horrors – Still Life
21 The Kills – The Last Goodbye 22 Michael Kiwanuka – I’m Getting Ready
23 Emmy The Great – Iris 24 Wild Beasts – Bed Of Nails
25 Friends – I’m His Girl 26 The Drums – Money
27 Theme Park – A Mountain We Love 28 Black Keys – Lonely Boy
29 Wu Lyf – We Bros 30 Zulu Winter – Let’s Move Back To Front
31 Summer Camp – Better Off Without You 32 Tom The Lion – Golden
33 Friendly Fires – Blue Cassette 34 PJ Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder
35 St. Vincent – Cruel 36 Joy Formidable – Whirring
37 Gang Gang Dance – Mindkilla 38 Wild Flag – Boom
39 Battles – Ice Cream 40 R.E.M – Uberlin
41 Au Palais – Tender Mercy 42 Metronomy – The Look
43 Bon Iver – Holocene 44 SBTRKT – Hold On
45 Gil Scott-Heron – I’ll Take Care Of U 46 Black Lips – Family Tree
47 M83 – Midnight City 48 The Maccabees – Pelican
49 Field Music – (I Keep Thinking) A New Thing 50 Summer Camp – 1988

Written by Anon PA

December 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

October 17th Mixtape

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This weeks mixtape is making me feel like I have multiple personalities, swinging from Indie to Pop to Reggae. I had the pleasure of speaking to Steve Lamacq a week ago today on his 6 Music show on an item called Good Day/Bad Day. He summed up my two choices (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Date With The night and R.E.M’s Nightswimming) as “wild abandon or melancholy meditation”. Dear friend Ms Mangetout, owner of the worlds coolest slow cooker, said that summed me up perfectly. Strange how your music tastes sub-consciously reflect elements of your personality.

I spent this weekend at our family home in Devon. My parents moved into the house when I came along (I’m the youngest in the photo below) and 33 years later its still a true haven for me. I took long walks along cliffs, beaches and through fields. I stuffed myself with so many vegetables at Riverford Farm that I am still full up two days later. I picked Sloes with my Mum in preparation to make barrels of gin whilst getting caught in brambles and stung on the bum by nettles. But what struck me the most this weekend is how my parents still teach and introduce me to new things, namely Therese Raquin, Bert Weedon and Knitting on this occasion. Their seemingly never-ending knowledge on almost every subject you can think of is something I’m very grateful for. That and the fact that they swear so I don’t have to mind my language!

If you’re a Spotify user click here to play the mixtape and if you’re a YouTube purist click here to play the videos.

1. Shout Out Louds – The Comeback (When I first heard this band I thought they hailed from New York, they have that sound reminiscent of cool NY art students lurking around lofts. I still can’t get over they’re from Stockholm. This was always my favourite track of theirs).

2. Garbage – I’m Only Happy When It Rains (Shirley Manson is on my list of girls who look  untouchable hot as red heads, she’d have been at the top until Karen Gillan came in to my life. Whenever I’m wandering down Britpop lane Garbage will be one of the first bands that get played).

3. This Many Boyfriends – Young Lovers Go Pop (Every now and again a song comes along that you know you’re going to love simply from the title alone. This is THAT track).

4. The Smiths – Girlfriend In A Coma (My sister & boyfriend have been together a huge amount of time, they have cited their reason for tying the knot based on the following. If one of them ever falls into a coma they want the other to have the right to turn the machine off. They are both Morrissey fans. It’s a very Morrissey reason. This song is for my sister).

5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Over & Over Again (This track reminds me of living in Kentish Town, my beloved little corner of London, calling in sick after midweek gigs, bacon sandwiches at Mario’s Cafe, parties at The Pineapple. Like Talking Heads have chilled the fuck out).

6. Desmond Dekker – You Can Get It If You Really Want (Stupidly bright and sunny in Devon this weekend, I sat watching people swim down Breakwater beach, resisting the urge to hide their clothes. I listened to old hip hop and reggae tracks as I sat there, this sums up what I’m trying to tell myself constantly).

7. Devo – Whip It (From reggae to some classic 80’s. When watching the video for this last week I claimed that they wouldn’t be able to make videos like this anymore, in hindsight how ridiculous is it that I think that way when pop videos are so overtly sexual now?).

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Hysteric (I have to restrain myself from putting a YYY track on my mixtape posts every week. Possibly my most consistently listened to band over the past few years. Karen O once described herself as always knowing she was “a volcano, waiting to erupt”. This track is a love song, the surprise of someone suddenly completing you, its stunning).

9. Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out (I have played this over three times a day the past week, everything about it screams & shouts to me at the moment for reasons too personal and EMO to bore you all with. From a purely musical perspective it’s so well produced. Lungs was brilliant but I suspect too many producers spoiled the broth so to speak. Collaborating solely with Paul Epworth on Ceremonials will no doubt have created something magical and more complete).

10. Lana Del Rey – Video Games (I’d heard this on the radio a dozen times but it was her performance on Jools Holland that connected me to it. Now I understand the hype, funny how sometimes I have to see a live performance to “get it”. Massive girl crush).

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Thanks to Dear Photograph for the inspiration behind taking the photo