That we even know who Lana Del Rey is, in this age of Warholian fame, is reason enough to give the girl a fucking break.
“Apocalypse” is what I think when I hear Lana Del Rey, and definitely what I see watching her video, “Video Games.” It’s like a time capsule, but from last week, with hipstamatic – or rather, Viddy – texture applied, because, let’s face it, digital footage is so perfect we must simulate the patina. Besides, civilization isn’t expected to exist long enough for it age even if it were shot on film. Tick tock.
In much the same way Adele has embodied heartbreak, Lana Del Rey captures the spirit of an uncertain, mournful generation, anticipating the end of days in the miserable luxury of Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont. Then she appeared on Saturday Night Live, and word was she sucked. Truth is, she was a little stiff but she wasn’t any more anesthetized, or ambivalent about the notes than she usually is, but she didn’t suck.
That she has tapped into something in the zeitgeist and our consciousness that has welcomed her into a very specific niche – less like her own specific entity and more like the simultaneous channeling of a dozen women and eras and thoughts that lures us onto the rocks, like a siren. She’s not the best singer in the world, or in possession of the most polished presence, but its that rawness that makes her so appealing.
Here she is at Amoeba, on Sunset. She does just fine, and seriously, if any of her detractors can do better, then let’s hear it.
If this track doesn’t make you pine for the coming Summer, spying surfers furtively changing clothes on the PCH after a long day in the waves, or getting sandy with someone you love, then you must be dead. They will be appearing at Coachella 2012, on Saturday April 14th and Sat April 21st. More info at http://www.thevaccines.co.uk/ Enjoy.
“The Vaccines are an English indie rock band who formed in West London in 2010. The band’s debut album, What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?, was released through Columbia Records on 14 March 2011 and reached number 4 in the UK Album Chart before going on to become the biggest selling debut by a band that year. They have drawn comparisons to The Strokes and Ramones. The band, however, describe their influences as “’50s rock ‘n’ roll, ’60s garage and girl groups, ’70s punk, ’80s American hardcore, C86 and good pop music”. They have toured extensively and opened up for the likes ofThe Walkmen, Arcade Fire and Arctic Monkeys.” – Wikipedia
A little New Order, Joy Division and Smiths influence goes a long way…
“The Drums are an American indie pop band from Brooklyn, NY with members stemming from the shortlived band Elkland(formerly Goat Explosion). The band is currently on the Moshi Moshi/Island (UK), Universal (AU) and Frenchkiss (US) labels.” – Wikipedia
The first time I met Amy Winehouse wasn’t in a smoky rock club or backstage at a regal theater, it was at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Sunset Blvd. just west of Fairfax sometime in 2007.
I had stopped in for an afternoon cappuccino when I spotted Perez Hilton typing away in the back corner and went to say hello. “Amy Winehouse is coming,” he blurted excitedly, trying to wrap up his blogging so he could devote his full attention to her. Not thinking she would actually show, I made my way to the coffee line and four minutes later, the sugar counter when I felt a blast of air from the door nearby. Amy Winehouse had made her entrance…
I don’t wear cologne very often. In fact, I haven’t even had any for years. Perhaps its all that time I spent in leather bars.
This Christmas I received a bottle of Tom Ford‘s fragrance, Tuscan Leather. Even before I opened it, a memory pinged in my head, “This is the one that smells like cocaine.”
I marvel at chefs who can figure out a dish by taste; I don’t have the keenest nose (or palate) in the world, but even smelling the box, there was something oddly and precisely evocative of a handful of exuberant days and bleary mornings from a more chequered past.
So I Googled, and evidently, I’m not alone in this.
One reviewer mentions “raspberry.” I get that. They all mention the obvious “leather” which I only partially get. The way leather smells and the way we imagine it to smell is subjective, filled in with our imaginations and memories as much as anything, but isn’t that what fragrance is about? Evoking something personal?
Tom Ford doesn’t own up to the fragrance smelling like cocaine in much the same way that I don’t own up to even knowing what cocaine smells like. We’ll go with that.
Judgments aside, suddenly Tuscan Leather is as much a social commentary as it is parfum. It’s also a very specific choice for a gift.
Does the wearer have the street patina to recognize it? Is it simply enigmatic? He may say he “doesn’t smell it.” She may say she’s never smelled cocaine, and doesn’t have the reference.
The arguably sexy secrecy of this bottled truth is for one to know and everyone else to wonder about, and that’s the allure. It’s full of allure. I think that’s the point.
It’s hard to imagine a girl looking like this, sounding like that, writing the songs, AND doing her own videos, but apparently that is the case. It’s the harmonic convergence of a new breed of talent: borne of the need to be able to do it all, and with the tools readily available to do so. Ladies and gentlemen, Lana del Rey. Enjoy.
And if you can’t get enough, check out the Summer ’11 release, Video Games.