Jan 182012

Choose your fighter:


Who still pays attention to Saturday Night Live? For me, the mainstream is largely off of my radar, so I’m not so sure how this Lana Del Ray thing came to my attention, or why I find it fascinating—but I do.

To summarize, Lana Del Ray co-wrote and sings this song called “Video Games.” She performed on SNL and suddenly the Internet was flaming about what a train-wreck it was. I’m not defending this performance—it’s not great and it’s not comfortable to watch, but it’s not the biggest mess I’ve ever seen on SNL or other TV shows.

But what sparked this uproar? One of the most notable sources was a tweet from actress/”musician” Juliette Lewis, who wrote, “Wow, watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12-year-old in their bedroom when they’re pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes.” Lewis has since deleted her tweet and said some nicer things about Del Ray. Maybe she realized she was standing on shaky ground herself?

I dare you to watch both of these videos. Do you choose the pot or the kettle?


  38 Responses to “Catfight With Morton’s Fork!”

  1. I guess I’ll take the pot (Juliette).

    I don’t like either song but at least Juliette seems somewhat invested in hers. Lana Del Ray looks like just another victim who got caught without her autotune when she had to actually deliver her producer-crafted, pop factory bullshit live. But I didn’t understand why the internet was so fascinated with that SNL performance yesterday. I’d never heard of Lana Del Ray before yesterday but she seems like just another in a long line of canned, faceless product.

  2. hrrundivbakshi


  3. I watched some of SNL this past week and it sucked. LDR might not have been the worst thing I saw on that show. But, both my son and I looked at each other about 20 seconds into this song in utter disbelief. I figured it was really just me being thoroughly out of touch with what is hip. Guess not- maybe there is hope that BS is being called BS.

    That being said, I’ve heard Lewis’s stuff before expecting some Bjorkian weirdness or some edge…. instead it was weird lite pop. Kind of like looking in a mirror and hating what you see.

  4. I didn’t get the uproar either — or Juliette’s comments. The Lana Del Ray song has been in heavy rotation on XM’s The Spectrum for about a month — it’s just a moody song in a style that is popular in some circles — similar to Feist, Rachel Yamagata, some Cat Power stuff. What’s Lana supposed to do?

    The Juliette video is interesting — it looks like she has two black eyes? I’ve always liked her acting, though, going back to Cape Fear and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

    As an aside, one my personal favorite SNL moments was The Replacements doing Bastards of Young — watching this with my dad — he didn’t get it at all — he probably would have like Lana Del Ray’s look though.


  5. Boy that Lana Del Ray song was BORING, like a sensitive Alanis Morrissette song minus the entertaining kee-RAAAAAZZZY eyes and nice hair. The girl looked like a drugged up offspring of one those Housewives of Whatever Wealthy Suburban Town shows – and sang like she was on sedatives too. Had she been kidnapped and forced into that performance and evening gown against her will? I couldn’t make it through the end of that SNL performance. Did she at least pass out or strip or rip a picture of the Pope?

    The “music” of Juliette Lewis, as represented in that video, is horrible but at least she seems like she thinks she knows what she’s doing. Plus, what was she thinking taking the stage in her Saturday Morning Slob outfit? And who gave her a black eye? He’ll be sorry when Max Cady finds out! Sad, but much better than Lana Del Ray.

  6. Just a few more exhibits for the prosecution in EPG’s assertion that music ended in 1981 (or whenever it was).

  7. tonyola

    For some strange reason the first thing that popped into my mind while watching the Lana song was the Cowboy Junkies’ version of “Sweet Jane” from over twenty years back. Both tunes start nowhere, go nowhere, the band looks supremely bored, and the whole thing has all the kick of an Ambien. Wake me when it’s over. Juliette is trying (and failing) to be a riotgrrrl.

    I had a guitarist friend who swore up and down that he’d never allow his band to fronted by a girl. Now I find that to be a bit shallow and sexist, but based on the evidence presented here today, I kind of see where he’s coming from. Not everyone can be a Chrissie Hynde.

  8. If singing flat is a terrible crime now, I do hope all the Hipster Kidz have thrown out all those Nico LPs they bought at Urban Outfitters last year.

  9. misterioso

    funoka asked: “What’s Lana supposed to do?”

    answer: Uppers? Waitressing? Real estate? Database management? Anyway, something else.

  10. misterioso

    tony, basically I agree with you and I had no use for the Cowboy Junkies. But although it may be because I haven’t heard them in years I cannot think they were quite this lame.

  11. I had a use for them: To say they SUCKED.

  12. jeangray

    Right on.

  13. jeangray

    Oh c’mon!

    The Cowboy Junkies are hopped up on goofballs when compared to Lana Del Ray’s somnambulant warbling.

    Their version of “Blue Moon” is Super Great!

  14. tonyola

    Ah, but there’s nothing exotic-trashy-Aryan ice queen about Lana and she wouldn’t have the nerve to put “Das Lied der Deutschen (Deutschland Uber Alles)” on on album.

  15. I like their version of Parsons’ “Ooh Las Vegas.” Better than the original! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cp0Tr1jmxE

  16. tonyola

    Yes, I agree that Lana is lamer than the Cowboy Junkies. But that’s like saying that Twinkies are worse than Ding-Dongs, isn’t it?

  17. cherguevara

    Seems to me that Juliette Lewis has the performing thing down but she can’t sing and the song sucks. The Lana Del Ray song is actually memorable and has some melancholy and gravitas. She can’t pull it off live, though. I’d give the edge to Lana, but it really isn’t a great choice, is it?

  18. I don’t recall their version of “Blue Moon,” but I agree with your point. I was just about to chime in on tonyola’s Twinkies vs Ding-Dongs comparison. As much as I couldn’t stand the Cowboy Junkies I never felt they didn’t work hard at committing to such a bad vision. They were bad in an original way. I never thought they had a gun to their head making them perform that way.

  19. BigSteve

    I usually record SNL, because I like to check out the political stuff, and I like Seth Myers. I fast forwarded to the musical guest this week, because I had never even heard her name. I was suitably appalled. I went and listened to the studio version of that song, and the vocals there are not nearly as bad. Nothing to write home about, but in the studio you have a lot more control. I blame her managers for letting her sing live. Also the mega-pouty lips and the vacant stare don’t help.

  20. alexmagic

    I got nothin’ to add to this discussion with all you old geezers just now getting hip to the most-blogged-about artist on the Internet of the past year (believe it or not!), except that I wonder how differently Del Ray’s intentional invocation of the Ann-Margaret Look would play at RTH if the segment climaxed with a giant explosion of baked beans onto the SNL stage.

  21. Bronzed Nordic God

    Although the statuesque Lana with her long arms clearly has a reach advantage over Juliette, Lana’s footwork is languid and unsteady. If Juliette can keep fast on her toes, weaving in and out with a series of jabs and quick cuts, Juliette could soften up Lana’s midsection before Lana ever gets a chance to land that devastating right hook. I give this to Juliette in a 7th round TKO.

    …or were we supposed to talk about the music.

  22. misterioso

    You mean that posh bird that gets everything wrong? She’s a drag. A well-known drag. We turn the sound down on her and say rude things.

  23. cliff sovinsanity

    Right on Alexmagic !!

  24. I saw the Cowboy Junkies circa 1990 and Margo Timmons was really quite a mesmerizing beauty.

    Common Disaster and Miles From My Home are two more recent songs that are OK. They are very DIY these days.

  25. Ann-Margaret was a fireball. If this Del Ray performance is in any way representative, she, sir, is no Ann-Margret. Must I remind you of the most smokin’ scene from a musical of all time? Yes, I must:


  26. BTW, any bill that proposes to limit any human with even the faintest sexual drive’s ability to post and share this clip MUST be defeated.

  27. The venue called for a peppier number.

  28. tonyola

    Ann-Margaret could even spice up a cheeseball musical.

  29. And when Mr. Mod talked of a smoking’ musical scene with Ann Margaret I thought for sure it would be one from Bye Bye Birdie – the one tonyola linked to or this one:


    or this one which Viva Las Vegas took theirs from and which features friend of the family Bobby Rydell along with pseudo-Elvis Jesse Pearson in the title role:


  30. There are stories that Elvis was interested in playing the Conrad Birdie part in Bye Bye Birdie. However, Col. Parker refused to lend his boy out to any project in which he didn’t have control, so flabby and paunchy Pearson got the part. Also, Bobby Rydell might have been teen-cool in 1963, but doesn’t he seem to be a supreme dork?

  31. trigmogigmo

    Similar to Big Steve, I usually set Tivo to record SNL, and skim it, and check out the musical guest in case it’s someone good. This was the first time I’ve ever heard of Lana Del Rey. I was less than nonplussed by the song and performance, and was curious “Who the heck is this harmlessly uninteresting singer who has evidently put out an album of such great repute and strength as to warrant an appearance on the SNL stage yet whom I have not heard a single thing about ever ever?”

    I did a little wikipedia search and it turns out the answer is, “She is just some person, who has not even put out her album yet !!!, and whose documentedly rich father probably paid off Lorne Michaels or someone at NBC, after first fronting the cash to hire a pro producer to record a song or two under a stage name invented by her marketing team. Like Rebecca Black, but without the blatant certain lack of vocal talent.”

    I don’t blame her for the fact of the SNL appearance, though she certainly has not earned the venue by a looooooooooongshot. I blame NBC/SNL for wasting their gigantic national stage on such pre-rookie-talent when there is so much greatness out there — well-known and less-known — that could use it better. This is not the first time they’ve put fluff on that stage.

  32. Interestingly, Robyn sucked much much harder on SNL last month — and was demonstrably lip-synching to boot — and yet no one was up in arms about that. Hm.

  33. jeangray

    People like Robyn.

    I would go so far as to challenge alexmagic’s assumption that Lana Del Ray is “…the most-blogged-about artist on the Internet of the past year…” I have personally seen far more blog posts (everywhere!) about Robyn, than I have of Lana. Circumstantial evidence, Ima sure, but Miss Del Ray never had the exposure in the last year, that she is receiving now.

    Dig those Alabama Shakes! Get with it.

  34. jeangray

    I now believe that Lorne Michaels is using Facebook to pick the musical guests on SNL.

  35. ladymisskirroyale

    Oh thank goodness. I thought Mod was going to compare LDR to Beach House; I would have been mightily upset. Mr. Royale thinks LDR sounds like she was suckled at the teat of Hope Sandoval. A major black mark in my book.

    At least Juliette has some verve in her attempt to channel PJ Harvey.

  36. Deek Langoustine

    Lana Del-Ray, well. What can you say? This woman is blessed with a mediocrity that very few people can suffer. The song starts, goes nowhere and (thank fuck!) it ends. Don’t listen to this kind of music near an open window people, you get an urge to do someting you won’t live to regret. As for JL&TheLicks, honestly I like em’. They are what they are but I like it, maybe I’m wrong but I’m not sure I want to be right on this one

  37. Deek Langoustine


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