In Defense Of Lana Del Rey
We admit...after last week's fairly atrocious Lana Del Rey performance on Saturday Night Live, we've aligned with such snobby blogs like Hipster Runoff to pour gasoline on the fire that is Lana Del Rey's proverbial blogosphere indie stake of credibility.
We even made a "Hitler Reacts to Lana Del Rey on SNL" video! Oof....
But the SNL debacle is not just LDR's blame...but also Interscope Records and Saturday Night Live. Really? Every executive (and Lana Del Rey's management) thought this was a brilliant idea? Sure...let's put this much buzzed starlet up to a national LIVE audience...with NO album out yet or ever released...don't worry we'll be super cool being the 1st to support what's been hyped to be the "second coming."
But just where did the fat ass TV execs (you heard me, Lorne Michaels...you don't get a free pass!) get the idea...that this was actually a GOOD idea...and that Lana Del Rey could handle the pressure of performing LIVE on national TV with little live performance background.
So I started perusing Lana Del Rey's live performances. Were they as bad as SNL? Was there a monumental lack of judgement? She must have been horrible on other live shows?
And you know what...I came to a conclusion...that maybe, just maybe...this bitch needs a little break. Yes, the SNL performance was atrocious and difficult to watch. But check out these same live performances of "Video Games" from 2011 and before.
They're actually quite good...and actually if you examine each performance, as far as a vocal delivery, they're nearly flawless.
But that's not to take away that Lana Del Rey, Interscope Records and SNL is 100% blame for a very awkward live and questionable live performance on national TV.
But you know who else is to blame?
Perception...Yes..."perception" and "anticipation" in the new Internet age ... that things like hard core live road experience, can just materialize overnight like your Facebook status. Did Lana Del Rey put in her Malcolm Gladwell's proverbial 10,000 hours of experience to be an expert? No fucking way.
Let's take a page from say....I don't know. Paul Simon.
Now, we heard stories that in the beginning...Paul Simon was horrible live. Just bad. But Paul had time...years to "work it out" at coffee houses, The Bitter End on Bleeker St. or wherever. Paul Simon wasn't thrown up on Saturday Night Live with just a few gigs under their belt before his 1st album came out! That would be ridiculous!
You want the real scoop? Paul Simon made albums for 11 friggin years before he got his SNL break, literally! Here's Paul's performance from SNL in 1975 (10 years after releasing his 1st album in 1964).
And by the way....another 7 years AFTER this performance (18 YEARS after releasing his 1st album), Simon & Garfunkel made their LEGENDARY Live recording "The Concert In Central Park." Now THAT is perfection!
Where is Lana Del Rey's 10 years of slogging in the underbelly of the live indie circuit? Sure she might have been in and out of recording studios for 5-10 years...but these are 2 completely different.
And that's where the mistake was made. That Lana Del Rey could handle the pressure of a live audience with only a couple hundred hours (I'm guessing) of Live concert experience under her designer belt.
But the proof I think are in these previous live videos. Lana Del Rey doesn't suck. She just succumbed to pressure (my guess). Her songs are GREAT pieces of songwriting and you know what, I'm still buying the album later this month.
Lana Del Rey...just didn't have her 10,000 hours of live performance. Compared to the experience someone like Paul Simon had from Saturday Night Live in 1975...it's just not a competition.
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