The Divine Comedy of Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence

Categories: Lana Del Rey

In an interview maybe eight years ago, I saw Kanye West let loose one of his ludicrously self-aggrandizing statements and then -- seemingly, anyway -- briefly choke down laughter at the audacity of what he'd just said. I like to think, perhaps wishfully, that it was a glimpse of the man behind the curtain: Sure, he's got a gargantuan ego -- a necessity and an occupational hazard for a Bowie or Beyonce or any self-mythologizer who dreams that big -- but it's just a component of the character he dons like armor to square off against the world. (And yes, there have been plenty of moments over the years where it seems he's lost his sense of humor or started believing his own mythology due to flattery and/or autosuggestion, but at least his music has evolved a lot more than his bragging.)

I 'll bet that every button-pushing statement and ludicrous lyric Lana Del Rey lets loose makes her laugh the way Kanye was trying not to that day.

See also: Lana Del Rey Fandom Is Exactly the Same as Pro Wrestling Fandom

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Lana Del Rey Fandom Is Exactly the Same as Pro Wrestling Fandom

Categories: Lana Del Rey

Most of the world has given up on Lana Del Rey. Her tomb was built when Born to Die's gothic white-girl rap was a little too weird, and a little too macabre for critics looking for her to cash-in on the assigned narratives. Instead they got an unabashedly cinematic menagerie of sugar daddies, cars, sunsets, and indulgent moroseness. Most critics wouldn't be caught dead recommending something that so gleefully takes the piss, and it's pretty much a guarantee that her next album, Ultraviolence, replete with track names like "Fucked My Way Up to the Top" and short films that cast her as "Eve" opposite an albino model's "Adam," will serve up some of the smarmiest hounding this side of the Killers greatest hits album.

But here's the thing. Pretty much every cultural authority that has spoken on Lana Del Rey has missed the point. Lana has never really been able to exist independently in what she thinks makes for good entertainment. She will continue to work for her significant fanbase, and she will continue to be entirely misrepresented by mainstream media. Lana Del Rey has become the popstar equivalent of professional wrestling.

See also: How to Kick a Drunk Out of Your Band

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Lana Del Rey's Top Six Hip-Hop Connections

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She's no longer an Internet phenomenon, but the moody singer Lana Del Rey has turned into something of an infatuation for rappers, who are more than eager to collaborate and canoodle with her. In honor of her headlining a series of shows at Irving Plaza this week, here's a short list of her notable hip-hop connections.

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Asshattery In 140 Characters Or Less: Which Musicians Are The Biggest Klouchebags?

Which Gallagher brother is a bigger prat... on Twitter?
If you're on the Internet you might have heard of Klout, a pseudo-scientific way for measuring the slippery ideal of "online influence." Taking into consideration a variety of factors, it has (despite its often being utterly gameable and as a result off the mark) turned into a way for people online to judge not just each other, but themselves.

Today a variation on Klout, Klouchebag, launched to further fill in the picture drawn by Klout's algorithms. Dubbing itself "the standard for measuring asshattery online" and putting itself (or, well, its code) on the lookout for people engaging in jerky behavior in the 140-character wild, it judges users' Twitter feeds on four metrics—"Anger," "Retweet Abuse," "Social Apps," and "English Misuse"—and then figures out just how much of an annoying prat they are accordingly. (Your correspondent's score of 57 causes her to fall in the "bit of a douchebag" range.) This new, exciting measurement of the always-rampant scourge of online idiocy caused us to wonder: Which musicians with prominent social-media presences are, in actuality, the worst—or at least, worse than their chief rivals using a semi-scientific method? A couple of head-to-head matchups after the jump.

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A Musician's Guide to Twitter: Four Tips On Surviving The 140-Character Rapids

The "social" part of "social media" describes the relationship users can develop with each other through constant updates. Twitter epitomizes this principle, inviting users to post their quick chirp-like thoughts 24 hours a day, seven days a week and providing an overwhelming amount of time for both opportunities and letdowns.

There's no need to stalk a concert in order to see the unfiltered side of an artist—just go online and check out what they're putting out on social media. But like any other relationship, this one has its limits—rules to the game, just like Biggie's Ten Crack Commandments. Etiquette, if you will, to handling online stardom and the commentary that surrounds it. Here are four guidelines for those people looking to navigate the social-media waters:

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How Not To Write About Female Musicians: A Handy Guide

Maybe it's all that misguided Year of the Woman chatter that dominated year-end roundups, or the slow, agonizing creep of Fashion Week, or the coming apocalypse, but hoo boy has there been a lot of terrible writing about female musicians in the past few weeks. The latest offender is the New York Times style magazine T's cover-worthy profile of Lana Del Rey, which manages to be offensive from its first sentence and somehow gets worse from there. (There are even photos by the terminally icky Terry Richardson.) This piece inspired me to put forth four questions that writers, whether they're male or female, whether they're people with Tumblrs or those important enough to score offices at the New York Times building, should ask themselves before hitting "send" on their next piece about a woman making music.

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Guess The Tweet: @LanaDelRey Or @Horse_Ebooks?

Say what you will about Lana Del Rey—and boy, have you ever, Internet—even her most devoted fans would be hard-pressed to call her "profound." Amidst the embarrassing-for-everybody controversy over her Saturday Night Live performance, her lips, her name, her dad, her shelved first album and whether or not she actually likes video games (per an MTV interview: nope), the stone that is her Twitter feed has largely been left unturned. It's full of perky @ replies, album news and the sort of "meaningful," punctuation-challenged platitudes that you generally find on the Facebook walls of people who had kids right after high school.

But! Is Del Rey's zombie-eyed thought catalog so strange and robotic that you'd mistake it for a bizarrely compelling spambot designed to sell ebooks about horses? Is Lana our next inexplicably profound Internet muse? Is she smarter than the seemingly sentient @horse_ebooks, and more importantly, can you tell them apart? We're guessing no—but you're welcome to try. Below, you'll find tweets from both, presented verbatim. Don't cheat! If you can identify 1-5, you've probably never heard of Hipster Runoff and should congratulate yourself; 6-10, you're a reasonable, Internet-savvy adult; 11-15, have you even left your apartment this week? Call your mother, she's worried about you.

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100 & Single: Adele's Focus-Grouped Chart-Topper And The Demise Of The "Deep Cut"

Remember the album cut—the track deep on a disc that fans knew best, that only cool radio stations would play? Like so many cherished things from before the iTunes era, it's essentially extinct.

My evidence for this bold and seemingly facile statement isn't the steady, well-chronicled disappearance of the album-oriented rock band. Rather, it's the latest Top 40 radio smash by Adele, who retakes the summit of the Billboard Hot 100 this week with the melodramatic belter "Set Fire to the Rain," her third straight U.S. No. 1 single.

Let's talk about that word, too: single. What the heck is that anymore, anyway? You've been able to buy "Set Fire" as a standalone track since last February. Is a "single" a song picked by record labels, or by you?

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"Shit Lana Del Rey Says" Sums Up 2012's First Three Weeks On The Internet Better Than Probably Anything Else

Categories: Lana Del Rey

Somehow my dislike of the "Shit [Stereotype] Says" video trendlet and my weariness regarding the endless circularity of any and all discussions regarding the backlashy pop starlet Lana Del Rey (album out next Tuesday, everybody!) made this video—inspired by what its creators, the Chicago comedy duo Seth and Kellen, are terming a "desperate attempt to go viral"—hilarious. The ridiculousness is what really makes the whole thing work as far as a satire of just what people will laugh at on the Internet these days, although truth be told a lot of my personal enjoyment is due to the infinite meanings of the single phrase "you wanna touch my blog." Because, let's face it, isn't posting a "Shit [Caricatured Version Of Person I Actually Know In Real Life] Says" clip or a squib about a Lana Del Rey remix essentially the equivalent of asking one's potential audience that very same question? Meta, man.

It's All For You: A Few Thoughts On The Lana Del Rey Saturday Night Live Debacle

You might have heard that the much-discussed singer Lana Del Rey had her U.S. television debut this past weekend on Saturday Night Live, and that the hive mind of public opinion declared that her performances, of "Video Games" and "Blue Jeans" did not go well. The satirical indie-chronicle Hipster Runoff's declaration that she "effing TANK[ED]" was echoed by even the most opinion-averse media outlets, with even the publicist-friendly Us wondering if she "bomb[ed]."

While the two performances were low-energy and marked by Del Rey attempting to rein in her voice and seeming not entirely sure of what to do with her corporeal self more than anything else, they didn't seem that much different than her first TV appearance when she performed "Games" on the UK television show Later With Jools Holland back in October. Still, even some who were on the Lana Del Train in the autumn seemed to be taken aback by Saturday's display, resulting in a Great Big Pile On Lana that seemed more intense and widespread than the ones that have occurred any other time her name was mentioned since "Video Games"'s YouTube debut. What happened?

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