If you tuned in to Daniel Radcliffe's turn as host on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, you also caught a musical guest you may not have recognized. And if your reaction was more along the lines of "Lana Del who?" - well, you weren't the only one.
Lana Del Rey, originally Lizzy Grant, up until Saturday night was virtually unknown to mainstream audiences. In fact, many critics were up in arms when NBC announced her appearance on the show, stating that she hadn't really earned it.
Her song “Video Games” has certainly brought her attention for its sound and its viral music video, but her debut album “Born to Die” won't be released by Interscope Records until January 31.
When the news came out, DFA Records, the label co-founded by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, posted on Twitter: “Lana Del Rey plays Saturday Night Live next week. LCD Soundsystem tried for 6 years to play Saturday Night Live. Isn't ‘too soon’ ok advice?”
Del Rey eventually broke her silence and said in an interview with MTV (which recently crowned her as one of its “11 Artists to Watch in 2012”) that she “may not have a record out now, but I have been singing for a very long time … It's not a traditional choice for 'Saturday Night Live.'”
Unfortunately, whatever Lorne Michaels was trying to achieve with this unconventional decision fell through. Del Rey’s performance of "Video Games" was weak, flat and had too many variations in tone and pitch, either due to nerves, her improvised creative liberties or the setting itself.
Viewers and celebrities flocked to Twitter to pan the pouty singer. Despite many fans coming to her defense, the Internet blew up with almost-unanimous criticism, and headlines like “Lana Del Rey Ripped for Performance” and “Internet Sensation Bombs on Her U.S. TV Debut” appeared. According to the Hollywood Reporter, actress Juliette Lewis tweeted, “Wow watching this ‘singer’ on SNL is like watching a 12 yearold [sic] in their bedroom when theyre pretending to sing and perform #signofourtimes.”
But if you've been following along on music sites, this sort of intense disapproval of Del Rey is nothing new.
While industry observers like Pitchfork and Stereogum have praised Del Rey for her look and deep husky vocals, not all the chatter has been positive.
The Hipster Runoff, a hipster fashion and culture blog, did a series of “exposé” posts on Del Rey, showing pictures of her from her Lizzy Grant days with platinum blonde hair and in non-retro clothes, stating that the singer is a “failed mainstream artist who is being ‘rebranded’ behind major label dollars.”
In a detailed analysis of the backlash, Adam Rosen wrote on the website The Awl that tidbits about Del Rey’s origins and her ultimate transformation has indeed led many critics to declare her as inauthentic - a corporate-designed pop machine with sex appeal. But Rosen points out that artists like Lady Gaga were also reinventions and that Del Rey, as a concept, is a success.
“The people want their gangster Nancy Sinatra, gatekeepers of authenticity be cursed,” Rosen wrote.
Whether Del Rey can bounce back from her less-than-stellar “SNL” performance is yet to be seen. Only time and the release of “Born to Die” will tell if Del Rey is really one of this year’s rising stars, or just a YouTube phenomenon who went prime-time too soon.
It?s truly a nice and helpful piece of info. I?m happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.
There is also one more technique to increase traffic in support of your blog that is link exchange, so you also try it
Here is the form of information and facts that they can want to avoid you to ultimately understand. Very effective although not for the lots. I decision they can be fuming that the is receiving nowadays.
Lizzy Grant > Lana Del Ray > Lana von Hindenburg. She should NEVER have been on SNL. She was painful to watch flicking her hair every 10 seconds and sounded terrible; I've heard dying animals sound better. At first I thought it was a skit too. Her father Rob Grant (a self-promoting egomaniac) is a real estate agent in upstate NY and sells domains and no doubt paid alot of $ for her 15 mins of fame, PR, photos, lips, etc.. Ironic, it will cost alot more $ for years of therapy to deal with the embarrassment and denials of this failed canned broken dream. Lorne Michaels sold out years ago. The host and musical guests usually only get paid scale and there are side deals from studios and labels promoting their upcoming movie or record to get them on the show to promote their stuff. If she was on American Idol (with no music YIKES, she'd have been bounced WITH painful comments and would never even have made the cut on The Voice. The final four on The Voice were extremely talented singers/musicians. Watch the current Idol and see Ashley Robles and Jane Carrey; or Dia Frampton who came in second on The Voice as well as Frenchie Davis and Beverly McClellan, these are talented female singers. Daddy's little girl wanted to be famous, mission accomplished, but the Hindenburg is famously remembered too.
She was not as deplorable as everyone seems to think. I have seen and heard some doozies on SNL. This is much ado about nothing. I wish her the best.
What a shame that she couldnt get it together. Nerves get the best of any of us in any situation but if you are going to promote your music then you better be prepared to bring it. She just was not in the mind set yet. And I am a firm believer if you are singing then you need to know how to sing without instruments etc. That to me is a true singer when you can sing with a voice that makes people say, "Wow!!" She does not have that maybe down the road with voice lessons and experience, she will get there. Also, Lana, please stop with the lip injections. Its taking away from your beauty.
Have watched another live video posted – significantly better. I guess it was a terrible, terrible case of nerves. What a shame.
I don't know what to attribute it to, but it was fairly awful. And probably the worst SNL performance (or at least as awkward as Ashlee Simpson's) I've seen and I've seen plenty. Honestly, I thought for just a few moments it was a sketch – and then realized it wasn't. Then I wondered if the strange key switching and flat notes were deliberate choices, but it was very inconsistent and without any evident purpose. Nerves? Maybe. But if you look up "pitchy" in the dictionary, her picture should be there. Combined with her flat affect, and really strange stage presence it seems more like an overall lack of training or experience and no real musicality.
That wasn't a result of nerves. I went ahead and checked out her other live performances on youtube and her voice is flat and emotionless, as is her complete aura. I don't see the appeal of her at all. I agree that a lot of what I hear on the radio these days is a far cry from the originality and talent from years past, but folks, just because her sound is different doesn't make it genius. Brian Williams was spot-on with his comment. This was one of the worst live performances I have ever seen.
I'd do her as long as you'd sew her mouth shut.
I was feeling old cause I was like 'who is this person?'.. glad I'm not alone.
She looked good but that was it. I rarely watch SNL and watched only because of Daniel Radcliffe. I try to give the musicians the benefit of the doubt, but this woman was just plain horrible, and her lyrics were so stupid that I was embarrassed for her. I don't understand what passes for "talent" these days; just because someone has a million hits on UTube does not make them talented (Rebecca Black's Friday anyone?). Doc is right, God Awful sums it up.
Two words describe the performances: God Awful.
Pretty girl, but her material went nowhere and displayed no range or imagination. Just absolute crap. Brian Williams was spot on in his assessment. SNL has always booked bands of questionable musical mastery, but that was beyond the norm. Taste is one thing. You can't like everything. But true musicianship, and the mastery of that art, is something else entirely. Anyone who really digs that junk from last weekend knows little of music and is likely more interested in trying to be nothing more than a NY hipster.
I thought Lana did well on SNL. The fact is that people like to listen to her songs and watch her perform. She has an interesting, heart-breaking sound. Some people, however, don't like the fact that other people like to listen to her songs and watch her perform. My guess is that 80% of those critics listen to "Video Games" on their ipods late at night when no one is watching.
I'm thinking the sketch about everyone mediocre suddenly thinking they're a star (Daniel Radcliffe doing the Irish Dance mixed with Chinese calligraphy) was inspired by her being picked as a musical guest. I "seriously" thought the performance was a joke...but they brought her back for the 2nd song ... uhm, okay.
Does anyone care really how "original" or "real" the musicians behind the songs they like are??? I mean, honestly.
Anyway – I ofund out about her five seconds before the SNL show. First – who is home to watch SNL? Second – who is watching SNL even if they ARE home? Ahhh – it's people who are overly critical because they're not seeing Maroon 5 or Kings of Leon on SNL – INSTEAD – it's someone they've never heard of!!! Shocker!!
Her songs are tight and she's pretty and seems cool. I could care less who her daddy is!!!!
to all of the people claiming Lana Del Rey was flay sharp or "pitchy, stick it. Your all wrong and based on the pop music you buy you wouldn't know the right "key" if it were in your door. there is not a pop record out there that has not been pitch corrected to death and the human element has been removed. So when there is a slight variation ( and he melodies are intricate and challenging) people claim "pitchy" . The only crime she committed on SNL was having a lack of stagecraft. She was nervous and didn't know what to do with herself. So for all of you who like emotionless computerized fluff, go listen to the black eyed peas or enrique. you made them stars.
She sucked. I listened for a minute or two and could not believe they put a no talent like her on when there are so many deserving bands out the such as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals or Fitz and the Tantrums. Lorne Michaels is an idiot.
I thought she was great. She looked and sounded like she was pulled directly out of a David Lynch movie. Even if you didn't like it at least she was singing. So many performers now don't sing live and their voices are so altered by computers in the studio. She is absolutely gorgeous and I found her performance to be great. She definitively isn't your cookie cutter pop musician, but I think there are a lot of people out there who would enjoy her music, self included.
I didn't know who she was before the performance and after seeing her I can tell you that I really didn't need to know.
I totally agree! I sat and watched in shock at such a bad performance on SNL.
At one point, she had a look on her face as if she herself was wondering, 'Is it over yet?' It seriously reinforced the "You Can Do Anything!" skit. Am I right?
I saw this performance and literally sat in shock. It's not my style of music, but what's worse is the discomfort I felt watching her crash and burn. She seemed like a lost model trying to sing. Did no one from SNL check her out before signing her? It's clear she wasn't ready and this may have ruined her career before it has a real chance to happen. It's sad.
She was awful. Plain and simple.
The reason that it was bad is that she is a talentless hack. Don't worry, she won't last long...
I am not sure what is wrong with everyone (or maybe it's me), but I loved her. I never heard of her until SNL. Her performance made me want to buy her songs on itunes. I hope you can get them on itunes, cause I am gonna buy them tonight. So, if she made me want to buy her songs, then other people will as well. This coming from someone who's ipod is filled with Korn, Pantera, System of a Down, Disturbed, etc.
She wasn't great, but I am proud of the SNL choice. It hearkened back for a brief moment to the origins of the show, when they took more creative risks and tried to give more lesser known comedians and musicians a spotlight on TV for a moment. I know the show has become a lot more refined since the The Shapiro Sisters danced and that refinement has probably kept it on the air, but in the process it has lost a lot of the original edge as well. I'd love to see more up-and-coming acts mixed in with the established professionals who "have earned it," personally.
I was replaying it online when my hubby came in the room. He asked if Kristen Wiig was imitating a particular person or making fun of the Miss America talent portion since the pagaent had also been on Saturday.
...oh and she looks like Julia Roberts....but prettier.
I watched....I was a bit intrigued, never heard of her....and I recognized a unique and different voice under her over-the-top attempt to portray herself as dark, obscure and mystical.....she looked uncomfortable and a bit weird....and it worked, cause here we are talking about her, all over the internet......I thought the ball gown was really a strange choice....
Yeah, that was what struck me as more "off" than her voice. Her attempt to portray herself in a way that came across as fake and forced–like this was her big chance to create her "image" and she went with something she just couldn't pull off (dark, mysterious, obscure, etc). Maybe that is who she is, but it didn't come across as her natural self.
Like she is the first artist to have a weak live voice? I thought the same thing about sinead o connor and florence welch...unsteady voices that are way overpraised.
Additionally, how is she un-authentic? Lady Gaga's alien bones that protrude from her cheeks is authentic? Katy Perry's brainless bubblegum outfits are authentic? They are cyndi lauper and madonna. There is nothing authentic about any current pop music, including the talented adele, who did NOT invent her musical genre, so she is in-authentic AS WELL.Hipsters need to shut their mouths and admit they are nothing more than misogynists in tight jeans with stinky sockless feet.
What is with the Lips? I couldn't even get past the Botoxed lips to even look at her to give the performance any due. The song, on the video is a good one. I'd listen to it. But if she hasn't gone out and "sold" her songs to the masses yet, she DAMN sure isn't ready to go on a live broadcast (ESPECIALL SNL) and sell it there. Bad call on SNL. I don't blame her...
Sorry, but whether or not she did good or bad on SNL this is still just stupid music for stupid people. There is no merit or soul to this kind of corporate "music", it is merely food for the puppets.
I did not realize Adele (she's performed SNL twice) was such a joke. Seems you are the joke. Go complain to your hipster trust fund account you moron.
Is it just me or does she remind anyone else of Ginny on her wedding day in Sixteen Candles?
That is EXACTLY who I thought of when I saw her! LOL!!!!
Haviland Morris wore a wig in 16 Candles and from the EW comments section, a lot of people have wondered if Del Ray was wearing a wig Sat. night.
...Are you guys REALLY sourcing Hipster Runoff?
Lana Del Rey's performance was—sadly terrible. It was clear that she was overcome with nerves—bad—REALLY BAD.
However, there are videos on youtube of her performing live on big shows in Europe and little clubs and she sung well—there's one video where she's performing in some tiny, fun,cramped German bar and she sound really good—it's pretty clear that place didn't have a lot of fancy effects to cover up flaws. She looks a little nervous there too, but nothing like on Saturday Night Live!
Too bad about SNL—I like many (not all) of her songs.
Well, as they say—that's show biz!
That's not nice to say. What's the matter with you?!
I was not impressed. If she is so good like others say, then she blew her biggest moment. Hopefully, she does well in life.
She was not on OkChica.com this year?
Must've been the nerves, because she's amazing here, and it's live.
Who cares people! she has a phenomenal voice, her songs are outstanding and she had an insane amount of pressure for snl performance. i thought it was wonderful that she was nervous! it reminds me that it is okay to have talent, to be nervous, to not be perfect and still have society accept you. do we only want polished, corporate manufactured pop prince and princesses tv? america is so obsessed with perfection. Why can't you accept a person's talent for what it is? why does it have to be perfect? think about it!! shame on brian williams for talking about a young singer like that. you are a grown man with kids. its okay that she wasn't flawless on stage. she is the real perfect deal for me. shame on juliette lewis! you think you are such a perfect actress? everyone starts somewhere and i wish the media promoted more up and coming unknowns so we can be supportive of our youth to lean and not be afraid to try out their creativity
Janice, I totally agree. That was a really thoughtful analysis of the sick obsession with perfection that leads people to say such unwarranted, hateful things about an up-and-coming young singer/musician.
is that a joke? Are you serious. HELLO!!! SNL is a show for people who can sing live. If you can't sing live and if you're not a performer, then don't perform live. It's that simple. It's like people are treating her like it's elementary school, it's not. This woman got the opportunity of a lifetime. Out of her depth. It's like a regular person pretending to be a quarterback on Super Bowl. She can sound like whatever on record, but she sounded...well...not good. The worst for me wasn't the singing – it was a total lack of charisma, of stage presence. It's like she was pretending to be a singer or something. Honey, you may look good, but singing is something else, OKAAAYYY?
@Janice – totally agree! If someone hasn't heard of a musical act they are surprised!! Who is this girl – I haven't heard her on my local radio here in Norman, Oklahoma! Get this garbage off my TV!!
Anyway – SNL should probably stick to acts that are more mainstream, anyway. That way the moronic audience can handle it.
While she did seem really uncomfortable, I've seen much worse performances. The amount of negative reaction is not warranted.
I kind of liked her performance. She sounded and looked nice.
I agree. She seemed nervous, and her hair seemed stiff and in the way. She looked like she was wiping sweat off her palms! LOL! but the song sounded not much different from Kate Bush 30 years ago.
florence + the machine tore up the place when they performed on SNL last month...and i had high hopes that lana would do the same. but while i love the 3-4 songs that have been released prior to her CD being debuted, lana's performance on Saturday suggests she might be one of those singers who only sound good in the studio/on record, after numerous takes and massive editing
She has massive collagen lip implants. Gross.
Mike Rudolph – world class music from Encinitas CA
Oh that California earthquake just can't come fast enough for us.
Video games has been playing on satellite radio for at least half a year now. They play her live versions a lot and she does that weird vocal stuff all the time. This is not new. The saddest part is that idiots like 'er' are going to pass judgement based on this one "mainstream" performance. Check her other songs out on youtube and listen to satellite radio to expand your mind. Also, I'm surprised that people are criticizing her for "rebranding" when all artists change their looks and styles. Look at Lady Gaga for crying out loud.
A person's live performances are what show their abilities as an artist. If she sounds bad live consistently, then she is a bad singer, period. What she sounds like on you tube or an album nothing. With sound and studio engineers, they can make a dying cow sound like mariah carey. If she sounds bad live, it's because SHE IS A BAD SINGER, DUH!!!!!
This poster is right. There are plenty of live versions of Video Games on Youtube that are fine (example the live version on Jools Holland). A narrow minded fool would base their decision on one performance. The girl can sing.
Maybe it was just nerves....(we hope)
it was pretty awful.
But, Im actually glad this was posted because too many people get an
easy pass, when really, they just arent in the right business. Although, the "industry
biz heads" my think she's the star of the future, truthfully what i witnessed was no more
than a fashion model. She belongs on a Victoria Secret Runway, not a soundstage.
She sounded pitchy. The performance reminmded me of a cheap lounge act you can catch at any dinner theater or hotel.
Wow, I'm really shocked at all the negative reaction to Lana Del Ray. I had never heard of her before seeing her on SNL, and my reaction was that she gave a fabulous performance and had really interesting ideas in her songs. I did not realize her first album was not yet released, I guess I'll have to wait before I can buy it.
You must not have watched the same one everyone else has seen. That was one of the most pathetic performances I've every heard(she can't sing) Just shows you what they can do in a recording studio. As a musician I think it was pathetic, nerves or not she did not belong there.
i agree, i thought she had a nice voice, i'd buy the CD. her movements were awkward and she has a lot to learn, but give me a break, it must be terrifying to be out there on your own with little experience.
I have a 3 year old that can sing better then her ... I had to fast forward through her noise ... err music
i agree, i thought she had a nice voice, i'd buy the CD. her movements were awkward and she has a lot to learn, but give me a break, it must be terrifying to be out there on your own with little experience.
LITTLE EXPERIENCE? She is already a proven failed artist(Lizzy Grant)!
I agree with you, NJSteve. Had never heard of her but something about the voice drew me in. Will definitely buy her cd!!! (shades of Tori/Neko/Regina....?)
It was off, boring, and since I was watching it on DVR, I skipped to her next performance and was equally unimpressed. I hope it was just nerves, but it left A LOT to be desired from an SNL performance.
Why does everything someone doesn't like have to be "liberal"? The word has lost all meaning because it's been overused. SNL is a comedy series. If you want something that's "liberal" go watch CNBC. Actually addressing the article, it's a same Lana bombed, but she wouldn't be the only one. And check out YouTube and you'll find she has done plenty of good TV performances. Bad night, is all. And there's no law saying people who make great records have to be good live performers. I could write down hundreds of names of singers who sound fantastic on record but put them in front of a live camera with a live mic and they go to pieces. Why do you think so many TV shows insisted on lip-synching back in the day? There was a reason. Doesn't make them bad singers just because they get stage fright.
What on earth makes you think she' a Liberal or any other political strip for that matter?
A few words for you though Observer:
You're messed up.
Two words for you:
Did like the show though, and especially Daniel Radcliffe. I really thought he was gay-its nice to find out he isnt. Not that it matters either way though. He seems like a nige guy.
You do know it was a skit, written by someone else, and it was all just pretend, right? Just because DR starred in Equis doesn't mean he's an animal-lover.
Mmmmmm. . . .I wasnt overly impressed.
Not impressed at all.
Richard Hore, you are a disgusting pig!!
and if you're gonna call someone a nasty name, at least learn how to spell it first!
Neither was I. I don't know where all of the "off-key" comments are coming from. She hit all the notes, and the notes were in the same scale as the key of the song... they just weren't the notes that best went with the song. I didn't enjoy the SNL performance of "Video Games," but worst ever?!? Hardly. Ke$ha and Kanye West's from a couple years ago were much worse. I'll just go back to listening to the radio version of "Video Games."
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 7,778 other followers