Spurred by this recent disappointing headline, I irrationally took to my personal Facebook account to engage in some light trolling. With the awareness of the mega-success of Mumford and Sons, I launched with, “So, Mumford and Sons Fans, what’s it like to have mindnumbingly boring taste in music? Also, do you still buy your CDs from Starbucks?” Shots fired.

I am a self-appointed tastemaker and armchair critic. Some would misconstrue me as a “hater” (I’ll settle for “blowhard”). But that’s not the case; I don’t think there is anything personal about my condemnation of certain artists, subjects or works; as subjective as my opinions are. Get it? Me neither. You see, Mumford and Sons belongs in a triad of current acts I have a problem with. This trio shall also include Foster the People and Kings of Leon; we’ll discuss (tear down) those other bands at another time. “So, Tone, what’s your problem with these virtuoso English indie folksters? Why do you keep slamming and picking on them?” you ask. I can acknowledge that they’re decent musicians and good at what they do but they just strike me as dull, antiseptic and repetitious. They’re sterility and predictability, alone, is enough to solidify their place in the pantheon of Stuff White People Like. I mean, seriously, why aren’t they in the Top 10? I demand a recount. This is my gripe, no more, no less; boring mediocrity. These bands’ über level of success, acclaim and accolades are not commensurate to their makeup, their monochromatic and/or annoying DNA.

To each his own, people listen to what they love but don’t expect me to refrain from giving you shit if I think they’re collectively boring, mediocre and popular at the same time. I take it as an assault on things that are actually interesting.

What does this have to do with Ms. Lana Del Rey? When I posted that Facebook status update, I was prepared for the backlash. I mean, it’s not like I’m picking on a meek, small collective or minority. C’mon, with 34 million hits on their 2009 video and outselling The Beatles…it’s fair game. It’s like fucking with Beliebers. Anyway, a friend and defender of M&S came back with, “Or Lana Del Rey?” attempting to discredit my fickle tastes and chop me off at the knees. I answered with, “I have mixed feelings about LDR. She’s kinda awful but I find her narrative entertaining.” “I read your Superslice piece awhile ago praising Lana Del Rey…but she’s garbage…brah. At least I read the Superslice,” he bluntly stated. “Not exactly praise,” I wrote and responded, in kind, with some excerpts:

via

…because of this overwhelming Internet hype train, we’ve been somewhat reluctant to feature her stuff. Maybe it’s because her publicity agents have readily deemed her as a “Lolita in the hood” and a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” (You are free to roll your eyes. Actually, she kind of reminds us of Mazzy Star or PJ Harvey.); the artist has packaged herself in an almost gimmicky sheen, an over-the-top, nostalgic, sultry smokiness. Just check out her video at the header, it’s as if Instagram bukkake’d all over her. Retro-splosion, Baby! Another reason we’ve been apprehensive is because hipster music maven and scion, Pitchfork, readily crowned her Video Games song Best New Track.

But, our defenses have worn down and we have looked past the predictable Hollywood packaging, saw beyond her crazy and distracting botox’d out lips, and have tried to embrace her over-dramatic and affected manner in which she performs.

via

It was the stage bomb that was heard around the world. A debacle and train wreck we couldn’t turn away from. At the time, I joked that the SNL performance was so bad, I had considered shutting The Superslice™ doors forever. The televised revelation of how much she was lacking in talent, skill and the capacity to execute, was so raw, it forced me to question my own credibility as a critic and authority. The sting of the failure was extra hearty because I was previously attempting to keep myself immune from the LDR hype. The times I would endorse her, it was apprehensive and half-hearted. I begrudgingly stuck up for her and she was taking away my currency as an opinionator with this choke. But I eventually succumbed to her gaze as if she were Medusa, even going to the extent of questioning why the Coachella committee left her off the buzzy bill. In retrospect, it looked like Coachella had done all the parties involved a huge favor.

We were in legitimate facepalm territory. I thought somebody on the SNL staff was getting canned for booking this ne’er-do-well; it was harsh. Surely, at minimum, her handlers would be fired for not properly preparing her? I recalled thinking it was so awful, uncomfortable and painful, I was actually feeling sorry for an industry-creation and privileged daughter of a multimillionaire. Honestly, I did feel sorry for her though. “At least she looked pretty and her lips didn’t look ridiculously inflated?”, I desperately scraped. I wondered if “art” was dead and if commerce had fully taken over. If I was more of a dramatic chap, I would have talked of tears, shame, and embarrassment concerning these fraudulent music industry machinations.

There wasn’t a response. Now, this is not some missive to prop up LDR, I’m not here to defend her or say that she is even remotely “better” than Mumford and Sons. If it was just about “authenticity”, musical acumen or talent, it would be M&S, all day. Look, I enjoy indie folk, it’s in my vocabulary, we rock Bone -Eeh-vare all the time but I will say, as contrived and concocted as Lana is, she’s a lot hell more interesting than Mumford & Sons, in my not-so-humble opinion.

With that said, here is Lana Del Rey‘s ten minute short film and music video for Ride, directed by frequent collaborator, director Anthony Mandler.

Peace out, Peeps. Don’t be offended, these are only opinions.

@teemunny


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