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My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

Lana Del Rey: listen but don't look

I love Lana Del Rey. When I listen to her CDs, I am immediately transported to a chilly, dismal beach. That is what she sounds like - a beautiful place at its worst. Her songs have a sophistication that appeals to my snobbish sensibility. The slowness of her beats suits my aging hipster hips. Her new CD, Lust for Life, is a lovely successor to 2015's Honeymoon, but neither are quite as seductive as 2014's Ultraviolence. For the life of me, I can't understand why every single person on earth isn't in love with her music as well.

This became distressingly clear last weekend, when I was enjoying a brew with a friend on the Eagle's patio. Lana's silky voice came over the PA system, and I screeched to my friend "Oh my God, I love Lana Del Rey!" to which he made a face as though a skunk had just farted out another skunk. 

"Oh, you don't like her?" I asked, affronted. I trust this guy's taste. How could he not feel the same way as I do?

Then it occurred to me. He has been watching her videos. Let me be blunt - I love Lana because I seldom if ever look at pictures of her, or videos of her, or live performance footage of her. To me, she is entirely a sound, an ethereal vocal presence that evokes Dusty Springfield, Nico, Julee Cruise or the Cocteau Twins. She's a pillow of melody on which to rest my weary head. But to my friend, watching her lazy performance style on YouTube videos, she must seem like this tramp with Joker lips who looks like she lives permanently on spring break. I understand. Looking at that face, I too want to give her a smack. (Which is not to advocate assault. I point to the Kids in the Hall sketch where a woman who beats her husband gets on the witness stand and declares "It is something he give off, like a gas or a pheromone, which makes you want to hit him, have to hit him.")

So don't watch Lana's new videos for her song "Lust for Life" featuring The Weeknd (what a voice he has!) or her song about me, "Beautiful People Beautiful Problems", featuring Stevie Nicks. Don't look at her publicity photos or even her CD covers. Put a metaphoric bag over her head and instead just listen to her soothing hypnotic sounds. And if that doesn't work, take an Ativan.  

 


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