I need to talk a bit about Lana Del Rey.
I’ve really only begun to explore her stuff recently and it was love at first listen for me. Of course I HAD to do all of the googling one does when one finds their self in love at first listen. And hark! Seems Lana Del Rey is a ‘feminist problem’.
A sentiment I get…to a point.
Her lyrics, aesthetic, crooning, and performance in general smacks of a passivity that definitely makes me uncomfortable…but in all the right ways in that they remind and warn me of all of the dark, agency-lacking, manipulative, desperate, unhinged, desirous, sensation-seeking bits of my being and, I suspect, the beings of many others. If you can’t relate to what she sings, it’s possible that you’re a) very lucky or b) very sheltered or c) some combination of the aforementioned.
LDR pokes at the dark, icky bits of the human condition and turns that exploration into something pretty fantastic: consumable pop music that makes us angry and sad and uncomfortable and at least a little bit turned on.
A lot of the anti-feminist criticism Lana gets feels to me to be very anti-femme. I see it all being delivered by every woman I’ve spoken to who claims they hate girly-girls and can only make friends with boys. That happens, y’all (some of LDR’s lyrics lament that very thing). And I have a very hard time trusting and respecting any person who claims they can’t be friends with someone because of how they dress or what’s hidden in their knickers or because they make songs about very honest parts of being a person.
Also, for the record, when I first listened to her music, I heard Bruce Springsteen and Eminem as influences. So why do we compare her to Gaga and Nicki Minaj? As if we’re still stuck on gender-same analysis.
Other also, it’s not her fucking job to reconcile centuries of oppression of half of the race, but she’s done a pretty good job of relating her experience for our appreciation (or lack thereof, as it were).
I’m a feminist and I fucking love Lana Del Rey.
While me and Em were bombing around the hills of the Haliburton highlands, Em (being the queen of the car game that she is) suggested creating an alphabetical playlist of songs with women’s names in them. We did pretty well for a couple of chicks sans google, but we’re both a smidge audiophillic. Today, as my tools keep breaking and because I’m a huge big nerd, I decided to make a new one.
It was kinda fun to plug in song titles only to find alternatives to the tunes I was actually looking for on grooveshark. I tossed in many of those just because they were funny (ICP!?!?!).
Insane, freneticness below:
Amanda – Boston
Betty Lou’s Gettin’ Out Tonight – Bob Seger
Caroline Says – Lou Reed
Delilah – Tom Jones
Emma – Imagine Dragons
Fiona’s Song – Bozzwell
Guinevere – Eli Young Band
Henrietta – The Fratellis
Iris – The Breeders
Judy is a Punk – The Ramones
Kimberly – Patti Smith
Luka – Suzanne Vegas
Martha – Tom Waits
Nadine – Chuck Berry
Olivia – Washed Out
Polythene Pam – The Beatles
Quana – Inuit Vocal Game – Artist not Listed (I *actually* had to search for this one)
Rio – Duran Duran
Sylvia’s Mother – Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
Tessie – Dropkick Murphys
Ursula 1000 – Thievery Corporation
Vera Lee – Insane Clown Posse
Tomorrow, Wendy – Concrete Blonde
Xena Theme – ? (I couldn’t be arsed to look it up)
Be My Yoko Ono – Barenakes Ladies
Zoe Jane – Staind