After racking up tens of millions of views on YouTube and generating more conversation than virtually any other “indie” artist in 2011, Lana Del Rey made her American television debut tonight on Saturday Night Live. She performed “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”, the two songs that first propelled her from virtual obscurity and put her on the map less than six months ago. America clearly took notice, too: She was a trending topic on Twitter not once but twice tonight (although, it must be noted, one of those times the TT was “Lana Del Ray”, a misspelling of her name).
Spelling issues aside, SNL provided a compelling introduction to Lana Del Rey’s unique sound. She appeared a bit nervous at the outset of each of her two performances tonight, her voice dropping into an even lower register than she generally sings, but she settled into a groove each time and finished both songs with gusto. Curiously, she chose not to perform “Born To Die,” the song which she shot a big budget video for back in December (and is currently the Single of the Week in the iTunes Store), but we suppose she’ll probably perform that when she visits the Late Show With David Letterman and Ellen in a few weeks.
Lana Del Rey is almost nothing like you’d expect her to be. Let us explain.
In just under six months, Del Rey has gone from being a virtual unknown to landing a highly coveted gig as the musical guest on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, an opportunity that some artists work their entire careers for and never achieve. The booking of this artist, best known for her uniquely sexy voice and a cinematic style of music she describes as “Summertime sadness,” totally makes sense, though. While it’s true that she hasn’t even released her album yet —Born To Die streets on January 31— Lana has already experienced a career’s worth of buzz (and, subsequently, backlash) in indie blogosphere circles, mostly stemming from questions regarding her quote-unquote “authenticity.” This, in combination with the mysterious persona she projects in her videos and her somewhat defiant performance at the Bowery Ballroom back in December, led us to believe that she might come off as being cryptic and guarded during her interview here at VH1 HQ in New York City yesterday. The Lana Del Rey we met, though, was anything but: During the 45 minutes or so we spent with her, she was happy, effusive, relatable and totally forthcoming about the rocket ride that she’s been on for the last half of the year.
“You wanna hear a little story?” We’ve been talking to Del Rey for a few minutes about her self-made, self-edited, collage-style music videos for “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”, the treatments of which propelled the indie chanteuse from obscurity into the spotlight, but that were also initially met with puzzlement by clueless suits at record labels (“For a long time, nobody thought that anything fit together. I brought things into different labels and to different people and they all thought it was really f***ing weird. They thought that the videos didn’t have a strong narrative and that they were creepy.”). We raise the issue of Paz De La Huerta, an actress who, depending on your vantage point in life, is either a hot mess or your spirit animal. Footage of a clearly overserved Paz made its way into Del Rey’s cut of “Video Games,” an intriguing creative decision that lends a zeitgeist-y and almost Lynchian-circa-Mulholland Drive feel to the video, underscoring the overlap in the Venn diagram of Hollywood where glamour, darkness and tragedy meet. So, we posed, did Lana ever hear from Paz herself?
What do Bon Iver, Zooey Deschanel and Karmin all have in common (aside from being amazing musical artists)? They’re all appearing on Saturday Night Live in February! Grammy nominated Bon Iver will be performing with a full nine-piece band, on a Channing Tatum hosted SNL on the 4th of February. While it’s unclear exactly what Bon Iver will be playing, the band will stick to tracks off their critically acclaimed 2011 album, Bon Iver (sorry to For Emma fans!). We wonder if Bon Iver will mix it up and snub their hit track “Holocene” in favor of something more left-of-center; but given the popularity of the song and its Grammy nomination nod for Song Of The Year, we’re guessing it’s a safe bet for the live performance.
We’re starting to think that maybe Michael Bubléis Christmas. Is that even possible? With his Christmas album holding tight at #1 on the charts, Michael Bublé is the only name you need to know this Christmas (apart from Santa, of course). This weekend on Saturday Night Live, Bublé not only performed a classy, romantic rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (after the jump), but he also got his very own sketch and imagined Duets album (above). It’s the perfect way to start your Monday morning, because if you don’t laugh out loud at the winking, dancing Justin Bieber (Jimmy Fallon) parody, or giggle at Taylor Swift‘s over awed gaping mouth (Kristen Wiig) then you’ve got a heart so cold not even Bublé can help you this holiday season.
Ever wondered what happened on the Saturday Night Live Writers’ Night? Apparently, not writing — but we’re not complaining, because this is better. Preparing for last weekend’s SNLhosted by Katy Perry with performance by Robyn, SNL star Taran Killam and a bunch of his peers — SNL writers Sarah Schneider and Zach Kanin, and fellow cast members Abby Elliott, Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan— got a bit batty and experimental at 4.30am. The team reenacted Robyn‘s “Call Your Girlfriend” with impeccable accuracy, from the dance right down to the lighting. Watch the video above for your morning LOL.
On a Katy Perry hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, Robyn gave an impeccable performance of her songs “Dancing On My Own” and “Call Your Girlfriend.” One of the few solo performers that can carry a live act alone, Robyn manages to captivate with high energy, perfect vocals and killer dance moves that require no extra fuss or frills. The best part is, while Robyn is a joy to watch, her lyrics are… well… a tad depressing! Despite that Robyn still makes toes tap, even when she’s be jilted by her lover and is left dancing on her own. Add an introduction by the adorable, newly blonde-bobbed Katy Perry, and you’ve got a recipe for pop deliciousness.
Katy Perry is set to host Saturday Night Live this weekend, which will be her first turn at hosting the iconic sketch comedy show, with Robyn performing as the musical guest. With Katy vying for “The One That Got Away” to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard charts, we wonder if the gig at SNL won’t help to boost her profile as position on the charts, especially considering how adorable the pop star is in the show’s promotional video with Kenan Thompson. Endearingly personable, Perry is sans pink wig and elaborate costuming, and instead is elegant wearing her new cropped blonde bob and a printed shift dress. She’s funny, too — just try not to smile when she does an impersonation of husband Russell Brand‘s acting advice to her which culminates with “be a bit cheeky!”
Die hard Black Keys fans the world over are wide-eyed in disbelief as the unassuming band is skyrocketing their way to rock superstardom, mainly because we’re just so used to their defiant, organic sound flying ever so slightly under the radar. But the attention is well deserved, as the Black Keys’ dedication to rock’n'roll is completely unwavering, their music consistently inspiring. Since they made meme status with the “Lonely Boy” dancer, it only makes sense that the next logical step is a second appearance on Saturday Night Live. Performing “Lonely Boy” and “Gold On The Ceiling,” the Keys shine, upping the ante for their contemporaries and giving rock authenticity a much needed renaissance. If you like what you saw on SNL, be sure to tune in tonight for MTV Hive’s‘s live stream of the Black Keys in concert from New York City, at 9 p.m ET/6 p.m. PT.
This weekend on Saturday Night Live, Maroon 5 sang Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts,” accompanied by GCH frontman Travie McCoy. And there was not a fleck of skin in sight as both Adam Levine and McCoy sported heavily tattooed arms as they performed side-by-side. Soulful and summery, “Stereo Hearts” effortlessly combines Levine’s r’n'b influenced pop sound with McCoy’s laid back rapping style. Not to mention all the kinds of good looking happening on stage as the two musicians sang together!
You Oughta Know alums Foster The People will have another feather in their cap on October 8 when they appear on that night’s episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Ben Stiller. We doubt they will get quite the camp-out that the season premiere got, but considering the reception they’ve gotten at festivals all summer, who knows? NBC announced the booking yesterday, also confirming that the following week’s episode would be hosted by Anna Faris and feature music from Drake. We wonder whether Young Money’s sometime actor will make any sketch appearances. He doesn’t exactly seem the type, but then again, neither did Lady Gaga. Good luck to October’s Very Own and especially to Mark Foster and co.!