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?
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.
Florence + The Machine frontwoman Florence Welch flexed her funny bone on Saturday Night Live this weekend, performing in a sketch as Flow-Diggity Flow-Doubt in a satirical take on New Jack Swing. The sketch features parody characters like Sweaty Keith and Cross Cris, performing hilarious “turkey themed r’n’b rap fusion songs.” Florence shines in the first comedic role that we’ve ever seen her perform, showing her lighter side after taking a noticeably darker turn with Florence + The Machine’s new album, Ceremonials. Belting out a hilarious tune about the “adult table,” Flo croons about forgetting footsies and going straight for “full on sex.” Her deadpan expression is priceless and she stares down the camera with her best bedroom eyes, hand on hip and declares “it’s time to grow up.” The clip has not only got us giggling, but sort of hoping Flo will consider releasing an R & B album in the future … We can only dream!
Florence also appeared in another sketch as an enthusiastic dancing groupie for Jason Segel’s fictional band, The Blue Jean Committee (below), but the Florence Fest didn’t stop there. The performer took to the stage with The Machine for “No Light, No Light” and “Shake It Out.” A far cry from the irreverence with which she played Flow-Diggity, Florence was poised, graceful and elegant as she sang both songs. Not to mention divine, first while wearing Balmain, and second in a floor length black and lace cascading gown in signature Florence style. Keep an eye out for the impeccable Florence performing with The Machine for VH1′s DIVAS Celebrates Soul on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.
As big as Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” was, her follow-up single, “Someone Like You,” is in a position to become the most memorable song from 21. Whereas “Rolling In The Deep” was defiant in its tone, “Someone Like You”—which, we should mention, is currently the #1 song on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown—instead allows Adele (and, by natural extension, the listeners) to wallow a bit in the feelings of anguish, hurt and regret that come on the heels of a difficult breakup. Well, the writers of Saturday Night Live recognized the seismic emotional impact that the song has had on people of all ages, shapes and sizes (even Coldplay!), and devoted a whole sketch to it on this weekend’s show.
Warning: The sketch might make you laugh, it might make you cry, and it very well make you do both at the same time. It’s one of the most memorable sketches of the season to this point, not just because it’s built around a song that everyone knows and adores, but because it recognizes a fundamental truth in today’s culture—no matter who you are, “Someone Like You” packs one hell of an emotional wallop!—and spins it for comedic gold. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go into the supply closet and have ourselves a good cry.
If you want to make Beyoncé slightly more epic, just add The Roots. We know this because that’s exactly what happened this weekend on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Performing “Countdown,” Beyoncé foregoes her signature hyper-choreographed moves in favor of a more subdued, sexy performance. And it’s pretty damn sexy — even when the girl isn’t really moving, damn, can she move! Complete with hip-defining costume and wind machine, Bey proves why she’s the King; even with an amazing band (and they are amazing) like The Roots behind her, all you can think while watching is “Oh Bey!”
(NOTE: For those of you wondering why she looks not-at-all preggo in this video, it’s because this performance was taped over the summer and just aired for the first time on Friday night. H/T to Matt Perpetua for the scoop.)
Rihanna Announces That She Will Collaborate With Jay-Z On Her New Album
We smell a hit. A big one. Rihanna has annouced that she will once again collaborate with Jay-Z on her forthcoming album, Talk That Talk. We’re already dancing. [Just Jared]
SNL Meme Sketch “Band Reunion At The Wedding” Releases Official Single For Crisis Of Conformity Song “Fist Fight”
After the SNL sketch “Band Reunion At The Wedding” tickled the funny bone of audiences in early 2010, Crisis Of Conformity released a 7-inch single of “Fist Fight”. PAPERMAG chats with the band’s creator, Fred Armisen for a chat. [PAPERMAG]