Sunday, February 05, 2012

Bookmarks: Internet stuff - Liz Phair

I've not written about Lana Del Ray much, mainly because I've struggled with the idea that there's anything much that needs to be said - the whole thing just feels a little too frictionless; all backstory and no plot. Noticeable without being noteworthy. And, apart from a moment when I had to scrape my eyebrows off the ceiling at Prospect magazine, of all places, both throwing in the "gangsta Nancy Sinatra" quote and getting it wrong (it's not a self-description), much of what has been written about her has suffered from the same difficulty finding any point on which to stand in order to move the earth. Yes, yes, manufactured - but both mechanically recovered chicken and the Boeing Dreamliner are manufactured, but they're not the same thing.

All of which is by way of lining up this: the first thing that I've read on Lana Del Ray that I've made it to the end of. I'm not sure I'd expect 'Video Games' to appear at the end of a line on Only Connect that started with 'Fuck And Run', but Liz Phair, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reckons it fits:

I have a lot to say about her, but no sound bites. You see, Lana Del Rey is exactly what I was hoping to inspire when I took on the male rock establishment almost twenty years ago with my debut record, “Exile In Guyville.”

Let me break it down for you: she’s writing herself into existence. She’s giving herself a part to play because, God knows, no one else will and she wants to matter in this life. As far as I can tell, it’s working. I went straight to iTunes and bought her new release “Born To Die” in toto (how often do I do that??) because it was more than a collection of songs or a performance, it was a phenomenon. Maybe all the more so because she’s not overwhelmingly talented. The minute I hear the whisperings of “how dare she,” I’m interested. I don’t have to like it, it doesn’t have to be worthy.