i don’t know if it’s the holiday season or the fact that it’s been about three years since i last played one (guitar hero, you don’t count), but for the past week i haven’t been able to get video games off my mind. (final fantasy, uncharted, zelda and more, i can not wait for the current stage of the book release to be over so that i can once again immerse myself in a video game. (as you can tell, i prefer role-playing games.)) so it should come to no surprise that when i heard the song “video games” by lana del rey for the first time this week that i kinda freaked out a bit.
the video has already received almost 8million hits on the youtubes with thanks from shows like the ringer and gossip girl featuring it on their soundtracks or in current episodes. i love the feel of the vid, it’s very silicon valley of the dolls in the way it mashes up stock footage of photogs from the fifties and sixties with ipod billboards and skateboards. lana (nee elizabeth grant) may be a year younger than me, but she has the voice and aesthetic of someone much older. check out the video here:
controversy: for those of you who are still reading, my guess is it’s because you wanted me to talk about the controversy of this faux-indie artist that people are so up in arms about. fine, i have neither the indie cred nor the indie-care about it but as with everything in my life, i do have an opinion.
note: if you’d really like to hear solid arguments my friend and fellow lambda literary fellow tracy jean rosenthal has a great article on it over at good: ‘why the indie world hates lana del rey’ please go read it for a well-thought-out discussion on the matter.
my thoughts: one may argue that by having her sing a song about making her boyfriend happy with video games ‘the music machine’ has set her up to placate to the fantasy of dude-music bloggers everywhere. speaking as a proud gay male blogger, the note she strikes with me has nothing to do with her lips or my desire to marry a sixties housewife.
seeing as she’s billed as a singer/songwriter i hope that she did in fact write these lyrics, but even if she didn’t they do strike a strong chord with me. the idea of dating someone and being so wrapped up with them. doing everything for them, just wanting them to be happy. when i hear these lyrics i think of a couple, one of them playing a video game, the other just content to be next to them on the couch.
the indie scene, loves to make things popular just to turn their back on it the moment that they hear it on the radio. the only thing most indie-identified music enthusiasts love to do more than say ‘i loved *insert indie band name here* before everyone else did’ is to say ‘i hated *insert sell-out indie band name here* before everyone else did. the point of making music is to have people hear it. one of the pleasant side-effects of people hearing and enjoying your music (or art) is that you make money. you sell your music, you sell out venues and then the same people that made you famous call you a sell-out.
Open up a beer. And you say get over here. And play a video game.
I’m in his favorite sun dress. Watching me get undressed. Take that body downtown
I say you the bestest. Lean in for a big kiss. Put his favorite perfume on.
Go play a video game.
It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you. Everything I do. I tell you all the time. Heaven is a place on earth with you. Tell me all the things you want to do. I heard that you like the bad girls. Honey, is that true?. It’s better than I ever even knew. They say that the world was built for two. Only worth living if somebody is loving you. Baby now you do.