The year: 2002. The planet: Earth. ‘Twas a simpler time. A time when music really meant something. A time when a gorgeous Russian teenage duo dressed in schoolgirl uniforms set the world ablaze with their solid, Sapphic-themed pop classics, including “Not Gonna Get Us,” “All The Things She Said” and “All About Us.”
It was the Time of t.A.T.u.‘s Reign, when we were all truly invincible…and sort of pretending to be lesbians.
But after three incredible studio albums, the t.A.T.u. mega-machine sadly came whirring to a slow finish toward the end of 2010 with their final single, “Sparks.” Since then, the girls have parted ways and thrown in their uniforms to embark on their own solo careers.
While Lena Katina‘s already making her way independently, Julia Volkova has just only begun (having her fun), starting with her debut solo single: “Didn’t Wanna Do It.”
Well, the new Madonna video has arrived–and it’s not a disaster, not yet a revelation.
Beginning with an ‘Outta my way, paparazzo!’ dramatic waltz into the backseat of her fancy car (presumably to go fetch Lourdes from jousting lessons), the Queen of Everything has clearly HAD IT up to her fashionable headband with the world.
But after a brief *HEAD DESK* moment against the driver’s headrest, Queen M decides to turn that “Is that a fucking hydrangea?” frown upside down and–you guessed it: Turn up the radio!
Just as quickly, Madge is magically transformed into Dita McSmiley, gleefully pointing in all directions (AWKWARD ALERT) and waving at the legions of fans stalking her entire life. Watch as M rolls through the streets of Florence, picking up attractive men, shady hookers (working title of my upcoming boy band) and 20-something boyfriends in the process.
The video is essentially La Dolce Vita filmed through Instagram, with a touch of the “Drowned World (Substitute For Love)” stalkerazzi concept sprinkled into the mix.
Highlights include ample cleavage, sexy Brahim in glasses, booty slaps, and the general pleasantness of the Tuscan countryside. Drawbacks include weak finger-pointing, contortionists, and not a single man dancing in high heels.
I thought this would be much worse because the concept is so flimsy, but I have to say: It’s kind of a treat to see Madonna letting loose and having some fun (and looking GAWGEOUS to boot!) It’s nothing too riveting, and I don’t suppose it’ll have the staying power of, say, “Vogue,” but it’s…fine, I suppose.
That’ll do, Madonna. That’ll do. Now get on with “Gang Bang.”
MDNA was released on May 26. (iTunes)
How much do I love thee, Lana Del Rey? Let me count the ways…
The nearly 8-minute Anthony Mandler-directed video for “National Anthem” has arrived…and it’s a masterpiece.
Beginning with a Marilyn Monroe-inspired intro, the video traces the romance between Lovely Lana and A$AP Rocky–turned Jackie O and JFK. But sandwiched in between all the preppy, idyllic imagery is a distinctly hip-hop flair–gold bling, playing craps on the White House floor, even Lana booty dropping!–perfectly representing the cut ‘n’ spliced vintage American nostalgia-meets-modern swagger of Lana Del Rey’s sound, her image, her persona…her everything.
Every single aspect of the video–the gorgeous cinematography, the acting, the styling, the ingenious blend of past and present symbolism–is just brilliant to its core. Additionally (spoiler alert!), the decision to mute the horror of the actual assassination avoids what could have very, very easily been a tacky effort to revisit history. Instead, the clip for “National Anthem” tastefully honors and re-imagines a tragic tale of love–even beyond death.
It’s mesmerizing, devastating, and not only is it Lana’s best work (easily), but it might well be the best video of the year.
I am in awe.
(Be sure to read the transcript of the chill-inducing closing monologue below the video, courtesy of Ben. Just beautiful.)
“It’s a love story for the new age…”
And I remember when I met him, it was so clear that he was the only one for me. We both knew it, right away. And as the years went on, things got more difficult- we were faced with more challenges.
I begged him to stay. Try to remember what we had at the beginning.
He was charismatic, magnetic, electric and everybody knew it. When he walked in every woman’s head turned, everyone stood up to talk to him. He was like this hybrid, this mix of a man who couldn’t contain himself. I always got the sense that he became torn between being a good person and missing out on all of the opportunities that life could offer a man as magnificent as him.
And in that way I understood him and I loved him. I loved him, I loved him, I loved him.
And I still love him. I love him.
Alright, ugh. Here’s the deal: I watched the Katy Perry video…and I liked it.
The video for “Wide Awake” (which happens to be a decent song) is basically a clever, neat ‘n’ tidy wrap-up to the entire Teenage Dream era, picking up from the tail-end of the “California Gurls” video and transforming into some sort of Gothic Katy Perry Fairy Tale in an enchanted castle involving forbidden strawberries and the pitfalls of fame and fortune. Or whatever.
It’s all very whimsical and well executed–to the point where I can’t even find a single way to poke fun at this video.
Wait, um. Sorry. You’re kidding, right? Is that a fucking CHALLENGE? WELL THEN! HERE WE GO…
“Katy Perry, you unstoppable bitch: A multi-platinum record, six #1 singles, countless shattered Billboard records, Grammy nominations, a worldwide tour, a film about your own goddamn life. Oh yes, I’d fuck me. I’d–”
Illuminati Scales of Justice earrings: A clear and obvious rip-off of Madonna‘s
tasteful evening wear during the MDNA Tour. BE ORIGINAL, KATY.
Katy Perry as Eve. Strawberry as Forbidden Fruit. Jesus Wrist Tattoo as Questionable Life Choice.
Mandatory breast ejaculation? Check!
Oh, this? Just a perfectly innocuous post-apocalyptic labyrinth of sorts!
OR IS IT.
RUSSELL BRAND. THAT’S RUSSELL BRAND. THAT GUY WHO IS PRINCE CHARMING THAT SHE IS HITTING IS A METAPHOR. FOR RUSSELL BRAND. DO YOU SEE WHAT SHE DID THERE. THAT’S RUSSELL BRAND.
Who’s the fairest of them all?
SHAMELESS PLUG FOR PURR, A PLAYFUL YET SOPHISTICATED FRAGRANCE
THAT TRANSCENDS BARRIERS, JUST LIKE KATY PERRY.
Innocent girl walking her bike away–a clear and obvious rip-off of Godney‘s iconic,
game-changing Rolling Stone 1999 shoot David LaChapelle. BE ORIGINAL, KATY.
Buh bah nah.
Now watch it f’real.
Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection was released on March 26. (iTunes)
The clip for Azealia Banks‘ 1991 EP smash “Liquorice” has just arrived, guns blazing.
Shot by fashion legend Rankin and styled by Gaga‘s stylist/Thierry Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti, the video follows Azealia through the wild, wild west (and about a half dozen high fashion quick-changes) as she prepares for a showdown with…well, herself! (Kind of really meta!)
I’m getting ridiculous amounts of life from that flowing black number in the middle of the forest, her metallic horned hottie look, and of course, the bad girl cowgirl styling. Frankly, I haven’t seen a woman work chaps that well since Legendtina slathered Crisco all over herself, tied shoelaces into her hair and jumped into a boxing ring for “Dirrty.” Oh, and when she’s wielding that bat above the stairs? I’m bowing down.
My favorite moment? Too many, but it’s got to be her hot dog massacre while sitting in the doorstep. Just when you think she’s going in for the kill to fulfill a phallic fantasy…OUCH! Not so much.
This right here’s how you serve bad bitch, rapstress and gunslinger goddess realness all in one go. Slayed it, Azealia. SUH-LAYED. IT.
And while we’re at it: Have you entered to win a signed copy of 1991 EP yet? Do it now.
The 1991 EP was released on May 29. (iTunes)