I recently came across this article, which was actually kinda old: “The 15 most hated bands of the last 30 years” (Salon, 8/10/13).

Total clickbait, sure. But I agree that Nickelback, Creed, and Phish are among the worst things EVER. And I also hotly disagree that Dave Matthews, ICP, and Lana Del Rey deserve to be hated at all. At least, not for the reasons explored in that silly article.

Dave Matthews is just good. And ICP taps into a series of cultural and community phenomena that people (including many sociologists) seem to think it’s ok to disparage. Word to the wise: though there may be moments to discuss or critique within the context of Juggalo culture, derisive mocking of any group is not ok.


But let’s talk for a moment about Lana Del Rey…

First off, I like her songs. I like the juxtaposition of her dirty, slightly vulgar lyrics and smoky retro glamour (that’s somehow supposed to be so clean). And I like that she’s a total performance.

Apparently, this is the very same reason why people hate her. Consider:

It’s not that Lana Del Rey is bad, per se, it’s that her music seems fraudulent when compared to the ’60s-era musical acts she’s invoking. Her emotionless performance on “SNL” cemented her reputation as robotic, the product of overly manufactured pop perfection. She’s another reminder that we live in a post-Black Eyed Peas era. (here)

“Seems fraudulent” to who? Further:

Del Rey’s father, millionaire investor Rob Grant, helped with the marketing of her first album two years ago. Back then, she was still Lizzy Grant, the rich kid who grew up in upstate New York and went to boarding school in Connecticut. Months later, she had morphed into Lana, a mystery lady who “at one time lived in a New Jersey trailer park”and whose name sounds like a Mexican brand of cigarettes. The image, she explained, “came from a series of managers and lawyers over the last five years who wanted a name that they thought better fit the sound of the music.” (here)

Shut the fkkk up, whoever wrote that article and anyone else who seems to think Lana is more (or less) fake than any other performance artist! (or any other “regular” human for that matter, including you and me)

Just because Madonna uses her real name, do you really think you know her, especially at the beginning of her career? Or just because Jennifer Joanna Aniston seems “so real,” does that somehow negate the fact that her given name was once Jennifer Linn Anastassakis? Or Bob Dylan …I mean Robert Zimmerman.


The idea of authenticity being connected to *realness* is both subjective and subjectively enforced. Why is it ok for some people to create an entire character around their art (e.g. Alice Cooper or Lady Gaga) but not others? I’ll tell you the answer – it’s because of subjectivity.

Now, this doesn’t mean that we can’t all subjectively like what we like and dislike what we don’t. Go forth with your preferences and opinions! But don’t tell me you dis/like a crafted, sponsored performance act because it’s somehow more or less real than another. That doesn’t even make any sense.

Twenty years ago or twenty years from now, people would (or will) be laughing at Gaga over Lana. And it’s funny – there’s nothing more or less fake or authentic about either of those examples. It’s just that one hit at a moment where her particular version of art seemed more acceptable than the other.

Say what you will about her crafted act, I like Lana Del Rey. I could give a shit less about who she “really” is. She’s not my buddy, and I’m not asking her for advice. She’s just this pretty lady who sings these pretty songs and makes these pretty videos that I find pleasing. They remind me of Santa Monica, which incidentally is about as fake as anything can get – in my subjective opinion.

PS In addition to Lana Del Rey, I also like Lady Gaga. And Alice Cooper. I’m not a fan of Bob Dylan though.

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