Skip to main content

Lana Del Rey - Chelsea Hotel No.2, Black Beauty and random thoughts



For anyone who has any doubts about Lana Del Rey's hauntingly broad range of talents, here are two songs and videos that capture the beauty of her voice and presence at its most vulnerable and simply moving.

Chelsea Hotel #2 is a Leonard Cohen song that Lana Del Rey sings even more beautifully than Cohen (and I love Cohen), bringing to it the strange kind of frailty that Lou Reed brought to songs like Perfect Day (both Cohen and Reed videos are below.)

The second Del Rey song is Black Beauty, from her album Ultraviolence, made all the more beautiful here by the "fanmade" music video by Peter Tatsis, which features vintage footage of female dancers (along with footage of Del Rey herself, from other videos) which in its own way is as haunting as Lana Del Rey's tender song and voice.

Lana Del Rey's music now strikes me as comparable in a sense to early Bowie: enormously varied, hugely accomplished and at the same time the beginning of a long wonderful road trip to new musical landscapes, most likely as unexpected as, in Bowie's case, the transition from Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane to Station To Station, Low, Heroes and beyond.







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The High Tower Apartments and The Long Goodbye

Photograph by Dwayne Moser. This beautiful apartment complex in Los Angeles is called the Hightower or High Tower Complex (the High Tower name refers to the central elevator, I believe), and was designed in 1935-1936 by architect  Carl Kay - and made famous in 1973 by my favorite film, Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (see Why I Love Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye ). Although Altman used the building as Philip Marlowe's apartment in his somewhat post-modern Long Goodbye (the film plays with references to Old Hollywood and opens and closes with the song, Hooray For Hollywood ), the building has another direct connection to Raymond Chandler. It was apparently the inspiration for Chandler in his book, The High Window (the first Chandler novel I ever read), in which Chandler describes the residence of Philip Marlowe as being on the cliffs above High Tower Drive in a building with a fancy elevator tower. (Thanks to the Society of Architectural Historians Southern

Andrew Hale and Sade

Sade in concert in San Jose. All concert photos  Copyright  © 2011  Alexander Chow-Stuart. On Thursday evening, we saw our longtime friend Andrew Hale perform with Sade at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, in one of the most beautifully conceived and produced concert performances I have ever seen. Sade is a rare musician, in that she and the band only write, record and tour every eight to ten years, so that in a very real sense you can measure your life by her. The band's music is always fresh and always newly conceived - for their previous album, Lovers Rock , they stripped everything down musically to a minimalist sound and banished the saxophone that had been so much a part of Sade's heavily soul- and jazz-influenced style. The latest album, Soldier of Love , released in 2010, is one of the most tender, moving collections of songs yet, from the astonishingly beautiful Morning Bird , which features exquisite keyboards from Andrew, to the soulful, retro, return-

The War Zone Message Board - Something Remarkable

Lara Belmont and Ray Winstone in The War Zone. Thirteen years ago, when the film of my novel The War Zone was released, something remarkable occurred: a film and a book about incest gave birth to an online message board, The War Zone Message Board , intended for survivors of incest and abuse, and all who wished to discuss relevant topics in an empathetic manner. It is not a fan site for either the book or the film. It is moderated by volunteers - currently two young women called Nath and Norie - who give freely of their time to insure that those who wish to give voice to their feelings, or to find solace or help or support from others, may do so. Some of the people involved call themselves "zoners," which for me is something quite remarkable and humbling: that a novel I first started thinking about almost 30 years ago, and a film that Tim Roth directed so stunningly 13 years ago, should spawn its own support system for those caught up in the horrifying world we r