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Tag: In Defense Of (1-10 of 15)

Lana Del Rey makes up for past sins on 'Letterman'

Sorry, backlash fans: Lana Del Rey wins this round.

After a certain disastrous late-night television performance (you know the one), ol’ LDR bounced back last night with an improved showing on The Late Show With David Letterman.

Once again singing her breakout hit “Video Games,” the once-wooden starlet looked to have been better oiled and more prepared for a national stage.

Also helping was the fact that the Late Show camera crew mercifully took some of the heat off of Del Rey by periodically focusing on other people, ones equipped with musical instruments and chairs.

Another possible factor for the controversial songstress’ relatively smooth outing? A confidence boost stemming from knowing that her debut effort Born to Die is in the lead for the highly coveted non-Adele top spot on the Billboard 200.

We could keep making guesses, or you could just watch the video below and rate her performance yourself:

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Lana Del Rey did fine on 'SNL,' says Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is certainly no “gangster Nancy Sinatra” (or gangster anything, really), but the lady does know how to brush that dirt off her shoulder.

Her album Born to Die finally dropped today, yet many people are still having trouble getting past her much-maligned showing on Saturday Night Live, which 22.53 percent of you thought was SNL‘s worst musical outing of all time. (Ashlee Simpson “won” the poll with 54.85 percent.)

Del Rey, however, has no idea what you’re talking about.

“I actually felt good about it. I thought I looked beautiful and sang fine,” she told Rolling Stone, presumably with a straight face. “It felt OK.”

“The cast and crew said they loved it,” she added. “I know some people didn’t like it, but that’s just the way I perform, and my fans know that.”

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Oscar voters snub Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' score

There are plenty of complaints this morning about Oscar snubs, and many of the people and films those arguments will name have a genuine case. Considering the year he has had, it’s absurd that Michael Fassbender didn’t get nominated for something (his performance in Shame was the most daring, but there’s a case to be made for his work in Jane Eyre as well as his turn as Magneto in X-Men: First Class), and the fact that treacly pablum like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close got a nod for Best Picture and Bridesmaids didn’t (a movie that, despite the poop jokes and Kristen Wiig mugging, actually has something to say) is pretty absurd.

But as far as the Music Mix is concerned, the real crimes were committed in the music categories. Only two tunes were nominated for Best Original Song, leaving that roundly excellent and Golden Globe-winning Madonna song on the bench. The one saving grace in this category is the fact that “Man or Muppet” may actually get performed on the show, making it the second best TV appearance by our fine felt friends in 2012 (because nothing will be able to top Miss Piggy’s appearance on Project Runway All Stars).

The real crime is in the Best Original Score category, where Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were shut out for their exemplary work for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. READ FULL STORY

Daniel Radcliffe swoops in to Lana Del Rey's 'SNL' defense

Call it Harry Potter and the Cold-Blooded Critics.

After hosting last weekend’s Saturday Night Live, Daniel Radcliffe is publicly coming to the defense of the episode’s musical guest Lana Del Rey, whose performance has inspired the first Great Music Debate of 2012.

“It was unfortunate that people seemed to turn on her so quickly,” Radcliffe said to the British press of Del Rey, who sang “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” on that fateful night.

“I also think people are making it about things other than the performance,” the actor continued. “If you read what people are saying about her online, it’s all about her past and her family and stuff that’s nobody else’s business.”

Added Radcliffe, “I don’t think it warranted anywhere near that reaction.”

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Where are all the solo female country stars?

Want to hear a staggering statistic?

In the last four weeks, there has been only one song by a female solo artist in the Top 30 of Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart: “Sparks Fly” by Taylor Swift, which currently sits at number 23.

Meanwhile, on the pop charts, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Adele, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj continue to dominate.

Country music in 2011 is apparently a man’s world. But it shouldn’t have to be!

Where is the love for Kellie Pickler’s rough-and-tumble new single, “Tough?” Why did Sunny Sweeney’s latest track, the heartfelt “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving,” stall at number 41? Why won’t Sara Evans’ “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” take off at radio? Does Nashville have a problem with female singers right now?

Before you all jump down my throat—Listen, I know that Lady Antebellum includes singer Hillary Scott. I know that Kimberly Perry provides the vocals for The Band Perry. I know Carrie Underwood is a guest on Brad Paisley’s “Remind Me.” I know Thompson Square is one-half female. I know that Kelly Clarkson sings on Jason Aldean’s “Don’t You Wanna Stay” and that Grace Potter is featured on Kenny Chesney’s “You and Tequila” But all these ladies are successful alongside men—where are the solo country females?! READ FULL STORY

Beyoncé's dark face makeup in French photo shoot causes a racial ruckus: Is this art?

beyonceBeyoncé is catching some heat today, as pictures from her shoot in French fashion magazine L’Officiel Paris have hit the net.

In their 90th-anniversary issue, the pop icon pays tribute to African culture, donning head wraps and gorgeous gowns. But one picture in particular seems to be getting the most attention. In it Beyoncé wears dark face paint, transforming her fair-skinned complexion to a dark brown one. Whoa, right? How could she? …Okay, America. Chill out. Not every blackened face is blackface. There’s a fine line between artistry and mockery. And several things must be considered before thinking that Beyoncé, of all people, would be the one to spit in the face of her own culture.

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50 Cent and Shyne trade zingers in the summer's most entertaining rap beef

50-cent-shyneImage Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos; Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive/Getty ImagesYou probably know 50 Cent as a rapper, actor, and businessman, but I think his truest gifts may lie in the phony phone-call field. Take his ongoing tiff with Shyne. The former Diddy protégé has been one of 50′s innumerable antagonists going back years, but things have really started heating up lately with Shyne’s release from prison. Last week, Shyne’s new label, Def Jam, organized a live webcast/conference call to aid with his halting comeback efforts. 50 Cent took this opportunity to call in under a fake name and prank Shyne.

You can watch 50′s edited version of the webcast exchange after the jump via Nah Right — be warned, there’s a ton of NSFW profanity and at least one cringe-inducing Mel Gibson quotation. Really, though, the questionable details of 50′s tirade aren’t the point. What makes this hilarious to me is the way 50 Cent consistently gets right up in his many enemies’ faces. No other artist of his stature would take the time to do this. Jay-Z, for instance, has spent the last 10 years studiously avoiding petty industry beefs whenever possible. 50 gleefully jumps headfirst into the mud every time. I can’t help chuckling at his antics, even when I know I shouldn’t. READ FULL STORY

Picture of Lady Gaga at John Lennon's piano lands on Twitter; Beatles fans freak out

ladygaga-lennonpianoImage Credit: Sean Lennon/TwitpicOh, good Lord. Another day, another tempest in a Gaga teapot. (At least she’s already got the outfit). A Twitpic posted by Sean Lennon—and now removed—shows the singer, in fishnet stockings and what looks like a goth kid’s ice-skating dress, tickling the keys of his father John’s iconic piano, of “Imagine” legend.

“With gaga at mom’s house, she’s belting on the white piano,” Sean tweeted, unaware of the firestorm to follow.

There’s no way to say this without sounding thoroughly obnoxious (nobody likes a bragger!), but having been lucky enough to visit that infamous Dakota apartment several years ago to interview Yoko Ono, the piano is—among many other priceless works of art, Dalis and Warhols and sundry John mementos—just sitting there. It is not encased in bulletproof glass or protected by deadly laser cats. And it’s highly doubtful that Yoko or Sean would let anyone touch the piano without permission; frankly, it’s theirs alone to give.

As Sean himself replied to one incensed caps-lock tweeter (“WHY WOULD YOU LET LADY GAGA PLAY ON JOHN’S PIANO?”) “Firstly, he gave that piano to my mother for her birthday, it is hers, secondly, he was not uptight the way you seem to be,” Sean tweeted. And later, “What should we do, lock it away in a dusty room? So judgmental…Come on, lighten up … life’s too short, there’re enough real problems in the world.”

I can’t tell if it’s her outfit, the generalized ill Twitter will towards Sean (“thus far, you’ve proven to be nothing more than a lucky c–shot”), or a more obtuse hatred for Lady Gaga, but her momentary contact with those keys doesn’t make her an honorary Beatle; John’s spirit most likely did not shoot up her garter belt and make her play “And Your Bird Can Sing” like a woman possessed.

Maybe it will inspire her later, who knows. Most likely, she was just super stoked to touch a pretty phenomenal piece of music history, and if you had the chance (and the blessing of Lennon’s immediate family), wouldn’t you?

Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Usher puts his lady to bed in ‘There Goes My Baby’ video: Watch here
Robbie Williams to reunite with Take That, film ‘Brokeback Mountain’-themed comeback video
The Fugs’ Tuli Kupferberg dies at 86

Lady Gaga preps ‘Remix’ album for US release

Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman get engaged on stage
Miniature Tigers exclusive: Stream a delightful new indie-rock track
Lilith Fair in L.A.: On the scene

Five reasons you should see Hall & Oates on tour

I’m not sure when it became ironic to dig Hall & Oates, but it bothers me deeply. Sure, I get that we’re all supposed to be so friggin’ cool by now that it’s impossible to love something without wrapping air quotes around it. But the blue-eyed soul duo’s awesomeness is so indisputable, it should be immune to winking snark. After all, these are the guys who wrote “Sara Smile”, “Maneater”, and one of the most perfect break-up tunes of all time, “She’s Gone”. There’s nothing guilty about the pleasure these songs bring the first, second, or hundredth time you hear them. And if you’ve never seen them performed live, do yourself a favor and check out the band’s current “Do What You Want, Be Who You Are” tour.

Still not convinced? Here’s five reasons you should see Hall & Oates live…

1. Because they’ll be wearing clothes a whole lot cooler than these:

2. Because Oates is…gasp!…going mustache-less these days.

3. Because there’s nothing comparable to the sound of a few thousand people trying to reproduce the hand-clap that comes 44 seconds into this song…

4. Because they’ll also be playing this…

5. Because when we recently saw them play the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut, Hall never once uttered the line, “Here’s one you may not know from our new album”.

Grace Jones vs. Lady Gaga: 'I wouldn't go to see her'

grace-jones-lady-gagaImage Credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty Images; Scott Gries/Getty ImagesLady Gaga may adore cult pop icon Grace Jones, but Ms. Jones won’t picking up her t-t-telephone calls any time soon.

The 61-year-old Jamaican-born model/actress/fashion radical, best known as a club performer, Warhol muse, Bond girl, hair maverick, and all-around fabu freakshow, was recently asked by London’s Guardian newspaper what she thought of the world’s current preeminent mistress of carcinogenic eyewear. Jones’ reply? “I really don’t think of her at all. I go about my business … I wouldn’t go to see her.”

And would they ever work together? “She did [ask], but I said no. I’d just prefer to work with someone who is more original and someone who is not copying me, actually.” READ FULL STORY

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