Tag Archives: Lana Del Rey

LP Fantasy: “Gene Simmons Presents…So You Wanna Work in Rock Retail?”

When I was an awkward teenager, staring the oblivion of adulthood in the face, I made a list of dream jobs I wanted to have.  Not serious careers I could have: these were the fun jobs I’d hold before I graduated from college.  I came up with three:

  1. Work in a bookstore.
  2. Work in a record store.
  3. Be a security guard.

I’ve always loved books and music, so bookstore and record store were pretty obvious choices for me.  The security guard thing was a mixture of curiosity and the fact that my granddad had worked as a guard for a Pinkerton.  Shortly after graduating from High School I started living all my wildest dreams when I got a job at a small bookstore.  It was fantastic, I was quickly promoted to assistant manager AND I got to take books home and read them.  Not that it mattered I got to read books for free, I still spent 2/3 of my meager wage on books.  But like all good things, my time at the bookstore didn’t last very long, five months into my tenure there Barnes & Noble decided to close our store a few weeks after Christmas.  The dream was over.


I was unemployed for a while, but then got hired on as a security guard—at the same company as my granddad.  I worked overnights and actually did MORE reading as a guard than I did while working at the bookstore. I found out that being a guard was thankless, terrible, boring work…so of course I did it for 5 years while I was getting my Bachelor’s in Rock-blogging (and thank God I did, because without a mountain of student loan-debt I wouldn’t be able to write about Lana Del Rey’s Pepsi-flavored snatch).

Sadly, I never got a chance to work in a record shop.  The closest I came was when Barnes & Noble closed my small bookstore and offered me a job at one of their mega-chainstores (where they sell music in addition to everything else).  I didn’t take the job because as they offered it to me they told me I’d probably hate it, having worked in a small, customer-centric store.  The idea of working in a “section” of a store as opposed to the whole thing wasn’t very appealing.  Working in small shop is great because it forces you to learn about stuff you’d otherwise never encounter.  I’m an expert of children’s literature and Christian Romance novels for this very reason.

Who’d have thought working in a record store would be just as unrealistic of a goal as being a novelist or astronaut?  I guess I even suck at picking small, attainable goals, too.  Working in a small record store never happened for me mostly because, even back in 2004 when I lost my bookstore job, there weren’t very many record stores left.  I think right now there are only three or four in St. Louis where I live now, which is crazy considering how many people live here.  Sometimes when I’m at work, sitting at my desk, I fantasize about working at a record shop.   The stocking of shelves; the rambling discussions with co-workers and customers about obscure British b-sides.  Maybe we’d have a company blog where I could offer recommendations  or a podcast where I could breath heavily into the microphone whilst reading off my Top 10 albums of the year.

A few years ago I saw a really great documentary called I NEED THAT RECORD! which was all about the struggles of independent record shops.  The entire time I watched I could think of nothing but getting a second mortgage on my house (alá GHOSTBUSTERS) and buying a shitty little hole-in-the-wall in some stripmall where I could sell water-damaged vinyl to bearded dudes in Sonic Youth t-shirts.  What does it say about me that I’d willingly enter into crippling debt to sit around all day peddling dusty albums?

The really sad part is, at this stage in my life I’d probably be willing to pay them for the privilege of working in a record store.  Like one of those balding, middle-aged men who pay Pete Townshend and that guy from Boston to teach them basic guitar at one of those Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy camps.  Maybe in a few years TLC or A&E will do a reality show where overweight music bloggers get to live out their fantasy of working in a record shop: Gene Simmons Presents…So You Wanna Work in Rock Retail?

Until then, I guy can dream.

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“Cola” by Lana Del Rey Rules

Last night I stopped by the record store after imbibing in a few pints of adult libations.  While browsing, I spotted Lana Del Rey’s new album PARADISE and picked it up, mostly to make fun of it.  I turned the CD over and the first thing I noticed was the song “Cola.”  I really like that word for some reason and I thought it was a strange word to title a song.  Was this song about soda?  Did the word cola actually in the song?  Theses and many other questions entered my mind.

This woman is a genius.

This woman is a genius.

I immediately announced that I was going to listen to this song when I got home.  Of course, I forgot because I had a bunch of other stuff going on, but just before I went to bed I recalled Lana Del Rey and her soda-song.  I fired up my Spotify app and played “Cola.”

I didn’t know what to expect when I hit play but I certainly wasn’t expecting “My pussy tastes like Pepsi cola, my eyes are wide like cherry pies, I gots [sic] a taste for men who are older.”  I burst out laughing and hit rewind so I could listen again. When the song was over I played it again.   Then I played it again. I texted my friend and told him he had to listen to “Cola,” that it was too funny/strange to dismiss.

Once the initial shock/glee of hearing a young woman breathlessly sing about how her pussy tastes like Pepsi cola wore off, I started to get angry.  Why was this woman famous? Her image and album are everywhere! She’s a hack/phony/fraud.  I thought about all the really great singers out there who would kill to have her level of exposure and how much better their songs probably are.  It made me sick.

Then I sat back and tried to think about why I was so angry.  Is it because “Cola” is a bad song? Well, no.  “Cola” is actually a really good song, despite the strangeness of it. Then I thought, is it because she’s a bad singer?  Again, no.  Lana Del Rey may not be the world’s greatest singer, but she does have a unique, breathy-vocal style that isn’t unpleasant to hear.  And in a world where everyone in the music business is trying to sound exactly the same, Lana Del Rey definitely has a unique sound.  When one hears Lana Del Rey they immediately recognize that’s whom they’re hearing.

I realized that my confused feelings were the result of only one thing: art-pop.  Lana Del Rey catches a lot of flack because she’s been marketed to us all as Adele when that’s not who she is.  This is art-college let’s-all-shave-our-heads kind of stuff.  As soon as I realized this, I started to wonder if her less-than-stellar SNL performance wasn’t some sort of performance-art stunt.

Now, I’m not saying that Lana Del Rey is some kind of genius.  Don’t get me wrong, being weird for the sake of being weird can be lame and tiresome, but in small doses it’s fun.  And that’s what “Cola” is, it’s a four minute dose of weird.  I’m sure somewhere someone can explain her message, man. Al I know is, Lana Del Rey somehow convinced a lot of people to release a song in which she sings about how her pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola: if for no other reason that should earn her our respect.  Fun fact, this song reached #22 on Billboards rock charts.

Awesome. Lana, you go girl.

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“Cola” by Lana Del Rey Sucks

For the past few weeks, every time I go anywhere that sells music I see Lana Del Rey.  She stares at me, seductively, from the cover of her album PARADISE.  The only thing I knew about Lana Del Rey was that she was super-polarizing and that her appearance on SNL a while back was much maligned.  I saw that performance and didn’t think it was as bad as everyone said, but then again I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty face.

Like. Pepsi. Cola.

Like. Pepsi. Cola.

Anyway, last night I was stumbling through my local record store and for some reason I decided to pick up PARADISE.  I turned it over and was amused that one of the tracks was titled “Cola.”  I told my friend who was with me at the time that I was going to listen to this song when I got home.

And so, a few hours later, just before I went to bed I entered the world of Lana Del Rey.  I fired up Spotify and gave “Cola” and most of PARADISE a listen.  I picked “Cola” because that word seemed so odd on the back of a CD, especially on the back of one with such an enigmatic person on the front.

I didn’t know what to expect when I hit play but I certainly wasn’t expecting “My pussy tastes like Pepsi cola, my eyes are wide like cherry pies, I gots [sic] a taste for men who are older.”  I guess my first thought was Gee, this song should be titled “Pepsi Cola” and then I realized that there was no way in hell Pepsi would let her get away with that. The song is dark, brooding, and kinda sexy…but they lyrics are atrociously stupid.  The kind of vapid non-sense girls AND boys in creative writing classes the globe over churn endlessly churn out.

On just about every level, I can’t imagine who this song is supposed to appeal to.  Is “Cola” a four-minute joke?  Is Lana Del Rey making fun of us for making fun of her by releasing a song this absurd? I don’t know and I’m not sure I really care. As I get older I find my patience for this sort of thing gets shorter and shorter.  I really wanted to give Lana Del Rey a fair shake, but “Cola” made it virtually impossible for me to do that, it’s just too ridiculous. 

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