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Comparing the Performance Styles of Hope Sandoval and Lana Del Rey

April 12, 2019 2 comments

Most “popular” entertainment is highly recycled. While this phenomena is very blatant, nowadays, with terminal late-capitalism providing the impetus to make endless movie and TV show reboots, it has always been a feature of the entertainment industry. While properly done movie and TV show remakes (Scarface 1932 and 1983, The Mummy 1932 and 1999, It 1990 and 2017, Original Star Trek vs Star Trek NG etc) can be quite good- most are highly forgettable even when they are somewhat financially successful. One might think that music is somewhat less likely to use remakes given that musical tastes change far more over the years than movies or TV shows- and that is sorta true. For example- Only old white people and a few hipsters care about Jazz today.

There are however two other forms of remaking and rebooting which are much more common in music than the movie or TV industry. I am talking about cover versions of especially popular music and songs- which then go on to eclipse their previous versions. Sampling older song tunes and their hooks into remixed version is another version of this behavior. The other form of this remake involves artists copying the persona and styles of somebody from a previous generation. For example- the persona of Lady Gaga is basically a reboot of Madonna from a generation ago. Now let me show you a less obvious one- largely because the original version of this persona was about a decade or more too early to be that successful.

Hope Sandoval was the lead singer in an alt-rock band known as Mazzy Star. They were sorta well-known during the early to mid 1990s. Here.. look at this live performance from 1994 of one of their more popular songs. Doesn’t Hope Sandoval remind you of someone?

In case you have not figured it out yet.. here is a YT clip of a live performance by Lana del Rey in 2014. Aren’t their musical styles and public persona oddly similar to each other?

What do you think? Comments?