Lady Gaga Retires, Handing Addison Rae Her Crown
Lady Gaga and Addison Rae collab, Julia Fox and Kanye West frighten Paris, Maluma gets freaky, Taylor Swift promotes fast fashion idealism, Adele inflicts emotional terrorism, and so much more!
Hello and here we go again! Another week in the rearview mirror and somehow I did not manage to do 2000 situps between now and the last time I hit your inbox. Go figure! Speaking of hitting your inbox, you may have noticed that there hasn’t been a Friday letter for a few weeks. I’ve been taking a sort of brief unannounced pause from them as I gather myself this month and plan more things for the rest of the year. They aren’t gone, in fact, there are plans in motion for some very fun pieces! I just have to get my broken brain together a little bit. You’ll see them again soon, and until then, there are these:
Top Shelf, Low Brow: January 19th-January 25th
Young Love in The City of (Marlboro) Lights
After sucking the air out of every room they walked into on both coasts of the United States over the past two weeks, it was time for Julia Fox and (Kan)Ye West to take their relationship international, hitting Paris this week for the season’s couture shows. Like Eve (of Adam and Eve fame), Julia Fox is quickly being remade in her paramour’s image—but unlike Eve, she isn’t being born of his rib, but rather the old YSL eyebrow pencil Kim Kardashian left behind after fleeing in the dead of night.
The pair gallivanted around Paris, going from the left bank to the right, arrondissement to arrondissement! Kenzo show to Schiaparelli show to dinner with Rick Owens and his wife Michèle Lamy, France’s premier fashion witch who is singlehandedly responsible for 82% of the country’s cigarette sales. Throughout their trip, the two wore many outfits…because that’s just like…their thing? Ye doesn’t make listenable music and Julia won’t be in another movie until at least 2024 after the sure to be nuclear-level fallout of this PR stunt, so until that changes we really just have the outfits! Make room in the DSM for some new entries with the following symptoms:
The thing about Ye dressing up Julia Fox like she’s a character option in a Sims 4 Expansion Pack is that, as commanding as she is, these outfits just do not suit her. They’re eating her up! She’s getting lost entirely—her personality may be irrefutably chaotic, but things have moved too quickly for even her to keep up. She hasn’t had even a moment to catch her breath before Ye puts her in another binding leather look. He’s been at this for years, he has been this person, but the transition for Julia has been quite literally overnight, and her lack of confidence in this new role makes it all look like a costume on her, and in return makes her look even more unnatural next to Ye, who’s so settled in even the strangest clothes that he looks completely comfortable and totally natural. And it doesn’t help that she’s got to walk around Paris trying to sell a days-long, bold eyeshadow look that I’m not sure even the most avant-garde personalities could effectively pull off.
In an Instagram story, Fox confirmed that her makeup artist for the trip was none other than Ye himself, painting for the back row…of a stadium. Walk anywhere in a 350-foot radius of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and you can see rich art school kids with the exact same makeup. I was once inside an organic market next to Pratt at 2am buying a chicken wrap and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (drunk) and rounded the corner into the ramen aisle to see a girl wearing the exact same thing and almost screamed. Phase 3 of Yulia is quickly seeing things devolve into a bad art project. The only thing I have written down in my notes for this week regarding them is “Julia fox bad outfit why.” And they’re not even all necessarily bad, like this one (save for bag), but why does Ye keep making her lay on hotel floors to be photographed?
I don’t care what hotel it is or which city it’s in, a floor sit—and especially a floor lay? Immediate Silkwood shower.
(Rating: Low Brow)
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling forever 22
This remix of “Message in a Bottle,” the latest single from Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version), has transported me back to a simpler time, lost in the stark-white tiling of a Forever 21 on a hot summer day in 2012. When $50 could buy the whole store and the biggest concern in life was sifting through chevron prints for something marginally wearable. If you close your eyes when the absolute wall of noise that Fat Max G—whoever that is—calls a chorus hits, you can almost smell the scent of Victoria’s Secret Love Spell body spray drifting in from the store in the mall, across from the entrance.
This remix isn’t good, but no Taylor remix ever is. Like most of her music, we come to it for the way it makes us feel. And this? It feels a rack of neon-hued bathing suits pushed against a wall, half of the product already fallen on the floor and the other half hanging by one strap on the left side of a hanger. And to me? That’s home…a distant home, but one I’ll never forget.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
Nothing on but the Raedio
When we last spoke about Addison Rae around here, it was when she was having a stilted and unforgettably brilliant/cringe conversation with Charli XCX at the launch event for the chintzy Pandora Jewelry line that they were being paid to promote. Since seeing the remarkable, vacant energy on display in that video, we’ve been keeping an eye on her at the TSLB offices—especially after hearing the snippet of “I Got It Bad,” the pop perfection single that she’s been sitting on for months. So imagine the shock, awe, and delight when a snippet of Rae’s version of what is arguably Lady Gaga’s best unreleased song, “Nothing On (But the Radio),” hit the internet last week.
This is an unprecedented but nevertheless absolutely major situation. Champagne bottles have been primed for the cracking. It’s a god damn shame that Gaga never had the chutzpah to rework and officially release this song, but if it should see the light of day in any form, even without the vocals of someone who can actually sing, I will allow it simply because this song is a masterpiece that never was. A hit that sticks from the very first listen!
(Rating: Top Shelf)
M/27/Medellín, into Rubber Play/Fetish/WS
I just think that if you’re a certain Colombian singer looking to beat the allegations, dressing in the same gear you might find on the mean streets of SanFran during Folsom or in a piss play porn is maybe not the most inconspicuous route to take…
…which is to say that I respect the swing of confidence it took for Maluma to wear a rubber/latex top in a new Versace campaign, as well as appreciate Donatella Versace for making that happen, the good old fag enabler that she is. She and I both know damn well there’s a reason he keeps shaving those pits, and I’m not sure it’s because the ladies like ‘em smooth! And I only feel free enough to say such things because he has two songs with Madonna and he’s not even 30. He and I are the same age and all I have is a newsletter. He’ll be just fine! After all, I know he learned a thing or two about getting freaky from Madge, as I’m confident this was basically the lead-up to her proposing she lick his foot in the “Medellín” video:
(Rating: Top Shelf)
And Just Like That… continues its reign of terror, for a second season?
I have nothing to report on Episode 8 of And Just Like That… as I actually found it to be fun, silly, and glamorous—everything that the show should’ve been up until now instead of what it has been so far: some boots on the ground documentary about women in their 50s who were just unfrozen from time and are learning all at once what “nonbinary” means while getting their flaps flicked in the kitchen of their best friend’s home. If the show can continue on the light, breezy note it set in last week’s episode for the season’s final two eps, maybe it would make a second season worth considering. But beyond all that, this is a strong early contender for the funniest headline of the year:
Meanwhile, the producers trying to convince HBO to let them prove that point after this season’s rocky start, abysmal reviews, and insane budget requirements is very much giving:
As much as I would absolutely watch another 15 seasons of this truly wackadoo program, I think it’s best to let it die a quiet death. My god, you have Miranda Hobbes hypnotized by the world’s worst comedian and on her way to Cleveland because of it. Let these women rest in peace. They’re too far gone.
(Rating: Low Brow)
In things that I desperately wish were real and am convinced are real news:
This didn’t happen. But it did. And I know it did, because I was there. I wasn’t there. But I was the barista. And it was my fault and I should’ve let Dakota jump behind the counter to make the coffee, I know that now. But I couldn’t have known it, because it didn’t happen. But it did, because I still have the polyps on my vocal cords from screaming through the five-inch thick glass of Blue Bottle Coffee to people walking in the West Village to please help us. But they couldn’t help us, because it didn’t happen. Except for when it did, and now I shudder in fear every time I pass a moderately priced coffee chain from the PTSD flashbacks of what Dakota Johnson had wrought upon me and seventeen other innocent lives that day.
Happy Anniversary to two of the best tweets of 2021!
No one will ever forget where they were the day they read this:
It can be endlessly imitated but never duplicated. Never settle for less than the best.
Second, RIP to the #LoveDontCostAThingChallenge, the prompt that never was. No one ever did this, we all just had a good laugh at Miz Lo. First of all, management should’ve told her that hashtag would never work as it was about eighty letters too long. Second…she never actually remembered to develop some challenge component here. What’s the challenge, public nudity? Indecent exposure without being arrested?
I always love “can’t wait to see your renditions!” Renditions. Our renditions. In a rare moment of thesaurus-ical ability never displayed in her songwriting before, “renditions” is what she picked. It’s a bold choice of word for someone who chooses to not even do renditions of her own damn songs.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Music Section
Years & Years released its third studio album last week, entitled Night Call. I always support my men through thick and thin, but this one isn’t clicking much with me, at least not yet. Former frontman and now one-man-band Olly Alexander shed the two bandmates present on the band’s first two albums to be the sole force behind Years & Years, and while I certainly think there are some strong selections here (“Consequences” and “Sooner or Later” particularly stand out), it’s not giving me the emotional brevity and yearning desire that I have come to know and love from one of my favorite queer artists. I was laughing listening through the album when I got to the bonus track “Muscle” (we’re still doing bonus tracks? just put them all on the album!), which boasts a sexy sample of Mr. Fingers’ classic house record “Mystery of Love” but stops short of probing into the dynamics between queer lovers that Alexander had never been afraid of exploring before.
My mind immediately thought of Troye Sivan’s “STUD,” which is a much more nuanced and interesting lyrical look at how conventional body stereotypes affect gay men during sexual scenarios.
Next, Charli XCX will release the third song from her upcoming fourth studio album CRASH this Thursday. “Beg For You” features fellow UK pop icon Rina Sawayama and features a sample of the fucking legendary aughts eurodance track “Cry For You” by September.
It’s no “Baby,” which I guess we’ll just have to wait until the album is released in March to finally hear in full, but it’ll do for now!
Finally, Grimes will release her next single “Shinigami Eyes” tomorrow, January 26th. This is huge news for my boyfriend, who has had this snippet on repeat since like…October.
This week on The Girls Are Busted & Crusted aka Euphoria
No notes! Sam Levinson finally figured out how to have some fun again and not take everything so damn seriously, at least for this episode. Like everyone else on Twitter, I can’t and won’t stop watching this scene. I’m sorry, but Sydney Sweeney and Alexa Demie really are the stars of this show. And to have that happen in a show that has Zendaya as its lead?! They’re working damn hard to steal those scenes…
Bitch 🤨 you better ☝️ be Joe King! It just doesn’t stop being funny!
(Rating: Top Shelf)
Some closing words for the week
First, the hotties:
Every time these photos of Penn Badgley in Easy A make the rounds I remember being so stirred seeing this in theaters I gasped while trying to inhale my Diet Coke and nearly choked to death. And it would’ve been worth it.
Next, I cannot stop watching this on a loop and cracking the fuck up. No, these are not Scream 5 spoilers
Finally, just 24 hours before they were scheduled to go on, Adele was forced to reschedule the first shows of her Vegas residency everyone forgot about, citing complications with COVID and delays in building things to make the show perfect. She tearfully apologized on Twitter…which reads to me as kind of fake and honestly a little laughable. Sorry! But it made sense to me when The Daily Mail reported that the shows actually had to be delayed because Adele and her team demanded that Caesars Palace install all new tech equipment and that Miss Adkins was demanding that set designers redo entire sections of the show.
Adele then proceeded to FaceTime fans who had already flown to Vegas to attend the show the next day, which is some truly scream-worthy emotional terrorism inflicted by one of the world’s preeminent emotional terrorists.
That’s all for this week, angels! I love you so much. I’ll be crying over the cookies I tried to make last night that were a miserable failure. 💖