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Lady Gaga gets a shocking snub, Rihanna is with child, Bree Runway clears competition, Khloé K molts, Kim Petras makes slut jams, Channing Tatum posts feet to main, & more rated Top Shelf to Low Brow!
[This edition is may be too long for email, so click here to get the full fantasy on the website!]
We meet again! Sorry for no newsletter last week (although, if you follow the TSLB Instagram account, you were kept abreast of the situation!), I’ve been adjusting to a slightly different work schedule and have been working a lot and sleeping far less than I know I should be. But fun and exciting things are in the works as a part of that, so I hope it’ll be worth it! In the meantime, plenty of things have happened since we last met up for a gab, so let’s just jump right into it. The people can wait no longer.
Top Shelf, Low Brow: January 25th-February 8th
Spaghetti on the walls of the Ritz Carlton Milan
No one could’ve expected the harrowing events that transpired yesterday morning, least of all one Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. First, there were the claims of her speaking in an accent at every waking hour while dreaming of becoming a combat journalist. Then, there were tales of spiritual possession that lead to beliefs of manslaughter. Finally, of course, there was the buzzing of a swarm of flies that supposedly followed a young pop star turned sometimes-actress around Italy. In the weeks surrounding all of these wild tales and clickable headlines, Lady Gaga had somehow become the favorite to not only be nominated for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars, but the winner, despite House of Gucci just simply not being a very good film and her accent occasionally verging on hilarity. And then, the truly unthinkable happened.
The actress who had managed to secure herself a spot at the forefront of the nomination conversation was completely shut out of the race. Is this a result of campaigning too hard? Did she simply just want it too much and make no qualms about being upfront with that? Whatever it was, I think anyone can agree that it was undeserved when grouped in with Nicole Kidman in Aaron Sorkin’s manic yet leaden flopsterpiece Being The Ricardos.
After the conversation had become so saturated with Gaga talk, I had begun to deeply worry that my favorite performance of the year, Kristen Stewart in Spencer, was somehow going to be snubbed despite it very clearly being far and away greater than so many other roles that critics were buzzing about. Stewart was being snubbed left and right, from the SAGs to the BAFTAs, and things were looking dire for Diana! Again!
Despite my unwavering love for Gaga from day one, at some point, I had to speak.
It should be noted that I did forget about the existence of Being the Ricardos in every tweet I made over the last two weeks about this situation! And I accept my fault in that. I should’ve been hurling more vitriol toward it, I just didn’t think there was any way that Gaga wouldn’t have at least scored a nomination! And now? Room service at the Ritz Carlton Milan has had meatballs being sent up to the Patrizia Suite on rotation for the last 24 hours, Gaga’s team dodging them like snowballs.
I can’t help but think that I had something to do with all of this somehow. I woke up yesterday to find texts and tweets of “Look what you did” and “This is all your fault.” And to that effect, it was necessary for me to release a statement.
And to have a rare moment of honest sincerity…I do feel badly for her! She spent three straight months in every interview selling the absolute shit out of this role, one that she’s genuinely good in! Does it come close to Ally Maine? Now, let’s not get crazy. But effective camp can sometimes be far more moving and certainly more memorable than meaty dramatic roles. If one thing’s certain, I think we can all point the finger toward Ridley Scott thinking he was making the live-action Mario Bros movie. Cheer up, Gaga. There’s always the next one. And in the meantime, I’m sure she’ll take home the SAG award and BAFTA anyway.
(Rating: Low Brow)
Rihanna’s immaculate conception
Pour It Up for Rihanna, who announced her pregnancy last week with boyfriend A$AP Rocky! Pregnancy is Work, but I’m sure that Rih is prepared for how Hard and Complicated it may get. Let’s hope that things work out and that A$AP isn’t Unfaithful, or they might have to say their Final Goodbye and Break It Off. Hopefully the delivery is easy and the baby slides right out, like it’s Phresh Out The Runway! They’ll be in their mother’s arms saying What’s My Name? And when they grow up a bit, that child is going to turn her mansion into a Mad House! Let’s just hope that they won’t turn out to be a Rude Boy or a Selfish Girl, or they might have mom Breakin’ Dishes—she’ll be ready to Jump or send out an SOS! Or who knows, maybe when they grow up, they’ll say Farewell to the normal gender binary. No matter what happens, we’ll be celebrating with Rihanna—Cheers (Drink to That)!
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Legend of Khlosferatu
Khloé Kardashian always seems to be one askew contact or accidental skin suit peeling away from fully revealing that she’s a National Enquirer style alien.
These hands haven’t seen blood circulation since 1472.
Interview with the vampire over here. How does this even happen? Of course, something is liquified here or facetuned there and something must’ve been stretched or pulled along the way, but this feels like seeing the alien in Signs walking through the frame of the birthday party videotape. Her fucking claws don’t help either. Little mauve monstrosities. Face an entirely different color than her hands. She gave herself the ol’ Tinsley Mortimer.
It may be a classic Housewives confessional trick, but when you tweet out four pictures to your millions of followers, you’ve got to cover the hands!!!! These are the money makers! How else will you get the top score in Candy Crush: All-Stars?
(Rating: Top Shelf)
Speaking of aliens, the Fergalicious one has returned to her home planet of Earth
After what feels like centuries in hiding where she was probably just working on FERG3 (a fag can dream…), Fergie finally reemerged ten days ago to attend the Interscope Records anniversary party at LACMA. The Urban Light (or perhaps a little facetuning courtesy of B. Akerlund) was having her giving pale vampiress. This is actually the whitest Fergie has been since her days as a member of Wild Orchid.
Later in the evening, Fergie looked a little more human next to the most human woman of all, Lana Del Rey, who wore an H&M puffed bomber (probably) and pants from Target (definitely).
Going to need a “Video Phone”/“Telephone”-style mutual collaboration from these two…immediately. Lana has made weirder choices in the past! And Fergie is no stranger to bold artistic choices. You’ve never heard two people moan and scream on the same track quite like this!
(Rating: Top Shelf)
Fellow Sluts, I want to see your tits out this week
After spending weeks hyping up “Coconuts,”—a song that seemed to be specifically tailored to me, a person of big-titted experience who has been paid to write about other men’s big naturals—Kim Petras has essentially confirmed that she is now making music solely for me and me only. This Friday, she’s due to release an EP of electropop nipple-bouncers that are specifically just about being a slutty, sexy concubine, titled, what else? Slut Pop.
While I am happily ensconced in a lovely long-term relationship, I am still one of the horniest bitches America has ever seen. You think I’m constantly pushing my iPhone’s 128GB storage capacity to its brink because my camera roll is filled with photos of food or friends or something? It’s 90% screenshots of hot celebrities, completely unsorted. I live a life of feral horniness that wild animals can only dream of! And that’s why I’ll be excitedly indulging in this EP this week, with such soon-to-be-classic wench arias like “Treat Me Like a Slut,” “Throat Goat,” and “XXX.”
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Yulia Saga turns into a snoooooooooozefest!
I didn’t start this newsletter with more (Kan)Ye West and Julia Fox news for two reasons: they’ve been annoying me and also they haven’t done anything interesting in the last two weeks. They have, however, done a few things that I feel are worth mentioning here. Besides Ye having several meltdowns across Instagram accusing the mother of his children from keeping his kids from him—because Kimberleigh Kardashian should certainly let them run around Paris with Michele Lamy’s tinfoil teeth…sure!—there’s not much left to captivate the public here. This PR relationship is very quickly running its course, and I fear it’s headed for an unforgettable final trainwreck. Here are two more things I feel are worth touching on before we move on:
Ye gifted Julia Fox and her friends five Birkins for her birthday. Like all Birkins, they look like dog shit that you could find better quality of at Marshall’s.
Ye has allegedly been spreading rumors that Pete Davidson is gay and “has AIDS.” First of all, if he was gay I would be happily wifed up with six kids, living in Staten Island and doing kegels for hours a day waiting for my man to step off the ferry. Second of all? You’re really washed up, huh…
(Rating: Low Brow. Yulia discussion is over until they break up).
The Horny Section
Channing Tatum is on the cover of Variety wearing The Row with his feet out…and for that I say thank you.
Blasting through the roof of my apartment like I’m on one of those water jetpacks…
Olly Alexander was tapped to do another Savage x Fenty mini-campaign:
And I know I literally criticized this song in the last edition for being, well, shallow…but hearing “Muscle” from the new Years & Years record on top of this video of Olly in only underwear rolling around some house somewhere has, um…made me rethink my stance! Maybe shallow sluttiness is valid. I, of all people, should know this.
Bad Bunny is the face of the new Jacquemus campaign…fighting for his life in some women’s size 8s. His heels are hanging off that shoe. You all have got to start styling these boys trying to battle the binary in clothes that fit right! But don’t get me wrong, I’ll still still be lickin’! And very happily so 😌.
And Just Like That… has ended its reign of terror…for now
The Music Section
Bree Runway has finally returned to us with her first song since 2021’s “Hot Hot.” “Pressure” is a little bit poppy, a little bit dancehally, and entirely Bree Runway. The video is fucking MAAAAAAAAJOR, and it’s a reminder that in addition to being a sonic innovator, Ms. Runway one of the most visually commanding artists working today. If you’re not deeply entrenched in her discography already, there’s no better time than now.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
I can’t believe we haven’t spoken since Grimes finally released “Shinigami Eyes.” I hate the trend of banging songs that clock in under three minutes (which is precisely why I’m of course doomed to have Kim Petras’ Slut Pop EP being like…15 minutes long), but thankfully “Shinigami Eyes” has major replay value. The video is also delectable eye candy. Could I use a little more choreo? Always. But will I take a little shoulder shimmying here and there in the absence of dance real dancing? If I must!
(Rating: Top Shelf)
We’ve had two major music anniversaries since we last spoke, both occurring on the same day within the same week. On January 27th, we celebrated the ten-year anniversary of one of pop’s most formative and game-changing albums, Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die.
The #1 album playing on every depressed high schooler’s iPod touch in 2012, including my own. I’ll never forget alternating between sexily crying to “Without You” and playing Temple Run. The way this album teems with vivid nostalgia is enough to make me get misty just from hearing the opening strings of the title track, and every song still feels as major and unique as it did back then. This really was something so new and so fresh, and I can’t believe it has been with me for a decade. Lana may have put out stronger records since then, but I don’t think anything has come close to the level of influence that Born to Die had on not just the industry but culture as a whole. Gaga said in 2008 that pop music will never be low brow, and with this her major-label debut, Lana let us know that sadness will always be mainstream.
The second important anniversary is that of Fifth Harmony’s first album, Reflection. Not because it was particularly influential, but because I’ll never forget this album cover as long as I live. I have reason to think that even on my death bed, I’ll still be wondering why they were all wearing big floppy hats.
They had $39 and a dream, and that $39 had to be split equally at H&M for five of those hats from the accessories section that no one ever grabs anything from. And their stylist just said, “Girls, bring a bra from home.” They couldn’t at least all match? I’ve been thinking about it for seven years, and I’ll be thinking of it for seventy more.
(Rating: Low Brow)
Addison Rae has made my dreams come true by confirming that the tiny snippet of a voice covering Lady Gaga’s greatest unreleased hit, “Nothing On (But The Radio)” that leaked online two weeks ago is indeed her.
I await her forthcoming debut EP with bated breath. Who knew the new princess of pop would be a TikToker? Besides, well, anyone with half a brain to predict what’s coming next.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
Dua Lipa, do your worst!
My mortal enemy (who I am a massive fan of, it seems I always have to make clear) has finally remembered that she announced her own newsletter months ago (after I so kindly reminded her last month). To be fair, this does sound cool, but of course it’s cool! She’s a famous millionaire. But look at me, I’m a freelance writer and people, for some reason, keep wanting to read my thoughts on mens’ chests, weird pop culture moments, and electronic music! Isn’t that kind of…more impressive?
I wish my fellow industry competitor luck on this venture. We’ll check back in in 2023. What kind of overlap do our audiences have, anyway? If you had subscribed to Service95 prior to reading this right now, leave me a comment on this. I’m desperate to know. Dua, I’m doing free demographic targeting for you—I expect an interview request before summer! We have so much to discuss as two hyper influential, beautiful young writers.
We’ve finally arrived with enough episodic material for another Housewives update! Sunday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City was a doozy, with everyone drunk and likely suffering from heat exhaustion. I come to you with unforgettable highlights.
And, of course…
That’s all for this week! Thanks so much for being here. I’ve missed you as always. The return of The Friday Letter is coming soon…maybe sooner than you think! (Maybe…several factors at play here, but if all goes well you’ll get something this week. If not, expect your inbox to be graced again next Friday!). Nevertheless, we’ll see each other next week as well. I love you, have a great Valentine’s Day! You’re all my sweethearts. 💖