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Ezra Koenig Might Be Performing at the Oscars, But That Doesn't Excuse the Real Crime

Lana Del Rey Getting Snubbed Was An Inside Job

by Jeremy Gordon
01 March 2014, 6:15pm

Score another one for indie, or something: From the AP comes a report that Ezra Koenig, dreamboat frontman of Vampire Weekend, was spotted practicing with Karen O for her upcoming performance at Sunday's Academy Awards. Koenig knows the stakes of every public performance, so I'm sure Tumblr's collective id is already salivating about the GIF-ing opportunities. But throwing a bone to music fans won't overlook the Academy's real and indefensible crime: Why isn't Lana Del Rey performing at the Oscars?

The facts, as we know them: Last summer, Lana's "Young and Beautiful" was used in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, a glitterfuck explosion of a movie that somehow pulled back to genuinely moving territory when Lana's morose moan came floating in to score the film's most potent scene, where Gatsby and Daisy admit their forbidden love for each other. (Please, don't make me summarize The Great Gatsby. Try to recall your former life as a sophomore English student.) Putting aside the once-raging controversy over Lana's authenticity issues, there was no doubt that the song was a masterstroke in the context of her career as the saddest girl at the ball—beyond that, it was the rare instance of a made-for-a-movie song that both enhanced the film and remained listenable without it. (It was played at Kim and Kanye's proposal ceremony! The video has 67 million views on YouTube!) The possibility of Lana twirling and twirling on the Oscar stage seemed plausible, if not certain.

But then controversy struck after a Deadline report revealed that there was an honest-to-God conspiracy to keep Lana from getting nominated, which is just so ridiculous. (The fuck is this, The Crying of Lot 49?) When the nominations were revealed, Lana was conspicuously absent—a confirmation that the ruse hadn't been revealed in time for voters to correct their thinking. Now, we've got to tolerate the charade of meritocracy made even more offensive given the disqualification of the song that probably took her spot. Sure, it'll be great to see Koenig plug away at his acoustic guitar; his forthcoming backtstage selfies will probably be top-notch. But it'll also remind us that there's one more person missing from the stage.

Jeremy Gordon is still so mad about this. He's on Twitter. - @jeremypgordon

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lana del rey
Vampire Weekend
Ezra Koenig
The Great Gatsby
Karen O