January 17, 2015: Sia - “Chandelier” (Live on SNL)

I began watching Saturday Night Live (SNL) musical guest performances when Drake did his LAWLZ a bit back, and then I retell the story about physically body-checking his ass in front of the Intercontinental Hotel some May Sunday running for a reservation on 48th, with my mom to the left clearing a path through the Canadian rapper’s two bodyguards, stoutly. Eh, I continue to continue. Continuing: a few weekends back, I caught an episode featuring mini-Pincher Kevin Hart, Adelaide, and Australian-born vocalist (all facts about) Sia (in this sentence are Wiki approved); Kevin Hart was employed as a host to introduce Sia and a mime for her performance of the March 2014 (you have a) radio (??) hit, “Chandelier.”

What first compelled me to Sia’s guest musical performance on SNL was how she always covered her eyes and nose with a veil. Maybe it was because Lana Del Ray previouslybecame the IRL emoji of O_O as a musical act, but this veil made for an appropriate effect for Sia’s singing, vaguely focusing on her mouth and performance (which is very infrequently enhanced on SNL). Actually, BOTH acts of hers suffered from visual performances; her physical stature was accentuated by dreadfully awkward performers; OMG — Kevin Hart’s sweaters in this is a chocolate drop; it’s winter. I enjoy mystique in performance, and when it comes down to it, I’m NOT interested in watching performance, but Sia performing “Chandelier” at an AA event would be ULTIMATE, amirite? Okay, and even though I’ve heard this song thousands of times since its March 2014 release, I’m finally recognizing it on VERY public television a year later. Materialism got me (vis-à-vis a veil) to watch Sia perform on SNL.

Typically something like this would be considered “old news,” and yes, it is old news. Fuck, the Super Bowl just happened for the 40th ti— wait, what’s XLIX? On the topic of materialism and (generally) making money, I was asking this dude at a bar about how much of football is based on getting a certain amount of PR to popularize and earn some fucking capital. He was like, “All of it.” As for Sia, how much do you think she’s paid for PR since she began her career in 2001? Like, PR got me to notice her vocal gift of expertly imitating a smattering of excellent female vocalists who came recently and anciently before her. But the most compelling part of Sia’s “Chandelier” performance — initially the veil followed by uncomfortable miming — is how impeccable her voice naturally exists compared to how experimentally she could use it on a platform like SNL (ULTRA-PUBLIC-TELEVISION) but would 100% never be allowed to. Like, if Joanna Newsom were to try out for American Idol or getting no votes on The Voice — like, BUMMER. It’s crushing to think how nice it’d be to see genuine talent match artistic implementation/measure. I’m willing to bet Sia could do some weird shit.

Actually, watching this SNL “Chandelier” Sia performance for the XLIXth time, I don’t believe Sia is singing. This veil is just an elaborately charming rouse to shadow her lips for fuck ups; they zoom in on the cellist during the first high note of the chorus in “Chandelier” and then birds-eye the view immediately upon the second time she high-notes the chorus. But who knows — maybe all the musicians on stage are pretending to play really well alongside her, providing audio-engineered-quality music LIVE. After the show, they’re all like “Burgers?” And at the pub, that mime is like “I can’t booze” and flashes his two-year badge, so then Sia hugs him, people photograph the gesture like MAD, it’s on Humans of New York’s Facebook page, my fiancée shows it to me, and I’m like OUROBOROS? (Yes, I spelled ouroboros correct on my first try, woop!)

So, to make a focused point out of this entire what-have-you: Do I believe Sia’s musical performance of “Chandelier” live on SNL? Lemme get a glass of water; WTF, YouTube commercials. No, I don’t believe her performance, because I don’t like going out and doing what she’s singing about, nor do I want to publicly pay for that amount of booze at a bar. And also because this song is about her — she’s trying to connect with people, just not all people (myself, the beholder of this song within my mind/body/ears) on a personal level. Either way, how GEEKED do you think mime’s reaction looked when he landed this SNL gig? Wait, is he even in the “Chandelier” video? Nope!


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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