Mmmm. . . Mmmu. . . Mmmowww. . . Mmmmaaaugh. . . .
Confession: I love the Video Music Awards. Nowhere else do you get a shitload of celebities at their most spooky and incoherent who (here's the big one) attempt to make fun of themselves and actually come out worse off. You also get more wtf moments than any other awards show or televised event, from the surprise guests, to the seemingly randomly chosen winners, to two or three actual good performances. It's like ten trainwrecks at once. On TV. With Guns 'n Roses. I missed last year's, which I've heard was a wise decision, what with Diddy hosting and giving out money to crowd members. But this year's had its share of watchable (and laughable) shenanigans:
- For no reason at all other than to get bragging rights to it (as if Beyonce and Def Jam prezhood aren't enough), Jay-Z announces the show from a rooftop, because he can.
- Justin Timberlake is great. Status Ain't Hood has good reason to call it early as pop album of the year. Kept it simple, no crazy sets or dancers, just tasteful tanning-bed lighting and his feet. He starts with a new song and then improves "SexyBack" by giving equal dancefloor time to Timbaland in a move that's far more Prince than MJ. Torch = passed.
- Even better is JT's random decision to build shelves for Jack Black's dressing room in what is to be one of many bits that makes no sense and is completely lolxorz, for once. Black is as usual on 50% the time and off or repeating himself the rest. On the bright side, most of his introductions were brief. His opening bit was cute and not nearly as annoying as it could've been. Montel Williams shows up for no reason at all. All of a sudden he abruptly switches it over to the Raconteurs and LOU FUCKING REED PLAYING "WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT" HOLYFUCKINGSHITJESUSANALCHRIST. This moment is never improved on, even though the Raconteurs play 20 seconds or so of about 6 or 7 different songs throughout the night, including fellow less effective but barely less awesome suprise guest Billy Gibbons for a jam on "Cheap Sunglasses."
- Lil' Kim makes an entrance better than T.I., Chamillionaire, All-American Rejects, the Jackass
crew, Fall Out Boy and Axl Rose put together when dudes dressed as prison guards lead her out decked in an orange prison jumpsuit she tears off to reveal an insanely hot corset. And she doesn't even perform.
- I will never, ever be optimistic again. James Blunt makes no sense at all by winning Best Male Video for a song no MTV-viewer likes. Unless Oprah's entire audience was among the voting bloc, there is no explanation for "Gold Digger" getting shut out from what I thought was no contest (Nick Lachey?). Kanye looks UNHAPPY, with a snarl on his face that totally reads "I lost to this dick?"
- Andre 3000 looks like a fucking moron, as usual, yet is totally appropriately attired to give the Black Eyed Peas their Best Hiphop Video award, which bugs me alot, and I like the damn song. Fergie's like the only one who does anything on it besides will.i.am moaning "She's got me spinninnnnng." Taboo is dumber than a Simpson when he says "Positive hiphop can really make it," which probably made Kanye seethe harder. Who would've thunk all that was keeping Dilated Peoples from their precious stardom was an ex-Mouseketeer singing about her tits and junk? Iriscience probably watched that and shot himself.
- Shakira and Wyclef do the year's best non-Cee-Lo-related hit with a great but somewhat predictable performance...it was only a matter of time before Shakira fused her bellydancer shtick with a Bollywood schtick. Either way, it's great to see Wyclef milking a teat that ain't Lauryn's, and Shakira's hips really do pass the polygraph.
- I question 50 Cent's manhood in his glittericious "50" shirt, but not LL's, which is firmly intact, even after "Headsprung."
- Ludacris and Pharrell do a shitty song no one knows or cares about that only serves to signal their decline. At least Ludacris is saving up well-typecasted acting parts for hibernation. Though the two emerge out of a giant bank vault, which is pretty cool, the Pussycunt Dolls march out for the last minute to basically distract the audience from how bad the acual performers are. It makes me wonder if MTV threw an emergency switch they had waiting to deploy these robot sluts on standby just in case these dudes sucked. "We have a code red, deploy skanks!"
- Kyle quits Tenacious D for the billionth time. If you ask me, he's better off as a Black Eyed Pea.
- Jessica Simpson is completely devoid of subject-verb agreement. I actually think she's gotten dumber; she probably holds it against Nick Lachey for holding her back from her full moron potential. I don't believe for a second she was able to hold her shit together in the studio long enough to sing even one full take of "A Public Affair." Whoever Pro-Tools'd that deserves a purple heart for bravery. I wonder if she gets this confused when she's giving head to her father.
- The Pussycat Dolls win Best Dance Video for a song so bad that Snoop refuses to go up and accept the award with them even though he's probably the only vocalist on it who wrote his own parts.
- Ok Go is pretty awesome. I'm kind of embarassed I'd never seen this video before, as it looks just like the kind of thing Youtube was made for, as everyone told me it was. but they recreate it faithfully enough to me that I can't imagine how the actual video could be any tighter. An inventive idea, but not a good way to get famous. I doubt a single person in that building could hum this song. Very Devo, very Talking Heads, very unlikely to ever be seen at the VMAs again.
- Shaun White is just the latest in a long line of celebrity athletes, chefs and politicians outside of the entertainment world who have no business crashing the entertainment world.
- The All-American Rejects are boring, jocky and derivative of many things, but mostly Owen Wilson at his most Dupree. I had no idea they were even close to this popular. Their singer looks uncannily like Dean Wareham from Luna. Their performance is the straightest I've ever seen on this show. Panic! fans are definitely going to be pissed off that these guys won something; there will be merciless MySpace blogging (re: personal experience alert).
- Pink gives me mixed feelings. She wins Best Female Video for basically biting the hand that feeds her (a hand she kind of still needs at this point in her career), and acts like it when she goes up to accept (besides being trashed). It's probably the night's only legitmate good song to win something, yet it feels wrong. I can't believe "Ain't No Other Man" and "Hips Don't Lie" are getting shut out with all these noms, and Pink didn't even perform.
- Chamillionaire is introduced to my life by winning for a video I've never heard of which beats out T.I., who I thought was a lock based on all this stupid internet hype (aren't you good for anything anymore O Great One, wise Magic 8-ball of the future? First Snakes on a Plane
bombed and now this??). Not as faceless as I assumed, Cha makes a kinda funny rant about 20/20 canceling a supposed interview with him on racial profiling. Most articulate Houston rapper I've yet to witness. I wonder if his record's any good (EDIT: I did get The Sound of Revenge
and it is real good).
- Beyonce: fantastic. She is quickly living up to her boyfriend's record of showstoppers. Every time I hear it, "Ring the Alarm" sounds a thouand times better than the last. Sexiest costumes of the night, detective trenchcoats with skimpy shiny black tight outfits underneath. Beyonce's thighs are astonishing. Special bonus: the only performer of the night to hit all her notes. Second bonus: a dead-on Janet Jackson homage, furturistic Rhythm Nation
bangs and clangs and elongated pauses and all. The peak. With all due respect to Lou Reed, he cannot dance like that.
- T.I. nails the formula for a great basic hiphop performance. Triumphant, basic song ("What You Know"), triumphant, basic backdrop ("king" spelled out in lights, unoriginal but effective), still not alot of charisma or skills. Never gonna be Jay-Z but maybe he'll settle for Snoop?
- Justin Timberlake finishes building Jack Black's dressing room shelves. Jables really doesn't care.
- All-American Rejects beat Gnarls Barkley's disgustingly undernominated smash for Best Group Video. What happened to the Mtv2 award? Cee-Lo is perfect for that shit.
- Flavor of the month Rihanna becomes her own fucking metaphor by presenting an award for Best Ringtone to the guy from Linkin Park's rap group, basically passing the baton from one faddish nobody to another, for a faddish award.
- I balls-out love Panic! At The Disco's performance even though it was completely predictable and they're everything that's wrong with kid music at the moment. they outchuff My Chemical Romance, who are reportedly at work on a grand opera concept record about death or some shit. I don't care how many LJ headlines it's quoted in, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" is a good song by a forgettable band using the bucks raked in from their drama-geek shtick to complete their not-unappealing vision of hoopskirts and ruffles. Their agent should call Andre Benjamin's. I am in shock that MTV makes them edit the word "goddamn" to kind of "--ahhdamn" but even more that they lose Best New Artist to Avenged Sevenfold minutes later.
- Funnier than any Jack Black line is the girl from Little Miss Sunshine's inability to pronounce "Avenged Sevenfold." This is some fucked-up shit. The band of disgusting-looking Southern goths are suprised as anyone, maybe even they know deep down how much they suck and how over their kind of music is. But I don't overestimate the self-awareness of Southern goths.
- Britney Spears and Kevin Federline are intentionally funny for a minute and unintentionally for way longer. I wonder if K-Fed can pronounce "Avenged Sevenfold."
- Beyonce outclasses the room by destroying the competition for Best R&B Video, for a song she knows is a toss-off, yet still rapes anything else in its category.
- Why do people keep giving Kanye scripts when they know he's just gonna go "George Bush doesn't care about black people" on their ass? He is stumbling over himself introducing the awesomest, most legitimate Vanguard Award tribute of the last ten years of MTV, for Hype Williams, who set the stage for the hiphop current more than he probably knows. The video montage is pretty sweet, with fish-eye lenses, weird setpieces, letterbox widescreens, and slo-mo marches in front of explosions, and pretty much every hallmark of lavish hiphop video from 1997-2006. Then Busta comes out in the yellow raincoat and Missy comes out in the Hefty-bag/jeep dealie and destroy the room with "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" and "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)." I'm awestruck because this is the first serious nostalgia I think I've ever had (re: I am old). I remember seeing "The Rain" and "Mo' Money Mo' Problems" on MTV and HATING them, and almost ten years later my entire musical spectrum is now upside down and a nutso like Busta Rhymes is considered a forefather. Man. Williams has a lot of people to thank, he informs us. And yet his acceptance speech feels (emphasis on feels) way shorter than James Blunt's. Besides being economic, it's quite humane and reasonable, too (i.e. no shout-outs to Slim Thug).
- Apropos of nothing, Sarah Silverman hilariously gores Paris Hilton with anorexia-baiting like "When I heard your new single, I thought it sounded like it was being sung by a fat person."
- Christina Aguilera sabotages all the credibility and hype she's earned this year by performing a totally un-MTV Celine Dion crap-showcase instead of a totally un-MTV Andrews Sisters ripoff. Fuck Christina Aguilera.
- Lou Reed and Pink present an award together which makes Reed look oddly cuddly towards a generation he obviously loathes and makes Pink look oddly punk in the Johnny Rotten sense. Her asshole antics earlier now have a proud context of drunken eff-you legacy as a launchpad. Too bad she already did a record with the Rancid guy and it went nowhere. Lou stops looking cuddly however and kind of backs into the comfortable shadows of obscurity after presenting AFI with the award for Best Rock Video. God-ugly Davey Havok looks pretty hilarious just stammering with his pale, heavily-pierced jaw on the floor, "Lou....Reed.....Lou Reed....!"
- The cast of Jackass
is hilariously mean to Fall Out Boy as if they were the drunken jocks giving FOB's geeks a hard time. I swear I heard Patrick Stump whine "Stop it!" when those bozos kept making him turn around. Then Wee Man picked him up. Twisted jerk I am, I root for the tormentors.
- Al Gore is introduced by Queen Latifah to make a "SexyBack" joke and shows slides of our decaying planet = WTF. He can't be way too smart for the room if he's dumb enough to present this here. Although, replace "dumb" with "bold" and you might also have a true statement. Son of the MTV president he is.
- For some reason, J.Lo is still considered by MTV to have the clout to snare an appearance this late in the show. She's dressed like one of the fingers in a rubber glove and does nothing.
- Panic! At The Disco suprise everyone and win Video of the Year for their Moulin Rouge-meets-MySpace pastiche. Probably the least universal, most subcultural win in this category ever. I love that Promise Ring and Get Up Kids fans will deny (or is it not realize?) what they've wrought here. Let the webforum backlash begin. A tard named Six thought it outrageous to jump onstage and "promote" his new MTV show that will suck. He's obviously never watched the VMAs before, because no one blinked.
- Axl Rose introduces The Killers with a freaky animal noise and a sadistic grin that looks like he just ate the vital organs of Velvet Revolver. All that was missing was Matt Sorum's spleen dripping down his chin.
- The Killers suck and have no business closing the show.