Monday, September 14, 2009

Random Thoughts About the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs)

Some notes I scribbled down during last night's VMA telecast...

1. The VMAs have become pretentious as hell. Over the past 15 years it's become more and more like watching a fashion industry party (actually at this point I think they're probably more fun). It was a lot more fun when the artists treated the VMAs like just another night at the Rainbow: fights over girlfriends, couples bickering in public, artists challenging each other to fights, people being overserved...Good times! :-D

2. Kudos to Madonna for her gutsy speech about Michael Jackson...especially her honest words about the fact that people in the industry turned their backs on him (including, she said, herself) when he was at his lowest.

3. The overall energy of this year's VMA's was very weird. The pacing of the show seemed off too.

4. Lady Gaga in her seat (in uncomfortable looking costume #1) looked like she was suffering for her art.

5. Taylor Swift, you have true class! Shame on the person who tried to ruin Taylor Swift's moment--and especially for his insensitivity in doing so right before she was about to perform.

6. The visuals of Taylor Swift's performance were cool, creatively done, and difficult to coordinate on a live show.

6. On Lady Gaga's performance: Tries. Too. Hard. Fantastic voice, but...

7. Green Day: Loved 'em. No fluff, no muss, and a really good performance. Great energy, tight band.

8. (On Beyonce's performance:) Is anyone else irritated by choreography that makes the artist stop lip syncing for half the song while the backing track continues to sing? Looks awkward. Let's make a decision, people: lip sync and sell it all the way, or nothing.

9. Muse: Good song, but it went on so long I zoned out and started making a mental list of suggestions to send to
@james_a_michael 's Record Club . Unfortunately this will not be one of them.

10. On Pink's performance: Either her singing or aerial work could have been cool, but I think they detracted from each other. When you have Pink's fantastic voice and stage presence, that's all you need. But points for doing something really different, live. Pink is one of my favorite current artists.

11. Beyonce: Double class act for giving up her stage time to Taylor Swift. Moment of the night; not a dry eye in my livingroom.

12. Jay-Z: I wasn't into his song (although I've liked some of his other stuff), but I loved what he was wearing. He looked fantastic! Whomever designed that, Kudos!

13. Regarding the trailer for the Michael Jackson film: Blatant promotion done much too soon. Made me a little sick to my stomach.

Overall impressions on the morning after: When the host is the most rock and roll thing about what used to be a fun and irreverent show, something's terribly wrong. Although the MTV VMAs worked for several years, it's become a litany of artist performances trying to match their videos while trying to upstage each other, resulting in one big, blah blur. All that production money for each performance, and the result is that in the end no one shines. I think what the MTV Video Music Awards needs is a different producer, and a fast-paced show runner to move things along while letting the right moments breathe and shine. (What would Pierre Cossette do? RIP, Mr. Cossette.) It also needs artists who don't take themselves so seriously. It's supposed to be FUN!

Disclosure of Endorsements/Recommendations/Financial Compensation or Business Relationships per FTC Blog Disclosure Regulations in effect December 1, 2009: In the 90's I worked for a concert promotion company that presented Green Day shows. Additionally, in the 90's I worked for a major talent agency who represented Madonna and Jay-Z. Since that time I've received no financial compensation or free product in direct connection with the above-mentioned artists.' (and by extension, this blog) sells products, including music, as an Amazon Associate.