Fuck live blogging. The only real way to get through things like MTV's Video Music Awards is with the assistance of a DVR, when one has the ability to fast-forward through anything The Hills or dance-off related. Such was the case with this year's anemic VMA telecast from Paramount Studios in Los Angeles—I made it through in just about 48 minutes! Below are some "highlights" and random musings.
Tonight's recommended drinking game: Take a shot every time Taylor Swift says "amazing."
The VMA Opening Act:
How is it that John Norris is still gainfully employed at MTV, tonight working the limo arrivals? Don't they fade you out when you get to a certain age, Menudo-style? And did he just say that all of the artists' rides were being tracked with GPS? Creepy!! It seems they've also equipped stars with cameras to broadcast their limo rides to the festivities. Too much content! Make it stop! Sway is still looking dapper while reporting it all from a helicopter above the scene. But do we need this much information? It's like when Paris had to go back to jail.
Tokio Hotel's monster truck = Very butch.
"The Ringmaster" T- Pain arrives on a bejeweled elephant, flanked by midget clowns, stilt walkers and corpse-painted krump dancers to tie in with his forthcoming Thr33 Ringz record. Impressive. We always did have a soft spot for his butternut reduction.
Did Miley Cyrus just call out Taylor Swift? Meow! What is in those Jonas Jew-fros that makes chicks go nuts?
"Pow!" says Miley, as she lazily throws a loose fist at Taylor, after some banter about how the two, plus Katy Perry are up for Best New Artist. "We're gonna fight afterwards, don't worry," she sneers.
Taylor insists that the three girls "still love each other."
"I'm still gonna fight you no matter what."
Was Miley a little drunk? And no, I cannot believe I've just spent 79 words on that, either.
Holy crap, is that Christina Aguilera?? Seriously, Xtina, you know I love you long time, but the boobs + the severe bangs + the new-mom weight = '80s porn star Savannah, after she died. I'm still giving my drrty girl a free pass tonight.
Britney gets a standing O, Lord Satan bless America! And she almost got through the two-minute intro ok!
Thankfully, Rihanna takes the stage and quickly shows B how it's really done with a zombified Mad Max version of "Disturbia." Looking like a live-action version of one of Jem's Misfits, RiRi finishes with a closing musical homage to White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." Mmm, and those juicy thighs.
Russell Brand is a decent host and nailed it with the "Use a condom or become Republican" bit. It is the greatest safe-sex message of all time. As for the whole promise ring non-controversy: when even a recovering sex addict tells you there's nothing wrong with a little bit of sex—listen to him.
Has anyone noted that the art direction this year—supposedly the big 25th Anniversary—looks like outtakes from the Urban Outfitters catalog? C-. Nice wood paneling and hipsters in wigs.
What's up with MTV giving is the exact minute the artist will appear? Is that to give us ample time to vote/blog/visit all the sponsoring Web sites for exclusive content?
How the hell did Pink waste that opportunity to recreate Pat Benatar's famous "Love Is A Battlefield" girl gang booby jiggle? It was prime! She really should stop singing and impersonating a safer Wendy O. Williams and just become a stunt woman. She kicked ass all over that lot.
On Lil' Wayne:
I seriously cannot believe Lil' Wayne is as good as hip-hop can get in 2008. No wonder the early '80s revival is in effect. Having said that, I also cannot believe this wheezing fuck delivered the best performance of the entire lackluster, star-deficient VMAs. Kicking off the three-part performance with Leona Lewis and a live orchestra (the W hotel chain is gonna sue!), it was on "A Milli" where he really kicked into overdrive. Too bad I'm 99% sure that was either lip-synched or at least heavily treated with an effect. Ooh, look at Dr. Drew feeling it in the audience. Closing with T-Pain was actually anticlimactic. Still, this is as electric as it gets tonight.
Haha, Paramore has been banished to the Whiskey for their performance, and Pete Wentz was relegated to nagging us into voting for Viewer's Choice all night. A subtle hint as to how MTV's feeling about emo/indie these days? And how pathetic is it that the category they lost in (Best Rock) was a mishmash that also featured Slipknot, Linkin Park, The Foo Fighters and Fallout Boy covering Michael Jackson?
Oh, Pete Wentz: "That's my wife. That's my baby." Did you see the look on his face? His whole life just passed before him.
Ooh, Xtina as Black Cat. Rather Xtina as Black Cat, played by an '80s porn star. I bet Britney is talking a ton of shit right about now. The black catsuit is not a good look in HD. But on the bright side, at least she doesn't have to find a new costume for Halloween.
Tokio Hotel seem really stoked about winning an award that basically assures we will never hear from them again. I guess Miley will have to kick their asses after school.
About Kid Rock's performance: How is it that no one's brought up that "All Summer Long" is less homage and more plaguerism of "Sweet Home Alabama." Ha! Lil' Wayne is guest-rapping. Wonder what the Nascar masses will think of Weezy dropping a verse (while dressed like a ska kid) over the Van Zandts. Also, a belt buckle with a track suit, Kid? Hmm...
It's funny, this week I finished reading Lonn Friend's Life On Planet Rock, whose reoccurring theme is his love of real music and how it pulled him through his best and worst times. Juxtapose that passion against this year's choices for Video of the Year and it's easy to see why the music industry is in the sad state it's in. Who is more to blame: MTV or the labels? It's like debating which came first: the chicken or the egg.