Monday, September 14, 2009

VMA 2009 Post Coverage

Another September, another MTV Video Music Awards broadcast. I'm sure MTV execs long for the days when an audience can be shocked by a pop star in a wedding dress writhing on the floor making sexually suggestive moves. Or even for the days when that same pop star can wow audiences by kissing two women. Alas, those days are gone. Our generation is perpetually unimpressed. But, here's what might have caught your attention this year.

Of course, no award show could have ignored the biggest thing to happen to pop culture this year: Michael Jackson's death. The tribute to the King of pop was thorough and momentous including a grand speech by Madonna, choreography to some of Michael's greatest hits including Thriller and Bad, and, an icon in her own right, Janet Jackson performing Scream alongside Michael. Say whatever you will, and much has been said, but there will never be another.

The night took a negative turn shortly thereafter when Taylor Swift was awarded Best Female Video. Kanye West took Taylor's win over fellow nominee Beyoncé as a personal affront and took it upon himself to interrupt her acceptance speech, grab the mike from her hands and proclaim that Beyoncé had one of the greatest videos of all time. While what he said was 100% right, how he went about it was 100% wrong: it was incredibly disrespectful to everyone involved, but especially to 19-year-old Taylor. Kanye is an insufferable piece of shit.

Beyoncé later went on to win Video of the Year for Single Ladies and allowed Taylor another shot at her acceptance speech. Leave it to Kanye to make me feel sympathetic towards Taylor Swift (I really don't like that little girl very much).

The Twilight cast (who all looked absolutely miserable) was in attendance to premiere the extended trailer for their impending sequel, New Moon. Not gonna lie, it looks great. Can't wait to see the scenes with the Volturi. And, dear me, did you SEE Edward with his shirt off?! Good heavens.

Finally, Lady GaGa's performance, even after all the hype, was absolutely incredible.
Her vocals were the best I've ever heard them, the set was amazing, the concept brilliantly executed. Awesome, awesome. It's crazy to think that this is her first VMAs and she's only been in the spotlight for a year's time. She's so ahead of the game.

That's pretty much it for this year. Not the worst, not the best. Kinda meh. Below is a list of winners.

Video of the Year: Beyonce Knowles – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Best New Artist: Lady Gaga – Poker Face
Best Hip-Hop Video: Eminem – We Made You
Best Male Video: T.I. ft Rihanna – Live Your Life
Best Pop Video: Britney Spears – Womanizer
Best Rock Video: Green Day – 21 Guns
Best Female Video: Taylor Swift – You Belong With Me
Best Video (That Should Have Won A Moonman): Beastie Boys – Sabotage
Breakthrough Video: Matt And Kim – Lessons Learned
Best Art Direction: Lady Gaga – Paparazzi
Best Choreography: Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Best Cinematography: Green Day – 21 Guns
Best Direction: Green Day – 21 Guns
Best Editing: Beyoncé - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Best Special Effects: Lady Gaga – Paparazzi

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Music: Gleeful Greats

I raved about how fantastic I think Glee is in my review of the season opener yesterday, but for those of you who need a little more convincing, check out two songs from Wednesday night's episode. (If you're already a Gleek, consider this a treat =]). First up is the Glee Club's take on Kanye West's Gold Digger. Rachel's (Lea Michele) cover of Take a Bow by Rihanna follows. Listen and enjoy, luhvahs.

Gold Digger
Glee Cast

Take a Bow
Rachel (Lea Michele)

New Music: Mika Says 'Blame' the Girls...I'm With Him

It is gloomy here today in New York City; it has been raining since early morning, and, of course, today's significance is enough to put a dour fog on any day. So, when I'm feeling glum, I play music to cheer myself up and who better to put a smile on my face than the ever adorable Mika? Isn't it just serendipitous then that I got my mitts on Mika's brand new single this morning?

Blame It On the Girls is fantastic pop. The opening drums, handclaps, and piano draws you in immediately and Mika takes you for a ride. The lyrics are characteristically fresh, the melody customarily infectious and the song overall is less polarizing than lead single We Are Golden. Everyone can get into this.

Check out Mika's second single, Blame It On the Girls below. Mika's second studio album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, will be available on September 21. I've also thrown in a live performance of We Are Golden. Allow Mika's joyous music and smile to brighten your day. I think I see the sun peering out...

Blame It On the Girls
The Boy Who Knew Too Much

Janet Jackson's HB Cover, A New Job for Ellen, "I Got You on Candid Camera w/my iPod Nano!"

Miss Jackson is looking fabulous on the cover of October's Harper's Bazaar. Go here to read the exclusive interview, her first since Michael's death.

America's favorite lesbian will be on America's favorite TV show: it's been revealed that Ellen DeGeneres will be the fourth judge on American Idol this season, replacing Paula Abdul. Ellen's absolutely amazing, but how much does she know about singing??

Steve Jobs is back on his feet after liver transplant surgery. He says he's fortunate to be alive and urges everyone to become organ donors. I agree. Updates were relatively light for Apple this year; thankfully my original iPod Touch isn't horribly outdated (yet). You can however purchase a new, metallic iPod Nano complete with video camera. Yeah, 'cause that's necessary. Also, iTunes Version 9.0 is now available.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TV Review: Don't Be Shy, 'The Vampire Diaries' Has No Fangs

Vampire Diaries made its debut on the CW tonight without much bite. While I'm not familiar with the series of books the show is based on, I have seen all seven seasons of Buffy (multiple times), read the Twilight series and seen the movie (again, multiple times) and am waiting on pins and needles for the second season finale of True Blood on Sunday. I know vampires. I know they're hot right now. And it would seem that Vampire Diaries’ lifeless (in a bad way) pilot is the CW's attempt to cash in on the bloody cow. Or something like that. (I like malapropisms! And parenthetical thoughts!!)

Nina Dobrev, another Degrassi alumnus to get a break in Hollywood and star in her own show on the CW (You hear that, Cassie Steele?! You let TWO girls cut in front of you!!), plays Elena, a high school girl struggling with the loss of her parents. Surely, whoever employed Nina as the lead in this show has reviewed her work on Degrassi? Apparently, they overlooked her limited talent. In Vampire Diaries, that oversight is glaring; she plays Elena completely flat and her awkwardness in the scenes with lead vampire, Stefan, is cringe inspiring. I mean, I know her parents just died a few months ago, but damn, nothing brings you back to life like bumping into a smolderingly hot vampire in the hallway. Act like you know, girl.

"Dobrev plays Elena awkwardly and completely flat…kinda like the way she played Mia on Degrassi."

Stefan, played by Paul Wesley, is perfect. The square jaw, the piercing eyes, the cute butt. He is exactly how I imagined Edward Cullen to be while reading the Twilight series. Robert Pattinson added in his own dorkiness, but it added to the charm and ended up working. Paul, however, has classic vampire down. Stefan starts off the episode saying, "I have to know her," 'her' denoting Elena, and I spent the first half hour wondering why in the hell anyone, dead or alive, would want to get to know her. It definitely isn’t her personality!

Lastly, there is Damon, the evil vampire played by Ian Somerhalder. Firstly, just to get it out of the way: Ian needs a haircut. Besides that, he’s pretty generic. While his brother, Stefan, has decided to live amongst people and live off the blood of animals, Damon, clearly a voluptuary, has not. And of course, he has this nasty grudge against his dear brother and likes to see him suffer. Not only was the pilot a solid hour of "meet the characters," but also the plot of episodes to come seem easily predictable, especially with the show’s similarities to the other popular vampire stories of the moment. I think the only way they’ll get viewers to stick around is if everyone is really hot and there’s vampire sex.

"The only way viewers will stick around is if there’s lots and lots of vampire sex."

Well, it’s the CW -- so yeah, everyone’s really hot. Elena’s psychic best friend, her acquaintances, her ex-boyfriend (dear god), her ex-boyfriend’s sister, and even her little brother are all insanely attractive. Clearly, I need to move to Mystic Falls. The vampire sex thing remains to be seen. But they’ll do the right thing if they’re smart. As it’s only the pilot, I’ll be giving the Vampire Diaries another shot to surprise me next week. There better be less clothing.


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