Thursday, August 31, 2006

Notes on Thoughts From a Viewing of the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards

What was Jim Jarmusch doing? Boring rock semi supergroup The Raconteurs were the house band for the show, and towards the end, Jarmusch pops up playing rhythm guitar and eliciting feedback as Jack White sings "Internet killed the video star". I can see him playing the Algonquin Club with Woody Allen every week if he keeps this up. C'mon man - Broken Flowers wasn't that bad - you don't have to give in to adolescent fantasies with your rocker buddies just yet.

Lou Reed was The Raconteur's biggest guest - but Reed looked even more bored than usual, and didn't bother to sing half the lyrics to "White Light/White Heat". He showed more vigor when presenting the Rock video award with Pink. They had a good rapport.

Best in Show: Beyonce. Phenomenal performance. It wasn't "Deja Vu", it must've been her next single - which I hadn't heard yet. Donning a trenchcoat and out-manuevering cops while lamenting her lost love - she absolutely owned the room, nailing every phrase and getting guttural with shocking intensity towards the end. There was also some superb poppin' and lockin'.

Second Place: Christina Aguilera. I like where she's headed. Seated in a yellow sequined dressing gown, she belted out a gorgeous ballad with orchestral accompaniment. Keeping her melismatic excess to a minimum, she let the emotion build until she stood up and wailed. Her attempts to get classy are working better by the minute.

Other ace performers: The Killers were the best rock band, while T.I. bulldozed with his charisma. I never got into him before - but now I can see the appeal.

Wish it was better: Justin Timberlake opened the program with "SexyBack", which I adore, but there was too much fan exhorting and his falsetto sounded a bit brittle. There's no way I'm not buying the album though.

Jack Black was shaky the whole night - I don't think he wanted to be there either - flubbing numerous cues and intros, while never realy hitting his comedy stride. Timberlake offered the funniest bit - building a set of shelves in JB's dressing room just because he felt he needed it. Tenacious D's song was rather tremendous though.

I think the Jackass fellows, whom I've greatly enjoyed in the past, have started to become caricatures of themselves - which I didn't think was possible. But now they mug and laugh a little too hard at antics that wouldn't have blinked an eye at when they started out.

Anyway, a fine evening - and please check out the Beyonce segment. I'm sure it'll be on YouTube soon enough, as well as repeats. It only increases my already high expectations for Dreamgirls.


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