I remember when the MTV Video Music Awards were an event, the kind of thing you gathered around the TV for, anxious for something killer. Usually, this came from electric performances (Neil Young and Pearl Jam doing “Keep On Rockin’ in the Free World” in 1993, is still a highlight) or hilarious surprises (Pee Wee Herman’s post-arrest appearance being among the best). But, I think it jumped the shark when it started doing the ceremony in Miami. This sucked the soul out of the show (because, as we all know, the music industry is more potent in NYC than in South Florida). So, the ceremony returned to New York’s Radio City Music Hall for 2006. Was it a sea change? Well, that’s still in debate. Here are some sources for consideration:
– Rapper/actor Mos Def was arrested outside the VMAs, when he tried to perform an impromptu set on a flatbed truck. Was this a publicity ploy? Perhaps, though his reps indicate it had something do with the Hurricane Katrina anniversary.
– Over at Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield did some live blogging during the ceremony, including the observation that Christina Aguilera’s performance “is not the worst and stupidest and boringest moment of the night, but of ALL TIME. This is vomit. She can’t sing. String section. Dim lights. Bricks. Red dress. Vomit.”
– Michael K from Dlisted does some recaps of the red carpet arrivals, for his “Who Looked a Wreck” column.
– And, oh yeah, it was an awards show… for music videos. For winners and more, Jim DeRogatis at the Chicago Sun-Times gives one of the most intelligent summaries of the night, concluding, “Finally, the long and pointless spectacle was over. But, hey, if you really wanna see videos, there’s always YouTube.com — or as the Raconteurs sang in the wittiest line of the night, ‘Internet killed the video star.'”