Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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Livebloggin’: The 2009 Video Music Awards

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on September 13, 2009

Kanye Taylor

Amidst a borderline-historic night for quality American Television–the Packers and Broncos, the Phillies and Mets, the season finale of True Blood, the series finale of King of the Hill, reruns of Beef: The MC Battles on FUSE–I still can’t resist the lure of the 26th annual Video Music Awards on MTV. I started off thinking I could suffice with Twitter updates, but quickly realized only a running diary (like last year’s!) would suffice. So I’m backlogged for the first twenty minutes or so from my Twittering, but after that it’s all exclusive shit! Relive the magic with me, won’t you?

9:02: Madonna to give an introductory speech about Michael Jackson. She still looks pretty good for a 63-year-old.

9:06: This MJ eulogy is an extremely weighty way to lead off the VMAs. Whatever happened to Fartman and petulant Rage Against the Machine bassists?

9:12: Janet coming out for “Scream” in MJ dance montage. Very good call, MTV.

9:14: Who keeps inviting Katy Perry to perform at these things? Wasn’t me.

9:18: Russell Brand–I still like him. Good mix of legitimately funny and “funny how much he’s weirding out the audience” funny.

9:22: Wale: Graduated to MTV award show house-band status! He’ll be as big as the Raconteurs in no time!

9:24: Taylor Swift wins amidst heady competition for Best Female Video. Now she’s gonna have to do the false modesty thing.

9:25: “I never actually thought it would happen! I sing country music, so thanks so much for giving me a VMA award!” Not quite sure I see the cause and effect…

9:25: Uh. Kanye jumps the stage to declare Ms. Swift’s win a VMA travesty. “Beyonce made ONE OF THE BEST VIDEOS OF ALL-TIME!!!” Suddenly, Taylor’s false modesty turns very quickly to very real-life humiliation and terror. Beyonce looks positively mortified (albeit slightly flattered) in the audience.

9:27: Really, though, was “Single Ladies” one of the best videos of all-time? I mean, it was cool, but what was with that glove?

9:28: Gui Boratto’s “Beautiful Life” in a commercial for MTV’s “The Buried Life”! I have no clue whatsoever what this show is, but I think I have to watch it now.

9:34: Russell Brand introduces Jack Black as the greatest living comic actor. We are in desperate times, indeed. Poor Leighton Meester must’ve drawn the short straw in the VMA host-pairing selection party beforehand.

9;35: Best Rock Video. Nothing would cap the Year of Kings of Leon better than a win for “Use Somebody” here, but they’re up against a Twilight-related single (Paramore’s “Decode”), so my hopes are not high.

9:36: Ugh. Green Day for “21 Guns.” I’d be cool with it being a lifetime achievement thing if they hadn’t already basically swept the ’05 ceremonies with “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” (Yes, I do remember about these things. I know, I know…)

9:37: “Yes, MTV, play more videos,” Billie Joe Armstrong insists. Sorry, BJA, but I think you got scooped by Justin Timberlake and the dude from AFI by several years on that one.

9:38: Justin Beiber and Miranda Cosgrove. I weep for the future. “I’d just like tosay, give it up for Taylor Swift, she deserved that award,” insists Beiber. YOU DON’T YET HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE SUCH JUDGEMENT CALLS YOUNG MAN.

9:39: Taylor Swift performing at the 42nd street F stop! Awesome, but damn would I be pissed off if I was working in the city tonight and this shit was holding up the trains. Would make for an amusing PA announcement, at least.

9:42: “I love you, New York!’ Swift exclaims at the end of her performance. If you really loved us, Taylor, you’d have worn the nerdy glasses from the video.

9:48: Pete Wentz in-jokery. I don’t get it and I don’t want to.

9:49: Dear lord. Phantom of the Opera-ish “Poker Face” intro leading into “Paparazzi.” She plays the piano with her leg up on the keys, headbanging and looking like a muppet. Then she gets shot in the stomach and hoisted to the heavens? Ladies in gentlemen, Lady Gaga, the biggest pop star of 2009. Bring on the 2010s, please.

9:57: Are PC vs. Mac ads really the best that Patrick Warburton can do with his career? Season four of the Venture Brothers can’t come soon enough.

9:59: Eminem looks like a ghost. I fear for his physical well-being.

10:01: Russell Brand jokes about date-raping Megan Fox. Definitely falls into the “funny how much he’s weirding out the audience” funny cateogry.

10:03: Best Pop Video time. Do Beyonce and Kanye go 0/2? Indeed, Britney Spears takes second-from-top honors for “Womanizer.” They present the award to her on tour, where she appears to be hanging out with Kid of Kid and Play. I am not making this up. Either him or Eraserhead, I’m not positive.

10:05: Adam Brody and Megan Fox introduce Green Day doing “East Jesus Nowhere.” Is Jennifer’s Body really gonna give Brody a new lease on life? I’m not entirely sure that he’s earned it.

10:08: No songs off this Green Day album are exciting. 0. None terrible either, but…man, just not getting the juices flowing.

10:15: Pitbull doing an accoustic version of “I Know You Want Me.” Not a song I’ve exactly heard and thought to myself “hm, good stuff, but I really wish they’d strip it down to get to the song underneath.”

10:18: More New Moon previews? I just don’t know. Bring back Andy Samberg and Teen Wolf.

10:20: Beyonce, lasers, and a version of “Single Ladies” that sounds like “Love Lockdown.” When did the VMAs get so…prog?

10:23: Beyonce does the “Heyyy! (Heyyyy!)” call and response thing with someone in the audience. Unfrotunately, chooses a girl too excited to sing even slightly in tune. This entire thing is just weird. Marilyn Manson doing “Dope Show” at the ’98 VMAs wasn’t half as creepy as most of the performances so far tonight.

10:25: Is that Nelly Furtado singing “Use Somebody” at the side stage? Holy hell, someone get me a full mp3.

10:26: Zombieland better fucking be good. I’m not ready to lose Jesse Eisenberg so quickly.

10:29: They adapted that super-annoying will.i.am “May you stay forever young” commercial for football! Now we get to watch it for the whole calendar year! Thank the lord.

10:31: Meadow Soprano looks slightly tipsy presenting something with Diddy. He makes reference to the Beyonce/Kanye fiasco, and the crowd chants “TAYLOR! TAYLOR!” in repsonse. “It’s all in the family,” Diddy insists.

10:32. Best male video. Anyone but Eminem. Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent,” maybe? Please?

10:33: T.I. wins. Entire crowd breathes sigh of relief that Kanye didn’t win. Except me. It could’ve been cool, you know.

10:35: Muse doing “Uprising!” Every year they have to get one slightly weird band to perform at these, I suppose Muse is as good a candidate as any. Might be the last time they’re borderline-famous enough to be considered VMA-worthy, so they should soak it in while they can.

10:37: Impressed by how much of the audience knows the words to this song. Perhaps my earlier assessment was unfair. Good on Muse, either way–they’ve come a long way from that band that I was pissed off to have mp3s of that were mislabeled as being by Radiohead.

10:40: Don’t we get enough jokes of Tracy Morgan being a fan of 80s pop by white people on 30 Rock? At least have him doing America and Captain and Tenille or something.

10:47: The All-American Rejects do “Gives You Hell” on the sidestage…in glitter…with bongos. This is now officially the weirdest VMAs ever.

10:48: Best Hip-Hop Video. Let’s go Asher Roth.

10:49: Uggggggh. Eminem for “We Made You.” The walking skeleton of Eminem looks scared and confused at this new development.

10:51: Kid Cudi on the side stage gives tribute to last year’s sidestage act, the recently departed DJ AM, with a touching, heartfelt performance of “Make Her Say.” Sad on any number of levels.

10:53: “I feel like Kurt Loder right now,” rhapsodizes some MTV news guy whose name I can’t remember. This entire thing is making me feel old.

10:57: Stop singing Cyndi Lauper, Mr. Morgan. It’s just not happening.

10:58: Lady Gaga beats Kid Cudi for Best New Artist. She comes to accept the award dressed in a…I don’t even know where to begin. I’m sure by the time you read this you’ll have seen the pictures somewhere else anyway. “It’s for God, and for the gays,” exclaims Gaga. Eminem and Tracy Jordan nod and smile politely.

11:01: Pink rounds out the Weirdest VMAs Ever singing “Sober” from a flying trapeze, with a Lil’ Kim-style pasty over her left breast. What the hell is going on here.

11:11 Andy Samberg and Jimmy Fallon do an impromptu a capella “Mowtownphilly,” appropos of little. Fair enough.

11:13: Video of the year time already. Don’t much care for any of the nominees, but Kanye and Lady GaGa would certainly make for the more interesting winners. Here’s hoping.

11:13: Beyonce wins. This could be kind of interesting I guess, but she’s probably too classy to say something about it.

11:14: Never mind, she calls back Taylor Swift to the stage to “have her moment” while the audience goes nuts (including Lady GaGa, now wearing a bird’s nest…yeah, why not). Swift seems genuinely moved. MTV either planned this all along or are infinitely grateful for being given enough “Best of Video Music Awards Moments” fodder for several consecutive lifetimes.

11:21: The videos have all been pressented, but for some reason the show isn’t over. Jay-Z pulls up in a cavalcade of limos for what is presumably a highly-anticipated performance.

11:24: Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform an ode to New York, possibly a song from Blueprint 3 I should have listened to by now but haven’t. Sounds good.

11:31: Russell Brand makes a joke about sleeping with Katy Perry that falls on predictably deaf ears. Something tells me he’ll not be invited back for the three-peat.

In conclusion: Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” is the second best video of all-time, Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” is the undisputed #1, and next year the Video Music Awards will be airing on the Ovation network.

4 Responses to “Livebloggin’: The 2009 Video Music Awards”

  1. Hey.
    Great stuff.
    I’m obsessed with this blog.
    Keep up the fine work sir.
    Although, I regret to inform you that it was NOT Nelly Furtado but Wale’s supposed new GF/Beyonce’s much cooler little sister Solange Knowles that was singing the awesomeness that is “Use Somebody”.

  2. MKA said

    Just to be annoying… it’s Gui Borratto.

  3. chino said

    Ah I loved Lady Gaga – ‘Poker face’

  4. This is an impressive entry. Thank you very much for the outstanding post provided! I was looking for this entry for a long time, but I wasnt able to find a trusted source.

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