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Thursday, August 17, 2006


You Tube of the Week: MTV's "Best Video" PART 2

MTV Awards Special
See Part 1 here

Continuing the survey of nominees for "Best Video of the Year"

"Dani California" ~Red Hot Chili Peppers as directed by Tony Kaye (American History X). It's a history of rock from to Elvis through hair bands to grunge rock to now. T'was smart to make it a stage performance in all decades since the most infectious thing about the Chili Peppers has always been their raucous live energy.

Best Moment: The sense of anticipation that builds when you start clicking off which look is coming next. Oh, plus when Kiedis finally takes his shirt off for the punk section. H-O-T.
Worst Thing About It: I know the Nirvana section is necessary but it's still a weird tone to throw in when the rest of the video is basically just aiming for rock n roll fun.
Grade: B

"Hips Don't Lie" ~Shakira w/ Wyclef Jean as directed by video goddess Sophie Muller (close friend of Annie Lennox and frequent collaborator of Eurythmics, No Doubt, Pink, The Dixie Chicks, and PJ Harvey. Her videography is an A+ wonder) . This nominee is the most refreshingly modest video production value wise. At least until about the 2 1/2 minute mark when all the paid extras start celebrating parade-like with Hipkira. It's good that the video relies mostly on her very, um, special skills. And it's cool that the editing and the camera, with their slightly jerky movements seem to be getting in touch with their own hip swivelling.

Best Moment: I love the continual edit / return to the glitter painted back. H-O-T!
Worst Thing About It: I don't know what to make of that reddish-orange skirt/pink sheets combo though. Ouch my eyes.
Grade: B / B + (?)

And my pic for Should Win. Duh, It's...

"Hung Up" ~Madonna as directed by Johan Renck (Madonna's Nothing Really Matters & Beyonce's Me, Myself, and I). (Now, our illustrious leader of all that is Modern and Fabulous probably wouldn't have selected her for the "should win" himself and I've already talked about her this week in my guest blogging stint but you know what they say: When the cat's away the mice will play.)

One of Madonna's greatest gift as a performer is knowing who to work with. The fact that her videos are so consistently excellent despite an ever changing roster of directors is partially her own iconic power (just try to fuck up her short film magnetism --it's hard to do.) and partially because she chooses the right people. Every cut in this video makes you either wanna dance or watch the video again and it's exquisitely paced from the opening act warm up to the bridge of travelling to and entering the club to the finale of mass dance frolic.

"I don't know what to do" is a hilariously inappropriate repetitive line in this context. In the short form music video format, Madonna has always known exactly what to do.

Best Moment: Madonna's power walk down the street and its mirror in that large black woman's dancing subway strut. H-O-T (twice over)
Worst Thing About It: It ends.
Grade: A

TRIVIA! Incredibly, though Madonna's videography holds the record for most overall wins at the MTV Awards, this is only her 3rd nomination in this particular category --the big one. She was previously nominated for Like a Prayer, Vogue and won the top prize only once for Ray of Light. MTV has long had a love/hate thing with her. She's the biggest star of all time music video-wise and it seems obvious over the years of the network that they both love and resent her for that symbiotic relationship.

The MTV Music Video Awards premiere August 31st on MTV. Who are you rooting assuming you've even vaguely thought to care?


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