Sales Aftermath

As I said at the beginning of the weekend, the VMA’s usually result in a sales increase for both the nominees and performers. Florence + The Machine have seen the biggest jump since they made their performance of ‘Dog Days Are Over’ last night. The song has jumped to number 10 on itunes, a new peak for them, and their album, ‘Lungs’ has jumped to number 2. This should be a huge week for them sales and chart wise. Thankfully they are gaining fans from a performance that was true to their artistry.

30 Seconds to Mars will probably see their song, ‘Kings and Queens’ reach a new peak next week as well. The song has reached to number 22 on itunes. If they were smart the song would be re-released to Top 40 radio to gain audience impressions while the song is popular on itunes. Their album, ‘This is War’ also moved up to number 22 on the album chart.

Usher moved up a few spots as ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love’ zooms to 3 on itunes. It is not surprising since his performance was the most exciting of the night. Drakes song ‘Fancy’ is at a new itunes peak of 48. I am hoping that a remix with Mary J. Blige will be released soon.

I am glad to see that Florence and 30 Seconds to Mars seem to be benefitting from the VMA’s the most. Considering that they are less commercial than all the other acts I am sure they are celebrating their success today.

VMA Weekend Wrap-Up

Tonight was Lady Gaga’s night winning 8 awards, including ‘Bad Romance’. I am so thankful that the video that deserved all the awards won the most. I did pretty decent with predicting the winners tonight. I predicting 5 of the winners correctly. I best performance of the night goes to Usher, who was able to bring both awesome vocals and dancing. Florence + The Machine did an amazing job, staying true to her artistry. Taylor Swift was by far the worst of the night, and Kanye get the last laugh earning both the respect and love from the entire arena who was cheering his name at the end of the performance. The biggest disappointment was that fact that Lady Gaga did not perform. After last years performance she should of been the first person added on the bill. Overall the show was pretty decent, with all of the awards going to the deserving winners.

What did you think of the show? After all of the post that I have done today I’m done for the night!

VMA: Live Feed: Updated every few minutes!

Here the show moment by moment….

7:37- Nicki just finished. It may have been one weirdest performances but as always she delievered her signature faces and voice. No comment on Will.I.Am

7:50- Kanye is premiering his ‘Runaway’ film. As always he is proving that he is much more than an average rapper.

7:57- Gaga won the first two awards for best and best collaboration dance video. The take over begins…

8:00- The shows starting…

8:01- Eminem is starting the show with ‘Not Afraid’. He is always great in every performance. He looks like he is suffering from crazy eye as well. The stage is awesome this year. He is performing with a full band which is always great, especially at a show this big. Rihanna showed up out to do ‘Love The Way You Lie’. The performance was good, but not the best opening.

8:07- Chelsee Handler had a great opening pretending to be Lady Gaga.

8:14- Chelsee riding Rick Ross is the best thing of the night I’m sure

8:15- Best Female Video goes to ‘Bad Romance’- her third of the night so far

8:25- Best Rock Video goes to 30 Seconds to Mars!!!

8: 28- Justin Bieber performing ‘Baby’ like everything all year. Im almost sure that he is lip syncing. Its always sad when people don’t sing live. Its really sad. He covered up pretty well from losing his drum stick though. Overall not so good.

8:34- Still can’t believed that someone would lip-sync at an award show this big…

8:38- Usher’s doing great. As always he is singing live and sounding great. He is killing the dancing right now. Best performance of the night so far. His dance solo is pretty sick. The lights are amazing. This is the best stage I think I’ve ever seen for an award show. Usher did not disappoint this year. Thank God Will.I.Am stayed off the stage.

8:44- Nicki Minaj is the best. Best Male Video goes too Eminem ‘Not Afraid’.

8:53- Florence sounds flawless right now. Amazing. This performance is awesome. Looks like a lot like the video.  Best vocal performance so far. Sound exactly like the recording. Awesome first VMA performance!

8:58- NERD is performing ‘Hot N’ Fun’ with Ciara. Still don’t know why…

9:05- Jane say KAsha. Opps. Best Pop Video goes to Lady Gaga ‘Bad Romance’. I’m glad that the best video of the year is sweeping everything.

9:08- Taylor can not sing. I will never understand why people think she is a good artist. She gets more painful to watch every show. That is all.

9:21- Drake is performing. A nice old school feel performance. Mary, Swizz, and Drake are killing it. So glad Mary is dropping a verses right now. All three of them have great chemistry. THis was an awesome performance. Just great live vocals from all three.

9:28- Gaga is at 7. She won choreography, direction, and editing. Florence wins art direction. Muse wins special affects and Jay-Z wins cinematography.

9:35- Best Hip-Hop Video goes to Eminem. Jay deserved it.

9:43- Bruno Mars has one of the best voice that I have heard in a while. B.o.B. is doing a real good job. First time that ‘Airplanes’ is being performed live. Halley Williams is looking pretty awkward. Her vocals are great in ‘The Only Exception’.

9:53- Best New Artist is Justin Bieber. Nicki Deserved it. Her video was better, but this was expected.

9:55- Linkin Park. I still don’t understand why they are performing.

10:05- The award for video of the year goes to………LADY GAGA ‘BAD ROMANCE’. The only video that deserved to win. She announced her new albums name, ‘Born This Way’. Good promotion.

10:09- Aziz Ansari is awesome. Kanye is always awesome. He always so strong artistic performances. The new song seems to be about the incident that happened last year. It’s awesome. His music is just getting better and better as time goes on. So excited about his new album. He has consistently been letting out good music.

10:15- Shows over! On to the next one!

VMA: Predictions

The show is only a few hours away, so I wanted to post my predictions before hand to see how I fare. Below I list all of the categories with their nominee and I say who should win and who will probably win. Overall the VMA are known to be a little bias, so it will be an interesting night to say the least. The VMA’s ussually get video of the year right every year, but this is tough. Check out my predictions below the picture and see if you agree!

BEST COLLABORATION

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams              Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga
Airplanes                                                         Video Phone (Extended Remix)

3OH!3 featuring Kesha                                Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
My First Kiss                                                  Empire State of Mind

Should Win: B.o.B. should have this one in the bag, but with all the hype surrounding Lady Gaga she has a good shot too. Jay-Z also has had a great year, and his video was also a great representation of the song.

Will Win: Even with all the hype i still think ‘Airplanes’ will take the moon man.

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Lady Gaga                                                       Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg
Bad Romance                                                 California Gurls

Ke$ha                                                               Taylor Swift
Tik Tok                                                              Fifteen

Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga

Video Phone (Extended Remix)

Should Win: Lady Gaga is obviously the one most worth in the category, but after Beyonce lost to Taylor last year anything is possible. Considering that Taylor Swift is one dimensional and always makes the same song/video she should even be here. Ke$ha should be glad with the nomination, and Kety has a slim chance because the song was so huge this summer.

Will Win: Bad Romance’ makes the most sense, but I could see something stupid happening here like Ke$ha winning. ‘Tic Tok’ ?????

BEST MALE VIDEO

Eminem                                                        B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams
Not Afraid                                                    Airplanes

Usher featuring Will.I.Am                      Jason Derulo
OMG                                                              In My Head

Drake

Find Your Love

Should Win: This is interesting because two of the videos are up for video of the year. Even though and B.o.B. are obvious favorite, I think Usher will pull this one out.

Eminem Will Win: ‘OMG’

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO

B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams      Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem
Airplanes                                                   Forever

Eminem                                                      Jay-Z & Swizz Beats
Not Afraid                                                  On To The Next One

Kid Cudi featuring MGMT & Ratatat

Pursuit Of Happiness

Should Win: Jay-Z & Swizz beats should have this one because their video was so visually compelling, but again with Eminem and B.o.B. nominated I think its a long shot.

Will Win: I actually think that ‘Forever’ will walk away victorious. With the year that Drake has had I think he deserves one, and considering all of the other heavy weights on the track I think it has a good shot.

BEST NEW ARTIST
Ke$ha                                                          Jason Derulo
Tik Tok                                                        In My Head

Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris          Nicki Minaj featuring Sean Garrett

Baby                                                              Massive Attack

Broken Bells
The Ghost Inside

Should Win: If we actually base this category off of the video than Nicki Minaj should win. ‘Massive Attack’ is a great video, showcasing both Nicki’s personality and talents. There only one thing blocking Nicki from a victory, Justin Bieber.

Will Win: As much as he doesn’t deserve to win off of his bowling alley party video I know that ‘Baby’ will take the prize. Too many delusional fans out there.

BEST POP VIDEO
Lady Gaga                                                  Ke$ha
Bad Romance                                            Tic Tok

Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dog          Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga
California Gurls                                       Video Phone (Extended Remix)

B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars

Nothing on You

Should Win: I actually think that B.o.B. has a good chance here. his video was creative and different from all the rest, but I will stick with my guns and say that ‘Bad Romance’ deserves it.

Will Win: Even though Gaga should win I actually think ‘California Gurls’ will take it. The VMA’s rarely let an artist sweep all of their categories, and considering the popularity of the song this year I think Katy will take it.

BEST ROCK VIDEO
30 Seconds To Mars                               Paramore
Kings and Queens                                   Ignorance

Muse                                                            MGMT
Uprising                                                     Flash Delirium

Florence + the Machine

Dog Days Are Over

Should Win: Same as the Male video category there are two video of the year nominees here. Clearly the best video is ‘Kings and Queens’, so they should get it.

Will Win: The should and they will, ‘Kings and Queens’ .

BEST DANCE MUSIC VIDEO

Lady Gaga                                                 Cascada
Bad Romance                                          Evacuate The Dancefloor

Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull     David Guetta featuring Akon
I Like It                                                     Sexy Chick

Usher feat. Will.I.Am

OMG

Should Win: The only competition here is Usher and Gaga. I think Gaga’s video was all around better than Usher’s so I will say that it belongs to her.

Will Win: Usher puts up a good fight here, so I actually think that he will win because he has a lot of fans that thought the video was great. (the song is still the worst thing I’ve ever heard by the way) ‘OMG’

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga                                              30 Seconds To Mars
Bad Romance                                        Kings and Queens

Florence + The Machine                   Eminem
Dog Days Are Over                             Not Afraid

Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé          B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams
Telephone                                             Airplanes

Should Win: After reviewing them all I know ‘Bad Romance’ deserves to win. The problem is the fact that ‘Telephone’ was talked about more than any video this year, even though the public was disappointed.

Will Win: As angry as I will be my gut is telling me that ‘Telephone’ will take it. Just remember ‘Bad Romance’ is better.

BEST ART DIRECTION

Bad Romance

Dogs Days Are Over

Not Afraid

Kings and Queens

Video Phone (Extended Remix)

Should Win: ‘Dog Days Are Over’ should take this one, with the huge contrast of colors that the video focused on.

Will Win: ‘Dog Days Are Over’

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Bad Romance

Telephone

Video Phone (Extended Remix)

OMG

Tightrope

Should Win: I actually think that ‘OMG’ should win this one, because technically speaking Usher did the most out of them all. Still, Lady Gaga focused all of ‘Bad Romance’ around the dancing.

Will Win: Toss up between ‘OMG’/ ‘Bad Romance’

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Not Afraid

Empire State of Mind

Bad Romance

Little Lion Man

Dog Days Are Over

Should Win: ‘Empire State of Mind’ was filled with NYC beautifully shot.

Will Win: ‘Not Afraid’ will take it

BEST DIRECTION
Empire State of Mind
Director: Hype Williams

Bad Romance
Director: Francis Lawrence

Not Afraid
Director: Rich Lee

Funhouse
Director: Dave Meyers

Kings and Queens
Director: Bartholomew Cubbins

Should Win: ‘Bad Romance’.

Will Win: ‘Bad Romance’

BEST EDITING
Bad Romance
Editor: Jarrett Fijal

Not Afraid
Editor: Ken Mowe

Rude Boy
Editor: Clark Eddy

Funhouse
Editor: Chris Davis

Animal
Editor: Frank Macias

Should Win: ‘Rude Boy’ should win because it has the most obvious editing out of all of the videos. I’m not expert so what do I know.

Will Win: ‘Rude Boy’

Do You agree with me? Let me know! Make your own predictions!

VMA: ‘Bad Romance’- Lady Gaga

Rating: A+

I wanted to save the best for last because I think that ‘Bad Romance’ deserves to win all the awards it is up for tonight. ‘Bad Romance’ was the first single off of Lady Gaga’s ‘The Fame Monster’. The video was released last November, which was still hot off of her legendary VMA performance. Many people saw how crazy Lady Gaga is during her ‘Paparazzi’ performance, so there was speculation to how she could channel that in music video form successfully. The video proved that Lady Gaga is an artistic genius. There is no denying the fact that she is off-color, but ‘Bad Romance’ was the perfect music video in every sense.

Unlike ‘Telephone’ Lady Gaga decided to reflect the song in the video. I thought it was creative to focus the video on the black market, consider that the song is talking about a toxic love relationship. Gaga is always fearless and she took a very risky topic and created a work of art from it. Considering what the black market entails I thought that the video could have been much worse than it was. Not saying that it is pure as snow, but looking at the things Gaga has done it could have been a lot more sexual.

I also liked that she incorporated the title of her EP in the video. She looks like a monster in many of the shots, especially when her spine is sticking out of her back in the cage. Even her body movements and the dancing reflects the theme of monsters. Gaga herself ends up being a monster at the end of the video, killing the man who purchased her. She ends the video lying on a scorched bed, covered in ashes next to the skeleton of the man she killed. All of this for a pop song.

The video focuses a lot on her dancing, which her previous videos have not. With the lighting, scenery, and theme, Gaga removes herself from the mold of a female pop star to a rising legend. Even though she is dancing for the majority of her video, it is still unlike anything that has come out in recent years. Gaga failed with ‘Telephone’ because she tried to hard to be artistic and different. ‘Bad Romance’ appeared to come naturally for her. The video is still epic even though there is no dialogue, and it still portrays a story.

There is not one moment of the video that she loses her audience. Gaga is a natural performer, and her on screen antics have the ability to break the wall that exists between herself and her audience. ‘Bad Romance’ set a new standard for current pop music videos. It may have not had hype leading up to it’s premiere, but after its debut fans and critics went crazy. She was able to achieve the unexpected, and impress everyone who watched it.

Lady Gaga had a good year at the VMA’s last year and with 13 nominations she is obviously a new favorite. With ‘Bad Romance’ being perfect in every way I will be stunned if she walks away with no awards. I am not saying that the video is groundbreaking, but I do believe that it stand out among the other videos from this year. She deserves to be tonight’s big winner.

What do you think? Did you like ‘Bad Romance’ also?

VMA: ‘Airplanes’- B.o.B feat. Halley Williams of Paramore

Rating: A

B.o.B.’s year continues to get better. After having both his debut single and album hit number 1, B.o.B. continued to rise with his second single ‘Airplanes’. He is clearly sending out  a message about the seriousness his artistry with his video for ‘Airplanes’. Being nominated for video of the year off a debut album is huge, and no one deserves it more than B.o.B.

Even though I can’t listen to the song for five years now because the radio played it so much that fact that it is an amazing song still needs to be mentioned. As I said in my review of the song, it captures both the emotion and relief of finally achieving success. To make the song more noteworthy the video needed to reflect both the drive and lust for success. The video also needed to incorporate two artist from two different genres of music without forced. The video not only did the song justice, but it enhanced it, making it more meaningful in the process.

The video could arguable be one 0f the most beautiful of the year. The way the lights were used created a collage-like affect to the screen. Many of the shots were contrasted between the colorful lights and dark figures. It could easily represent the emergence into the spotlight than one takes when becoming a celebrity. Thankfully they stayed away from anything about airplanes, which would have made the video idiotic and predictable. The focus on the stars, especially during the scene with Halley, created a beautiful tone that is often hard to capture in a video only 3 minutes long.

B.o.B. will should not walk home empty handed tonight, and if he does it will be a real crime. I am so thankful that rappers are starting to put time and energy into their videos. It’s an art from that is usually look at with distaste, and video like ‘Airplanes’ prove that when done right, a music video can be moving experience.

What do you think? Does the video reflect the song properly?

VMA: ‘Not Afraid’- Eminem

Rating: A-

Eminem has experience one of the biggest comebacks of the past few years with two number 1 singles and an album that will most likely become the years biggest seller. A nomination for video of the year is just another nod to Eminems success and artistry. The video for his first single ‘Not Afraid’ is one of Em’s best to date. He has made himself known for joking around in many of his videos (‘Just Lose It’, ‘We Made You’), often depicting troubled celebrities in comical situations. Both of the videos off of his ‘Recovery’ album have seen Eminem in a more serious role, reflecting both the subject manner and lyrics of his songs in true music video form.

‘Not Afraid’ was meant to bring Eminem back to his original rapping style; accent free and fearless of criticism. The video follows him to the end of the earth where he overcomes his fears proving that he will not go anywhere no matter what the situation. The first shot of the video shows Em standing on the ledge of a building looking over New York City fearlessly. The video may not be representing a deep meaning, but unlike Lady Gaga Eminem realizes that not everything needs to be overdramatized. I also enjoyed the fact that the video only follows Eminem, because the song is a statement of his personal artistic journey.

The best part of the video is actually the way it was shot. Compared to the videos from his previous albums, ‘Not Afraid’ has movie quality filming. The effects used during the flying sequence take away from the corniness of his superpowers. The idea of him being a superhero could have ruined the video, but it surprisingly works. He took a story and fit it into a 4 minute video making it worthy of the video of the year nomination.

Eminem is a favorite at the VMA’s, receiving a nomination for every year he had a video out. This is the first video that is actually worthy of receiving awards. The video for ‘Love The Way You Lie’ was just as good, proving that Eminem is coming into his own as a music video artist. Hopefully he can continue this streak and make more visually pleasing videos.

VMA: ‘Telephone’ Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce

Rating: C-

There no questioning Lady Gaga’s current standing as one of the top artist in the world right now. Gearing up for the release of her third album, Lady Gaga is still enjoying the success of her second album/EP ‘The Fame Monster’. Due to the music videos that she has released over the past two year she is widely known as a visionary and risk taker in her videos. Her historic 13 nominations for this years VMA’s properly acknowledge her colossal work in music video form. She has two videos that are up for video of the year, ‘Telephone’ and ‘Bad Romance’.

The hype for this music video in early 2010 was intense to say the least. For weeks Lady Gaga teased her fans promising that the video would be a masterpiece. In my opinion both the song and the video are overrated; I would take the song over the video any day though. The one thing that I appreciate about the song though is its ability to mesh the sounds and styles of both artist. When two artists collaborate their purpose should be to bring the best out of each other using their own strengths. Technically speaking the song is a good collaboration, but the same can not be said about the video.

I think that Lady Gaga tried too hard to send a message with this one. The whole concept of American consumerism killing society  and individualism is creative and well thought out, but it has nothing to do with the song. I can’t believe the video was nominated because it does not reflect the lyrical content of theme of the song in the slightest and that is the purpose of a music video, putting visuals to the song. Lady Gaga mentioned that the song is about the fear of commitment and by no means does this video address that. The idea of creating a mini-movie out of the video would have worked much better if the song wasn’t cut up so many times. Right as your are getting into the song it gets cut off for a section of dialogue that is overly pretentious and unnecessary. If the audience had more time to enjoy the song than perhaps we would have ignored the fact that it has nothing to do with the song.

The worst part is Beyonce, who seems to have lost her own identity. She brings nothing of her own to the video becoming a carbon copy of Lady Gaga. Her verse in the song is filled with attitude and that is missing from her performance. Instead she just gives the camera crazy eyes and jumps around. This was not what I was expecting from her since she usually has so much personality on camera.

The video is not a complete wreck though, there are some scenes that look great, especially when the song is playing.  Lady Gaga is a natural performer, so she always nails the performance aspect. I can also appreciate the fact that Lady Gaga is trying to revive the age of music videos. This video is just not doing it for me. I will be disappointed if it wins anything tomorrow because it should not. As you will see in my next post ‘Bad Romance’ is stronger in every sense and should be the victor tomorrow.

Head on over to youtube or mtv to see the video. Do you agree? Let me know in the comments!

VMA: ‘Kings and Queens’ 30 Seconds to Mars

Rating: A

The second nominee for video of the year is 30 Second to Mars. The band dropped their third album, ‘This is War’, late last year. ‘Kings and Queens’ was the first single from the album, peaking at 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 4 on the Rock Chart. Even though the song did not see chart success, the video has garnered up a lot of buzz thus becoming one of the best rock videos of the year. It received a total of 4 nominations this year. After winning the MTV2 video award 4 years ago I am sure the band are hoping to end their VMA drought, and I’m they will.

30 Seconds to Mars have always created cinematic works of art with their videos. Watch ‘From Yesterday’ or ‘The Kill’ if you don’t believe me. A lot of their creativity should be attributed to lead singer Jared Leto, who often lends his acting chops to the bands videos. ‘Kings and Queens’ is not simple a video about a group of people riding around on bikes, but it is a representation of freedom and persistence. Starting with the landscape shot of Los Angeles , the video was filmed to reflect the theme of unlimited boundaries.

3o Seconds to Mars are consistently a good band. ‘Kings and Queens’ is quite possibly their best song to date. It sounds similar to the sound that Kings of Leon had during there last album. I’m surprised that the song did not succeed on the Hot 100 chart because it has a simple melodic tune that would fit well with the other songs on Top 40 radio. The best part of the group is Jared Leto. He has an unparalleled voice that get better with every album. The harmonies during the second verse and his voice in the chorus reveal both the power and range that he is capable of. 30 Seconds to Mars generally are overlooked which is a shame because they are far more superior than many of the other bands out there.

Considering that they received 4 nominations I would be surprised if the band left empty handed tomorrow night. Similar to what I said about Florence + The Machine, it is an honor for the band to even be nominated because it gives them both the credit and attention they deserve. I am looking forward to their performance tomorrow because I’m sure Jared will not let me down vocally.

VMA: ‘Dog Days Are Over’ Florence + The Machine

Rating: B

Every year MTV nominates an artist that is more alternative or unknown  to appeal to a broad audience for the show. This year British pop group Florence + The Machine were nominated for video of the year. The nomination left a lot of people scratching their heads considering that Florence + The Machine haven’t made a strong impact on the states yet. Not only is this a turning point in their international success, but if they actually win video of the year both media and radio attention will be brought upon the band.

‘Dog Days Are Over’ is the second single from the groups album ‘Lungs’. The album was one of the most successful in Britain during the past two year. Florence began receiving attention in the states when the movie ‘Eat,Pray, Love’ chose ‘Dog Day Are Over’ to be its backing song. For smaller bands a feature in a movie or TV show can change their entire career (look at Snow Patrol or The Fray).  The single was therefore re-released for the states with a new video. Since the video’s nomination the song has hit the top 100 on itunes, and the band has been added to perform at the main show.

The song itself is unlike anything that is out on the radio now. First of all it has real instruments, which seems to be in the past. Second, the vocal arrangement and hook does not fit into the mold of current American pop. There is no repeating dance hook, just a boldly sung chorus. The song is more about passion than success. I highly doubt that it would be able to blow up on Top 40 radio. It is too different too stick with the pop audience right now. Still, the song proves what a talented singer Florence is, and can hopefully find the band building a solid fan base in the states.

Personally, I think the band would best be suited with a small following rather than mainstream success. MTV did a great job by shedding some light on a band that deserves recognition. Hopefully they will stay true to both their image and vision during their performance tomorrow night. There is nothing worse than a band that sells their image and sound in order to make money. True artist will stick to their vision no matter what the success. With a voice as good as Florence’s there is nothing more that the band should do to impress the audience.

I realize that ‘Dog Days Are Over’ will not appeal to everyone. I do encourage you to give the song a chance and spread your horizons.  The video can be viewed below. It’s a sharp contrast of colors making the video visually pleasing. Even if it does not win tomorrow the band should be thankful that they were even nominated.

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