Most people–magazines, websites, TV shows have had their Best of 2010 list already out by the last week of December or the first week of January. So I’m a bit late. I’ve also whittled down my list to only one thing only because I haven’t seen it that often on anyone else’s lists. Watch the video to learn what it is and why I picked it.
What one thing did you like most about 2010? Are you up on this game?
Instead of looking up on iTunes the most played songs, I’m going by feeling and memory (and past friPod posts of this year).
I can’t include albums of the past 2 months for the sole reason that they are too recent, even if I listened to said recent album on repeat for 10 hours on 3 consecutive days. I’m also aiming for albums and not necessarily singles that I’ve listened to repeatedly over the past year. Doing a singles list would be much more difficult. But on with the list (in no particular order this time)… (more…)
I’m quite finished with the VMAs for this year, but I feel the need that I must do a review of the show and awards compared to what I predicted (or picked) to win. Clearly, this was Lady Gaga’s show, and a tribute to her video “Bad Romance.” But it was also a concert of a few of the hottest songs of this past year and a who’s who in current pop culture. Oh yeah, and the Swift/West saga. So I will keep it short, okay?
- Best Dance Video - Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (Correctly predicted)
- Best Collaboration - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce, “Telephone” (I knew would win but I wanted Jay-Z/Alicia Keys to win)
- Best Female Video – Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (Correctly predicted)
- Best Rock Video – 30 Seconds to Mars, “Kings and Queens” (Incorrectly predicted, I guessed Florence + the Machine)
- Best Male Video – Eminem, “Not Afraid” (Correctly predicted)
- Best Pop Video – Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (Correctly predicted, but wanted someone else to win)
- Best Hip Hop Video – Eminem, “Not Afraid” (Incorrectly predicted, wanted Jay-Z to win)
- Best New Artist – Justin Bieber (I knew he would win, but I picked someone else)
- Breakthrough Video – The Black Keys, “Tighten Up” (Correctly picked)
- Best Direction - Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (Correctly predicted)
- Best Choreography - Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (Predicted but wanted someone else to win)
- Best Special Effects - Muse “Uprising” (Incorrectly predicted, but not upset)
- Best Art Direction - Florence + the Machine, “Dog Days Are Over” (I actually picked this as a runner up)
- Best Editing - Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (I guess I predicted it, but I wanted someone else to win)
- Best Cinematography - Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” (Correctly picked)
- Video of the Year - Lady Gaga (Correctly predicted and had a strong feeling almost a year ago, without actually saying “best video winner”)
And now for the highlights in performances:
- Nicki Minaj & will.i.am -strange & stranger… (and scary).
- Hey will.i.am, is this what future black people will look like in your world?
- Eminem – awesome, loved the drums and surprise by Rihanna
- Justin Bieber – pass…
- Usher – possibly best performance? I’m a sucker for SFX and I loved the laser and use of the lighted stage floor
- Florence and the Machine – had I not known who she was or saw the video, I would pass on this performance, but it was well done
- Taylor Swift – great use of the stage but I didn’t care for the song. Why was her drummer “outside“?
- Drake – Hey Mary J! Looked like Casablanca.
- B.o.B/Paramore – not bad, nothing stellar. The light bulbs at the end was a nice touch
- Linkin Park – good show, loved the multiple stages
- Kanye West – typical. Not amazed but definitely not boring either.
- Chelsea Handler had few funny moments, including the house hat, the new artist sketches, and the Jersey Shore hot tub. Other than that, don’t come back next year.
And the other things that happened:
Other than that, a tame telecast compared to past shows. Sad to say, the VMAs are getting kinda lame. Let’s step it up next year guys. But for a whole lotta bunch more stuff VMA related, head over to MTV.com for pics, videos and even the whole show repeat… Not sure why you would want to watch this particular telecast again, in my opinion, it wasn’t worth it. I would include more stuff that happened but I’m tired and I’m late. But as I said to a friend to sum up this year’s show “Hey MTV, I’m really impressed with your stage and Imma let you finish but last year was one of the best VMAs of all time!”
It’s come to this moment. VIDEO OF THE YEAR! You’ve seen all of these videos by now and you can probably guess who my pick is for the winner. I’d almost bet actually cash money that my pick is the winner… and many of you probably would guess the same thing. So, just listing and one video actually posted…
- 30 Seconds to Mars “Kings and Queens”
- B.o.B featuring Kayley Williams “Airplanes”
- Eminem “Not Afraid”
- Florence and the Machine “Dog Days Are Over”
- Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce “Telephone”
- Lady Gaga “Bad Romance” for the win…
See you guys tomorrow. I’ll probably be live blogging the show so follow me on Twitter.
I’m not really sure what this category means, to be truthful to you guys. It’s not about a breakthrough artist since most of these guys have been around for quite some time. But perhaps it’s about a video that is just awesome beyond measure? Or perhaps it’s a video they didn’t know what to do with but needed to shine a spot light on. I don’t really know, but all except one I’ve talked about before and it’s too bad none of these are in other categories as well… but oh well, let’s see what BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO caught their attention.
- Right off the bat, those Indoobians who have been following along know that I’ve recently become a pretty big Black Keys fan. So I immediately wanted to throw my pick to “Tighten Up” not only for the clever and amusing video starring two boys who look like spitting images of their screen dads, but the song is awesome too. It gets pretty violent, but it’s all for comedic effect. Boys do crazy things for girls.
- I would call myself a mild fan of Coldplay. I was too busy being entranced by the magic of this stop-motion-chalk-photography to figure out what “Strawberry Swing” is about… it’s just too beautiful for me to care. I love the story and the animation. The song plays well into the video, even though I don’t know what it’s about. Is it going to win? I don’t know. All of these are difficult to choose.
- I spoke of Dan Black before. He’s the only one here that has been nominated elsewhere, and although I didn’t choose him then, I’d have him as my runner up here as well… if there was such an award. I really like this video. The only other video I can think of that comes close in awesomeness is Justice’s “DVNO” but that was a couple years ago. But this is fun times.
- Last we have Gorillaz, who always have cool videos. I would think it’s needed if your band is made of cartoon characters. But besides that, this video also features Bruce Willis! I don’t know the full story behind this video, but I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s just fun to watch the story unfold.
View a previous post and a couple more videos from The Black Keys and a little poll.
I don’t really need to describe the roll of a director, do I? Long story short, this is the guy in charge of the vision of the video. Sure, we still have the artist who may have inspired it or helps with creative process along with a production team with all the designs and so forth and so on that I’ve already listed (not by name), but when it comes to who’s in charge behind the camera making the people on camera look their best, it’s the BEST DIRECTION. He’s like a funnel. The best funnel.
- I said earlier that 30 Seconds to Mars’ video “Kings and Queens” is pretty much a short film… well, I only felt that way due to the long version have titles and credits. If you think about it, a lot of music video are short films… it’s just that some embrace being a short film and actually telling a story. I think this video tells a story. I’m not entirely sure what that story is, but I like it. Will it win? Probably not. But I’ve been wrong before.
- “Not Afraid” definitely has a cinematic feel to it. I’m not familiar with Rich Lee (or at least I don’t think I am) but I give him his props for making this video look as good as it is. With it being nominated so many times, it’s possible this could be a winner.
- I think most people who are familiar with music videos, especially hip hop music videos, are familiar with the name Hype Williams. He’s been around since forever ago. What I generally like about his videos is the use of color. However, most of this video is in black & white. But even the grayscale still seems to pop. He also expertly captured the city that this song is about. Him and his team of course. Remember, directors are the funnels.
- Hey, I’m not fighting it this time. Like the Oscars, if the Best Director is nominated, there’s a good chance the film they directed is there too. Or vice versa. And sometimes what happens is the director and his/her film wins. Not all the time, but it’s magical when it does. Either way, it’s the case with “Bad Romance” and I think this director will take home the prize. That pretty much hints to who I think will get the big prize, no? It’s Lady Gaga night, kids. Oh, and Francis Lawrence is a film director with some serious cred, so you can’t go wrong with him.
- So that leave Pink and her “Funhouse” again, which I’m glad is recognized. Why? Because it’s Pink. I wish her live performances got some recognition. How many times has she flown over the audience now? While singing? Okay, that might not have a lot to do with a director’s credit, but c’mon! Dave Meyers has been in the business a long time too, by the way.
I’ve found editing to be very relaxing. I’ve never had the pleasure to put together a music video, but I imagine it to be fun to put music together with shots of video or pictures and to retell a story. It’s all about the music and promoting that music, right? Well, it should be. And this is the category to show who has the BEST EDITING for a music video.
- I’m not arguing against Eminem’s return here with “Not Afraid.” There is some very good editing going on in this video, piecing together the state of mind and feeling of emotion the artists involved want you to feel. Winner? I don’t know. I’m leaning towards no. But the recognition is definitely worthy.
- I’m only getting annoyed with having to keep typing “Lady Gaga” and “Bad Romance” when really from the beginning I should just say “assume Lady Gaga is nominated.” In any event, here she is yet again. And again I say this video is at the top of it’s game with just about every aspect a video should be, editing included. Might end up the winner, but hopefully not.
- I would like this video to win, Miike Snow’s “Animal.” Interestingly enough, I never knew this song had a video until recently, and I didn’t know the song was as new as it was. I heard it on a This American Life podcast and decided to download the song. The video must’ve been hard work to edit. But this I think show’s the best editing, putting together all these shots on beat, so crisp and yet, seamless? Not seamless in the sense that you can’t tell where a cut is hidden, but in the sense that these cuts belong and feel natural to the song and what the song is about and how you might even imagine the video to look like. It just flows. But again, major credit to the editor matching it all together.
- It’s nice to see Pink nominated for something. The video “Funhouse” is grungy and dirty and kinda looks unhappy, but the song is about unhappy times. The editing work isn’t bad at all, but I feel maybe this video could’ve been better suited in the Best Female category? I like Pink and at least it’s not the only time this video was nominated.
- Lastly we have Rihanna with “Rude Boy.” I don’t particularly care for the song and was a bit shocked once I listened to the lyrics (while a little girl was singing it, no less). As for the video, it does catch the eye, does it not? Colorful, bright, and again, a prime example of what fun editing can be and how it can enhance the listener and/or viewer of the song. But please, let’s not corrupt our children too early, okay? Thanks.
This category doesn’t really need an introduction, does it? We do have two new entries here. So let’s take a look at BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS. We have some great contenders here… including Lady Gaga of course.
- I’ve never heard of Dan Black, but this “Symphonies” video is amazing. It’s so colorful, and fun. In case you haven’t gathered, its theme is basically the opening animations to some of the most popular or memorable movies. Even with a movie guru like myself, there are some I haven’t recognized, but I feel rewarded with the ones I do. And I am a sucker for this kinda stuff anyway. I am torn between this video and Green Day.
- Eminem is back and is still “Not Afraid.” When I first saw this video, for some reason I had only seen half of it. The big SFX don’t really kick in until the end of the video. They are indeed impressive and I have no problem with this video being in this category, I just don’t think it will hold up well with its competitors due to how much SFX were used and how it was used. Don’t get me wrong, they work great in this video and isn’t overused or gaudy, I just think some other videos have a better chance.
- This is what I don’t understand… how is this the only category Green Day is nominated for? Had this been in the Best Rock Video category, easy win… or at least for me it would be. But I don’t wanna go on a rant about that right now. The special effects used in “21st Century Breakdown” are nothing less than awesome. Not only did it capture my attention, it was thoroughly entertaining and kept moving. I think that statement is a bit of an understatement… but seeing the video, you understand. What I really liked about it (and any other video that do this) is how this video is a callback to the album art. Look into it some time if you can. Their video “21 Guns” also does this too. Was that a video a year too late to be nominated? Just curious. However, since I have to make a single pick, I think I would choose this one, also because it was shamelessly left off the list for Rock Video. Plus it’s just an awesome video for an awesome song.
- Guess whose back! Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Yes, this video has everything, but I don’t want her to have this award either. Do I really need to explain the FX in this video and why I feel someone else should get it? I hope not, so that’s why I’m not going to.
- Rounding out this list is Muse’s “Uprising.” As I said before, I love the teddy bears attacking. As awesome as that is, I don’t think this will be the winner either.
Maybe because I’m writing this really late at night, but cinematography and art direction almost feel like the same thing. They aren’t though, and I know the difference. One of how artistic it looks, the other is how artistic it looks on screen. Again, my own made up definition and comparison. But it’s all about how well it looks on your TV or computer screen, the framing, the zooming, the panning, the lighting, the colors… all of it to enhance for your viewing pleasure. BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
- Eminem is back again, and I’ll be honest… I’m not too sure why. As good as this video is, I wonder what small batch of videos they are choosing from. I don’t want to go naming off videos that aren’t nominated at all, but I’ve seen some other videos that came out this year that’d be perfect for this category and several others. But perhaps it’s the popularity. I’m not saying the cinematography is poor, I just don’t think it’s the best or in the top five, in my opinion.
- For me, “Dog Days Are Over” is stronger in the Art Direction category than in this one. Like the “Not Afraid” video, it is good and very well shot, but I don’t think it’s the best. The people who can vote for this may feel otherwise, but who knows with Gaga in the running… I feel like they are going down the test and picking C for every answer. I jest.
- I’m still a bigger fan of Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One”… but that wasn’t nominated. “Empire State of Mind” is and I think this is a good example of well used cinematography. Do I have a bias because I like NYC? A little, yes. But they are beautiful shots, no? And that’s what I would be looking for if I were to pick the best.
- I don’t want it to sound as if I hate “Bad Romance” or Lady Gaga, because I don’t. I really love this video and I think she’s a great artist. I just think some recognition should go around the table. But if she wins every award she’s nominated for, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s an awesome video and it has everything. I won’t even argue about the cinematography because even that’s on point.
- I have nothing against Mumford and Sons… I just never heard of them and I’m not too fond of this song. It is nice to see someone different though. Sadly, I don’t think they will take home this prize. This video is beautifully shot, I will admit that.
I probably should just save everyone the time in reading this post because there is only one video here I really want to win (sadly, probably won’t), and it’s the only video here that I haven’t talked about yet. I wonder if I got a little confused before when I was looking at Best Dance video and BEST CHOREOGRAPHY video… since there is a difference. One is a song made for dancing; the other is dancing to the song. Well, that’s my definition. But for the sake of being consistent, let’s just list the nominees.
- Surprise, surprise… Beyonce and her “Video Phone.” She is always a great dancer, but my favorite dance still is from her “Crazy in Love” days.
- Janelle Monae doing the “Tightrope” is who I’m waving flags and banners for. This video is awesome, let alone the dancing she and her friends do in it. The song is hot too and I’m still wondering why I don’t have her album already. Anyway, check out the fancy footwork! James Brown would be proud. Sadly, I doubt it will win, but I can only hope. I would love this award to be stolen from Gaga who is actually nominated thrice in this category. So chances are bleak, Janelle. But I’m here for you.
- Can we just double up the Lady Gaga? I know it’s my blog and all… But here we have “Bad Romance” yet again, as I said before, I see people doing these signature moves everywhere. If Gaga were to oust herself, this video would beat “Telephone” and sadly Beyonce may lose out on this award as well.
- Like Beyonce, we know Usher is bringing killer moves. I’m also repeating myself that I wasn’t as impressed with him in this video… but as I also said… it could just be the song I don’t really care for that’s turning the rest of me off. Regardless of the expert dancing going on in this video, my guess is that it won’t be the winner. I’d be very surprised if it is, though.