Tag Archives: MTV


Carson Daly: TRL host, bananaIdolator eulogizes MTV’s Total Request Live, which made its debut in 1998 and celebrated its finale on Sunday night following years of declining ratings:

[1999-2004] may turn out to be the last stretch of time in which musical tastes could be dictated by a single authority. TRL seized on this new aesthetic and popularized it; instead of methodically building up a fanbase, an aspiring star could just get on the show (and have a great song) and launch a career. A lot of people would discover the artist simultaneously, and even as the song filtered down to radio and word-of-mouth transmission, TRL endured as the ultimate source.

Now, however, authority is diffused. A song becomes big because there’s a dance video on YouTube, or because a band has built up a critical mass of emo fans, or because it’s released a lot of respected mixtapes. An artist doesn’t try and get a song on TV so much as she tries to get people to come to her MySpace. (The only exception to this would seem to be American Idol, but it’s not really dictating tastes; instead of picking their favorite song, viewers pick their favorite artist, and then the winner is assigned a song that labels hope everyone will like. That likability still has to come through diffuse authority; witness, for instance, how many Idol runners-up have fared better than winners.) A new release is now just one more event in an ongoing celebrity narrative told by many sources and interpreted by readers on a daily basis, whether the gossip be large-scale stuff about teenpoppers or the endless churn of Internet gossip about R&B singers, rappers, and punk rockers.

I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed to admit I’ve never seen it. Before the recent hoopla over its cancellation, I had no idea that it was actually still on the air. Then again, I’ve never seen The Hills either.

Weird Al vs. MTV Censors

Nothing pleases the seventh-grade boy in me more than the recent resurgence of Weird Al Yankovic during this, the twenty-fifth anniverary of his first hit, “Ricky.” There’s been the profile in Wired, and more recently, the coverage of his release of a parody while the original was still #1 on the Billboard singles chart (and its aftermath).

And now, the Grey Lady is getting in on the action: Censorship, or What Really Weirds Out Weird Al. Apparently, his 2006 video for “Don’t Download This Song” has been censored by for MTV, and it’s starting to cause a bit of an uproar:

In an e-mail message on Sunday, Mr. Yankovic wrote that he had bleeped out the names to the file-sharing sites in his song two years ago, after MTV “told me that they would refuse to air my video” otherwise. “Instead of subtly removing or obscuring the words in the track,” he wrote, “I made the creative decision to bleep them out as obnoxiously as possible, so that there would be no mistake I was being censored.”

He complied, “because I was proud of the song and the accompanying Bill Plympton video, and I wanted to do everything I could to maximize exposure for it.”

All of this would have been largely forgotten, if not for the introduction last week of mtvmusic.com

The names of peer-to-peer services Morpheus, Grokster, Limewire, and Kazaa are apparently too controversial for MTV to air. Do any of those still even work anymore?

Video: Weird Al Yankovic – “Don’t Download This Song”

Don't Download This Song from Al Yankovic on Vimeo.

MP3: Weird Al Yankovic – “Don’t Download This Song” (Courtesy of download.com)

The Year The Industry Broke?

MTV calls 2007 The Year The Industry Broke and gives a nice timeline of “what went wrong and when.” By James Montgomery, with additional reporting by Gil Kaufman.

Not surprisingly, there’s no mention of MTV’s own role in the fiasco that is the music industry today. They should have at least mentioned the disastrous 2007 VMAs in which Britney flopped and Justin Timberlake challenged the channel to “Play more damn videos. We don’t want to see the Simpsons on reality television. Play more videos!” And how it shuttered its lame-ass digital music store, Urge, in August. Whatever though.

It’s Britney, Bitch

Bald Ass BritneyIt’s not cool to pile on, I know, but anyone who saw the MTV music awards is talking about the same thing: What the fuck happened to Britney Spears?

Like all MTV Music Awards openers, this was hyped to be “amazing” and “shocking” and a triumphant return for who was once the bread and butter for the dopiest channel on TV. The promise was that everyone would be talking about Britney’s performance, and they are, just not for a good reason.

Half stumbling and entirely leadfooted, Britney Spears couldn’t even bother to phone it in. Naughty Baby definitely did a No-No with an uninspired walkthrough that has pole dancers everywhere justifiably declaring: I can do that!

Sarah Silverman may have put it best when she said, “Isn’t [Spears] amazing? Just twenty five years old and she’s done everything she’s going to do with her life.” Let’s hope so.

Watch it on MTV.com (or after the jump).

Previously on GLONO:

2006 MTV Video Music Awards

Crunk in Public: The 2004 MTV Video Music Awards

The White Mouse Has Escaped! The 2003 VMAs

Drunker Than Pink: The 2002 VMAs

Naughty Baby Did a No-No: The 2001 VMAs

More Britney coverage than we’re proud to admit.

Continue reading It’s Britney, Bitch

Dirty Girl Wins Again: Sarah Silverman to Host MTV Movie Awards

Sarah Silverman is a dirty, dirty girl.She’s the pretty dirty girl and wet dream of dorks everywhere and now she’s hosting the MTV Movie Awards, the second lamest awards show on television—just behind the People’s Choice Awards. But I’ll be watching, which is exactly why they hired her.

I am now in a different demographic than I was just a year ago. Moving from the 18-24 bracket was fun as I could now drink AND rent a car. The transition from 25-30 was a bit more difficult as it only meant I was now a thirty-something and who could help but think of that dopey 80s drama with boring people and their boring problems? The 30-34 bracket is the new 18-24 because Americans refuse to act their age and so it was a bit of déjà vu peppered with more post-binge body aches than I’d recalled and a better paying job. But now I am 35 and life is grand. That’s why they want me.

Continue reading Dirty Girl Wins Again: Sarah Silverman to Host MTV Movie Awards

Losing the URGE to Listen

SURGE!So now MTV and Microsoft are going to get together to offer an online music service. There will be the ability to rent music. The ability to buy music. And most of all, the ability to line the pockets of Viacom and Microsoft. It’s called “URGE.”

The man in charge of this from the MTV side, Jason Hirschhorn, who has “chief digital officer” on his business card, proclaimed, “We will be the preferred service.” Of course he thinks that. Otherwise, he’d probably be working elsewhere. Corporations don’t want their people saying anything but that they’re—the corporations, that is—the very best at whatever they turn their attention to. Which, of course, doesn’t explain why there is oft times abysmal quality in the products and services that many of these behemoths turn out to the market.

Continue reading Losing the URGE to Listen

Crunk in Public: The 2004 MTV Video Music Awards

What do these guys have to do with 2004 music videos?Apparently New York City isn’t big enough for both MTV and the RNC. Ceding Manhattan to the invading army of potato-headed donkey punchers, the network moved its annual Video Music Awards promotional event to Miami’s American Airlines Arena. The move made sense logistically, even if the Page Six stories of hotel bar meetings between, say, Petey Pablo and Senator Sam Brownback would’ve been hilarious. But it was also a reminder of how far south the popular music axis has shifted. Crunk dominated this year’s VMAs from the window to the wall, Outkast continued to clean up (deservedly) for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and rock music was viewed only as a nuisance, represented by performances from a few tepid middlers, but best consumed in condensed form. See KRAVITZ, Lenny.

Continue reading Crunk in Public: The 2004 MTV Video Music Awards

The Work of Director Chris Cunningham DVD

The Work of Director Chris CunninghamChris Cunningham (Palm Pictures)

I’m cursed with nightmares. I have them often and I have no idea why. There are many nights when I let out a weak, low moan in my sleep and scare the shit out of my old lady. In my dream, I’m trying to scream but the sound is muffled in my throat and the pathetic whine of a broken air raid horn is what comes out.

Nightmares are rarely linear. They play out as bits and pieces of strange and frightening images spliced together with little thought to storyline, but with terrifying results. Director Chris Cunningham delves into imagery with the twisted delight of a nightmare creator. His images are confusing. From the subterranean darkness of his video for Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy” to the sterile automation of Bjork’s “All is Full of Love,” Cunningham creates landscapes and characters that seem out of place in reality but horrifyingly realistic.

The Work of Director Chris Cunningham DVD is a collection of his finest work with an incredibly obnoxious index page. Too bad too, because Cunningham’s mastery is in NOT hitting us in the face with a frying pan and that is altogether more frightening.


Second Bad Vibel (Autechre), Come to Daddy (Aphex Twin), Only You (Portishead), Frozen (Madonna), Afrika Shox (Leftfield featuring Afrika Bambaataa), Come on My Selector (Squarepusher), Windowlicker (Aphex Twin), All Is Full of Love (Bjork)

Features: 52-page booklet, which includes behind-the-scenes photographs, storyboards, sketchbook drawings, record cover art and interview; “Making All Is Full of Love”: Behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Björk and Chris Cunningham. Monkey Drummer (video installation featuring music by Aphex Twin), flex (excerpt from video installation featuring music by Aphex Twin), Mental Wealth (Sony PlayStation commercial), Photocopier (never-before-seen Levis commercial), Engine (Nissan commercial featuring music by Boards of Canada), Windowlicker (bleeped version).