Saturday, August 16, 2008

Camera Obscura: Call It No Music Television (NMTV)

Man, I know I'm about two days older than dirt since I often land on the MTV channel and wonder "Where the heck are the music videos?" Oh sure, there are reruns of America's Next Top Model, The Hills, and a variety of Uncomfortably Forced Dating Shows Which Are Mostly Scripted, and the phenomenally narcissistic My Parents Are Skeezy Losers For Not Spending Half-A-Jillion Dollars For My Birthday Party And Did Not Invite The Jonas Brothers To Dance Nekkid For Me.

Still, the network is hoisting ads for their annual Video Music Awards. So are they awards for videos one could see on YouTube or see on a DVD you bought at Target?

(I am not too ancient - I thought the new album this summer from Beck, Modern Guilt, is a very fine thing, and you can sample some of the tracks here. So I'm not totally in the yard yelling You Kids Stay Offa My Lawn!).

I did a quick look-see at their daily schedule for the next week and saw not one listing for anything about music videos. There was mention of TRL, which is a studio-filmed teenage angst/hysteria as celebs appear to promote their movies. And I did see something the other night called FNMTV, which is a cringe-inducing collection of "hosts" who have emo hair cuts (aka The Em-Over, a teen equivalent of the Comb-Over) and did show a clip of some "new" video and heaps of "live" performances by music groups/lip-synched soliloquies, where you can't really see much other than a foreground forest of fists sporting cell-phone hoisted mini-screens.

I did actually see at Miley/Hanna/Whatever Her Name on that show doing a rockin' tune called Fly On The Wall, which had the li'l superstar in a wee school-girl uniform singing about how she knows ya wanna see/know/touch her. Just yer basic I-Rock-You-Suck tune.

I know, I know, you say I should watch MTV2, which is where the videos are -- but just barely. I see videos to be played between 3 am and 5 pm and then a day chock full of the "reality-buddy" show called Rob and Big. (Did these guys rob the station of the videos? I dunno 'cause I ain't watching that crap either.)

So now the MTV folks are promoting their Video Music Awards show. Press reports say li'l mamma Britney Spears has a video up for an award and some BBC comedian is hosting, named Russell Brand. Never heard of him. I know he had a part in a movie out this year called "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and that Adam Sandler thinks he's a comedy genius. And when he tried to get on the David Letterman show he got booted by immigration because of his old heroin possession arrests, so I guess that makes him popular/rebellious.

In reading about the VMA show, I see that Brit has a video called "Piece Of Me", a video in which she eschews dancin' for some shoulder-wiggling and sings about how the magazines want pictures of her butt. And another video in nomination was for a band called The Ting Tings, "Shut Up and Let Me Go", which looks like an ultra-cheap bad early-80s video and the tune made me think of Romeo Void's "Never Say Never (I Might Like You Better If We Slept Together)", which has a finer-tuned sense of bored irony.

And I know I'm old because a band called The Ting Tings reminds me of George and Judy Jetson and Jet Screamer (aka Howard Morris, aka Ernest T. Bass) singing that groovy 60s tune, Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah:

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