Monday, 18 June 2012

Vic’s Take on the Much Music Video Awards 2012

Where do I begin with this one?  Every so often I tune in to see what’s going on in pop culture. Every time I do, I question how people let pop culture become what it is today.  This year’s MMVAs was hosted by LMFAO.  How can anyone take this ‘awards show’ seriously if the co-hosts are some of the most talentless artists alive?  I guess you’re not supposed to …unless you’re a 12 year old girl.
LMFAO is just plain odd to watch, especially when they are prancing around stage in their underwear. I’m still trying to figure out what they do as artists.  If shouting obscure phrases about partying in a microphone while dancing in ridiculous wardrobes can make you millions, the performers of Busker Fest should have all the motivation they need.

Do you know what gets really old?  Asking the crowd to scream…especially after the person who presented an award before you asked the crowd to do the same. They really should try to get the crowd to do something else for a change.  For example, “On the count of three, throw your keys high up in the air!!!!” Or, they could shout “FIRE!!!! Run!!!”  That would get the crowd nice and riled-up.

So the night definitely belonged to Carly Rae Jepsen who picked up 3 MMVAs. Oddly enough, the first time I heard her hit “Call me Maybe” was the night before when my future sister-in-law played her music video at my Family Bash.  At this point a lot of you are expecting me to drop a load on Carly but the truth is I can’t say anything profoundly negative about her.  She has one hit with a catchy chorus.  It seems to be enough for the masses to declare it a summer anthem.  Amazing how a new one-song-sensation can score so big at the MMVAs.  I don’t blame Carly for doing what she does.  It’s the 12 year old girls who are responsible for this.  Who knows though, maybe Carly Rae Jepsen will impress me with subsequent releases of quality music.  Stranger things have happened.  On a side note, Carly Rae Jepsen reminds me quite a bit of Alexz Johnson, the girl who played Jude in the Canadian TV show Instant Star.  But why did Carly’s career take off while Alexz’s is still waiting to launch?  From what I’ve seen, they have similar characteristics and talents.  The difference?  Justin Bieber mentioned Carly’s name on a Much Music program.  That’s what it takes to make it big.  Another thing about Carly: she’s 26 but acts like she’s 17.  I suspect it’s what you have to do to win over the 12 year olds…

I don’t get why Much Music decides to separate award categories for International Artists and Canadians.  This isn’t the Junos.  There are Canadian artists big enough to fill the international spotlight. There is no need to make separate categories for Canadian artists to make them feel better if they lose out to an international counterpart.  Categories like “International Video of the Year By a Canadian” confuse me.  That’s like saying ‘Hey Avril, you’re never going to make it has big as Katy Perry so here’s a consolation prize’.  Again, totally unnecessary.  Much Music, if you want your awards to be as big as the MTV Awards, stop treating the show like a B-Side track with your stupid categories.  Then again, I take these awards as seriously as I do of people wearing ear stretchers.

Okay next on the list.  Why do Simple Plan, Hedley, Marianas Trench, and Down with Webster always get nominated for something, year after year?  Actually I know why. It’s those damn Canadian specific categories for the MMVAs again.  If one of the before mentioned bands makes a video it becomes an automatic nomination because those are the only Canadian bands making pop-rock videos that are played on Much Music.

The live performances during the 2012 MMVAs were mediocre at best.  In a nutshell, LMFAO danced around in their underwear. Flo Rida was wearing a gauntlet of sorts. Carly Rae Jepson said ‘Call Me Maybe’. Nelly Furtado likes ‘em big. Katy Perry turned into a butterfly in a skin coloured dress.  Bieber looked like a rapper.  Hedley was…there.  So was Kelly Clarkson.  Honestly, the best performance of the night was by Ed Sheeran. No dancing around. Just singing and playing guitar.
That pretty much sums it up. 

Follow me on Twitter: @130hp
Vic Out.

Monday, 11 June 2012

A Dearly Beloved Fever

I took a sick day last week because I had a crazy fever. During this time I had some of the most intense lucid fever dreams that I’ve ever experienced.  I’m not sure if you’ve experienced fever dreams before but they are certainly odd and confusing.  While I can’t exactly put into words what I dreamt about, it felt like I was tasked with impossible feats that could never be accomplished no matter how hard I tried.  These were no ordinary tasks.  I’m trying recall some of them but I have a hard time remembering my subconscious.  There was part of one dream where I was trying to hang towels or linens over rusty pipes but they wouldn’t stay up. Yeah, can you see why I hate being sick?

Now that I’m feeling much better I figure I should accomplish something more productive and tangible than hanging towels and linens.  I’ve been meaning to do a few more music reviews amongst other things.  One album on my to-do list is Hawk vs. Pigeon by Toronto’s own Dearly Beloved. 

Upon listening to the album the first couple of times, what immediately stood out were the shared vocals between Rob Higgins and Niva Chow.  At times Niva would accompany Rob at the end of verses in a rap-like fashion.  At other times there are back and for vocal exchanges, making a very balanced album. Tracks like “Aimed Right At Me” and “World Series of Fedoras” remind me of Band of Skulls, which is a complement because I think they do raw Male/Female vocals well.  The track “To Better Days” features label mate Care Failure of Die Mannequin.  It’s a track full of energy, actually one I think would fit nicely in a Die Mannequin album.  There is a distinct bass presence throughout the album that is immediately apparent in songs such as “She” which I’d say is the best song on the album.   Hawk vs. Pigeon ends properly with the slow instrumental jam “Doves Above the Door”.

Overall, I can’t say this is exactly the music I default to but I’m happy to have discovered another product of Toronto.  For those interested, Dearly Beloved will be performing at the Virgin Mod Club on June 15th with label mates Die Mannequin.  There’s a lot going on in the city this week with the kickoff of NXNE.  Expect some fun upcoming blog posts.