Monday, April 30, 2007

MTV Australian Video Music Awards, Sydney 2007

Last night I went to The MTV Australian Music Video Awards at The Acer Arena in Sydney. Here’s what went down: I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the MTV Awards on telly, but it is a painfully long affair, leading one to inevitably and incessantly flick channels while all of the badly-written/delivered presentations are taking place. Well, last night was like watching it without a remote control. However, it was so bad that it actually became good, and was possibly the most fun you can have on a Sunday night in the same room as Australian Idol winner Damien Leith.

Quality-wise, the evening started deceptively promisingly. Pink gave a ballsy performance which morphed into a weird and wonderful trapeze-style act as she was lofted into the air with ribbons. It was genuinely impressive stuff, and led me to believe that maybe, just maybe, we were in for three hours of decent entertainment. Hmmm, how foolish I was.The presenters were wooden, the performances were generally lifeless and totally off-the-mark, and yet, in a strange and satisfying way, we were able to laugh, cheer and heckle our way through the night. It was odd, looking down on this entirely artificial and superficial world that my peers and I are a part of. As Phil Collins once said: “This is the world we live in,” and, for my peers and I, it was a scary window into our realm. This fake world, this hideous collection of people with delusions of attractiveness, talent and intelligence is essentially what pays our wages. I laughed as skeleton impersonator Nicole Ritchie failed miserably to carry out the simplest of tasks of reading two sentences and then walking off stage in the correct direction, yet somewhere in my mind, my conscience was nagging at me that her antics pretty much single-handedly paid my wages while I was a gossip reporter.

So yes, we laughed and cheered oh-so ironically as the back-slapping festival of the brainless and the beautiful took place in front of our very eyes, while secretly wondering whether our lives and jobs were as disposable as they seemed to be. We tried to distance ourselves from the plebs on the floor while they lapped up all of the garbage that was tossed their way, and yet, for all our snobbishness, we were there too, singing along to Good Charlotte. It kinda makes you feel dirty to be part of Generation Y. While the highlight of the night was indeed Pink, there were some other decent moments, including Silverchair picking up an award and performing live. Most of the best parts were booze-fuelled moments of mockery though. We yelled along to Damien Leith and sat in bewilderment as 30 Seconds To Mars employed an almost entirely superfluous string section and 30-piece schoolboy choir which only served to make their horrible dirge sound even more messy and seem even more precocious (if that’s possible). There was no cheering though, ironically or otherwise, as Fergie and Stephanie Macintosh battled it out for ‘the most abysmal attempt to sing along to a backing-track’ of all time. The fact that talentless goons sell more records than awesome storytellers like Jeffrey Lewis and David Ford makes me sick to my stomach. Oh, and Fergie also won the battle for ‘most manly woman’ over the supercool Pink.

Due to John Howard turning him away at the airport, there was no Snoop Dogg, which was a real shame.

And so, buzzing with excitement like a schoolboy on a field-trip, I boarded the bus back to one of the two main after-parties, where the booze flowed freely (and was free). While there wasn’t much in the way of excitement, it was nice to chat to fellow cynics about just how despicable the whole industry is, while seeing no irony in the fact that we were happily drinking the free beer and eating the free food.


Daniel said...

I hear ya man.

I remember thinking on the night, that in order to get huge mainstream success, you have to be pretty shit. Or at least mediocre. There's nothing to get excited about it in pop music at the moment.

Are we showing our age? Our elistism? Or is mainstream music pretty dull at the moment? Was music better when bands like Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, etc.. ruled the charts with their good early records? Or is their success overstated, and they really weren't mainstream pop superstars?

I'm turning into a curmudgeon.

bobbysix said...

I think there are still some good bands out there. I imagine if you watched the MTV awards from 1995 there would have still have been some shit bands playing.

But you're right, the biggest bands in the MTV realm are really really bad. It saddens me.

And yet, as I say, we are undeniably part of that world. Elitist or not.

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