Advertisements

My Take on the VMAs

This year’s Video Music Awards was once again an unpredictable affair with the eccentric and provocative Miley Cyrus hosting the show. She wore an ever-changing wardrobe of very revealing outfits that seemed to be all for shock value. She was the wild Miley Cyrus that we’d seen a couple of years ago when she was twerking during a performance with Robin Thicke.
Miley was the focus of an acceptance speech by Nicki Minaj who opened the show in a great performance with Taylor Swift. Nicki called Miley out on her comments on her in the media and Miley tried to brush off her criticism by saying that the media likes to manipulate stories. Nicki was much more gracious to Taylor Swift despite the fact that they’d also had somewhat of a social media feud. They definitely seem to have buried the hatchet with their opening performance together.
I have watched the VMAs since I was twelve and while I do love the outrageous behavior and craziness that goes on I am a huge fan of the amazing performances I have witnessed. This year was no exception to this with great debut performances by Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, and the Weeknd. They demonstrated that they can truly perform well live and their performances were some of the highlights of the show.
This year saw the return of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to the VMAs in their downtown LA set when he performed his fantastic new single “Downtown” that made me want to download the song immediately after hearing it. He has always brought an innovative sound to rap and hip hop that is ideal for music lovers who are not as into very hardcore rap and hip hop jams. I think he is certainly still an artist to watch.
Acceptance speeches could always be entertaining as well with Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Taylor Swift having some interesting speeches. Kanye was his usual egotistical self when he declared that he was going to run for president in 2020 during the acceptance speech for the Video Vanguard Award which is MTV’s equivalent of the Lifetime Achievement award for contributions to music. He is someone that craves attention and while I don’t always like his antics he has made some solid contributions to music. He helped pave the way for emerging artists to break into the spotlight.
Overall, this was a very interesting year for the VMAs where Taylor Swift captured four Moonmans and allowed the director of some of her best videos to speak when she accepted the award for “Best Female Artist.” She brought her ever-growing squad with her and although there had been whispers of tension between her and Selena Gomez; they seemed to be quite friendly with each other during the show. Taylor Swift showed with her success at this year’s awards that she has successfully evolved from a country star to being one of the most popular pop artists around.
What I disliked the most about the VMAs this year was the uneven hosting by Miley Cyrus. She seemed to stretch the boundaries too much with her antics on stage and although it was all done for the attention I thought it detracted from the rest of the show. The rest of the show was solid and I just wish that she didn’t have to steal attention away from some of the other musicians there. She just seemed to be weirder by the minute and although I have liked some of her recent music I didn’t like having her as the host of this awards show.
I think the breakout stars who performed this year like the Weeknd and Tori Kelly definitely may have gained some new fans with their performances particularly the Weeknd. The Weeknd’s performance was my favorite one as he danced in the midst of fire when he sang the extremely catchy “Can’t Feel My Face.” It was very cool and everyone in the audience seemed to really be swept up by the energy he brought to the stage. He’s definitely someone who will go far in his quest to become the next big pop and R&B star.
I’d have to say that my take on the VMAs is that it was a good show with plenty of excitement and drama. It was everything that could be expected from MTV’s annual spectacle and while nay-sayers always complain about MTV and their lack of emphasis on music videos (I can agree with that wholeheartedly) I think that there is something to be said about an awards show that has been aired since the early 80s. Obviously something’s working if it’s been on for so many years. It pushes the boundaries of what is accepted socially and it is one of the most hotly anticipated awards shows of the year.
I don’t think Miley will be a host again but I do think there has been some fresh interest in some of the musicians who performed this year. Will I continue to watch the VMAs next year? I think I will because music has always been a passion of mine and I always want to see who’s going to change the landscape of music. We’ll have to see who will really become more successful after their appearances on the VMAs this year and who will lose fans due to what they brought to the show.
As a music lover the VMAs are certainly worth watching. You may not like MTV but they put a lot of effort into producing this show year after year. You may not even know some of the performers but once you listen to them your opinion of them may change. In regards to the VMAs and music I think that MTV really puts the artists who may not have a big following out there and get more people to want to listen to them and that is something I really appreciate. Just remember to always expect the unexpected when you watch this show.

Advertisements

A Good Taste of What’s to Come: Buzz Books Spring/Summer 2013

Buzz Books 2013: Spring/Summer was a great taste of what to expect for the spring and summer season in books. Included were 28 excerpts from books in various genres and while some were books I can’t wait to read, others did not appeal to me as much. I felt it was a good mix of genres and could appeal to a diverse readership.

What was included within the book were excerpts from books by debut authors which provides readers of this book the opportunity to get a good feel for the writing style of the author. One favorite was Anton DiSclafani’s The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls which was about a 15 year old girl whose involvement in a family tragedy caused her to be sent in the late summer to the camp which will be released in June. This is a period novel so those who enjoy history may be interested in the book.

There were also some interesting nonfiction selections including Lily Koppel’s The Astronaut Wives Club which is already in film development about a group of wives of the first American astronauts beginning in 1961 with Mercury 7 to the Apollo mission of 1969. This provided a glimpse into their world which is filled with magazine covers, reporters converging on their front lawns, and visits to the developing Cape Canaveral. Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath helps readers with their decision-making processes.

This was the first sampler from a publisher that I have tried and I liked how it provided lengthy excerpts from the books so you could make an educated decision on whether you wanted to purchase the book when it was released. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to find out about noteworthy books before they are released. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, Publishers Lunch.