Friday, September 01, 2006

MTV Video Music Awards

Well, I watched the Video Music Awards last night. Boy, what a freaking waste of time.

I make it a point to watch the VMA's every year because it's a serious cultural thing...people talk about the performances, they talk about the videos that won and the show is usually well done and funny. My hopes were up this year when I saw the list of performers and I saw that Jack Black was the host.

I remember several years ago, Jack (before he was huge) hosted the MTV movie awards with Sarah Michelle Gellar and it was awesome. They did these great spoofs of movies where they actually re-did scenes from the big movies of the year and they were funny, inventive and just great. And Jack truly is a funny, funny man...not to the height of Will Farrell quite yet, but funny.

Last night, he was not funny. With the exception of the one Tenacious D moment when KG decided to join the Black Eyed Peas because Jack didn't "bring the thunder". Otherwise not so funny.

The jokes fell flat, the videos this year were passe' and overall the show had glitch after glitch. And worst of all were the performances. The Raconteurs were one of the highlights and they were really not good...they acted as the house band, so you would hear little pieces of songs here and there then it would cut out...but is sounded like the on-site audience probably got some pretty good music from them.

Beyonce performed and it was one of the worst performances I've ever seen. It was over-the-top, cheesy and worst of all skanky. She tried to rap and she did the strangest, wierdest, stupidest dance routine I've ever seen. Then she stripped and was lifted up about 50 feet in the air. And I found myself wondering, whatever happened to just singing a freaking song? Just sing the song! And pick a better freaking song than that piece of crap, for goodness sake.

Christina performed and even she was bad. I've never heard her give a bad performance and she was missing notes, her voice cracked...oh, it was not good. Now, with Christina you never get a horrible performance because her voice is that good. But it was as bad as you get with her.

The presenters were stupid and cheesy. There was nothing funny. And the little gags they tried to pull sucked. Britney & Kevin were supposed to present an award via sattelite, and they did this cheesy bit where they acted like they didn't know the camera wasn't on and then their 6-month old song supposedly drove off in a small car. HAR-HAR!! So funny!

Then they presented Hype Williams with a lifetime acheivement type award and the tribute to him sucked worse than just about anything, culminating with Missy Elliot showing up on stage in a kid's version of a Hummer, wearing what looked like a black blow-up plastic balloon. Unfortunately, she was too fat for the little go-cart to actually drive her, so Timbaland had to push the car to the other side of the stage. Nice. That's brilliant.

Panic! at the Disco performed and it proved my suspicions that their lead singer can't sing worth crap. He was out of key half the time and couldn't hit the high notes...and the song he sang (I Write Sins, Not Tragedies) doesn't go that high. I'm dissapointed because I actually enjoyed that CD, but I think I'll have a hard time enjoying it now.

The one redeeming performance was the show closer when the Killers performed their new single from their new album. It was great. I was impressed by the band's new redneck was actually kind of cool. The drummer looked like Jason Lee in My Name is Earl and the lead singer had a molest-ache, while the guitar player was sporting a nice afro, a la Chris Sligh. But actually the song was really good (very U2-ish, without ripping them off) and the performance was actually nice to watch. I'm really looking forward to their new album now.

So, overall, I would say that the show sucked about as bad as the show can suck. But I'm sure MTV will spin it as the best VMA's ever...but then that's what they do, I guess.

Radio killed the video star

Well, I am extremely happy right now about where Half Past Forever is at this point. It seems like every time I get excited about something, then I just get another thing to be excited about. How completely opposite than the old seemed back then that every time I'd get excited about something, that something discouraging would happen back to back with it. I've got to admit that it's nice to be at a place in life where happiness outweighs discouragement.

Over the past few weeks, I've gotten to know a radio guy from down in Columbia, SC (about 2 hours from where I am in Greenville). It's been really awesome to hear how God just completely changed his life. My friend worked in radio for years and then took a job with Universal Records as a radio promotor, which sounds like a pretty cool job. Basically, his job was to go meet with Program Directors of Radio Stations, get them drunk and get them to play the songs his artists at the time were putting out. Great job right? He was in a different city every night, schmoozing people, bullcrapping people and getting artists he believed in to gain popularity by radio plays.

Unfortunately, he hated it. He did it for five years (as a lost man) and had risen to the highest place he could go: head of radio promotions for the East Coast for a major record label, making more than 6 figures. But he was miserable. He found himself telling himself, "there must be more than this"...he had always told himself if he could make this much money he would be happy, but he was still miserable at the "pinnacle" of his career. So, he decided to quit.

A few weeks after he decided to start looking for options, his boss called him in and said, "We're making cuts and we have two option for you - you can move to San Fransisco and make half what you're making now, or we'll pay you a full year's salary and you don't have to come into work any more." He, of course, chose option 2 and decided, out of the blue, to move to Charleston. He didn't know anyone in Charleston, but just felt like that's where he wanted to be.

Soon after moving to Charleston, my friend decided that he was going to try church out...he hadn't been since he was a kid and at 35 at the time he thought he should try it again. There was a Baptist Church right across the street from where he lived so he decided that he would go there the next day. After he had called the church and gotten the service times, he decided to go work out at his gym.

As he was working, he noticed a dude walking into the gym wearing a University of Connecticut basketball jersey. My friend is originally from Connecticut and had been a DJ up there for a few years, and he never saw a UConn fan down in Charleston, so he HAD to talk to him. He stopped the guy and introduced himself and the two guys had a conversation as they worked out.

Come to find out, the guy wearing the jersey had not even worn the shirt in years, but had just uncovered the shirt in his closet and decided to wear it. Also, the jersey man was not even a member of the gym my friend was working out in, but his wife had a membership, so he decided to try it out that Saturday morning. As the two guys conversed, the guy asked my friend what he was doing for the weekend and my friend told him he was going to try church for the first time in years. The guy in the jersey replied with, "Oh, so you don't have a church? Well you should come and check out my church...Seacoast."

So, Kelly went to Seacoast in a movie theater (one of the Charleston sattelites). Unfortunately that first week, the church was dealing with a black mold problem and my friend got deathly ill, but he decided to just try the main campus in Mt. Pleasant. And he loved it. As a lost guy, he loved the church and one Sunday he accepted Christ as his Savior.

Over the next few months and years, God would really try his faith, from losing everything financially to taking a humbling job to going back into radio. And radio is where I met my friend. He recently started a Christian radio program that airs on Sunday nights on a mainstream radio station. With the new show (he is also the on-air morning show) he ran a contest to open up for a band called Sanctus Real and one of our friends entered us into the contest without even telling us and we won the contest. How many "coincedences" can happen in one story?

Well, my friend listened to our music and actually liked it, suprisingly. I mean he really liked it, and now it looks like we're going to be getting some radio play on mainstream radio. How cool is that.

Just when I thought things were great, they got better. Outside of being paid millions of dollars to play music, I can't imagine it getting better than right now.

But then I did say the same thing last week.