Notes from the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards

[This one is from the drafts folder]

– I was amused and bored by the canned reply about “what are you looking forward to most?”, which was: “Adele’s performance: I just LOVE Adele”. Adele is overweight, plain-looking and got her heart broken: it’s all very nice for singing-and-dancing bombshells to be fans of her music, but the over-the-top, obsequious condescension was a bit sickening.  They might as well say: “isn’t it cute when someone that looks like that can gets to hang out with us for a night? I love how good I look next to her on stage.”

-Speaking of those bombshells, Beyonce put on a performance that everyone agrees was a masterful combination of singing and dancing and looking good. And did it edging into her second trimester at that. Britney made an interesting comment at one point, though, that got me thinking: she said that the two of them came into the business at about the same time. How might one compare these two?

I think Beyonce will go down as the more successful artist. And if you put them through some kind of NFL-style pop star combine, Beyonce would probably jump right off the page: she’s taller, better looking, probably a better dancer, better singer, harder worker. Win win win.

And yet believe it or not I think Britney was by far a more compelling force artistically.

I’ll use a term my wife taught me when she used to act. Britney made music you feel in your crotch. I don’t really mean that sexually, either: it just connects on some deep level. Michael Jackson once said that the unorthodox 30-second lyric-less opening to Billie Jean needed to stay because “it makes me want to dance”.  That’s a powerful feeling and Britney, for whatever reason, has far more consistent ability to inspire it than Beyonce.

Beyonce goes about things differently. Her routines and music are often a spectacular display of ability and talent and creativity. The dance moves are immaculate, the difficult notes are nailed, the songs are often original and interesting. But dammit, I just don’t feel it in my crotch. Beyonce makes me think too much to appreciate her.

I feel like Britney’s career feel apart because she was strapped to rocket of talent and didn’t have the cognitive tools to deal with success. Beyonce has too many cognitive tools.

– Last and certainly least, I’m astonished that Chris Brown is being granted catchy tunes. Yeah x3 is excellent and I’m embarrassed to support this asshole. You don’t need to be a women’s rights activist (and I’m not) to acknowledge this guy’s a scumbag titleholder.

On the other hand, take it as an indication of my opinion of this spectacle that I’m surprised they didn’t cut to Rihanna during his performance. Maybe she wasn’t there? I’m not sure.

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