Category: MTV junk

It Came From MTV[‘s Video Channels]: VH1

A long while ago in god’s age of 2013, I did a brief review of MTV channels I watched. It was sort of enlightening to see what videos the premium video channels would play but it didn’t really answer what exactly MTV et al. were selling. (I was also really fucking wrong about HAIM. So wrong.) Obviously the main MTV channel couldn’t give a shit about music videos, which you already know. (They do run music videos in the very early morning, in case you needed to see Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” on a television channel at 5am.) That said, the channel they famously founded in the late 80s for the purpose of airing music videos while MTV expanded their content still runs videos at more reasonable times in the morning. This is the examination of VH1 + Music. (Oh god that music block name.)

Bleachers — “I Wanna Get Better”

I watched VH1 for about an hour plus and this video played three times. Someone must be putting some dough in VH1’s coffers. (It’s RCA.) Unfortunately, the most I learned about Bleachers, the less I felt the happy response I do have to this song. Pop songs about the struggle with depression should be a new norm. Pop songs are about idealized delusion anyway, so at least have an anthem for the post-Robin Williams set. The video directed by Lena Dunham doesn’t really present this all that well.

Nico & Vinz — “Am I Wrong”

so beaches
very sunlight
much african desert imagery

band was founded in norway


Stopwatch: Neon Trees – “Sleeping With A Friend”

To explain, Stopwatch is a regular segment VH1 does where a band performs 60 seconds of one of their songs. Now to Neon Trees, I fucking hated “Animal.” This is better. Maybe I won’t get told by the lead singer to go back to bed.


OneRepublic – “Love Runs Out”

Here’s the thing, OneRepublic is awful. But for some reason, their new songs at least figure out that a back beat is more fun than maudlin bullshit. This is still not good as the lead dude oversings like hell and ruins a good thing, basically. The video is nice green screen, I guess.


Charli XCX – “Boom Clap”

I have a massive crush on Charli XCX. This song is no good. So I could talk about Charli’s lovely hair, which is crazy good. Unf.


Pharrell feat. Miley Cyrus — “Come Get It Bae”

You remember how you watched the video for John Legend’s “You and I” and started weeping because it was a well done portrayal genuinely inclusive of all types of women? Well, this is if that video was just traditionally attractive women (and Miley Cyrus) were dancing for Pharrell. It’s like peppy dancing version of Exterminating Angels. Kind of gross. Oh, the song’s not terrible. Finally someone is figuring out limited Miley is generally pretty great.


American Authors — “Believer”

The indie pop movement in mainstream pop is so fucking tiring and actually makes me actively hate the artists that led us down this path. Every song is four shitty white guys with a song obsessed about a hook and nothing else. Which I guess is just integration with some of the more poppy of the independent set. This isn’t THAT much different than Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. but was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. actually good? I’m starting to doubt that. Oh, the video? Looks like if Bridge to Terabithia was a piece of cowdung.


Meghan Trainor — “All About That Bass”

Look, this song is great and it’s cute as hell. It’s fantastic that we’re actually talking about weight in pop music and that Meghan Trainor could be a legitimate star. I also like that the song admits that skinny women have as much of a problem with body dysmorphia as others do. But here’s my question. What is the difference in bass and treble? Is it the rumble? The movement? What is bad about the treble? Most people hear the treble and like the treble. Still a good song, though.


Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne — “Rather Be”

I kind of hate appropriation of other cultures in music videos. It usually ends in an alarming fashion that doesn’t really help the party being appropriated. In this case, it is a British electronica group appropriating Japanese culture. And yet? This isn’t bad. The use of the Japanese here is in the context of a modern society. This reads a bit like Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” video in the basic theme of normal life being wrecked by dreams of a super house concert extravaganza. But unlike the “Wake Me Up” video, it doesn’t use conventionally attractive white people as “the ones suffering from normal life.” Song’s a little stronger, too.


Kongos – “Come With Me Now”

I heard this song through the most surprising of places: as the “theme song” to the WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view event. You see, WWE takes a random song that seems like it would be popular and that I guess “fits” with the fictionalized violence the best. Sometimes they are way off, like when they choose any Kid Rock song past 2005. But apparently they were right on the money here as far as a song that became a hit on the pop charts and that they probably got at a good price at the time. Oh, you wanted to know about the song/video? It’s alright, I guess.


(Stopwatch: Chvrches — “The Mother We Share”)

Not quite as well polished as the video version I got super obsessed with for a short time last time we talked about videos.


Ed Sheeran – “Don’t”

Please explain Ed Sheeran. Is his appeal that he talks about shitty subjects with ridiculous singer-songwriter earnestness? Did we need another Jason Mraz when the current one’s trying to stay relevant? Either way, this song is a massive departure. For one thing, it sounds like a pop song circa 2002 and not an easy listening song circa 1991. And then Ed is sort of rap-singing? Ah fuck everything.


John Legend – “You & I”

This video makes me cry so much that I’m going to ignore the incorrect grammar in John’s song title. Also, he had this exchange about Ferguson, Missouri. You are all forgiven for “All of Me.” Because holy shit. Also LAVERNE FUCKING COX. And when everyone smiles, I lose it. You’re a good dude, John Legend. Stay in all of the lanes. We need you in pop music.


Kiesza — “Hideaway”

80s ballad with electronic trappings and an attractive redhead in suggestive suspenders. I mean, it’s pop music in 2014. So whatever. And this is her album cover. Apparently the label is just a New York independent. Not bad. I get the appeal.


Magic! — “Rude”

lol. nope. Never needed a Max Landis expy to suddenly go all Bob Marley with a rebel boyfriend song.


Colbie Caillat – “Try”

So the new trend is to do that John Legend video over and over again with diminishing returns. John Legend’s video is effective in that in as the video goes on, the images of womanhood fit incredibly with the message. And to Colbie’s credit, her song is simply about liking yourself as opposed to a nebulous narrator having to like you. But it’s Colbie Caillat so it doesn’t work the way it should. Colbie shows women taking off their makeup/extensions/et al. and the obvious realization is that these women are all still beautiful. This is strong. But I also kind of think it doesn’t hit home the message if we’re seeing an obviously attractive Colbie Caillat taking off her makeup to reveal a normal looking (but still conventionally attractive) lady. I mean, it’s a good effort and if the “dude singing about women” vibes throw you off of John Legend’s work, then this might be your speed.


Childish Gambino — “3005”

I like this song a good bit. I wish Donald Glover would not be obsessed with the rap career path and most of his songs feel like he is trying far too hard to shed his comedic image. But “3005” is an interesting effort. I will say that it is curious that a video that essentially ends with Donald Glover’s character’s (assumed) suicide to air so soon after the raw nerve of Robin Williams’ passing and I don’t really know if Donald Glover looking dead eyed is a thing we needed. But, you know, that’s the world, man.


It Came From MTV[‘s Video Channels], Day 2: MTV Hits

So I didn’t really explain the point of doing this in the first post. To put it simply, MTV has premium pay channels for music videos, which they use as reason to jettison playing music videos on the main channels. In the first edition of this, I watched an hour of normal video airplay on MTVU, which is probably the closest channel to my comfort zone of a lot of indie and maybe some pop. The other two channels are decidedly not this. MTV Jams is the hip-hop channel that generally avoids Pitchfork’s style of hip-hop for more of the French Montanas of the world. And if you don’t know who that is, then you’re one of the lucky ones. MTV Hits defines itself, being mainly about popular music (or popular genres).

Anyway, I’ve chosen MTV Hits for this edition since I don’t really want to veer into awkward old white guy territory. (I suspect it may be too late for that, however.)


Selena Gomez – “Slow Down”

The best parts about Selena Gomez videos are easily the effort they have to take to put adult makeup on Gomez. Okay, that was a low shot. It is unfair for me to be all “lol selena gomez looks like a child” when I’ve actually enjoyed her efforts. “Come and Get It” was a good single. And “Slow Down” continues Gomez’s generic love of shirts that show she’s not wearing a bra. So there’s a lot of club dancing and generic dancing. Gomez actually does a good job of allowing this to fully be seen as a persona as well. If you listen to her talking about touring, it’s practically like a Nick Saban interview. There’s no animation, just a commitment to the job.

Fifth Harmony – “Miss Movin On”

So hey, girl bands are back, America! Fifth Harmony is the latest boring as shit girl band that probably won’t make it here, since Little Mix hasn’t made a smash at all yet. But hey, at least they got a song on a premium MTV cable channel on a Friday night. This video has a carnival theme that teases an arcade, which is depressing because, well, they’re not exactly around these days. And don’t tell me that the Need for Speed and SWAT game machines at the movie theater in town constitute an arcade. At least give me the 85th Street Fighter game.

Oh yeah, the video. Is the lead singer Lea Michele? It’s not, is it? And to be fair, Fifth Harmony is a diverse multicultural band served to make generally uninteresting pop. And if that isn’t the true American melting pot, then what is?

Jonas Brothers – “First Time”

Vegas pools, former virgins, guys who look like a smashed Logan Lerman, faux filmstock, what more do you want in a music video? This video is part of the Jonas Brothers’ mature phase because we’re in Vegas and shit, so edgy. I don’t really have an opinion on the song. But as for the video, the last time I saw more well-filmed grotesque bikini imagery, it was Spring Breakers. This doesn’t have that movie’s irony/intent, though. I mean, unless I missed the “directed by Harmony Korine” credit. I mean, I guess this is a song, right? It says OHHHHHHHHHHHHH a lot. And to bring it back, #allwhitepeople. Also, there’s a mullet guy with a sax that we never hear in the mix. I guess it made the director laugh at the day of the shoot.

Austin Mahone – “What About Love”

And now I’m old, because Austin Mahone is somehow the worst to me. Well, maybe not the exact worst, but nothing I would generally enjoy. To be fair, his dancing is basically N’Sync level. It’s almost a throwback, because this has the rhythms of “Bye Bye Bye” completely. There’s no dubstep breakdowns. This is patented late 90s pop filtered through wearing a weird beanie instead of a Pervert 69 jersey. And hey, you only gotta pay one guy for touring as a dreamboat for girls instead of five! Shit, maybe I need to get in this business. This may have turned the corner for me on the money-making potential of pop sheen I don’t care about. Also, it was quick enough at least.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert – “Same Love”

I genuinely enjoy this song a good deal and like the video. I get that it’s a very dangerous road to talk about how Macklemore is this white dude who brought up homophobia to hip-hop as if artists like Frank Ocean weren’t already attempting to break ground in the genre by being independent voices. But in a vacuum, I like this. The video generally is sweet, well-filmed, and gets across the idea of LGBT+ culture as a normal autonomous entity. Which it should be. Maybe we’ll challenge the abuse that comes from this soon enough.

Nick Cannon – “Me Sexy”

GET IT BECAUSE HE’S NICK CANNON TELLING JOKES. I get that this is getting play only because MTV Hits needs viewers for THE ALL NEW WILD ‘N’ OUT with washed-up shitheads like Joe Budden as the guest rapper, but holy shit is this bad. In an effort to be something that mocks mainstream pop, it forgets the general joke and just sort of throws Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite because fake mustaches are fuckin’ hilarious. Also, the song’s conceit is that Nick Cannon is repeating that he’s sexy. Because that’s funny. Except Cannon doesn’t have a comedian’s lack of looks. He looks like a has-been leading man. So the very thin joke is already redundant. Genuinely the worst song I’ll hear in this hour I spend on MTV Hits, and I’m certain I’ll be hearing a song with 2 Chainz on it.

The Weeknd – “Belong to the World”

I kind of wish The Weeknd didn’t make me feel so divided. His music is generally fascinating to listen to and defiantly taking influence from trip-hop and indie as his expression of RnB. But then the problem gets when he talks about his music and all the sadness he feels and then Portishead is upset that he took a pretty key portion of “Machine Gun” for this song. I also don’t know if he is in his feelings or something. Cause she belongs to the world, you see. I don’t even know, y’all. But hey, it could be worse.

Maroon 5 – “Love Somebody”

Maroon 5 has made the most toothless video concept of the year in their equally awful song “Love Somebody.” Adam Levine is half molded and shirtless because that is the only reason people would watch this stupid video for this song. And Levine’s feeling a lady’s boobs while basically naked in the most formless fashion because objectification and bragging while being blandly attractive to middle America. And people get up in arms about Miley Cyrus doing the same thing. Whatever. Fuck this shit.

Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”

…I swear I wrote the last sentence before this video came on. I like “We Can’t Stop.” I mean, site boss Whit has gone over all the shit, the problematic and the “that’s kind of a double standard, too” stuff. But to be fair, this video does have something “Love Somebody” doesn’t: a french fry head. Also a women cutting her fingers to reveal more fingers and yogurt/Pepto. Also bears. And Miley’s abysmal “YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH.” I would watch 50 videos like this.

Robin is Miley. Cyrus is Thicke. Why the Double Standard?

After the VMAs, twerking hit a fever pitch in White America. Let me warn you, this one’s gonna get NSFW and very soon. Lock in.

Fuck twerking. We’re not talking about that. WELCOME TO 2000. I dont wanna to relive it but I certainly don’t mind introducing you to my friends the Ying Yang Twins, Lil Jon & Too $hort for further reference.


I am here because the careers of Robin Thicke and Miley follow the same behavior patterns yet have pretty unfair outcomes (for ya girl Miley, that is).

I’m not a fan of Miley at all. Although, I thought “See You Again” was a pretty dope karaoke jawn back in 2007. I’ll admit. I got drunk and sang every word at the shady Upper Deck bar while the Disney Empire laughed and laughed at their expanding demo.

Robin Thicke, however, I’ve liked since his first single. Yall remember? When he was being a weirdo on a bike and Russell Simmons was for some reason in debt to Alan Thicke and decided to take his son onto his label. It was all very strange. Not to mention he looked like a llama. Real talk.

Miley started a little differently. Rapid success as a Disney princess from the get go. Here’s a wayback jam for you. Wholesome, nonthreatening.

That was both of their deals. If you dont believe me, look at the sweater ya boy Robin (HIS DAD WAS ON GROWING PAINS WE CANNOT SAY THAT ENOUGH) is wearing in his video.

They both grew slightly maturer as the years wore on, but still artisticly pretty much on the same track popwise except that Robin wasn’t recovering from PTSD after growing out of Mousewitz. Oh, is that too offensive? Fine then. We’ll call it Duckau. Either way, they both released “sultry” but “fun” and never obscene (really) R&B pop.

See Exhibit A and Exhibit B. I didn’t post the corresponding videos because the songs are what’s important. We must of course make the noted exception that dudes are always allowed to have bouncing ass and boobs and bikini women in their videos and they are STILL ARTISTS.

Contributing to the sexual nature of all media is a rite of passage for men. The mandate handed down to women is that we must live in a perpetual cycle of exuding mixed signals (hello Taylor Swift with your wholesome image, but serial dating) like Luda once preached and Beyonce proliferates very ignorately every chance she gets (Cater To You vs Survivor, anyone?),

I dont know why I’m even yelling about that because no one is debating. Sigh.

Now, here we are in 2013 and people say to me how Robin is blowing up and Miley is breaking down.

Uhscuse me?

Let’s compare destructive behaviors.

Miley Cyrus, a 20 year old American

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pop star with a famous father leaves the bubblegum behind, gets a haircut and goes for a sexier style. Including dancing lewdly and sexually with the opposite sex and referring to drugs in her songs.

Robin Thicke, married Canadian pop star father of one who also has a famous father leaves the corny behind (yep), gets a haircut (yep) and goes for a sexier style (yep). Including dancing lewdly and sexually with the opposite sex and referring to drugs in his songs (got it).

Hmm. They even seem to film similar nonsense videos objectifying themselves and others that feature nudity, partying, balloons, water, stuffed animals (the list goes weirdly on….)


I just don’t see it. She’s a crackhead but he’s a playboy?

He’s the one with the family. I’m pretty sure Paula Patton, beautiful & talented & age appropriate film star in her own right that he’s dated since age 16, is NONE to happy with him grabbing at success this way. Not to mention the family of Marvin Gaye, who want their scratch thanks to his new single’s success. OH BUT WHY YOU ASK? Because Pharrell just sped up one of the most loved soul samples in history, gave it to Robin and put naked girls in the video. All sounds very responsible to me. Pharrell is also newly married. T.I. (I love you boo but I gotta do it) is also in the video cavorting around with naked models and he is a married father of 5.

Not to mention rumors of infedility have followed Robin around for years and this weekend he was conveniently caught with his hand UP some girl’s butt cheek 😦 And fans of Thicke’s wife Paula tweeted the gruesome evidence to her with captions like “LOOK IN THE MIRROR GIRL”. That is unacceptable. Not the fans warning her. His actions.

I know, I’m sorry I had to type that. I was gonna eat this cookie but now I just need Purel.

Miley is hurting who exactly? Sounds like her college phase to me. Yawn.

Now here are a bunch of pictures where they do or wear the same thing. Enjoy.

I’ve grown tired of this.

If I catch any of you making dinner conversation out of this (not the article, this lame twerking zeitgeist), I will build a gulag to banish you in myself. I’m very driven.






It Came From MTV: Day 1, MTVU

Smallpools – “Dreaming”

– whiny, as if Fun. had wanted to make the worst Neon Trees song

– vocalist has an earnest fade-hawk, it is the only earnest thing about the band

– vocalist spit out a beer pong ball into a cup, way to ruin a perfectly good game with saliva, asshole

– party song that sounds like it should never be played at a party



The xx – “Fiction”

– the story of black-and-white related things with party stuff


– vocalist who isn’t Romy walks in the woods and stares at the sky

– song’s pretty good, because it’s The xx and that’s usually the case

– teeters between artistic and boring


Phillip Phillips – “Gone Gone Gone”


– True earnestness is romancing a cute chick with bangs in 2013 as if that’s a thing that doesn’t happen all of the time now

– unremarkable bullshit coated in old video footage of happy couples

– “you’re my headstone”

Phillip Phillips is for those trying to get into Bon Iver, but find him and his beard too intense



MGMT – “Your Life is a Lie”

– Fair point, MGMT. Fair point.

– I like that MGMT aren’t totally trying for “fated to pretend” type hooks. I don’t think I like this song, though. It’s a little bit from the awesomely abrasive column, but far more in the annoying column.

– but eh, least they saved me the self-serious “but you see, it’s about how vapid things make us empty”



Krewella – “Live For the Night”

– This seems to be pop/dubstep?

– Krewella (I assume the lady is the name, although it looks like a duo) likes hanging out at this warehouse, where they presumably live for the night

– living for the night is defined in this video as dancing in a warehouse/chasing people with night-vision goggles/a warehouse party with people with pixelated eyes

– but at least they seemed to make the dubstep generally work with the pop they’re trying to do

– video finished with a “to be continued” thing


Haim – “The Wire”

– THE WORST VERSION of early 80s pop presented today

– Haim sure tries, which is to say he’s a white guy that wants to be 1982 Michael Jackson


– I guess it’s sort of funny that he’s upset at literally everything

– oh, the band has like five members, four of them white ladies who look like Wiley Wiggins in Dazed and Confused

RIP Corey Haim


Mumford and Sons – “Hopeless Wanderer”

– which one is the self-aware Mumford song?

– ok, this is the self-aware one because Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman


– ok, this song does blow, but the vid is at least as solid as when Galifianakis did “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”


– Jason Bateman eating Will Forte’s tears

– kind of an amazing pisstake on the Mumford audience, so in that capacity, I appreciate it. also nice to see a band that’s clearly not fully this earnest stereotype that I imagine them as all the time.


Schoolboy Q – “There He Go”

– half of this video looks like Schoolboy Q was driving in the McApartment territory of Tuscaloosa

– this shit’s pretty good

– I’m not too familiar with how legendary or whatever this dude is supposed to be, but he’s quite okay

– the orange drawing conceit is not too bad, and the video is well-filmed

– DETOX in big letters, Schoolboy Q wants Dr. Dre to put out that damn record already, too.


Earl Sweatshirt – “Hive”

– I generally have a love/hate thing with Odd Future’s performers. I’m okay with Frank Ocean (but not in love with the dude) and I hate Tyler, The Creator.

– Earl seems to get horrorcore that more sounds like the work of artists like El-P than the desperate stupidity of Tyler.

– visually, it’s not as much of a nightmare as you think, but it is visually effective

– also, a rapper named Casey Veggies is on this track.

– this is less a total nightmare more than a psychologically realized world, which I like


Sammy Adams – “LA Story”

– if you wanted to know where Mike Posner went after “Cooler Than Me,” he’s on this bullshit (EDITOR’S NOTE: I did, actually. I usually don’t let folks speak ill of my Posner, but Trey gets a pass on this. Listen to this instead to flush Sammy Whoever out of your head.)

– they remind us how generic white men can look in 2013 and why I generally feel better about being a fat dude with glasses rather than shaved dude with a shitty skateboard

– I don’t know which guy is rapping.


– Also, a poor allusion to “Empire State of Mind,” a better song about a city that I think I like more if this is all the LA kids can think of.

– Thought we’d hear a 2 Chainz-esque “She got a big booty, so I call her Big Booty” :/

– interesting motif, however. The first video had a big party and ended with a dude alone in a pool, this video had two people alone in a pool and ended with a big party. White people are so fickle about the amount of time they stay at parties, huh?