When you’re in the middle of a quarter-life crisis, what’s the best thing to do? Business as usual: MTV has announced its nominees for the Video Music Awards, that annual celebration of taste and restraint. But not everything is same-old, same-old: This year you get to vote in all categories, not just Viewer’s Choice. Democracy has come to the region, as promised.
Let’s look at the candidates. Leading the pack is Shakira, whose "Hips Don’t Lie" (with its serrated "Fly Me to the Moon"-ish brass fanfare) has dug a deep, angry crease in my brain. But I can’t stay mad at Shakira: Those hips really don’t lie. They are remarkably straightforward, for being so wonderfully, mesmerizingly bendy (sigh).
There are old faces: the ever-limber Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose "Dani California" video relates a brief history of rock. And there are new, painted faces, like Panic! At the Disco, whose New New Wave anti-love rant "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" was practically designed to inspire Buffy/Full Metal Alchemist YouTube tributes. Along with the newly "classic" Xtina, these gladiators will be duking it out for the coveted Moonman on Aug. 31, live from Radio City Music Hall.
No word yet on the host, but I’m hoping it’s this guy. As for the acts, would it kill MTV have these kind of amazing dudes to perform one of their videos live? No pressure, MTV. I know you’re going through a lot. Twenty-five is a tough one. Remember: It’s still not too late to do the law school thing.