M.I.A. @ YouTube Music Awards 2013

Grab some popcorn (but don’t dare smear butter on that keyboard) and cozy up in front of your laptop screen because the inaugural YouTube Music Awards are going down this evening live from New York’s Pier 36. Reggie Watts and Jason Schwartzman will host (crossing my fingers for an original-lineup Phantom Planet reunion), and Spike Jonze is presiding as creative director for the broadcast, which will feature a series of live one-take music videos by performers including Arcade Fire (performing “Afterlife”), Earl Sweatshirt with Tyler, The Creator (performing “Sasquatch” in a hot pink room full of fans and friends), and M.I.A. (whose video will feature what Jonze calls “a psychedelic mirror box”). An Avicii song will be turned into a short film with a script by Lena Dunham. Eminem and Lady Gaga are in there too. Also, apparently dubstep violin pixie Lindsey Stirling will be pulling some Gravity shit involving a jetpack. Even though we were so disappointed with the nominees that we felt compelled to suggest an alternative approach, the broadcast itself is sounding pretty promising. A behind-the-scenes pre-show continues up until the show kicks off at 6 p.m., and voting continues here until the show starts. Tune in below.

Comments (7)
  1. I think the lack of comments in this post one hour after its start tells you how many shits were given about this.

    I tuned in for maybe three minutes and there was some dumb skit going on where some bro meets a girl at an EDM show. She tells him how her friend blew the DJ and he tells her his ex-girlfriend is now the DJ’s girlfriend on stage with him, and then a catfight between the two chicks ensues. It was insufferable. Apparently there was a stage’d Kanye moment featuring Win Butler interrupting T. Swift? Whatevs…

    From Jason Schwartzmann hosting to Forever 21 pop musicians being nominated to the most mainstream of indie acts performing to it taking place in Brooklyn, this whole thing is like a — and excuse my language because I can’t find a more astute word to describe it — cartoon of the modern day definition of the “hipster.”

    • Well the only thing on my twitter feed right now is “SPORTS! SPORTS! SPORTS!” so you can’t blame YouTube entirely.

      It would probably pain you to know that that segment (written by Lena Dunham no less) was by far the highlight of the night. Everything else was a semi-organised jambalaya of improvised bits and awkward award presentations (figuratively and geographically, the hosts/winners/guests/audiences were all over the place). I can already feel the incensed fervour of the culture critics, angrily rattling away at their keyboards about how big of a catastrophe it all was. I’m sure we’ll see tons of scathing articles tomorrow.

      But hey, I kinda liked it. It was pure, low-budget, high-risk gonzo that gave a platform to some actual creators for once, and I’d rather have that than a well-oiled corporate machine going through the motions.

  2. Fucking abysmal

  3. I watched the whole thing and thought it was pretty enjoyable.
    It started with Arcade Fire performing “Afterlife” with a choreography from Greta Gerwig and a bunch a kids, pretty charming stuff.
    The performances were good, Eminem killed it, and the live music video thing gave some nice results with M.I.A. and Tyler and Earl.
    There were some pretty creative moments, OK GO did some live painting on Jason Schwartzman’s face…
    The point was to celebrate the DIY quality of youtube videos, not the pomp of the Grammys and they succeeded at times. The show felt more like some walkabout theater where the audience wanders around and artists perform stuff on different stages.
    Negative points, it was kind of a mess, there were some embarassing skits, the sound was not good and Maclemore received an award.

    • Can you seriously criticize Macklemore for winning that award? Really it would’ve been more of a shame if he DIDN’T win that award.

      The internet/indie/blog circlejerk of Macklemore hate is getting pretty silly.

  4. God, M.I.A. is gorgeous.

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