Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The 2008 World Music Awards: A Guest Post

Our good friends Russell Dean and Ian Young came over to watch the World Music Awards with Ayhan and me. Russell was fascinated with the whole blog idea, and asked if he could contribute a post as we watched. Why not? Ladies and gentleman, Russell Dean!

It’s the 20th annual 2008 World Music Awards! I’ve always wanted to blog live while watching one of these train-wrecks. So we've just gone to the liquor store and bought 1.75 liters of gin. Chuck promises to share. Let the good times roll.
Beyonce opens the show. This could hurt my feelings. She’s wearing some sort of robotic glove. It’s obviously controlling her vocals as well, because it sounds like she can actually sing. I love “If I Were A Boy,” but there’s no way she has this kind of control live. She’s transitioned into "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Now this is the shrill Beyonce I’m accustomed to—the one that makes my ears spew blood. Maybe it’s those tight black spandex pants cutting off her circulation. I don’t miss 1981 that much. Gon'be a long night.

Jesse Metcalfe and Michelle Williams are introduced as hosts. He looks handsome and grown up, even with a shirt on. She’s lost, what, 75 pounds, and now looks like Kelly Rowland. Which works, since Kelly now looks like Brandy. All good, as no one attempts to look like Madonna, including Madonna, who hasn't looked like herself for three years.

Male Pop Artist. Michael Jackson??! James Blunt??! Enrique Iglesias??! Kid Rock… Oh my heavens, time travel has been perfected! Okay, Kid Rock has a good year, he better win... And... score. I know MJ had the 25th anniversary of "Thriller," but what has he done for us lately... other than scare the living hell out of Satan?

Best DJ.
This is America. We are afraid to dance. So who knows who these dudes are, except Frankie Knuckles, who is apparently a sweet man, because he told Chuck that he was handsome 12 years ago.

Oh my God, Anggun is performing Laurent Wolf’s dance hit "No Stress." This is hot. She is one of the great singers in the world—who never conquered America. “A Rose in the Wind” was one of the best songs of 1997. Damn, she looks stunning. I wonder if he knows how lucky he is to have scored this. I also wonder who he is.

Award for Best Rock Act: Coldplay, Metallica, R.E.M., Kings of Leon. If this doesn’t go to Coldplay, I’m jumping out the window… Okay, I’m still here… Of course, Chuck & Ayhan live on the second floor, so I could have limped back up to the laptop. Coldplay won.

Solange is performing. She’s not looking as manly as usual. That’s a good wig, girl. Uh oh, I think she’s singing live. Didn't Beyonce tell her what a bad idea that would be? Oh wait, I get it: sisterly sabotage. Solange looks so happy—and I understand, since next year, she’ll be back at the deep fryer at Long John Silvers. She and Ashlee Simpson should record a duet: “Sisters Are Doing It for Us.” (Chuck notes: Hahahahaha, oh my god!)

Outstanding Contribution To The Arts: Beyonce. Zzzzzzzz… “I’m becoming more of an artist,” she says. What she means is, “God, I love making millions peddling Pepsi, L’Oreal, Tommy Hilfiger and Armani.” But more importantly, she’s a “humanitarian.” I think that means she tips the guy that cuts her grass.

Rap Group
Madcon is performing “Rollin’” I wish I had to go to the bathroom. It would be more entertaining than this noise.

Best New R&B Artist: Estelle. I hear a lot of really good things about this man-woman. God, she looks like Kelly Rowland used to. It seems to be a trend. Wait, she’s really singing. And shouldn’t. Wait, I thought this one was the real thing, which kind of made up for the fact that she looks like... well, you know. Hey, “American Boy” is a great song without Kanye West hijacking it. What a shame he pooped all over the U.S. version. Oops, that last note was horribly embarrassing. I hope her hotel room is close, so she can cry into her pillow. Gin is also an option to get her through that indelible scar. Chuck, where is your flask and a padded envelope?

Akon. He has nice teeth. He just said “par-tically.” That was fun. Presenting the Best R&B Female Artist Award. Noms are Mariah, Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Leona Lewis. Please, please, please, if there is a god, Leona! I’ll take Rihanna, too… And the winner is… Alicia Keys. Open the window. Clear the sidewalk. Splat.

Hour two begins: My drink is dry.

Alicia Keys should have opened the show, instead of the shits and giggles that Beyonce provided. Hmm, maybe that was the point. Alicia is a singer, Beyonce is an entertainer. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of Alicia’s music, but I admire her talent: her confidence, musical prowess, ability to rule a room. “Superwoman” is right stunning, even though it was a flop single in the States. And she is so singing live. Wow. Now she’s doing “No One,” which I adored the first 5 million times I heard it. Now, 10 million times later, it’s like “Respect.” I’d rather wear sweaty gym socks over my head and breathe in deep than endure this song again. But Alicia is consummate. I bow to her success.

Alicia Keys has been forced to give a Special Achievement Award to Mariah Carey, since she's already there. Here's a video montage of her No. 1s in order, which is kind of like watching the slow decline of the American economy. "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," hey, where's "One Sweet Day"? “My All,” god, that was a good one. Oops, here we dip into "hip" Mariah. And onto “We Belong Together.” So we ended on a good note.

She looks good. Her boobs are actually inside her dress. She and Alicia hug. Mariah doesn’t seem to know who that black woman is. Mariah thanks God. I don’t think that means Tommy Motolla. “As a songwriter, to have 18 No. 1 singles and having written most of them, that’s an amazing honor.” She mentioned that she writes twice. Wow, Mariah plays horn, too, which she’s tooting now. She offers a shout-out to her husband “and best friend” Nick Cannon, leaving out “my little man.” That was gracious. Wonder how much money he’ll get from her when they divorce.

Irish band the Script is performing. These guys are hot. America, please sign them. Lead singer Danny O'Donoghue is wearing black leather pants like Jim Morrison. I think I’m in love. Ayhan shares that he likes the bald guitarist Mark Sheehan. They’re warming up for Take That in 2009 and writing a song for Leona Lewis’ second album, so that puts them in good company. I need to know more.

Best Pop/Rock Male Artist: Kid Rock, James Blunt, Jack Johnson, Lenny Kravitz… Duh, Mr. Rock. Oh Jesus, he just thanked God. And here I thought we were going to be friends in hell.

Perfect timing for the lovely couple to come see the bed that Chuck & Ayhan are trying to sell on Craigslist, as Nancy Ajam from the Middle East sings some nonsense. Ayhan is letting Chuck do the heavy lifting with the bed people, and he seems baffled—and he’s from Turkey. Are Middle Easterners really named Nancy? Sounds like she’s singing live. Ever seen a razor blade? That’s how thin her voice is. She’s thanking the crowd in English. I’m so sad for her parents, who might be watching with their friends.

Okay, I adore Anastacia. It's among U.S. radio’s greatest shams that her greatest success is abroad. She’s the shit. Chuck is nodding in agreement. But wait a minute, it sounds like Anastacia, but who is this housewife standing onstage? Do they have the Hair Cuttery in Europe? And is she repping H&M? Did she recently marry a man who wants her to cook roast beef and rice every night? What happened to the sexually charged bombshell we knew? This song is going nowhere. This is a huge bummer.

Mariah’s back! In red. And her boobs are as big as her head! That’s my girl. She’s giving an award to label prez and music industry legend L.A. Reid. Thank the dear Lord she has a script. Her head isn’t moving, there is no inflection in her voice. This is taking every iota of her focus. Chuck is droning about the time he went to L.A.’s office to write an article about his stereo system. Okay, he wants to write now: "L.A. played a song called “Sk8er Boi” from a new artist he was about to release named Avril Lavigne. He played it so loud that my earlobes were flapping like umbrellas in a New York monsoon. I sure enjoyed it, but I think he felt a more sinister satisfaction. I love that man for the experience." Thanks, Chuck. Drink your own gin now, please.

Russia’s bestselling artist Philip Kirkorov is performing. Liberace must be twirling in circles from his blessed grave. As this hefty drag queen performs some famous tango song that Ayhan seems to know while wearing glossy gold polyester, he is leveling three decades of progress in the gay community, all in one four-minute performance. I love how they keep flashing at the bottom of the screen “stay tuned for Ringo Starr," knowing that this is likely scaring off the primary demographic: gays, gals and drunks. I'm reading this out loud and Chuck is laughing, but he seems ashamed of me.

Some stiff suit is introducing Ringo Starr now for the Lifetime Achievement Award. I wonder if he’s also going to look like a drag queen, which is what happens to old Brits. Look at Paul McCartney… Standing ovation… yeah, yeah… hey, he still resembles a man! Actually he looks really good. And he thanked John, Paul and George. “I didn’t do it on my own.” That’s a lot more humble than I think the other three might’ve been. “Peace and love, and thank you.” I liked that. Okay, I'll probably play "You're Sixteen," his song about pedophiles, on my iPod tomorrow.

The show is closing with Kid Rock, which is less than overwhelming, especially since someone obviously informed him he'd be performing after he'd already changed into his street clothes: jeans from Sam’s Club, a K-Mart blue flannel shirt and a black hat he found in an alley. He sounds fine, but I’m certain most of the rest of the world now understands why America voted for George Bush for eight endless years.

And just like that, it’s over. Chuck and Ayhan are saying how much they loved having us over—and how they need to go to bed now, because they have to work tomorrow. After all I've done for them, that's just rude. But I'm a forgiving guy, cause Ian and I see so much of ourselves in Chuck and Ayhan. They seem happy together. And so are we. So God bless us all in the new year. That is the one statement I make with no hint of sarcasm. Hopefully, though, I'll be back sometime!