by Mike Breen 08.31.2015 42 days ago
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video, Music News at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cincinnati at the VMAs

This year’s spectacle-of-an-awards-show on MTV had some Cincinnati flavor courtesy of Eric Nally and Walk the Moon

I tried to watch last night's Video Music Awards on MTV, but it was such an awkward and confusing clusterfuck, I couldn’t take much of it, flipping through for a few moments before moving on out of embarrassment for the people on the screen. I usually like when awards shows are a little chaotic (and the VMAs are known for their often-desperate attempts to be “not your mama’s awards show”). And I actually have always enjoyed the pop-culture pageantry of awards shows in general. But on last night’s VMAs, the annoyance factor was so high, I couldn’t even watch it on a “so bad you can’t look away” level. It made me anxious and uncomfortable, like watching someone fumbling over their words and breaking down while giving a speech in public (kind of like Kanye on last night's show).  It wasn’t really even the performances that made it so unwatchable (most were pretty solid for what they were). It was all of the in-between absurdity that made it so cringe-worthy.Speaking of performances, some Cincinnati artists did well on the big stage. Walk the Moon has become so experienced with these kinds of high-profile appearances that it wasn’t surprising the band’s umpteenth performance of “Shut Up and Dance” was flawless. Airing during the opening of the pre-show “rainbow carpet” portion, I found myself thinking (as I do whenever I hear the hit on the radio), “You know, they have other songs, including a new single?” “Shut Up” was considered a “song of the summer” contender, though it’s been on the radio for like 15 years (OK, it was released as a single in September of 2014, but still). Then the band played the new single, “Different Colors”! And MTV promptly cut them off. (Even “Shut Up” was interrupted mid-song so the pre-show hosts could introduce the program, the clumsiness of which ended up being indicative of the overall mess the VMAs turned out to be.) Get More:  2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, WALK THE MOON, 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, 2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, WALK THE MOON, Full EpisodesThe weirder Cincinnati-related appearance came during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of their new single, “Downtown.” I was not aware of the guest artists on the song (OK, I was not aware they had a new song), so I turned it on just as Hip Hop legends Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee and Grandmaster Caz were rapping while walking down the street, thinking it was some cool old-school tribute the awards show was presenting. Then Macklemore came on and I reached for the remote, still unable to figure out what was going on. Then Eric Nally from late Cincinnati greats Foxy Shazam joined in, singing the chorus and doing some of his trademark stage moves and I officially thought I was just having a dream.  Nally did a great job and he caused a lot of buzz online, mostly of the “Who was that guy?” variety (when the single was released last week, a bunch of idiots rehashed the “Eric Nally is racist” stories from back in 2013 when Foxy Shazam released the single, “I Like It.”) Get More:  2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, 2015 VMA, Artists.MTV, Music, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Full EpisodesIt’s weird mash-up of a song, parts of which I like, while other parts I find tremendously aggravating. Which is kind of what the VMAs were. Is this the present state of popular youth culture? Throw a bunch of unrelated stuff together, put it in a blender and then just stare at the blender, not caring or knowing what the end result is?  MTV/Viacom had something called the O Music Awards for a few years recently, honoring things like “Favorite Fuck Yeah Tumblr,” “Favorite Animated Gif,” “Best Tweet” and “Best Artist With A Cameraphone.” The O Awards ceremony seemed unscripted and filmed without any director whatsoever. It doesn’t appear the O awards are still a thing; perhaps last night’s VMAs were a sign that the network is turning its long-running awards program into the Os? The VMAs were largely just a big WTF moment that people would talk about/complain about/make fun of online. Which is probably exactly what MTV was going for and, scarily, perhaps the shape of youth-oriented entertainment to come. 
by Hannah McCartney 05.04.2012
Posted In: Culture at 01:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gawker's Fox Mole Swipes a Book Deal

Memoir titled 'An Atheist in the Foxhole'

Surprise, surprise: Former no-name Joe Muto, who first became a web sensation when he debuted as Gawker's anonymous Fox Mole, has reportedly snagged a book deal. Muto, a former associate producer for Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Show, didn't last long as Gawker's elite, home-page columnist, dubbed the 'Fox Mole.' In fact, Muto only managed to have a couple of short blogs recounting juice from his time at Fox News such as Sean Hannity's interviewing methods and O'Reilly's bathroom habits. The powers that be at Fox News  "dug up" the mole after just days, promptly firing Muto. After procuring a search warrant for several items in his apartment on suspicions of grand larceny, petit larceny and computer tampering, Fox is still exploring legal options for prosecuting Muto. Don't feel sorry for Muto for one second — aside from becoming somewhat of a hero among the liberal media community, he'll earn a six-figure profit from Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing, for his memoir, tentatively titled An Atheist in the Foxhole. Gawker reports that a press release on the deal-signing states, "AN ATHEIST IN THE FOXHOLE describes how Muto, an NPR-listening, Obama-loving liberal, took a job at Fox News expecting he'd only stay for a few months. But eight years later he was still there, working as a producer for Bill O'Reilly, a man with 'fair and balanced' views that made Muto cringe on a daily basis."The book will allegedly be written in a format similar to How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, accented by a sardonic tone similar to that of David Sedaris and Dave Barry. It's set to be published in early 2013.