JJ's must-see MVs
Jason Johnson's choices for what should have won at the VMAs
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
LIES - CHVRCHES
A throwback to 80s-era vids, this rather abstract piece shows a bunch of well-dressed people moping around in glamorous settings while the band's frontwoman Lauren Mayberry sings amidst smoke and lasers, her partners-in-crime standing around looking cool at her side. It's all a bit Blade Runner.
The thing I really appreciate about the video is its sense of dignity and reserve. Unlike what we see in Wrecking Ball, no one licks anything. This is basically what happens when people with taste and intelligence make vids, which is why Chvrches will never win a VMA.
BEST MALE VIDEO
BOUND 2 - KANYE WEST
You have to hand it to Kanye West - the dude is goofy as heck. But goofy in a GOOD way. In a musical landscape cluttered with play-it-safe mediocrity, West always swings for the fences.
This is that ridiculous video that features West riding through the countryside on a motorcycle with Kim Kardashian, and it's both magnificent and corny. The hilarious parody by James Franco and Seth Rogen is also a must see.
BEST VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE
CITY OF ANGELS - THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS
While Beyonce's Pretty Hurts is mawkish, this is just beautiful. Clocking in at over 10 minutes, it features interviews with Hollywood wannabes and used-to-bes. They talk about their broken dreams while Jared Leto and the boys keep the pity party going with their driving rhythm. It's a beautiful hymn to losers of every stripe and I can certainly relate.