Wednesday, February 17, 2010

in deepest suburbia

Whether you love them or hate them, the Brit Awards are the yearly tradition for Britain's best in show to slap each other on the back while artists get to strut their stuff.

From the look of last night's ceremony, artists feel the need to give good spectacle rather than concentrate on the music, which has nearly become an afterthought as act after act parade around in more outrageous costumes and less convincing singing. Why do I feel like I'm watching Cirque de Soleil everytime I watch an award show?

So, leave it to the Pet Shop Boys to steal the show without even being there. Neil and Chris took part in a contest sponsored by Mastercard where the winner gets to experience the full PSB, live extravaganza in their living room!

Here is a clip of them performing the appropriately chosen "Suburbia".

The full set list included "Suburbia" as the opener followed by "All Over The World", "It's A Sin" and an encore of "West End Girls".

You can watch the complete gig here.

It's great to see PSB continuing to explore their sense of humor. They are very adept at delivering the unexpected. You would never think they would go for something like this in a million years. An artist keeps people guessing. It's interesting to note that MTV, in it's heyday, used to push the boundaries of music, television and the artists they embraced. These days, it take a corporate sponsor to cough of the cash and partner with an act in order to deliver a bit of watercooler chat.

All of this hoopla coincides nicely with the release of "Pandemonium", the Pet Shop Boys' latest DVD which documents their monumental performance at London's O2 Arena last December during the world tour to promote their most recent album, "Yes". Perhaps you'd like a first look?

These days, MTV isn't terribly inspiring, unless you're ready to expose yourself, flaws and all, for the world to gawk at. Remember way back in 1983 when they gave away a pink house in the middle of Indiana with John "still Cougar" Mellencamp? At the time, we watched him transition into a spokesperson for the American Heartland while promoting his album, "Uh-Huh"?

Sure, there are corporate sponsors involved but they are almost an afterthought tagged onto the commercial like those quick lipped, legal disclaimers in pharmaceutical ads. Hard to believe John Mellencamp being involved in something like that today. I'm not judging him, just pointing out how things in the media have evolved or not over the last 25 years or so.

There is something sweet and "aw shucks" about the promo and those early days of MTV. I think I'm getting a little misty.


  1. MTV was like video crack for the first 18 months that I had it, starting back in Fall of '82. I used to sit around at home with a tape cued at all times in the Betamax! The day your Journeys, Fleetwood Macs and Bruce Springsteens started making those newfangled "rock videos" to steal airtime away from superior British bands (who were at their "New Pop" peak even if they didn't know it), it was all over. The Sunday night ghetto of 120 Minutes soon became the only thing to watch. The 2nd nail in the coffin was regularly scheduled programming; your Just Say Julie's, your Liquid Televisions, and especially your Remote Controls, which committed the second sin of introducing Adam Sandler to the world. I didn't stick around for the 3rd through nth nails in MTV's coffin. So misty eyed... yeah. But I'd have to go waaaaaaaaaaaay back for that.

  2. @REVO - When I talk about getting misty over MTV, I'm only ever referring to the golden years from 1982 through 1986. I have no love for anything on the channel after 1987 other than "120 Minutes".