While the MTV Video Music Awards may be the most all encompassing, mainstream music awards show. However, a lot of the time, good music videos go unnoticed. MTV can do whatever they want, it’s their television network, their money, their viewership. But there are music videos that go outside of MTV’s walls. Even though they are the self-proclaimed “Music Television” channel, a lot of the time they forget about music beyond Lady Gaga and Eminem.
However, in years past MTV has been doing a good job of acknowledging lesser known, less accessible artists. For instance, at this year’s VMAs, Florence and the Machine, Muse, and the Black Keys all took home awards. Those are artists you might not see on MTV or hear on Fun 107 everyday. Those are the kind of artists you have to dig a while for.
But there are more worthwhile artists just like the aforementioned, some of them make great, groundbreaking music videos, some are just fun, and some are downright terrible. With the VMAS still a somewhat relevant topic of conversation, why not take this time to check out a few of the music videos, by lesser known artists, that went unacknowledged at this year’s ceremony?
OK Go is a band that has definitely gained some notoriety as of late. They caused quite a buzz in 2006 when they released their video for “Here It Goes Again.” The band appears performing a dance sequence entirely on treadmills. It was a must-see video that quickly became an internet or rather, a pop culture phenomenon.
Well, this year, OK GO did it again with their latest music video “This Too Shall Pass.” And yet somehow, this extremely inventive and indescribable video went without nomination. The homemade quality of “This Too Shall Pass” hardly takes away from the video’s innate genus. It might not be as polished as Eminem’s “Not Afraid,” but it’s a lot more creative.
Indie darlings, Vampire Weekend also went overlooked. The band put forth a quirky, almost bizarre video for their manic single, “Cousins.” The video features the band members in an alleyway, riding a track as they play their instruments. Really, though, this description does the video no justice- there is a lot more to it than that. Again, MTV failed to recognize an interesting and intriguing video even though Vampire Weekend is right on the brink of the mainstream.
Another video, even less likely to have fallen under the VMA’s scope is fun.’s video for “Walking the Dog.” Like OK Go and Vampire Weekend, fun. made a no budget video go a long way. Each band was able to take what are very simple concepts and turn them into very grabbing music videos. In fun.’s video, the band uses neon colors, shadows, projection screens and just straight up dancing to make a very, well, fun video. While it is not entirely groundbreaking, it isn’t something you have seen before either. The band’s previous video for “All the Pretty Girls” is also worth checking out.
The Gaslight Anthem’s “American Slang” could also have been a contender for a VMA. The video cinematically and romantically portrays New York City in black and white. It probably could not have competed with Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” but it offers a different, simpler perspective on the city that never sleeps.
Some other videos that are not so serious yet still worth a watch include, She & Him’s “In the Sun” which features Zooey Deschanel nearly mocking Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” and Motion City Soundtrack’s “Her Words Destroyed My Planet.” This video portrays the band wreaking havoc on a grade school science fair; nothing of grandiose music video lore but entertaining nonetheless.
MTV surely has a large team of people only assigned to watching music videos, so it is unclear as to how they missed the few named above. And don’t forget that this is just a very small glimpse at the music videos released in 2010 and overlooked by the VMAs. Next year, MTV better be a bit more careful as they draw up the nominations.