Backstage with Deadmau5 at the MTV Video Music Awards

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Even though people can't stop talking about Lady Gaga's meat dress, one of the few really cool things at last week's MTV Video Music Awards was Deadmau5's DJ gig right on the VMA stage. The GRAMMY nominated house DJ spun between commercial breaks, and played special arrangements for Jason DeRulo, Travie McCoy and Robyn high from his neon-colored DJ pulpit. The mouse-headed Deadmau5 was accompanied by L.A. music photographer Rukes throughout the day. He shot some fantastic photos in and outside Nokia Theatre that will give you a unique look at the event. Check out all of the photos here.

September 19, 2010 in Deadmau5, VMA | Permalink

A Few Words About the MTV Video Music Awards

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Florence and The Machine showed MTV viewers last night what the MTV Video Music Awards needs more of. Instead of wasting valuable airtime on fabricated feuds, poorly lipsynching teens, flash in the pan reality TV personalities and autotuned pseudo artistry, the show needs more left-field performers who, and here it comes, can actually sing live and bring something fresh.

This year's VMAs were a bit of a snore that lacked any memorable sizzle. By moving the show to a larger, multi-functional venue in Los Angeles, the VMA producers were able to build a larger set with the plan to accommodate bigger, better and bolder performances.

But that vision backfired. In fact, quite often, the show's impressive, futuristic set was more compelling than the artist it featured.

Big exception was newcomer Florence and The Machine who delivered a stellar performance with powerful vocals and an exuberant stage show that was highlighted by fantastic camera work. It was a career-defining moment for the British singer that has everyone talking today.

The much-anticipated performance of Robyn was unfortunately cut short and we only got to see about 30 seconds of a remixed version of "Dancing On My Own" before it was harshly cut to commercials.

Fitting was Linkin Park's outdoors performance at the Griffith Park Observatory which was visually compelling to watch just as the sun was setting over the Hollywood hills. It was the perfect backdrop for their larger than life, epic sound.

The appearance of B.o.B. with Bruno Mars and Hailey Williams was frenzied and did not show off the talents that they truly are.

Overall this year's VMAs almost seemed a re-make of last year's show with many of the same artists and performers. Hopefully, we can look forward to a slew of fresh new faces at next year's show who can up the excitement.

Lady Gaga was once again the show's big winner, taking Moon Man statues in all major categories. It was good to see here accompanied by her main producer RedOne, the man who is driving force behind her chart-topping sound.

And the star had her gay fans rejoice when she took awards from the giddy cast of GLEE and none other than the inimitable Cher at the end of the night. And if the VMAs are any indication, we may see a lot more of the superstar entertainer at the GRAMMYs early next year.

September 13, 2010 in VMA | Permalink

MTV VMA Performer Florence and The Machine Talks Lady Gaga, Gays and Getting Awards

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One of the most anticipated performers at this year's MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday is Florence and The Machine. The British singer will be performing her break out hit "Dog Days Are Over" that is nominated for an impressive four VMAs, including Video Of The Year, Best Rock Video and Best Art Direction.

A few days ago, I sat down with Florence for a totally fun and candid chat to talk about her upcoming show at the VMAs and the incredible success of her debut album "Lungs," which has been a success in the charts and received massive amounts of critical acclaim and accolades.

Florence also confides that she has received special help from none other than Lady Gaga to get ready for her show on Sunday, and that she hopes to meet Drake and Nicki Minaj on the Red Carpet. Florence also gives a special shout out to her gay fans who have been huge supporters of her music.

Congratulations with all of your success over the past few months. It has been an incredible year for you.
Thank you, Arjan! I know! It is supposed to be winding down right now, but it doesn't seem to be.

You've not only had success in the charts with "Lungs," but you've received loads of awards and nominations too. The critics love you!
Aww. That's nice of you to say. I've been really lucky with all of the recognition that the album has received. When you are making an album all that you really want is for people to take it to heart, but to get all the critical acclaim is amazing as well. I very much appreciate it.

Is there one award that you received that you are particularly proud of?
To be nominated for the Mercury Prize was a pretty big deal for me. Especially, because the entire album was nominated. It was all about the work that was being recognized. It's all about the music and that is what's important to me. Winning the Brit Awards was pretty amazing as well. Sometimes I remember, "Oh my god, I actually won that." And I have a little moment with myself [laughs].

I really like that you got nominated for the NME Best Dancefloor Filler Award for "You've Got The Love."
I like that one too! I never thought that would happen. I must tell you that I'm obsessed with dance music, I love dance music, the way that a song can take over your mind and body. We totally recorded "You've Got The Love" on a whim. We are not a dance band, but I was like "shit, why not?" The original is so fantastic - the lyrics, the bassline. We just had to cover it.

And I must tell you that gay men love dancing to that song
[laughs] Amazing! I have such a fantastic gay fanbase. I just had an amazing gay night out actually in London that I must tell you about. There's this gay party here called Tranny Bash. My friend Violet Flames performed and she has the most amazing voice but when she performed the other day her guitar broke so I jumped on stage to do backing vocals. It was like my big moment. I love the gay community. I feel a lot of love, and I want to give a lot of love back.

I'm really looking forward to your performance on the VMAs on Sunday. Are you ready?
Oooh. I really take thing one day at a time, but yesterday it just hit me. We've been talking about the performance for like months. but I had my fitting for the dress yesterday and I was like "oh my god the VMAs! You're really gonna do this!" I've been home for a while and I've been trying not to think about it. It is insane!

Do you have favorite VMA performance?
We have been looking at past VMA performances to get some inspiration, and hands-down my favorite is Madonna performing "Like A Virgin" It is so amazing. There are no dancers, no nothing, it is just incredible. I loved Britney Spears doing "Satisfaction" too. That was pretty major. Blew me away.

Are you performing "Dog Days Are Over"? Can you give us a sneak peek?
Basically, we are going to recreate that chaotic energy that the Dog Days video has. The song and video have been nominated so we figured that would be appropriate. I want to recreate that reckless energy and a sense of abandonment on stage. There will be quite a few references from the video on stage.

Everybody will be at the VMAs on Sunday. Who would you like to meet?
Good question! Mmmm. You know I'm a really big fan of Drake and I'm a really big fan of Nicki Minaj so it would exciting to meet them. I'm probably really shell shocked and be totally British about the whole thing and be super polite. I'm a huge monster too so I can't wait to meet Lady Gaga again. We met a couple of times before and she is absolutely lovely.

I've been really into Lady Gaga's last album lately. I've been trying to whip myself back into shape to get ready for the VMAs. When I'm on tour I'm gigging everyday so I stay pretty healthy, but I've had time off off, so I've been wanting to keep it up and so basically I put on Lady Gaga's music and work out like a maniac for an hour. So I will be at the show saying "See this Gaga? This is thanks to you." [Laughs]

Have blast and Sunday, and perhaps we'll see you again at The GRAMMYs!
Ooooh. Who knows! I can't even think about that right now That would be amazing.

September 10, 2010 in Florence and The Machine, Interviews, VMA | Permalink