Live From Planet Earth


(A special welcome to everbody who found Arjan Writes on the homepage of Bravo TV today!)

The gigantic Live Earth spectacle is in full swing, and I have seen some great performances so far, including KT Tunstall, Bloc Party, Kenna, Linkin Park and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Unfortunately, Justin Timberlake bailed out and did not perform with Duran "Planet Earth" Duran.

And may I just note that Keane singer Tom Chaplin looked great on stage in London today. Slimmed-down and arguably a lot more energetic than before. Rehab does wonders. Keane's passionate set included "'Somewhere Only We Know," "Is It Any Wonder" and "Bed Shaped."

Special Report: MTV European Video Music Awards 2006


A good live show is no fun without some good unscripted action. And of course it was the unpredictable Kayne West who delivered some hilarity during tonight's live broadcast of the MTV European Video Music Awards in Copenhagen, Denmark.

It all went down after Justice Vs. Simian were the surprise winners of the Best Video Award for "We Are Your Friends." The band was not available and two representatives accepted the award on the group's behalf. Visibly ticked off, Kanye West crashed the stage to upset their acceptance speech.

West, who was nominated in the same category, ran his big mouth and said: "Fuck this! My video cost a million dollars (. . ..)  If I don't win this award, this show loses credibility." He also added that he had not seen Justice Vs. Simian's video. The live footage quickly turned to a commercial.

The show's presenter Justin Timberlake tried to ease the moment after the break by making a clever remark. "Kanye West will be accepting awards he didn't win in the parking lot after the show," he quipped. "I've got sexy covered, it is good to see someone is bringing crazy back." Touche! West admitted backstage that he had drunk too much "sippy, sippy."

I love it how the European MTV Video Awards Show still has these fantastic unscripted moments as opposed to the tedious American version that is so overproduced. American artists also took full advantage of Europe's greater acceptance of profanities, by throwing "shit this" and "motherfucker that" around left and right without being bleeped. They forgot, however, that swearing just because you can is not really classy or European at all.

Timberlake won two awards himself for Best Pop Video and Best Male video. In his first acceptance speech, he thanked his mother for "birthing" him and MTV for giving him the prize just because he agreed to host the show. He's right. And he knows it.

Musical performers included the "Sexyback" singer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Rihanna, Nelly Furtado (looking wild with fake tatts on her arms)and that monstrous band from Finland that won the Eurovision Songcontest this year.

Continue reading "Special Report: MTV European Video Music Awards 2006" »

My Date With Justin Timberlake (Part 5): Video Clips

As promised a couple of videos from Justin Timberlake's showcase in Amsterdam last Saturday. He shows off his sexy back and some other fly dance moves during his performance of "Sexy Back" at the intimate Paradiso theatre. (Note: You might want to turn down your computer's volume. The sound recording is distorted due to the power of the speakers in the room.)

Here are some more of his dance moves during "Rock Your Body." It is slightly out of focus but still fun to watch:

My Date with Justin Timberlake (Part 4): Concert Review


(Update: Also watch some video clips here.)

"Enjoy you summer, because I'm gonna take over fall!," cheered Justin Timberlake when he waved his audience goodbye and left the stage on Saturday at the intimate Paradiso theatre in Amsterdam. Amidst tight security, the singer was in the Netherlands to showcase his new album "FutureSex/LoveSounds" in front of a few hundred fans, reporters, international label executives and other V.I.P hot shots. The new disc is the follow up to 2002's "Justified" that sold over seven million copies worldwide. Besides writing up my impressions of his gig and new songs, I recorded audio and video as well that I will post soon. Keep checking this blog for that. I posted more photos on Flickr.

After listening to Timberlake's new single "Sexy Back" last week, I was curious what his new songs would sound like. Fans that were getting a little uneasy after hearing the singer's new Timbaland produced groove can relax. "Sexy Back" is not like any other new album track he performed. I'm pretty certain that "Sexy Back" is intended as a shock song: a single to grab radio time and get people buzzing. New songs he performed include "My Love," "Till The End Of Time," "What Goes Around," "She Knows" and "Sexy Back."

With his charismatic stage energy, sexy dance moves and flawless vocal delivery, watching Timberlake perform live is a real joy. After previously seeing him in concert with N*Sync and together with Christina Aguilera during his last world tour in 2003, there's no doubt in my mind that this Memphis native was born to be an entertainer.

At the age of 25, Timberlake has the gift to inject his pop music with a sense of soul and stamina that is unusal for an artist still so young. In many ways, Timberlake is like an old black soul trapped in a white man's body. In fact, arguably one of his greatest contributions as a pop star is that he takes his polished popsoulfunk to a whole new and diverse generation of music lovers. "Music is music," Timberlake once said. "It's the universal language. And whether you're gay, straight, black, white, you know, whatever, you like what you like."

He introduced this very special showcase in Amsterdam by greeting the crowd and explaining that he was looking forward to sharing some of his brand-new tracks from "FutureSex/LoveSounds." "I hope you like these new tracks, and if you don't well then fuck you," he said in his endearing, pseudo bad boy manner.

(Full review after the jump.)

Continue reading "My Date with Justin Timberlake (Part 4): Concert Review" »

My Date with Justin Timberlake (Part 3): Exclusive Live Photos


(Update: Also watch some video clips here.)

Justin Timberlake rocked Paradiso in Amsterdam last night. He performed some of his old hits and he also showcased several new tracks of his forthcoming new album "FutureSex/LoveSounds." Find all my photos of Timberlake's exclusive gig on Flickr. Full review and some video footage coming up. Stay tuned.