Live-Blogging the 2013 American Music Awards

AMA

Sleazier than the Grammys, stuffier than the VMAs, less legitimate than either one, The American Music Awards are the unfortunate middle child of music awards shows. The only time anyone cares how many American Music Awards an artist has won is during the American Music Awards. This is the show that gave us David Hasselhoff dancing to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” in 2011 and crowned Justin Bieber the 2012 Artist of the Year. In other words, don’t expect high art.

And yet – the American Music Awards are a fun, if frustrating, thermometer for the current temperature of popular music. Last year’s show brought us Carly Rae Jepsen and PSY, but also Taylor Swift and Stevie Wonder. You have to take the good with the bad.

Whether the awards mean anything or not (they don’t), the show should provide some interesting moments. Will Justin Timberlake do something unexpected to cap off his busy year, or will he rest on his laurels? Will Miley Cyrus descend further into mayhem or restrain herself? Will Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line demonstrate why they’re country’s two hottest superstars right now, or will they continue to make us wish for Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert instead?

Follow along starting at 8pm Eastern for my reviews of each performance on the American Music Awards, airing on ABC.

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The M&M Report, Episode 9: Must Listen

Kacey Musgraves

Click here to listen to Episode 9.

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I talked about a variety of topics, ranging from country music and sketch comedy to pop culture criticism and the concept of “must-reads.” Along the way, we learned that Devin doesn’t much like country music, Mark doesn’t much like Florida Georgia Line, and neither of us much likes how SNL is handling its race problems.

First, Mark monologues about the highs and lows of this week’s CMA Awards, from the feuding factions to the excellent hosts. (Also, check out Mark’s CMA Awards live-blog, featuring grades for every performance.)

After that, Devin and I turn once again to Saturday Night Live, which is handling criticism of its lack of racial diversity with the maturity of a nine year-old.

After that, we dive into one of my favorite segments we’ve done yet, discussing the many purposes that pop culture criticism serves and putting the spotlight on two critics we really enjoy: Wesley Morris of Grantland and Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress. We mentioned Morris’ review of 12 Years a Slave and Rosenberg’s pieces on House of Cards and Parks and Recreation during the show. Give them a read if you have a chance – we think they’ll be worth your time.

We closed with a popular segment, returning by popular demand: Devin Doesn’t Like Things. This week, Devin takes on the concept of the “must-read.” It’s a very nice rant.

Be sure to watch out for next week’s show – our friend and colleague Rachel Lomot will join us to talk about Parenthood and Gilmore Girls. In the meantime, thanks for listening!

Stick around for the time breakdown below.

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Three More Thoughts on Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz”

Miley

Miley Cyrus has been in the news quite a bit lately, but one of the least talked-about aspects of the Miley of it all is the music. I gave Miley’s new album “Bangerz” a mixed review in The Eagle’s latest Album Reviews Brew.

“In case anyone lived under a rock for the past few months, Miley Cyrus dominated the pop culture conversation with foam fingers, giant teddy bears, gratuitous nudity and problematic associations with hip-hop culture. “Bangerz,” her first album to fully abandon all traces of her Hannah Montana origins, is neither a game-changing triumph nor an outright disaster. Instead, it lands somewhere in the middle: several songs are excellent with strong vocal performances, but many of the raunchier hip-hop-flavored tracks fall flat.”

Read the rest of my review here. Click through for three more thoughts!

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