The VMAs Make Me Feel Elderly


I’m not old enough to remember seeing Madonna perform “Like a Virgin” on the VMAs, but I’m old enough to remember Diana Ross patting Lil Kim’s pasty-covered boob moment in 1999. I’m old enough to have seen the Britney/Madonna kiss of ’03, but not old enough to remember Nirvana perform “Lithium.” I was definitely old enough to remember Kanye interrupting T Swift in ’99, Lady Gaga’s 2010 meat dress, and Miley Cyrus twerking, but not the year, 1993, when Pearl Jam won a ton of awards.


So how old does that make me exactly? Answer: I turn the big 3-0 tomorrow.

And honestly I’m feeling totally fine with it. 30 is still “young,” right? That’s how I felt until I realized the VMAs are approaching. Nothing makes me feel as elderly and out of touch with today’s youth as the Video Music Awards. After scanning the list of VMA nominees on MTV‘s website, I was mostly left asking, “Who are these people?” Particularly in the category of Best New Artist. Young M.A is one of the nominees in this category, who, according to Wikipedia is “best known for her 2016 hit single “Ooouuu.” 

Huh? What?

Even some of the names of nominees in other categories leave me scratching my head. Zedd? Kygo? Noah Cyrus? (Any relation to Billy Ray?)


Surprisingly I have actually heard of all the artists nominated for Album of the Year! (#TeamLorde), though if you put a gun to my head, I don’t think I could name a single Ariana Grande song. Also, about a week ago, I thought I’d join the masses by watching the most-watched YouTube video ever, the music video for “Despacito.” A few days later, I heard the song play on the radio in an Uber and was tempted to shout to the driver “Hey, I know that song! I’ve heard that song before!”

Très hip, Julie.

Anyway, I put together my own little list of the best bands/acts that I think should win in each of the categories. Regardless of who actually takes home Moon Men at the 2017 VMAs, none of them will match what’s below (because none of the below were actually even nominated in these categories).

Best New Artist: “New” is a pretty vague term here, so I’m gonna go with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats because I really want to see them represented on this list. They are an amazing soul-rock band that appeared on Jimmy Fallon earlier this year.

Song of the Summer: “Living in the City” by Hurray For the Riff Raff

Video of the Year: “Shut Up Kiss Me” by Angel Olson (Purely for that silver wig she wears while rollerskating around. Again, this is my personal, totally subjective list that I’m sure no one else will agree with.)

Artist of the Year: Perfume Genius – That boy can siiiiiiiing!

Best Collaboration: “Left Handed Kisses” by Andrew Bird w/ Fiona Apple

Best Pop: “Supercut” by Lorde

Best Hip Hop: (LOL I am so unqualified to offer any opinions on the category, so I’m not even gonna try.)

Best Dance: I realize that in a “dance” category they’re probably looking more for something with a house beat, but I’m gonna go with the song that makes me dance, White Reaper’s “Little Silver Cross.”

Best Rock: “Guilty Party” by The National (The fact that Coldplay is often nominated in this category must make Hendrix and Morrison roll over in their graves.)

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