Did you guys know that MTV’s sorta-live daily countdown show TRL is on at 11 a.m. these days? Neither did I, until I heard that the boys who make up the inexplicably popular German rock outfit Tokio Hotel would be co-hosting the show all this week (well, during its airings Tuesday, yesterday, and today, since I guess the power of Tokio Hotel’s popularity meant that everyone could take Monday off). I missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s episodes thanks to that scheduling snafu, but all was not lost when I found out that today’s show would be marked by the band performing live! Perhaps they will sound even better than last time! Since you all are probably in actual offices and deprived of cable, I figured I’d take the lead and live-blog this quasi-historic event. (Plus there’s really not much else going on.) Full coverage afer the jump!
10:59 a.m. Damien called Tokio Hotel “the biggest thing to come out of Germany since the BMW.” Also I think we’re going to be treated to these dudes introducing the Devendra Banhart/Natalie Portman video. No, really.
11:00 a.m. No. 10 on the countdown: The new single by LL Cool J, which features The-Dream and name-drops Justin Timberlake. It gets more than 60 seconds of airtime, so I guess it’s “good.”
11:01 a.m. Audience question time! None of the questioners can really talk on-mic, but question No. 2 is about the Tokio Hotel/Jonas Brothers rivalry. Bill Kaulitz hasn’t met the JBs yet, but he respects their talent. This is just setting up for the inevitable confrontation at the VMAs.
11:03 a.m. Four of the five questioners are from countries outside of the U.S. And none of them are really good at speaking into the microphone. Am I getting old? Is this just another way for me to be completely confused by this band?
11:05 a.m. An ad for The Hills. Speaking of feeling old, Lauren Conrad’s facial expressions make the actors on Undressed look like they came straight out of Uta Hagen master classes.
11:08 a.m. No. 9: Tokio Hotel’s kinda-plodding “Monsoon.” Wait, they’re hosting the show and they can’t even get a No. 1? Or does that mean that there are even more videos to come?
11:09 a.m. Tokio Hotel, can you go to the mall without wearing a disguise? Not in Europe, apparently. Do you think Bill Kaulitz’s “disguise” is just him flat-ironing his hair? Or wearing no makeup? Or does he bust out the Richard Nixon masks?
11:12 a.m. A very long clip of Duffy’s “Warwick Avenue” video.
11:12 a.m. And now the cast of The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants is on. And answering questions about what member of the sisterhood would do what thing. Wait a second… I’ve seen this segment before.
11:14 a.m. I wonder if they’re going to ask which Pants girl would be most likely to date David Cross? Amber Tamblyn, this is your now!
11:15 a.m. Oh my God, this is so fucking boring. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but… more Tokio Hotel, please. Is this my first, desperate step toward fandom? Is this how it started for so many other disaffected teens?
11:17 a.m. A Denny’s ad. That does not tout the Rock Star Menu. Perhaps they realized that 11 a.m. is not really prime rock-starring time? I wonder if MTV will figure out the same thing.
11:19 a.m. No. 8 (remember, this is sort of a countdown!): Jesse McCartney’s “Leavin’.” It only ranks a 20-second, talked-over bit, alas.
11:20 a.m. Blah blah Gossip Girl girl talking about “separate journeys” and Alexis Bledel looking sorta bored while gothed-out Tokio Hotel fans in the background look utterly bored.
11:22 a.m. Alexis Bledel joins the pantheon of people on today’s program who can’t properly speak into their microphone. What is going on here?
11:25 a.m. No. 7 is David Banner, and he gets almost a minute of his song, with no talked-over bits! Also, running underneath the video is an ad for MTV’s new “buy the music you just saw” site Soundtrack. I wonder if this was MTV’s long-ago-rumored “new strategy for music” that was shoved to the side when Pete Wentz came up with the whole FNMTV thing?
11:26 a.m. More Tokio Hotel after the break! The guy who looks kind of like what Stuart from Beavis and Butt-Head would were he a real person (with longer hair) has the most shit-eating grin on his face ever.
11:29 a.m. No. 6: The Lil Wayne Robs A Bank video. (A 10-second snippet, talked over by the annoying Aussie co-host, whose teleprompter-reading skills have not really improved.
11:30 a.m. No. 5: Three 6 Mafia, who are apparently picking up Lil Wayne’s discarded lollipop and running with it, even though it’s sticky and covered in months-old dust. Wait, does this song sample the theme from Halloween?
I think it does!
11:36 a.m. No. 4: T.I.’s sad song. Talked-over, not even 10 seconds.
11:36 a.m. Santogold is the featured performer on FNMTV this week! Also, somehow Morningwood’s label got suckered into putting out another record by them, because they have a new video premiering on the show this Friday.
11:37 a.m. No. 3 is Ne-Yo’s “Closer.” He looks even more dashingly disguised on my big-screen TV!
11:38 a.m. Apparently Devendra Banhart is a “new artist.” Just so you’re aware when Grammy nominations hit.
11:39 a.m. Not even Natalie Portman’s presence can stop Devendra’s video from being relegated to the “worth maybe 45 seconds of TRL‘s time” bin.
11:42 a.m. No. 2: The Jonas Brothers! But what does this mean about the sorta-coveted No. 1 slot? Is it going to be taken over by a second Tokio Hotel video? Or is Colbie Caillat still hanging around?
11:43 a.m. Now two people from the audience are going to engage in a “pack Tokio Hotel’s suitcase” contest.
11:43 a.m. One person is just stuffing everything in, while another is being more orderly! Bill is trying to help the girl who made his face light up when she talked about the importance of the band’s lyrics to her life! Everyone’s helping and so I can’t see anything!
11:44 a.m. This is like the worst Double Dare challenge of all time. And Damian would seem to agree: He just called hosting the contest the greatest moment of his career.
11:45 a.m. Both girls won tickets to the show, meaning that the contest was 100% moot.
11:45 a.m. It’s time for M.I.A.’s sandwich-happy “Paper Planes” video, which is being called a “remix,” but the only discernible difference is the non-gunshot sounds made during the chorus.
11:46 a.m. The video got a full minute of airtime! It’s officially a huge hit!
11:47 a.m. LL Cool J is this week’s Artist Of The Week, and he’s celebrating by donning an moustache like the one Charlie’s grandfather sports in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and a Grumpy Old Men-style hat and performing “I Need Love” to old ladies. So that’s how you appeal to the kids today. Huh.
11:51 a.m. And now he is … re-enacting … Misery?
11:52 a.m. OMG TOKIO HOTEL PERFORMING LIVE!!!!
11:53 a.m. So, basically, this track–”Monsoon”–is very similar to the 23,942,034 “grunge” bands that popped up in Nirvana’s wake, only with a vocalist who ditches the whole yarling thing for a feyer sound. It’s also just plodding along, no big buildup in terms of dynamics yet.
11:54 a.m. OH WAIT HERE COMES THE RIFF-HEAVY BIT. But Bill Kaulitz’s voice isn’t really doing anything more dramatic. I’m sort of confused by the way that there’s no real over-the-top emoting in this track yet. What is it that’s making so many people freak out? The song kind of… ends, with no real freak-out vocally on his part. I really don’t get this, although I’m sure this is going to result in a bunch of Tokio Hotel fans running through the comment section and telling me that Kaulitz is still recovering from his throat surgery or that he was tired from the time change or, or, or.
11:56 a.m. And that’s it! And the No. 1 video… is by Rihanna. Who is showing me right now what some well-placed eyeliner can do on someone who has, you know, actual stage presence.
11:58 a.m. Oh no, My Super Sweet 16! I have to go.