Oscars Awards Play A Different Tune: Shorter, More Variety, With Less Context

Let us not forget the media world still pushes for as many pieces of content as possible into a 24-hour day -- or, more typically, one TV show.

YouTube upload restrictions are around 10 minutes, Internet clips, not full-length TV shows, are still -- far and away -- the most viewed videos, and the upcoming Oscar Awards show only wants to give viewers a small taste of Oscar-nominated songs.

For Peter Gabriel, that's not enough. His song, "Down To Earth," which he co-wrote with Thomas Newman for the Disney movie "Wall-E," is being cut to fit into a medley of songs during the Oscar show. Gabriel says he isn't going to perform -- but he'll be there anyway.

One can understand the need for a complete three- to four-minute song. Truncated versions just don't offer up the right context. Typically, "American Idol" songs are usually stripped down to one-and-a-half to two-minute versions.

Interestingly, Gabriel started way back in the '70s with a group called Genesis -- bands that were part of the so-called "progressive rock" movement, where 10-minute, 15-minute and even 20-minute "songs" were still possible to write, play, and get fans interested. Gentle Giant, anyone?

Oscar producers may feel that a song of just "one" minute may be enough. But what if it were a really good song? In reality, the Oscars is just a variety show, needing to cram in celebrity sightings, short, somewhat-less-than-witty remarks, and big, heavy-metal statues.

Gabriel should take a look around.  MTV Network doesn't run music videos any longer, which means it really doesn't air full songs. MTV's one remaining pure music show, "TRL," has gone away. However, MTV surely will give us a soundtrack of music to its latest reality/celebrity thing.  

Full-length music is for the iPod -- rolling down the street by car, skateboard, or on foot.

For the Oscars, it's hard to get in the mood anyway, in the midst of crusty film directors, glam actresses, and cosmetic commercials - except maybe the obviously self-revealing song: "There's no business like show business.



4 comments about "Oscars Awards Play A Different Tune: Shorter, More Variety, With Less Context ".
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  1. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, February 16, 2009 at 9:26 a.m.

    For the 12the year in a row I will NOT be watching the Acadamy Awards Cerimony. Why? Because once again, as it has done in the past 11 years, The Motion Picture Acadamy has snubbed the Summer and Holiday Blockbusters, and has given its Nominations to a group of Obscure Films that only saw limited releases, primarily in New York City and Los Angeles, in the waning days of 2008. With noting for me to root foe, I have no reason to watch the cerimonies.

  2. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, February 16, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.

    I hate hearing things like, "Gabriel started way back in the '70s with a group called Genesis." It sounds so...prehistoric.

    I might take issue with the context reference. Sometimes, a clip is all you need. I don't need to hear 4 minutes on Idol to get whether someone can or can't sing a song. On the other hand, without seeing the movie, what does the song mean?

  3. Aaron B. from, February 16, 2009 at 3:23 p.m.

    Poor Mr. Gabriel. All he wanted was the full ninety seconds afforded to the other songs... indeed there is no justice for those in the world looking for their twenty-five seconds of song, to make a difference.

  4. Mike Spring from Voice Coaches, February 16, 2009 at 3:25 p.m.

    I think the simple fact of the matter is that most people use the song performances at the Oscars to go to the bathroom or get a snack. By condensing them, we're getting 15 minutes less on an already bloated event. I love the Oscars, don't get me wrong, but a 2-3 hour show instead of 3 1/2 hours would be fantastic!

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