Coldplay, Gorillaz, The Black Keys And Dan Black Try To Make A VMA Breakthrough: Better Know A Category

The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards are fast approaching, which means that in only a few weeks you’ll be treated to an excellent night of performances and appearances by the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence and the Machine, B.o.B and Deadmau5 (who will serve as the house DJ at the show). While people tend to remember the classic performances and the unhinged moments, the coveted Moonman is the reason why people show up and tune in. This year, there are 16 categories wherein some of the biggest music stars in the universe will compete for the coolest trophy in awards shows. Today, we take a look at the nominees in the Breakthrough Video category.

The Breakthrough Video category is one of the more special awards given out throughout the night, as it usually gives a nod either to an artist who has been under-loved but doing amazing things or a particular director who is pushing the visual envelope. Past winners include Matt and Kim (for their naked-in-public batch of jubilation “Lessons Learned” in 2009), the White Stripes (for the Michel Gondry-kissed Lego wonderland clip “Fell in Love With a Girl” in 2002), the Prodigy (for their kinetic first-person nightmare “Smack My B—- Up” in 1998), Weezer (for their 1995 Spike Jonze-directed “Happy Days” throwback clip “Buddy Holly”) and R.E.M. (a two-time winner for “Losing My Religion” in 1991 and “Everybody Hurts” in 1994).

This year’s batch of Breakthrough Video nominees includes two former winners in Coldplay (who are nominated for their trippy “Strawberry Swing” and who won for the stunning “The Scientist” in 2003) and Gorillaz (whose visual sensibilities are on full display in “Stylo,” just as they were when they won for “Feel Good Inc.” in 2005). Joining them are two VMA newcomers in the Black Keys (“Tighten Up”) and Dan Black (“Symphonies”). While each of the nominees has the visual flair necessary to make an impression as a Breakthrough Video, it was the Black Keys’ clip that made the biggest impression (it seemed like that thing went viral immediately). Low-fi clips have won in the past (like Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You”), and this seems like one of those years where a little elbow grease triumphs over big effect-based spectacles (in this category, anyway).

The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.

Who do you think should win the VMA for Breakthrough Video? Let us know in the comments!