The Grammies

Here we go…an annual tradition: Simul-Blogging the Grammies.  It is hard to imagine, but I am less excited about the nominees than I was last year.

U2, opening act.  Amazing to think that just 20 years ago, we were watching Bono making love to a microphone, in front of a huge LCD video screen, wearing bug eye, semi-transparent sunglasses….  What?  Oh.  U2 is starting to remind me of that guy who acts like he’s the community’s moral conscience, but neglects to pick up his socks or call his mother.  You stop asking that guy out for drinks, don’t you?  Well, Mr. Grammy always calls.

Oooh–Whitney!  WHITNEY.  Of the Houstons.  Goodness…is she…can she be…soberR&B Album.  Al Green & Raphael Sadiq should co-win.  (Strange tangent here where Clive Davis gets a round of applause.)  Jennifer Hudson?  Dressed as a napkin?  This is pitiful.  I will grant her this: she kept it professional.  I love that.  There’s no crying in baseball.

The Rock transitioning us, by making an acronym from G.R.A.M.M.Y.  And then a joke at Katy Perry’s expense, poor girl.  And a round robin of “artists to be seen here, soon.” The list turns out to be a popularity contest.

Justin Timberlake is so much less hot when he’s talking than when he dances.  Is he introing Al Green?  Goodness, please.  Ouch, his joke about the “General Store”…is…squirming…  Boys to Men, Keith Urban and Al Green are taking us “to Memphis?”  This feels just like our high school assemblies, where some “cool” teacher would get up and try to involve us in some participatory culture, and soften us up with not-cool-coolguy jokes.  Thank goodness Timberlake took the first verse.  Green’s pipes are good.  Is Keith Urban in the house band now?  Is he making amends?  Or maybe, he just wants us to Stay Together.

First commercial break.  Dawning sense of futility.

Simon Baker, the Mentalist.  Coldplay performance.  Wherein epaulets are worn.  GRUNT.  Oh, that’s Jay Z’s grunt.  Hi Jay Z.  Why did you point at Chris Martin when you rapped “Judas”?  The transition to the orchestral portion marks the moment when we realize the band has dressed like the Beatles in St. Peppers.  Matching, multi-colored, pastel colored, epaulet-bedecked double breasted army type jackets.  They do a nice four-part harmony right there at the end, though.  I just wish they hadn’t ordered the Cheesy Spot(light).

Keith Urban telling us about American icons, intros Carrie Underwood.  This song, this performance, should be treated as undeniable signs that country vocalists have moved in to take over the rock territory abandoned in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s death.  Not that she sounds Cobainy, but she’s more rock than rock radio.  Also, she’s got a huge voice and great, shiny gams.  (But what’s with all the customized mics?  Coldplay had them too.  Rockstars are insufferable, aren’t they?)  ALSO, she has a Hottt female lead guitarist and a powerful female backup vocal.  I’d never buy this album, but I can pay respect.  Hear me now: The World NEEDS more hot, female guitarists.  NOW.  HOPE.

Sheryl Crow and Leanne Rhymes.  Best Country, Group: Sugarland.  New Yorkers will appreciate that The Girl (in Sugarland) dressed as the Chrysler Building.

Second commercial break.  WAY sick of Katy Perry, already.

Duffy and Al Green present some award, but they keep singing, like the show offs they are.  Song of the Year: Coldplay.  Oh!  They cite the St. Pepper influence on their outfits by apologizing to Paul McCartney, sitting in the front row.

Kid Rock performance.  I thought he got arrested last night.  Or his stomach pumped.  They did include his mug shot on the screen, when his lyrics mention he’s “no saint.”  I wish I could understand what he was trying to tell me.  Sell me.  Tell me.  What?  Late great Billy Powell is the reason we’re now getting his cover of Sweet Home Alabama, which I am So. Sick. Of.  Come to Nashville.  It’s on the Set List From Hell down at the Honky Tonks.  Oh, it’s a medley.  Third song…is…well, there’s a wa wa, I know that.  Goodness, is it “Rock and Roll Jesus?”  Yeesh.

Third commercial break.

Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus performing together for the first time.  Get it?  First time. Song = “Fifteen.”  Heh.  Old Grammy dudes are gross.  I don’t want to break up this NSFW moment, but Taylor’s guitar is beautiful.  What is that made of?  Goodness.  Then they INTRO AN AWARD.  Ok, these girls are impressive.  That isn’t easy.  Pop Collaboration with Vocals:Robert Plant and Allison Kraus. Did I tell you I had dinner with them in Nashville?  Yep.  They were sitting at the table next to us.  There was a kerfuffle over the restaurant’s liquor, no beer, licence.

Jennifer Hudson performance.  Immediate reference to death, afterlife, rebirth thanx 2 Cheezetastic lighting engineer.  A Capella intro verse.  I’m really sorry about her terrible family tragedy and if I have suggested otherwise, I’m sorry.  It’s just that I come from New England, where we experience our private lives as shameful.    Even if I don’t like her performance, she’s acting like a pro, again.  Although I think 50 is a reasonable limit to the number of be-gowned, gospel backup singers one should be allowed, and she overshot that mark by like, 50.

Fourth commercial.  More heart medicine adverts, if we’re lucky.  Or loose bowel syndrome.  UGH Katy Perry.  UGHUGH.

Jason Mraz and some CSI Miami actress introing the Jonas Bros. performance with more Stevie Wonder.  I worry about those Joans Brothers.  They’re so NKOTB, for me.  And you know what that means: underwear advertisements in Times Square, lots of bad cop parts on television, ending in a fictional serialization of your rise to fame.  Btw, Stevie is WORKING.  He was all “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” a few weeks ago, he did a kick ass feat./ on the Raphael Sadiq album, and now the Grammys.  I hope he knows you can’t take it with you.  I now actively dislike the Jonas Bros., because they won’t get off my teevee and they’re hovering around Stevie like bad aftershave.

Blink 182 announcing they’re re-joining as a band.  Best Rock Album: Coldplay. I actually had no idea the Coldplay album was so well-loved, this year.  They compare themselves to limestone, in degrees of “rock hardness.”  And then as Chris Martin admits he’s tearing up, he says thanks, and exits off the front of the stage, back to his seat.  Surely, he knows about the obligatory post-award interview and snoozle in the loo…?

Fifth commercial break.  Ho, hum.

Craig Latelateshow.  Is he also the doctor on House?  Introing….Fuck.  Katy Perry.  I don’t understand her freak show banana space ship, fruit-themed, Clockwork Orange, pre-taped, bounciness.  The girl can’t wear heels to this party?  Her major dance step is walking.  Sometimes skipping.  Did she learn this routine last night?  Wow.  That sucked as much as I hoped it would.

Kanye West, save us from this mediocrity.  Another custom mic.  Sheet.  Did you notice he’s rocking the George Benson fro?  I like this “American Boy.”  It is one of about 4 singles I bought this year.  It is genius production, IMHO.  Best new artist: Adele. I keep not caring about her album.

Sixth commercial break.  Rising sense that I might survive this, given an act of God, or two.

By the way, I’m really glad that Katy Perry thing is over.  Now I just have to forget it ever happened.

Now, Morgan Freeman.  What’s a good man like you doing at a party like this?  Introing “my friend” Kenny Chesney.  …And the cheez lite man is at it again.  Single spot.  Center stage.  Cowboy hat.  Weathered man.  Jeans.  I seriously don’t deserve this.  The string section, especially.  If only I could have some candles.  But manly candles.  Masculine candles.

Herbie Hancock, Natalie Cole, and P Diddy Combs B. Puffster.  Record of the Year: Allison Kraus and …I can’t even finish. Really.  I can’t write that.  I can’t write that M.I.A. lost the Grammy to these people.  I can’t.  I wish they would STFU.  STFU Plant.  STFUSTUFUFSTUSPLSIMSLDKMFS:LKGNSDF:LKMSDF.!!!@@

Break.  Break.  Break.

I spent the break wondering if people take their ballots seriously, or if they just figure out a way to attach a pen to their dog’s paw.

Queen Latifah acknowledges Dean Martin and intros Swagga Like Us with Rap Pack.  M.I.A. totes preggers like craaaazy.  She is SO HOT.  TAKE THAT PATRIARCHY.  Craaazy.  Here’s Kayne.  And T.I.  Lil’ Wayne.  And Jay Z.  CRAP.  MY HEAD IS EXPLODING.  HAPPY, HAPPY HAPPY MAD HAPPY.  By the way, THIS IS THE MUSIC THAT DESERVES AWARDS.  Crap.  (I don’t know why they switched from black and white to color, no.)

AIIIIIIIIIGGGHTTIIIIII!!

Thank you, Jesus.  I know that was for me.

Classy how this next intro lady pulls up her strapless dress in front of a global audience.  She couldn’t use double sticky tape? I don’t know her.  She’s a brunette.  You can look her up.  Mr. Google.  Dave Grohl and Sir Paul McCartney, whose stock is rising with each bandmate he buries.  Sorry, that’s crass.  But so is this performance of “Saw Her Standing There.”  Grohl is working on being the Prince of his generation.  You know, the dude who plays all the instruments.  He’s on drums.  Looking like Cousin It.  Right to the left of the stuffed animal on top of the speaker…I think it is a wolf?  A dog?

Break Numero Seven.

Jack Black and Charlie Hayden.  Hayden is Jack Black’s father in law.  Who knew?  Hank Jones gets his h/t from the Grammy’s.  Best Male Pop Vocal: John Mayer, “Say”.  His suit is all jacked up.  And he’s talking too fast. I could barely formulate the thought that his suit looked like it had eyes before he was done.

L.L. Cool J.  and that Jay dude from the teevee.  Jeez.  I was screaming for “Farmer’s Blvd.”  No one knows LL anymore?  Sugarland and Adele playing together.  While this awful thing is happening, it gives us some time to talk about what we want from our lives.  Seriously.  Now, research on education has shown powerful evidence that Lil’ Johnny does better when the material pushes him a little further, a little faster than he might go.  High expectations from others promote excellence.  So, let’s have higher expectations of our music.  Let’s boycott any music that asks us to fly, or uses any metaphor for flight.  Let’s refuse to buy music that informs us the best response to heartbreak is to manipulate our lovers until they return, only to leave us once more.  Let’s just put our foots down.  Let’s all say, No.  No, I won’t.  I don’t.  I can’t.  I want more.  More.  Hope.

Good, that’s over.  It sounded awfully maudlin.  Uh, oh.  Adele now.  Cellos?  Ok, back to us:

[…]  (that’s where you tell me your aspirations for music, this year.}

Eight is great.

Gweneth Paltrow intros “15 Step”, Radiohead with a college marching band.  Dude is looking a little haggard, no?  A little Charles Bukowski?

Nine.  Break Nine.

I think the Grammy organizers should consider a theme for next year’s awards ceremony.  Like, “pregnancy.”  That could be a theme.   Or, “grapes.”  That’s another good theme.

Samuel L. Jackson, who gets Shaft as intro music.  T.I. and Justin Timberlake perform.  The whole T. I. situation is really shameful.  Dude is working to support his family while he’s in lock up.  That’s sad, bro.  In the break, they’re using Timberlake in a spoken voice, and a bunch of bucket players, which I dig, right up until the squeely rock guitar screeeeeches on top.  And the outro with the string section and T.I.’s heartfelt “Road to Redemption” wish.  Blech.

Oh, good, the President of the Recording Academy.  Who claims Obama is “one of us”, an artist…but dude is complicit in DEFUNDING THE ARTS.  Now he’s calling for a Secretary of the Arts.  Huh.  That’s pretty amazing, actually.  Huh.

Smokey Robinson.  Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo are filling in for dead members of the Four Tops so they can do a medley.  Meh.  Tired.

Tenth commercial break.

Josh Groban intros Neil Diamond.  I love Neil Diamond, but I am totes grossed out by his see-through, lacy oxford shirt and sparkly suit.  Yech.  I do love that we all know the “response” in the chorus of “Sweet Caroline.”  That’s the good stuff, right there.

Now the dead people montage.

..Into B.B. King, John Mayer, Keith Urban doing Bo Diddley.  It makes me feel like I’m the dead people.

Eleventeenth commercial break.

Gary Sinese intro Tribute to New Orleans feat. Lil. Wayne and Allen Toussant, and Robin Thicke.  This song hits all my gooey parts.  I love Robin Thicke and Lil’ Wayne, I love social justice and music about it, and the back beat, and the groove.  {Licks the screen.} Allen Toussant plays second act, Dirty Dozen Brass Band enter, dancer, and Terrance Blanchard on trumpet.

Will.i.Am and T Pain. Best Rap Album: Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III. And his whole freakin family is on stage?  Simple thanks.  Huh.

Twelfth commercial break.  Highlight: Taylor Swift in Nashville Predator’s commercial.

Special Honors list.  Zoey Deschenel intros T Bone Burnett, Robert Plant and Allison Krause who will no doubt fail to convince me that they earned those Grammys. Is this song from a David Lynch soundtrack?  Think now–really?   Okay, I relent.  I’m a little taken with them.  But I still insist they are not as relevant, not as good, as several of their competitors, tonight.

Also, I’m kind of crushing on T-Bone.

Green Day: Producer of the Year: Rick Rubin. Album of the Year: Robert PLant and Allison Kraus, Raising Sand. I can just imagine what Music Row will look like in the morning.  Madness, I tell you.  Meeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhh.  Meh.  Meh.

Stevie Wonder is playing us out.  Hardest working man in show business.

Wrapping up:

These were seriously the worst three and a half hours of television to which I ever remember being subjected.  Even the good stuff sucked just a little bit, from its connection to that raw, raw sewage. I am going to spend the next several months threatening to never do this again.  I will go so far as to threaten to cut out my own eyes, to remove the temptation.  The Grammys need an intervention.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “The Grammies

  1. I’m late. Did I miss Radiohead?

  2. What are the chances that Duffy’s head is filled with helium?

  3. “New country is bad rock with a fiddle” Tom Petty (approx.)… somehow, that came to my mind when I watched Carrie Underwood with the sound off… actually, I’m watching this whole thing with the sound off.

    Am I the only one who thinks that Coldplay is pretentious in looks and lyrics?

    Katy Perry… reminds me of a hilarious SNL skit… lemme see if I can find it.

  4. Who are these kids with whom Stevie Wonder is wasting his good name?

  5. mwparker2

    I feel so bad for Stevie Wonder right now.

  6. Oh, the Jonas brothers jamming not next to, but at Stevie, is making me sad. Oh, now he’s jonesing Stevie Wonder’d mike. ugh.

  7. It’s painful to watch even with the sound off. IT’s creepy actually.

  8. Jenn Lena

    That’s it. Jonas Brothers are done. Stevie should have some kind of Funk Wonderland Musicquarium Police Force.

  9. Whoo Hoo… Katy Perry… *switches back to House at the speed of light*

  10. mwparker2

    oh, i get it, she’s a pin-up girl from the fruit farm promo calendar. miss july?

  11. I’m no Nostradamus, but I’ma guess that Katy kisses a girl by the end of this song. So edgy.

  12. Jenn Lena

    Did I lose you all at Katy Perry? Dubes.

  13. OMG Neil Diamond?? Is “Sweet Caroline” the only song he ever sang,… seems that way to me.

  14. I took a workout break, I figured it’d be less painful than this… I was right.

  15. Geez, not even a little special moment for Miriam Makeba?? 😦

  16. Jenn Lena

    I also was pissed they didn’t give her a special minute…they didn’t even give her a solo screen shot–she shared with Odetta and someone else. She didn’t get a vocal sample, either. Bastards.

  17. shrinkingisaac

    i agree w/ you on Katy Perry, but feel the same about Duffy. can we send them to the same new “Survivor” island, only not turn on the cameras?
    when Queen Latifah said “mommy-to-be” about MIA, did she mean any minute?
    didn’t Grohl start out as a drummer?
    man, so many Neil Diamond songs would have been a better choice than that one.
    here in NYC, we get at least one commercial for the Sully celebration tomorrow in each break. necessary?
    who’s that with B.B., Mayer and Urban?

  18. shrinkingisaac

    you answered the last one. figured i’d be embarrassed to have asked once i got an answer…this is when i’m glad to be pseudonymous-ish.

  19. mwparker2

    i feel asleep for a while, or at least it felt like it. but i do like t.pain’s hat?

  20. mwparker2

    also are you getting this weird will.i.am = my generation’s bob dylan commercial?

  21. Jenn Lena

    I remember the dudes at Dead shows who sold laughing gas used to wear those hats, Mark.

    Yes, Katy Perry and Duffy can share the same island, as long as NO ONE TAPES IT. If there was video, I’d have to watch it. And that would be very, very bad.

    M.I.A.’s due date was today. She is hard core.

  22. Jenn Lena

    And why are my commercials so especially sucky? I’m getting heart meds and fast food.

  23. I’m glad Coldplay didn’t get album of the year! HA!

  24. shrinkingisaac

    that should have been In Rainbows.

  25. shrinkingisaac

    oh, and that is NOT what i thought T-Bone Burnett would look like either.

  26. mwparker2

    re: the commercial, it was a super bowl ad too apparently. if you really want to see it, its here:

    http://stereogum.com/archives/video/bob-dylan-and-william-are-pepsi-pals_049541.html

  27. Me neither, Shrinkingisaac.

  28. So, are we going back to bitching about the stimulus now? 😉

    Thanks for hosting, Jenn.

  29. sorry, at some point, I flipped over to watch XIII. then I turned off the TV in shame.

  30. mike

    This is destination blogging. I heart you.

  31. Jenn Lena

    I woke this morning with dread that my simul-blogging was worse than the show. I say we use this as a new benchmark, for drek.

  32. As I said to Husband, the Grammies made it easy to go to bed on time last night. This morning as we rolled through the tape to the Radiohead song, I think Kid was taken with the idea of being one of those “big kids” in the marching band someday.

  33. Outstanding live blog. “I don’t deserve this”…I’m still laughing.

    I liked U2, Grohl’s drumming with the kid-on-Xmas-morn look on his face, and MIA + Rap Pack, though I thought they stepped on each other too much. And the rest of it…yeesh.

    I wish they would please please stop pairing hack white artists with outstanding black artists. BB & Buddy together would have been very cool. BB & Buddy with Urban and Mayer (serving all your business law needs) was unfortunate, as was Stevie & the fookin’ Jonas Brothers.

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