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my thoughts on (some of) the grammys

February 1, 2010

Grammy AwardFirst of all, a confession: I didn’t watch all of the Grammys. I don’t have a TV at my new apartment yet so I decided to combine my workout with the telecast. I was at the gym for two hours “working out” (read: walking at incline 0, speed 3 on a treadmill).  By the time the Michael Jackson tribute performance came on I wasn’t even pretending anymore, just sitting completely still on a stationary bike with my headphones plugged into the TV. My fellow gym-mates were starting to give me puzzled looks and I was getting hungry anyway, so I had to call it quits.

Secondly, I never expect much out of the Grammys. It really is just commercial music congratulating itself on commercial success. I like commercial music as much as the next person, but the Grammys do music a general disservice by adding accolades to the biggest selling albums rather than rewarding real art. But hey, if you don’t take it seriously it can be fun to watch (more fun if you’re sitting down though).

My thoughts on what I saw: Beyonce is an absolute powerhouse of a performer and I always look forward to her numbers. Taylor Swift’s duet with Stevie Nicks was generally uncomfortable to watch and hear. Taylor couldn’t hit many of the notes in Rhiannon, and watching Stevie Nicks in all her gypsy garb and glory sing “she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers” actually caused me to physically look away. Too weird. Having listened to country legend Waylon Jennings’ landmark live album all week I found the Zac Brown Band  (“Best New Band”) pre-tty hard to swallow. The Michael Jackson tribute was well done, though I didn’t have any 3D glasses. I’m pretty sure sitting on a stationary bike at the gym with 3D glasses on would have completely blown my already thin cover.

Congratulations to Neil Young, Levon Helm, Jeff Beck, Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, Booker T. Jones, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and Bela Fleck for what I consider to be well deserved wins (although I would have liked to see Dylan’s Together Through Life come away with something, one of his best albums in years).

A complete list of Grammy winners and nominees can be found here. Read at your own discretion, I take no responsibility for resulting frustration…

musicnotes Commiserate with some real Rock & Rollers “Money Becomes King” – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

And just for you Zac Brown Band, “Bob Wills Is Still the King” from Waylon Live.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Thelma permalink
    February 1, 2010 12:46 pm

    Agreed. Rhiannon was painful on so many levels and will, without a doubt, be on the “Worst of the Grammys” DVD.
    I had 3D glasses. They didn’t work. Apparently, there are more than one kind??!
    Also, as further proof of your thesis that the Grammys are simply commercial music playing with itself: the off-hand, merely seconds long congratulations to Leonard Cohen for his Lifetime Achievement Award. A LIFETIME award is not important enough to include in the telecast itself, with perhaps a performance by the artist, apparently. And Seal’s smooth presentation, or rather announcement of it, almost made it worse. Couldn’t we have seen him perform Hallelujah or Suzanne or something? No. Needed more time for Taylor Swift’s off-key crooning. Sweet kid. But really, she’s writing for teenagers; and I’m sorry Stevie Nicks needed the money, or the attention, so much. I’m sure she’s regretting that decision this morning.

  2. Uncle Bill permalink
    February 2, 2010 11:45 am

    I cannot stand to watch the Grammy’s for the very reason you outline – it is just commercial music success thanking itself for its success. A very circular situation indeed. No, the best song live I have seen in years was the duet of Neil Young and Dave Matthews on the Haitian relief broadcast a few days ago. If you can get your hands on a copy of that video, you will have something worth keeping!

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