About 30 people landed here yesterday because they Googled “Grammys suck” and that number has tripled or quadrupled today. (There’s also a huge quantity of people who want to know why Sly Stone walked offstage. That didn’t surprise me as much as him actually showing up.)
The thing is, this year sucked the least, in my opinion, and Pareles at the NY Times captured why best: because this year focused on musical performances. Not that many awards were broadcast at all. There were actual performances, whether I wanted to see Mariah or not, it wasn’t just a video for the record. There were production values. Aside from the annoying piped-in crowd noise, it was good music on tv for a change. It wasn’t even that annoying ADD-type camerawork that we are used to from anything that MTV films.
I thought Madonna was underwhelming; I wish Bruce had delivered a stronger performance; I was reminded how much I like “Vertigo” and that I was probably unnecessarily harsh on U2 earlier in this record’s release (and the only loss there was mine); Kelly Clarkson needs some serious coaching but how high are your standards, really, for the pop song category; and finally, am I the only person out there (besides Bono) who genuinely *likes* Kanye West? Did I miss that hipper-than-thou memo? I keep reading shit like “well, unfortunately, Kanye West won something” and I am trying hard to think of another Grammy spectacular that was that energetic or amusing or just enjoyable? I’ve been listening to “Golddigger” on repeat since last night.
Yes. It sucked that the New Orleans tribute wasn’t at the center of the broadcast but it was structured as finale material, and my only complaint was that they ran the credits over it. Should it have been longer and should there have been more? Maybe, but this is the Grammy broadcast. 10 minutes in prime time on a major network is a lot.
And when people are giving thank you speeches, they are thanking people, and I don’t expect them to turn it into some kind of political platform. Would I like it if they did? Sure. But I’m not going to skewer them if they didn’t, especially in the case of Green Day, who already went out on that political limb with the fucking song in the first place, or Springsteen, who continues to happily attempt to alienate the more obtuse part of his fanbase (not obtuse because they have differing opinions, obtuse because they act like they’re surprised that he feels this way). Do these artists need to stand there with a large neon sign reading “REMEMBER: THIS SONG IS POLITICAL” while they accept their award? I mean, jesus, doesn’t Bono get shit for putting his money where his mouth is and sticking his nose into political issues all over the world on a daily basis – he had to do it here, too?
Some real writing coming back to this space soon.
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