Greetings, music fans! I’m here to serve you with real-time commentary on the 54th Grammy Awards. I’m watching shortly tape-delayed, so that we can fast-forward through the commercials. Lisa is on the remote, and as my loyal readers know, she won’t hesitate to bang the gong if an act is awful. Here we go…watch out for snark, and refresh the page frequently for updates.
9:00pm: The show opens with Bruce Springsteen singing some sort of song about America and “taking care of our own”. Coincidentally, just earlier today Lisa and I were listening to the “Woodstock” channel on Pandora, and I found myself thinking that in the 60′s and 70′s musicians were on the edge of social commentary, but are no longer? Who is the Bob Dylan, CNS&Y, Buffalo Springfield, etc. of today?
9:05pm: LL Cool J is the host this year. That’s sort of interesting. Not a conventional choice, and to be honest, I like it.
9:06pm: LL says a prayer for Whitney Houston. She was a star, and it’s a shame that she was so messed up. How does that happen? All the talent, all the success, all the gifts. It’s sad.
9:09pm: Bruno Mars the next act up. Reminds me of Janelle Monae, but she’s edgier. I like Janelle…she reminds me of Bowie. Anyhow, Bruno Mars is giving an okay performance…sort of an updated James Brown, but James Brown was better. In fact, they should have just ended this entire genre of music with James Brown. It began and stopped with The Godfather.
9:10: Going into commercial, they promo Rhianna, Coldplay, Taylor Swift, FooFighters and Nikki Manaj for performances. Aren’t these acts sort of stale?
9:11: Back from break, we have Bonnie Raitt and Alecia Keys singing an Etta James duet. Now, here are two women with real talent. Seriously. I bet they both put on fantastic shows. I think the song they’re singing is called “Sunday Kind of Love” and boy, oh, boy…can they both sing!
9:12: Best solo performance: Adele. Lady Gaga. Bruno Mars. Katy Perry. Pink. Adele looks great, Lady Gaga is weird. Bruno is full of himself, or at least putting that act on. And, Adele wins. I was wrong about her a few years ago…she’s fantastic. She was in Seattle earlier this year…it was the hottest ticket in town. Typically, tickets can be had. For Adele, they could not.
9:14: Chris Brown. Didn’t he beat up Rhianna a few years ago? I ask Lisa what’s up with that because she reads People magazine, so I figured she’d know. She says this is a big deal because it’s his first time back to the Grammy’s since the incident…which was the night of the Grammy’s. Well, that must have been an interesting backstage reunion. Anyhow, the song is so-so, but dang, Chris Brown can dance. I didn’t know he was such a dancer, and comment to Lisa that he’s the best dancer I’ve seen since Michael Jackson. ”That’s what everybody says,” Lisa responds plainly.
9:19pm: Jay-Z and Kanye win a Grammy and neither are in attendance. But, then the camera flashes Blake whoever and Miranda Lambert. They are everywhere these days! Superbowl, The Voice and now the Grammy’s. Reba (do I need to say her last name?) introduces some guy and Kelly Clarkston…hey, she was at the Superbowl too!
9:24: The guy Kelly is singing with is wearing a cowboy hat and a suit. Lisa says she doesn’t get the cowboy hat thing. I don’t either. I mean, I get it if you’re outdoors somewhere, but with the suit?? You can’t explain that. Regardless, Kelly and The Guy With the Suit and the Hat belt out their song, and aren’t bad.
9:26pm: Now, Jack Black is doing some sort of intro, and I’m scheduled to see Tenacious D for the first time this spring. I don’t know how I feel about that. On the one hand, you could say Jack Black is a tremendous talent. On the other hand, you could say he’s an obnoxious ass. I would be interested in meeting him in person to see what he’s really like. Does anybody know?
9:28pm: Oh, Jack Black is introducing the Foo Fighters. Lisa comments that Dave Grohl has the magic touch: Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. As my people say, if it had only been Nirvana, dayenu! But, then to add a decade of Foo Fighters to the resume. I don’t really like the Foo Fighters all that much, but I must give the man his props.
9:31pm: We’re 30 minutes into the show and Lisa hasn’t fast-forwarded through a single act yet. As I write that, Rhianna and Coldplay are introduced. I’d put them at risk. As you know, I don’t think Coldplay is the best band in the world, but there is no other band that makes a sound like they do. When you hear a Coldplay song you know it.
9:33: So far, it’s only Rhianna…big production, lots of dancers and lights, but a song that doesn’t move me. I ask Lisa, “why do you think Rhianna is so popular?” ”I really have no clue,” she says, “I know when she was touring her show’s weren’t selling out. I really don’t understand it.” Me either.
9:35: Oh, here’s Coldplay. Chris Martin on guitar, and here comes Rhianna along singing with him. Lisa comments that Rhianna’s shorts are really unattractive. I say, “even worse than belly chains?” Dang…Rhinna is getting harshed on by us tonight, I’m sorry.
9:38pm: I watch, I’d say on average, three hours of TV per week, and I’ve personally seen Coldplay perform this song at least three times previously on TV. The one with the chorus that says, “paradise,” repeatedly. Coldplay is obviously promoting their new album, and what this makes me think is that the marketing machine of the major music labels must be exhausting for these bands. I wonder if they enjoy it, or if they feel like indentured servants.
9:41pm: To be fair, when we saw Coldplay on the Colbert Report, Chris Martin was interviewed and he seemed like a super nice guy. So, I don’t mean to be raggin’ on Coldplay.
9:42: Best Rock Performance. First nominee? Coldplay. Duh. The Grammys always have a habit of giving the award to the act that just previously performed.
9:43: Oh, snap. The Grammy goes to the Foo Fighters, who performed, like, 10 minutes ago. That being said, these were some pretty standup bands: in addition to Foo Fighters and Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, The Decemberists and Radiohead were all nominated. I’d go to that show, in a heartbeat.
9:46pm: Uh-oh. Ryan Secrest is introducing a Beach Boys celebration and, I believe, reunion. I have a feeling this is not going to end well.
9:47: The first act in the Beach Boys celebration is Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Now, I have two thoughts on Adam. First, like Kelly and Blake, he’s everywhere. Second, I like his song Moves Like Jagger because it is an awesome tribute to an often overlooked phenomena: Mick Jagger and his moves are amazing!
9:49pm. Foster the People is the second act in the Beach Boys celebration, and Lisa comment that they look really nervous. I would bet this is absolutely the biggest show they’ve ever played by a country mile.
9:51pm. So far, nothing embarrassing, but here come the Beach Boys. Do they still have the magic? Or, will will this look like open mic night at the old folks home?
9:55pm. We go to commercial and it’s worth noting that Lisa still hasn’t fast-forwarded through an act yet. This has got to be a record! I’m not going to say anything though because I don’t want to jinx her no-hitter.
9:56pm. Stevie Wonder…woooooooo!!!!!!!…introduces Sir Paul. All I’m going to say is that I wonder what John Lennon would be like today. Because, I regret to say, that Sir Paul doesn’t do much for me. On the other hand, Lisa says of his act, “that was beautiful. It was such a sweet song.”
10:02pm. Holy smokes! El Debarge was just nominated for a Grammy. I didn’t know that guy was still around! What was that hit he had back in the day?
10:03pm. Funniest moment of the show. The next act, a duo that I don’t know, starts by saying, “I want to thank all of our opening acts this evening, especially the young man from Liverpool”.
10:04pm. ”These guys are good,” Lisa says, and actually rewinds to find out the name of their duo. Holy crap. It’s like “Bizarro Lisa on the Remote”…we’re going backwards! (The duo was The Civil Wars.)
10:o5pm. The sweet and cute Taylor Swift is on. ”All her songs sound the same,” Lisa says. ”That’s because it’s the same song,” I reply. Seriously, I think I’ve seen this exact award show production before. Anyhow, here’s the real thing I wonder…what happens to her career when she’s busted for doing coke and the sex tape comes out? I mean, you know it’s gonna happen, right?
10:10pm. Taylor gets an standing O and drops her jaw in amazement. ”Is this an act, or is she still really in awe of the fact that she got a standing ovation?” asks Lisa. I think it’s an act.
10:11pm. Neil Patrick Harris is presenting something. Dooooood! That guy has an amazing manager. He’s gone from Doogie to an A-List brand seemingly out of nowhere. Seriously, who has a better brand that NPH?
10:15pm. Now performing: the artist known as “does anybody give a f*#k about Katy Perry?” This might be the act that breaks Lisa’s streak except for I bet she feels bad about the whole Russell Brand thing. ”Lisa, what do you think of the whole Russell Brand thing?” I ask. “I don’t feel that much about it,” she says, which pretty much is how I feel about Katy Perry entirely.
10:17pm. ”And, the other thing I would say is that the thought of sleeping with Russell Brand is literally repulsive to me,” Lisa says, which is pretty much how I feel about Katy Perry.
10:22pm. The act everybody has been waiting for: Adele, Rollin’ in the Deep. First, I notice that she doesn’t change costume. I like that. Second, she looks bored. I mean, seriously, how many times do you think she has performed this song in the last year? Easily 100. Probably 200. With rehearsals and such I bet it’s not unreasonable that she’s sung this song 500 times in the last year. Yeah, I’d be bored too. That being said, I’ve been wrong about Adele before…for all I know, this is the most exciting performance of her life!
10:31pm. Okay, folks, I must report honestly: fatigue is starting to set in and we’re only half-way through the show, and I still have to take the garbage out and walk the dog. For the first time, I’m starting to feel my street cred in question. I might not be able to make the duration. Maybe next year I should catch the East Coast feed, so that I can be warmly in my bed by 8:30pm.
10:37pm. ”Who’s this guy?” I ask. ”Glen Campbell? You’ve never heard of Glen Campbell?” Lisa says. Suddenly I’m feeling a little sheepish.
10:38pm. The Band Perry is playing as part of the Glen Campbell tribute, and here’s a question: if the brothers didn’t have a hot sister, would they have made it this far?
10:47: On Carrie Underwood, “Let’s just look at her, Scott. You’re writing all this stuff and you’re not going say anything about this? I know it’s mean, but just look at her eyelashes. She looks a kewpie doll!”
10:49: Carrie introduces Tony Bennett. Tony is my favorite. At our wedding, Lisa and I danced our first dance to one of his songs. He was in Seattle a few months ago and I’m really bummed that I missed it. I’m going to go find out his tour dates right now because he doesn’t have a lot of time left.
10:52: Oh, this is a cruel joke. He’s playing in southern Oregon next week, just a 5 hour drive from my house, and I can’t go!!
11:00pm: Nice tribute to Run-DMC, Chris Brown. Well done.
11:01: Honestly, I don’t get why David Guetta is so famous. Can you explain?
11:03pm: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new record: 2 hours and 3 minutes into the show, Lisa asks me, “do you want watch this?” and we proceed to fast-forward through the Foo Fighters and into Deadmau5.
11:05pm: Nikki Minaj. WTF is this? Is this noise what the kids are listening to these days? I’m feeling old.
11:13pm: My friends, the lights are dimming…we’re in real-time suffering through commercials and lé tired. I’ll keep you posted, but we’re getting to the end of the line.
11:24pm: Okay, we might have just rounded third-base and be headed home: Sir Paul is leading a medley of Beatles tunes, starting with Golden Slumbers which is a fabulous song. This could be a nice way to finish the show, but it wouldn’t be a nice way to end this diary because I’m committed to concluding on a negative note, so let me say this: we don’t don’t have anybody younger than 60 who can close out the show?! You’re telling me the last 40 years has not produced a single talent more worthy than Sir Paul?! I mean, I love these songs, but I have to say this conclusion sort of wraps up what was a somewhat uninspiring Grammy’s performance. Here’s to looking forward to next year!!
Post Script: 11:29pm: Actually, this is sort of cool. Sir Paul is actually jamming with about 6 other guitarists. I don’t know them all, but Dave Grohl and Bruce are in there…and they are playing music! So many of these “artists” don’t actually play music, so I must say that was actually a fantastic ending!