The Dixie Chicks?

What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where "Not Ready To Make Nice" wins Record Of The Year?  What next, Harry Reid elected PRESIDENT?

Speaking of politics, NARAS has insured at least a decade of bashing by the Republicans as a result of the Chick trifecta.  You’d think they’d vote for something a little more right wing, or the black woman, you can’t criticize a black victory, at least not in PUBLIC!

But you take the most left-leaning act in recent memory, with an album that half the country REFUSES to listen to, and you give them ALL the awards.  Smart.

But it’s worse.  "Not Ready To Make Nice" is not a hit record.  Oh, it’s pleasant, you can tap your toe to it, but a HIT is something indelible, something you get on the first listen, something you can sing EVERY WORD of thirty years later, FORTY!  Hell, I heard "Ode To Billie Joe" on the way home from KLSX, I know more about Choctaw Ridge than anything that happened on "Take The Long Way", even though I don’t own the oldie and I’m not even sure Bobby Gentry is ALIVE!

I heard "Crazy" for the first time a block from my house.  I RAN from the garage into the house to download it.

I streamed "Not Ready To Make Nice" once on my computer, and I haven’t played it again SINCE!

Come on, even YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL was both a bigger hit and a better SONG!  At least people are playing it at weddings, most people have never HEARD "Not Ready To Make Nice".

At least "Put Your Records On" is CATCHY!

But no, we’ve got to give the award to the act with the brand name.  This would be like giving the Oscar to…"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men’s Chest".  It’s RECOGNIZABLE, it’s just not CLASSIC!

Oh, a bunch of people say "Taking The Long Way" is good.  And it did sell a ton better than many albums this year.  But the SINGLE?

Wouldn’t that be like saying the biggest and best record of 1965 was Edwin Starr’s "Agent Double-O-Soul"?

No, that "hit" was bigger than the Dixie Chicks’ song, it went to number 21!  We’ve got to find something MORE obscure.

How about Dionne Warwick’s "Are You There (With Another Girl)", which reached number 39.  You remember that one, DON’T YOU?

OF COURSE NOT!  But "Five O’Clock World", which made it to number 4, that one’s on your hit parade.  You remember, they used it on Drew Carey’s TV show.  Love that track, but was it the BEST OF THE YEAR??

Oh, maybe "The Game Of Love" by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, it went to NUMBER ONE!  But no, that was a good record, but not a classic.  We need to look at other number ones, like "Hang On Sloopy".  THAT could be Record of the Year, if it weren’t so STUPID!  "Downtown"’s a good number.  As is the song that preceded it at the top of the chart, "Eve Of Destruction".  But they’re not in the LEAGUE of "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’".  Or "My Girl".

But EVERYBODY knows the biggest record of 1965 was "Satisfaction".  You couldn’t be on the planet and not hear it.  It was UBIQUITOUS!

"Not Ready To Make Nice" is ubiquitous on the coffee tables of baby boomers who want to impress their liberal friends, fuck, it probably doesn’t even make it into the CD player.

Nor did it make it on to people’s iPods.  It wasn’t even in the iTunes TOP FIFTY!  It was number 61, yup, that’s my definition of a hit.

Oh, I know.  The public is STUPID!

No, that’s completely wrong.  People are so smart that they didn’t even bother TUNING IN this train-wreck of a television program/awards show.  They believe it’s out of touch and IRRELEVANT!

I’ll tell you how out of touch NARAS is, they gave away TWO CD CASES in the MusiCares goody bag.  Yup, you pay $1500 a ticket, and you can’t afford an iPod, you need a case to schlep your discs with you on the back of the plane.  DIDN’T ANYBODY GET THE FUCKING MEMO?

Oh, the stage had holes for the hoi polloi.  Whoa, THAT’S innovative.  I haven’t seen that since the VMAs, the better part of a DECADE AGO!

How could an organization be so OUT OF TOUCH?

You can’t let "Not Ready To Make Nice" win the Record of the Year, never mind the SONG of the year, it eviscerates your CREDIBILITY!  And all you’ve got is your credibility.  Without it, you’re Vanilla Ice.  Yup, the Grammys are now Vanilla Ice, laughable has-beens.

Oh, we know why the Dixie Chicks won.  Because nobody RECOGNIZED the rest of the nominees, they went for the name around longest, which they were FAMILIAR WITH!

I bet not even ten percent of Grammy voters know who Danger Mouse is, never mind Cee-Lo.  So, they shouldn’t have been allowed to VOTE in this category.  You don’t search for and reward excellence by turning over the decision-making reins to CHIMPANZEES!

I will say one thing though, even if "Not Ready To Make Nice" WERE a hit track, there would be nowhere to HEAR IT!  Hell, there’s no country station in Los Angeles.  The one outlet we had went Top Forty.  If only it WERE Top Forty.  But it’s not the best of the best, rather the most conservative choices derived from research, selected not to alienate the core audience, which is people who can’t afford an iPod or satellite radio.  People who listen to Top Forty are equivalent to those without CABLE!  The indigent, the ignorant.  But they rule our country.  Hell, just look at our PRESIDENT!

Well, he’s not indigent.

If only the Dixie Chicks had written an antiwar song, as good as the aforementioned "Eve Of Destruction".  But NO, it’s not about the country, but THEM!  They were put upon, it’s personal now.  BULLSHIT!

Music, when done right, is universal.  "Not Ready To Make Nice" is like a hit show on the Food Network.  Yup, let’s give the Emmy for best variety show to RACHAEL RAY!

There’s a revolution going on.  The major labels are driving headlong in the other direction, with the ass-wipes at NARAS following in their footsteps.

I mean can you take CHARGE?  Are caretakers what we really need now?  Should Kodak have just made film until it went out of business?  God, the record business, the RADIO business, is like Polaroid.  An old king heading straight for the dumper.

I don’t know if we need an awards show.  CBS certainly doesn’t need it, hell, they’d do better with a "Survivor" special.  But we do need great music, great MAINSTREAM music.  And we need somewhere to hear it, a clearinghouse where one can stop and shop and find out what’s good and hip.

Instead we’ve got a balkanized music scene.  So bogus and so impenetrable that the public has tuned out.

I remember when
I remember, I remember when I lost my mind

We want to go CRAZY!  We want to be driven CRAZY!  We want to be elated, transported, CHANGED by the sound.  Gnarls Barkley’s song did that this year.  Just hearing it changed your mood, took you away, outside of yourself.  You felt the possibilities, you were emboldened, you were ELATED!

But does NARAS recognize this?

No.

Isn’t this like standing on the mound and having no idea where home plate is?

Back in ’65, we had MANY "Crazy"s.  At least this year we had ONE!  But this particular fish could not be shot in the barrel.  God, the guys running NARAS are the same guys running the war in Iraq.  They’re CLUELESS

It’s time to clean house.

The Net is doing this to the inept labels.

But someone has to take charge at NARAS.  Hopefully, not the same people in control of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  And they must turn the ship around.  They must realize the joke of the Grammy Awards doesn’t only hurt the television show, but the ENTIRE INDUSTRY!

Music’s greatest night?

Let’s hope not.

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