The Grammys

On to the Super Bowl!

That’s the shelf life of an ersatz awards show these days. The fawning press, part of the sell-out gravy train, casts no critical eye, the public tweets its snarkiness, and by breakfast we’re done with the Pop Tart and on to something new.

Blame Neil Portnow. Blame Ken Ehrlich.

But don’t blame anybody as much as the acts.

The youngsters have watched too much TV and believe it’s all about production.

The oldsters are thrilled just to get some airtime, extending their moment in the sun just a little bit further, making the geriatrics aware of their existence, possibly motivating them to come out in their wheelchairs for one more show.

Speaking of the show…

Will someone tell Beyonce that song is not a hit?

And while they’re at it, tell Keith Urban too.

If you’re gonna get all that exposure, just play what people want to hear. To try and promote your new track is too shortsighted. You’ve got to remind people why they care in the first place.

Kind of like McCartney. He did a decent take of a mediocre cut from his already gone album. Huh? I can understand being burned out on the Beatles classics, but couldn’t you at least do some Wings? Or “Say Say Say” with Stevie Wonder playing Michael Jackson’s part?

And why can no one perform solo anymore? Did I miss the memo and are duets de rigueur? Then again, every cut has multiple writers and a rapper to spice it up.

But really. This train-wreck/mash-up paradigm has gotten out of control.

Although it was funny to see how far Robin Thicke has fallen. From the song of the summer to being upstaged by Miley Cyrus to becoming the foil for Chicago. What’s next, dinner theatre?

And speaking of venues… When is Pink gonna join Cirque du Soleil? Her acrobatics have nothing to do with music. And now she’s even defying gravity ON stage. And didn’t she do this circus act at the Grammys once before?

Oh, where do we start.

With Beyonce and Jay Z.

She already had her moment at the Super Bowl. It’d be like Prince doing halftime once again. We’ve seen the act, we’re not gonna be wowed again.

And don’t you hate it when royalty feels entitled?

Well, not as much as you laugh when Taylor Swift mouths every lyric and geekily dances in the front row when everybody behind her is sitting down.

And Katy Perry… Are you really that insecure? That you need so many trappings? Just get out and SING! And while you’re at it, sing your hit, the one you were nominated for, “Roar.” Nobody cares about your substandard second single.

And did you see Les Moonves’s face in the crowd? This is the one percent in action. You’re not a star Les, the fact that we’re exposed to your punim demonstrates everything that’s wrong with America. Do I get airtime at the CBS stock show?

Let me even try and remember who else…

Hunter Hayes. A whole lot of nothing. And to think he got airtime when people were still awake.

Oh, now I get it, you think I can’t stop complaining.

I will say that I loved hearing “Okie From Muskogee.” Those ancient country crooners didn’t need no damn production.

Nor did Daft Punk. “Get Lucky” was the highlight of the evening. Not because the performance was so good, but because we were all caught up in the joy of the track, reminding ourselves of the power of music to take us away. Hell, just to hear Nile Rodgers play that chunky riff for minutes was enough. They do call it music, you know.

And Madonna… Did you hurt yourself skiing? Why the cane? That’s right, you can’t avoid the spotlight, and the Grammys can’t say no.

As for Macklemore… A stunningly good rendition of a song the kids know but didn’t see because they were already asleep.

And Trent’s pissed that they cut him off, but really, did anybody in attendance, never mind those at home, want to see a bombastic melange of NIN/QOTSA/FOOS?


It works live for those who care.

But we were watching on TV and most don’t, care that is.

Kind of like Imagine Dragons with Kendrick Lamar. I’m watching the flat screen knowing this kind of spectacle wows live, but at home it looked like a bad birthday party.

As for the awards themselves…

How great is it that “Get Lucky” won? This ain’t no Steely Dan, no Herbie Hancock, the Daft Punk song was one of the biggest of the year, I’m happy.

As for the album…

Has anybody heard it? I played it a bunch. You don’t need to. Most people did not. The Grammys keep rewarding albums no one listens to, it’s a singles world.

And “Royals.”  Last time I checked “Song of the Year” was about the underlying composition, which theoretically could be performed by anybody. But “Royals” is nothing so much as a record.

Will we hear from Lorde again? Probably before Macklemore!

And speaking of the Best New Artist… That was a closed category, Lorde had it sewn up. But I guess they’ll have to tweak the category once again, to ensure the right people are nominated.

And I give Kacey Musgraves props. I was right, I said she had a good chance of winning! Probably because the rest of the nominees canceled each other out. But her performance paled in comparison to the one by the Civil Wars a few years back. It just wasn’t…magical.

And there you have it. That’s what the show lacked. Magic.

It wasn’t that it was bad.

Oh, it started off really bad. But then it righted itself and wobbled to the end, but there wasn’t one single memorable moment. At least this is something that MTV has right.

And there are too many categories. And the desperation is palpable. And it’s clear that music doesn’t live on TV, but at the club, in your house and on the radio in your car. The youngsters demonstrate they ain’t got it live and the oldsters show us they haven’t written a good song in eons. And we don’t even get to comment because unlike the burgeoning Golden Globes, CBS refuses to simulcast the Grammys at the same time in every time zone. So I already knew who won when I tuned in.

We live in an all inclusive world, and they left us out.

What can I say about a show that was trumped by a Pepsi commercial?

That advertisers know it’s about creativity and excellence, and you never fumble your big opportunity.

Musical artists and Grammy executives?

They shoot for the middle.

And the middle is nowhere.

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