Who watched the Grammys?
Oh, I know where they were going with it this year. I think I know exactly what they were doing. Remember when you first learned the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, whatever the musical equivalent of that phrase is what the folks behind Grammy 2011 clearly set out to do: don’t just give the award and listen to the speeches (which, let’s face it, can get a teensy bit tedious) – rather, let’s hear lots of the artists perform so we can decide for ourselves! I thought I was pretty smart. If long. Now I know there are those who don’t like it when the awards are given away and you don’t get to see it (“Why didn’t I get to watch my favorite keyboard act come up and accept the award for Best Xylophone Record by a Group Or Duo?”) – me? I don’t care so much. For example, I’m always more interested in the alt rock stuff which never gets any attention. Save for yesterday’s shocker ending (shocking and delightful to me – but I won’t tell in case you are waiting to watch from Tivo). So let’s just look back at some highlights. Or at least, consider a few of my questions.
First up, the tribute to Aretha Franklin. Powerful stuff I think (I’ve always been a fan, anyway). But who forgot to give Florence Welch the memo explaining that in this country, it’s not about teamwork and collaboration and good sportsmanship. Did you see her good-naturedly clapping for Christina Aguilera after her number, only to realize that no one else was? Did you watch Florence smile during other gals’ numbers – not just her own (which is what the other girls did – when the spotlight was just right)? Someone needs to tell Florence that you can’t spell Grammy without “MY” and that even though it was billed as a collaborative tribute, it was, in my opinion, anything but. I like her even more today. And I liked her a lot to begin with.
Who told Muse that if they add some actual street fighting men to their number and then give those dancers bicycles for Arcade Fire it would make everyone look a lot more legit? Who thinks the usage of fire – real or projected on a screen – evokes any kind of triumph over adversity when anyone nearby is singing in sequins? Speaking of street fighting men, what was with the guys beating drums with wool ski masks on – where did the notion of actors planted to look like gunman come in? Just saying.
My favorite acts were Mumford & Son, Cee Lo and Usher. Loved them. At first I thought it was strange that they paired Mumford with the Avett Brothers (because they had vests? Because they had banjos? ) but when they put them together with Bob Dylan I thought it was cool. Gwyneth rocked, as did those Muppets. Mick Jagger was simple, straightforward and fun and I thought pretty wonderful. I even liked the awkward triumvirate of Keith Urban, John Mayer and Norah Jones singing Jolene – even though I don’t think they enjoyed singing (or even being) together one bit.
Why would they put JLo and Marc Anthony on a stage together? I know they’re married but he should know by now that she’s just going to poke away at him and make the rest of us uncomfortable. Note to JLo: Remember, believe it or not you are a huge star with many (inexplicable) fans. That said, be sure to keep at least a vague smile on your face all the time since – due your big star status — the camera’s going to come to you a lot; when you’re frowning you only confirm what we think you’re thinking when someone else is performing. Just a little smile. It will do great things.
Lady Antebellum? Big winners. They seemed genuinely surprised and grateful. I’m not knocked sideways by their music, but it’s nice that the two boys usher the gal around like gentlemen. Plus, I loved the fact that the other lady, Lady Gaga went out of her way to mention her fans more than once. I believe this is important stuff. The first thing I thought when I heard her Born This Way single was that sounds just like Express Yourself but now I believe that she must be in some kind of cahoots with Madonna because there are far too many similarities. Without anyone complaining. Nor do I care particularly, I happen to like both of them so that’s fine by me.
All in all, I enjoyed it. What did YOU think? Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of last night’s live Gammy acts is your favorite:
1) Bruno Mars
2) Lady Gaga
3) Cee Lo & Gwyneth
4) Eminem & Rihanna