Grammys 2011 Redux
As someone who likes music and likes writing about music, I look forward to all music awards shows. Thankfully, in recent years, they have near done away with the hosting segments, and even reduced the actual awards handed out (most of which are presented earlier than the live broadcasts begin) to focus on the two most important things: what the stars are wearing and LIVE MUSIC. I watch to see how my favorite acts perform under pressure on that big live televised stage, and to see what all the fuss about new acts is. I will never forget coming across Sugarland for the first time because they were playing an awards show live: Jennifer Nettles made my jaw drop.
The ACMs and the CMAs are awesome, naturally, but the Granddaddy of music awards shows is the Grammys. I won’t pretend to have a clue how some things win Grammys and other equally worthy things don’t even get nominated: it is inherently opaque and unfair. This means nowt when it comes to marketing, however. Arcade Fire? Who? Why has Joe Bonamassa, the guitar genius who has had seven Number One blues albums never gotten a nod? Inexplicable.
That all being said: he is the Inky Jukebox’s run-down of the 2011 Grammys:
Christina Aguilera, what hast become of thee? Lay off the cake, while you’re at it. Divorce is no excuse! Take a lesson from Jen-Hud: nothing tastes as good as thin feels! Martina McBride: reaching for the power note…among the power note divas (NOT Florence)…not so good. Oversinging’s not your thing, girlfriend. In any case, the message was clear: let’s honor Aretha while we still can. You know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.
Train. “Soul Sister.” Really? Are you kidding me?
I wonder how funny Madonna thinks Lady Gaga is? Anyone? Anyone? And what way, exactly, was Whitney Houston born? Am still puzzled.
Miranda Lambert, I love you. Regular Inky Jukebox readers will know that I have made it my personal mission to get this girl a stylist worth her salt (or paying actual cash money to), and tonight’s fashion debacle was no exception. Miranda: a girl with some meat on her bones should never ever wear a strapless knee-length shiny bin-liner. More to the point (because that was an easy target, let’s face it): what in the name of all that is sacred was up with the hair????? Center parted dirty blonde fluff? Last time I looked it was not 1973. You are beautiful and are engaged to one of the hottest men in all of music: HIRE SOMEONE. (I’m available.)
Nice to see Eminem back in such fine form. A lean and mean performance and grace on the stage when he won struck just the right note. Am still suffering a brain freeze from picturing him sending Elton John and David Furnish diamond-encrusted cock rings as a wedding present. And now you are too.
A lot of country music blog respondents didn’t understand where Cee-Lo was coming from with the whole Muppet bit. They have clearly never seen Cee-Lo perform before: a pop-culture themed costume is his trademark. To wit: the brilliant Star Wars and Flight Attendant performances of “Crazy.” Gwyneth Paltrow was a surprise: that she appeared at all, never mind that she held her own. The skin-tight black bodysuit was awesome and I want one. The cheesy but understandable replacement of the word-that-shall-not-be-mentioned with “Forget” was…sorta lame-o, but they pulled it off. He was ROBBED of Song of the Year. RUBBED, I tell you!
The extra-long folk section introduced us to two bands who were basically the same band, the lead singer of one of which looked like Caleb Followhill. Just sayin’. Bob Dylan looked lost and bemused at first, but that’s OK because as soon as he opened his mouth, we all were. Growly much ? Gargle dude!
Speaking of which, the KOL boys looked thrilled to stand defunctly next to Miley Cyrus as she introduced somethingorother.
Biggest awkward moment of the night: Keith Urban ad-libbing to a seedy-looking John Mayer that the “Daughters” he just mentioned weren’t literally his daughters. Glad you had finished your performance boys, because it looked like fisticuffs were going to break out. Who knew John Mayer has a Glare of Death? (OK maybe a few people.)
Will someone please swap Mick Jagger’s bowl of Cracklin’ Cocaine Flakes for something a little less metabolically juiced? A man that old having that much energy and being that thin is unnatural. The whole thing was highly indulgent, and lacking in actual lyrics. Sure, it was a Solomon Burke tribute, but why? why? It looked like an excuse for Mick to leap around and clap his hands. It made NARAS look like they were bending over.
Why was Lady Antebellum, one of the night’s leading nominees in the major categories, only allowed to song a short medley of two of their hit songs? No-one else had to. Maybe it was a way of introducing them to a larger audience accustomed to hearing snippets in iTunes before buying a track. On a positive note, Dramamine-soaked Hilary Scott looked superhot with her new bangs. (Miranda: take note.)
When it comes time for the NARAS Chairman to make his speech, I am always reminded of the way in which attractive flight attendants demonstrate the whole safety procedures as the plane taxies down the apron, legally necessary but completely useless and ignored by a plane full of people annoyed that they had to turn off their crackberries and iPods. He always seems to be both pleading with and chiding the folks at home. This year, he had a sidekick which didn’t really help.
Biggest miss of the evening: The Grammys fumbled badly during the Memoriam segment, missing the recent passing of Gary Moore (?????? NARAS. Really?????) and selecting a bit of “My Sharona” to play over the part that included Ronnie James Dio instead of…anything by Ronnie James Dio. <<<FAIL>>>
To be honest, by 11 PM I had had enough. Wrap it up already is about as excited as I could get. I hope Arcade Fire thanked Spike Jonze for the “The Suburbs” video.
In awards you didn’t see:
Fantasia! Iron Maiden! The Black Keys! Ryan Bingham! Run, Forrest, run!