Some folks go crazy over the Academy Awards. Some folks go nuts over the Super Bowl. For me, unless a New York City team is in the World Series or Super Bowl, my most exciting pop culture event has to be the Grammy Awards. It intrigued me as a kid-it was probably the first award show I ever saw. I believe it was the 1980 ceremony, and all I remember is that The Doobie Brothers were performing, I was watching with my grandmother, and she asked “why does that man look like he’s eating the microphone?”. And so began my man-crush on Michael McDonald.
Anyhow, over three decades have passed since that night, and I’ve gone on to view Michael Jackson cleaning up in ’84, Sinead O’Connor making a striking television debut in ’89, Eddie Vedder mumble that he didn’t know why he was standing on stage as he accepted an award in ’95 or ’96, and water-cooler moments ranging from Soy Bomb to ODB hijacking the mic from Shawn Colvin, to J. Lo presenting in *that dress* to Eminem and Elton. Although it’s very rare that I’m thoroughly entertained by a Grammy show, there’s always something that keeps me tuning in the following year.
This year, as with last year (and maybe the year before? I can’t remember), I will be watching the show for as long as I can tolerate, and live-blogging my thoughts on this here blog. I’ve also decided to come up with a twist that will probably keep me entertained more than the show itself. I will be live-blogging with the help of my new friend Mr. Jim Beam. Any time there is a performance, mention or camera shot of Eminem, Lady GaGa or Justin Bieber (the show’s three biggest rating draws this year), I will take a healthy swig from the bottle of Mr. Beam. This also means there’s a slight chance that I will not be conscious through the entire show. The sacrifices I make for my audience!!
Anyhoo, starting at 8 PM EST, I will be live-blogging my ass off, so come on and join, tell your friends, leave comments! Promises to be a memorable show-although whether it’ll be memorable good or memorable bad remains to be seen!
7:55 Between the Lady Gaga interview with Anderson Cooper, Andy Rooney’s rambling, and my mainlining of Ice Blue Halls cough drops, I’m already kinda slap-happy, I think. The show hasn’t even started yet!
7:59 Just unscrewed the bottle of Jim Beam. Hot mess is now at about 12:30.
8:02 LL is starting off the Aretha Franklin tribute. They just did a cam shot of Biebs. Glug.
They let Christina Aguilera back on TV? Her fucking up of the National Anthem was worse than Janet’s titty and they kicked her ass off TV for months!
8:04 Memo to Christina: STOP SCREAMING!!
8:06 I’m disappointed by the lack of restraint on Christina’s part because she’s really a good singer. Martina McBride did a much better job with “Until you Come Back to Me” until she tried to overdiva on the last part of the song.
8:08 J. Hud is killing respect and she doesn’t even look like she’s trying. You go, girl. And Yolanda Adams is taking them to church with “Spirit in the Dark”. I’ll take it!
Aguilera? Worst of the five.
8:11 Now they’re doing “Sisters are Doing it for Themselves”. Did the Grammy producers lose Annie Lennox’s phone number?
8:13: Aretha (appearing via satellite) looks good, but she lost a GANG of weight. Same bad taste in fashion, though. At least she wasn’t wearing the Obamahat.
8:15 GaGa and Bieber mentions right before commercial. Glug
8:21 The Aretha-ettes are presenting Best Pop Duo or Group. I can’t remember who I picked to win, but Train takes the award. No surprise here. Thank God Glee didn’t win.
8:22 What the fuck is Ricky Martin wearing?
8:24: This, for GaGa (who Ricky Martin of course introduced, because Stephanie Germanotta is the patron saint of the homo), is quite understated…however, I fear I may be speaking too soon.
8:27: Initially, I thought “Born This Way” sounded more like “Like a Prayer” than “Express Yourself”. I stand corrected. And now, everyone’s wearing nude…spandex? I spoke too soon. Still…understated…for GaGa. And kinda boring.
8:28: Bieber mention. Glug.
8:33: I was about to say that I didn’t know who Blake Shelton was, but then I remembered that he was married to Miranda Lambert. Fiance? My bad, I was close.
8:36: Man, I should’ve gotten the flu today because this Miranda Lambert performance is putting me to sleep. Who needs NyQuil?
8:38 Isn’t this chick supposed to be a spitfire? Hubby’s standing up for her. He’s gonna get some tonight.
8:39: Does Lenny Kravitz ever age? He’s introducing Muse, who I like, but I fear this performance is gonna be kinda snoozy, too.
8:42: Muse’s Matt Bellamy is rocking a silver glitter jacket and people are brawling on stage. It’s like the Victory tour met the “Beat It” video.
8:44-Aw shit. Now there’s fire. So the Victory tour met the “Beat It” video at the intersection of the Pepsi commercial. They’ve had the best performance of the show so far, but I feel like even that rates a 6 or a 7 on the scale.
8:49– You ever get the feeling that Ryan Seacrest just might be the luckiest man alive?
8:50– Bruno Mars just might bring the pompadour back. And B.o.B. needs to drink some tea…and is dude wearing a monocle?
8:51– You think Bruno Mars hides his coke in the hair? Just asking…
8:53– Can someone please sing something with a beat? PLEASE??? Bruno’s doing a good job with a doo-wop inspired version of his hits, but …ok…Monae’s brought the tempo up some. I can dig this.
8:56– I’m a fan of Janelle Monae, but there’s no way you can’t tell me her “act” is just as put on as Lady GaGa’s,
8:58– Dierks Bentley & Zac Brown are presenting the Best Female Country award. Nominees are Jewel, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson and Mirandam Lambert. Surprising no one, Lambert wins. But Faith Hill might pop up backstage just to cuss her out anyway.
9:01– Bieber and Eminem mentioned. Glug, glug.
9:05 Eva Longoria just was announced to the strains of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day”? I don’t get it.
9:06: You think Usher’s happy Bieber has extended his career by a couple of years?
9:09 : I would love to be offended by the Bieber/Jaden Smith performance, but it’s cure. Give the little girls something. I am offended by the fact that “OMG” is coming on now.
9:12: I am also offended by all of this fucking Auto-Tune. Doesn’t look like we’ll be getting will.i.am, though, so I suppose I’ll take this win however I can get it.
9:13: Two people from Paramore are presenting Best Rock Album with…who, now? Nominees are Muse, Jeff Beck, Neil Young, Tom Petty and Pearl Jam. Muse takes home the trophy. The dinosaurs cancelled one another out.
9:16: Another Eminem mention. And I didn’t take a sip during the Bieber performance. Double glug.
9:21: Selena Gomez (?) and Donnie Wahlberg are presenting Best Pop Album. Biebs and Boyle are up against…how did Justin change so fast? And why does he look like a waiter?
9:23: GaGa wins and immediately gets bleeped. God only knows what she said.
9:24: GaGa pictured Whitney singing “Born This Way”? Did she borrow some of Whit’s crack?
9:26: David Letterman does a lame Top 10 list, eliciting a “whatchu talkin’ ’bout?” look from an apparently wounded Biebs. He introduces Mumford & SOns, who have apparently added a couple more sons to their stage setup. Like they’re an acoustic Earth, Wind & Fire.
9:29: Been trying to get into the Avett Brothers for about a year and a half. Not there yet but this performance is solid. Might give their last album another shot.
9:32: I have a LOT of respect for Dylan even though I’m not a big fan. Mumford and The Avetts are clearly psyched to be performing with him. Dylan might need to gargle, though.
9:34: Another Eminem mention. A lot of glugging prior to commercials!
9:40: How does Clay Mathews get on the Grammy Awards?…and someone should tell Lea Michele that “winners” is not pronounced “wimmers”?
9:41: Lady A tributing Teddy Pendergrass? I should be indignant, but it was OK. Now they’re singing one of their own songs.
9:43: Um…didn’t they perform “Need You Now” at last year’s ceremony??
9:45: Miley Cyrus and Kings of Leon are presenting Best Country Album. So country gets two presentations and R&B gets…none? I guess money talks. Lady A wins, surprising no one.
9:47: I’m so over Jamie Foxx right now. He’s presenting Cee-Lo (who’s performing with Gwyneth Paltrow and the Muppets?)
9:48: These are the same censors who bleeped out Eminem & Drake’s performance last year when there was no cussing. Wackness.
9:49: Cee-Lo must’ve raided the closet from an old Earth, Wind & Fire show.
9:52: That would be fun, but where was Animal?
9:56: I guess maybe I shouldn’t be complaining about Lady A and Teddy P.? Might be be the only singer who passed last year who actually gets a tribute?
9:57: Neil Patrick Harris is introducing Katy Perry. Reminds me that I need to catch up on my “HIMYM”. What’s happened since Marshall’s dad died?
10:00: Katy Perry is…hanging from something. And being boring. Didn’t Pink do the highwire thing just a year ago?
10:02: I could have peed during this.
10:03: John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban, for some semi-inexplicable reason, are performing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. John Mayer looks like the result of Johnny Depp and Jack White starring in a remake of “Face/Off”.
10:05: The song otherwise known as “Forget You”? LOVE IT.
10:06: “Need You Now” wins Song of the Year, surprising NO one.
10:08: Another Eminem mention. And a Bieber mention. Glug times two.
10:13 Why aren’t musicians announcing these awards?
10:14: Eminem, Rihanna, Dre, Adam Levine, Skylar Grey/Holly Brook and who else? That’s more people on stage than in the Cee-L:o. Gwyneth and the Muppets performance.
10:14: Can someone lower the key of “Love the Way You Lie” so that Rihanna can hit the high note in the chorus please?
10:16: Adam Levine is playing piano because why? By the way, glug.
10:17: SO this Skylar Grey chick recorded and released an album as Holly Brook a couple of years ago and she also sang on that Fort Minor song “Where’d You Go”. WHy the name change?
10:19: I suppose Dre stopped taking steroids?
10:22: Jewel and John Legend are presenting to Best New Artist. Let’s see who grabs it!!
Esperanza Spalding upsets big time! Not gonna help her career much, unfortunately, also, she shouldn’t have won, to put it simply.
10:29 As much as I hate “Glee”, Matthew Morrison is fucking hot as shit. Yeah, I’m shallow. He’s introducing the president’s speech. I’m going to pee.
10:33 The in memoriam section is up. This is always sad.
10:36: Mick’s looking good. Paying tribute to Solomon Burke. I think between solomon and Jagger, they have enough kids to fill up an entire country.
10:37: Did the camera flash on Raphael Saadiq playing bass for about half a second?
10:39: Say what you want about Mick, but that man is a frontman par excellence. HIm and Ray are sparring a little bit. GOOD GOOD stuff. They need to do an album together.
10:47: For a second, I was like why is Kris Kristofferson introducing Barbra Streisand? BIG brain fart.
But why is she performing, though?
10:49: She sounds great, I must say, but sequencing this after Jagger electrified the stage wasn’t the best of ideas.
10:51: Cyndi Lauper is clapping in the audience. She looks like she just woke up.
10:52: Nicki Minaj and will.i.am are announcing Best Rap Album. What the HELL is Nicki wearing on her head? Looks like a Q-tip with ear wax on it.
10:53: Eminem, of course, wins. That was the gimme award of the night. His speech was hella classy, though. Props to him.
10:59: Did they just call Sean Puff Puffy Diddy Doody Daddy Combs Puff Daddy again? And how did “What’s My Name” win a Grammy when it wasn’t even eligible for nomination.
11:02: Oh na na. Rihanna’s bringing the patois out. She’s not a true West Indian girl unless she wears blue streaks in her extensions and sucks her teeth on stage, though.
11:04: Did people forget Marc Anthony used to be famous? He and the wife are announcing Record of the Year.
11:05: Lady A wins Record of the Year too. I smell a sweep.
11:12: Have there been any presenters who are not actors on CBS shows?
11:13: Jason Segel (reference my comment above) is announcing The Arcade Fire. A million former indie snobs who are now in their late twenties or early thirties just wet themselves.
11:15: There’s a dude riding a bike on stage. Is it a fixie?
11:16: That was a fun performance. I should give The Suburbs another chance.
11:23: Streisand and Kristofferson are back on stage. Is Kris hopped up on painkillers or something? He’s got some serious mushmouth happening. They’re announcing Album of the Year.
11:24: Holy shit! Arcade Fire with the upset!
Huge upsets in a couple of categories, but definitely a couple of points I want to close with.
-How angry do you think Eminem is right now? As far as Album of the Year nominations go, he’s gotten the ball pulled from him more times than Charlie Brown with Lucy?
-Do you think Lenny Kravitz made a deal with the devil to look that good? It’s obvious that Mick Jagger has made one in a musical sense. Although, given Mick’s looks, it might just be a case of the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.
-If you haven’t yet read the book by Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich (in which he goes into detail about every Grammy ceremony) since 1980, please pick it up! It’s a massively entertaining read and gives a lot of insight into the machinations of the Grammy Awards and the record industry in general.
-How many artists did you get exposed to tonight? While I was familiar with just about everyone who performed, I’ll definitely give refreshed listens to Janelle Monae’s The ArchAndroid and The Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, two albums that I felt weren’t deserving of the critical praise they had heaped upon them. Doesn’t mean I’ll like them any better, but they do deserve to be re-listened to.
-All the people complaining, how many other nationally televised opportunities are there to see such a diverse array of music? Even if the music you like isn’t being selected, think of how a lot of these artists or bands are getting exposed to folks of different cultures or living in areas where there’s no exposure to them? Ultimately, no matter what they do, it’s a good look for music as well as the music industry.
-I have to chuckle at the random people who watch this show every year and complain about the exact same things. Take a minute and go to Google and find out the difference between Record and Song of the Year. Find out what the eligibility periods are. One thing I hate is people who try to create an argument without being even minimally informed. As much as I might talk, I try hard to keep my mouth shut when I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, doing double duty with the live blogging and Tweeting has been exhausting! Have a good night and I hope you all enjoyed the show and the blog!
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