Grammys: Why watch?

My brother wrote the other day about his “issues”  the Grammys and how he doesn’t like award shows yet still pays attention.  I agree with each one of his points. It is all about money and who sells records, but why wouldn’t it be if it was created by record executives?  I don’t say this as a point of contention with my brother, just that it has always seemed to me like it was all about money. Same with his next two points in that its meant to sell more records and it is a rich person party thrown by rich people.

I’m not getting all working class hero on you, but it should be about music and not about money. I just read an article about how Justin Bieber is in a feud with the drummer Pat Carney from the Black Keys because of a comment the latter made about the former’s career having nothing to do with music and only about money. Obviously I would side with the Black Keys way before the Biebs, but the fact remains that the whole dying recording industry is about making money and it’ s dumb for two cogs in the machine to get into it with each other.

Here’s a banjo one for you brother….also, do you think maybe Bieber could be a girl secretly? He certainly looks like some Indigo Girls fans I know who are girls who like other girls. Who knows, but I am glad they won the award above fucking Mumford and Sons and Coldplay. However, I wish the Alabama Shakes had won Best Rock Performance…they needed it more.

I hope they work out their riff. On the Elder J’s final note, the Grammy decision committees are often way off the mark. He makes some good examples but the one that sticks out for me is when Jethro Tull won for Hard Rock album up against Metallica and their album ..And Justice for All. I like Tull and Metallica, but when it comes to a decision between the two for a hard rock album, there is no choice. I remember reading that when Metallica won a few years later, Lars Ulrich thanked Tull for not putting an album out that year. Hey no worries, the famed drummer is now more known for attacking Napster than he is for hitting the skins.

Admittedly, I am not a very hard core Metallica fan and this being one of my favorite cuts by them exposes me to any real Metallica fan as a farce because this one is from the late 90’s album where they had an entire orchestra. In my experience, if you have to force something, it probably isn’t right.

I did watch the new Walking Dead episode and saw none of the telecast. However, after reading through who won and who was nominated, I certainly have some comments. It is right that Gotye’s  “Someone I used to know” won record of the year because it was original and you could not avoid it this year. Not since “Back in Black” has a band from down under got gotten so much airplay.  More importantly, it beat Taylor Swift’s “We are never getting back together” which is probably the worst or one of the worst songs ever. I mean the only one I can think of at recent times that annoys me more is this little gem. Hey, at least I can pretend to dance to this one because it has one attached to it and all the kids below 13 are crusing around the hallways doing the dance.

So finally we get to Babel which is been a long time coming for me. How is “I will Wait” even a rock song? There’s no guitar solo and more importantly, they don’t even have a drummer. My brother and I have discussed before how I do not like Mumford and Sons and a response to his review is in the works, but it’s safe to say I am not a fan. How can they be nominated for best rock song? Obviously, the Black Keys won with “Lonely Boy”, although I would have rooted for Muse or even Jack White. I loved the White Stripes but for some reason, White’s solo stuff doesn’t hit me in the same away. Maybe I am secretly in love with Meg White but who isn’t? And where is Ray Lamontagne’s album this year?

The pop category makes little sense to me and I can repeat what I said earlier this year which is that I don’t find Fun very fun at all. Ok, they obviously have some talent and they are different from the electro rap and Taylor Swiftisms of the year which is awesome. However, their music annoys the hell out of me. Its positive, the kid can sing, and the instrumental parts are not bad. I just can’t get into it, its too polished for me and i feel like each song sounds like the one before it. Again, Gotye deserves this award because he did blow up the pop charts with a weirdo song. Now does this mean we don’t have to hear it any more? This is a pretty cool cover of the Stones by Fun, I apologize for the cheese level but this song hits me by anyone.

As much as my brother loves the Heritage Blues Orchestra, I have to say that my brother from another mother Dr. John very much deserves to win in this category  Granted, he probably only did win because the current high profile name Dan Auerbach was attached to the album as he won for the collaboration the two worked on last year. Lockdown is a great album with lots of Dr. John and a cool introduction of Black Key’s style production, but the legend of Mac should not need new blood to make it win a Grammy. So it goes, I am sure he needs the money and this album is legitimately good. Everyone knows he’s a legend anyway and this does not tarnish it.  I actually know from a source who hangs out with the man regularly that he is a very cool guy in real life too.  I do wish my brother’s favorite blues band had won but there is always next year!

There’s a reggae category in the Grammys and Toots made an acoustic album? How have I missed both of these things? I think the biggest reason I should watched the Grammys is that just by reading my brother’s post and a few things on the interweb, I have learned a whole bunch of stuff about the awards themselves and new artists.

It’s extremely cool that Jimmy Cliff won the award even if I like Toots more. Cliff has been pushing for a come back for a while and certainly deserves it for all he contributed to reggae with his years of music and the massive soundtrack to The Harder They Come. I also learned after cruising the R and B tracks that Beyonce has a song called “Love on Top” that sounds hot. I’d like to listen to this acoustic Toots with Beyonce.

One last cool thing about this year’s awards were the tributes to Levon Helm and MCA from Beastie Boys. I have discussed my love for the late drummer of the Band before and I am stoked that so many people in this generation revere the man for what he did for popular music in general. MCA did just as much in his own right, being part of the group that really brought hip hop to the suburbs and helped to turn it into the massive force that it is today. Thus, I leave you with his tribute and the words that although the Grammy awards are part of the evil empire that is the music industry,  you might learn a thing a two by taking a look at who was nominated and who won. The tributes aren’t bad either and everyone wants to hear about new Beyonce songs about being on top.

4 comments on “Grammys: Why watch?

  1. theelderj says:

    I agree absolutely that Mumford & Sons didn’t belong in the Rock category. But I take their inclusion to be an indication of the paucity of decent bands backed by the major radio conglomerates.

    I think that Dr. John’s winning of the Blues Album award is a travesty. Sure, he’s played with a lot of people and made some great contributions to music, but I think that this proves yet again that the Grammys are a popularity contest. He is a great musician, but I don’t think his album is as good or as broad.

    I am also perplexed by Fun. The singer is talented. but the songs are just so dramatic and overdone. I won’t celebrate their possible demise (as indicated by the ‘curse’ of the Best New Artist Award) but I do wonder where they can possibly go next. Some of the more operatic work reminds me of Queen at its most decadent, and there are other bands that are similarly histrionic (e.g., One Republic) but I cannot see much room for change or growth here.

    Are you really suggesting a tryst with Beyonce backed by Toots cuts? I think Jay-z might object.

    • theyoungerj says:

      Hahahah, yeah I’d never be heard from again. Ok, you might be right. Dr. John has won several Grammys and the Heritage Blues Orchestra probably deserved this one.

  2. […] how even though they are not a rock band, they were still nominated for a rock category in the Grammys. I would never define them as a rock band but I think if I am going to keep spouting off how I hate […]

  3. […] because it taps into the debate my brother and I have been having about Mumford & Sons (he doesn’t like them; I do, a lot, and then less) but also because it compares the band to Frightened Rabbit, a great […]

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