Monday, January 27, 2014

Older, But Not Old.

At 8:00 on Sunday evening, I turned on the television and with the mindset of someone going to a tedious, soulbreaking, underpaid job, I watched the Grammy Awards...until 8:02, when all of 40 seconds of Beyonce's "act" made me both angry and sick to my stomach.

Impatient and tired, I alternated between a 1600th showing of "Mean Girls" on the Showtime "Mean Girls" channel, a poorly played NBA game and, when my curiousity could no longer contain itself, back to the Grammy Awards wanting to see what Paul & Ringo had in store.

The random Grammy moments I stumbled upon were as follows:

•Pink and her Flying Wallenda act

•Ringo singing "Photograph" with Peter Frampton.

•Jamie "Your 15 Minutes Were Up 400 Minutes Ago" Foxx and his smug (read:terrible) English accent following Ringo.

•The last 30 seconds of Kacey Musgraves whistling.

•Julia Roberts introducing The Twotles

Grand total of minutes watched: 9

But the single most annoying bit of tid was LL Cool J's pronouncement:


My jaw dropped so hard, my neighbor below banged back. Cool James delivered the intro with the type of enthusiasm one usually reserves for walks on the moon, crying holy icons in remote Greek villages or I don't know...rock royalty like The Beatles, The Who, and Bruce Springsteen.

 "Who am I," I thought.

While I am not so naive as to think that this yearly spectacle is geared towards people my age or older, I do take offense when anyone refers to me and my friends as "old," as if that is the exact reason none of us find anything worthwhile with the current crop of "artists."

And the next person who uses either of the following phrases "Hey you, get off my lawn" or "Mr. Crankypants" when I say I don't like Robin Thicke, I'm going to slap you with a Kanye West 12".

Now, excuse me while I listen to "Rubber Soul" one more time.


snakeboy said...

Sal: You must be reading my mind.
Well put and to the point.

Lesley said...

I feel you, Sal.

Course I'm maybe not the best person to comment on these matters since I developed an allergy to awards shows about ten years ago and can no longer watch more than nine minutes of any of 'em.

In my nine minutes the pathetic best thing was Paul McCartney following Grohl's little speech about them getting together and saying Grohl had wanted to jam Long Tall Sally but Paul had said "We did that already, let's do something else." So they made something up, and that's what won. Says nothing for the song but it took the general self-congratulatory celebrity self-involvement vibe down a peg.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I didn't realize the Grammy's were on until this morning. The last time I sat through any of them was to see Paul McCartney accept one on behalf of the Beatles for "Let It Be".
The high point was showing a video which introduced "Maybe I'm Amazed", and I was.

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

Hey cranky, get off my pants! (The astute reader will note that, technically, I used neither of the prohibited phrases, so, keep the powder dry on your Kanye)

A parable, of sorts...A few years ago, my best friend was visiting. We went outside to watch my daughter ride her in-line skateboard in the driveway. It's only got two wheels and, by wiggling your rear leg on the board, you start to move. Well, after a few minutes I said "Hey Em, let me try". My best buddy gave me the stink eye and said "Rich, absolutely no good can come of this". Wise man. I apply the same prudent logic to the Grammy's. It may look fun, but no good can come of participating. One man's philosophy...



Anonymous said...

I still recall amazing moments from past shows - Cyndy Lauper singing True Colors, Sheila E performing A Glamorous Life - but now you can depend on those ending up on youtube. My pet bugaboo is the contrived duets between performers who have nothing to do with each other, which is basically the whole show now.

Still, I thought Macklemore & Lewis were wonderful and hope their 15 min aren't up. And a buddy noted that Magic Slim got a shout out during the telecast. so there's that.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I just saw the clip of Paul with Ringo, which was pretty powerfully cool. I especially liked the shot of Jay-Z scowling in the audience.

Chris Collins said...

I'm gonna sound out of step here but I thought there was a lot of good stuff going on last night (along with the usual amount of insanity that makes me cringe.)

* Stevie Wonder and Nile Rogers somehow made me like "Get Lucky" again.
* Willie Nelson
* Pink's performance was....interesting
* Lorde! I love her
* Paul and Ringo! (although that seems to be covered here)
* And I even liked Taylor Swift's performance.

Although LL Cool J needs to stop licking his lips. And be replaced. By anyone.

richeye said...

Let's see... as someone who labored through the entire slow ride to hell - not back, however, I will say there were definitely moments. About 9 minutes worth. I kept myself amused with a staggering array of snide facebook posts.

It was lovely to see Paul take Dave down a peg or three. Most of the contrived performances were predictably worthless, including (to a lesser degree than most others) The Twotles. Maybe they should have jammed on Long Tall Sally!

Speaking of contrived performances, the whole Macklemore/Latifah/Madge wedding bit was indeed touching, but in that kinda 'please keep your hands to yourself way'. Still, I do like their message a reluctantly give it a thumbs up - but only as compared to the broadcast competition.

Finally, from the 'they all look alike department', during the memorial segment, they posted a photo of a very live Spinner and not the recently deceased one!

Shriner said...

Ah, yes, the yearly Grammys post. I look forward to this every year. My thoughts:

I *loved* Lorde's performance. My kids could not get past her movements on stage, but I was riveted. Great song, great performance and right at the beginning so maybe I was in a better mood for the rest of it.

The hard rock stuff -- sucked. Metallica bores me and that shitty NIN/Queens of the Stone Age thing at the end made me happy (for once) that they cut it as the credit rolled. Last year's guitar battle with McCartney/Walsh/Grohl, etc. was what I was hoping for. Or was that 2 years ago and last year was that shitty Arcade Fire performance? I can't remember if that was some other awards show now...

Kris Kristofferson ruined (sadly) the country stuff. Merle and Willie are always great to see for as long as we still can.

McCartney was great. I thought it took balls to perform a new song from the new album with Ringo on drums and not some old Beatles song. The hair, I don't like. The attitude, I love.

Kacey Musgraves -- I didn't know. I thought it was pleasant enough, but felt that it was just yet-another-fairly-hot-girl-with-nice-legs-and-a-pleasant-voice that makes up the current crop of female country artists.

The Mackelmore song/Madonna/wedding thing -- I thought that was over the top -- but in an entertaining way.

The Daft Punk/Stevie Wonder stuff -- GOLD, JERRY, GOLD!

And I love Carole King. I would watch her sing/play the phone book. Still has an awesome voice for her age.

Stuff I didn't like (beyond the shitty hard rock numbers): Hunter Hayes. Katy Perry. Imagine Dragons/Kendrick Lamar (OK, in retrospect, this was probably better than I thought at the time -- if you edited out the rap section, the rest was pretty rocking -- nothing to make me want to buy the record, though -- reminded me of the MUSE performance a few years back -- thought that was great live, but did not like the album)

Stuff I was indifferent to: Beyonce/Jay-Z, Pink (though she gets mad props for being able to sing live while spinning around...), Keith Urban (though he seems to have some guitar chops), Taylor Swift (good performance, *DULL* song...), John Legend (good voice, but I don't get his material...), Robin Thicke/Chicago should have been better, but maybe my expectations were too high. Billie Joe/Miranda was "eh" -- I think something was wrong with the sound. "Photograph" -- primarily because I was wondering what happened to Mark Hudson through the whole performance (did they have a falling out?)

What I liked most of all? No Miley f'n Cyrus -- anywhere. Not even a joking reference. It got much higher props for me because of that.

I watch the Grammys every year so I can keep abreast of what is popular. "Get Lucky", "Blurred Lines" and "Royals" -- were all fabulous songs from last year, so it was no surprise that Daft Punk/Lorde took away the awards.

Sal Nunziato said...

Ah! Imagine Dragons, not Magic Dragons. Thanks Shriner. But there was no way in circus hell that Pink was singing live while twirling high above.

Shriner said...

So, as far as Pink's performance goes -- I thought it was a requirement at the Grammys that artists had to sing live (though they could sign to a backing track like Lorde did?)

There were a few times in the quieter parts of the Pink song where her mike was definitely live as you could hear her heavy breathing.

Jonathan F. King said...

The 1964 Grammys awarded recording of the year to "Hello Dolly," as if the landscape hadn't changed seismically over those 12 months. Haven't given 'em a thought since.

cmealha said...

Just make plans to go out next year. It's not worth it. We've been complaining about the Grammys since 1964 as pwe J.F. King's example. What has it gotten us?
On to the Oscars!

J. Loslo said...

Do you think Robin Thicke will be able to maintain his popularity after his voice changes?

Anonymous said...

I solved the dilemma of how much to watch of the Grammy's by switching over to PBS and watching Sherlock. That was great.

Allan R.

A walk in the woods said...

Very entertaining commentary here... so much so I don't have much to add! I couldn't watch as much as some of you... I tuned out with Pink, thinking the whole thing might go that way. Had I known about the 2Beatles mini-reunion I'd have stayed up just for that though.

William Repsher said...

Just watched the Macklemore bit on youtube. I don't know ... feel like I'm watching the liberal equivalent of Ted Nugent shooting arrows at targets on stage and offering a five-minute monologue on what he believes in ... phew ... this is not my scene, regardless of which side it occurs.

Even worse, couldn't help but notice Macklemore sporting a bolo tie ... I started wearing these again recently. Now people are going to think I'm "trying to be hip" by wearing these. Was going for the opposite effect, especially in New York. Kind of like when Dad got offended at Flashdance in the 80s when everyone started wearing cut-up sweatshirts like he'd been wearing to work on cars since the late 60's.

drstu said...

I must admit Sal, once that opening soft-porn segment with Beyonce"s butt in the limelight, only to be joined by her hot shot hubby , was over, it really was all down hill after that and i mean downhill !! As one of your responders said, its the Grammys after all , its not really whats best in music but only about performance spectacle!! Yes there were a few good performances and i mean few(Ms. Swift comes to mind), but most of these pairings and acts were just musically devoid of anything one would call feeling or as we used to say SOUL!! I could go on and on ,but does any REAL music lover care about this utter nonsense !! I mean John and George must be rolling over in their graves after the fab two's lame performances !!! I mean really Paul, that recycled Beatles track you call NEW , doesn't even come close to Long Tall Sally !!! And Ringo you really need to stop singing Photograph and flash those peace signs cuz you look and sound like a foo!! You called it Sal ,we all think it should mean something but we must remember its just an absurd awards show THATS ALL!!!! If you look at the list of some of the winners that are not on the show ,they actually do recognize some music as art , but the current crop of popular crap that makes it on the show is just THAT!!! I mean think about it ,most of these latter day rappers or hip hoppers don't even play an instrument or know how to sing ,so can we really expect ART from this modern pop music ! I don't think so!!! Its just another dumbing down of modern culture !! As others have said ,another part of the "Unwinding" !!! P.S. At least they made an effort to pay tribute to Phil Everly ,tho i could think of better pairings!! Can't have everything!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the broadcast but I heard on Letterman last night that Yoko ran up on stage during Sir Paul's performance and tried to break up the remaining Beatles.

peabody nobis said...

Ahh, confessionals!
1. I had never even heard of this Macklemore guy and his buddy(whose name escapes me). 2. Where the hell did this "Lorde" come from? Never heard of her, either. 3. Since when is Queens Of The Stone Age better rock than Bowie or Zeppelin.(I've heard their latest album; Ho, and Hum.) 4. I have nothing against gay marriage, but during the Grammy Awards? Really? 5. The Kacey Musgraves album is pretty good. It's just not Country music. More in the Sheryl Crow vein.(The old Sheryl Crow, not the one calling herself "Country" now.) 6. And,finally, I love Paul and Ringo, but do we really have to see these forced reunions anymore? The Beatles have been over for 43 years now. Let them be.

Anonymous said...

Well said about Yoko. Hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I'll be 60 this year, thank god I grew up with my music! Who are all these peers they call artists? I guess next year Grohl will be doing a duet with taylor swift and Biebe!

long live rock 'n' roll said...

I thought the Everly Brothers tribute was terrible and although I'm not that big of a Slayer fan I think it was shameful to include Cory Monteith who had never received a Grammy over Jeff Hannenman who had won two.