Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Hey, Hey...We're The Grammys
•I thought Lady Gaga was supposed to perform a tribute to David Bowie, not Lola Falana's Desert Inn act of 1976. Still, that wasn't the worst part of the evening. That honor goes to Tori Kelly and James Bay, two Best New Artist nominees who stood across from each other, doing their best to out-melisma the other for four horrid minutes. Tori? James? In the future, please shut up.
•For some reason, maybe it was temporary devil possession, I didn't mind the Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt duet. Then this morning, while I was looking through various videos to find a version of the Sam Hunt song to post, to prove to myself I wasn't crazy, I decided I was. So, nevermind. "Take Your Time" is pretty bad, or at least by Sam Hunt it is. That one might need a new arrangement and new performer.
•I'm supposed to think The Weekend is terrific, right? Didn't someone mention him last week, as one to watch? The crowd seemed to swoon after his performance. For the record, I did not swoon. I fidgeted. Scratched my head and elbow. Checked my phone a few times. Seemed pretty average to me.
•Back in the 80s, Lionel Richie was everywhere. You could not escape his "All night, all night, all night, all night." I never loved his songs back then, but I didn't mind those songs, though I do have some not so fond memories of hearing "Truly" more times than I needed to. Last night's tribute to Richie, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award, was my favorite moment of the night. Those songs sounded fresh, and what I once considered mediocre, a song like "Penny Lover" say, sounded like George Gershwin compared to all the actual crap that was nominated.
•Adele had some "technical difficulties." Apparently, a microphone dropped into the piano, untuning a string, causing Adele to sing most of the song horribly flat. I understand something like a microphone dropping into a piano can rattle you. But one day, after a few more years of hard work and payin' dues, Adele will be a pro and rise above such adversity.
•Maybe it's a tired practice to recap a show I shouldn't be watching to begin with, but I've watched this show since the days of Andy Williams and it's hard to stop now. I watch, hoping to find one song or one performance to wow me. Kendrick Lamar's performance did that, though I will admit, "To Pimp A Butterfly" simply doesn't work for me. I've tried a number of times to wrap my head around the most critically acclaimed record of the year and to understand its brilliance. But, like "Blade Runner," I get rattled and frustrated about 30 minutes in and throw in the towel. Maybe, "To Pimp A Butterfly" will be my new "Blade Runner," where once a year, I take it out and go in with a new head, in an attempt to find out what so many already seem to know. Great performance, Mr. Lamar. Sincerely. As for the album, same time, next year?
•Oh, and I really think Sam Smith is horrible. Not sure if he did anything but present last night, but still, I don't want to miss an opportunity to express how much I think he's bullshit.
•On a truly positive note, my man Jon Cleary, someone I've written about dozens of times, won "Best Regional Roots Album," a category created about 2:25 Saturday afternoon. "GoGo Juice" was one of my favorite records of the year and in a just world, would have been an enormous success. So congratulations Jon! You absolutely deserve any and all accolades that come your way.