Monday, February 14, 2011

Grammy Trainwreck

I listen to two radio stations - Omaha's NPR station, and 105.9 classic rock. And despite having no clue what's happening in popular music these days, I watched the majority of the Grammys last night.

Wow. Can I just say, wow. It was bad.

I only watched it to see Mumford and Sons. After they played, I ended up switching over to the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion. At least RHOA is upfront about being a completely trashy program. They aren't parading around behind some illusion of tradition and esteem. No, they're wearing fake hair and showing off their boob jobs and yelling at each other. And they're honest about it. Whereas the Grammys had pretty much all the same elements but with far more self-congratulations and zero sense of humor. (Save for Cee-Lo who probably wasn't taking himself too seriously singing with muppets.)

That probably explains my biggest beef with popular music in the last oh, 20 years. It's not that the music is bad, just that it's average. But the images and egos that go along with that average music are so over-the-top and manufactured that the combination of the two makes no sense at all. Lady Gaga's song was a pretty obvious, and snooze-worthy ripoff off Madonna. It was boring, you guys. But Lady Gaga herself is this walking, avant-garde freak show. If she really has that much style and such a highly elevated level of taste, how can she put out such terrible music and sincerely feel good about it? I don't get the correlation between her music and her image. The same goes for Katy Perry. She's supposedly this outrageous rocker chick who does crazy things and is married to Russell Brand, but in reality she sings circa 2000 Brittany Spears quality pop music and hawks acne medicine for pocket change! Please, someone explain to me what is so rocknroll about selling Proactiv on TBS?

At least with the Mumfords of the world they're honest about who and what they are. A bunch of guys playing banjos and upright basses might not make for great TV, but at least they're real musicians playing real music live on live television and not with the aide of backing tracks and prerecorded vocals. I'm sorry, but if you can't recreate the vocals you recorded in a studio, live on a stage then you're probably not Grammy worthy. And that my friends, is the problem with the Grammys.

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