Grammy’s 2011

February 14, 2011

So, I notoriously hate on the Grammy’s. I stopped tuning in for several years because they always made the wrong choice for every conceivable category and they booked the most atrocious acts…eventually it seemed like every notable performer stopped even showing up at the ceremony. So this year was a total but pleasant surprise.

I wrote this review last year, bemoaning the tragedy that was the Grammy’s yet acknowledging the few right turns that managed to emerge from the mess. This year though, as the show closes out and as for the first time in my life I think I and the Grammy’s agree on album of the year (Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” made my “Best of 2010” album list at number one), I find myself dumbfounded that the overwhelmingly mainstream, corporate event that seems like something that  mandates that actual “artists” skip putting in an appearance, has seemingly  woke up; or, perhaps with the economic downturn all artists decided if they were going to make a living at making music they should band together. Not sure, but with performances by Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, a great live spot by BoB and his equally talented musical partners from “Nothin’ On You,” two songs by Arcade Fire, Cee Lo (a terrific artist long overdue for some mainstream attention) accompanied by puppets, a fabulous and true-to-form Gaga moment, Florence from Florence in the Machine getting to show off her pipes in an Aretha Franklin tribute number, and a return to the stage by Dr. Dre,  well, the Grammy’s paid off big for the first time in forever. Sure, Train won with a song that was overplayed and a bit under-cooked,  but even that was a comeback story that made you not begrudge them their win; sure Bieber performed, but he’s just following in the cheesy tradition of teen male bubble gum acts that bring the money into the labels to fund the next Mumfords; sure the voters dropped the ball on most categories and honored the wrong “record” and “rock album of the year” (among others), and sure the show can be criticized for not even bothering to broadcast worthwhile awards, i.e. Metal album of the year (did Slayer, Lamb of God or Megadeth win, all were nominated—leave a comment if you know yet), but at least the show was watchable and at least in the right terrain most of the time even if slightly off at some of the key moments.

Anyway, consider me pleasantly surprised.

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