For my first blog post in this new space, I decided to set the bar low and begin with what may be an extremely boring post.
Still with me? OK. Let’s do this.
I’ll start with a natural question: What exactly happened to the Grammys this year?
Some years they’re good; some years, not so good. The last couple of years have been pretty good. Granted, last year it was cheesy when during “Same Love” Madonna came out dressed as Col. Sanders while a hundred attractive couples who couldn’t legally marry in the past tied the knot, but it was hard to see the cheese through the tears.
The year before that, Jack White performed. Let’s pause for a moment and review.
Maybe part of the weirdness of the ceremony was that the stage was in the middle of the room, so all the people with the best seats had to spend the night craning their necks around to try to see the performers’ backsides. What?
Most of the productions were so tortured that it was a tremendous relief when Juanes CAME OUT WITH HIS BAND AND PLAYED HIS SONG. Hey! That’s what music is!
Ultimately, I actually really liked that Sia brought the weird this year, because the rest of the production was a snoozefest on the order of “Broadway presents … the best of pop music 2015. BEGIN FAWNING NOW.”
I know it’s an awards show, but shouldn’t some awards be given out during an awards show? This year there were 23 performances and a handful of awards given out. Everyone’s talking about Kanye running on stage, but really, that wasn’t very interesting — it was just the most interesting thing in a broadcast that was about as lively as a church service.
If you didn’t watch, here are some snippets you should know:
- Sir Paul McCartney now has co-written a song that includes the rhyme “wildin.”
- Sam Smith is adorable. In fact, the whole Grammy process of comparing his work to his peers has made me a fan such that I defended him to my husband over breakfast, after having not really listened to his music before. Plus, did I mention he’s adorable? Sort of simultaneously a kid and a fifty-year-old. I’d like a Sam Smith cuddly accessory on my couch, that croons when I lean on it.
- Annie Lennox was great (to co-performer Hozier’s apparent relief)! but then she played an imaginary harmonica.
- One likes to imagine that Dave Grohl tried on a tuxedo but it just didn’t look like him, so he went back to his T-shirt and jean jacket.
- Watching Tom Jones and Jessie J sing “you’ve lost that loving feeling” was creepy, a sort of cringey anthem to March-December romance, while Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga somehow felt more professional about the whole thing.
- Someone on Facebook complained about the ELO performance, but I thought that was one of the best parts of the show, and I’m not even an ELO fan, per se. Or maybe that’s why.
- Heavy messages were conveyed regarding the evils of domestic violence and stealing music.
- Corollary as regards my citizenship: it’s hard for me to muster the energy to turn to the State of the Union address when it is broadcast, but when President Obama appeared on my screen during the Grammys broadcast, I unmuted, unpaused, and give him my full attention. I’m not sure what this says about me.
- The group watching at my house apparently pulled some sway with the powers upstairs. Those we rooted for won. Those we rooted against, in particular, did not win. This is as satisfying or more satisfying than a football win, in my book.
- Speaking of football, it was so very awkward to have a couple of football players present an award. Especially when one of them did not seem able to read the Teleprompter.
- And speaking of that award presentation, the entire night seemed like a giant commercial for the network, which I don’t even feel like naming again because it named itself a thousand times during the presentation.
In a nutshell, this was the Grammys to end all Grammys(-watching), a series of dreary performances that would have been livened up by a drinking game – maybe one boilermaker for every choir that came on stage.
Afterward I reviewed the list of award winners, which was more satisfying than actually watching the production, except that it did not include stimulating conversation about which of Katie Perry’s hairstyles was a wig, or Shia LaBeouf’s very strange introduction of Sia.
And I was wondering where I’d recently seen Shia LaBeouf, but I’ve remembered: Freaks and Geeks.