I almost didn’t watch the Grammy Awards last night; in fact, I didn’t turn them on until a half hour into the show. Living on the west coast, by the time I actually switched on the TV, I already knew that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss had cleaned up at the awards. Their win didn’t surprise me — did it surprise you? Their record, Raising Sand, is just the type of album that the voters love. T-Bone Burnett and Alison Krauss are darlings of the Academy, and Plant represents a chance to right some wrongs for Led Zeppelin never receiving any awards for its influential body of work. That, and the album is pretty damn good, so I have no complaints. However, I wonder how well the Grammys will perform in the ratings. Are they a relevant, must-see type of show? The show’s producers certainly try to make them by setting up “once in a lifetime” performances.
I came into the show just as Carrie Underwood was showing off her legs and belting out her hit, “Last Name.” Man, the girl can sing. Less impressive was Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus singing a duet on Swift’s song, “15.” Swift’s voice sounded tinny and Cyrus just sings at the top of her lungs and over exaggerates her expressions whether the song calls for it or not. As I watched them I couldn’t help wondering which Jonas Brother Swift dated when she wrote this song, and if it was the same brother who dated Miley. Speaking of the Jonas clan, they somehow lucked into Stevie Wonder jamming with them. Stevie was… well, he was Stevie, he kicked ass. I won’t discuss the Jonas Brothers for fear of alienating my children.
Did you see Jennifer Hudson sing? Good God, one of the most heartwrenching moments I’ve seen on TV. The standing ovation she received was well deserved. On the other hand, Katy Perry sang the most annoying song from last year and was atrocious. As she pranced across stage trying to be Madonna, she was as stiff as her boyfriend would be watching her kiss a girl. And please, please, someone explain the rap summit, the “rap pack” of Jay Z, Kanye, Lil’ Wayne and T.I. to me. What the hell were they saying? Shouting, that’s what they were doing.Â
My favorite moments were Paul McCartney performing “I Saw Her Standing There” with Dave Grohl jamming on the drums. Grohl is still one of the finest drummers in rock and roll, even though he spends most of his time with a guitar in hand. As he wailed on the song behind Sir Paul, you saw the joy he was experiencing playing behind a music legend. Also, seeing Plant and Krauss sing two songs from Raising Sand and perfectly matching the harmonies that they achieved on their album was wonderful. Plant still has a swagger and stage presence that the Jonas Brothers should study. The man exudes coolness.
As I questioned earlier, are the Grammys must see television? I hardly think so and it’s the Recording Academy’s fault. They should require CBS or whoever airs the show to broadcast it live, around the world, as it happens, just like the Academy Awards and any major sports event (like the Super Bowl). It has always seemed unusual to me that Los Angeles, one of the main music hubs in the world, gets the show on tape delay. In this day and age, where is the suspense and wonder of watching the Grammys if I can find out the results on the net and see live performances on Youtube moments after they happen live? For as much money that goes into the Grammys telecast and for how much it’s promoted, it should be treated like something that you HAVE to watch, instead of something to switch over to during the commercials of Desperate Housewives.
What about you, readers? Did you enjoy the show? Is it relevant? Were there any musical moments that stirred your soul?