I think my good friend Ara Babajian of the fantastic Slackers nailed it when he wrote: “I have about as much interest in awards shows as I do in watching rich people golf.” I believe that it is fairly common knowledge among discerning people that Grammys, like all awards shows, suck.
They suck primarily because the entities that organize the shows fundamentally don’t care about the art form they are allegedly celebrating. Christopher Krovatin has written a spot-on, passionate piece in Noisey that makes this point convincingly by focusing on the exclusion of game changing Slayer guitarist and songwriter Jeff Hanneman from the “in memorium” section of the show. I also note that Jared Leto was chosen to eulogize the great Lou Reed, thus forcing me to use their names in the same sentence, which is in itself a grave injustice.
I did not watch the show, though I did watch several of the performances in the maelstrom of Grammy recap posts/articles the following day. In addition to the primary point made above, here are a few additional reactions:
- Fuck Macklemore: I’m sorry, Seattle peeps, but I just cannot stand this guy. It’s telling that this clown is EXACTLY what the Recording Academy loves – safe, innocuous, bullshit content. Fucking yawn.
- Paul McCartney will be awesome until he is dead: His new record is really good, his collab with the surviving members of Nirvana is good, he’s the best part of the Sound City documentary (which was pretty great already), the list goes on. I love John just like the rest of us, but we must appreciate Paul while he’s still around.
- Trent Reznor is great/needs to chill the fuck out: I’ve always respected the guy, and I thought the Reznor/Buckingham/QOTSA/Grohl end jam was very cool, but to accept a slot on a shitastrophe like the Grammys and then get all bent out of shape because they cut off your performance is like going to a Justin Bieber concert and getting pissed that the entire audience is under-18 and/or retarded.
- Even the Grammys shouldn’t let you pretend to play onstage: I have loved Daft Punk since 1998, but the sight of them “DJ-syncing” was horrifying. I’m shocked they went along with the whole production – it looked like the SNL cowbell set.
- Kris Kristofferson remains the man: The Highwaymen medley thing was very cool, and KK looked pleasantly stoned as he mocked Merle Haggard‘s archaic Okie from Muskogie lyrics. I have written of my love for KK before.
- The Metallica / Lang Lang mash up on “One” was the only truly interesting thing that happened on the Grammys: This was the only instance of real improvisation (including dissonance and spontaneity, two essential components in interesting music IMHO), and/or risk taking that I saw. People give Metallica a lot of shit these days, but they still rock and they still take big risks, and I respect that.
- Beyonce is smoking hot, but otherwise pretty unremarkable: And I respect Jay-Z, but I could use a break.
- I do not understand what all the fuss is about with Lorde. But that’s OK, I don’t need to understand everything.
I think that’s it.