Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Red Carpet

Ahh, The Grammy's. The 53rd presentation of the Gramophone Awards (yeah, Grammy is short for Gramophone, who knew?).

When I first decided to make a post about my thoughts surrounding this year's circus, I'll admit I was overcome with a flutter of sadistic glee at the thought of tearing apart the recording industry's annual parade of over exposed troubadours responsible for the incessant, hollow buzz haunting the frequencies of malls and television sets from coast to coast. Then, I realized last night I know absolutely nothing about anyone that had anything to do with the awards.

I tried doing a little quick research on who won, and read up a couple of quick stories about Arcade Fire and Lady Antebellum, and promptly decided that I have absolutely no desire to expose myself to enough of this material to really be able to give it the attention it deserves. I have become so overwhelmingly over-saturated with the flash and show of the music industry that I've simply shut off.

I mean, come on, Lady Gaga was brought out to the show encased in a giant egg borne by a set of gold clad pallbearers. Call me crazy, but I find it hard to imagine Warren Zevon doing anything of the sort. And while I know some of you are thinking the comparison inapplicable given Zevon's generally reserved character, hell, even James Brown wouldn't go near that one.

And I guess that's really what it all comes down to. While I may be too young to remember it, I certainly have been exposed to a period when, in the words of Bill Hicks, "Music had soul, and music had conscious, and music had balls." Fuckin' A. Don't get me wrong, I fully realize that there are still legions of talented artists out there with a fiery message of soulful explosion, but if any of them were at the Grammy's Sunday night, they were lost behind the flashing cameras, gaudy outfits, and of course, the balled fists of those accursed Knights of Standards & Practices. The only part of the show I saw and truly enjoyed was Cee Lo Green's performance with Jim Henson's Muppets. I mean, come on, who doesn't love the Muppets? Not to mention, who knew Gwyneth Paltrow could actually sing? But alas, the whole song seemed tragically marred. Somehow the chorus of "Forget You" just doesn't pack the same wallop as the original.

Really, in the end here, it's all about a choice the American public has to make. We have options here, people. We can settle for the spectacle of the Jonas Brothers coating our daughters with their hot foam, or we can demand a return of the likes of Hendrix setting his guitar on fire on stage. We can acclimate to the Justin Bierbers of the world, or we can clamor in the streets for an end of these Disney shills Shaking their Love all over our TV sets. The good stuff is still out there, in the dive bars and basement studios all over this country. Get the fuck out there and support it.

I leave you now and bequeath the stage to a man who says it all about a million times better than I ever could. Fuck you Neil Portnow, I want my music back.

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