CBS is dead set on averting a reprise of its Super Bowl breast-baring fiasco. And with the Grammy telecast upcoming they face a daunting challenge indeed. After all this is an event that attracts the exhibitionist likes of Britney, Christina, Pink and Li'l Kim. Now that Janet has broken the boob barrier, these gals will have a lot of catching up to do, no? CBS shirts are scrambling to devise special technologies to thwart those efforts. Round and round they go, in a pointless game of cat n' mouse.
Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill! (*all groan.*) I mean, with deadly poison being mailed to senators, a swelling budget deficit, bird flu and roadside bombs exploding everywhere you look, who cares? For that matter, who cares about the Grammies? Every year it's the same, much self-aggrandization, self-serving acceptance speeches and feigned happiness at others' good fortune.
Of course I'm just guessing cuz I never watch the stultifying spectacle. But I do read about who won what and mostly I haven't a clue about the artist. When I do I'm always struck by how boringly mainstream they are. Rest assured that Linz's beloved Coldplay won't win squat this year. Their music is far too moody and eclectic for the Grammy people, whose taste runs to Bette Midler's sickening rendition of Wind Beneath My Wings.
Likewise, Jim Carroll's edgy debut Catholic Boy got snubbed back in the 80s. In it the onetime promising prep school athlete bared his soul, detailing his descent into heroin addiction and his horror at watching all his friends die one by one. His harrowing tale was made into a little movie called The Basketball Diaries. I could relate on more levels than I care to share.
That album rocked, as did Garbage's 1995 debut. Lead singer Shirley Manson's rage and paradoxical vulnerability were palpable throughout. Was this effort Grammy-worthy? Hell no, Best New Artist honors went to Sheryl Crowe that year.
Fact is, all these awards shows have degenerated into farcical parodies of their former selves. And part of the problem is the entertainment industry's egotistical refusal to admit that it's just a producer of products no more important than coat hangers, beer or sausage. Fed by fans' adoration and the cottage industry that has grown up around watching their every move, they've come to fancy themselves as Artistes with a capital A. That's why they bore you with such highbrow fare as A Beautiful Mind, Shakespeare in Love and Schindler's List. All of which won a slew of Oscars. None of which fared real well at the box office, which is all that matters. In fact, of the top 50 grossing films, only two won Best Picture. Guess which ones.
The ancient Greeks had Zeus and all their lesser gods to worship. People of the Wild West had such notorious gunslingers as Billy the Kidd, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. We're left with these vacuous nitwits and their endless backslapping. Bah! is right.
Not to bitch too much, but … with a quick Google:Coldplay did win.
I do agree that the grammys do suck and mean nothing really. As for music "no more important than coat hangers, beer or sausage", I'd have to disagree. I've never seen people fight over a hanger, cry over a hanger or go to extreme lengths to see a hanger live. I bet if you could download hangers over the net no one would care.
by MrBlank at February 5, 2004 3:53 PM
Here it is all offical, and stuff. It still doesn't make me like them any more.
by MrBlank at February 5, 2004 4:05 PM
Uh … that didn't work. just search for "coldplay".
by MrBlank at February 5, 2004 4:06 PM
Certainly, music makes the people come together. It makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel. Just kidding! No really, it does.
by jean at February 5, 2004 5:34 PM
Well I stand corrected. But the Grammies haven't even happened yet, how did they win?
by anna at February 5, 2004 6:15 PM
That was last year's Grammies.
Fountains Of Wayne are up for Best New Artist this year. Their first album (of three) came out in 1996. Music might mean something, but these awards, well, that's another story.
by Adam at February 6, 2004 9:15 AM
As NBC used to say about its reruns, if you haven't seen it then it's new to you. I've just started digging Fountains of Wayne.
by anna at February 6, 2004 6:16 PM
I always get really irritated when I watch these awards. The same way I felt when I tried to watch American Idol that one time. It just feels so bereft of true passion; for the very reason you cite Anna. The music industry doesn't care about quality, OR quantity. So you only hear a very little of the music out there, and it's the bands they decide to prop up based on prettiness and generic-ness... the less flavor, the more likely that a wider population will be able to eat it.
by Linz at February 7, 2004 12:02 PM
Dammit. 10,000 bands out there and I pick Coldplay. Who wins Best Record, this year? Coldplay, for Clocks.
by anna at February 9, 2004 6:40 PM
Best song is for writing, best record is an award for a song, and best album is for the whole record. Stupid and confusin, yes. Which is why Coldplay could have been nominated for best record three years in a row for the songs from the same album (though maybe the first nom. was for Yellow from Parachutes). The Grammy's are weird all around though. Somehow the White Stripes are nominated for best rock song but not album (in alternative album instead), Sting, Waren Zevon and Timberlake nominated in the same category. I agreed (or at least undestood) most awards - they were pretty dead on - except for the awful Luther Vandross' "Dance with my father" winning over the much better (and also more poignant) Warren Zevon's "Keep me in you heart."
All in all, it was a very hit or miss show - Sting and Sean Paul (miss), the funk segment (hit), the Luther Vandross tribute (miss - esp. considering no Cash/Carter-Cash tribute), Timberlake's performance (sad to admit - hit), Beatles tribute (miss), Zevon tribute (hit), Quentin Tarnantino being himself (miss), Samuel Jackson being Rev James Brown (hit), Madonna's man arms (miss), Christina Aguilera (hit), Christina Aguilera's look (miss), Prince and Beyonce (hit), Beyonce solo (miss), the White Stripes (hit), Sarah Mclachlan (miss), presenting duo of Snoop Dog and Jason Alexander (hit), Yoko Ono's grasp on English (despite having lived in the west for 40 years - miss), OutKast and Andre 3000's niples (hit).
by mg at February 9, 2004 9:45 PM
Only Madonna falls into the class "fancy themselves as Artistes" (or maybe that is just her accent that makes me think that). Compared to movie folks, musicians are not nearly as annoying. The only real politics came from England's Coldplay making a presidential endorsement and the grammies president (who probably bored people to tune away in drove before they heard anything he actually said). Otherwise rock stars are, you know, rock stars. I actually almost always watch the grammies because, while I can do without movies, tv, etc, I couldn't do without music, and the show was fun (even the misses were so bad to make them entertaining).
PS: Titanic is one, I don't know the second.
by mg at February 9, 2004 9:52 PM
Ugh, I muted the TV once the Grammies president started his poo-poo about filesharing. My kid sister was in the room, and I'd rather her see Janet Jackson's bare (and creepily pierced) nipple.
I find it easier to explain wierd body piercings than the cynical market, copyright law, and semantic manipulations of vast multinational, multichannel, and exploitative corporations.
by jean at February 10, 2004 2:47 AM
Wasn't Madonna born in like, Detroit? Why does she sound so English?
I don't know about rock stars anymore. I'm always reminded of an interview with Pete Townsend. He complained about how in the Who's early days they'd destroy their instruments and amps. But then the stuff started to get more expensive so they cut it out. He was surprised that the audience had come to expect it. Look for a live murder at the Super Bowl halftime extravaganza next year.
by anna at February 10, 2004 8:01 AM
It's just like Rome all over again... bread and circuses for everyone!
by jean at February 11, 2004 12:44 AM