I haven't watched the Grammys in years, it's just not my bag. If there is something amazing that happens, I can check it out on youtube, so I generally pass. I'm married now, though. You make compromises.
So, I'm watching the Grammys and all of a sudden J. Lo announces that there is a Broadway musical based on the music and story of Green Day. This is Green Day, the Billie Joe Armstrong vehicle that was supposed to keep punk "real". The same Green Day that would never "sell out".
I myself have no problem with anyone selling out, or at least I didn't think I did. This just sort of crosses the line.
Green Day has long fought the battle against their staunch critics that they are genuine, that they are the epitome of the punk ethos. Through the acoustic stylings of their second album, they were still accepted because they said it was the "punk" thing to do. They were not only accepted by the punk world again, they were lauded for the direction they had taken and sold millions of records.
When they played covers, it was cool because they did so reverently and showed their true background. A punk background. So what if they had major money in the bank and showed us their cribs on MTV? They were punks through-and-through.
When they took the stage with the world's biggest band, the punks still bought it. Their single with U2 sold a lot and sent money to Katrina victims. I thought it was great. I thought it was respectable. I thought it was rather selfless, while still in a somewhat self-aggrandizing non-punk way.
Tonight should cement their lack of punkness, though. I mean, there were dancers, broadway singers, chorus line chicks, and a lot of guys who looked like they were wearing way too much gel to be hardcore. There was lace, for cripe's sake. Lace?!?!?
Beyonce just won an award for a song that sounds just like everything else on the radio today, while Kings of Leon looked on knowing that their song was superior in every way. Isn't everything else on Beyonce's latest album better than this song? She has good material.
Beyonce now has taken the stage and put on one heck of a show singing a song that is much better than the one she won the award for. "Just a Boy", or something along those lines, with a little Alanis Morisette thrown in for good measure. Why didn't this song get nominated instead of the other one? This is pretty stellar.
Today's music culture is in shambles. Is that harsh? Sorry to be so negative, I guess there is hope.
I like what I have heard from the Taylor Swift album, or at least I respect it. That's a load of talent, and a very good young songwriter. She'll get better, and seems to have the attitude to do so.
While not winning the song award tonight, Kings of Leon is still getting attention. That's a good thing. They are huge in Europe, and for good reason.
Zac Brown just won best new artist, in the same category as the Silversun Pickups (who played a bar gig in Johnson City just a few months ago...) and three more people I never heard of. He's built a band of really good musicians, and is a fine singer and picker himself. They do work, and do it well.
Pink just put on a pretty great performance. That was unexpected. The Black Eyed Peas did exactly what I thought they would and played down to expectations. I've got to quit watching. At least quit typing.
This has been so disappointing and disconcerting, but interesting all the same. I thought the Grammys were an explosion of talent, a celebration of greatness. I know these songs are catchy. I know they have cool hooks and make the crowd wave their hands. I know all that.
But, I refuse to believe that Beyonce's big song of the night was better than anything else released this year. How do they grade these things? Who judges? Didn't Springsteen put something out this year? U2? Phish? Prince? Radiohead? Coldplay?
None of them released a classic, but they all had better output than "Put a Ring on It". That's a natural fact. Has to be.
Michael Jackson's kids look just like him. Can't even tell the difference. It's like I'm looking at a poster of the gloved one himself.
And Green Day is not punk. I'm taking my copy of "Dookie" to Mr. K's. I think that's the punk thing to do.
Update: Lincoln runs an ad asking "Who will be the next great band?', or something of the like, to be "in a Lincoln ad." The band they highlight is covering "Major Tom",a Peter Schilling song from the 80's. Once that is done, another Lincoln ad runs, and the band in it is covering a song from the 90's by the Church, "Under the Milky Way Tonight". Are all the "great" bands of today relegated to playing songs they haven't written...? It seems to be the case, because they just ran another one with a band covering "Burning for You". Throw a few more dollars to the B.O.C.
Update 2: Ringo Starr still looks great, and he just handed a Grammy to Kings of Leon for "Use Somebody". I guess I really can stop typing now.
Update 3: Green Day won another Grammy. Wow. Zak Brown played and was amazingly good, and shared the stage with the great Leon Russell, who looked completely disinterested. Taylor Swift performed and was just awful. That was disappointing. She sang with Stevie Nicks, who tried to help out, but it was just plain bad. It got better at the end, but she had to work pretty hard to dig herself out, and she didn't quite make it. Very disappointing. I swear I'll stop now.
Update 4: I love Smokey Robinson. And I am being taken by Jennifer Hudson. That's a good thing to end on. Jennifer Hudson. That's what the future of music should sound like. It should sound like raw, unadulterated soul - the kind of soul your mother told you about. Reminiscent of greats gone by. Man, she has IT. I'll stop now.
Update 5: Back again. Andrea Bocelli is awesome. Mary J. Blige doesn't quite measure up, but she gave a good effort. They should have let Jennifer Hudson fill this slot.
Last Possible Update: Dave Matthews is still one of the best live shows a man could ever see. Great songs, great band, great sound. Amazing stuff. The "Unbelievable" rap performance featuring Eminem, L'il Wayne, and Drake was very forgettable. I walked the dog when Bon Jovi came on.
Can't wait 'til next year!!
|Citizen Kane at Scully's|
|Citizen Kane rocks the crowd at Scully's in Johnson City on Friday, November 26th with new lead singer Rusty Honeycutt.|