Monday, February 12, 2007

The Grammys in 100 Words or Less. Or not.

I thought about live-blogging that bullshit (that bullshit being the Grammys), but I spent the majority of my weekend writing and I was a little cashed out. I want to touch on a few things. I found myself watching because it was a chance to catch - possibly - some of that Frusciante magic on national television. It didn't happen. John was good. Just good. And he didn't come on until around 11:00, which meant I had some time on my hands. I wasn't moved - as in, remotely inspired in some way shape or form - until two hours in when Chris Brown got on stage and did exactly what a lot of people told me he was capable of doing at an extremely high level: performing. The kid can flat out dance. And yeah, there wasn't a lot of singing involved in his performance, but he was dealing with a knockout catchy song (in the vein of Usher's "Yeah!") that served as a perfect backdrop while he showcased his other, perhaps greater talents: dancing, performing, wowing and impressing. The kid is a monster talent. I'm not about to go out and buy the CD, but fuck, was that impressive.

Chris Brown capped off a three spot of performances from three different generations of artists. It started with Smokey Robinson doing "Tracks of my Tears". That is one of my all-time favorite songs from that era, but Smokey, shit, take it easy on the Botox. Tracks of my tears? I'd be surprised if the guy has tear ducts...he blinked once. Tops. I know, I know. He's like 80. Lionel Richie...nice performance. Chris Brown? Blew the doors off. What came next was a complete surprise. I like Christina Aguilera as much as the next guy. And I have always respected her vocal ability. So I'm expecting something solid (her camp and the Grammy people were very hush-hush on her performance) on what is shaping up to be an all-too tepid night of performances. What I didn't expect was her to come out and throw down on a James Brown track ("It's A Man's Man's Man's World") as hard as she did. Unreal. But that was it. Three and a half hours and that's the only two worthwhile performances. Her and Chris Brown looked like they were the only people that came to play. Scratch that. The only ones that even suited up for the game. Everyone else was on cruise control (to include Red Hot Chili Peppers).

This is a direct reflection of this award show. Does anyone care? No. Has it become so outdated and out-of-touch that it is all just a formality? Yes. The Police were abysmal. Something was going on with Sting's vocals and it wasn't good. A chance to capitalize and create a moment? Sure. But do they really have to? That tour will sell out before it goes on sale. The Eagles give-and-go thing between Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood was empty. Don't do Don Henley like that. Don't do the Eagles like that. There's too much going on. People are on the Red Carpet and they already have awards. They've already won. John Mayer's speaking Japanese. The Dixie Chicks are up on stage. The fat one is speechless. I'm speechless. I pour another drink and wish I was watching another DVRed episode of "The Wire". Because it makes me fucking think. The founder of Stax Records is getting an Honorary something or other. She's about the size of a coffee mug on the lower right hand side of my screen. No one's hosting. The Grammy Ticker is naming off who won for best album packaging: Adam Jones, from Tool, I barely catch it. The Dixie Chicks are up on stage. The fat one is running her mouth. I'm cussing her out and I don't. Know. Why. I haven't listened to the album. I don't want to. Rick Rubin produced it? That guy really is everywhere.

Pretty soon, all I can think about is being at that Boris (not nominated) show and hearing the first bar of "Electric". There wasn't a place on the fucking planet I wanted to be, but five feet from Wata, getting my world rocked. That is fucking music! Visceral, blood-pumping, heart-pounding emotion. An experience! WE'RE FUCKING ALIVE! This is something I will tell the kids about. Not the time I saw Ludacris half-ass his way around stage rapping some song with no bite (no bark, even) about runaways. Is there any feeling in all of this? Yeah, I see the pictures flashing, but this - this is going to beat out Clipse? Lupe Fiasco? There's no heart in it.

I was in fucking tears at Coachella the first time I saw TV On The Radio (not nominated). Tears. They were that fucking good. I was visibly shaken when they were done and I hadn't even heard the second album yet. My first listen was right there. They were affecting. They left an impression. And in turn, made me a fan for life. You know why? Because its in their makeup. They are artists. No one's telling them that they need to do this or do that or wear Dolce and drink a Heineken. They come out to fucking blow your mind because it is art and they are artists. Art! Where is the art in a song called "Jesus Take The Wheel" (nominated x3)? Fuck, if the Grammys were a bus we would need Jesus driving it - get him behind the wheel quick! - because it's going off the road into a deep ravine next to the wreckage that is mainstream radio, major label record companies, and hair bands.

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.

I'm going to lunch. Gonna listen to some Cloud Cult (not nominated, never going to be nominated, and they don't care). This new album is so good I don't know what to do with myself. I don't even know what genre it is. It's just Cloud Cult. Two classic albums one after the other. Talk about a fucking band that rocks. Live. In the studio. Just fucking rocks. And they do it all themselves. Write. Record. Produce. Ship. Shit, I wouldn't be surprised if they weave their t-shirts by hand. I don't know, maybe there's some person out there that flipped out when Beyonce performed. Maybe it literally ripped them to shreds inside to hear her hit every note. I was sitting there wondering if Jay-Z cheats on her. If he actually cheats on her. I was that non-plussed, unimpressed, unengaged. I was daydreaming, I was somewhere else entirely. I could, simply, care less about what was beaming through the cathode ray matrix of death.

The really fucking scary thing is that a lot of people watching the Grammys that actually enjoyed it, were probably just as numb to it. Just as unengaged. Because that is what we do. We sit down in front of the TV and grow numb. We don't know what's good or what's bad. Because someone's going to make that decision for us. Fuck the war. Fuck the news. Fuck my job. Fuck the bills. Let's fucking disassociate through reality TV. Let's severe all ties with the living through sloth. If the shoe fits, your epitaph reads: "I heard it's Hollywood Week on American Idol. I'll watch. I've got nothing better to do."


frat said...

just watch this

you will feel me

RC said...

wow...that was some of the longest 100 words I've ever read.

it doesn't really seem like you cared much for the grammys this year. the grammy's are so gooft because there's so many's overkill.