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Grammys Go Over Easy | Not Eggxactly

2 Comments 17 | February | 2011

Once again the Grammys has come and gone, placing its gold star of excellence on a select few artists, duos, groups, casts of TV shows, or shemale solo artists performing a live cover of a remix composed by a recipient of the lifetime achievement award in the category of best jazz ensemble west of the Nile.

As usual, the telecast was a lengthy ordeal, not including the two hours of red carpet coverage leading up to the actual awards ceremony.  Unsurprisingly, in the roughly six hours of coverage, cameras captured some classic D-List material from A-list celebrities, starting at…

THE RED CARPET

Lady Gaga, who is about as predictable as diarrhea, hit the red carpet in what else……an egg.  Having been immediately penciled in at Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric facilities, she quickly laid to waste the lingering question of, “which came first, the chick or the egg?”

Confined to her translucent vessel and hoisted 5 feet off the ground, she was carried the length of the carpet by a costumed entourage.  It was a scene straight from the cutting room floor of the worst Star Trek episode you could imagine.  Upon arrival at the E! Entertainment side stage, it was clear that an explanation was forthcoming.

Gaga’s creative director, Laurieann Gibson, and her “supermodel nurse,” graciously explained that Gaga was “incubating” in a womb.  Well, duuuuh.  What do you think we’re stupid? Furthermore, it was revealed that she had been in the egg womb for “a serious amount of time” and that her heartbeat of 126 beats per minute was due to excitement (and in no way could be attributed to spending an hour in her designer polyethylene coffin).

Then as Ryan Seacrest was about to launch into another question, he was beaten to the punch.  “Is she dilating,” Gibson inquired.  Without any further clarification to Seacrest, or the medical community, as to why Lady Gaga would be dilating given that she was the one to be birthed, Gibson delivered the punch line.  Claiming that her later performance would “shift the world,” her incubation period was not only necessary, but it symbolized her commitment to the artistic process.  Shortly thereafter, the entourage fled to continue the birthing process in a less public locale.

Not that Ryan Seacrest wants or needs my sympathy, but as much flack as he catches, I actually felt like he did an exceptional job playing along with the paper-thin plot that was likely conceived in the aftermath of a cocktail of hallucinogens and a sci-fi B-movie marathon.  There were plenty of questions that he did NOT ask, mostly due to FCC regulations, and the explanations he did receive were awkwardly scripted and poorly translated.  Had “David After Dentist” given the interview, it would have made more sense.

The stunt was grand in theory but fell flat on execution and if I were Gaga I would have Gibson fired….out of a cannon….into the sun.  More on Gaga’s performance later.  (Watch the video here)

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The only other notables on the red carpet (in my opinion), Katy Perry and Russell Brand showed up with Katy’s 90-year-old grandma in tow.  The majority of the interview revolved around the grandmother and her bedazzled cane, concluding with Perry stating how it was fitting that she brought her “grammy” to the Grammys.  No doubt that joke had been incubating longer than Lady Gaga.  I’m sure Katy was relieved to let that thought go so she could let another one in.  On the flip side, the clean-shaven Mr. Brand was decidedly tame, either for the sake of “grammy,” or maybe it has dawned on him that he’s MARRIED to Katy Perry.  Ouch.  Speaking of weddings, let’s move on to…

THE CEREMONY

Esperanza Who?
The most shocking shocker of the night (at the time), multi-talented jazz musician/composer/educator, Esperanza Spalding, walked away with the award for “Best New Artist” upsetting (in a figurative sense) fellow nominee Justin Bieber (and Drake, and Florence + the Machine, and Mumford & Sons).  Her unexpected victory also upset Bieber’s army of fans (aka, Beliebers), in a more literal sense, sparking hate mail and Wiki-hacking.  Whoa, sounds like somebody needs a “timeout.”  If only we could harness the energy of a million angry Bieber fans we could probably achieve the nation’s sustainable energy goals right now.  Don’t stop…Be-lieeeben!!

Jazz-musician-Esperanza-Spalding-wins-Grammy-for-Best-New-Artist

Talent Show
The best performance of the night, Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars, and B.o.B. (ages 25, 25, and 22, respectively) delivered a dynamite medley featuring works from all three artists.  Complete with retrograde visual effects and a dapper dress code to match, the trio eased into a soul-drenched version of “Nothin’ on You” (Mars and B.o.B.).  Next, Mars upped the pace with his own #1 hit, “Grenade.”  The final act focused on the pocket-sized Monae belting out the massive notes of “Cold War,” crowd surfing, and in no uncertain terms, OWNING THE STAGE.  Teeming with confidence, I wonder where these kids learned about stage presence?…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwWNjgfv2hU[/youtube]

Mick Jagged
In a tribute to the late “King of Rock ‘n Soul,” Mick Jagger performed Solomon Burke’s “Everyone Needs Someone to Love.”  The lean and aging Stone strutted across the stage pumping his trademark sexuality into every step.  At 67 years of age, and one pound per year, the wispy Jagger’s sharp features cut through the air as he danced, skipped, and reveled in his first Grammy performance.  Maybe they will bring him back next year for a tribute to the late Keith Richards.

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Goo Goo Gaga
Lady Gaga finally emerged from her sarcophagus to perform the ubiquitous single “Born This Way.”  Rewrite: Lady Gaga hatched herself onto the Grammy stage and proceeded to rip off Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” or should I say, “Eggspress Yourself.”  Still waiting for the world to shift…

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Lady Anti-climatic
Despite all of the hoopla surrounding Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum actually garnered more awards (5 total including Song of the Year and Record of the Year…what’s the difference?).  Even though I’m not big on their music, or the fact they beat out Cee-Lo’s “F**k You” in both categories, they won my award for best “Lady” of the night.  Meanwhile, based on her frightening attire, Gaga reigned in my award for best “Lady of the Night.”

Sons, Brothers, and a Folking Legend
Entering the stage in the order alluded to, Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers each delivered a snippet of original material before being joined by the iconic Bob Dylan.  Unfortunately the adjectives I would use to describe the rest of the performance are:  noisy, cluttered, and overambitious.  Adding to the list of woes, Dylan was totally unintelligible and for all intents and purposes could have been reading the dollar menu at McDonalds.

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Who the [explitive deleted] are The Suburbs?!
As with every award show, the producers saved the best for last.  Having endured 3 hours of lackluster programming already, I was barely hanging on for the end, surviving countless commercial breaks on the promise that I was about to see “the first every Grammy performance by Arcade Fire.”  When their time finally came, they burst into my least favorite track of The Suburbs, “Month of May.”  Doh!  The performance, though energized, was marred by overblown strobe lights and dudes on BMX bikes with helmet cameras….something out of Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam.  Disappointed, I continued to watch, figuring this was as good as it would get for me, a fan of music more often found on independent radio.

At the song’s conclusion Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson shuffled out to present the award of the night “Album of the Year.”  After announcing the nominees, (Arcade Fire – The Suburbs, Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster, Eminem – Recovery, Lady Antebellum – Need You Now, and Katy Perry – Teenage Dream), BAHBRA! opened the envelope and was visibly confused.  “The Suburbs,” she practically asked, confusing the band name with the ablum.  As the band returned to the stage to collect the award it was almost as if Barbara sought confirmation that this gang of miscreants was indeed, The Suburbs.

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Only hours behind the Esperanza backlash bonanza, the ensuing internet controversy surrounding the Album of the Year winners hit hard and fast.  The gist of the hate is compiled in the form of angry social media posts on the following site, Who Is Arcade Fire? Once again, I’m amazed at how devout some fans can be, but disturbed by their complete disdain for a band they know nothing about.

So to the whiny bitches out there who think  insert your favorite nominee here got shafted, why don’t you write a letter to The Recording Academy, seeing as how they are the ones responsible for your perceived injustice.  Or better yet, how about you swallow your pride and accept the fact that for once the Grammys didn’t just amount to a Clear Channel popularity contest.  So there…nana nana boo boo.

With a thick cloud of confusion looming over the stage, Arcade Fire returned to their instruments and dove headlong into a victory lap version of “Ready to Start.”  It’s safe to assume you could add “Partying” to the song title with each of the seven band members equally elated and overwhelmed by their newfound crown.  The Win (pun intended) bolstered the air of optimism already present in the song and proved a magnificent night cap to music’s most grand affair.  Hopefully that optimism will spread and extinguish the fiery rhetoric of the angry Facebook and Twitter populations.  Maybe…..just maybe, a few of them will even bother to find out who Arcade Fire is.  The rest will bury their heads in one genre, or worse, one artist (that sounds kinda gross) and continue to talk shit, unable to change.  I know, I know….they were Born That Way.

Until next year…

  • A big congratulations to Esperanza Spalding for winning against Justin Bieber.

  • A big congratulations to Esperanza Spalding for winning against Justin Bieber.

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