Monday, February 12, 2007
The Grammy's, while always a reliable boost for sales, particularly with the boutique, non-mainstream stuff, were always marked by music biz nitcrits as too staid, laughingly wrongheaded, accompanied by a live event that was about as exciting as yer Uncle Louie's Knights of Columbus retirement party. Of course, during the last few years the event and the actual nominations have righted themselves, and, while still patently mainstream, the night and the awards have become eminently watchable, and often pleasantly surprisingly. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I watched the whole damn thang, and dug a whole lot of it. (Aside # 1:Little Rhody went 1 for 2 with Bill Harley winning for Best Spoken Word for Children, and Duke Robillard losing Best Traditional Blues Album to Ike Turner.) (Aside # 2: Yet another sign that the Apocalypse is upon us--Eddie's Murphy's Norbit opened with huge box office-his 4th biggest opening evuh--despite being crushed by reviewers everywhere and boasting a series of TV ads that just scream out s-t-u-p-i-d-i-t-y.)
Money, That's All I Want--The Police pick the easy route, do "Roxanne", including the hoary extended dub section, and Sting (looking like a scary cross between Brian Bosworth and Malcolm McDowell) gets all dressed up in retro duds.
Who Knew?--Joan Baez looked remarkably elegant and middle-aged sexy as she praised our newest avatars of free speech, The Dixie Gals.
Didn't Alvin and the Chipmunks Already Win a Grammy?--Although the Dixie Gals looked all growed up it was the twisting and turning of Natalie's extremely chipmunk-like mouth I couldn't take my eyes off.
James Brown Hadda Get on the Goodfoot In His Grave, Part 1--Wyclef Jean proved that rythmn ain't genetic as he stiff-leggedly bopped his way around the shaking hips of Shakira.
James Brown Hadda Get on the Goodfoot In His Grave, Part 2--Obvious but nice touch of draping the JB cape around the unoccupied mic stand.
James Brown Hadda Get on the Goodfoot In His Grave, Part 3--Prince, epitomizing cool once again, gets up, smiles slyly, and intros Beyonce with the briefest of sentences.
James Brown Hadda Get on the Goodfoot In His Grave, Part 4--Was QT, or Quentin Tarantino, (who more and more looks like the head on top of a Pez dispenser)on drugs, drunk, or just doing his best to invoke the carnival barking spirit of a bygone era of honky-tonks, the chitlin' circuit, and wild and crazy DJ's as he took his turn at announcing the nominees?
Eyesight To The Blind--Certainly, the most terrifying sight of the evening was of self-satisfied Don Henley pumping his fists at the Dixie Dollies, the suddenly anointed successors to the likes of Lenny Bruce, Frank Zappa, Richard Pryor, and Public Enemy.
I Can See Clearly Now--Where Scarlett Johannsons' orbs, splendidly spilling out of her outfit, as large and luminescent to you as they were on my extra large TV screen, or where they a bigtime Grammy special effect like all the forlorn little cuties holding candles upside their necks during the Ludacris number, or the amazingly innovative use of released confetti during the Chili Peppers ditty?
Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes--Since when did Chili guitarist John Frusicante suddenly start to look (and dress) like Justin Timberlake's older, nerdier brother?
Best Shout Out-Ludacris to Bill O'Reilly.
The Apocalypse is Definitely Around the Corner--Ornette Coleman (in a kick-ass zoot suit) forced to introduce the likes of James Blunt, and (gulp) worse, stand there while Carrie (Sybil) Underwood won.
Don't Knock The Rock--Flea did it up twice, despite the Peppers strangely muted performance--jumping around in yellow soccer uniform (a tribute to Beckham?) and posting a sign over his amps that said "Love to Ornette Coleman".
Veg-et-a-bles--While Queen Latifah probably should get marked down as a zucchini,her presenting partner Al Gore definitely had it down as a kumquat.
Growing Up in Public, Part 1--Justin Timberlake has come a long way baby, but, why oh why, keep the whitey-white sneakers on (the ultimate fashion sin--a grown man with sneakers or sandals), which make him look far too close to a singing, dancing live action version of Mickey Mouse?
Growing Up in Public, Part 2-John Mayer was rocking the curly locks, but it was his beat-up, paint-flakin' guitar that scored the real points, though I'm not quite ready to pull out the green and buy his, ahem, blues album.
Growing Up in Public, Part 3--Sure Christina Aguilera might have finally escaped her early skank-as-diva persona, but that Jean Harlow do looked like it could cut through a diamond.
Growing Up in Public, Part 4--Kudo's to Mary J. Bilge (and her posterior)for showing maturation as an artist and a person, but jeez, don't ever invoke the glass-breaking vocal stylings of Patti Labelle while trying to do justice to an emotional number.
In Memory of Marcel Marceau--The strange Bob Willis/Don Henley tribute turned out to be 3 parts Don, 1 part Bob,yet the scarily enacted pantomine between Sybil Underwood and The Rascal Fattie guy during "Life in the Fast Lane" was more horrifying than any guts-on-display scene in any recent horror movie.
Life's Been Good To Me So Far--Dan Wilson,the leader of indie faves Semisonic, looked like a dazed 13 year old who just had the neighborhood sweetie's hand in his pants as he traipsed up on stage to share in the Grammy spotlight of the Dixie Chicklets.