I admit I’m not young and cool. I admit I think Lady Gaga should put some pants on. I admit I’m in that demographic of Super Bowl halftime-show viewers who said, “You know, Pete and Roger haven’t changed that much since I first saw them in ’75. When we had to walk 10 miles in the snow uphill both ways to get to the show.” But I was blown away by the great music I heard on the recent Grammy Award broadcast. I mean, despite Lady Gaga’s weird green Tinkerbell ensemble, her performance was powerfully awesome. Same with Beyonce and Pink. And Green Day and Kings of Leon. And I found myself tapping and clapping along with newcomer the Zac Brown Band. And Taylor Swift was intriguing — I mean, she knows she can’t sing but she’s so supremely confident that she does it anyway? Who is this kid??? So then I wanted to hear more from these folks — and of course classic favorites such as the Dave Matthews Band and even the Black-Eyed Peas. If I were music-savvy and had plenty of money, I’m sure I’d already have a Grammy-worthy CD and iTunes collection. But I’m not and I don’t. So, Wal-Mart to the rescue! Running past the electronics department — between office supplies and dairy — I spotted this $11 CD of Grammy nominees and I’ve been rocking out ever since. I promise you have to smile when you hear Fergie promising you a good night and Sugarland bemoaning that “It Happens.” You can order it from http://www.grammy.com/, too. This is like bullet points for pop music of the past few months — your kids and friends will be impressed.
I know next to nothing about music. My radios are all tuned to NPR stations and my CD/iPod collections lean heavily on the classics — as in Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles. That’s why I rely on the annual Grammy Awards to cue me in on what’s hot and what’s not. Luckily, 23-year-old Younger Daughter watched along with me on Sunday night and we made a great team: She explained what the Blackeyed Peas were singing about and I told her who Alice Cooper and Stevie Nicks are. But what a show! I was moved to tears, moved to laughter and then at times simply moved to leave the room until my ears (and eyes) stopped bleeding. Here are some highlights, and if you want more go to http://www.ew.com/ew for complete coverage:
As somebody tweeted on Sunday night during the broadcast, “Where’s Kanye when you need him?” Even folks as musically challenged as I am could tell that teen-country-diva Taylor Swift mangled her live performance, but apparently that’s normal for her. And I wasn’t sure if I should be proud of Stevie Nicks for going along or embarrassed for her part in the debacle. It’s so hard to tell with Living Legends! And truthfully I do not understand how Swift has slipped into super-star status. I mean, she’s cute and perky and nice — is that all you need nowadays?
I loved Pink’s rock-‘n’-roll-meets-haute-couture red-carpet gown, which contrasted directly with her performance ensemble of a white sheet covering criss-crossed white bandages. And were the folks sitting below her high-rise swing act issued umbrellas and ponchos?
Multi-winner Beyonce was strong, confident and powerful in her performance. But what’s with the headache-inducing hair tossing and the weird techno-military backup dancers? I mean, when do gimmicks for gimmicks’ sake cross the line from entertaining to annoying? Or maybe being annoying is part of the entertainment. Now my head aches.
If you listen to Lady Gaga’s music, you do not picture a drag queen-like constellation-wearing pale skinny girl. I say congrats to anyone who can work their way up, create an instantly recognizable image and construct such an enormous fan base as she has. If you’re a friend of Elton John, that’s good enough for me.
All I have to say about Lil Wayne, Eminem and the other hip-hop/rappers is, “Could you please pull your pants up? Thank you.”
But I’m not all you-damn-kids-get-outta-my-yard old-lady-grumpy here. I loved the performances by Dave Matthews Band, Zac Brown Band, Slash and Green Day. And the Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige duet was so lovely. Now, that’s music.