Monday, February 14, 2005

Grammy Crackers


The "Tribute To Southern Rock" backing musicians spot Nelly backstage at the Grammys

A few thoughts on the Grammys:

I did not watch them all the way through as I hoped to avoid this year's variation on "College Students Can Download Sting's Back Catalog Faster Than Their Parents Can Program Their VCRs" speech by Ron Silver lookylikey Neil Portnow.

Kanye West virtually guaranteed his exclusion from the kingdom of heaven with his incredibly pompous and bad mime troupe enacted confession-death-resurection performance of "Jesus Walks"*. I kept hoping that Mavis Staples was going to reach out and slap him for being disrespectful towards gospel music as an art form.

(*"Why schlep?" says Moses "At my age, I'm all for taxis. And with those holes in your feet Jesus, walking? Oy!")

Green Day did a good job of sucking it up and being the world's most industry-friendly "punks" so that they could blast out their brilliant 2 min 30 second hymn of subversion American Idiot on the network of safe, apple pie, respect all forms of government shows like JAG and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Based on the number of "Grammys awarded earlier" that scrolled across the screen, the Grammys must be like an iceberg, 9/10ths under water and the 1/10th that we can see topped with a crappy caberet coreographed by Jack from Will and Grace.

Proving beyond all doubt that the recording industry is populated by yellow toothed lecherous old pervs, behold the sight of warbling Lolita Joss Stone attempting to pay tribute to Janis Joplin. Then behold the marvelous sight and sound of Melissa Etheridge opening up a can of "Step Aside, Junior; this is how its done" on Stone. I never much cared for the Bryan Adams of the Lilith Fair set before last night, but Etheridge won me over.

What was that tsunami performance? 10 points for intent, 0 points for execution. Scott Weiland seemed to be trying to do a bad Bowie impersonation, Stevie Wonder started off in a register far too low for his voice and never recovered, Norah Jones looked like she had shit herself, and Brian Wilson looked and sang like one of those homeless chaps you can't help but cross the road to avoid. One first though: Bono looked embarassed. I have never seen that before in any situation, not even during U2's assless chaps and blanket jacket period round Joshua Tree.

Finally, what better way to celebrate America than with a Southern Fried Rock tribute? And who doesn't love Sweet Home Alabama, a song that condemns Neil Young for attacking lynching and celebrates the segregationist Governor George Wallace? Hey, who knows, maybe at the Oscars this year we will get a tribute to Birth of a Nation! Maybe the World Music Awards can have a celebration of Afrikaaner trekking songs! This whole Confederacy/rebel crap needs to be slapped down whenever it rears its uneducated and stupid head, and that includes niche musicians who haven't changed their clothes since 1974. Christopher Hitchens summed it up beautifully after visiting a Civil War reenactment where everybody wanted to dress up as George Pickett but nobody wanted to be Joshua Chamberlain (despite the fact he was a better soldier and he won). Hitchens wrote that it was odd to be surrounded by so many men in gray who only saw in black and white. Is it too late for a campaign of de-confederatization? Maybe, but at least we can tell Lynrd Skynrd and their ilk to piss off.

2 comments:

Mondale said...

Talking of 'sweet home alabama' (always a favourite at village beer festivals in Norfolk) have you read "Nixon's shadow"? I'll send it on up. It's the story of his political image and there's almost an entire chapter about those charming yet aeronautically doomed southern rockers.

weasel said...

Please send soonest; anything to help me keep putting off starting Clinton's "My Life".

As Skynrd says, "Watergate did not bother me, does your concience bother you?" Assholes.

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