As has increasingly become my habit, I posted my running commentary re the telecast on Twitter and Facebook. A few notes here:
Hooray for the Black Keys, winners of two for themselves; a third went to Michael Carney for the design of "Brothers" and fourth to Danger Mouse as producer of the year, for "Brothers" and other work. A good haul, but also one largely ignored by the Grammy people. No face time for the guys, and nothing during the red carpet pre-show on E! that I saw. Did the omnipresent Rihanna win as many? Maybe if they had fancy shoes for the E! hosts to discuss, they'd get more air time.
Things I liked in the show included Cee Lo's mighty Muppet suit (although I would have been happy to hear him perform sans the really average G Paltrow); the Eminem/Dre/Rihanna session, especially Eminem, although Rihanna was shaky early; the Urban/Jones/Mayer "Jolene," and the old-timey, hoedown medley with Bob Dylan, Mumford & Son and the Avett Brothers. Definitely some download possibilities with Mumford and Avett. Also Christina Aguilera in the Aretha homage; good Yolanda Adams and Jennifer Hudson, too, adequate Martina McBride, and a totally out of her depth Florence Without the Machine. Sure, she was there for demographic reasons, but it was an embarrassing performance.
Oh, and Mick Jagger, whose connection to Solomon Burke's "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" goes back to at least '64, when the Stones recorded it for their "Now!" LP. Also includes "Down Home Girl," "Heart of Stone," "Little Red Rooster" and Andrew Loog Oldham's notorious liner notes, in the manner of "Clockwork Orange."
Also, while I know little about Esperanza Spalding besides one pleasant jazz performance on a Disney collection, I like her very much for beating Justin Bieber in the best new artist category. That's what you get for (I think) lip-synching through your live performance.
As for people grumbling that "Need You Now" won a bunch of awards, hey, it's a nice, touching, effective pop song and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, the music industry is built on such things. It's in my music files, and I used it in my most recent video chat. And it's a favorite of my lovely bride.
Less inspiring: Katy Perry's yawp of a voice, and I now much prefer the Warblers' version of "Teenage Dream" (from "Glee").Lady Gaga ripping off not one but two Madonna standards -- "Express Yourself" and "Vogue" -- and let's face it, coming out of an egg is not on a par with some of Madge's greatest TV performances. (White dress, "Like a Virgin," writhing. Need I say more?) Barbra Streisand's seeming lack of familiarity with the word "suburbs." Miranda Lambert was bland.
Mixed notices: Lady Antebellum did a pretty bit of Teddy Pendergrass, but a Teddy song demands more.
The show did move quickly across its 3 1/2 hours for me but I was not just watching. Those tweets and FB posts, and responses to same, and responding to the responses -- the time gets filled.
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