If I have one pop culture weakness, it is probably music. My taste is, to put it charitably, eclectic. Two of the bands that I have seen the most frequently in concert are New Kids on the Block and Metallica. I don’t listen much to the radio anymore, so I am not always up on the new artists and trends. I like what I like and that’s pretty much the end of it.
I also don’t normally watch award shows other than the Academy Awards. They are just too long and I’d rather just look up the winners online. But this year a good friend invited me over to watch the Grammys, so I decided to check back in on the show this year. The Grammys have the reputation for being a “fun” awards show – lots of performances and musicians are more likely to show up in ridiculous outfits than the more “serious” actors. Plus I wanted to see the tribute they would do to Whitney Houston. In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t watch the whole telecast. Somewhere around 11:20, I decided it was time to call it a night. I’m such an old lady. Here are my thoughts:
- I had no idea what a freak show Nicki Minaj was. When she showed up on the red carpet in this outfit accompanied by a faux Pope, I naturally first assumed it was Lady Gaga.
She accomplished her mission – I was intrigued what this was all about. That was answered when she performed on stage in an elaborate production that involved a fake exorcism. I don’t know that it all necessarily worked, but at least it was creative. Apparently Gaga does not have a monopoly on theatrics.
- I was pleased that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened the show. It was my first time hearing their new song, which I liked. Sad to see them perform without Clarence Clemons. Rest in peace, Big Man.
- I felt sorry for Jason Aldean, even though I had no idea who he was, during his duet with Kelly Clarkson. His microphone apparently went out in the middle of it. They did their best to carry on, but that really shouldn’t have happened.
- Normally I like Rihanna, but last night was the most phoned in performance I have seen from her. She appeared to be lip syncing because she would drop her microphone from her mouth for entire lines of the song, yet somehow she was still “singing.” The mash-up with Chris Martin was just kind of weird. And they did a few reaction shots of her during the night and she just looked bored. My opinion of her soured a bit.
- The way that Chris Brown has been welcomed back to the music establishment just makes me sick. After the beating he gave Rihanna a few years ago, we should never be hearing from this guy again.
- I thought John Stamos was supposed to be playing with the Beach Boys? Mike Love said as much on the red carpet, but I’ll be damned if I could find him on stage. What happened? I have fond memories of listening to my mom’s Beach Boys records when I was a little kid, but I don’t necessarily think they needed to be at the Grammys. It is just kind of creepy to see a bunch of old guys singing songs about being true to your school. Those songs made sense when they were young men, not when they looked like they could keel over at any point.
- It’s Adele’s world and we are all just living in it. She’s amazing and it is hard to believe that she is only 23. So glad she has bounced back from her throat surgery. I’m kind of hoping her current boyfriend breaks her heart so we can get another amazing album like “21.” It is no surprise that she won every Grammy for which she was nominated.
- Speaking of which, considering this is an awards show, they don’t give out many actual awards. They were averaging one award every 30 minutes and the majority of the awards were given out pre-telecast. That’s too bad – I would have loved to have heard what Louis C.K. said in his acceptance speech for best comedy album.
- I’m officially declaring the Foo Fighters my favorite band. They brought the rock and roll last night and were fantastic.
- A nice tribute to Glen Campbell, who is his final tour after he announced he has Alzheimer’s. As someone who watched a family member struggle with that disease, it was especially poignant to me to see Campbell up on stage.
- Jennifer Hudson absolutely nailed the tribute to Whitney Houston. Simply beautiful. Hudson has an amazing voice – but has absolutely no business with an Academy Award. Watch her Weight Watchers commercials and then tell me otherwise.
- Though they did a tribute to her earlier in the evening, Etta James really should have been featured in the In Memorium segment. Ditto for Don Cornelius. I complain about this every awards show, but they should really turn down the audience audio for this portion. It shouldn’t be a popularity contest.
- Carrie Underwood – please do not try to sing over Tony Bennett. Show some respect.
- Every time I see Taylor Swift I have an overwhelming desire to punch her in the face. Is this normal?
- I love Paul McCartney, but I don’t know that it was necessary to have him do a new song and then come back out to do a medley of Beatles songs later in the show.
Overall, I knew who most of the artists were, so I’ve been keeping up with the music world better than I thought. While some of the performances were stellar, I thought the show as a whole was a little lackluster. I probably won’t tune in again unless watching with a group of people, which just makes the whole thing a lot more fun. And I think priority #1 for the 2013 Grammys is to get Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj to somehow collaborate. It might be a train wreck, but it certainly wouldn’t be boring.