2013 Grammy Vlog
February 12rd, 2013
We see Todd, out of the shadows, sitting in a couch and in an different room.
Todd: [shrugging] Eh?
An MGM 'The End' card appears accompanied by the Looney Tunes Theme
Todd: I should say something. Mmm, the Grammys don't matter like that's...first of all, that's always the only thing you need to know about the Grammys, they don't matter. And...this year's especially didn't matter. It wasn't even you could say, like, [picture of...] "oh, Adele or Norah Jones came away with all the victories." It was pretty spread out.
I would say that there have been Grammys I've enjoyed. Uh...not this one. I've heard some people say they really liked it, I thought it was even worse than last year, which, in retrospect, was at least watchable. Like, that was...the year of all the Chris Brown controversy, and I saw Foo Fighters perform with deadmau5. There was a lot more energy last year, I thought. Whitney Houston had just died. This year, like...it's hard to even care. You know, the big story everyone's talking about is that Chris Brown didn't [still shot of...] stand up with Frank Ocean won. Like...I think I've used up my Chris Brown outrage, I'm not gonna get angry because he didn't stand.
So this one was a little short on controversy, a little short on...big winners, big stories, it's just a...a thing that happened. They put on the Grammys every year because they have to, not 'cause anyone really wants to. And I think I've said before that...you know, it should be...the Grammys should...that should make the Grammys better than any awards show, because then you could just focus on the performances and just have it be a big concert, a big music performance show. But it really does lose something when you don't care who wins.
Like, it was...I think I read they put on, like, ten awards. They give out more than eighty of these things, but they only handed out ten. And of course this is better than, like, years past when they were giving out about two hundred. You know, if it doesn't matter, then it's like, why are we here? Why am I watching this?
'Cause this was a pretty big year. The ones that did win were all pretty good. The only one I didn't even like was Kelly Clarkson's Stronger album won an award—God knows why—but...[chuckles] [shot of Clarkson] she was funny when she got up there 'cause she totally didn't expect it. And by "totally didn't expect it," I mean totally didn't care. Just like, no one cares. She was just laughing.
But you know, other than that, this was a pretty good year. I mean, you know, giving it to fun. and Frank Ocean, the Black Keys, and Mumford & Sons...
Lindsay Ellis: [off-screen] Gotye.
Todd: And Gotye, yeah. [Shot of Gotye and Kimbra] You know, these are all people you can be glad won something. No, there's no...Chris Brown didn't win a goddamn thing, so that's...you know, it wasn't one of those years. And thank God they didn't give it to some, I don't know, some old guy like Steely Dan or Santana, who, you know, "it's me and a bunch of people who actually still matter." Those things tend to win awards—Eric Clapton and flavors of the week. No, they all went to real artists this year, which is a good thing.
But still, Mumford & Sons wins the big Album of the Year award this year. [Shot of Mumford & Sons] That's a safe choice, just like Adele was a safe choice last year. They're not groundbreaking. They're very good, both of them. They're very good, but they're still kind of throwbacks, kind of easy choices there, you know. It wasn't...like in 2003 when Outkast won everything. It's...it's solid and safe.
That said, there were a few moments I enjoyed. My favorite by far was [clip of...] "The Weight" with Elton John and...I think it was Mumford & Sons and Alabama Shakes and T-Bone Burnett performing "The Weight" in tribute to Levon Helm, the drummer from The Band who died this year. Which...you know, I get the feeling they were hoping someone bigger would die, honestly, someone like Mick Jagger...I don't know, Bob Dylan, someone they could really, really throw their weight into. I guess Levon Helm was the biggest one that died this year, so that's who they put together the tribute to. It actually worked pretty well. "The Weight" works well for those all-star jams. I did enjoy that one.
Weirdly enough, I...despite myself, I think I enjoyed [clip of...] Taylor Swift's gigantic clusterfuck of an opening performance just cause...like, it was ridiculous. I mean, they took "We Are Never Getting Back Together"—which is, like, the stupidest, smallest song, you know, like, ever, "we are never getting back together"—and blew it up into this gigantic, mega-monster performance with all these people onstage, dressed like a ringmaster of Alice in Wonderland, I couldn't remember, it was like a big circus performance for this tiny, spare song, which...it doesn't even have a lot of instruments in it. It's not, you know...this isn't like Electric Light Orchestra or anything. It's just, you know, the drum goes [imitates drum]. But...it was, you know, a very MTV VMA Awards performance, and I honestly wish the Grammys would do more things like that because it's still kind of always...restraint doesn't make for good television. It's always a little too restrained at the Grammys.
And...they try and mix it up by having, you know, the big names perform with other big names, or with...especially with older perform...established legends like Elton John. But a lot of times, there's not any chemistry, there's no real reason for them to be performing together. It's like, "hey, we will sing your song, and now I will sing my song, and...thank you, everyone." [Clip of...] They did that with Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" and "Daylight", neither of which are songs I like. And that was one of the better integrated ones, 'cause at least they tried to harmonize. Shame that the songs are mediocre. But...I don't know, like Ed...Elton John and Ed Sheeran singing "A Team", like, I didn't see why that had to happen.
One...one of my favorite moments was when Prince...Prince actually said a nice thing about someone, which he rarely ever, ever does. And he said it...he gave the award to Gotye, which is really nice. Prince said, he was like, "I love this song," and, you know, Prince doesn't even acknowledge other people's existence. So to...him to say that about Gotye was a...was a nice moment, like, there's a lot of mutual respect on that stage.
I...I forget if I said this, but it seemed to me like they picked the awards that they were going to display beforehand just to the people they knew were going to be the least embarrassing. [Still shot of fun.] Like, here, we're gonna give it to Frank Ocean, we're going give it to fun., we're gonna give it to Gotye. It...it seemed a little preplanned, honestly. I don't think they knew they were going to be onstage. fun., like, ran off to pee during their awards speech. They were surprised, but I don't think...it feels like they planned ahead of time. Like, "who's a nice cross-section of people we'd like to give awards to? Here, Carrie Underwood, here's your award. Here, Kelly Clarkson, here's your award. Here, fun.; here, Gotye; here, have a..."Mumford & Sons? Mum...yeah, they won Album of the Year. So that was always gonna be onstage.
But um...let's see, what else? There was...LL Cool J was not very good as a host. His monologue was pretty terrible, he kept talking about "Grammy moments" as if anyone can remember any Grammy moments, like, it's...
Lindsay: Soy Bomb.
Todd: Yes. The only thing people remember about the Grammys are when things go wrong, or when people get angry.
Lindsay: Elton John and Eminem.
Todd: Yes, Elton John and Eminem. That was a big deal. But that's because everything Eminem did in 2000...0, 1 and 2 was a big deal.
One of the...oh, and before I go on, LL Cool J finished the show with a new rap song he was premiering that night. It's...I like him better as a rapper than as a host. He brought on Chuck D and they did a short little tribute to Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, which I thought should've been a lot longer, maybe should not have been pushed to the end of the show. There wasn't a whole lot of rap onstage. I mean, there was [clip of performance by...] Miguel and Wiz Khalifa, which... That whole Miguel and Wiz Khalifa performance is, I think, a good example of why the Grammys were boring that year. They just kinda walked onstage and they did their...they sang their song without any embellishment whatsoever. It was like, "here, I'm gonna sing my song. Bye." And Wiz Khalifa had really no reason to be there. He just stood there and said, "yo."
- Wiz: Yo!
Todd: And into a short little rap verse. He did not need to be onstage at all. I mean, I don't...the version I know of that song doesn't even have Wiz Khalifa on it. I think they just realized, like, "oh, God, we need to put more rap on here or we'll get called racist again like we did in 1990." So they just kinda shoved Wiz Khalifa onstage, put a mic in his hand and a ridiculous outfit on him, and was like, "here, play something."
I kinda kept wishing that Wiz Khalifa would just jump in and say, "yo!" during all the performances. Just like, go onstage, say "yo!" and leave when Mumford & Sons performed right after them.
Mumford & Sons were good. Not memorably, but good. Jack White was good too. Um...there was one performance that would have been better except of the way they framed it, and that is of course the Bob Marley..."Bob Marley" "tribute" that they did, which was none of those things. [Clip of performance] First they bring on Bruno Mars to sing "Locked Out of Heaven" by not Bob Marley obviously. And because it's so obviously a Police song, they brought on Sting to help Bruno Mars sing it, except he doesn't care about Bruno Mars. So he flubbed the words, he got the line wrong or he just sang them badly. Who knows?
- Sting: You bring me to my knees, you make me testify
- Bruno: Testify
- Sting: [a little jumbled] You can make a sinner change his ways
Todd: And then they sang "Walking on the Moon" before they brought out two of the Marley kids, Ziggy and Damian, to sing an actual Bob Marley song, "Could You Be Loved". And...you know, it's just awkward 'cause...I understand that the Bruno Mars song sounds like the Police, the Police were inspired by reggae. Neither of those songs sounded a thing like Bob Marley or had anything to do with Bob Marley or...would even be conceivably have been sung by Bob Marley. Can you imagine Bob Marley singing "Walking on the Moon"? I don't. That's not gonna happen.
This is what I mean when I say they wish someone more important had died because there's a...a lot better tributes that could've been done.
Lindsay: Adam Yauch, man!
Todd: Yeah, a Beastie Boys tribute would've been great!
Lindsay: A Beastie Boy died!
Todd: Yeah, they could do a whole Beastie Boy tribute, and they chose not to. I mean, the Beastie Boys are legendary, but they're not 60s-legendary, so whatever. Or 70s, they like to set their 70s too. Anything after that, they're not gonna touch.
Lindsay: He was also a rapper.
Todd: Yeah, I guess they don't...they don't like rap. They never have. I mean, they give a big award to "No Church in the Wild" by Jay-Z and Kanye, and Kanye was not there to embarrass himself, thank God. You know, Jay... I think they only got that one because Frank Ocean was on, and Frank Ocean is the big thing right now.
Speaking of Frank Ocean, his performance was crap. [Clip of performance] I like his album. That was a really bad performance. This is the same exact thing that happened to Bon Iver when they played SNL, like, last year. Like, this is the time to really jump from, like, the bubbling underneath to the mainstream to turn themselves into big stars, and they straight up blew it. It was a really boring performance. He could've picked a much higher energy song to perform; it just didn't work. And he didn't...he was just too low energy. I didn't like it much at all.
And then, of course, there was Justin. [Looks off] Lindsay just smiled so hard. Like, you can't imagine. Um, Justin...we missed you, Justin. [Clip of performance] I didn't realize it until I saw you perform, but I'm glad you're back. I wouldn't have done it in black and white like they did, I thought that was kind of weird, but...
Lindsay: The lighting wasn't set up for black and white. It looked bad. That was lighting for color, you moron.
Todd: Justin is maturing into an elder statesman of pop, so to speak. So, you know, the whole retro thing, he's making it work for him. It's working very well for him. I expect that new album to be very, very retro. But I enjoyed it. I thought he...he did really well, one of the best performances of the night.
But like I said, it's hard...to care about... Like I said, I wish they'd just make it as spectacular as possible because that's...it wouldn't make it matter more. 'Cause, like, no one cares who wins. Like, every Oscar season, you hear all these things about the campaigns and the backstabbing and the cutthroatness and how badly people want it. The Emmys too. I assume the Tonys, I'm not sure, I don't know much about Broadway. But the Grammys is just kind of...eh. Like, what do we do with it? Just chuck it out the window. So...you know, it would be ni...
And the thing is, like, part of the reason no one cares is there never seems to be any logic behind who gets...who gets an award. Like, you may disagree with the taste of the Academy, but you get kind of a sense of what they like. And for the Grammys...it's so fragmented that there never seems to be a consensus, so you can't judge the Grammys' taste in music like you can the Oscars' taste in movies. Because...it's all over the place and it doesn't seem to be dictated by anyone's actual taste and what they like. It's just...
Lindsay: They like white people.
Todd: "They like white people." Yes, they do. I'll be honest, this was a pretty white...pretty white event. It was so white, they forgot to do much of a tribute to the Beastie Boys. Beastie Boys were too...not white enough.
And they gave Adele an award, like she needs another one. That was kind of cheap too, by the way. They gave it to "Set Fire to the Rain", which was off the album that won all the awards last year, but they was like, "this is the live version!" It was like, oh come on. Come on!
Well, another Grammys come and gone. If you didn't watch it, now you know what everyone's not talking about this morning. That's...I think that's it. Thank you. Peace.