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Some Quick Thoughts on the Grammys

54th Grammys Vlog by krin

Date Aired
February 14th, 2012
Running Time
12:25
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Todd: Here's what I thought about the Grammys—any ceremony where Chris Brown performs twice is not a good one...and we'll get to that.

I...I read today that this was, like, the most-viewed...the most-viewed Grammy Awards since 1984. You know, the year of Thriller and all that. And, you know, I'm not sure why anyone would watch the Grammys in this day and age, except, of course, for me 'cause I have to. You know, if I wasn't making my living doing videos about music on the Internet, I wouldn't have watched. Although I might have. Last year, I thought, was a really good ceremony. It was a lot of fun, it was really enjoyable. But the Grammys have become so pointless. Like, you watch the Oscars, and even though it's a horrendously boring ceremony a lot of the time, you still watch it because who wins an Oscar matters. Who wins a Grammy doesn't matter in the least, tiniest bit. And...in the past few years, what I've noticed is that they...they deal with that by not even pretending that the awards matter anymore. They just, like, "why don't we just, like, throw on a really, really, really good bunch of performances, and that'll do it."

And last year, I thought that worked pretty well. Can't remember everything, but I really enjoyed it. And this year, it was just kind of bleh. Like...it started off with Springsteen, Springsteen was good. And I guess what made this ceremony matter, what made people wanna tune in is both A., Adele, and B., the death of Whitney Houston the night before.

Now Adele won everything, obviously; no one was surprised, absolutely no one was surprised. And that may be the only reason that everyone tuned in because, like, 21 by Adele is, like, the last album that has actually mattered to the public, to the general public. Like, people care about singles nowadays, but they don't care about albums. They cared about 21 by Adele, though, so I can see why that might've gotten them the rise in viewership. And Whitney, of course. Whitney and the Grammys, like...Whitney Houston existed to win Grammys.

And it's...the ceremony started off really awkwardly with LL Cool J asking everyone to pray for Whitney, which was stra...it was a very odd night. Not a way to kick off a ceremony, but Jennifer Hudson came in and did her "I Will Always Love You," and listening to that, I just realized how many people have gone into music wanting to be Whitney Houston. Jennifer Hudson, especially.

But...so I guess, like, Whitney's death actually kinda lent significance to the Grammys that it doesn't usually have. They only gave out a few awards, one per, uh...per genre, and so much stuff happened off-screen. Like...like, they've got, like 150 awards, and they only showed, like six onscreen, and one of them, of all people, had to go to Chris freakin' Brown. I wanna say this about Chris Brown as a performer—not as the loathsome human being that he is, but as a performer—I hate his performances. I always hate it when he performs 'cause he's so obviously lip-syncing. He never looks like he's actually...actually singing. He's just like, "oh, I'm gonna bounce around, I can dance." Yeah, he can dance, but...I don't know. He's no Michael. You're not Michael. And...he won an award for an album called Forgiving All My Enemies. Screw that asshole!

Anyway, what else happened? Um...the F... Like I said, last year was like a real celebration of all performances. This year, a lot of people performed twice. The Foo Fighters performed twice, Chris Brown performed twice, Paul McCartney performed twice, and I don't know why, but the effect of it was it seemed like they couldn't get enough people to perform, like they ran out of people who wanted to be there. Like, last year when the Arcade Fire took over, and I remember many, many years...like, ten years ago when Earth, Wind & Fire and P-Funk and Robert Randolph and Outkast performed at the same time—I think Outkast was there. And this year, um...there wasn't any, like, big jams like that. Like, everyone jumped up onstage at the end when Springsteen and Paul McCartney did the whole Side 2 of Abbey Road. It...it was like a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame jam.

But, like...a lot of the bigger names, they declined to even be...perform. Like, "Rolling in the Deep" was there, basically out of obligation. Bon Iver... Bon Ive-r? Bon Iver? I can't...I learned how that band was pronounced last night and I've already forgotten it. Um...they could've performed, they declined, and it would've made them seem so much more relevant. I mean the Grammys, not the band, not Justin Vernon. It would've made them seem so much more relevant if they'd gotten some of those hotter new acts. They got Foster the People to perform, but not their own music; and Maroon 5, they did the Beach Boys tribute; and...Beach Boys are very old now. This is not a useful insight, I realize, but they are quite old. They're incredibly old, but they still were very good, and Maroon 5 and Foster the People also did pretty good, although Foster the People looked absolutely terrified.

The people who are gonna benefit the most from the Grammys is definitely not Adele, Adele's already won everything—it's the Civil Wars, who I'd only just heard about, like, a month before the Grammys. And they opened the Taylor Swift performance, but the Civil Wars...I've already heard them, they're gonna get a huge bump out of this because they sounded quite good, and they embarrassed a lot of people, I think. Like, Nicki Minaj came on with a whole VMA-style, like, Catholic church performance, and it just felt...I don't know. It...it didn't feel right.

The performance I really enjoyed the most, actually, was the Foo Fighters with deadmau5, and those are not two bands that really go together. Well, two artists, I mean. But it worked, and it was much less disastrous than I imagined, especially with the Foo Fighters. After they won their award earlier in the night, they...you know, there was, like, "real rock 'n roll. We believe in real rock 'n roll!" as they're getting played off by "Party Rock Anthem." It was like, "rock 'n roll! Rock 'n roll!" [doots the "Party Rock" tune]" And they're up there fronting for traditional rock 'n roll, and they have to get played off by LMFAO, and they have to perform with deadmau5.

And that's another thing. Skrillex, the annoyingly popular dubstep musician, won a bunch of stuff. You know, the electronic stuff. And there's kind of a controversy going around how they didn't even let any of the electronic stuff win something during the actual ceremony, they had to get in in the pre-show. But...I remember, like, reading, like in 1988, hip-hop had to, you know, sit at, you know, the kids' table, they didn't get their awards for their first time up there, and Will Smith and Public Enemy were all really upset. And I think the electronica people, they're upset in the same way, but I think the Grammys also mattered a lot more in the 80s than they do now.

And, you know, the really good performances were the Foo Fighters, both of their times. Both the times they performed, they had to perform outside. And I think they were thinking, you know, an actual, like, concert crowd would be more receptive and make it seem much more energized. But it was also like, "we're making you play out here 'cause you...you're not good enough to play in the same stage as Paul McCartney and Springsteen and the Beach Boys and the people who matter."

Also...here's another thing that didn't work, and it was just really awkward. Rihanna and Cold...have I used the word "awkward" enough? Yes, I probably have. Anyway, Rihanna and Coldplay, they kept hyping up their duet. Rihanna and Coldplay, they're gonna sing together; and they kinda did, but it was more like Coldplay started their performance before Rihanna had finished hers. So there was just, like, this tiny, tiny little overlap, and Rihanna sang her song, they sang for, like, thirty seconds together, and Coldplay played their song. And it was just one of those things, like it was just like an awards ceremony that just doesn't work.

Like, I'm not sure what the point of the Grammys is nowadays. Um...like they're either trying to legitimize, like, the old people music by tying it in with these hot new artists, or they're trying to legitimize the new artists by having them play with the legends. I don't know, it just...they kind of split the difference and they can't find the tone they're looking for.

And...let's see, who have I not gotten to yet. Um...Adele was fine. She was quite...[chuckles] that's the first time I ever heard the word "snot" used in an acceptance speech, although that's only because the band Snot was never nominated for anything, which I think is a shame. I think that's about it, everyone was cheering on Adele. And you know, it's...Adele was obviously going to win. She's both A., massively popular, and B., makes the kind of music that the Grammys love.

Although I actually decided to listen to all the Grammy albums that were nominated this year for Album of the Year. They nominated Doo-Wops and Hooligans by Bruno Mars, they nominated Loud by Rihanna. And I listened to them, and they're not albums. They're just a bunch of songs slammed together, but they're not album statements the way that 21 is or Born This Way was. And especially, this was shocking, that Kanye West was not nominated for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for Album of the Year. I mean, that was, like, getting so many 10/10, so many A's, and just 5-star reviews. Everyone loved that album that didn't get nominated. Maybe that's why Kanye sat this one out, 'cause God knows. Kan...Kanye actually won something, which...he should win more often because it causes less heartache and pain for everyone. But Jay-Z and Kanye actually won an award, and they were the only people who didn't even bother to show up. I guess they're just too good for the Grammys.

And that's...that's the impression I got from this. People who were performing at the Grammys weren't doing it to build buzz the way the Arcade Fire did last year, or the Civil Wars did, they were the only ones who did this year. It was just like, it's kind of like just an industry obligation, like they're going to their release party, or they're going to a...to do a press junket or something. It's just something you have to do, that's the impression that I got. I mean, LL Cool J did his best to keep things...he looks so young. He still looks exactly like he did in 1990. I don't get it. Like, him and Chris Brown look the same age. I hope I look that good, although, of course, you'll never know 'cause you'll never see this [pointing to his face, half-covered by the mask], so don't worry about it.

Well, the Grammys—underwhelming this year. I think that's all I need to say about it. All right. I mean, I'll still keep watching year in and year out, 'cause, you know, this is what interests me. But...eh, Grammys, figure out what you're trying to do 'cause that was weird. All right, thank you, have a good night.


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