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GRAMMY – Janet’s Breast Eats Awards Show

I had a good time watching the Grammys last night – I will do a detailed recap later – but I had a weird feeling throughout the show that something was missing. I slept on it for about four hours before getting up at 4:30am to get my thoughts on the matter in to MSNBC by 9am.

They’re up now here:

    Grammys sanitized for your protection

    Five-minute delay casts pall over cleaned-up awards

    On a night already heavy with absence – June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Warren Zevon, George Harrison all won awards posthumously, and Luther Vandross is recovering from a stroke – fallout from Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl breast revelation forced an atmosphere of guarded caution on last night’s 46th Grammy awards telecast and kept a tight lid on the recording industry’s celebration of itself.

    CBS’s response to the previous week’s Super Bowl halftime scandal included a “enhanced” five-minute delay on the “live” Grammy telecast, banishment of Jackson from the kingdom, and a requirement that Justin Timberlake – who took home two pop vocal awards – apologize on-air for the incident. He did so rather sheepishly, saying, “I know it’s been a rough week on everybody – what occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable, and I apologize if anyone was offended.” Okay little boy, your timeout is over.

    Despite some outstanding live performances by Album of the Year champs OutKast (both “I Like the Way You Move” and “Hey Ya!” from “Speakerboxx/The Love Below”), five-award winner Beyonce (who appeared in a medley with Prince and elegantly performed her own ballad “Dangerously In Love” against the backdrop of a living painting), the White Stripes, the Black Eyed Peas, and a rousing funk-fest featuring Earth, Wind & Fire, fiery steel guitarist Robert Randolph, and George Clinton’s P-Funk troupe, the evening had about it the whiff of disinfectant…..

More sleep-deprived thoughts follow.

About Eric Olsen

  • D. Lewis

    To: Eric Olsen
    Re: Grammy Show
    Bad call on the show. It was dull and boring not because of the 5 minute delay imposed by CBS. It was dull and boring BECAUSE was dull and boring. At the tender age of 54 I’ve seen lots of music come and go but the borderline gross out theatrics and gyrations that are supposed to represent the music industry today are a poor damned substitute for talent.

    Case in point – Beyonce’. Great talent but, she’s so focused on shaking her booty that it stifles appreciation of her truly talented voice. OutKast? In the immortal words of ‘Donnie Brasco’ “Forget about it!”

    Mr. Olsen – have you stopped and really looked at the musical talent that’s held up over the decades and compared those talents to what is held up as talent today? My wife summed it up pretty well for me with the statement “If you can’t hum it the next day, it ain’t good!” I can’t argue with logic like that.

    There is no doubt that music has undergone radical changes in the last decade for certain. How much of it will be remembered in a decade is debatable.

  • andy

    I thought the performances at the Grammys this year were light years above anything the show has aired in the past decade. The funk part was amazing and my jaw was dropped the entire time at the pure energy that spewed from Robert Randolf, Earth Wind and Fire, and George Clinton.

    The White Stripes were so crusty and brutal, I couldn’t believe they were performing on the Grammys. Also amazing.

    Sting sounded great as well.

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree Andy, thanks!

    Mr. Lewis, you are of course free to feel anyway you wish about the music, but i agree with Andy: I think Outkast is amazing and both of their performances made me happy to be alive. I think the music was the least problematic of the show – and yes, I think Outkast’s album in particular will be seen as a classic ten years from now – and I very much enjoyed most of the performances, which were a nice mixture of older and current music, at times inspired. If you can’t sing along with “I Like the Way You Move” I’m not sure what you’re looking for.

    I still see the problem as the atmosphere of repression which CBS – understandably under the circumstances – created, which sucked much of the joie de vivre out of the air.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    i was very happy to see no boy bands (well, timberlake…sorta) and no lame hiphop lip-sync blandness.

  • Chris Wilson

    I thought the Grammys were excellent last night. The musical numbers were exciting and the mini-Funk Fest hosted by Samuel L. Jackson was funktastic. Near the end, with George Clinton stumbling around happily, I asked my girlfriend – “Now why couldn’t the halftime show at the Super Bowl been as good as this?”

    Well, why couldn’t it?

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree about most of the performances Chris, it was the ret of it that seemed stultified to me.

    Re the Super Bowl: to be charitable, it’s a much shorter show, with a much wider audience (it is assumed that people watching the Grammys have at least some interest in music), and they feel they have to pack in as much as possible in the shortest period of time. I guarantee you’ll see a much more rock-oriented halftime show next year!

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    I’m concerned about Beyonce Knowles being overly validated. She does dance-pop well enough, but doesn’t belong in the company of previous winners of multiple awards. I hope annointing the Paula Abdul of the year does not become a trend.

    I am saddened by what has happened to Luther Vandross. He looks very weak.

    OutKast was great. I’m going to give in and buy that CD.

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    I’m with Mac on Outkast – I’ve been holding off, but that performance last night won me over. I’m not even a fan of hip-hop, but Andre 3k’s weirdness has sold me. There’s probably a lot of other people thinking the same thing right now. I’m guessing we can look for the album at number one this week after the Grammies, most likely – unless that new Einsturzende Neubauten album burns up the charts like they always do.

  • Chris Wilson

    I happen to be a big fan of music and sports (I’m sorry, but I was raised in Dallas), so when watching the Super Bowl, I almost always view the entire program. I can’t count the number of times I’ve scratched my head during halftime extravaganzas and the most recent fiasco (boob shot didn’t bother me, musical selection did) was no exception. If we have to please all of the people, all of the time, then mix the old with the new, closing with a great icon, celebrating valid musical forms and the musicians creating it. The Funk-Fest on the Grammys was a great example of this, inspirational, enjoyable, celebrating a musical form in so many ways American – after all, the Super Bowl is an American celebration. I just find it oddly ironic that the Grammys, a week later on the same channel, had multiple musical performances that were vastly superior to what we were forced to digest during the Super Bowl halftime show. I just hope the powers-that-be can go to school on what was performed at the Grammys, a program I enjoyed quite a bit Sunday evening.

  • Ron McCrea

    Does anyone but me think that Celine Dion was deliberately sabotaged when she stepped up to sing the song that Janet Jackson was supposed to sing?

    It sure looked like a protest to me, as one thing after another went wrong.

  • Chris Wilson

    I think 50 Cent was behind it.

  • Eric Olsen

    I thought the point of Dion singing the song was that her own father had died this year. I thought janet was suposed to introduce Dion, as Patti Labelle ended up doing. But I could be wrong.

  • Eric Olsen

    He seemed to REALLY want that Best New Artist award.

  • Chris Wilson

    I remember an awards show as a child (maybe The Grammys?) in which a drunk Charlie Rich opened the envelope, took out a cigarette lighter, burned the envelope and said he was going to keep the winner’s name a secret. If memory serves, the crowd laughed uneasily…..

    Now why can’t awards shows have that anymore?!!

  • Gerald Ball

    On 50 Cent, when I used to listen to rap music (back when it when it had some culturally and intellectually redeeming qualities … there were LOTS of OutKasts from the mid 80s to the mid 90s people), rappers claimed to not care about Grammys in the least. Many didn’t even bother to show up for the ceremonies. Videos not on MTV? Don’t care. Not played by even big city R&B radio stations? Don’t care. Now look at these fellows. A guy gets shot 12 times as his street cred, and he is upset at not winning some bogus award. And it seems as if being a moderately successful rapper is merely entry level qualifications to acting gigs that should go to blacks with actual acting training? I am so disappointed in today’s rappers and very glad that I stopped listening to the stuff by the late 90s.

    And Mac Diva:

    You are right about Beyonce being overpraised. I was a huge Beyonce basher (putting her in the “embraced all too readily by mainstream America because of her looks and not her accomplishment or talent” category that I have Halle Berry in) until she put in a capable performance on the national anthem … even trying a bit of a flourish at the end before capably backing off. So, I admit, she can sing about average for what you would expect from a professional recording artist. But why doesn’t she sing like that on her records, which sound TERRIBLE? Her bandmate who released the gospel album … cannot think of her name … she is the opposite … tries to sing but cannot. Beyonce can sing but doesn’t. Oh well, on to the next Destiny’s Child album, and hopefully Beyonce A) doesn’t ruin it by trying to produce it and B) doesn’t hire that misandrist Kandy Burris to do the songs

  • Gerald Ball

    Oh, and Mac Diva, a link for you … remember these are our leaders that speak for us:

    http://blackpressusa.com/News/Article.asp?SID=3&Title=Hot+Stories&NewsID=3209

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Maybe Beyonce has been taking voice lessons. She has sounded much better than before lately. Another thing that bothers me, and maybe I’m being old-fashioned, is that her Mom and Dad have been in charge of her and the other girls’ work that body approach to music industry success. I would have expected just the opposite, with them telling the girls to put more clothes on.