Easily the most fun and varied Grammy show in years. Yea, yea, the 'cool' people aren't supposed to care about the Grammys. I can't say that I care about them, but it's a lot of fun to see who can make the silliest speech, who can surprise us, and who can bore us silly. Let's see:
Gwen Stefani. OK, here's a piggish case of me being won over by old-Hollywood good looks, a cute voice and mile-long legs. The wife didn't approve but then I had to remind her that she didn't think Gavin Rossdale was "too hard to look at." Plus, we happened to listen to her solo CD at some friends' house on Saturday night after a coupla martinis. Fun was had by all.
Southern Rock Tribute. Sure, "Free Bird" is the "Stairway To Heaven" of southern rock. So what? The old southern boys are gettin' old and grizzled, but they can still play with a lotta heart. Gretchen Wilson can really belt it out too. And maybe it's just me, but that Tim McGraw guy has so much less character in his voice than, well...everybody else on stage. Man, I haven't heard "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" in years!
Green Day. So sorry if you can't take the political content. American Idiot kicks serious ass.
Los Lonely boys. How did I not pick up on these guys? Their CD becomes a part of my collection later today.
Black Eyed Peas. Yes, that whole medley thing at the start was sort of a big mess. But it was a big mess in the way that those Parliament/Funkadelic shows were a big mess. Everything louder than everything else. "Let's Get It Started" is serious ear candy earwurm material. Another record I've gotta snag later.
Alicia Keys. Whooee, she can really sing. Still doesn't really do anything for me though...can't quite put my finger on why. Still, there's absolutely no denying the talent there.
Jennifer Lopez/Ricky Ricardo....unlike these two. I sorta wanted to root for them but it's just so obvious that this song was a huge stretch for both of them.
Loretta Lynn/Jack White. My favorite moment of the night. First Loretta bosses Jack around on stage, followed by the hilarious and respectful "yes maam"'s. Then Jack rubs it in the face of the modern country music establishment. My advice: get yourself a copy of Van Lear rose. It's killin'.
Kanye West. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never heard of this guy. Nope, not one little syllable or note. Still, it was refreshing to hear from the part of the hip-hop community not obsessed with chrome wheels and other assorted bling. West, Mavis Staples, Blind Boys of Alabama. Yow, it was inspiring.
Maroon 5. This reminds me of back when I still used to watch the Academy Awards show even though I hadn't gone to a movie in several years. Yep, I've never heard of Maroon 5 either. Best new artist? I guess so...though my choice would have been Los Lonely Boys.
The Janis Joplin Tribute. Wow, Joss Stone was sorta OK...but then Melissa Etheridge came out and fricken tore the roof off the sucker.
The Ray Charles Tribute. Man, I'm all a-teary eyed.
The Tsunami Tribute. Not great, not bad. For some reason, I get nervous watching Brian Wilson sing.
U2. The band people either love or hate. "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" was a moving tribute to Bono's father and one of the best songs from "...Atomic Bomb". Live, it was spectacular.
Usher/James Brown. That Usher guys sure can dance. "Sex Machine" was waaaay too short. A missed opportunity there.
That's it. Nothing earth-shattering this year (is there ever, really?), but it was about as fun as a scripted awards show can be.