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Watch Grammys — Or Gouge Out Own Eyes?

Wow.

I tuned in. I tried, lawd knows I tried.

But I couldn’t take it.

The opening ten minutes — that first flurry of medly-fied crap — told me plenty about myself, my culture, and the coming Apocalypse; I stayed as long as I could, and finally had to retire to the garage where I contemplated hanging myself.

I decided on a high-powered rifle and a spot on a nearby water tower.

Before I “go”, I want to share what I learned:

• I’m a dinosaur.

• The Grammy TV sound engineer is apparently deaf.

• Decent sound mixing doesn’t really matter to tone-deaf motards who think some black kid spinning on the floor on his back is art. (Hasn’t that ‘break-dancing’ shit been out for like… decades?)

• Most of the “new” ‘R&B’ and ‘Urban’ and ‘Hip-Hop’ is just regurgitated DISCO without the record burnings.

• Our entire culture is created for — and marketed to — an illiterate 14 year old who makes $100,000 a year.

• Post-post modernism means that not only “anything goes” — and not only that “it’s been done” — but that “Anything goes; it’s been done MANY TIMES already, and way better!”

• There are lots of relatively talented people who can sing on key, but there are very few with any amount of soul — or who know how to pick a ‘great song.’

• As a matter of fact, Jennifer Lopez showed that not only is she NOT Selena, but when she has to do more than screech some shitty rap song, ie is forced to sing some melodic ballad, then she hovers ever so close to singing off key. J. Lo, stay in the studio, babe, where they can juice your voice. PS: More flesh, fewer melodies.

• Queen Latifa: Ditto. And Rod Stewart called; he said he recommends saving the ‘classic songs’ albums until your career is at a dead end — oh, and it’s been done.

• (Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, where are ya when we need ya?!)

• Hey, Gwen Stefani – Madonna called and she wants her act, her costumes, her persona, and her friggin’ Olive Oyl voice back.

• Hey, lead singer in Green Day: that guy in “The Cure” called and he wants his eye makeup back.

• Hey, Maroon 5, about 100 bands from the mid-1980s called, and they want EVERYTHING back.

• The highlight of the (truncated) evening — and an explicit demo of my dinosaurness AND my post-post modern theory: a has-been rock band from the 60s/70s played with more soul than all the young poseurs on the bill put together; and they showed that 30 years later, a few great songs/performances have become part of (at least a few) generations collective consciousness to the point that one not only was almost moved to tears at the sound of the first eight notes of “Sweet Home Alabama” — but one knew instinctively to “turn it up” because great songs and performances tend to become hard-wired into one’s soul.

That is if one has a soul.

• For all the goofy, “I’m trying hard to be creative” costumes — the only one that had any style, originality, and will be remembered years hence without specifically dating the wearer: Dickie Betts’ classic old hippie/indian lore blue jeans and cowboy boots. In just a few years, everybody else who appeared on the 2005 Grammys is going to look like they raided the costume department from the 1960s TV “StarTrek”.

• U2 is the most boring, overrated, blowhard band in rock history.

• Bono’s ‘cowboy’ hat was the kind German tourists buy at Wal-Mart when they visit Texas.

==============

I’m sure there are more, but I tuned out after an hour or so.

And right now, I’m listening to a 75 year old recording of Jelly Roll Morton in order to cleanse out my eardrums, readjust my brain, and wash the manufactured cultural shit from my tarnished soul.

Then I’m headin’ for the tower — and taking along an IPOD filled with REAL music — from real musicians who play real instruments, and real singers who sing real songs.

Love ya, America, mean it!

xxoo
SHARK

About Mark Shark

  • Eric Olsen

    Shark, I agree with a few things: there isn’t much new under the musical sun, the “tribute to Southern rock” was surprisingly moving, Jennifer Lopez was way out of her league, and I don’t know what the hell Gwen Stefani was supposed to be.

    But I thought Queen Latifah really held her own and disagree with the overall characterization of the show. I thought the opening performance was highly entertaining, and the emphasis on performance rather than just doling out awards made the whole show go much more quickly and accomplished what the real underlying goal of the show should be from an industry standpoint: expose new music, considered the “best” of the year by the industry, to a much broader and generally older audience.

  • SFC SKI

    Great article, Shark, you’re a better man than I.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    From the next room where I was watching the Suns eke out a win over the we’ve-won-14-games Golden State Warriors, it seemed OK. And when I flicked over to see if they were saying anythng about Motorhead (though I fully expected it to be only a scrawl along the “Earlier awarded” zone of the screen, it didn’t seem tooo bad.

    You didn’t mention Alicia Keys or Ray Charles. Both great talents. Both got too many awards this year.

    The fact that it was 90 percent dance and a little pop and Southern Rock (Green Day is pop, not rock) says where music is at today.

    I would have liked to see a greater diversity of music – otherwise it’s just, how does one say it – it’s all marketing.

    But your’s is not to be taken literally all the way down the line – we know that (right folks?)

    Sweet Home Alabama? If I hear it once every six months – that’s about right. I did hear that where Matthew McCoughney (spXXX) started talking about beign a Texas boy and about halfway through remembered he should be usign an accent. As the first few notes of that song began – I switched over because that’s the bst part.

  • http://faeryface.diaryland.com Katharine Donelson

    Ha! Excellent article. I got home, realized my roommate was watching the Grammys and retired to my room with my headphones and some Miles Davis.

    I think the answer to the question, “What is Gwen Stefani supposed to be?” is, “Shortly returning to her band after an ill-advised solo effort.” But, it could just be my answer to that question.

  • Eric Olsen

    I think Green Day live always makes a pretty convincing case for being a great rock ‘n’ roll band

  • http://www.wallybangs.blogspot.com wally bangs

    Preach it Shark! I agree with rappers Public Enemy – “who gives a %$*# about a Grammy”. Loretta Lynn was the highlight for me.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    gees, shark channeling al barger.

    who woulda thunk it?

  • JR

    From what I’ve heard of No Doubt, I think Gwen Stefani stole Geddy Lee’s voice.

    The Grammys were last night? I was listening to a bhangra compilation and a Nine Inch Nails album (which wasn’t all that great).

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    If you managed to hold out through a good part of the show – or just fastforwarded through the crap like I did on my DVR, you eventually got to hear an amazing Janis Joplin tribute with Melissa Etheridge and Alicia Keyes.

    Oh, and Jelly was molesting children way before Michael Jackson and now he’s immortal.

    dave

  • Eric Olsen

    it was young, tall, barefoot hippie Joss Stone with Melissa

  • http://www.getyouroj.com jason

    I really didn’t see much “urban” music throught the entire show!

    Unless Kayne West and his inappropriate-for-the-occasion pro-Jesus song counts.

  • Eric Olsen

    urban performances: Black Eyed Peas, Stefani/Eve, Alicia Keys, Kanye West (why “inappropriate”? you can’t have gospel in a music show? why not gospel/rap?); and that doesn’t include the soul of James Brown and the Ray Charles tribute

  • Shark

    re: Stefani/Eve’s disco song –

    “…If I were a rich… girl…” –??

    Oy.

    Fuckin’.

    Vey.

    …and haven’t the Jews been fucked over enough already?

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    My thought exactly.

    Of course it’s all about marketing: It’s the Grammys! What, you think it’s about art??? Uh, no, never.

    Much respect to Ray Charles — and I like Genius Loves Company immensely — but come on! My 8-year-old said upon hearing about the awards this morning, “They should have given him awards when he was alive.” Indeed.

    Spousal Unit is amused about Motorhead’s win, though, particularly because he knows Lemmy, SU’s hero, will be pissed about it. Think of all the true artists who have yet to be acknowledged by Grammy. Then consider: Britney Spears has one. Shudder.

    On the whole, I’m with Lemmy when it comes to the Grammys. (Must admit: I did enjoy the opening segment — how apropos: “we’re getting stupid, getting started”} and Dana Owens, IMO, was much better than Shark believes.)

  • Vern Halen

    I don’t even watch this trash anymore. You’ve put in words what I’ve felt for years. Thanks, mon.

  • HW Saxton

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only
    one who finds U2 to be one of the most
    banal”Rock” bands ever.And that’s saying
    a mouthful these days.

  • Angela

    Shark, I totally agree!

    That was by far the worst Grammy performances I have ever seen (HEARD). I am obliviated that no professional critics have written or spoke in reguards to how tone deaf they all seemed to be. Off key and flat was all I could hear. I’m so glad to hear that it wasn’t just me hearing things. The only performance I was impressed with was Alesha Keys and a shockingly pleasant sounding Jamie Fox. Jennifer Lopez sounded like a drunken amature Karaoke bar performer. She needs to stick to acting, because without a high tech mixing board to alter that voice, she is awful! I doubt if I’ll tune in next year. Talent criteria has gone to hell.

  • Tony

    I would much prefer to swallow razor blades in leiu of having to to listen to J-Lo bellowing that song again. It would be much less painful.

  • Eric Olsen

    yes, J-Lo blows grits, we all know that, but I am SO far ahead of the curve expressed here (as usual): I totally blew off awards shows in the goddamned EIGHTIES. I have subsequently returned for the educational value and stayed for the entertainment value. I thought, for the most part, it was a really great show. J-Lo was as flat as her chest, “Across the Universe” was ragged, unfocused and uninspiring, but I enjoyed just about eveything else musically, and certainly the spectacle was amusing and entertaining. It’s all how you look at it.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i just read a review of the show over at salon.com.

    he thought that “Across The Universe” was fantastic.

    of course, in the middle of bitching about the southern rock thing, he also admitted that he’d never heard of Dickie Betts.

  • Eric Olsen

    yes Dickie is certainly obscure: Salon – always at the heart of the zeitgeist

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    Yes, J.Lo was aweful. However, I think the major problem was that she decided to do a duet with Marc Anthony, who completely outclassed her during the performance. They don’t call him the Latin Voice (the Frank Sinatra of Latin America) for nothing. The glaring flatness of her singing was accentuated by comparison. If it was her alone, it might have been some what less noticable I think.

    By the way, I too enjoyed the performances. Mainly the opening act (which was messy, but entertaining) and the Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone tribute to Janis Joplin (which can only be described as “It rocked!”).

  • http://4theshallowend.blogspot.com/ mike g

    The grammy’s are as in touch with what’s going on musically as my grammy is.

    Next time save yourself the time and watch the Brit Awards

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Spot on, Eric. The charge that the Grammys are out of touch predates the baby-boom generation. Yes, they’re out of touch; the Grammys have been out of touch for a long, long time. That is *nothing* new. The only thing missing were awards for Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. I watch ‘em just for the hell of it. (Who will get the metal award this year? Did Tull release anything?)

    Yeah, there were groan moments to be sure, but the show had its great moments too: Melissa Etheridge, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx, Franz Ferdinand, Green Day, the Southern Rock geezers (the Salon guy never heard of Dickie Betts???? sheesh), Loretta and Jack (“yes, ma’am”). With the Grammys, you take what you get and attribute no meaning to any of it.

  • Shark

    More loose, random, semi-lucid thoughts motivated by great comments, bad drugs, and neutral insomnia:

    re: Grammys being ‘out of touch’ — I know, I know, but I watch it to keep in touch. I want to know what I’m missing. I want to be able to converse with the culturally retarded. I want to see how many “award givers” who have ‘hot’ movies about to be released can be crammed into three hours. And most of all — I want to be reminded of how lucky I am to be going blind and deaf.

    re: Melissa Etheridge: she’s now a “hero”. Yep, another hero. Too bad she wasn’t accompanied by a cop, a fireman, and a soldier. Man, whatta show that would have been!

    re: Alicia Keys: great voice, boring, boring, boring.

    re: Nora Jones: ditto, ditto, ditto

    …speaking of which…

    re: Ray Charles “duet” album – man, I hate those things. They rarely work. One great voice is enough. Two trading off verses sorta makes ‘em both sound like shit.

    re: Jamie Foxx: mmm… whatever.

    re: Green Day: rock song ‘political’ statements aren’t well-served when delivered in bad eye makeup.

    re: The Southern Rock geezers: there will never be another 60s – 70s.

    re: Loretta and Jack – for all the hoopla stirred up because some young kid paid homage to an old has-been country crooner, the new album isn’t much different than about 30 albums she made years ago. Oh, wait, no orchestra?

    But hey, White has not only resurrected a grandmother’s dead career, but he’s made “Yes maam” all the rage! Wow! Decent manners are cool. Respecting your elders is IN! “Yes maam” — an anachronism is suddenly popular…

    America.

    You.

    Are.

    Fucked.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    …the new album isn’t much different than about 30 albums she made years ago. Oh, wait, no orchestra?

    and you accuse the sound engineer of being deaf?

    yow.

  • Shark

    C’mon, Mark, don’t tell me you’re sitting around getting misty-eyed listening to “I Miss Being Mrs”?

    Feh.

    The Empress is Nekkid.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    ok man, enjoy your cynicism.

    i think it’s a great friggin’ record.

    and, in the words of our mr. olsen…i rule!

    ;-)

  • Shark

    Hey, you’re right: I rule.

    So we agree, babe!

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    yes, maam.

  • Shut Up!

    OMG!! All of you are a bunch of fuckers!! Especially you shark!!

  • Eric Olsen

    for whom are you indignantly outraged, Shut Up?

  • http://www.iamcorrect.blogspot.com Lono

    Who cares, Eric? Once a poster uses something like OMG… they have lost all literary credibility.

    geesh, I am a cranky old bastard aren’t I?

  • Shark

    Shut up:

    OMG!

    You window licking motard.

    RU 4 reel?

    : )

    xxoo
    A Fucker

  • RustyParadise

    Dont worry everyone. I will save music and bring back the feelings and personal nature it is meant to have.

  • Kristin

    UMMM, U2 is actually a great band with great music. Everything else, though, I can agree with.

  • Milagros

    Those who say that u2 are boring show their lackness of spirituality, they dont know the band and the great meaning of that song!

  • U2 Fan4evah

    My spiritual lackness is going to show
    as the great meaning of that song is to
    not make true feelings of sense for me.
    Even if sense I was able to make of this
    meaning,I still know the band has for me
    transcendental ability for rocking some
    days. Excuse please the English of me,
    in Krestonvia we have only computers of
    camel power & it makes to learning this
    language some difficulty much less to
    writing of it for me. U2 Rok!

    U2 are boring.

  • Shark

    Wow. It appears U2 is boring in many languages!

  • Shark

    PS: Maybe Bono and Sting can do a late-career resurrecting “duet” album someday. Lots of songs about their daddies — neither of which appears to have had a last name.

    Then one of ‘em has to die suddenly. I smell a Grammy…

    You’re welcome,
    Shark — marketing genius

  • brandon

    i think it was pretty lame, but i don’t agree with the comments made about u2- they will always be awesome!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Hey Shark!

    You’ll get another chance to chew on what loveliness American music produces soon – unless the G-d of Israel decides to give everyone theirs and stick it to ‘em BERFORE then.