Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Smoking Nun's Annual GRAMMY AWARDS Live Blog!

8:00p  So Bruce Springsteen opens the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Well, that answers that question... It's going to be a gin night, not a Diet Pepsi eve. Grandpa Bruuuuce makes Madonna's Super Bowl performance look like Lady Gaga, huh? Yeah, I know, he's god, but whatever... What a bland, boring overblown opening... Puh-leaze.

8:05p  LL Cool J's prayer for Whitney and the requisite montage was an ideal way to lead the show... since the world is aching in unison. Perfect... But please, let's remember, this is still supposed to be Adele's night, so I hope every winner isn't going to feel propelled to mention Whitney again and again... LL promises an homage coming up... Nice, but let's move on now, please. This is supposed to be a joyous night, not a three-hour memorial.

8:11p  Oh my god, Adele looks like Bette Davis!... 8:12p  LL Cool J just included Nicki Minaj in his list of "artists." Ha ha ha ha, is he serious? While Bruno Mars performs, I'm off to make a strong drink.

8:15p  Love Bruno, but what's with the James Brown tribute? Is this 2012 or 1960? Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney performing... Honestly, this is why the Oscars maintains mojo as a more elegant destination. Between trying to be oh-so-hip-hop and simultaneously honoring its dinosaurs, the Grammys seem to persistently forget the middle ground.

8:21p  Alicia Keys mentions Whitney, although her tribute with Bonnie Raitt is about Etta James. Again, I suspect we're going to hear Whitney's name 5,000 times tonight. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it's raw. But Etta deserved this moment to herself. "Sunday Kind of Love" with Alicia playing that same Magnus chord organ we all had in junior high school in the mid-1970s... how quaint.

8:24p  And now "at last," Alicia says, we're going to present the first award... Best Pop Performance. This one is mighty loaded and my fave category of the night: noms Adele, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Pink. As a NARAS voter, I gave this one to Bruno, figuring that Adele has other categories to win and it's Ga's weakest song of the year...

And the winner is... Adele, "Someone Like You." This is my No. 3 song of 2011. How could I not smile? The one vote I gave Gaga was Best Pop Album... I sure hopes she wins that, otherwise I think the second-most important pop artist of 2011 will go home empty-handed... LL Cool J doing a wondrous job... My stream of consciousness yammering... not so much. But onward we go...

8:28p  Chris Brown performs a song that sounds like every other generic R&B-dance song of the era. I need some more ice. Perfect time... Oh, why not, a dash more gin...

8:35p  Hey, it's Granny Fergie! Wow, she makes Madonna look like Lady Gaga... oh, wait, I've already used that line... Wait, I thought Fergie was a white woman... She's suddenly talking all urban. Oh, I get it. She thinks cause she's part of pop/hip-hop act that she's all down wit' it. Got, it girl. You are soooo coool! Thanks for reminding us.

8:39p  Reba looks good... Are those her original eyes? Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldeal sing their No. 1 country hit "Don't You Wanna Stay." I have to say, 40 minutes into the Grammy Awards, this is the first real inspired musical moment. I love this song and they sound utterly a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Good stuff. I'll drink to that!

8:50p  Wow, the Foo Fighters have been performing for about an hour now... This is just one song, right? Wow, that was noisy. Was there a chorus anywhere there?

8:58p  Another performance... Ha, ha, and here I thought this was an awards show... Rihanna is singing atop her recorded vocal and yet still sounds like she has a deviated septum... Oh, and she just had the audacity to reference Whitney. Honey, you're somewhat talented, but how dare you compare... And now Coldplay joins... Thank god for Tivo... I'll be rewinding this performance after the next commercial, because GIN is calling! Make it a strong one, bartender!

Speaking of needing a drink, to the left is perhaps the most troubling image I have seen... Lady Gaga with Paul McCartney... Sort of reminds me of a toothless 90-year-old pappy rubbing his lips over his great-great-great granddaughter. Ewww.

9:06p  Well how lovely... As we head to another commercial following Coldplay's blurry performance, we're told to head to Grammy.com to find out who won awards tonight. I could have sworn this was an awards show... Did I mention that once or twice already?

9:12p  Wow, we're actually giving out another award... for Best Rock Performance (zzzz). It's some actress from an NCIS TV show and two athletes from the New York Giants. Are you fucking kidding me? Whoever this chick is just said, "This is a music show," with three non-musicians presenting. Ironic, eh? My god, could there be a less interesting category to present? Zzzzzzz. And the Grammy goes to... Foo Fighters. And I feel nothing! I didn't even vote in this category.

9:18p  Finally, the Grammys bring in the gays! Oh, whoops, that's right, Ryan Seabreast has yet to come out... The cardboard cut-out is introducing a Beach Boys tribute... which, once again, has absolutely nothing to do with the Grammy Awards in 2012... I wonder if the liquor store is still open?

Maroon 5... pretty brilliant covering "Surfer Girl," not that Adam Levine can't pretty much wave his magic wand and create magic with any song...Who the fuck is Foster The People doing "Wouldn't It Be Nice." The Beach Boys just performed for about 45 minutes. I am utterly astonished that the Grammy Awards has absolutely no awards in the show. I am bored out of my fucking mind... you?

9:37p  Stevie Wonder... Okay, I am not a young dude, but seeing the Grammys Awards packed with more old fucking pappys is boring me to anemia... Oh, now I get it... Papa Stevie is introducing Great Grand-Pappy Paul McCartney... I seem to recall that Adele was the most-heralded artist of 2011... and yet we've seen her one time... One relevant award...

9:43p  Best R&B Album... Chris Brown, El DeBarge, R. Kelly, someone else(?), Kelly Price... Winner is Chris Brown for album F.A.M.E. Some folks continue to insist Brown should never ever be allowed in public again because of his past. Yeah, time to move on. Whatever. Wow, it's becoming consistent here: I feel nothing.

9:47p  "Two-time Grammy winners" The Civil Wars... Am I in the United States? I'm totally lost... Who in god's name are these people? Now Taylor Swift is singing live. Interesting thing is she's dressed like she works at KMart—and yet appearing understated for a change she actually looks almost attractive, much less like a blowfish, right? As long as you push "mute"...

10p Good god, almighty, we're actually offering a second or third relevant Grammy Award, two hours into the show. Fun to have Neil Patrick Harris presenting... Perhaps he can tell Ryan Seabreast backstage that it's okay to be gay, girl...

Song of the Year (songwriter's award): "All of the Lights," Rihanna (fairly horrid), "The Cave," Mumford & Sons (who the fuck knows this song?), "Bruno Mars' "Grenade" (brilliant), "Holecene" (huh???) and Adele "Rolling In the Deep." Come on! Isn't it obvious? ADELE!

And the winner is... Adele, thank god! (Yes, she got my NARAS vote for this one).

10:07p  Katy Perry performs... Time to put the pizza in the oven! She's singing live, yes? Quite, good... Very impressive... Why weren't we seeing Katy an hour ago instead of watching Paul McCartney and the Beach Boys soak their teeth on live TV?

10:18p  Lady Antelbellum just won Country Album. "We did not expect this," the dude said... You betcha. At least he didn't thank Whitney. Commercial break coming... with promise of Adele performing within the next 48 hours... and, uh, Nicki Minaj (I'm going to try and time that with putting my head in the oven and soaking up a whiff of gas)... and Paul McCartney again??!

Oh, how lovely to see irrelevant Gwyneth Paltrow, who is married to Coldplay singer Chris Martin... sniff, sniff, a little holding hands there with NARAS? Adele, at last, is singing... And I shall pause to absorb fully. Standing ovation for "Rolling in the Deep"!

10:37p  Glen Campbell performing... Band Perry and Blake Shelton... Let's see this blessedly talented man perform. When I was a DJ in 1980 at a country station in Virginia, I used to play Glen constantly... "By the Time I Get To Phoenix." Tragic that he's aware he's reached the twilight of his career with Alzheimer's setting in...

This is perhaps the only justified reason to be playing the music of any artist in this demographic tonight... I swear, the Grammy show feels—more so than ever before—like some sort of tribute to the Golden Oldies... If I were 25, I'd have tuned out 90 minutes ago. What the fuck is CBS thinking?

Okay, I'm going to run behind for a few minutes here, because I was prepping my pizza while Glen was performing... and I intend to savor this as perhaps the greatest moment of the night (among, um, three so far?).

Carrie Underwood, who has made good on her 2007 Best New Artist Award, much like Sheena Easton in 1982 (unlike absurd 2011 victor Esperanza Spalding) performs with 16-Grammy winner Tony Bennett... and once again, how aggravating is it that it's casually announced that, oh, by the way, this artist (Tony) won an award tonight... since it was not presented on-air. One more time: This three-hour marathon has oh so little to do with the damn awards... Grrr!

Best New Artist: Man, oh, man, this used to be my favorite award, until, as a NARAS voter, I stared at the nominees over the past several years wondering... What impact might you possibly have on pop culture over the next year? I remember watching the Grammys in 1982, crossing my fingers that Sheena Easton might win against a field of wholly viable candidates... and now, this year we have... Bon Iver, The Band Perry, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj and Skrillex... Honest, to god, I voted for Perry as the lesser of all evils.

If Nicki Minaj should happen to win this award, I am signing off for the night... truly... There would be nothing left to say... For such a non-talent, with the likes of Black Eyed Peas, to be given critical encouragement would spell the end of my interest of any commentary on what alleges to be a program awarding talent... And so... here we go...

And the winner is (cringe)...  Bon Iver... whom I have never heard of. Um, now I don't know what to say. Who the fuck are you? Maybe they can tour with Esperanza this year and fill a Starbucks!

Now, after the annual dead people tribute, we're honoring Whitney... with yes, the absolute ideal successor... who else, but Jennifer Hudson, singing "I Will Always Love You" in her own way. Brilliant.

So after a big generic blur of dance/rock, we're about to see Nicki Minaj. Performing at the Grammy Awards. A whore. A gimmick. A boob-centric harlot. In a program that was once regarded as a credible show to celebrate the music arts... And now we're watching this advertorial featuring a non-talented slut who somehow believes she can compete with Lady Gaga. (My wish, in the accompanying image: Grill the bitch!)

Sorry, but I kind of bluffed about the gin... I switched to Diet Coke hours ago, so I'm saying this with a sober disposition: I wouldn't mind writing NARAS tomorrow—as a voting member—asking why this non-talent Minaj was granted a gigantic advertisement for her upcoming album... That was a gargantuan to-do about nuttin.' Hmm, do gin and Diet Coke mix?

We're up to Record of the Year, which Adele deservedly wins for "Rolling in the Deep." Whoo, hoo, Diana Ross?!?! Who would've expected that? She's presenting the award for Album of the Year: noms are Adele, Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Rihanna... and the Grammy goes to... exactly who it belongs to... Adele...

So many unanswered questions: For instance, who won any of the awards tonight? Pop Album to Lady Gaga, as I voted for? I'll have to find out Monday. The awards show was a mess in terms of sharing who won what... I have absolutely no idea 3 hours later who won anything on Grammy night.

And so now we have Paul McCartney again to finish the show... zzzzzzzzzz... No Whitney tribute finale? Could we not have surrendered this blase performance for an ensemble celebration of her life? Oh, oh, oh, what a tragedy.

I'll revisit all of this Monday, post stream-of-consciousness, but at this juncture, the 2012 Grammy Awards show was a shameful farce... little more than a concert that offered an award or two on the side.

Even the Golden Globes, as impossible as Ricky Gervais is to watch, presents awards during the... uh, awards show. The Grammys... I have no fucking idea who won more than half a dozen awards. "F" for fail and a fucking throwaway of three potentially golden hours... And you? *