Monday, February 09, 2009

When the world falls apart, some things stay in place: Grammys 2009

The Grammys, after suffering from a catastrophic 3-year U2 shortage, finally got their fix last night when the group (whose last album, “How to Build the Most Stupendous PR Machine in the History of the Music Industry,” was nominated for Grammys in various categories for…how many years in a row? 27?) opened the telecast with some song that I’m going to guess was about boots, since Bono, whose voice could barely be heard, kept lifting up his legs and pointing to his boots. I can only conclude that his performance was meant to be a public service for those Grammy viewers with hearing disabilities. When they call Bono a humanitarian they aren’t fucking kidding, people.

Come to think of it, U2 definitely established the Grammys’ unintentional theme of the evening, which was, “I can’t hear the vocals. Jesus Christ. How many strings tracks are they using, anyway?”

The Grammys didn’t hesitate to bring the crazy right off the bat, as presenter Whitney Houston was definitely on something, although it seemed to be maybe only massive amounts of alcohol or pain killers, and not crack. Her wig, on the other hand – still on crack.

Next, The Rock proclaimed that “The Grammys are a way of life,” a statement that should have sent the entire audience running for the exits, before the doors to the Staples Center were locked from the outside, and they were all forced to spend their remaining years in a Korbel-induced stupor whilst trying to avoid bumping into Boyz 2 Men in the greenroom toilet. Le Rock next attempted several verbal Grammy-related assaults, finally proclaiming, with an impish grin, that like Katy Perry, he, too, enjoyed kissing girls…which is hilarious because…he’s a MAN! GET IT? HE’S A MAN! HA HA HA!

Cut to Katy Perry, who rolled her eyes at the camera. And can I just say, I have a HUGE problem with that.

First of all, Katy Perry should not be disrespecting the man who in all probability will be the star of the first film to cast her in some small part that she cannot fuck up too bad after she inevitably turns her considerable ambition to the big screen. Which no doubt will be the first item on her agent’s agenda after single #2 flops the big flop.

Secondly, Katy Perry, don’t go sarcastic on The Rock, because a) it’s wasted, and b) at least the dude could wrestle, or whatever it is that those wrestling dudes do. You, on the other hand, cannot even manage to sing what must surely be a strong contender for TOP TEN SIMPLEST SONGS EVER without making everyone in the audience wish that you had packed a pitch corrector in your ironic banana corset. At least he managed to become famous without marketing his product with a video straight out of Penthouse Forum, complete with a bad Fredericks of Hollywood wardrobe and a cast that appeared to be blow-up sex dolls with AFTRA cards. Listen, Katy, have you ever kissed a girl for real? Because it’s not like an episode of “The Girls Next Door,” okay? Because those girls don’t kiss girls because they like it; they kiss girls for money.

Come to think of it, Katy, it might not be too late to audition for the next season.

Anyways, it wasn’t too long before the 2nd most inevitable Grammy band, Coldplay, took the stage for some really hard-core earnestness, which was made all the more earnest by the fact that Chris Martin could barely be heard above…I dunno…whatever that shit is that plays in the background of every single goddamn Coldplay song.

You know, it’s not that I hate them, exactly, I just wish that award shows would stop thinking that because they’re recognizing Coldplay, they are somehow appreciating something innovative. Another member of Coldplay, while accepting one of their Inevitable Awards, apologized to McCartney, sitting in the audience, for copping the Sgt. Pepper uniform bit. Only, the uniforms that Coldplay wears are pastel. The Beatles at least had the good sense to wear jewel tones. Hello.

Also high on the list of Grammy inevitables is Kid Rock, who performed several songs that seemed mostly designed to position himself as the new redneck laureate. And I applaud that, because I think it’s damn hard to base a whole career on an affinity for midgets and being drunk in Vegas. Still, I just can’t approve the creation of, nor an appreciation for, a song that is essentially a mash-up of “Werewolves of London” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” with an overlay of lyrics that frankly, make Bob Seger sound like Alfred Lord Tennyson. Kid Rock has proclaimed himself the “Rock and Roll Jesus,” but to me he’s more like the Rock and Roll Ron Popeil. He’s pretty much selling whatever he thinks you’ll buy.

Oh, and a small side note to Blink 182: before you proclaim to an audience of 20 thousand people that your band is “back,” you really should make sure there’s a least one person there who cares. Because, crickets. Ouch.

And now, it's time for Spooney's 2 cents:
"What is with that Carrie Underwood chick's guitar player? Is that 1980s Nancy Wilson? She's all fake metal. And look at the wicked stupid '80s BC Rich guitar!"
Funny, right? Thank you, Spooney.

Also, does Kanye West have a mullet now? Color me intrigued.

Which reminds me: hip hop summit, aka the Rap Pack.

This much bally-hooed moment, in which rap giants Kanye, Jay-Z, T.I. and Lil Wayne performed “Swagga Like Us,” would have been a total 4 minute honk-shoe were it not for a very pregnant M.I.A., who bounced around the stage in a polka dot…um, dress? determined to mash her hit “Paper Planes” into the ensuing mess. It was right up there with Radiohead backed by the USC Trojan Marching Band as Best Killa Moment of the telecast, if only because it was kind of awesome to see so much faux gangsta testosterone so effectively thwarted by what appeared to be a magic dancing lady bug.

Interspersed throughout the evening were Lifetime Achievement Awards, which this year went to Gene Autry, Brenda Lee, The Four Tops, Dean Martin, folk artist Tom Paxton, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and jazz pianist Hank Jones.

Okay, here’s my beef. Except for the brief bit and all-star homage to the Four Tops (which would’ve been much better if the stars could’ve, uh, sung harmony, which was kind of the whole reason to love the Four Tops), we got zero information on any of the LAA winners. How much cooler would it have been, to have seen, say, a three minute video about why Dean Martin was so freaking awesome than to see Justin Timberlake and T.I. perform for the second time on a 4 hour show? How about we skip Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, and instead learn the younguns all about the magnificent Brenda Lee, and why she should be worshipped as a divine goddess who deigned to walk the earth?

How about we skip Kenny Chesney, and his hat-down “aw shucks, me sing?” act, and instead do ourselves the gigantic favor of hearing Gene Autry lay down a song or two. Because Gene Autry was amazing, y’all, and everyone should know that, and if our National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences can’t manage to make us understand why, maybe we should devote 4 hours of prime time to someone who can.

Sucka for the snark? Check out Grammys 2008.


Michael said...

I waited all. goddamn. day. for this. And then I had to read nearly every sentence aloud to explain my giggling.

You are the hippest and funnest snark there is. As Ed McMahon said to Jon Stewart, early on in The Daily Show, "You're too big for this."

Will you autograph my boobs before you go syndicated?

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

Great observations. For next year's show, I'm inviting myself to your house to catch all the live play-by-play snark. Yes, I know you're currently fighting the impulse to move with no forwarding address.

Poplicola said...

Ah, so YOU'RE the one person who watched. Saved us all a bit of trouble, that did. This doesn't mean it'll be my turn when the Tonys come up, does it? I just don't think I'm Hugh Jackman macho enough to pull that off.

SkylersDad said...

Perhaps someday you will be honored for sitting through this trash long enough to dish the snark for the rest of us.

I only hope they come up with a better tribute for you than that steaming pile of crud known as the Rap Pack.

vikkitikkitavi said...

M: Um, well, those who can't do...bitch.

Randy: Actually, during the show, all I do is scribble notes and yell "shhhh!" to Spooney, so as he can attest, I am not so much fun live.

Pops: Even I don't watch the Tonys, and I watch ALL OF THEM. I watch the goddamn AMAs, and I don't watch the Tonys.

SkyDad: Hm. If no one who reads my reviews ever watches the shows, I could basically write ANYTHING I want, and y'all would believe it. Something to remember for next year.

Spooney said...

Nice Billy Bragg reference in the title!
It's fun to read your reviews, because I don't what you're writing on that note pad during the show.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Nice one sis. Will there be another snarky post from you - one just devoted to the fashion?

Grant Miller said...

How do you watch this stuff. My wife watched it on Sunday. I got a headache after about 10 minutes.

Spooney said...

Yeah WTF, why does Timberlake always get so much time on these damn things?

...and Stevie Wonder must have just sold his soul sometime in the early 80s.

Pinky said...

"magic dancing lady bug." This has now replaced the "I see pastels" cat as my favorite giggle.

Larry Jones said...

Hilarious coverage, as usual, Vikki. But one demurrer, if I may: Go ahead and give him his Lifetime award, but Gene Autry was not amazing. He was lame. For "amazing," see Williams, Hank. Or even Bagdasarian, Ross, now that I think of it.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Larry: ARE YOU INSANE??? Autry deserves to be honored just for his Christmas songs alone, let alone the yodeling, and Silver-Haired Daddy, and Back In the Saddle Again, and Tumbling Tumbleweeds.

Plus, he built the Autry Museum and donated his amazing collection of Western memorabilia.

Plus he wrote the Cowboy Code! The Cowboy Code is awesome:

1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. He must always tell the truth.
4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. He must help people in distress.
7. He must be a good worker.
8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Oh, and of course Hank Williams already has a LAA.

And I'm sorry, but if Ross Bagdasarian weren't already dead, he should be shot.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

"The Cowboy Code is awesome:"

You just described Spooney, (with a few exceptions about respecting the nation's most f*cked up laws).

vikkitikkitavi said...

And the clean personal habits.

Larry Jones said...

Whoa! I didn't know about The Cowboy Code. Are you sure that wasn't Ronald Reagan? Hey --as I said in my earlier comment -- let him have his award. But how long has it been since you really listened to "Here Comes Santa Claus"?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Hey girl, I gave you an award.

vikkitikkitavi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vikkitikkitavi said...

Larry: Spooney is in charge of the xmas music in my house, and I think Spooney's xmas mix actually favors Dino's version of HCSC, but we definitely have GA's version of "Rudolph."

Dr.MVM: Hey, thanks for letting me know! You are so prolific, it is hard for me to keep up with your blog.

Anonymous said...

Rule #11 from the Cowboy Code: The Cowboy's professional sports franchise will not win a world championship while The Cowboy is alive.

deadspot said...

What I learned from the Grammies:

The Clash were so fucking good that you can make a whole career out of ripping off the the riff from just one of their songs.

dguzman said...

Honey, I worship you. Along with Brenda Lee.