I’ll preface this by admitting that I didn’t catch all that much of the latest installment of The Academy’s Yearly Regalia of Music That Mostly Isn’t Very Good and Isn’t Indicative of The Best Music of the Year At All (patent pending). With that said, here is what stuck out to me:
– Bon Iver winning Best “New” Artist is kind of a joke seeing as the dude has been around for a while. That said, good to see him get the recognition that he deserves over the likes of resident knob-twister Skrillex.
– They had a pretty short window to prepare a tribute to Whitney, but I think Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” was very tastefully done. Good work by all involved.
– Sum 41 was actually nominated for something….Sum 41???? My 4th grade stuff ate that stuff up.
– It has basically been established that whenever the Foo Fighters release something new the band will be nominated for multiple awards and Dave Grohl and co. will perform in various capacities at the ceremony. This year, Grohl spoke out against electronic music and then later performed with DeadMowFive. Contradiction? No, not really. He was obviously forced to perform at the same time and a reasonable person would not turn down the chance to perform at the Grammys. Thankfully, MowFive didn’t obliterate a Foo Fighters song with distressed robot sounds. For that, I am thankful.
– Nicki Minaj….I have no words.
– Lots of deaths in the industry this year. One glaring omission from the recap of those deceased? Paul Motian. The jazz drummer played a large role in helping establish the role of a drummer as a role that is not always subservient to the other players in the group. He innovated the way rhythm is kept, adding an extremely unique minimal touch behind the kit and playing with many of the all time greats.
– Adele was never in doubt of not taking home the year’s biggest awards, winning Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Given the other nominations, I do think that these were fair conclusions. “Rolling in the Deep” is all over the place, a crossover hit that has been played to death in every format possible. I haven’t listened to her album, but I assume it features more of the same jazz-inflected crooning.
– Lastly, it was pretty awesome to watch a massive group of superstars jam out with Paul McCartney at the lead to conclude the program. Grohl, Springsteen, Petty, etc. etc. etc. It was fun. It also really brings home the company that Grohl finds himself in these days. He was by far the youngest player on stage. Something else to see the former Nirvana drummer so firmly established as a singer/songwriter/guitarist/rock demi-god.