February 12, 2012

I'm glad The Grammys...

...  weren't too much about Whitney Houston dying. It wouldn't make any sense to overshadow Adele, whose night it was, who seems like a sweet person, who said "snot," which seemed to amuse the crowd immensely. I liked The Band Perry. Paul McCartney was okay, still slim and spry. Good of Springsteen to play with him in the end, on "The End." I was happy to see Brian Wilson still sitting upright... and Glenn Campbell able to remember the words as he journeys into the sunset of his life. Most of the music I could barely put up with. Lots of flashy lights. Costumes. Hugely long eyelashes. I know: It's for the kids. But this was the first time I'd ever watched The Grammys. Oddly enough. Wanted to see what they'd do about Whitney.

ADDED: And then there was Lady Gaga, always only in the audience, with her head encased in thick black netting. She didn't win anything last night, but she got to see — through that net — all the elaborate stage acts that seemed to want to be like her — notably Nicki Manaj — caught in her net. But it was Adele everyone likes now. The one lady standing center stage, emoting in music. I guess we'll be getting more of that, as the followers-on look to catch the next wave.

36 comments:

Sorun said...

Speaking of Adele, this was sorta interesting: Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker

SteveR said...

It was actually better than I'd expected.

Adele is very good

EMD said...

Nicky Minaj just performed herself out of any kind of career. Awful.

Methadras said...

Adele is very good, no doubt about it. Just a talented singer, but the whole 'you've done me wrong' thing is so tired and old. We get it, you're a fat girl who wishes for the good looking guy. Or you get the guy and he ditches you for any multitude of reasons. Ugh, I just have to turn her off if she's on the radio now.

Joanna said...

Eyelashes are the new shoulder pads.

Wally Kalbacken said...

I'm old. Almost as old as Prof. Althouse. So I was asking "Who is this Adele everyone is talking about?" just a few months ago. I wouldn't be able to say when it was that she broke out and became well known/frequently talked about, etc.

Thus my question - were Adele's initial success as a recording artist and Amy Winehouse's overdose/suicide close in time? To my untrained ear they seem similar at times. Maybe Winehouse was pushed over the edge by the appearance of this powerful singer, no?

Just throwing that to see if it sticks.

Rose said...

The show goes on. No time to mourn the loss, especially since the train has been heading for the canyon for a long time. Next week, no one will care, she'll be a footnote.

That's what drug abuse does to an astronomical talent and breathtakingly perfect beauty. Takes it down. Destroys it. Makes it into nothing. So sad.

Surrounded by world class enablers - she, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Anna Nicole Smith - one hopes there's a special place in hell for the parasites who latch onto self-destrcutive celebs.

n.n said...

She probably said "snort". Brits tend to drop their "r"s. And that is really an observation without value.

Anyway, her most impressive quality is a naturally melodic voice and an acquired skill to control it. It is even evident when she speaks. Truly a pleasure to hear.

bgates said...

This is a much more reasonable post than that mess about how it's inconsistent to deny the Constitution demands states recognize gay marriage while asserting a Constitutional guarantee that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Chase said...

Heartbroken over Whitney, seriously sad. Jennifer Hudson took her own carrer to an even higher height tonight with her tribute.

Adelle and Taylor Swift and Joy Williams of Civil Wars are young real talents in a field full of overwrought mediocrity (Rhianna, Nicky Minaj,et al . . . ). It will always ever be thus, however.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

I myself did not watch the show but am pleased as punch Adele was so honored. I am not one to "adore" any in the entertainment industry but I believe this lady deserves it because she in my opinion is actually talented.

What a voice and persona to boot !

Craig said...

Bruno Mars rules and he doesn't need any little statues to prove it.

edutcher said...

Less interested in the others than the fact that Glen Campbell is on one last road trip, billed as The Goodbye Tour, a poignant title if there ever was one.

Despite an arrest for something (including the obligatory mug shot on The Smoking Gun) a couple of years ago (which was probably the first sign of his Alzheimer's), he leaves the stage with a lot more good will than most that were contemporaries or followed after.

PS Haven't seen too many pics of Adele, but those few I've seen make her look more well-rounded than fat.

YMMV.

Rich Vail said...

Whitney did herself in just pretty much every other narcissicistic, self-obsessed "artist" who has died of a drug over dose. To me, that's tantamount to suicide. Life has given you all the "breaks" it YOUR fault you couldn't handle it.

Just how I fee.

Craig said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omIGdbJ7pFw&feature=player_detailpage

veni vidi vici said...

I don't have a television so I did not watch the show but judging by the lack of media commentary I'm assuming Madonna wasn't in attendance.

It's pretty amazing that, with this about to be her year (again) b/c of the new album, tour, movie, etc., she's okay not having to show up and do the step-and-repeat with all the other muzo's. The ownage of the Superbowl only partly explains it.

Kind of nice that she's leaving us alone for a minute before the deluge, actually.

Phil 3:14 said...

Nicki Minaj's tribute to the Catholic Church well timed to synchronize with the week's news.

Paul McCartney may be spry but his voice is dry. If old athletes can retire from the sport and coach and/or commentate why don't musicians do the same. As marginal as Tebow is as a QB, imagine watching a 48 year old John Elway out there.

How many people watching Bruno Mars were thinking "Who's James Brown? A relative of Chris?"

LL Cool J's opening prayer looked painful for the audience.

Chris Brown proves that domestic assault is not the "unpardonable" sin.

Phil 3:14 said...

and what's with all the angry girl songs?

Will "Someone like you" replace "I will survive" as THE scorned woman anthem?

LarsPorsena said...

I'm fascinated by Adele's vanilla unaccented singing and the fact that her speaking voice is an unmistakeable cockney. It's like watching Hugh Laurie doing House and then assuming his cultivated English accent.

Craig said...

I thought Someone Like You was Rod Stewart. Adele's version sounds like Janis Ian doing Bonnie Raitt.

Kit said...

Adelle's performance was great. And hat's off to Wisconsin's own Bon Iver. Justin Vernon, with his rumpled midwestern look - endearing.

madAsHell said...

Who won the award for "Best Post-Menopausal Clown Dancing in Her Underpants at the Super Bowl" ??

Tank said...

Phil 3:14 said...

Paul McCartney may be spry but his voice is dry. If old athletes can retire from the sport and coach and/or commentate why don't musicians do the same.


Maybe you would understand if you saw the joy and excitement when McCartney hit the stage at the Billy Joel concert closing out Shea Stadium in NY. It was already a great concert on a 95 degrees summer night and, at the end, McC comes flying out onto the stage and they launch into "I saw her standing there."

I've been to literally [and I do know what that word means] hundreds of concerts, and I've never heard a crowd scream that loud during a song. I thought the building might self destruct and they wouldn't have to tear it down.

As the last remaining important Beatle, McC holds a special place for us oldsters, and also for many younger folk (my 25 year olds were there screaming too).

JMHO.

Oh, didn't see the Grammys. Never watch that stuff. Very sad about Houston. Another wasted talent.

Firehand said...

Writer named Spider Robinson used to hit on a theme in a lot of his stories: "What kind of world have we created, that creative people have to drug themselves to live in it?" Which is utter, unadulterated bullcrap. My question is "What the hell's wrong with so many creative people that, even while they're succeeding, they destroy themselves?"

Pogo said...

Just another one of the new it girls, to be sure, but the song Video Games by Lana Del Rey is haunting and lovely.

Interesting super-8ish video, Fiona Apple vibe, Adele vocals, Veronica Lake emotional distance.

(duplicatus)

MadisonMan said...

And hat's off to Wisconsin's own Bon Iver. Justin Vernon, with his rumpled midwestern look - endearing.

The daughter was thrilled by this win, according to her twitter feed.

The Crack Emcee said...

I don't know anything by Adele, or Nicky Minaj, and don't think I'm missing anything. (I hear stuff on other people's radios and cringe.) We're in a dead zone, culturally, so it isn't important to keep up right now.

I remember living in Europe and thinking, "Thank goodness we don't have this crap in the States," and now, lo and behold - from the arts to socialism - here it is, full-force, torturing me anew.

I can wait for America to be American again,...

John Stodder said...

Amy Winehouse's reimagining of mid-60s soul creates the artistic and commercial opening for Adele, who is a safer and more broadly relatable follower. Her album became a huge hit before Winehouse's death.

The Crack Emcee said...

Oh, and fuck Jennifer Hudson:

This is still the greatest tribute to Whitney Houston ever devised,...

The Crack Emcee said...

John Stodder,

Amy Winehouse's reimagining of mid-60s soul creates the artistic and commercial opening for Adele, who is a safer and more broadly relatable follower. Her album became a huge hit before Winehouse's death.

Not arguing the point, just adding some trivia:

Amy Winehouse's "reimagining of mid-60s soul" only occured in the eyes of the public.

In truth, she borrowed The Dap Kings from Sharon Jones and pulled an Elvis. The DP's were the true geniuses there, and it was Sharon that taught them how to swing, I hear.

I hope we hear more once they get over the loss,...

RonF said...

I like Lady Gaga. She's there to entertain, she knows it, and outside of Born That Way she pretty much sticks to it instead of pretending that she knows how to fix the world.

I also like Adele. What sets her off from most entertainers these days is simple: she can sing. This is why I think you're wrong about "I guess we'll be seeing more of that" - in order to carry it off without costumes, lasers, $100,000's of props and a 3-story stage you have to actually be able to sing. Diana Ross could sing until she screwed herself up with drugs and ego - although one must credit her with surviving, which Amy Whitehouse and Whitney Houston failed to do.

I fail to see what the big deal is about Amy Whitehouse, BTW. Whitney Houston could sing. Amy Whitehouse is a footnote as far as I can see. I don't see why people are crediting her with some kind of huge impact on the musical scene.

"I'm fascinated by Adele's vanilla unaccented singing and the fact that her speaking voice is an unmistakeable cockney. It's like watching Hugh Laurie doing House and then assuming his cultivated English accent."

It is interesting, isn't it? I've had a bit of vocal coaching. There are some very specific techniques you are taught (tailored to one's own voice) to get sound out. It sounds like Adele has done quite a bit of work in learning how to sing - and has done more to learn how to sing while minimizing the risk to her vocal cords for a recurrence of the polyps. It's not natural, but if you've got talent and you're willing to put in the work you can make it your own and really get some remarkable sound out. But the techniques and deliberate modification of how you hold your tongue, soft palate, etc. is going to remove the accent that will recur as you relax all that and speak naturally.

SGT Ted said...

Lady Gaga is the star of her one woman show: The Crazy Cat Lady Does Madonna.

EFB said...

My first time watching the Grammy's. Here's what I thought. Jennifer Hudson was the highlight. Otherwise, the whole show was one giant snoozefest. As you said, it's for the kids. Most of the songs are ready-made pop with interchangeable performers and melodies.

The show was not overly focused on Whitney Houston, but her death overshadowed all the others this year. Poor Etta James, only a slight mention by Alicia Keyes and Bonnie Rait.

More concerned with their own appearance, Maroon 5 played a pathetic homage to the Beach Boys.

Bruce can still rock and is still hot.

Paul McCartney looks and performs great.

The Beach Boys, well they sound good, but is it old age or just all the drug use catching up?

I wonder if critics will say the same thing about these old-time rockers that they said about Madonna's halftime show: she's too old and should not perform anymore. (I disagree.)

Nikki Minage wants so badly to put on a show like Madonna or Lady Gag but failed miserable with a nonsensical circus act.

Most of the mashups were cringeworthy. Bonnie Rait sounded nice, but Alicia Keys was screeching (thanks American Idol for making everyone want to screech instead of sing.)

Why was Chris Brown so celebrated? isn't he a wife/girlfriend (don't know what they were) beater?

SteveR said...

@Methadras You'll be glad to know that Adele has stated she is moving on from "break up" songs.

So maybe justing her being a "fat girl" is enough for you.

Methadras said...

Hey, what would have happened if Whitney died during the grammy's? Better that she go off into the beyond in a Hollywood hotel bathtub than during a Nikki Minaj train wreck in the staples center.

MadisonMan said...

Better that she go off into the beyond in a Hollywood hotel bathtub than during a Nikki Minaj train wreck in the staples center.

Wouldn't dying during Minaj's "art" be the ultimate -- deserved -- criticism of it?