Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Granny Sue Views the Grammies


Can't let this week go by without commenting on several Grammy performances that pretty much blew me out of the water last weekend. The opening tribute to Aretha Franklin was nothing short of stellar, with Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, and Florence Welsh performing some of the queen of soul's old standards and doing one heck of a job of it. Having said that, I felt as if McBride and Welsh (who outdid themselves) were still slightly out of their league compared to the other three, while Aguilera's performance represented a credible effort at redemption (insofar as possible) from her recent Super Bowl debacle with the national anthem. Even if she hadn't forgotten the lyrics, her effort to "make the anthem her own" fell flatter than a pancake for me. Let's face it, changing the melody of the Star Spangled Banner is never a good thing...but the way Christina sang "Ain't No Way" the other night was more than a good thing. It was a GREAT thing.

It's interesting to note that Fantasia of Idol fame boycotted the Grammies altogether this year (despite winning one herself) because she was not included in the tribute. To be honest, I'm not sure why she wasn't. You can bet she would have eclipsed the good-but-not-great efforts of McBride and Welsh. Can't say that Fantasia is a favorite of mine, but she definitely has soul (and pipes) to spare, and if you're gonna cover Aretha, both come in mighty handy!

I won't be putting Lady Gaga on my iPod any time soon, and I'm anything but a fan of her cultural statements, but that girl's creativity is off the charts. I was put off, however, by how much her new song "Born this Way" seems to be a direct rip-off of Madonna's "Express Yourself." Usually a purloined melody only sounds a bit familiar, but this one boasts whole sections that are all but identical. Fortunately for Gaga, Madonna has given the derivative song her blessing, which is pretty magnanimous considering that she could have sued and won in a heartbeat. (Not that she needs the money, but I'm surprised Madonna isn't more protective of her intellectual property.)

Eminem, whose talent is as extensive as his language and content are offensive, was another act that brought the audience to its feet. While I can't support much of what he says and does (I do give him props him for getting sober), there's no denying his ability to wield words and lay down beats. I just wish he were more conscientious in the way he uses that ability.

Bob Dylan wasn't miked well enough, but I thought it was great fun to see him and loved the guys who accompanied him. Bruno Mars, B.O.B., and Janelle Monae did a great ensemble act before splitting off to showcase their individual skills, and I had a lot of fun seeing Jaden Smith on stage. I had less fun with his teeny-bopper heart throb buddy, Bieber. (Is it wrong to be bugged by someone just because his hair is too sleek and shiny?) I know. I'm a bad person.

Finally, I have to stand in awe at what struck me as the best performance of the evening...Mick Jagger's full-body nod at Solomon Burke's classic, "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love." At 67 years old, that guy is timeless and ageless. And his performance? Electric! Seriously. I was mesmerized. And oh boy, did that sassy singing and strutting ever take me back. I only wish I had DVRd it so I could watch the whole thing all over again. Again and again. Made me want to see him in concert!

=)

18 comments:

Renegades said...

What a fun read especially for someone who didn't watch.

Terra said...

Well said all around - and not so surprisingly I agree with you on all points made! Lady Gaga is a very very creative person and Eminem well, wouldn't it be neat if that energy could be channeled to a better cause?

Lisalulu said...

I've missed your reviews.... didn't watch the grammies and now it feels like I did. THANK YOU (it would take a lot to get me to like Mick or lady GAGA)

Kim said...

I can tolerate Lady Gaga if I close my eyes but most of the time, in my house, she is referred to as Lady Gag Me.
I may never recover from the meat dress incident!

anitamombanita said...

OK, guess it's time to go turn on the DVR. We did record it, just haven't watched it yet! LOL

Mumsy, Chancy and Company said...

I didn't watch the Grammy Awards this year so I am glad you posted a review. Now I wish I had watched some parts. Nice review. Hugs

Darlene said...

Well, this is very interesting. Dick and I both watched the Grammy's and made the decision that we will never watch them again. We absolutely hated all of it with the exception of the bits that Lady Antabellum did. Didn't love it, but felt it was tolorable. I guess that just shows that we are in the generation above yours. I am just sick to think that real music is a thing of the past. The Grammy's that I used to watch were wonderful. The winners all sang songs that were meaningful and FULL OF MELODY!! What ever happened to that kind of music? All we heard was screaching and noise noise noise---the louder the better. Sorry Sue, this time I can't agree with you even though you are my daughter. I still love you, but don't love some of your favorite music. I'll take the soft sweet ones that you have on your play list. Thank heavens you do like some of our kind of music too.

Darlene said...

Didn't go back to edit the above. Just wanted you to know that I do know how to spell "tolerable"

Anna M said...

I am now really regretting not seeing it. I only saw the pictures of the red carpet and had to double-take as to why John Mayer is trying to look like Johnny Depp. Johnny Mayer?

Great read.

karen said...

We watched the Grammys as well and I have to agree with almost everything except Eminem. For some reason I just don't like him. People that try so hard to be sullen and never crack a smile just bug me. I love Lady Gaga - well, maybe not HER, but her music. She is very Madonna-like, however - but like Madonna also very creative. And her tunes are so catchy! And Mick - what can I say about Mick? The guy just ROCKS. I saw the Stones in concert back in the day, and they just never get old for me. Mick's still got the stuff.

Sue said...

I did forget to mention Lady Antebellum, and I really do like them.

=)

Grandma Honey said...

You are so up on your music. I'm impressed.

One thing I do know however. No one should be messing with our National Anthem.

yaya said...

I'm so out of the music world, but I applaud your super review! I have to say, your Mom's post made me laugh so much I almost cried! She's a corker!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Now I didn't see it, but I have been to a practically personal concert of Aretha's...and jammed with the likes of Bill Clinton and other who's-who's...also...I love Martina!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I didn't watch the Grammies, so I appreciate your recap, Sue.
xoRobyn

Jess said...

Thanks for the recap- I didn't catch it. And, sorry, gaga is creepy, intellectual property theft and all.

Cherie said...

I didn't watch but my kids were going crazy over some guy in a colorful suit with dancing muppets - Ha ha!

Karen Sue said...

Perhaps you can get some parts of the performance up on youtube. I've done that with the CMA awards before. Also can get Live at the Troubadour up in sections. I have the discs, but someonetimes I have my computer and not the discs and that is something I enjoye listening to.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved | Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations